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They might have slipped under the radar somewhat this summer.

But Aston Villa have been one of the most active teams so far, strengthening both their playing staff (strength in numbers, if nothing else) and coaching staff with Roy Keane installed as assistant.

Erm… What’s happening at Aston Villa?Lets look at their existing set up. Paul Lambert is their greatest asset in my opinion. He is a vastly underrated manager, who inherited a mess at Villa and has gone about turning things around on a shoestring budget. His managerial CV includes; securing Norwich back to back promotions and established them as a Premier League team, before moving to Villa, whose Premier League status he saved in his first season, before tying their star name down to a long term contract during the off season, and actually improving the team (albeit, not the league position) with a minimal transfer budget in his second season.

Villa have the makings of a good team, Brad Guzan is a hungry goal keeper who is constantly improving, Vlaar has had an excellent World Cup and is a rock to build your defence around, and Benteke is a real handful when he is in the mood. That core is complimented by some exciting young talent, such as Okore, Weimann, and Baker, and some older heads such as N’Zogbia and Bent – who has apparently looked sharp in pre-season.

With such a tight budget, it makes choosing the right player to invest in very important. Which is why I find their transfer activity so far this summer so baffling! They are sorted from least to most confusing.

Philippe Senderos

OK, I kinda get this one. He a giant centre back, with extensive Premier League experience playing at Arsenal and Fulham, but he also has spells at AC Milan and Valencia under his belt. He was tipped for great things at Arsenal and was a key part of the famous Arsenal team that made the Champions League final, but he never really kicked on from there. He will offer experience and is relatively solid, but is he really the best available for their budget? Other options: Rio Ferdinand (before he signed for QPR), Caulker (loan or transfer), Zouma (loan), Jones or Smalling (both loan – both need to build up their confidence with a run of first team football out of the spotlight).

Kieran Richardson

I kinda get this one too. Richardson is a decent player, with plenty of Premier League experience. After coming through the Manchester United youth system, he was snapped up by Bryan Robson at West Brom and played a key role in their infamous ‘Great Escape’ season. Spells at Sunderland and Fulham followed. Again he is relatively solid, but his strength lies in delivery from the flanks and set pieces so it might be that Lambert intends to use him in a more advanced position.

Nicklas Bendtner

This one hasn’t gone through yet, but I understand that they are strongly linked with him – his signing would be a massive risk! He has shown flashes of looking like a very competent striker, but these moments have been too few and far between. He is a disruptive character, having many run ins with the law and plenty of bad news stories over the years. he had the potential to be the main striker at Arsenal, but threw it all away and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is released again before too long. Other options: Eduardo (proven goalscorer without a club), Joel Campbell (loan), Borini (probably on loan, but maybe even a transfer option)

Joe Cole

What on earth is this transfer about? Joe Cole hasn’t been good for a number of years, probably since his release from Chelsea in all honesty! He initially looked like a good piece of business by Liverpool, but his high wages and inability to click in that team meant he was soon shipped out to Lille on loan. He did well in France, but they didn’t purchase him on a permanent basis and he soon ended up at his boyhood club, West Ham. Far from a fairy tale return, he had minimal impact and because of his high wage demands he was released again. Villa need to be striving to overtake teams like West Ham, they should be aiming higher than their rivals cast-off’s.

Most worrying to Villa fans must be the appointment of Keane. I can’t imagine Keane being content with playing second fiddle to anyone, especially not a young manager who has not won anything – regardless of Lambert’s impressive CV. There is every chance that Keane has been bought in as a safety net for the owners in-case they find themselves in the position of needing a new manager at short notice. His presence may not be a good thing as it might leave Lambert feeling undermined.

So, if 10 years ago you were tipped for great things as a player or manager but have failed to deliver, have your agent contact Aston Villa – it seems they are in the market for some unfulfilled promise. I expect news on David Bentley and Freddy Adu’s moves to Aston Villa any day now.

Post written by The Football’s Coming Homepage
Blog: thefootballscominghomepage.wordpress.com, Twitter: @TFCHP

Note: The views expressed within this blog post are those of the contributing author, and may not necessarily reflect those of MatchDayApp Limited, its representatives or associated partners.

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