President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker wants the EU's relationship with Britain to be resolved before the two-year deadline that was set out in Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty through a harmonious divorce. Does it that mean Britain will get half of the EU's estimated £10.5 trillion worth as part of negotiations for proceedings.
The average person in Britain pays £220.00 per year for EU Membership, but after the country voted 51.9% to 48.1% in favour of leaving the EU, the date (UKIP leader Nigel Farage now wants 23rd June declared as a national holiday), there will be no longer need to do so. The decision will bring unmountable equilibrium to the anti-democratic unelected bureaucrats in the ivory tower of the EU headquarters in Brussels and its stature and reputation, but it has already drastically moved the spectrum of UK politics after the vote was officially announced at 07:00 on the morning of Friday 24th June 2016.
In the midst of a turn-out of 72.2%, Prime Minister David Cameron tendered his resignation stepping-down as Prime Minister the following morning, coming into effect in October. In truth, mutiny within the Prime Minister's own political camp with high rankings MPs, notably Michael Gove - Secretary of State for Justice, following failures from Cameron in his Parliamentary manifesto to maintain an array of promises including uncontrollable migration saved a 'Section 21' being issued to number 10.
382 constituencies and 12 regions geographically across Britain voted substantially (17,410,742 to 16,141,241), to leave the formerly known 'Common Market' when it only had nine member states. The home of the financial sector (London – 59.9%), Scotland (facing a second independence referendum) and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU, but the rest of the country, including the Eurosceptic second city (Birmingham - 50.4%) alongside the rest of the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside and surprisingly Wales decided to stand-up and revolt against the power of the House of Commons despite strongly worded warnings from Conservative Party MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne, a supporter of the 'remain' campaign'. David Cameron and the 'Remain' campaign never stood a chance.
Former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, initially became the bookmakers' ante-post favourite to become the new Prime Minister of Britain and leader of the Conservative Party, before his former Brexit ally Michael Gove declared him a liability and shockingly backtracked and declared his intentions to run. Mr. Johnson, who once unintentionally nearly caused an international incident playing rugby against schoolchildren in Tokyo, Japan has since declared himself out of the running, with his former ally (Michael Gove) and Home Secretary Theresa May now the two current front-runners.
One of the key areas of Brexit was one of Cameron's self-admitted false promises, the uncontrollable migration across Britain (during the 2014-2015 year 183,000 migrants entered Britain from other EU countries to Britain) and more than half of net migration from the EU came to the UK.
Australia's trialled and tested points-based immigration system inducted into the country's political system in 1989, most recently updated in 2011, is a variation to Britain's current uncontrollable and unsustainable UK's points-based immigration system considered as the alternative by Brexit.
The minimum 60 point criteria required to fulfil and therefore be awarded an Australian Visa involve being under the age of 50 (to be between the ages of 25-32 individuals start with 30 points and zero points if you're between the age of 45-49).
Further criteria expected to be abided by prospective applicants must be to have a basic understanding of English academic competency, an acceptable employment history, (either in Australia or overseas) and an occupational status is also an important, professional and manual work earn more recollection than youth workers and decorators.
The Australian 'Department of Immigration' constitutes the programme as intended to “Be designed to target migrants who have skills or outstanding abilities that will contribute to the Australian economy” and to fill labour shortages.”
The UK is within one of the top five countries of origin for immigrants who migrant to Australia.
In February 2008 under the leadership of Gordon Brown, the Labour party introduced the UK's points-based immigration system. The current updated tier brought in under the coalition formed in 2010 works under a four-tier scheme with reference to criteria for individuals. Workers are considered under the following basis, capped at 1000 per year for 'high-value' individuals, 'skilled workers' e.g. “jobs not able to be done by UK or EEA worker, intra-company transfers, ministers of religion or sports-persons” and students in either full-time primary, secondary or high-education.
Furthermore, under tier two requirements an individual must have a specific job offer and be able to reach a total of 70 points. New legislation will come under effect with the UK, non-EU based passports when the UK negotiate to leave the EU.
In an extravagant development after Brexit prevailed the FTSE 100 dropped £100bn, the biggest single points loss since 1984, blue-chip companies became MORE valuable than before the decision to leave the EU was formally confirmed to the anticipated public. The pound, after initially dropping to its lowest rate in 30 years (worth a meagre $1.31 compared to the US Dollar), rose back to a steady currency the FTSE 100 at the close of business on Friday 24th June was worth 6,204 points, after opening at 5,805. Drop in the value of the GBP was comparable to 'Black Wednesday' in 1992, but was soon distinguished as premature scaremongering.
The Bank of England confirmed if the country boarded on the lines of orienteering on the realms of another recession, a £250bn back-up fund was there ready to be used.
In an aspect of trade relations with countries outside of the EU, Indian policymakers believe New Delhi could integrate a new trade agreement with Britain. Companies such as Welspun Group, textile and pipe manufacturer with a revenue of £2.25bn per year), would open new opportunities and the potential upheaval of unlimited 'red band tape'. Talks between the EU and India for a trade deal began over 10 years ago but stalled and nothing subsequently materialised due to a ban on generic drugs.
Trade deals, which were previously unattainable, until being sanctioned by 27 other EU members can now be done with countries such as Australia, New Zealand and America etc and already New Zealand have offered an 'olive branch' to Britain in the form of his best negotiators to get the more democratic deal out of leaving the EU.
Britain is the second largest contributor to the EU, behind Germany, but after Margaret Thatcher successfully regained a rebate to today equivalents to £4.86bn from the EU to Britain, no one knows really knows the real value of what Britain send to the EU each week. The UK's contribution to the EU, based on figures from 2015 is £7.4bn, (£17.81bn paid by the UK to EU compared to the EU's contribution to Britain of £10.76m).
Unelected EU democrats in Brussels, Donald Tusk (President of the European Council, who earns £235,000 per annum), Martin Schulz (President of the European Parliament - £227,000 PA) and Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the European Commission - £245,000 PA) allowed EU Law to overrule UK Law and therefore control if Britain deporting foreign criminals into vast uncertainty. Britain's decision to leave the EU subsequently gives freedom back from unelected judges court so deportation can now occur fairly.
Now that the dust has settled and the main two political parties in the country are looking for new leaders, due to one individual's resignation and the other facing a no-confidence vote from within his own party, Britain is still strong despite no longer being in the EU, not officially, but expected to be confirmed sooner than the two year time scale and will be able to bring a stronger argument to the table when it comes to leaving the EU.
Just 20 weeks in prison for slashing a springer spaniel 31 times with an unknown weapon, no prison sentence for starving a dog to the bare bones leaving the only humane option for vets to put the poor dog down and 18 weeks for beating a puppy to death with a baseball bat, just to name a few.
Are the courts handing out lesser sentences to defendants who have been charged with animal abuse?
After the horrific arson attack on Manchester Dogs Home where more than 60 animals were confirmed to have been killed, I investigate whether the courts have become lenient on punishing people who commit despicable acts of indispensable violence against defenceless animals.
The 15 year-old male arrested on suspicion of arson will likely face no action against the unlawful killing of 60 dogs, who died as a result of the fire. Essentially the deaths will go unpunished, no change to the trend of other cases that have made a mockery of the already scrutinised 2006 Animal Welfare Act.
In 2012 a detailed report from the RSPCA revealed the organisation had a 10% rise in animals (including dogs, cats and rabbits, just to name a few) that were rescued, the number rose to around 131,000.
In addition convictions for animal abuse rose to a staggering 33.8%, from 3,114 in 2011 to 4,168 in 2012. The highest amount of cases since 2008. Staggeringly only 86 people out of 4,168 were actually sentenced to pitiful prison sentences for the crimes they committed; the majority of people were given suspended sentences.
Below are just a few of the examples of horrific cases that have resulted in no justice being handed now:
David Lowe was found guilty and convicted of multiple counts of cruelty against animals after starving a dog to the bare bones, leaving the only humane action to have the dog put down.
He escaped prison after being sentenced for 12 weeks, suspended for 18 months:
Samuel Byatt was given an eight-week suspended sentence for 12 months for kicking his dog after he wandered into the local CO-OP store he was shopping in. The kick reportedly sent the dog 8-10 feet in the other direction: (http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/Pet-owner-spared-jail-kicking-Staffy-near-shop/story-19858924-detail/story.html)
Katie Gammon abandoned and starved her dog in her kitchen, leading to the dog passing away due to starvation. She left the house for nine weeks and claimed the smell was to bad to live with.
She was sentenced for JUST 18 weeks in prison:
One of the most horrendous cases involved Kim Edmonds who slashed one of her springer spaniel 31 times with an unknown weapon, she slashed the other dog slightly less. She then disgustingly lied claiming an intruder was the reason for the despicable crime.
She was jailed for just 20 weeks (not even half of the maximum sentence readily available under the 2006 Animal Welfare Act).
The 2006 Animal Welfare Act underlines the following maximum punishments for animal abuse cases as 51 weeks in prison and a fine up to £20,000, under section 9 of the act.
According to the RSCPA website, "The act laces a duty of care on people to ensure they take reasonable steps in all the circumstances to meet the welfare needs of their animals to the extent required by good practice".
The only problem is the maximum punishment allowed is hardly-fitting to some of the crimes that are being committed.
In reference to the arson attack at Manchester Dogs Home the youth has been charged with suspected arson, but outrageously no charges have been given for the deaths of 60 defenceless dogs. I find it disgusting that some of the sentences hardly reflect the suffering of those poor animals. The minimum term for arson is five years, no doubt a lesser sentence will be handed down to the sick perpetrator.
A very recent case involved four thugs (two named, two unnamed) who tortured and killed a poor white lion-headed rabbit. The four individuals will be sentenced at the start of next month. What is the betting another pitiful sentence will be handed down to these cowardly evil-minded individuals?
I personally feel that the youth should face another charge of animal cruelty on top of the arson charge he is already facing. Even then I don't think just under a year (51 weeks in prison) is enough for starting a fire that killed over 60 dogs. The law needs reviewing as soon as possible so that harsher sentences are handed down to people who think they can get away with animal abuse.
- To date £1.2 million has been raised in charitable donations to help re-build the destroyed parts of Manchester Dogs Home. To donate to this cause, please follow the link below: https://www.justgiving.com/dogshome/.
Chris Austin (@TheVacantPage) contributed with some of the cases mentioned in the article.
You have to refer back to the 1983-84 season, during the years of the old First Division, for the last time Aston Villa beat West Bromwich Albion 4-3 at Villa Park, where at half-time the sides were level 3-3.
That game featured several members of the Aston Villa 1982 European Cup winning side including Peter Withe, Gary Shaw and Dennis Mortimer, whilst a surprising figure starting in the Albion back-four, Ken McNaught who was part of the prestigious 1982 European Cup winning side.
Attendees at Villa Park last night were treated to one of the most atmospheric and nerve-racking games at Villa Park, since the 6-4 Carling Cup semi-final victory over Blackburn in 2009, but on the flip-side some truly shocking moments of defensive lapses as well.
A penalty from the rejuvenated Christian Benteke, who has now scored in his last three games, proved the catalyst for Villa fans to claim local bragging rights for this season. “Pride of the Midlands” bellowed from the Holte End at the sound of the final whistle.
New Albion boss Pepe Mel, in charge of only second game, saw his selection and tactical choose of a high defensive-line, like from his time at Real Betis backfire, with in particular Diego Lugano probably having the worst game of his career. The Uruguayan international who will face England this year in Brazil, conceded the match-winning penalty and was exposed several times by the re-energised front duo of Christian Benteke and Andi Weimann.
The last 13 encounters between the two fierce local rivals have finished in either a draw or a 2-1 victory and fans of both sides could be forgiven to think it might happen again when a repeat of what happened earlier in the season at the Hawthorns occurred.
Under the magnificent floodlights of Villa Park, the expectant and vibrant Holte End were silenced within 11 minutes. Chris Brunt unleashed a magnificence half-volley from 30 yards into Brad Guzan's right hand corner before Matthew Lowton's lack of focus allowed a cross from the ring-wing to be turned inadvertently into his own net by Fabian Delph who are trying to clear the danger.
2-0 to the visitors, the only noise in the stadium was of the away fans enjoying themselves in the lower Doug Ellis stand, boing boing boing.
Ex- West Brom striker Shane Long had been Villa's tormentor back in November on freezing Monday night at the Hawthorns, but this time around it only took Villa 24 minutes to get back on level terms. Andi Weimann took advantage, despite being in an off-side position, of a flick-on from Diego Lugano to sublimely lift the ball over the advancing Ben Foster then Matthew Lowton's tame cross was bizarrely turned into the empty net by Leandro Bacuna via his arm to level matters.
England World Cup hopeful Fabian Delph hadn't scored in the League for Villa before this season due to a string of injuries, before a long-range effort against Southampton proved to be the winning goal in smash and grab 3-2 away victory, but that finish was overshadowed by the strike on Wednesday evening.
He turned right-back Steven Reid inside out with a slick touch before blasting the ball from the edge of the area with such ferocity, it was recorded as 72 mph, past Ben Foster who never stood a chance.
But the strike, that could easily be named goal of the season, proved in vain. Benteke missed a guilt-edge chance when one-on-one with Foster, then no more than five minutes later the inevitably happened, Youssouf Mulumbu levelled the scores at 3-3 after calmly tucked the ball through Brad Guzan's legs.
The second half couldn't produce the same entertainment from the first half but still had fans jumping up and down from their seats. In the end a calmly struck penalty from Christian Benteke was enough to secure three points and send Villa into 10th position eight points clear of the relegation zone. West Brom remain in the relegation dog-fight in 15th, three points off the drop zone.
The victory was the first in five attempts against the Baggies, two defeats and two draws. The gap between the sides is now five places and five points.
This Championship season is turning out to be one of the best in recent history, with four teams now looking favourites to making a return to the big time. Being in the two automatic promotion positions and winning three play-offs games come May mean a return to the greatest and most exciting league in the world.
Every season favourites are established by bookmakers to which teams are the bankers to see off the competition and achieve promotion back to the Premiership, alongside netting two lucrative television deals. This season the favourites have under performed and astonishingly are fighting to keep their Championship status and not get relegated to League 1.
Blackburn, Wolves and Bolton who were all relegated from the Barclays Premier League in the 2011/12 season and alongside Blackpool and Birmingham have all struggled this season, with Wolves astonishingly in the drop zone two points from safety.
This season four teams have a realistic chance with ten games remaining to gain promotion to the Premier League they are Cardiff, Hull City, Watford and Crystal Palace. All expect Cardiff have experienced Premiership football, but could again be in a familiar position to somehow mess up that opportunity and keep their reputation of not reaching/losing in the play-offs, like they have for the last few seasons.
Cardiff are currently four points clear at the top of the Championship table, six above third placed Watford, but it was ten points just three games ago, sparking fears that the dreaded reputation was again surfing it's ugly head.
The squad they have is arguably better than some in the Premiership with the likes of Craig Bellamy, Peter Whittingham, Fraizer Campbell and Jordan Mutch etc. and should really be able to see out the remaining games and be at least the play-offs come April. Plus in manager Malky Mackay, who has Premiership experience with Watford as caretaker manager in 2008, should be able to add some reinsurance and advice to his playing squad to see out the remaining games.
Next come Watford, who were in the Premiership last in the 2006/07 season. Charismatic Italian manager Gianfranco Zola has with the help of owners, the Pozzo family, who own Italian Serie A side Udinese and Spanish team Granada, loan no less than ten signings from them both. All loans are in regulation with Football League rules and have seen Zola's team cement a place in the top four and currently sit 3rd 2 points behind Hull, who are in the last automatic promotion position.
The most influential of those loans has been Czech Republic international Matej Vydra, on loan from Udinese. He currently has 20 goals in the League, only bettered by Glen Murray (29), Charlie Austin (23) and Jordan Rhodes (22) and is attracting interest from clubs in the Premiership and across Europe.
Alonside Vydra, they have experienced heads such as ex Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia and Fitz Hall who have surely helped reassure most of the young loan signings including Ikechi Anya, Almen Abdi and obviously Vydra to keep up the momentum and try and gain automatic promotion or a place in the play-offs at the very least.
Hull are the other side in my opinion alongside Watford and Crystal Palace who will be in the Premiership next season and have taken a leaf out of Watford's play book. They are currently 2nd, two points clear of 3rd placed Watford and are being backed heavily by Egyptian owner Assem Allam. He has used connections back home to allow Hull to loan two of the country’s biggest international players Mohamed Nagy and Ahmed Fathi from Cairo giants Al Ahly. Alongside those two Egyptian internationals, manager Steve Bruce has also brought in a third in winger Ahmed Elmohamady, a player he knows well after working with him at Sunderland.
Alongside the three Egyptians pushing Hull up the table is George Boyd, a player in my opinion who is one of the best currently in the division, on loan from relegation threatened Peterborough. All these players have been instant impacts on Bruce's side with Boyd scoring two against Birmingham City on his debut (one within 60 seconds), Nagy scoring three in his last four games and Elmohamady also hitting the back of the net.
Captain Robert Koren and Abdoulaye Faye, whom both have Premiership experience with West Brom and Bolton respectively are also helping Hull's push for a return to the big time.
Crystal Palace who appointed probably the best man for the job in Ian Holloway, after losing Dougie Freeman to Bolton half-away through the season currently sit 4th three points behind 2nd placed Hull. They have the League's top scorer in Glyn Murray (29) and some of the most exciting youngsters in the division, Wilfried Zaha (recently signed by Man Utd) and Yannick Bolasie and are gunning for the two automatic promotional places.
With these players you would expect to see Palace in the Premiership next season playing at Old Trafford, the Emirates and the Etihad next season. Glen Murray has been on fire this season banging in goals left, right and centre and is for that reason the league's top goalscorer, Wilfried Zaha, who recently signed for Manchester United and loaned back to Palace for the rest of the season has been tormenting opposition defenders all season and they also have their own trump card in veteran goalscorer Kevin Phillips.
Manager Ian Holloway has the ability unlike other clubs around him to call upon Kevin Phillips, a veteran goalscorer from the bench or for a rare start; which might not be that rare after he netted a hat-trick recently against promotion rivals Hull City in a 4-2 win. I can see his and Murray's goals alongside the trickery, energy and excitement of Zaha and Bolasie and other experienced heads such as Owen Garvan and Mike Jedinak firing Palace back into the Premiership.
With ten games left in an already pulsating season, no one expects anything else than a rip roaring ride to find out who will be travelling to grounds such as Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and Anfield next season.
My predictions are Cardiff to yet again do their regular end of season turn and not even win the play-off final at Wembley in May. So for me its Crystal Palace to win the division, Watford in the second automatic promotion place and Hull to win the play-offs at Wembley come May.
If Aston Villa are to improve on last season’s woeful finish of 16th in the Barclays Premier League, the goal scoring of one Darren Bent will be indispensable. Undoubtedly if Bent wasn’t injured for the last three months of last season with ruptured ankle ligaments, Villa would have finished much higher than 16th and Bent would have hit the 20 goal mark.
England forward Bent is undeniably currently one of the best finishers from 18 yards in the Premiership, similar in comparison to how Manchester United legend Ruud Van Nistelrooy used to score most his goals, lurking around the opposition’s box awaiting the moment to pounce.
Before signing for Aston Villa in January 2011 for 24 million, after he handed in a transfer request at Sunderland, he scored better than a goal every two games for them, 32 in 58; previous to that he has played for Spurs, Charlton and Ipswich.
Focussing on Bent’s influence for Villa, if he stays fit he is very likely to improve on his 10 goals in 25 appearances last season. With likely support coming from new signings controlling box-to-box midfielder Karim El Ahmadi, winger Bret Holman as well as hopefully a transformation from Charles N’Zogbia and Stephen Ireland from last season, Bent will be likely to hit the 20 goal mark this season.
The problem Villa has if Bent does get injured again like last season, whom in the current playing squad is going to be able to step into his boots. When Bent got injured last season, Austria under 21 international Andreas Weimann stepped up and scored vital goals against Stoke and Fulham that kept Villa up, but no disrespect to the lad (who I’ve had the pleasure to of met) I don’t think of yet he is a 20 goal a season striker.
Villa’s other options are Gabby Agbonlahor who is currently out for 6 weeks with injury, but has failed to score in his previous 20+ Premiership matches and Nathan Delfouneso, who of yet hasn’t shown the potential to be a regular Premiership goal scorer.
At this week’s Aston Villa fans’ forum it was suggested by new manager Paul Lambert that he wasn’t looking for a new forward until the January transfer window and instead “would deal with it if it happened” (If Bent got injured) and Villa were operating on a one in one out basis. Like most Villa fans on hearing that, the concern the squad is still low in numbers grew; in my opinion at least three new signings are still needed, a centre back, left back and a new marquee striker.
Players who have been linked with Villa in the press and on Twitter in the last few weeks have included surplus to requirements England and Liverpool striker Andy Carroll, ex Villa academy Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge and Manchester United’s Michael Owen. Out of those three players a partnership of Bent and Carroll come Upton Park Saturday afternoon would please most Villa fans including myself.
Concluding, all I can hope is Darren Bent doesn’t get injured again after the transfer window closes on 1st September and Villa aren’t left without an experienced forward to lead the line and score the goals needed to avoid another relegation battle, which no one who bleeds the claret and blue of Aston Villa Football Club wants to see.
The question on all Villa fan’s lips after what only could be described as someone’s worst nightmare of a last season under Alex McLeish, is what Paul Lambert will bring to Villa Park. Two successive promotions with Norwich City and a 12th place finish in their debut season in the Barclays Premiership convinced Villa owner Randy Lerner to offer 42 year old Scot Lambert the vacant manager’s job at Villa left by Alex McLeish.
Paul Lambert was always Villa fans first choice to succeed sacked Alex McLeish as Aston Villa manager, when after Villa’s final league game in May against Lambert’s former employers Norwich City, both sets of fans come the final whistle were heard singing ‘There is only one Paul Lambert’. One set of those fans will be expectantly singing this when the season starts again in August away at West Ham.
So what has Paul Lambert exactly inherited from Alex McLeish’s reign of terror whilst he was somehow manager of Aston Villa Football Club; a mixture of experience and youth, whose full potential, was non-existent under McLeish. No doubt the squad contains experienced players who are capable of challenging the likes of Spurs, Chelsea and Newcastle for a top 4 place, Shay Given, Richard Dunne and 24 million man Darren Bent, just to name a few.
If past achievements are to be repeated, Villa’s current playing squad is urgently in need of a review. Villa aren’t the 4th most successful team in English football and only one of five English teams to of won the Champions League for nothing, but to see similar successes again, Lambert will need to bring in 4-5 new players and move any deadwood out. He has been given between 20-30 million by Randy Lerner, plus any player sales to rebuild Villa into a club challenging for the top four; with the wage bill significantly lowered by new contracts not being offered to the likes of Emile Heskey, Carlos Cullear and Brad Guzan.
The two areas of focus of Villa’s current playing squad currently sticking out like a sore thumb for improvements are the state of the current defence and the absence of a workload and craft in the engine of the midfield in Stiliyan Petrov’s absence. Looking at the current squad from top to bottom, Shay Given in goal is one of the best keepers in the Premiership, but without a solid back four in front of him, even the world’s best keepers are going to feeling slightly vulnerable.
Taking a look at Villa’s current back four, in a recent survey done by the Birmingham Mail of fans would most likely want to see leaving Villa this summer, two of the top three were two of Villa’s starting back four last season; right back Alan Hutton (72%) and centre back James Collins (40%) were seen by fans hopefully not playing for Villa next season. Add that to the loss of Carlos Cullear to Sunderland, Lambert is in need of 2-3 defenders to protect Shay Given’s in-between the sticks.
Additions such as Nathaniel Clyne, Daniel Ayala and Douglas Costa, would steady Villa’s shaky defence for the upcoming season. Nathaniel Clyne currently playing at Crystal Palace is one of the most talented upcoming right backs in English football, his speed, tackling and attacking promise left defences in tatters last season. Daniel Ayala, who worked under Lambert last season at Norwich, would be a great addition to the Villa back four as well, with his height and speed to help dominate the Richard Dunne dominate the Villa 12 yard box.
Villa’s other problem was who replace would captain Stiliyan Petrov, who was sadly diagnosed with leukemia half away through last season. That question was answered in the purchase of playmaker Karim El Ahmadi from Feyenoord for just over two million pounds. El Ahmadi was considered by Feyenoord supporters one of their best players last season and was only sold due to the club’s widely known financial problems. He is capable of running the game from central midfield, with his array of passing and tireless work rate, something Villa miss without Petrov. To date nothing has been said if John Makoun, who was out on loan at Olympiakos last season will be a Villa player come August.
Then Villa’s attacking options, 24 million England forward Darren Bent is a 20+ goal striker and would have easily reached that mark if he wasn’t injured for 3 months last season, but needs the supply from his fellow attacking players. Winger Bret Holman has been signed from AZ to help bolster the width options and Lambert will be hoping he can revive the confidence Marc Albrighton had before McLeish’s arrival. The jury is still out on Charles N’Zogbia and Steven Ireland’s futures at Villa Park. There have been also unconfirmed reports Manchester City are prepared to let England winger Adam Johnson leave for 10 million, which would brighten Villa fan’s eyes if Paul Lambert was able to secure his signature, but he would face stiff competition from other clubs for it.
With just over a month until the new season starts Villa fans will keenly keeping tabs on Sky Sports News to see what players will be arriving into B6 and which players will be told they are no longer in Paul Lambert’s plans. Villa fans though can’t expect to see a repeat of when they were challenging for top 4 under Martin O’Neil within a season, it will probably take 2-3 years until Aston Villa Football Club are back where they should be, challenging for European Football.
After one of Villa’s worst defeats in the clubs 139 year history, a thumping 8-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, added to that a 4-0 home defeat thanks to Gareth Bale and Spurs three days later, owner Randy Lerner and manager Paul Lambert hands have been forced to spend big in the January transfer window.
The on going debate in football that you can win ‘with kids’ seemed to be steadily working for manager Paul Lambert after Villa went on a six game unbeaten run in all competitions including away wins at Norwich (4-1) and Liverpool (3-1). But after the last two games, where Villa have conceded 12 without a reply and now have the worst goal difference in the Premiership (-21) all that well earned praise and hard work have come to a sudden halt .
Several talking points have arisen after the humiliating defeat Villa suffered to Champion League holders Chelsea and then the battering they received from Gareth Bale and Spurs, some more pressing than others.
The main talking points being discussed by Villa fans was Lambert’s approach to sell experience and then not replace it (James Collins and Carlos Cuellar) instead buying unproven youngsters from the lower leagues hoping they could do the job instead. Also his persistence not to change formations and personal when things weren't going right.
In the first half of the season Lambert experimented with several formations, but finally settled on 3-5-2/5-3-2, with the introduction of wing backs (Lowton and Bennett of current) This seemed to of worked in the six game unbeaten run, but was finally exposed when Chelsea’s 100m+ front four and Spurs midfield, (included one of the best wingers on the planet Gareth Bale) showed Lambert he needed to stop being stubborn and change the formation and personal.
The persistence to not change formation and personal backfired when Villa were embarrassed, sustaining a defeat which left fans in less than impressive mood venting their frustration and anger on fans’ forums, social media and radio call-ins. So why did after a successful run of six games in all competitions mean Villa implode to receive the joint second highest defeat in English Premier League history.
Down to the point straight away the current playing squad isn't experienced enough to go a whole season without the constant chitter chatter of relegation; something common to Villa fans for the last three seasons.
The main area of the team which seems to be currently lacking is the midfield. Former Crewe captain Ashley Westwood has become a bargain buy at 2 million, sitting in the middle of the park, but doesn’t seem to have anyone around him to create chances for the front two or sit back and help protect the back four. Something Villa has missed since former captain Stiliyan Petrov was diagnosed with leukemia, is someone who can control the game from the middle of the park and sit in front of a back four and protect it, similar to a Xavi Alonso or Muhammad Diame kind of character.
If Paul Lambert expects to survive relegation to the Championship, his top priority will to be buying a physically commanding defensive midfielder in January, alongside a new attacking midfielder alongside Westwood for Villa’s midfield three come 1st February. A new attacking midfielder is also needed; who has can do something Stephen Ireland hasn’t done at B6 since his move from Manchester City in 2010; the ability to open up an opposition's defense to supply Benteke, Agbonlahor, Weimann and Bent.
Continuing with the problematic midfield of present is the calling for the reintroduction of wingers (something which currently doesn’t suit Lambert’s 3-5-2 and 5-3-2 formations). Villa fans haven’t seen clinical wingers since the days of Ashley Young and Stuart Downing that resulted in goals left, right and centre. Although with the current formation Paul Lambert has implemented the midfield three doesn’t play with width, so it’s unlikely Villa fans will see wingers such as Tom Ince or Matty Phillips in claret and blue during the January transfer window.
Additional areas which Villa need to strength is the back four, however with returns of captain Ron Vlaar and Richard Dunne still to come it’s unlikely to see the introduction of a new centre back (such as Joleon Lescott) coming through the gates at Bodymoor Heath anytime soon. Similar is the left back position, Paul Lambert is highly unlikely to give up on new signing Joe Bennett (so far plagued with injuries in his Villa career) similar also to Edna Stevens; Eric Lichaj still hasn’t settling into the left wing back role, though he isn’t a natural left back.
Come the January transfer window which opens on the 1st January, owner Randy Lerner will need to open his cheque book after selling his NFL team, Cleveland Browns for around 1 billion pounds to finally terminate the threat of relegation to club with the history and prestige as Aston Villa .
A figure around 10-15m is needed, which doesn’t even include the more than likely departure of Darren Bent or Stephen Ireland.