A Proper United Viewpoint On Aston Villa Signing Tom Cleverley

Aston Villa Sign Tom Cleverley

After much cat and mouse deadline day shenanigans, Paul Lambert finally got his man Tom Cleverley 16 hours after the transfer deadline. The deal now will be a year-long loan from Manchester United that either party can break off in January, with rumours that Villa have first dabs on a permanent deal at the price of £7.5 million.

It’s a deal that will no doubt appease Cleverley doubters today, who didn’t quite like the idea of shelling out a wedge of cash on a player that seemed to have lost his way. In effect, Villa have a try before you buy signing now.

Initial reaction

Some Villa fans reacted to the news of Lambert wanting to sign Cleverley as if we were buying Djemba-Djemba off the Mancs again.

The loan deal certainly softens the blow , that the initial mooted £8million permanent deal was going to deliver. Also, in the end, we got our hands on a player that Everton were also interested in signing.

Anyway MOMS old man happens to be a die-hard Manchester United Supporter, true MOMS aficionados will have read an interview we did together as a preview to a United vs Villa game a couple of years ago.

A bit of a baller back in the day and a regular in the Stretford End back in the days of Best, Law and Charlton, my old man Paul, when he was a kid also once asked Alf Ramsay on a train platform a few months before the 1966 World Cup, if he was going to win the World Cup. Ramsay told him he would. The rest is history.

I digress…

Anyway, I dropped him a line to get his thoughts on Tom Cleverley, since he’s probably watched every game he’s played. I was expecting him to slate him. After all, my dad calls David Moyes ‘Mid-table Moyes’ and Louis Van Gaal ‘Louis Van Moyes’. But his views were very insightful and dare I say it, very encouraging for Villa.

Views of MOMS United old man on Tom Cleverley

Keane value

Keane rates him as a hard worker. He’ll win a lot of balls chasing players down,playing at pace.  In the United vs Villa game where Weimann put you 2-0 up, but United came back to win 3-2, he came on just after Villa nearly scored a third. You were on top then, but hardly got forward again once Cleverley was on. He was breaking you down in your own half.

The Moyes Effect

He had a hard time trying to play slower, more defensive under Midtable [David Moyes]. No one criticised him before that.

He played 25+ games next to Carrick as his attacking partner when we won the league in 2013.

What Cleverley Offers

I reckon playing the right way, fast tempo, linking play, he’s fine. He’s always available, likes to be on the move and never gives up. He’s a typical Fergie youngster.

The slow, slow stuff last season f**ked him, he’s not a guy to spray passes about.

Worth to Villa

If Lambert plays him right and the fans back him, he’ll be fine. At the moment it’s like Villa play defence and forward with no one in-between, perhaps Cleverley is the man to link it together.

Carrick is on record more than once saying how Cleverley was always there to take a pass. Nothing fancy from him, quick pass, run, pass, run…He keeps the ball moving and when it breaks down, he’s after it like a Rottweiler. He’ll be a good buy.

Morons get on his back thanks to the media. I think he actually wants to get away [from United] now. He basically got booed by the England fans without having a bad game for them! It was a daft carry over from that media sh**e.

Roberto Martinez rates him as a footballer, which can’t be a bad sign.

Thanks to my real old man Paul, his texts turned out to be a very decent article and insight!


  1. The big question is not whether Cleverley is the right option, may be, who knows? But whether he will come. If he goes elsewhere or stays at Man U this would suggest Villa are not an attractive club for young players. That would be bad news. We go from one extreme to the other.

    I agree that it would be a good signing, and don’t see this as anything more than a difficult season. But if the Keane factor means anything, Cleverley signing would point that KEane is a positive draw. Delph of course is in the England Squad, lets celebrate that.

    We need to start scoring at home, Hull would be a good start, got 3 goals against them last term

    incidentally where do the win ratio figures come from? If people are going to quote figures, please give the source. Shows they can be checked which is what statisticians always allow

    trevor fisher

  2. The key word in your excellent article for me is ‘morons’. Manchester United morons are currently displaying the full spectrum of their myopic ignorance – and have picked out young Tom as one of their many targets. The red top media follow that vibe because morons make up the vast majority of their customers – and the Red Tops ain’t stupid. The truth doesn’t sell – yet the truth is this.

    Tom Cleverley is an excellent young footballer. In Ferguson’s last season he was instrumental in getting them over the line – and as old pop MOMS says – completely changed the game when he came on against the Villa.

    Under Moyes he was played out of position and asked to do a job that wasn’t suited to him. Is it any wonder he did not shine? Remind me again which player did? Another factor to consider is not what the player was like then – but what he could be like in the years to come, and Roy Keane could well be the man to add the required spark to create the kind of Villa midfield that we haven’t seen for far too long.

    Of course, our own morons will say Keane is a rubbish coach and a rubbish manager because Sunderland sacked him and he had a bad, if limited, time at Ipswich. Yet the wise might be interested in some facts regarding Roy’s ability in the dugout. Not only did he save Sunderland from the third division, he took them into the Premier League, winning manager of the year in the process. His win ratio with Sunderland was 42%. Not great some might say. But it stacks up remarkably well when placed alongside the win rates of such household names as; Steve Bruce 29.6% -, Martin O’Neill 35.2% – Paolo Di Canio 23.1% – and Howard (Mr England) Wilkinson’s pathetic 14.8%. Keane – with limited resources even outshines the Makkems current messiah Gustavo Poyet’s 41%.

    I think Cleverly is just what Villa need – young, talented, and with something to prove. The idea of seeing a midfield to match our new defensive strength excites me. Delph, Cleverley, and Westwood playing in front of Sanchez sounds very aggressive to me. If Roy can add some bite and power to that then all well and good. An attacking winger to compliment our current line up and add some much needed competition for Gobby Agbonlabore and Sadly Wideman would of course be ideal – but with Benteke coming back – and Villa not looking like new born deer when defending any more – I think this could be a season to remember. Unless you are a moron of course.

  3. Hard working! That is all that is required then? We got a lot of hard working players unfortunately not a lot of skill. 8 million, no thanks. We will be calling him Cleverly Cleverly very soon!

  4. Cleverley was a player that at the end of last season I thought someone should pick up. And I am glad Villa showed some intent. But I am not sure he’ll come, it will be a test of Lambert and Keane’s powers of persuasion. Think Everton is his preferred destination.

  5. happy to see the lad come, we need someone in midfield, hopefully El Ahmadi has reallsed he has to go, and with gardner not looking like he will make it our midfield is lightweight, If we can get to improve a player who has limitations all well and good. N’Zog is so unreliable it is not sensible to rely on him as the attacker alongside Delph. I fear for Westwood, but in the Prem you have to be up for it and neither he nor N’Zog are cutting it so

    … yes lets hope he comes. Trevor Fisher

    • Would just like to see Nzog try a pass before he decides to take on the third player. Think he would be much improved if he would learn he can’t run the ball into the goal.

    • Just saw on another forum KEA has been sold, back to his old club. Hope that’s true for all parties sakes.

  6. good luck hope he gives away needless free kicks in dangerous area’s for villa as he did for united on countless occassions.

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