Nice to see Villa finally wake up and smell the coffee

Football FanCast columnist Greg Symonds cannot understand why it has taken so long for Villa to wake up and smell the coffee.

One thing I have never understood is why football clubs fail to conduct all their transfer business before the start of pre-season training so new players have time to adjust, bed into their new surrounds and the team becomes well drilled and oiled for the season ahead – surely that is just pure common sense.

Obviously that is something we seem to lack at the Villa and for a squad that was woefully short last season and has since suffered the loss of Barry and Laursen, we continually drag our feet. Villa's answer to that has been to sign Stewart Downing, a player that won't be fit until Christmas. It is ridiculous quite frankly and is more than jeopardising our chances for next season.

Martin O'Neill to his credit has come out today and claimed that the club are looking to bring in at least five new players ahead of the new season. While that is reassuring to hear that we have finally woken up and smelt the coffee with O'Neill admitting that the squad is a little thin, I ask the same question: why have we left it two weeks before the start of the season to suddenly wake up to that reality? Are we simply focused on bringing in bargains on deadline day?

It leaves me totally bemused to be honest and why I really thought we would push on this season and continue the momentum, our failure to strengthen significantly leads me to believe that a fight to finish six is the best we can hope for. Man City has improved greatly, Spurs will be a much stronger outfit this time around, therefore they have caught up on us and suddenly we are in danger of being left behind. We have two weeks to try and salvage something, otherwise we can kiss goodbye to our last two years of progress.


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