Aston Villa return to Premier League action, having been apparently involved in a game in Europe that quite frankly, I`d rather not mention! That said, it’s on Setanta people
Villa`s reserve team did absolutely nothing for their first team chances, except for perhaps a young Barry Bannan and a Fonz that doesn`t` say “ehhhhh” a lot as the Birmingham based club (just for the councillors that one) crashed to a dismal defeat at the hands, or is that ‘handsch` of Martin Jol`s Hamburger S-Fowl.
Turning our attention back to domestic matters, Villa now take on the team that made an awful lot of money out of us with the additions of Marlon Harewood and Nigel Reo-Coker. Deals that, had Iceland in it`s entirety not suffered a financial Zat Knightmare, would have left the bubble blowers laughing. Something tells me they may well be a wee bit quiet though, and at the same time, try to flog us Dean Ashton (yes please!)
It`s Villa, Vs failed biscuit men with a Chelski-blue-manager. If you are reading this you are probably as lonely as I am, preview!
Villa boss Martin O`Neill believes a winter break, similar to that of fellow UEFA Cup sides Hamburg and Wolfsburg (Germany) would benefit English clubs in Europe. He told avfc.co.uk:
“My own view is there should be a winter break. I think it would be a fantastic thing.
“I believe it would give everyone a lift in January. We had it for a couple of years in the Scottish Premier League and we all got great benefit from it.
“I am a great believer in it and I think it is important. But I am not controlling affairs so I assume it won’t come in.”
Quite sensibly, even for crazy-team O`Neill, he added:
“It gives the players a chance to get away with their families. They feel much better for it. It was so beneficial.
“One of the years when we had the break in Scotland, Celtic went on to reach the UEFA Cup final. I genuinely believe the winter break was of great benefit for us.”
An interesting mute point, which would work, but for the fact that when given the chance, Sir Alex has messed about with United taking them across the world in place of domestic tournament entry, let alone the current fixture “bonus” he`s achieved from being out in Japan right now!
Turning his attention to Wham (the abbreviated team, not the band) O`Neill has admitted he expects everyone to be fit and raring to go, which assumes he didn`t mean Bouma and Carew? Again, speaking to avfc.co.uk he said:
“I think the West Ham game will be really difficult. They played exceptionally well against Chelsea and Liverpool.
“They have gone to two really difficult venues in Stamford Bridge and Anfield in recent weeks and not got beaten.
“Confidence will be high in their camp but it will be high in our camp as well.”
Meanwhile, down at Bubble Blowing Park, former Birmingham City defender Matthew Upson has enjoyed his time playing for the fake Claret & Blues. He spoke to the official Wham site:
“I am enjoying my football here and I think, especially in the last month or two, everything I have been working on for the last three or four years is coming together. That includes the physical work and the mental preparation I have been doing. It is all starting to become a real fixture in my game and I feel very comfortable, it is a good feeling.”
Speaking on his new boss, former Chelski star Gianfranco Zola, Upson was similarly complimentary:
“The energy he has brought in, he is a very optimistic and positive person and it is nice to have that around you every day. He likes to make it as enjoyable as he can while still doing things business-like and doing the things that you don’t always like, but have to do because they are important. Everyone has committed to cause very well.”
West Ham Untied Team News:
BBC are reporting that Diego Tristan is not yet fit to play for the Londoners, which is somewhat strange given the fact that the former Deportivo and Mallorca forward signed way back in October. The Hammers are also without DDDDEEEEAAAANNOOO, who will, when fit, hopefully be swapping fake claret & blue for the real deal, also they suffer the absence of Danny Gabbidon, apparently that`s a suffer?
Player to watch: Carlton Cole
Carlton Cole, why not watch him, he was hilariously poor for Villa, so why not watch and laugh at him now!
AVFC Claret & Blues Team News:
Villa are yet again without John Carew who sits out with a mysterious and rumour-building injury. Jimmy Milner should be fit whilst Craig Gardner, given the last performance, is thankfully in and around the 50/50 mark. Villa are likely to go back to the 4-5-1, with Davies, Agbonlahor, Laursen, Young and Sir Jimmy re-taking their places after the 2nd strings dismal attempts!
Player to watch: Gabby Gabby Gabby Gabby Gabby Agbonlahor…
Ok you pesky little so and so, you`ve proved me woefully wrong on my opinions of your talent, go do it again Lambo man!
Match Facts & Stats
Well, it`s not hammertime yet, but sponsortime: For the very latest Premier League odds: www.oddschecker.com
Now it`s hammertime:
West Ham are based in the London Borough of Newham, which is famous for being, according to a channel 4 survey, the 4th worst place to livfe in the United Kingdom! That explains a lot.
The area, according to Wikipedia, is home to such famous people as Billy Mitchell and Johnny Allen in Eastenders, Danny Dyer (nuff said) and Olympic Gold Metallurgist Christine Ohrurughoughoughgagbonlahor.
West Ham have won the European Cup Winners Cup, and the Inter Toto Cup, neither of which now exist (HA!)
Their owner is Björgólfur Guðmundsson, which if you can say sober, I admire, if you can say drunk, you`re a legend!
Guðmundsson took over from Egg man Magnusson, which really took the biscuit!
Dean Ashton, star striker, went to the same college as I did. I did A-Levels, he did sports science and the like. Which one ended up better off? Not a great advert for higher education!
Sadly, our referee for this occasion is Mr Mark Halsey who has managed 22 yellows and just the 1 red in his season so far (22 games.) He was the man who allowed Rory Delap to ruin football and our early season in Stoke`s 3-2 victory over Randy`s men. The long throw is not football of our kind!
Lawro says draw, I say, we`re going to blooming well win.
4-2 Villa, with Reo getting at least one!
What once was, now definitely is a massive game against Arsenal. If we are to go top 4, beating the previous 3rd-best-behind-the-winners, will prove a thing or two and shorten the odds. It`s a boxing day smash against Arsey Wagner`s team!
Thanks for reading all, it`s good to be properly back!