Wisdom in Lerner's Transfer Strategy
There has been a great deal of criticism aimed at Randy Lerner in this current transfer window, and after consideration it may appear that he does have a strategy. I have admittedly been amongst the disgruntled supporters- wathcing two of our best players being shipped out of the club for a profit with very little coming back in through the door. The capture of Shay Given and (if it happens) the signing of N'Zogbia may prove that there is still ambition within the club. However, amongst many fans it is still not enough. However, the recent statements of McLeish hint that the strategy is surrounding the new Fair Play rules that will be introduced in 2013 and making sure that the club is financially viable in the long term. Some fans think it is the time to spend extravagantly now while we still can, but I am more inclined to agree with the other school of thought. If the club is sensible now, and stays relatively within its means, then Villa will be in a strong position in 2013 when compared to other clubs that are spending heavily now (Liverpool, Sunderland?). Those types of clubs will, if all does not go well, have a sudden hill to climb when the new ruling comes in. They will also have to 'cut their cloth', but in a more drastic and sudden way. This will undoubtedly be more difficult to cope with. The likes of Liverpool and Sunderland will need European football as a minimum to keep up their spending habits and wage bill. There are no guarantees that such achievements will be met. At that time in 2013, if Villa are established and working under those rules already, we will be on the ascention when other clubs are potentially scaling down. Indeed we could do with perhaps one more creative midfielder, but with the current squad we are far from relegation fodder. Our win over Blackburn was an encouraging performance, particularly with glimpses of our solid defence of old. Warnock, for one, was outstanding. It could also be possible that Lerner is giving McLeish half a season to see how he gets on. If he is competing in the top half of the table, it is more than possible that he will release more funds for the January sales. The important point is that McLeish is not saying that more players are needed. Whereas other club managers have been known to publicly say that more players are needed, McLeish seems to be fairly happy with the squad. Villa fans should give him a chance to prove that the squad is strong enough as it stands. If, at the end of the year, we are near the bottom of the stack, it will be time to re-evaluate. I'm not saying that the current strategy is definitely the right one for success, but it could well be the most sensible one for long term achievements. The 2013 rulings cannot be ignored, so preparation could well be the key.
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