The Premier league gulf

As per usual of late, I’m struggling to keep up with our signings.
It’s all come thick and fast and it’ll probably take me weeks, if not months to get my head around what will probably be the first eleven, let alone the whole squad.
Never mind, at least it’s way better than us not signing anyone.

I still have concerns that possibly more than a few of our signings, while good on paper, are going to struggle at Prem level, not because they’re not good enough, but it just takes some adapting too. The likes of Vertout back up my point.
But hey, it’s a time for optimism and even cautious me is doing his best to suppress any such doubts.
I’m drooling at the thought of 30,000 season tickets meaning near sell-out crowds with the entertaining, attacking footy that Dean Smith has promised us and demonstrated previously.
It’s going to be entertaining, just like it was in the seventies and eighties, whatever happens and that’s a good thing.

Anyway, the reason for the post is that I’ve seen an article that suggests Kalvin Phillips has been offered a package from Villa that will increase his wages from his current £10,000 a week to £60,000 a week over five years.
Now obviously that’s a big jump, but let’s really put that into perspective.
The difference is £2.5 million, as opposed to £15 million over that five years.
Of course, Leeds are doing their best to hold on to him, but the same article suggests they can’t match the £40,000 a week that they pay their highest paid players.
So if we guess they’re offering him £30,000 a week, he’ll still seemingly double his wages if he comes to us.

In fairness, it seems Phillips really wants to stay at his club and that’s admirable.
But hands up, who could resist doubling their wages in what might prove to be a short term career?
Of course, most of us would be happy with the £10k a week, which would set us up for life, in the first place.
But money is a strange thing.
I remember my first payrise that took me from £24 a week to £29 a week and thought it was a massive boost.
Then realised that the £29 rising to £37 seemed not so good a jump. Then the £37 rising to £49 seeming even smaller.
And…. well, you get the idea.
When you’re already earning decent money, it takes a bigger rise to impress you, I’ve found.
Hence while £40,000 a week and feeling the love at Leeds would probably satisfy Phillips, that £60,000 is going to prove pretty irresistable.

At least Phillips is continuing to do his job and train as he’s contracted/paid too.

As opposed to Marvelous Nakamba, who’s supposedly gone AWOL at FC Brugge and refuses to train, which is absolutely disgraceful in my opinion.
Ok, register your disdain at a club that is seemingly holding you back from probably a similar increase in wages, but you should at least turn up to do the work that you’re being paid for.
Don’t get me wrong, his actions will result in us getting the player at a cheaper price than Brugge want and that’s good for us.
But I do feel some sympathy for the Belgian club and Nakamba really ought to be playing the game that the club want him too, in hiding his feelings, to maximise Brugge’s leverage.
He signed a contract, after all.

But I guess that’s how the Premier league gulf can affect people.
It’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened, but I still don’t like it.

Dean Smith or at least someone at the club must really rate Nakamba, because signing him seems to go against all that Smith has told us about the type of player he wants.

He’ll certainly have to prove himself as a really good player before I’ll be referring to him as “Marvelous”.


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  1. Avatar
    Gerry Kiddy August 9, 2019 at 1:22 pm .

    Villa are a top club from a big city and have history. Sheffield make knives for people in Norwich to cook with

  2. Avatar
    Holte66 August 9, 2019 at 1:24 pm .

    After having time to reflect on a manic transfer window, I am delighted with the signings we have made. Yes ideally I would have been happier with another striker but Davis and Kodja could come good when called upon. I actually think the premier league might suit Kodja more than the championship. Wesley hasn’t proven prolific in terms of goalscoring but he has attributes that will benefit El Ghazi, Trezeguet and Jota especially. Most of the successful teams don’t rely mainly on a number 9 these days. Goals need to be spread amongst the team and we have shown in pre season that this looks like the way we have set up.
    On to tomorrow and I will be delighted with a draw because we are playing one of the best teams in the premier league on their own patch. I will keep things in perspective and assume we are in for a tough season, battling to survive and anything else will be a bonus.

    1. Avatar
      Villain57 August 9, 2019 at 2:01 pm .

      No disrespect intended but I hope we haven’t spent £150m to finish 17th otherwise we might as well have stayed in the Championship and spent the money on reduced admissions.
      Whether it needs a few games to make the side gel remains to be seen but I am expecting a top-half finish from this squad.
      For all their potential Spurs can be quite fallible at home as we saw a few times last season so whilst I’m not banking on a win for us I certainly don’t rule it out.
      Here’s to a happy Saturday evening.

      1. Avatar
        Pat 57 August 9, 2019 at 4:36 pm .

        I kind of agree but, if I’m being honest, if you offered me 17th right now I’d bite your hand off.

        I think we’re going to be okay too but there’s a big space between ‘thinking’ and ‘knowing’. I’d guess that ten to twelve games in we should have a better idea.

  3. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron August 9, 2019 at 5:00 pm .

    It’s been a tremendous window. The board have demonstrated throughout that they won’t be held to ransom and leave it when the price isn’t right. Mings was the exception for sentimental reasons. Clearly, this was the case with Benrahma. To be honest, when Trezeguet came in, I assumed that deal was dead; I expect he’ll be a Villa player by next summer.

    As for the striker, yes, it would’ve been the cherry on the icing on the cake. But it wasn’t to be this summer. We must remember that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’ The squad is almost complete for the next 3-5 years. If we can add a striker next summer, then it’s pretty much done.

    I expect Green will be recalled in January. We can manage without until then and the game time will benefit him and us more than a few cameos from the bench. We are capable of top 10. I’d take a draw tomorrow with the intent to win. Good times ahead!


    P.s.thanks to the board and DS for the hard work over the summer. We averaged a signing a week. That’s good going!

  4. Avatar
    Holte66 August 9, 2019 at 8:30 pm .

    Norwich being punished at Anfield although they are playing well going forward. Defensively they are poor though.

    1. Avatar
      Pat 57 August 9, 2019 at 8:36 pm .

      Worth noting that they have stuck with their Championship side. They could let in three and score four in the Championship but you won’t get away with that in the Prem.

      1. Avatar
        Holte66 August 9, 2019 at 8:54 pm .

        Pat, this is the concern I have about tomorrow. There is a huge gulf between top six and rest of premier league. Fact is we will have to be defensively perfect and hope we can create a few chances to get a result against Spurs. Only Heaton has proved his worth in the top flight. As for the rest I hope they knit together quickly and step up.

        1. Avatar
          Pat 57 August 9, 2019 at 9:05 pm .

          We are not Norwich. They don’t know whether to stick or twist, defend or attack and they’ve ended up doing neither. Naive is not the word. I’m certain that Dean’s game plan will be clear to everyone.

          I’m not saying that we’ll win but that gulf is not that big for a team that does it the right way, just ask Wolves.

          1. Avatar
            Holte66 August 9, 2019 at 9:32 pm .

            Wolves were exceptional last season but were still 9 points behind one of the poorest Man Ure teams since the premier league began. Maybe we can replicate Wolves in terms of league finish but I doubt it if I’m honest with myself. I hope Villa fans continue to back Dean Smith even if we don’t start the season like we hope.

            1. Avatar
              Pat 57 August 9, 2019 at 9:44 pm .

              I sincerely hope that the team aren’t as flaky as some of their fans have obviously become. We are Villa and we will show our worth this season.

              Norwich are poor and, apart from Pukki, they don’t have a single player that could be called a Prem player.

              Have faith, we have the players, we have the manager, we have the owners – we will succeed.

  5. Avatar
    Pat 57 August 9, 2019 at 10:01 pm .

    Well not much evidence of ‘the gulf’ in the second half. Norwich were the better team.

    Giving an own goal away early on was Norwich’s death sentence and i don’t think that the team was clear whether they were all out attack or something else. Their defence was appalling first half.

    I’m not saying that we’ll do any better at Anfield but I honestly think that, on tonight’s showing, Liverpool are vulnerable.

    We’ll see what happens tomorrow but I’m convinced that we’ll put a better performance in than Norwich did tonight.

  6. Avatar
    Hitchens60 August 9, 2019 at 11:36 pm .

    Dr Xia is no more – well no more part of AVFC that is.

    Under the deal with Lerner, Villa gaining promotion within three years of the sale triggered an additional £30m payment which Xia couldn’t honour so the debt fell on the Club. Our owners have settled the debt in return for which Xia has relinquished his remaining shares.

    According to the BBC Sawiris / Edens have invested £200m to stabilise the Villa, avoiding administration and FFP in the process.

    We owe them a massive debt of gratitude which I am sure the fans will start to repay by getting 100% behind the team and the Club over the coming season.

    30,000 season tickets is not a bad start.


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