Proof How Big Aston Villa Are/Should Be | Vital Football

Proof How Big Aston Villa Are/Should Be

The Fear

A Wise Man (once sat next to him)
#1
This is a great illustration why I get so angry when people talk Aston Villa down. Even on here it happens. Comparing us to Burnley, or Bournemouth, even Leicester. Look at the attendances for a start.

But we continually, and have for decades, brought in middle of the road managers. Even now, why with so much money did we not get a manager with top pedigree, if the ambition is to get us back to the top? Instead we have another, Villa fan and top bloke aside, learning on the job. That isn't ambition. Neither is buying young players who will have a sell on value really.

Maybe this is stage one of the plan. Not slating the new regime whatsoever, as you know, met the owners and got a great vibe from them. But they aren't here for charity and although they 'saved' us from going to the wall, for a club this big, and I know this for bang on fact as I still talk to the people involved in many of the big football takeovers (one became a good friend of mine at the Ellis out/Randy in time) no way would we have not had someone to come in and take us on. We are too big a concern, unlike the poor people at Bury.

It is decades now we've seldom acted like we should be, as a big club. The last manager we attracted with true pedigree was Houllier. Right idea, right ambition, wrong man due to his heart issues (and so it proved sadly)

Before that. GT mark 2 but that was awful, due to Doug not backing him (had a chat with GT, he said he knew he shouldn't have come back when he took his list of player targets to the board meeting and Ellis left without it) And then Big Ron Atkinson.

Some of the others were great, John Gregory and Brian Little, but they weren't top pedigree appointments, they just proved great once in operation (and the theory of appointing from within I liked)

Ramble over.

Big club, massive potential, nowhere near acting like it though and that is, as said, for decades and was the reason for the Ellis protests all those years back. Since then, we've had massive money, just not the right decisions.... fingers crossed that changes with the new, hopefully very ambitious, owners.


 

The Fear

A Wise Man (once sat next to him)
#3
We either have to re-identify ourselves as a big club, or speak of whatever our new mission/vision is. This being one toe in, one toe out doesn't suit me.

I think we are massive, I don't think we act massive. The new guys are still building and have to have time to be assessed. So no panic or rush from me. But I can't buy the bull, I need to see the evidence due to decades of failure.
 
#5
We are a massive club, but results and performances in the past 7 years or so have not shown it. That’s ultimately what you’re judged on.

We did however spent over 100mil after getting promoted (more than anyone else with the exception on Man U I think) and management consistently say our aim is to challenge for trophies. That’s acting pretty big time.

Let’s not kid ourselves though, it’s a different league that we left and the quality is extremely high, and before we really start throwing our weight around we need to be finishing higher up the table so that we don’t risk the long term future of this grand old club.
 

JP Healy

Vital Reserves Team
#7
All clubs make mistakes. Ferguson, Shankly, Nicholson, Saunders et Al. We may be relegated but our club is in good hands. The old guard, Ellis , Lerner and Xia seem a distant memory. But the damage they left behind is gradually disappearing. Smith wanted Maupay, Webster, Phillips and Heaton. Money men won again.
 

The Fear

A Wise Man (once sat next to him)
#8
I disagree, they aren't a distant memory, I'm talking bigger picture, not one season under new owners though.

The new owners need time to show us what they can do, obviously. Then we will see if this is our new 'best of times' or another false dawn.

I like how they have started. My question marks will remain, as is only right, as to what the ambition is, especially with the chosen managerial appointment.

I do know they have stressed this isn't a here today, gone tomorrow project, they are looking long term. With proper planning and so on, they will be able to achieve exactly what I'm banging on about in this thread.

Doug was useless, destroyed the team of 82 and always thought small.

Randy was perfect, and started so well, but then wrong appointment after wrong appointment, plus no long term planning ruined it. Such a shame, as he'd not bought us for profit (good job, he lost over £200million...) and so wanted to do something special. Then it all changed.

Xia was a snake oil salesman. Nothing more, nothing less. I said at the time the way he was positioning the deal showed the dangers. (Randy got his cheque book out and just bought us, so did the new owners, he got all sorts involved to place the deal)

The new boys? Self assured and calm. If they are in this for the long term, calm planning and slowly building, it could be a great ride.

I told them, like I told Randy, they are at a special club and we want it to be respected and looked after and just how massive a place it could be. Not saying they didn't know already, but it was still nice, as a fan, to spell out what they have in their custody.
 

Bonker

Vital 1st Team Regular
#9
First of all, modern club owners don't give a flying about words or past performance, they only care about numbers and possible future prospects to make money.

Villa are one of the clearest value propositions out there, along with Leeds IMO, due to the potential revenue growth via establishing them as a PL club again and the relatively large population catchment area.

This is most definitely Phase One - the start of the rebuilding of the club, management and players. Be in no doubt that the damage from the Lerner/MON/Faulkner years only ended this Summer.

I would expect Phase One to take 2-3 years - the major objective being to establish Villa as a PL club with a team and squad to match that status, something we're miles away from right now as we're only six months in having hit "full reset" in the Summer.

I expect us to churn 3-4 players per season from here on out as we separate the wheat from the chaff to establish stability in the squad and I think it reasonable to think that we'll have to do that a couple of times at least until we hit the "proper" PL club target.

What we most definitely do not want to do is to pull up the drawbridge as we did last time around with a side full of immature Moneyball players and club management (at all levels) that weren't up to snuff.

Hopefully, we're already more stable on the financial side of things so that won't happen, even if the manager/coach merry go round keeps on spinning in the interim period and/or we get relegated - the tactics can flex but the strategy needs to be stuck to otherwise we're sunk again.

Having established ourselves in the PL in around 2-3 years time, we should have some Moneyball players who are worth a substantial amount more than their cost to us and that's when the true ambition of the owners will be measured.

At that point, you can use that value to keep the club going at the current level whilst pulling money out of the machine (*cough* "administration costs" *cough*), or you can keep going with the objective of "snowballing" the playing roster to a higher and higher value by continuing to invest the (possibly huge) new money you've realised, possibly paying big fees to pull in a star player or two at the same time with any major excess of funds which would be a major indicator of the owner's true ambition.

In short, I would expect the money dropped on players to be relatively low in the very early stages as that is just the tinder used to start the machine up. What any CEO worth his salt will then do is measure how well the machine is working in terms of producing value "from nowhere", via the coaching staff, and making any decisions he sees fit with respect to spending limits/extra money/sacking/hiring etc.

If the machine looks like it's working (higher league position/better customer satisfaction/revenue/player valuations) then you feed more into it but only when you see it's working, you don't knee-jerk to splurge extra wads of cash into the machine if you're very unsure of the outcome due to current performance.

All-told, I'm a backer of the project - if it is as above - and I'm comfortable with/expecting us to be a bottom 5 PL/top 5 Championship club for the next year or two while the machine spins up to a higher speed - others will doubtless have a different perspective lol

This window may, or may not, give some small insight into how the owners and Purslow are thinking - relegation last time around was a KILLER for our club but it's not the same this time around (unless we spend 3+ years in the Championship which I highly doubt) but it would obviously still be a setback.

Recognise, however, that we really did win the raffle to get promoted to the PL in the first place, we (in terms of players we actually owned/age etc) really weren't worthy of it in truth which is probably why I'm so chilled with everything right now and willing to take a longer-term view than most, especially with respect to player development.
 
Last edited:

JW1985

Vital Squad Member
#12
Going down this season would be a disaster.
In the sense that we'd lose Jack, McGinn and Mings it would be terrible but I think we'd be in a better position than last time when we had to buy a whole new team.

We wouldn't have to worry about the finances due to probably getting huge fees for the 3 mentioned. And we do have players in the squad that have done well at that level that I think we'd be able to retain.

Obviously we don't want to have to do this but I don't think we'd be the shambles we were in 2016. I'm not worried about the future under these owners. We are building something and we're in the first stages.
 

"Merd"

Vital 1st Team Regular
#13
The only reference we have is the Milwaukee Bucks.

Investment in youth....check
Ruthless with head coach......check
Not afraid to spend big on star players...check
In it for the long term....maybe
Achieved success....check

The portents point towards owners who are taking a long term view.
 

Fulford

Vital Football Legend
#14
In the sense that we'd lose Jack, McGinn and Mings it would be terrible but I think we'd be in a better position than last time when we had to buy a whole new team.

We wouldn't have to worry about the finances due to probably getting huge fees for the 3 mentioned. And we do have players in the squad that have done well at that level that I think we'd be able to retain.

Obviously we don't want to have to do this but I don't think we'd be the shambles we were in 2016. I'm not worried about the future under these owners. We are building something and we're in the first stages.
I disagree as this lot without the best players are bottom half chumps at best.
 

Fulford

Vital Football Legend
#16
I'm not saying we'd go up without signing any players. I'm saying that we wouldn't have to go out and buy a new squad like last time. The gap between the championship and premier League is big as we are finding out.
The gap is massive, but who out of that rabble today are good enough for a fight in the chumps.
 

JW1985

Vital Squad Member
#19
The gap is massive, but who out of that rabble today are good enough for a fight in the chumps.

In our current squad we've Hause, Konsa, Engels, Guilbert, Targett, Heaton, El Ghazi, Trezeguet, Nakamba, Hourihane, Chester, Davis who we could probably keep hold of and could probably do ok in that League seeing as it's nowhere near as good as the premier League in terms of quality. Get in a good goalscorer, a hard case midfielder and a couple of creative players and I think we'd do ok.
 

Fulford

Vital Football Legend
#20
I can't see Trez, Targett or Engels being successful in the chumps.

Chester will be too old and Nakamba surely would want to leave.