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Neil Godwin: The Next Episode

Started on 16 April 2022 by Jack
Latest Reply on 19 August 2022 by J_ames
Only you would spend £16m to get a Hickey... ;)

More 'outs' than 'ins' is a sign of Neil stamping his mark on the side, and there'll be quite a few lads now nervous the longer the season goes on. They better buck up their ideas, or it could be them headed for the exit.

I'm left wondering if there's one 'major' arrival still to come, and tbh... I'm willing it on! :D

James: Deary me James...
Some of the old guard of Mings, Cash etc. have all been decent actually, it's the players brought in under Arne Slot that have been a bit underwhelming so far.

Bamba completes Fiorentina loan move; joins permanently in June

Aston Villa winger Jonathan Bamba has left the club on deadline day to join Fiorentina on loan until the end of the season with an obligation for the loan to turn permanent at the end of the season.

The 30-year-old Frenchman has made 16 appearances in all competitions for Aston Villa, with only four starts under new manager Neil Godwin as he opts for Carlos Palacios and new signing Meschack Elia on the wing.

Fiorentina, currently battling against relegation to Serie B under new manager Roberto Breda, have taken the winger initially on a loan, but with a mandatory transfer fee of £20million due at the end of the current season.

With Godwin’s preferences being made clear, Bamba has been transfer listed all throughout the January transfer window which has seen Aston Villa spend £85million across five new players.

However, doubt remains over Fiorentina’s financial capability should they be relegated to Serie B this season, as they sit just 3 points ahead of 18th placed Frosinone in Serie A. The deal is seen as a huge gamble for I Viola, but the club maintain that Bamba could be the man to turn the tide of their season off the back of yesterday’s 3-0 win over Bologna.

Aston Villa also let U23 player Ajani Burchall sign for Plymouth Argyle on a free transfer on deadline day today.

Well….. seeing how much Swindon have fallen off since you left, it seems like you made the correct career move! European football is probably a pipeline dream this season but I think you can definitely push for a strong top half finish.
great job at swindon i hope you have great carer at aston villa and that kid rastch looks decent
With you now at Villa, I'm hoping to see plenty of opportunities for Carney Chukwuemeka and Louie Barry over the course of the season. It's been a solid enough start to life for Neil at Villa Park, and it's a great deal for the club in getting rid of Bamba to Fiorentina.

The recruitment from Neil's predecessors has been an absolute disgrace!

Justice: Swindon are admittedly in a tough spot at the moment, with just 7 games remaining they have a bit of work to do. As for us, we're happy where we are and looking on to next season realistically.
Deadzpool: Thank you! Ratzsch is one for the current and future squads, definitely!
James: I think the moulding of the team need to be around the current best players in the team in midfield and up-front, getting the CMs and Watkins bought into my style is key for the time being so I unfortunately don't see much in the way ahead for Carney and Louie! As for the squad, it's a mess. I can't believe some of the names that they have hung onto for so long!

Emotional return for Godwin as Swindon keep survival hopes alive

Swindon Town legend Neil Godwin fell to a 2-0 defeat by his former club at Villa Park this evening, with Moi Elyounoussi and Florian Neuhaus on the scoresheet for the visitors.

A short free-kick to Jack Harrison was played back in a one-two with Elyounoussi who placed a perfect curling shot into the bottom-right corner of the net with just ten minutes remaining on the clock.

Just six minutes later, Lukebakio played a route-one style ball over the Aston Villa defence to find the darting run of midfielder Florian Neuhaus, who controlled it on his knee before Neil Godwin’s summer signing placed the ball across Dahlberg to make it 2-0 in the closing minutes of the game, securing a much needed win for the Robins.

Both Neil Godwin and his Swindon successor Andreas Alm - brought in from FC København in Denmark - shared an embrace before and after the match, with Godwin clearly irritated with his own team’s performance, but happy to see that his boyhood club had kept a stable status in the league as the away win sent them five points away from the relegation zone fresh off the back of a 2-1 win against Watford at St. Mary’s Stadium.

Neil Godwin took time out to speak to Swindon Town’s local media and internal club channel about his experience of returning to face his old team.

“It was the greatest honour of my career to serve Swindon for as long as I did not just as manager, but all the years before that.” Godwin said.

“Whilst my primary focus has to be Aston Villa nowadays, I always watch Swindon’s games whenever I can as the personalities in the club have grown me into the man that I am today and I can’t thank everybody involved enough. It was a pleasure to see the progress of the club continue without me.”

“Andreas [Alm] is doing a fantastic job since taking over in January and he gave our team one hell of a challenge and in the end, his side deserved to win. I think that Clem [Morfuni] has selected a great manager there.” Godwin ended his interview with STTV.

However, local news were more direct in their questions to Godwin, with the Swindon legend refusing to comment on a return to the club in the future should the opportunity arise, claiming that it would be “deeply wrong of me to speculate on a hypothetical situation when Andreas is doing such a good job”.

As it stands, Godwin will revisit Swindon’s newly developed County Ground next season in the Premier League with his Aston Villa side.
Mixed bag of form, seems the back door is quite open these days. No danger of relegation realistically but I'd imagine you will want to finish the season as strongly as possible to get the mood up.
Awfully generous of you to gift Swindon 3-points in a bid to aide their survival, but I'm still calling the relevant authorities! With 7-games to go, survival is secured for Villa this season, and it's purely a case of Neil deciding who'll fit into his system for next season. Nick Pope doesn't seem to be having too great a time in goal atm, and must be fearing for his future!

Justice: Yeah, we've kept relatively stable from when I joined. It's not been incredibly inspiring since December, but it's been enough to completely avoid a relegation battle. 2 wins in the final 7 games was very disappointing, though.
James: I had to help keep them up somehow, my heart is still with the club ;) In fairness, despite leaking a fair few goals, our goal difference looks good in comparison to teams around us. But the plan with Pope was to replace Livakovic initially (someone I was forced into selling), then use him as a number 2 keeper next season. He's getting on a little bit so it's good for both of us that he begins to wind down his career.
Looks like it'll be a big transfer window coming up for Villa. I'd imagine Godwin will be able to bring in players of the required quality to challenge much higher up in the league next season.
the defeat against swindon must be hard to feel but least see what the season brings.

Villa Park has been bustling with comings and goings this summer as I tried to get our squad in the correct shape for the season ahead with no less than eleven new first-team signings amounting to around £144million.

This amount of activity meant that we had to sell what we could of the spare parts that I could do without, starting with two Dutch departures to the Turkish top division as Geertruida and Veerman joined İstanbul Başakşehir and Gençlerbirliği respectively in early June.

Some of Villa’s stalwarts from the Gerrard era including Mings, McGinn, Buendía and Targett all departed, too, as I wanted it to not just look like a new era, but feel like a completely new team after years of underachieving with the same players keeping their spots year on year.

All told, we spent around £22million in total, with £122million worth of players heading out of the door for pastures new.


Borussia Dortmund’s Illan Meslier joins us for a £16million fee, dropping 35-year-old Nick Pope into much more a back-up goalkeeper for the coming season, just six months after £650k arrival from Burnley, and also subsequently sending Pontus Dahlberg on his way to East Anglia.

The French keeper went from being a certain starter at Leeds United during their Premier League years, to joining Dortmund for £36million last summer. Meslier was only to make eight appearances in a Dortmund shirt, with 6 of those coming in the Europa Conference League.

He hasn’t been out-of-favour in footballing terms for too long, and his Premier League experience should bode well as he becomes our new #1.


With two new full-backs on either side and two new centre-backs, we could field a new-look back line if we wanted to this season. However, Leonardo Balerdi was our first buy of the summer, joining us from Ligue 1 side Lille after five impressive years at Stade Pierre Mauroy, in total making 129 appearances for the club.

Right-back Colin Dagba was our second defensive signing of the summer, joining for £14million from La Liga side Real Betis, with the Beninese international being a key part of Betis’ squad for the past five seasons.

Before Betis, he played for Paris Saint-Germain and was a key player there, winning three Ligue 1 titles for the club before a £4million departure to Spain.

Joining just one day after Colin Dagba, we signed another centre-back to cover for the losses of Konsa and Mings at the back. Mohamed Simakan joined us for little over £10million from Serie A side Atalanta after three good years at the club. He was signed for Atalanta for £30million from RB Leipzig, but his 2025/26 campaign was cut by injury before returning to outstanding form last season with a 7.03 rating from 25 matches.

The final defensive signing of the summer was bringing in 33-year-old German veteran Robin Gosens from Atalanta to link up with his teammate Simakan at Villa Park. Gosens was into his tenth consecutive year under contract with Atalanta, but requested to leave to play in England. We were quickly onto this and were able to snap him up for £4.5million to cover our own forced departure of Matt Targett.


After losing out on our main left-wing target Stevanovic to Real Madrid, I think we were able to come up with a great solution by bringing in Maurits Kjærgaard from Red Bull Salzburg for £25million. Last season, he scored and assisted 9 times each in the Austrian Bundesliga as his side secured their sixth Bundesliga title with him in the side. At 24, he has lots of room to improve as well.

After spending so big on Kjærgaard, we got a great deal on Udinese central midfielder Mamadou Coulibaly who joins us for just £3million after hitting a 7.08 rating from 28 Serie A matches last season. Since starting for Udinese, Coulibaly has been one of their star players, hitting over 7.00 ratings every season, with 165 league appearances to his name and one Serie B promotion.

After signing him for Swindon Town last season, I have gone back to Jack Harrison to make him an Aston Villa player this year following 5 goals and 6 assists in the Premier League last season with my old team. It is great to reconnect with Jack and he will wear the same #7 shirt that he wore under me at Swindon.

Luka Sucic linked up with his teammate Maurits Kjærgaard for us this summer, too, joining us for another £20million from Red Bull Salzburg to play in the centre for us this year. Like Kjærgaard, he still has much room to improve and I feel like he will be a fantastic addition when looking back at the end of the season.

Finally, we brought back one of mine and Aston Villa’s old men as Aaron Ramsey rejoined the club just a season after departing to Saint-Étienne and having a fantastic season. Ramsey spent three consecutive seasons on loan for me at Swindon from League One through to our second Championship season where we were promoted and impressed me at every step.

After failing to break into Villa’s squad under Arne Slot upon his loan return, he was sold to Ligue 1 side ASSE for just £500,000 and scored 7 and assisted 4 in 32 games for them. We are delighted to have him back with us, despite having to spend £5million that we shouldn’t have really had to.


Coming in to challenge Ollie Watkins for his starting spot is Servette’s Brazilian forward Salatiel Bartolomeu. With 11 goals in 36 games last season in the Swiss top-flight, I think £5million is a safe gamble on the youngster who has a great mentor to learn from in Watkins.

Justice: And a big transfer window it was! I feel we've made some good moves, with a couple of familiar faces (Godwin Loyalists) in Harrison and Ramsey.
deadzpool: I felt impartial about it, it kept them steady and that's all I wanted for Swindon after leaving
Massive window for Villa there. A new-look back like and keeper might take some time to settle in but certainly is a massive upgrade on the previous.

Kjærgaard and Bart are insane players to add to the attack and will certainly be the star men going forward.

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