Date: 11th March 2009 at 1:42pm
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Unoial Villa News…

Villa have been linked to Michael Owen from Newcastle and David Bentley from Spurs in recent press talk. Must admit, I can’t be bothered to go any further into it than that, lets see how the season ends first then start worrying about who we’ll sign!

There is another link today, this time in the Daily Star who claim that both Villa and Everton are after Southampton midfielder Andrew Surman.

Martin O’Neill seems very happy with his purchase of James Milner from Newcastle, as well he should be in my ever so humble opinion! The Villa boss said: ‘I have been absolutely delighted with the impact of James since he’s been here. He’s everything I thought he would be and more. He can improve too and he will get better. He puts a lot of work into his game and he is willing to work so hard to improve. James is a great lad in the dressing room too and he has a fantastic attitude. He wants to do well for the team and I have been delighted with him.’

AstonVillaFC asks in his article, Why Lose The Claret & Blue Faith?

Bobbyfet says Why So (Claret and) Blue

And in a similar, positive vein, upthevilla_83 asks: Champions League? To be or not to be?

Vital Villa have been shortlisted in the New Football Pools awards, as has JF for best editor. full details and nominations: Vital Villa and JF Shortlisted For Awards

One of the world’s top chefs will be joined by Villa stars and celebrity supporters as they cook up a treat for charity. Marco Pierre White will be serving up a sizzling afternoon’s entertainment in the Trinity Suite kitchen on May 21. You will be able to delight in one of three fantastic menus selected for you by the chef’s special guests as they join him in the kitchen to help prepare what will be a fantastic dining experience. You will be able to participate in the fun and judge each course served to you. The winner will be announced during a live Q&A after your meal – with Marco and his special guests fielding the questions. The event, hosted by TV favourite Melanie Sykes, is at 12noon for a 12.30pm start. Full info: Villa Serve Up A Celebrity Chef Charity Treat

Martin O’Neill says he is as enthusiastic now as a manager as he was as a player. On the official site he said ‘I came into the professional ranks at the age of 18 and it has never ebbed, never ebbed at all.’ He said he loved it as a player and when his career ended with injury, his only thought was to get into management saying he has the same ‘hunger and desire as I did when I was playing.’ The Villa boss also says the break for the FA Cup will do the players good. Not being bitchy or trying to go over old ground, but with this break – and a trip to Dubai to re-charge the batteries, was the CSKA situation ever really needed or called for? I digress. MON said of the break: ‘We have had our disappointments during the course of the season – every side will have had that – but we are ready for the coming battle. It’s up to us now. We have the talent and desire – as we showed in the second half at Eastlands – and we can still do it. We will recharge our batteries now and it will help us get ready to go again with that gusto, determination and desire. This is the first real break we have had in a long, long time and I’m hoping it will do us some real good as the crunch time comes.’ Full article, including talk from Martin Laursen and Terry Venables: O’Neill About O’Neill And This Season

100 Years of Amateur Boxing in Aston – The Owen Moran Dinner. Friday 8 May 2009, Holte Suite, Villa Park. Hosted by Professor Carl Chinn, this event is being held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Aston Amateur Boxing Club. The three-course dinner will be followed by a series of boxing bouts featuring some of the best young amateur talent in the region.
In association with Carson & Co (Solicitors), the Club is proud to present a very special evening to raise funds for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital ‘Kidney Kids’ Appeal and the ‘Owen Moran Fund’, an appeal to restore the glorious old oil painting of this iconic Birmingham-born boxer. Owen Moran, known as the ‘Fearless’, is regarded as a world bantamweight champion from the turn of the twentieth century and is widely recognised as one of the finest fighters ever produced in this country. A splendid old painting of Moran used to hang in the Holte Hotel and was rescued following the closure of the pub during the late 1980s. With a bit of tender loving care, we hope to restore the painting to its former glory, raise the profile of Moran as a local sporting legend and ensure the painting – and the name Owen Moran – is preserved for generations to come. Aston Amateur Boxing Club – Charity Dinner

Vital Villa asked in our last poll, following the slight wobble results wise recently: Where do you think Villa finish now? 38% voted 4th. 35% think we’ll just miss out and finish 5th (see new poll on that very subject!) 15% are fearing a real fall and UEFA Cup football again with a 6th place finish. 3% consider the season doomed saying below 6th. That leaves the opti’s! 5% said 2nd and 4% 3rd.

Our latest poll asks, in a poll suggested by AstonVillaFC ‘If we were to now finish 5th, would you view it as…’

The second installment from our new columnist villaforeurope in the Big Issue (2) Click Here

Awful news as yet another Villa hero passes away. Neil Rioch of the Aston Villa Former Players Association said: ‘Again – it is with much sadness that we inform you of the death of former Aston Villa and England international Eddie Lowe, aged 83, who passed away peacefully in hospital in Nottingham at 7.30pm last night (Monday 9th March).’ Full article: Villa Hero – Eddie Lowe – RIP

As reported on Vital Pompey, Villa reserves beat Portsmouth 6-1 last night: Click Here VILLA: Taylor; Lichaj, Shorey, Clark, Lowry; Hogg BOOKED, Albrighton, Hofbauer, Bannan; Weimann, Delfouneso. Subs: Roome, Parish, G Gardner (for Hofbauer, 69), Collins (for Weimann, 73), Blythe (for Lowry, 84). Report on the official site: Click Here

Martin O’Neill says that the break the team enjoyed in Dubai has helped the lads re-charge before the final furlong in this season. He says on the official site the break was great for team bonding adding, ‘I felt it was important for us because we wanted to get prepared for this very tough run-in mentally and physically. I thought the best thing to do – because we had a free weekend – was to take a few days together. We have done some training and enjoyed some sun and the players now feel refreshed.’ Full article: MON Happy With Dubai Break

The official site have updated the Martin Laursen situation and although it isn’t great news, it also isn’t too devastating. Martin O’Neill has confirmed that the Danish defensive rock has suffered a reaction to his knee injury but says it is a minor set back following soreness and a bit of puffiness after training. For this and info on Steve Sidwell and Wilfred Bouma go to: Laursen, Freddy Sidwell Injury Updates

Thought for the day: ‘I went to see Chubby Brown last week. He said some really outrageous things, so I started heckling and shouting abuse. Then I was told by security that sort of behaviour wasn’t tolerated at Prime Minister’s Questions…!’


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