Date: 14th August 2009 at 10:55pm
Written by:

Women of Britain, your Saturday afternoons with your significant other are over! DIY will not be done, you will not be dragging that disinterested fellah around 432 shops before returning to the first one and lager is back on the menu!

No more having to put up with golf, move over geriatric cricket, FOOTBALL IS BACK!

With one trophy already in the cabinet, some young lions impressing, £12million spent on a player who turned up for his medical on crutches, a bizzarely random Coventry City reject goalkeeper signing, it has been a rather odd pre-season. Nevertheless Martin seems ready, and we begin life without captain Gareth Barry (who we should remember was at fault for Holland’s second goal!)

So for the first point scoring time of the 2009/10 season…

It’s Villa,
It’s Wigan,
Move over Paul Brown,
There’s only one true..


Vital Quotes:

Well slap me with a fish and call me Susan:

‘At times I saw it, and I said I didn’t to protect the player, it’s because I could not find any rational explanation to defend him.’

None other than Arsene Wenger admitting that occaisionally he does see things, and may well have been telling porkies from time to time about his in-game vision.


Ah Monny how I’ve missed your random witterings (now called tweets if that twitter lark is to be believed) about everything and yet at the exact same time, nothing. You certainly haven’t disappointed me this week have you with this absolute blinder to kick things off when asked about new Wigan boss Roberto Martinez’s Lactics:

‘I recognise a lot of the players that played against us last season.

‘Interestingly one or two of the players he has bought to the club I already knew so it’s not as strange as one might have thought it might be.”

Hopefully he will recognise that one of last seasons players, now plays for us! Anyway a rare moment of seriousness, O’Neill believes that his side are looking forward to the start of the Premier League season, having had a successful warm up to the new campaign as he continued to tell

‘We’ve had a good pre-season. Players have improved their fitness, improved in terms of confidence and determination. ‘All of those things we had in abundance, particularly in the Peace Cup.
‘But I’ve said in the past the test is in the Barclays Premier League and it starts in earnest on Saturday. It’s a big game and we are all looking forward to it.
‘The matches [against Wigan] have always been difficult and we’ve always found it difficult here.
‘Our record up there has been good but I think we are just ready for the game. The players are looking forward to it.’

Now, a snippet from a Telegraph Online article that I think needs highlighting. Please don’t actually highlight, you may damage your computer screen, thanks.

Milner and [some other guy who apparently scored and plays for Spurs] are so close to the plane to South Africa that they can almost touch the in-flight entertainment guide, wondering who’s the star of Time to Destination.

Meanwhile on the flip-flop side, Premier League managerial debutant Roberto Martinez has been speaking this week about Jason Koumas, which ties in nicely with what I said about “flop.” It is safe to say that Koumas has had an up and down career however the Spaniard believes that he can get the best out of the Welshman, or at least can be entertained by the 29-year old midfielder pulling rabbits out of hats and the like. He told BBC Sport:

“I’ve seen that bit of a spark in his eye, he’s desperate to play a big part for Wigan, that’s good for everyone.”

‘Technically it would be very difficult to find a better player at Premiership level, he’s a magician, his first touch is out of this world.”

First touch is all well and good Roberto, but if touch number two endangers aircraft landing at Birmingham International during Saturday’s game, there’s not much point now is there?

AVFC C&B’s Team News:

Aston Villa look set to hand debut’s to Habib Beye, Fabian Delph and Andy Marshall on Saturday.

Only 2/3 of the above are realistic, see which one you think is the odd one out.

It will be a massive shame for Brad Guzan to be benched for the EPL game having starred in my opinion during the clubs pre-season campaign.

Given the relative lack of signings, I think it will be business as usual for Villa, perhaps with Heskey partnering Carew as Gabby has suffered from a considerable lack of match practice.

Stan Petrov may well make it into the squad despite struggling somewhat with his previously dislocated shoulder.

Player to watch: Habib Beye

Well not to watch perhaps, but more to listen. That song is quality and if put either just before or after the chant for the mighty “Togolese Zidane….fan” tune, the Holte will be rocking.

Oh, and I’ve heard he isn’t too bad a defender.

Wigan Team News:

Roberto Martinez is apparently set to hand debuts to his former Swansea City striker Jason Scotland and his new midfielder Jordi Gomez. Olivier Kapo is struggling with injury, aside from that the Spanish chappy should have a full squad to choose from.

Player to watch: Titus Bramble

He used to be 100% nailed on dead cert good to watch for a right old giggle. These days he seems to have sorted his life out, yet still has the occasional wobble.

Useless Facts

If I remember rightly, I kicked off last seasons previews with this one, so why not bring it back out, after all….

Random Titus Bramble fact, he was born in Ipswich, the town that Lord Nelson became Steward of.

Wigan is famous for it’s pies, something that former captain Gareth Barry clearly enjoys too many of, and to be fair, as do I.

It appears that Wigan have never tasted defeat at Villa Park in league action. Saturday seems a good day to change that one.

Did you know, that George Formby Jnr. Was born in Wigan? No, neither did I!

Wigan is twinned with Angers in France which was the town where Édouard Cointreau, creator of Cointreau was born.

This has been pretty weak this week, I’m sorry. Just replay the music!

Ref Watch:

The referee for Saturday is Mark Battenburg, who has so far this season given out a horrendous 0 yellows and 0 reds in his 0 matches.

His name also sounds fairly similar to a type of cake.

Match Prediction:

3-0 Villa and it’s da main man E-Mule Heksey getting all 3!

These new tablets are ace!

Next Up:

EUROPA LEAGUE CUP UEFA BABY! Rapido Viennna on the 20th of this month.

Thanks for reading this rather rushed preview!