Welcome one and all to the preview of the Aston Villa 1st Xi nativity. I have drawn up a list of the main characters and an explanation behind some of the Vital Villa castings:
Jesus – Ashley Young (Spends a lot of time on his back whinging and whining.)
Mary – John Carew (A lot of complaining for such little contribution, is often carried!)
Angel Gabriel – Gabby Agbonlahor (Told Mary she was pregnant despite being a virgin, his lack of awareness re: sex education makes him perfect for this role.)
Joseph – Marc Albrighton (Seems to be the poor bugger doing all the legwork.)
The Kind Innkeeper – Richard Dunne (Welcomes anyone through his door)
The Three Wise Men – Stephen Ireland, Habib Beye, Curtis Davies (They clearly think they know best, but only one has proven they could turn up with the goods.)
Sheppard – James Collins (loves following them sheep!)
Donkey – Emile Heskey (Big, not very pretty, but a vital part of the team.)
King Herod – Gerard Houllier (Evil Evil Evil Man!)
God – Brad Friedel + Brad Guzan`s Beard (Knows more than most would, but prone to the odd error.)
It`s Villa V Spurs, and this is the Christmas Preview!
Gerard Houllier hates not only Aston Villa, but Christmas. It`s a little known fact that when presented with the opportunity to meet Noddy Holder the Frenchman muttered something in his native tongue before swiftly kicking an elf up the backside.
Just as well I guess that back in the real world he`s fully focussed on the busy Christmas period coming up. Listening to a commercial sports-based radio station that talks an awful lot about Arsenal and Spurs, it appears that the “oh we`re busy” complaining has started with CSKA Chelski boss Carlo ‘My job is safe er honest` Ancellotti, whilst newspaper speculation of all things Claret & Blue are rumour-mongering about the upcoming transfer window. Nevertheless, the uber-focused Mr H however spoke to avfc.co.uk:
“I am focused on the team and on the games. Maybe we can talk about that [transfers] a bit later on. Until after the cup game, I don’t think I will get involved in anything.”
“I am fully focused on the games, starting with Tottenham.
“The most important thing is to pick up points. We have 20 points, which is not enough.”
Meanwhile, Gerard Houllier has spoken of his respect for English traditions and all that comes with it ahead of the beautifully alcohol and turkey fuelled period coming up! Despite rumours that the Villa players don`t get days off and are forced to watch their own personal performances overnight, every night, and are requested to punch themselves in the head when they feel they are not focussed, the squad are getting the vast majority of Christmas day off as Hou added:
“We will leave the players to have the full day with their families and then they will meet up in the evening to train. We won’t have training in the morning.
“It’s a great tradition in England. Players can sometimes be frustrated not to be with their family. But we’re playing at home so we’re lucky. We can practically enjoy the whole day whereas with Tottenham their players will have to travel here.
“It is an English tradition. The normal tradition is Boxing Day. I love the atmosphere of Boxing Day football. A lot of families come with their children. That’s preparing fans for the future.”
Well done you Mr H. Lets hope you continue to silence the naysayers!
On the snow-covered flip-flop side, motormouth himself Harry Redknapp is, true to form, talking nonsense. Well, actually he hasn`t. For someone who makes more stupid comments followed by desperate defence than Vincent Cable, he hasn`t said much at all about this game at the time this went to press (well, I submitted it to Vital Admin land) so there`s not an awful lot to report.
So erm, yeah!
I would like to find some other quotes from Spurs players about blah blah and this that and the other. However, in this festive time of rest and relaxation I do wonder if there is much of a point? Why let the Spurs players say anything, when this article and subsequent match thread in our excellent forum will be full of our opposition fans spouting their opinion!
Cue Spurs fans, lets see if I can get an even more comedy insult than Mr Fear being called a recepitcle for the fruit of a mans loins?
AVFC Team News:
The good news is that Fabian Delph, Nigel Reo-Coker and Stiliyan Petrov have all returned to training however this game is likely to have come a little bit too soon for them.
Media reports today have suggested that we will be without Ashley Young for this one, whilst Luke-based namesake er, Luke Young has not trained this week with a groin injury. This may mean that slightly-more-impressive-than-last-time-Eric-Lichaj may continue at right back.
Not a lot to report outside of that. Steve Sidders is likely to be out of contract because the relatively under-used and indeed pointless midfielder is set to join West Ham in January. Rumour has it that the former Chelsea and Reading player has just switched his home energy supplier to n-power.
Player to watch: Grandad Friedel
Gerard Houllier has admitted that the club are looking at younger goalkeepers. I hope that in this season of looking after old people, that Brad can turn it on (so to speak) against Spurs.
Spuds Team News:
Spurs seemingly are set to be without tear-expert William Gallas, whilst Tom “stampy” Huddlestone, Ledley “wheres ma knees?” King, Jonathan “and mine!” Woodgate and Jamie ‘where am I?` O`Hara are all missing.
Player to watch: Van Der Vaaaaart
Mr In Van Fart has the horrendous ability to rip teams to shreds and with our relatively inexperienced midfield, I`d be concerned that he could rip us to erm shreds! Let`s hope that our ho-ho-holding midfielders can keep Van the Man quiet!
Match Facts & Stats
What more is there to say folks? Except the following points:
1. Did anyone not recognise Nigel Reo-Coker?
2. I hope everyone joins me in my petition to get the club to stock Gerard Houllier`s jumper.
3. Isn`t Emile just lovely?
4. Why has Fabian Delph stolen Carlos Cuellar`s Christmas shopping?
5. Barry Bannan has clearly found out that he`s not getting what he wanted for Christmas.
6. WHERE`S GUZAN`S BEARD?
That is all.
Not sure who the ref is this time around, but they will probably be crap.
A rather Merry Christmas with 401-0 win for the good guys. Santa and Salifou bagging a brace each late on!
Man Citeh, who will be raring to go as I don`t believe they celebrate Christmas in the Middle East.
Thanks for reading folks. I hope you all have a brilliant day Saturday, and an even better and drunk-er one Sunday. Here`s to 3 points!