columnist Rob Facey wonders what Aston Villa need to achieve to
get the respect they deserve following their excellent win over Arsenal at the
Former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen has said that despite Aston
Villa outclassing the Gunners at the Emirates at the weekend, the Big Four
remain out of their reach unless they spend big to add more depth to their
Writing in his Daily
Telegraph column, Hansen went on to say that while Villa have established
themselves as the fifth best club in the league, that this doesn't mean the
next step is necessarily upwards.
"One result doesn't accomplish what you set out to
achieve," Hansen said.
"Under Martin O'Neill Villa play with pace and
vigour. But are they as good as Manchester United or Liverpool, Arsenal or
Chelsea? Categorically not.
"It might not take Villa long (to transcend from
ambition to achievement), but they have not have not yet shown that they can go
out and buy a player for £30 million.
"You have to entice these players, and the way you
do so is by money. At the moment they automatically go for the big four and
that creates a problem for the rest."
So, is Hansen
right in saying that Villa remain a spending spree away from the big time?
Will they never
be close to breaking in unless they can convince a player of genuine class that
Aston Villa is the place to be?
Or is this just
adding more fuel to Martin O'Neill's quiet revolution at Villa Park?
His players are
constantly overlooked or treated like plucky overachievers if ever they record
a result such as Saturdays, so what can they do to permanently change people's
Surely their victory at the Emirates is just another sign
that Arsenal's place in the Big Four is looking more and more uncertain?
And if, as suggested, that there is a strict ‘one in, one
out' policy to the Big Four as suggested by Hansen, then surely Aston Villa
will be the team to replace Arsene Wenger's side.
admittedly, still fifth in the league, but they sit on equal points with
Arsenal and are just one behind defending champions Man United.
Could this be the season we see a big power shift in the
Premier League? Can Villa break into the Big Four? And do they deserve more
respect from pundits and critics?