Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Difference Between Claret and Blue

Some of you may be reading the title of this post, hoping for some kind of home decoration tips where I’d show the better lighting effects you can get from having blue around your house and how striking your kitchen can look with undertones of claret. Sadly though this is not one of those posts, I am not Laurence Lewin Bowen and I’m here to talk about something actually meaningful...football.

Now I, for whatever reason, seem to have a fondness for clubs that wear claret and blue; be it West Ham, Burnley, Villa, etc I just seem to like them. Of course similar fashion choices doesn’t mean the clubs are anything alike and that is what my post today is going to be about.
~ Do you get the title now? Pretty good if I do say so myself ~

Now it’s been well publicised that Aston Villa are currently on a downward spiral and will be praying for a miracle to stay up this season. In contrast to them Burnley currently find themselves in the automatic promotion spots in the Championship whilst West Ham are in 7th place, battling for a Europa League spot whilst also having an FA Cup quarter final tie next month against Manchester United.

Now obviously there is a stark contrast between these three clubs, but my question is what is the difference’s between them? All the teams have a good fan base, they are all in big footballing towns, they’ve all got rich histories in English football...so what could it be?

Most Villains already know the answer but for the fans who don’t normally familiarise yourselves outside of your own club, it goes a little deeper than just players not caring about the club. Yes it has been discussed in length by many people (fans and pundits alike) that this Villa side look disinterested and that they are just playing for their wage but for me it goes so much further and has, for me and I’m assuming many Villa fans, been about 6 years in the making…

I’ve always thought that Villa never looked as good since Martin O’Neill left the club in 2010. and after years of shipping off their best players and not replacing them adequately enough they now find themselves bottom of the Premier League without a cat in hells chance of staying up. According to Wikipedia (which as we all know is the gospel truth) The Lions owner Randy Lerner issued a statement shortly after O’Neill’s departure saying that he “no longer shared a common view as to how to move forward.” How was this moving forward?

Now you look at a club like Burnley for example; in the last 4 years they’ve had Jay Rodriguez   who they replaced with Charlie Austin who they replaced with Danny Ings. Like for like replacements year on year. Now you may be wondering how they replaced Ings after his summer move to Liverpool? Well they signed Andre Gray for an undisclosed fee which is believed to have broken their previous transfer record and now he’s scored 16 goals in 27 games...hows that for a replacement.

Another smaller replacements would be them selling Kieran Trippier to Tottenham for an undisclosed fee but then replacing him with Matthew Lowton who is a very strong attacking fullback at Championship level.

Let's looks back at Villa who in the the last few years have received £26 million for James Milner, £20 million for Stewart Downing and £17 million on Ashley Young and replaced them with Stephen Ireland (£8 million) and Charles N’Zogbia (£9.5 million) who they’re still trying to get rid of now.

To top it off, in the last summer transfer window they sold Benteke, Delph and lost Ron Vlaar on a free transfer. The full spine of their team gone and replaced with Lescott and Richards at the back who haven’t really reached the heights they once did and Rudy Gestede up front. As they didn’t replace Delph, who was instrumental in Villa’s revival last season means they look poor and can’t challenge teams in the centre of the park…

Next on my list of reasons why Aston Villa are on the rocks is the job of replacing managers. Now losing a boss like O’Neill puts a big ask on the owner’s head as he needs to find someone with that level of experience, intelligence and ability to continue the good work that Martin had done. Randy Lerner went with Houllier, a clever move in my book.

With a wealth of experience from his days with Liverpool, Lyon and the French national team, Houllier was a perfect suiter. Sadly though due to injuries, Villa struggled and finished 9th in the league and because of health issues, Houllier had to leave the position as well. I do believe he would’ve improved after this and sometimes wonder what could’ve been…

The next few managers weren’t as inspired in my opinion. Alex McLeish, Paul Lambert and Tim Sherwood were not the managers that would create stable Premier League teams. You look at West Ham who were lucky enough to have Big Sam Allardyce when they got back to the top flight; a man who could get a respectable league position out of average players.
~Side note: I think it would be unfair to tar Remi Garde with the same brush as I think he has potential to do well ~

Sad thing about Allardyce is that he can’t do it with good players. Last season he had players like Kouyate, Sakho and Valencia but would still give games to players such as Carlton Cole and Kevin Nolan. Managers like Allardyce, Pulis, Pardew, etc are at their best when there is little to no pressure on them succeeding.

Due to this West Ham’s owner looked at taking that next step into becoming bigger and better. Slaven Bilic who had experience at managing a big club with Besiktas the season previous and internationally with Croatia was an inspired decision. Obviously it helps having a player like Dimitri Payet but it’d have been difficult for him to show his quality when he’s having to chase down a 70 yard pump up field from James Collins and whip it in for Nolan who’s sprinting into the box at a top speed of 4 mph…but I digress.

I think Aston Villa now should be preparing for the Championship, probably should’ve been preparing in November. They should be looking at which players need offloading, which players they can keep and which players are going to take them back up at the first time of asking, The Championship is an incredibly difficult league to get out of once you’re in there.

The last thing I’d like to say is that I think Garde would be well within his rights to ask some of these players to take pay cuts and stay on in The Championship. You’d like to think that players like Lescott and Richards would stay since “it's not about the money” and I think those two would be part an unbeatable back line in the Championship if they were to stay. I’m gonna assume there are some Villains who would rather Heskey at the back than those two but it’s just my opinion.

Anyways that’s it for today. As I said before this season is a bad one and is probably going to be the worst in their recent history. But I have full confidence they will bounce back if Lerner sticks his hand in his pocket. Best of luck to them.

~ Anyone who enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThePenaltyKing1 ~

Cheers for reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment