Where is McLeish's Money?

16 July 2011 07:23
This may be jumping the gun somewhat, but there are unavoidable questions surrounding Villa's current [shall we say] hesitant transfer activity. It also begs the question of where McLeish’s transfer money has gone. Looking back to when he was appointed, he was promised a £40million transfer war chest to strengthen and put his own stamp on the team. Taking into account that was before Young and Downing were sold for a combined total of around £36million, he should theoretically now have £76million to spend on players. Of course, let’s not be daft enough to think that the entire amount would be reinvested in the team, and let us also assume that the Young transfer money made up some of the original £40million because they knew already that he would be leaving. That aside, McLeish should still have at least £50million to spend. So, why does it appear that we are messing around in the current transfer window? Players have been targeted and some bids have been made, but not befitting a team with ambition that is looking to rebuild. I mentioned in a previous article that the Chairman, in his infinite wisdom, has spectacularly sold our entire creative width for the team. Bent’s two main supply lines have now gone, and in all honesty we cannot afford to hang around in getting players in. Marc Albrighton, although a superb talent, needs cover or a wing partner to work with. N’Zogbia and Scott Parker have been identified as suitable replacements, so why have fees not been agreed? If any more unsuitable bids are placed (particularly for N’Zogbia), then another club will buy him. £10million is a bargain when you compare him to Downing so what is with bidding below Wigan’s valuation? It is the constantly dallying in getting replacement players in that raises questions regarding the money. As one of the top twenty earning clubs in the world, why have Villa failed thus far to sign a £10million target transfer player? Is it possible that the £40million was a myth, or is McLeish a very careful spender. Everyone likes a bargain, but not if all of the best stock has already been sold. I retain confidence that some players will be brought in, but if McLeish is not careful the best ones will be snapped up by clubs that don’t mess about. He should follow his old mentor Fergie, who wanted players and has not delayed in getting them in. Last minute transfers are never really a good idea if they want time to bond with the team before the season kicks off. If the money genuinely is there, then Villa need to be more aggressive in pursuing targets like other clubs do to us. McLeish needs to go and tap up Milner, Lennon or Cahill. It seems to be fair game for other teams to do it to Villa (Downing), so why not go out with the same approach? The Downing situation proves that it seems to work, however morally reprehensible it may be. I personally think that £20million spent on Milner’s transfer fee and wages would be worth every penny- a Villa favourite that gives everything for the team, has sublime talent and is arguably better than Downing and Young put together when on form. What better way to spend your pocket money?