Season Review: Aston Villa

Last updated : 04 June 2009 By Tom Vickers
How did your season go? Did Villa finish where you expected them to?
Overall we had a mixed season. The first half was great, the second not so good. Unfortunately we somewhat gave up on a UEFA Cup run, which I think was a huge disappointment for many fans as we would have settled for a mid-table finish and a cup win.

We finished pretty much where we would have expected but nevertheless it cannot be underestimated just how well we did to finish in the top six for the second season running. We pushed the top four for a prolonged spell and that is a great achievement.

Who was Villa's player of the year?
The official Fans' and Players' Player of Year was Stiliyan Petrov and it has to be said that he was the most consistent and influential player. The Bulgarian midfield maestro has simply been superb and has really turned his Villa career around in just under a year.

It has to be said, though, superb right-back Luke Young did push Petrov close for the tag of Player of the Season.

Who were the best players you saw play against Villa?
The best players I have seen strut their stuff against us were probably:
Jamie Carragher - he is always immense and seemingly unbeatable,
Petr Cech - the man mountain,
and somewhat surprisingly Wigan's Paul Scharner - the Austrian who kept us at bay almost on his own.

Sorry but no Tigers stood out.

What did you make of Hull City?
I have to be honest, I didn't think they looked like a Premiership outfit when they visited Villa Park. Unfortunately for you guys you peaked very early and we played you when you were on a downward spiral so perhaps it is hard for me to give you an overall perspective.

Hull were not as bad as Stoke and Newcastle though, who I think were the most disappointing sides to visit Villa.

Where do you need to strengthen this summer?
We desperately need two new centre-backs because Davies, Knight and Cuellar are just not cutting the mustard. We also now need to replace Gareth Barry so it looks like being a busy summer ahead for Martin O'Neill and Randy Lerner.

Who'll be on their way out?
With Barry already gone it probably won't be long before his fellow midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker follows him through the exit door.
Nicky Shorey may also struggle to keep his place in the squad but he did improve towards the end of the season so he may just be given another year.
Fringe players like Marlon Harewood and Craig Gardner may also be forced to call time on their stays at Villa Park.

Villa's best 11 of the season?
Brad Friedel
Luke Young  Martin Laursen  Zat Knight  Nicky Shorey
Ashley Young  Gareth Barry  Stiliyan Petrov  James Milner
Gabby Agbonlahor  John Carew

Tom Vickers is editor of Aston Villa Mad