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Aston Villa For Champions League?

Since Randy Lerner appointed Martin O’Neill as Aston Villa manager, the club’s fortunes seem to have changed. No, Villa haven’t realistically competed for any silverware yet, but there are certainly promising signs at the club. Villa have recently appeared to be a club who are a solid top 6 team, with some promising talent on their books. However, after beating Chelsea at Villa Park wearing the Aston Villa home shirt, are Aston Villa possible contenders for a Champions League spot?

I would consider Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United to be the teams that will make up the top 3, but there are definitely a few teams who are contenders for that 4th spot. At the start of the season, Liverpool would have been most people’s favourites to make the Champions League once again, but with a dreadful start to the season and still no sign of that changing soon at Anfield, they might struggle to make it. Manchester City would probably be regarded as the next favourites for 4th spot, but while they started the season extremely well, they have drawn 5 games in a row now and are not quite looking so strong. Tottenham, currently sitting in 4th spot, have finally started a season well and look consistent this season under Harry Redknapp and have probably been the surprise package of the season so far. So, let’s have a further look at the chances of those in an Aston Villa football shirt.

Villa are in 5th position at the moment and have certainly had a couple of fantastic results so far. Defeating Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield is something very few teams have been able to do and winning 2-1 at home against Chelsea shows that they have been able to compete with the big sides. A 1-1 draw with Manchester City and hammering Bolton 5-1 last week have added to this impressive start to the season. Aston Villa have also strengthened their squad by signing Richard Dunne, Fabian Delph, Stephen Warnock and Stewart Downing, who has still to play his first game for the club after getting injured at Middlesbrough. Added to that, you have one of the best keepers in the league, Brad Friedel and fantastic attacking players, such as John Carew, Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor, showing that Villa certainly do have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season. One thing that will be in the back of their minds is what happened last season when they looked certainties to make the competition last season, but then completely fell away from March onwards, practically giving Arsenal 4th spot. Martin O’Neill will be hoping his side is mentally stronger this time around.

Written by Stephen Whiteford, a sports writer who blogs about football kits.

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  1. ishyy

    January 25, 2010 at 7:04 am

    aston villa need a defender dunne is doing a great job best signin of the season but we also need someone upfront as gabby cannot finesh

  2. Debt Advice

    November 16, 2009 at 7:53 am

    I think Villa will get that 4th spot quite comfortably and Liverpool will miss out.

  3. villafandan

    November 15, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    meh, how disappointing Gaffer. nice to see something other than the sky four being written about here, shame it’s really just shilling for some crappy shirt sales site.

    also, although i’m not naive enough to think that he didn’t know what was about to happen, technically speaking, MON was “appointed” by doug ellis. just saying.

  4. Leon

    November 15, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    Was this worthless article just an excuse to plug a website that sells replica kits????? Very odd.

  5. Andrew

    November 15, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Always love to see new faces in the Champions League. Villareal last year was a fresh and welcome addition.

  6. David

    November 15, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Wow that was the last thing i expected to see on this website. An article on my club Villa. Thanks for the write up. UTV!

  7. NetherHolland

    November 15, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I wonder if Villa’s/O’Neill’s strategy with the Europa League this year was to just start the younger players, hope for the best, but but get overstretched with the team’s lack of depth and…now that they are already out of the competition, they can focus squarely on each week’s fixture instead of who will play midweek.

    At first I was disappointed that they were out so early in a European competition, but maybe this plays out better later on.

    Also, is O’Neill saving Emile Heskey for the second half of the season? Carew and Agbonlahor have been the constant starters but a fresh Heskey late in the season could be ideal.

    Add Downing post-injury, a solidified defence with a motivated Dunne, a fine pickup in Warnock, and Luke Young about to return from injury…

    Villa could do it!

  8. Ian

    November 15, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    As a villa fan I think the article is very well rounded on what we can acheive. It should be noted we are currently 5th without either John Carew or Ashley young sparking.

    There have been signs in the last three games that young is returning to his previous best form and Carew is well, Carew.

    A word though for MON’s three defensive signings this summer, Collins, Dunne and Warnock, just fabolous and especially James Collins who has been a total revelation.

  9. jayoh

    November 15, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks for the article…its so great to see an article on another team that’s not one of the “big four” or more specifically Liverpool on this website. Villa can definitely compete with the bigger clubs, we just can’t concede points to the likes of West Ham and Wolves. Not too mention, last year’s collapse…I like what I see so far, but am ever cautious as a Villa fan going into the second half of the season…Go Villans!!

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