Date: 13th September 2008 at 6:15pm
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Unoial Villa News…

In an article for the Sun, Villa defender Curtis Davies has told his team-mates he won’t be giving up his shirt to anyone! In a warning to new boy Carlos Cuellar and Zat Knight, he said ‘If the shirt is yours, it’s more yours to lose. Carlos hasn’t come here to sit on the bench and Zat wants a place back in the team. I need to keep on top of my game. But competition breeds success and if you’re not up it, someone else will deserve to take your place.’

Vital Villa asked in our last poll, who do you think was our best summer signing? The clear favourite, with 40%, was James Milner, who moved from Newcastle much to the disgust of Kevin Keegan! Next up was the permanent signing of former West Bromwich Albion defender Curtis Davies (22%) and with 15% veteran former Blackburn Rovers keeper Brad Friedel. Full results: Click Here

Aston Villa midfielder Stiliyan Petrov has told Sky Sports that with the new arrivals this summer all the players know their places are under threat. The Bulgarian international, who seems to have awoken from a very very long slumber at Villa, said: ‘I think we have more balance in the team now but with the competition, you need to be on the top of your game. If you are not on top of your game, then you are out, simple as that. I think the extra competition has given me and everyone else a shove to improve.’

Meanwhile Craig Gardner has told the official site he is sure teams hate to see Villa’s coach pull up. Not sure Stoke players would agree but hey ho, I’ll try to keep my bitchy comments to myself…! Of last season he said ‘We dominated teams home and away and we proved we can score goals anywhere we go. I am sure that any team which sees our coach pull up for an away game will be aware of the ability, pace and danger in our side.’ Full article: Petrov Fears Axe But Gardner Fears No One!

Promo for the Villa History site which is full of superbly written facts about our illustrious club by Villa’s very own historian John Lerwill: Click Here

The Spurs v Villa match will be shown live at The Holte on Monday evening and curry for £5.95 will also be available!.. The Holte is open 11am – 11pm

Villa under-18s lost 3-0 to West Ham in their first defeat of the season. Villa: Dau, Grocott, Roberts, S Simmonds, Flanagan, Albrighton, R Simmonds, G Gardner, Hofbauer, Forrester, Collins. Subs: Weimann (Grocott), Berry (Collins), Lampkin (Hofbauer), Blythe, Dyer.

Vital Villan: Gareth Barry’s two brothers follow Spurs and he’s looking forward to grabbing the bragging rights again this season. Speaking on the official site, Barry revealed that he took a bit of stick from those he shares DNA with when back in 2006 his curling right footed shot denied Spurs all 3 points. ‘There was plenty of banter in the Barry household after that game. My brothers were definitely calling me a few names after my goal. To be honest, they were delighted that I scored a great goal – although secretly I think they were annoyed at me denying Spurs the victory. The goal in question was definitely the best one I have scored for Villa. I can’t remember too many as good as that.’ Full article: Click Here

Vital Villan: Martin O’Neill believes outlawing the back pass has made it harder for teams to kill off a game in the modern era. With pointless internationals getting in the way of real football, Martin O’Neill has had time to get all philosophical about last seasons 4-4 draw against Spurs. And this has led him to state that it was easier in his era of football for a team to kill of a game by letting the keeper time waste. Speaking on the official site, he said: ‘The Tottenham match last season shows that a game is never won until the final whistle. In my day, when a team wanted to kill a game off, they found it a lot easier than nowadays because you were allowed to pass back to the goalkeeper. He could pick up the ball, wander round with it for a couple of minutes, stick it up his jumper, come back and then roll the ball out to a defender. And then the defender would pass it back to the goalkeeper again. So you could definitely kill it off. Today is more difficult.’ Full article: Back Pass Rule Has Killed Killing Teams Off

Our excellent weekly column: Something for the Weekend (205)

The Oddschecker pundit is backing Gareth Barry to score at 6/1 v Spurs: Spot Of Bother – Odds Of A Classic Spurs v Villa

Sheriff Kimbo is in town, The Week In Villa #3 (5/9/08 – 11/9/08)

Video Preview of Spurs v Villa Click Here

Dan Jones: Former Middlesbrough and Spurs right back, Luke Young reckons a squad rotation will be inevitable if Villa can put together a run in the cups as well as the league games. Young feels it is a signal that the side is moving in the right direction. Speaking to the Official Site, he said: ‘The next two weeks will hopefully offer a taste of things to come, with Tottenham, two games against Litex Lovech, West Brom, QPR and Sunderland. If we can get through the UEFA Cup first round we’ll have a lot of midweek games because we’d go into a league format. There will be a lot of Thursday-Sunday matches and I think that will be fantastic for the club’. Yeah but who likes Sunday games? Part of being successful I suppose. I guess if we are playing in the UEFA Cup then I can sacrifice my Sunday Dinner for a league game!! Full article: ‘Squad Rotation, Inevitable’ – Luke Younge

Dan Jones: In an interview with the Official Site, Tony Morley revealed that he believes Villa have all the right ingredients to win a cup this season. Speaking the Official Site he said – ‘I think we have a great chance of doing well in the UEFA Cup. We’ve got a good squad and we have players who can hurt teams. We have people who can turn it on. There are some fantastic teams in the competition but I see no reason why we can’t do well’. With AC Milan in the competition, as well as the British clubs it is never going to be easy but Martin O’Neill and most of the squad have played in the latter rounds of UEFA Cup, so why not eh? Full article: Morley Tips Villa For Cup Glory

Freddie Bouma, who was given a contract extension last week (Click Here and Here!! ) is hoping he can be back in first team contention by as early as December, but he isn’t prepared to rush his return. Full details: Bouma Looking For Early Christmas Present

And the injury news goes on…! Carlos Cuellar can’t wait for his full first team debut and after recovering from injury he’s been very impressive in reserve outings. The Spanish centre half is feeling fine after 180 minutes of reserve action and feels he is close to giving Martin O’Neill a defensive selection headache. Full quotes: Cuellar Edges Closer

And the injury news goes on… again…! Steve Sidwell`s comeback from injury suffered a set back, as he picked up an injury in the reserve team game against Stoke City. The summer signing from Chelsea featured in the pre-season and Inter Toto cup matches, however has been sidelined more recently with a calf injury. In his return from sick leave, it is believed that Sidders picked up a knee injury during Villa`s 2-1 reserve victory over Stoke City.

Thought for the day: How do I set my laser printer on stun?