Date: 8th October 2007 at 2:37pm
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Unoial Villa News…

In some shocking Villa news my mate Ian Williams sent along his good lady in his place at the West Ham game last weekend. Ian was said to have something ‘more important’ to do. All of us who sit by him were amazed as he’d not booked the time off and had certainly provided no written request not to attend the game. Ian, that sort of behaviour will not be tolerated again, we’ll be expecting a written apology. ;o)

Aston Villa reserves visit Reading tonight. The official site says that Curtis Davies should feature alongside a ‘youthful line-up’. Last week they drew 2-2 with Pompey.

Tickets for next month’s derby trip to Birmingham City are now on priority sale. Tickets are limited to one per season ticket whilst on sale to season ticket holders only. Season ticket holders wishing to purchase additional tickets can do from Wednesday October 17. The club are also looking at screening the game at Villa Park and say details will be announced as soon as possible.

Oooh, a bit of gossip that I do like! The News Of The World, a bastion of football truth if ever I saw one (!) claim in a report by David Harrison, that Villa are looking to bid around £6million for ‘unsettled’ Liverpool left-back John Arne Riise. Full article: The Villa Transfer Rumours Start!

It seems Martin O’Neill is keen to bring Liverpool’s on loan keeper Scott Carson to Villa Park permanently. He said in The Sun ‘A loan can always be with a view to a permanent deal. If it goes very well, there is the possibility of the deal becoming permanent. But Liverpool might say ‘excuse me’ because he is their goalkeeper.’

Well, digedy dog, would you believe it! Stan Collymore has told Steve McClaren he should play all three Villa boys in next Saturday’s game against Estonia. Stan The Man said in an article in The Mirror that Steve McClaren would be a fool not to go with the men in form and names Gareth Barry, Scott Carson and Ashley Young. He ask ‘if Young and Carson are not good enough to play against Estonia then when are they good enough?’ Full article: Click Here

Supporter Consultation Group answers: Click Here

The issue concerning the planned William McGregor statue comes up from time to time. Particularly that there’s a way to go to obtain the requisite £50,000 to have it made and installed. I am happy with the idea of a William McGregor statue; but…(By John Lerwill) Remembering The Great

We’ve got 5 signed copies of The Kick Off – the great debut footie novel by Dan Freedman – to give away to Vital Football members. Click Here

Vital Villa asked for you man of the match vote for Villa v West Ham. Once again Martin Laursen ran away with the votes with an impressive 55%. Ashley Young was next up with 17% and Scott Carson followed on 9% Full results: Click Here

Meanwhile Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor said of Martin Laursen on ‘He’s a man-mountain who will head absolutely anything.’ adding, ‘I think Martin Laursen would head a stone if it was chucked up to him! He’ll head anything. He’s a man-mountain. In training, everyone keeps away from him. He’s done really well. I didn’t realise he was in the last year of his contract, but with the way he’s playing, I’m sure the gaffer will speak to him. We’ll have to see what happens.’

Martin Laursen also won the player of the month award, for September, by a country mile: Click Here

Craig Gardner says he’ll keep taking the free kicks after telling his team mates ‘If I’m scoring, I’m not being moved off them!’ The uncompromising Villa midfielder, who seems to be getting better by the game which has earnt him England U21 recognition, said he has set a target of ten goals this season. He is also aiming high for the team asking ‘what is stopping us’ getting to fourth. Sounds like fighting talk to me!

Gardner is also backing Stiliyan Petrov to ‘come good’. ‘He’s a great player.’ And on the numpties who booed he added, ‘I don’t know who or what the fans were booing for. We got the three points, so the substitution was the right decision. If I’d have stayed on, we might have lost 2-1. Stiliyan found it hard last year, but he’s a great player and I’m sure he’ll prove it this year.’ I think the booing, to be fair, was at people not wanting Gardner taken off. No matter though, still wrong. Always always always wrong to boo a player in claret and blue whilst on the pitch.

Villa have come to an agreement with MP and Silva a leading international sports agency to distribute the Aston Villa Programming Block which is a weekly programme including delayed footage of all of our games.

Gareth Barry says Nigel Hokey-Cokey can follow his example and break into the England squad. The Villa skipper said, ‘He’s only 23, but he’s been around a while now and he’s played a lot of games. He’s got better and better since he’s been here and hopefully he can continue it.’ Explaining ‘He’s been a good addition to the team and has given us good balance. His workrate is very high too. I think he’s helped my game. I’m not going to judge my own game, but people have complimented the pair of us and it certainly seems to be going well for us and the team are picking up points at the moment.’ And on England ‘There’s no reason at all why he can’t be challenging for the England squad for Euro 2008. I read comments last week from the England manager saying he’d watched him closely and there’s no reason why not. I didn’t know until after the game that Steve McClaren was here, but he was here because there was a lot of English talent on view and that can only be good for the club.

Moustapha Salifou, who signed for Villa late on in the transfer window, is apparently due to join up with Villa after the international games after finally sorting out his work permit troubles! The Togo international midfielder should now be clear to start training with the squad after red-tape blocked him from working in England. Quotes: Click Here

Martin O’Neill has told the official site that Gareth Barry has earnt his place in the England team. ‘Gareth got into the last squad on merit. No-one knew when it was picked that Frank Lampard was not going to make it. As it turns out Gareth went onto exceed all expectations by doing brilliantly in the two games. What Gareth said after the matches was that he had put a marker down and it was up to Steve McClaren to pick what he thought was the best team. You are talking about world class players in Lampard and Gerrard. He is in that company, so that is great news for me.’

Birmingham City captain Liam Ridgewell (shudders, that just sounds wrong doesn’t it?) has spoken to the Sunday Mirror about his move and his relief that Villa fans seem to understand why he went. Full article: Click Here Thread in the forum, ‘Ridgewell, will you boo him’

Thought for the day: Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.