Date: 11th October 2008 at 3:22pm
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Unoial Villa News…

Martin O’Neill has hinted that former Rangers star Carlos Cuellar and ex Newcastle winger James Milner’s times may have come as he looks forward to next Saturday’s important Premiership game against Portsmouth. With both Milner and Cuellar coming on as subs in the 2-0 loss to Chelsea, it seems they might well have forced their way into contention with the Villa boss saying they are options and he knows both players have great ability. Full quotes: Click Here

We are now on £1170 in our fundraising for Paul Birch. Want to add to it?! Raising Money For The Paul Birch Trust

It looks like Villa might have another midfield option soon as Steve Sidwell declared himself fit last week and came through a reserves game in midweek fine and dandy. Martin O’Neill said of the former Chelsea and Reading player: ‘He has come through the reserves game okay this week. He needs games now and hopefully he can get a couple now in relatively quick succession. We are trying to get another game arranged for next week and we also have the reserve game against Chelsea as well so we have got some matches for him.’

Sometimes you just have to stop looking back and move on in life. Thomas Sorensen is a case at hand. Yes, he was fairly badly treated at Villa having ‘dared’ to be slightly outspoken about the manager Martin O’Neill but then, what did he expect? Managers are fragile souls whose ego’s and position mean they don’t have to take any lip, the decision lies with them who they pick and who they drop. Sorensen muttered a criticism of the boss when Scott Carson was brought in on loan from Liverpool and from that day onwards, his position seemed untenable. Full quotes from Thomas still moaning on: Sorryson, But You Started It!

Congratulations to Ashley Young who has been named September’s Premier League player of the month Ashley Young Scoops Player Of Month Award

Villa’s under-18s beat previously unbeaten Coventry 5-0. James Collins scored a hat-trick and Kofi Poyser and Will Grocott both chipped in with a goal each. Hmmmm, chips….

Martin O’Neill has told AVTV that Gareth Barry can play both roles in midfield for Villa or England, either holding or going forward. ‘Gareth is playing two different roles. Here, he is given a lot of license to go forward and to play his own particular brand of football. Stiliyan is the one who plays in the more disciplined role. Saying that, you can’t have four or five players doing what they want in a game. If you lose discipline, you lose shape and you can end up losing a game. His role for England looks, from a distance, to be a holding role. This allows other midfielders to get forward and do things. That’s fine. He’s more than capable of playing both roles. When you work seven or eight days in the build-up to an international match, with the manager advising you at each training session, you go out on the day of a game and you know exactly what you need to do. And his role for England hasn’t varied that much since Capello took over. He knows exactly what’s expected of him.’

John Carew has been talking about Celtic’s Shaun Maloney saying he was too quick to jump the good ship Aston Villa. ‘In training he was always the best, but maybe for our way of playing he didn’t fit in a physical sense, because of his height. But at other Premiership clubs I think he could have been perfect. I don’t know if it was the right choice for him to go back, and have that stamp that he was not good enough. Maybe be should have stayed a bit longer, and proved he could play in the Premiership. I thought he was a great player, and was really impressed with him. And the fans loved him because he usually scored when he came on, from free-kicks or whatever. It was difficult for him to get into the team at Aston Villa, but that does not mean he could not have played at another club, one maybe not as good as Aston Villa. There are a lot of teams in the Premiership, a lot of them are below Aston Villa.’

The Sherriff is back in town with his Villa ‘that was the week that was’ column: The Week In Villa #7 (3/10/08 – 9/10/08)

The ever excellent weekly column: Something for the weekend (209)

The club have released details of the official packages for the Slavia Prague UEFA Cup tie UEFA Travel Packages For Prague

Uefa cup ticket news: Villa’s UEFA Cup Tickets On Sale

Nigel Hokey-Cokey says there seems to be no sense in the PL these days, you win and you are going to be world beaters, you lose and you are going down. Or something like that. Following the Chelsea defeat he said: ‘I don’t think the Chelsea game puts a cloud on our season because they were phenomenal. It’s important to remember we have only lost two Premier League games in total. I still believe we are a top side – and I think we will go on to prove that. The problem is there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. You are either world-beaters or no-hopers. There is no need to overreact because of the result at Stamford Bridge.’ Adding, ‘It seems to be because we are pushing on and challenging, people are suddenly going ‘there you go, you can’t finish in the top four’. But look at how well we did against Liverpool at Villa Park. They came with a defensive mindset and were happy with a draw – and they are second! We are positive and very happy with our progress this season.’

Martin O’Neill has hit out at the talk of a five year plan to get to the Champions League. The press and fans have picked up on this five year plan thing, I can’t remember if it was Richard FitzGerald or General Krulak who first mentioned it, but it wasn’t in relation to the playing side, it was just about the business plan and the resurrection of Aston Villa as a whole. Then people latched onto it as some sort of time scale to win the Premier League or qualify for the Champions League. Full quotes from MON: Five Year Plan My Arse!

Vital Villan: We can win UEFA Cup. And so says Zat Knight. Hard to disagree with him really, I’d put money on it now if I had any. Speaking to the Mail Zat has made it quite clear that he believes Villa can go all the way and win the UEFA Cup this season, and that we shouldn’t fear any of the teams in the competition. He admits the players did wonder if we would be draw in the same group as AC Milan, but given our Group opponents we could still face off against them in latter stages or even the final – and what a final that would make. Full article: We Can Win UEFA Cup

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Thought for the day: I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.