Carlton Cole and James Milner, player of the season and the World Cup

I'm usually an optimistic fella around this time. Thoughts turn to the money the owner is going to invest in the team to make it possible for us to compete and I dream of challenging, one day soon, for the league. I dream about one day all teams fearing Aston Villa.

Four years in however and I think I have finally been drained of any hope that Lerner is going to invest the sums needed, instead he is merely going to put in what he knows he can get out in interest, management fees and one day selling.

Before you ask, I think I am writing this so I can be proven wrong. I want to be proven wrong about Lerner and I want him to put money into the club that he won't get back for 10 years and won't get back if he sold. I want Lerner to really demonstrate he is here for the long term and that he really does want to win the league.

And is there anything wrong with that? I don't think there is but I know there are some happy with sixth and the stability we have with O'Neill and to some extent I am, but I really don't feel any different to how I felt four years ago, five years ago, even ten years ago about the club. Hopefully things will change and hopefully I will be wrong.

Silly season

But we do have silly season to look forward to and I think it has well and truly started with the rumour, or suggestion, that we are going to offer more than £10mn for Carlton Cole.

Don't get me wrong, I think Cole is a decent player - exactly the type of player that we will go for. He isn't the right player and he isn't going to be the one that helps us finish in the top three, but he is a younger John Carew with a little more pace and will happily accept what we are willing to pay him each week.

The other rumour is that Manchester City are going to make a move for James Milner before the World Cup, which means, if they are, it is going to happen within the next 24 days and I really wouldn't be surprised if they did.

But just remember, it would have to be a serious amount of money for him and unless it is a serious amount of money, he isn't going to be sold but remember, we are a business and if it really is a serious amount of money he might go, but I suspect and am fairly sure of this, Martin O'Neill will not sell him this summer because I am fairly sure that James Milner wants to give it one more season to see what happens.

However, if we do not organically finish in the top three and the owner isn't going to put the money in to get us to top three, can you blame the player for wanting to leave and join a club that can or is finishing in the top three?

World Cup 2010 South Africa

So, the World Cup is coming up and with that special event that comes around every four years, this site is going to get a bit quiet during the event, so I'm transferring my attention to this World Cup 2010 website instead.

There will still be a post here every day or two and when the World Cup is over this place I fancy will be very busy with speculation, but for that month, I can't see much happening Aston Villa wise.

Player of the Season

So, all that is left from us, to really put some closure on the season, is to announce our player of the season. Last season we went all out and did a little trophy for Petrov but with not even an acknowledgement, he has gone from Stan the Man to simple old Petrov and because of that, we are not going to just throw more money at something for nothing.

But, we are not going to tell you today but it will be this week. For now, with the transfer window open, I'm hoping the club do something soon, because we are in desperate need of something positive.