Transfer window thoughts

So the final transfer window day turned out to be a bit of a damp squib in a sense.
We signed Joleon Lescott on a two-year deal, but we all knew that one was happening, didn’t we?

There was one highlight, where we signed Matija Sarkic, a young goalkeeper from Anderlecht on a three-year deal for £3 million. He’s highly regarded, but in all honesty, I find myself wondering why we need five goalkeepers, seeing as we now have Guzan, Bunn, Siegrist, Steer and Sarkic.
Perhaps Sarkic is rated more highly than I’d expect by the manager and £3 million is a fair bit of money for an eighteen year old, but would there really be a chance of Tim Sherwood putting him in the team as Guzan’s replacement?
I doubt it, but you never know. Hence I’m certainly not knocking the signing. I just find it odd…..

Especially if you consider that it seems we might not have had much more money to spend; money that I think many of us would have preferred to be spent on another striker.

There’s still talk of Berbatov coming in on loan, but I’m not sure I see the sense in that myself.
He hardly set the world on fire at Fulham did he?
Still, no doubt Sherwood has his reasons for wanting to sign him and again I’m not really going to complain.
But I do feel this is the only area where we might have missed out, as if we’d signed another striker in say, the £10 million class, I’d have rated this window as about as good as it gets.

A right back coming in would probably have been the icing on the cake, but Sherwood looks to be happy with Bacuna and Hutton, so I doubt it was ever on the cards.

Going back to the striker side of things, I do think Sherwood was after one.
I thought it might be Austin, but I was proved wrong.
I still think Sherwood wants one, but suspect the club couldn’t work a deal somewhere and it may well be that we’re keeping our powder dry, I expect ready for the winter window.

Which leads me onto the finance side of things.
I’ve often been a critic of Randy Lerner for giving managers insufficient money to do a realistic job.
While Lambert averaged a reasonable spend during his tenure, it just wasn’t enough, given the state we were in.

This time though, if you look at the headline figures, we haven’t spent much overall.
But consider the word was that we didn’t get all the Benteke money up front and I’ve realised that Lerner hasn’t been as tight on the purse strings as I expected, although we don’t know how the wage bill has been affected.
Add in that dry powder (say £10 million) and it’s actually a very decent spend.
Then add in that most of us think that Sherwood has spent the money well and this has turned out to be an excellent window.

The Beeb have just said we’ve signed Tiago Llori on loan too, which has been countered by Joe Bennett and Nathan Baker going on loan to Bournemouth and Bristol City respectively.
Another strange move, as Liverpool have let him go out so he can get regular football.
How does that work if we expect Richards and Lescott to be the main CBs, with Okore in reserve?

Still, choice is good and as I said, I think it’s been an excellent window.


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  1. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 September 2, 2015 at 8:02 pm . Reply

    Some people are just never satisfied and of course you don’t include the years where RL backed MON with very significant funds and while you’re at it why don’t you trawl through Deadly’s tenure as Chairman.

    RL has reinvested the whole of the proceeds from the sales of Benteke and Delph and the other smaller deals (like Lowton) plus about a further £12m (assuming the Benteke sell on fee was around £4m to Genk). Of course we would have liked to see a new top CF but exactly who should we have bought. Adebayor is a fruitcake, Berbatov is just a mercenary – we don’t want either but at least we were seriously trying to bring in (past it) proven strikers or Charlie Adam perhaps at £15m that no one else wanted and always assuming he would have come to Villa?

    There is a real shortage of ‘proven’ strikers generally let alone at a level we can afford so your assertion that (not singing a proven number 9) is ‘shocking bad business sense’ is a ridiculous statement.

    Overall TS has done a good job of strengthening our squad and providing real choice in depth and he’s clearly had the full backing of RL, Tom Fox et al.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 September 2, 2015 at 8:04 pm . Reply

      My response was to JVillan – should have been linked to his post

      1. originallondonlion
        originallondonlion September 2, 2015 at 8:33 pm . Reply

        I agree with you Hitchens. JVillan should wise up to the fact that there are far more players with a #9 shirt than there are genuine #9’s. Moreover, the ridiculous fad has at least a couple of seasons left – that is playing a lone striker. That isn’t the #9 role which is finishing crosses from the wingers when attacking and shielding a distributing when playing out of defence. In most teams now those roles are split. The striker can be a little and mobile guy.

        All the pieces are in the box now, so there is an opportunity for the players to shape themselves into particular types of player that we do not have. Two of these types are clear: a six yard box predator, and a midfielder with a net-busting shot from distance. That is something they can work on at BMH if they stay clear of the dodgy tikka. Third vacancy is for a right back who is a solid defender and who can take a good corner. I see one of our existing CBs moving to the RB position, but I am not sure about their corners.

        We signed another keeper! Hooray -somebody does read this blog.

        1. Hitchens 60
          Hitchens 60 September 2, 2015 at 9:27 pm . Reply

          Spot on OLL. I see our goals coming from two or three strikers playing together supported with goals from midfield – something Chelsea have done very effectively. The potential problem with goals coming from a single source is exactly what we have suffered from over the last two or three years.

          Sinclair, if he continues with his current form could well return to his Swansea form of providing 10 – 15 goals.

          1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
            OohAhPaulMcGrath September 2, 2015 at 9:36 pm . Reply

            Interestingly we have scored 4 goals this season that’s more than Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal not bad at all.

      2. jvillan
        jvillan September 2, 2015 at 9:30 pm . Reply

        my point is when oneil was here we were equal to or better than everton spuds now we cannot compete with soton stoke even wba spent almost 30m
        i like what sherwood is doing but with one hand behind lerners back it s not easy
        as for our strikers gabby hasnt got 20 goals in nearly 5 full seasons kozack took 18 months out with broken leg giroud was back in less than 12 weeks,ayew is not tried ,gestede only came up from championship
        sherwood new from final benteke was going why no replacement

        1. domingo
          domingo September 3, 2015 at 12:08 pm . Reply

          thats one of the reasons im glad kozack turned down celtic and decided to stay with us . i think kozack could be good . a battering ram , plenty of balls in from the wings and him in the middle finishing them off or nodding them down for others coming into the box. i just hope sherwood gives him a proper chance in the first team . its now up to kozack to get his fitness up to the required level and start forcing his way in to sherwoods plans.

  2. Andrew
    Andrew September 2, 2015 at 8:49 pm . Reply

    Oh no guys, we only spend 9m net spend, doesn’t matter that the entire 45m as well was spent, but you know, that means nothing because Lerner got every penny from Derby, City and Liverpool for Weimann, Delph and Benteke… Oh, crap, wait, no he didn’t. But then people on here do like to cry when they don’t have the facts down.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 September 2, 2015 at 9:23 pm . Reply

      That’s exactly the point I’m making.

      Southampton over the past couple of seasons have reinvested the income received from sales without a massive additional net spend and done that very well. That’s exactly what TS has done and I believe we will see the benefit over the course of this season.

      1. Andrew
        Andrew September 3, 2015 at 3:59 am . Reply

        Only team not too has been Liverpool who spent a lot more than the Suarez money, Spurs used the Bale money only, as have basically every other club. We’re far from the only ones.

    2. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain September 2, 2015 at 9:42 pm . Reply

      Not sure I understand this obsession with trying to work out ‘net spend’ based on the partial and approximate infomation that is actually available about any transfer to those not on the inside of the deal.

      Most of the headline figures are simply not reliable indicators of how much any player has cost in terms of accounting profit/(loss); the accounting side of any business is a bit more complicated than that.

      Let’s look at the players who’ve arrived, not trying to work out how much Lerner might have had to pump-in to fund the club’s losses.

  3. jvillan
    jvillan September 2, 2015 at 9:38 pm . Reply

    when lerner took over only pool utd arsenal chelsea because of russian money where rated bigger clubs think youse will find out from 4 years in of his reign we started to slide now we are rated just above watford norwich even under deadly we were always rated as big club

    1. originallondonlion
      originallondonlion September 2, 2015 at 11:14 pm . Reply

      It depends entirely where you finish in the league table as the most pertinent attribute, then there is history and achievement. You must be young if you think the Johnny come latelys cannot change. The invincible top clubs in England in my lifetime include Arsenal, Leeds Spurs, Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. Always going to win it or be runners up, so predictable blah blah. Nobody took City or Chelsea seriously.

      City and Chelsea will fade away. United and Arsenal have much more staying power, Liverpool and Spurs under new management or chairmanship might be top four finishers.

      Lerner simply ran out of money. When he pitched in as an American Billionaire it seemed to be enough to have a serious pop, but when Arab and Russian oil money joined the game he realised he wasn’t rich enough.

      Villa as the top club in the second biggest city have got the foundations, they will draw the crowds and the better players if they are successful in reaching 5th or 6th spot. We are probably going in the right direction but I would still like to see an owner who enthusiastically takes his seat for every game. That would change the atmosphere.

  4. jvillan
    jvillan September 3, 2015 at 12:02 am . Reply

    watched poyet on sky sunday they made comments about sunderland buying most of players below 5m you end up with crap squad 2 players advact signed scored against us where both decent fees showing like soton are doing need to buy big just to stand still we have not done since oneil last year in which we had final semi final plus finnished6
    you cannot run buisness like lerners doing and

  5. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 September 3, 2015 at 1:10 am . Reply

    it depends how you define ‘business’. Actually, in real terms, RL has been running the business sensibly since MON left – where he failed business wise was in allowing MON too much control and not managing the spend in relation to what the club (in other words what RL) could afford for it to be sustainable in the medium to long term.

    The analogy is with the banks, the crash of 2008 and the austerity that followed in an attempt to right the finances (although I’m not suggesting it’s on the same scale).

    The problem is that fans don’t define business in financial terms but in comparatives with other clubs perceived to be smaller or bigger. So we’re a big club and should therefore have unlimited funds to spend so as to put us in our rightful position comparatively speaking in the PL. Sadly life doesn’t work like that and even if we found new owners it doesn’t mean automatic success and unlimited funds – ask the Blues, Sunderland, Fulham, Portsmouth etc.

    I’m not totally defending RL because I think he failed to get the right sort of advice at the outset and it took a financial and playing crisis for him to get the right quality of people at senior management level but it now seems that he has a business model that can provide success for Villa………………no pressure then Tim!

    1. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum September 3, 2015 at 7:02 am . Reply

      Third time lucky for Lerner? Although accusations can be thrown at RLs business being his families success, I’m amazed that a businessman of his stature got it so wrong with MON and then the suicidal austerity plan. With Fox at the helm, we finally have an astute modern footballing man instead of Fatty. Even if TS isn’t a sucess, and I’m very impressed with his work so far, we have direction finally for both the short and long term. We may find Lerner owns the club for a long time to come.

    GIDDYVILLAN September 3, 2015 at 8:24 am . Reply

    I can’t see Lerner leaving the helm anytime soon,the lure of the TV money is too tempting for’s wrong though to portray the clubs on the market so this is a good excuse to spending very little when him alone is reaping the financial rewards of Pl football.I suppose someone’s going to say he’s making a huge loss if so PLEASE enlighten me.

      GIDDYVILLAN September 3, 2015 at 8:33 am . Reply

      Ps make the most of the recent transfer window because unless we produce another gem to sell on 10 mil per season tops will be all that we can expect.

      1. Bill Pearson
        Bill Pearson September 3, 2015 at 8:45 am . Reply

        Don’t think I’d like to see us selling our assets if we are moving upwards and onwards, have to say I’m happy at the minute with what we’ve got, its now up to Sherwood to show us his abilities as a manager, some of our existing players must think have to step up to the mark over the next few months or else. Wonder what Delph thinking after his should I or shan’t I, think he’s made a right boo boo.

        1. Bum Bum
          Bum Bum September 3, 2015 at 9:49 am . Reply

          Gana is sooooooo much better than Delph.

  7. jvillan
    jvillan September 3, 2015 at 9:45 am . Reply

    in reply to hitchens
    have to completly disagree with you about lerners ability to run a business
    you say about mon running of club well 3 top 6 finnishes cup final cheating ref semi final in 4 years lost players bouma delaney laursen mellborg no fault of his yes signed duds who didnt
    lerner decision to employ sick man houiller buy bent sell supply line appoint mcleish let him buy gems like given hutton zog jenas real value in that never mind ireland,when we were in dire trouble first season under lambert let him only sign sylla dawkins next winter window grant holt was answer,it got worse cole richardson and sendross landed,still it wasn t our lowest point new contracts for gabby hutton and lambert
    lerners lucky his father made his money because as a business man he is just above blackburn cardiff lot

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 September 3, 2015 at 12:54 pm . Reply

      Your entitled to disagree JV but I think you’ve missed the point. He achieved financial stability and with very little investment managed to keep Villa in the PL where others (having invested substantially – QPR and Fulham spring to mind) are now in a financial mess playing in the Championship.

      You are looking at it as a Villa fan – which is fair enough – not as a business where the last few years have been about survival.

      Draw a conclusion in a couple of years time unless you have a crystal ball that works 🙂

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 September 3, 2015 at 12:55 pm . Reply

        What I do agree with it’s been absolute agony for the fans – no less for me than anyone else.

      2. Ardent Villain
        Ardent Villain September 3, 2015 at 1:05 pm . Reply

        H60 – you mention QPR and Fulham, but I’d also add Newcastle and Sunderland.

        Both are ‘big’ clubs in that they regularly attract far bigger home crowds than Villa, but both seem to be hopelessly-run, have spent a lot of cash, got through any number of managers and only just survived in the PL. Both have pretty fanatical supporters who are completely sick of what’s gone on at their clubs – the difference being that Villa fans may now just be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel…

        1. Hitchens 60
          Hitchens 60 September 3, 2015 at 5:15 pm . Reply

          Fair point Ardent – and in the past look at what happened to Southampton and Portsmouth – they both got Redknapped of course which didn’t help. Southampton have taken about 5 years to recover and I don’t begrudge them their success. Fair play to them for getting a decent owner and businessman who sorted the club out.

  8. originallondonlion
    originallondonlion September 5, 2015 at 8:54 pm . Reply

    A slow Lerner? Perhaps that best describes our owner’s record. JVillan has a point about the number of mistakes Randy made. To be fair though MON had a performance driven plan, which depended on Randy being the second wealthiest owner in the Premiership. When more money elsewhere blew the transfer market prices out of Villa’s reach MON was not prepared to run a budget-conscious ship, stormed off in a huff, and was relegated to Minnows national management. Randy then swung too far the other way with his cost cutting and survived a fatal drop by one place. Was he a genuine seller? I do not believe he was, simply because I think £150M was a snip, I call it a ploy to get the fans off his back.

    Houllier to Lambert was a run of panic measures. But bringing in Fox and his scouting mate from Arsenal was a real coup. It is equivalent to persuading Wenger to jump ship to Villa and may prove to be better.

    Doug is like Marmite, just bringing him in to the topic provokes reactions. I think he was very shrewd in his dealings with the land around VP. The Witton Lane coup was a master-stroke, buying all the houses to demolish and moving the road over. There are people at the Bin dippers and Spurs who wished they could have done the same. Villa have the room to develop their existing ground on their own land if needed.

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