What do you get when you mix a world class manager, a formidable strike force, one out-of-this-universe winger and a top-tier midfielder together? Most would probably say Manchester United, but you’d be wrong. Actually, we’re talking about Aston Villa, currently sitting third in the Premier League at the moment and nipping at the heels of two of the biggest clubs in the world.
Aston Villa seemed to have all the pieces in place last season when they tried their best to crack the Premier League hierarchy. But after a long and successful season, they fell short of their goal, finishing in sixth place behind Everton. Regardless, their success last season and this season hasn’t gone unnoticed.
One team that has taken note of their ascent up the Premier League table is Newcastle. Their ownership is so blown away by the club’s success that they’re planning to emulate Martin O’Neill’s squad.
The St James’ Park hierarchy have publicly declared that they will try to emulate high-flying Aston Villa as they seek to map out a route from the lower reaches of the Premier League back into the upper echelons of English football.
Their lofty ambitions have been outlined at a club that owner Mike Ashley put up for sale last September when Newcastle was brought to its knees by the resignation of manager Kevin Keegan.
“In five years’ time I would hope we would be challenging for everything,” Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias said.
“We hope to be like an Aston Villa. But you need to have solid grounding under your feet. (Telegraph.co.uk)
One has to wonder if this is even feasible. Newcastle, while they do have a couple of key cogs in their system, don’t have near as much young talent as Aston Villa. Ashley Young and Gabby Agbonlahor are two gems that can’t be bought on the open market. These are players that were groomed early on for success. Plus, I can assure you that Joe Kinnear is no Martin O’Neill.
What do you think? Is Newcastle’s new plan for success even feasible?