Date: 13th November 2007 at 12:21pm
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Unoial Villa News…

Villa transfer gossip including Sheffield United wanting Gary Cahill permanently, John Arne Riise ruling out a move away from Villa Park and Scott Carson linked with a permanent move to Villa: Click Here

Stiliyan Petrov has told the official site he is happy with his form adding, ‘The manager brought me here to show what I can do. I know what I am capable of. I’ve been working hard and I’m really happy I’m showing what I can do. There is more to come because I know what my limits are and I’ll try to progress as much as I can. My own confidence is good. We all want to play. We know sometimes you go through bad periods and every time you get in the side you need to perform well and work hard. If the manager gives you a chance to play, you try to take it. I have now played the last three games and I hope I can keep playing well and keep my place.’ Certainly hope there is more to come.

Martin O’Neill said of the 28-year-olds contribution v Blues, ‘I thought Petrov was really terrific for us. That’s the sort of form I’m looking for and he can do even better. He knows that. His confidence is gradually returning. He knows he has big points to prove here to fans, but I thought the determination he showed was superb.’ Adding, ‘Is it his rebirth at Villa? Well, like anything else there’s no point in making big statements. But I’m really pleased for him because I know what he’s capable of doing. He’ll be the first to admit he’s not shown that in any abundance whatsoever since his arrival.’

Stiliyan Petrov is currently winning the Vital Villa player of the match poll vote.

Three Villa boys are in the squad named last week for the England friendly v Austria and Euro qualifier v Croatia. Reports today suggest Carson will start v Austria and if he impresses will keep his place for the game v Croatia. COME ON ISRAEL! Full squad; Click Here

Stats v Blues: Click Here
Match report v Blues: Click Here
Match comment by Glensider: Click Here
Martin O’Neill/Steve Bruce post match reactions: Click Here

Martin O’Neill has said that Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor is getting to be like Stan Collymore at his very best. Former Gunner and now Sky pundit Alan Smith has also been full of praise for the young hot shot saying. ‘You can hardly complain that he doesn’t rise to the occasion, that he doesn’t come up trumps in the big games. First an opening goal against Manchester United last month proved Gabriel Agbonlahor possesses a big-match temperament. And now this – the all-important strike in yesterday’s second city derby, a winner against Birmingham that would have tasted so sweet to this Aston Villa fan born just down the road. You could hardly blame him for the wild celebration, a dive into the crowd along with several team-mates for which our good friend, Steve Bennett, flourished a yellow card. No matter. Agbonlahor had proved once again that he has developed into a front runner of real potential.’ Full article: Click Here

Nigel Hokey-Cokey said of the modern day management: ‘To be honest, players are a lot more fragile now. If a manager continues to hound and hound and hound, then players will get to a point where they snap or just switch off. The Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira days are over. Managers realise this and they know that to be a top Premier League boss you have to be a good man-manager to your players. It’s all about knowing who to put an arm around and who to push on. Martin O’Neill has this just right.’

John Carew has been named Norway Player of the Year. He said: ‘I am honoured to receive this award and I hope Norway qualifies for the European Championship finals.’ Lets hope he soon starts banging them in for us and becomes Villa player of the year!

Gareth Barry audio interview: Click Here

Zat Knight has told the official site it was his young song Kai who inspired him for the Blues game: ‘I spoke to my son Kai the night before the game and he told me ‘come on dad, do it for me’ because he was the only one in the family supporting Villa, so this one is for him. He’s got the Villa bug. He’s got a Villa shirt but I didn’t think it was right to take him to St Andrew’s. He watched it on the box though.’ Zat also says there is a lot more to come from the team but the positive thing is they are winning even though they aren’t in top form.

And on the penalty claims the former Fulham defender said: ‘The ball did come up off my arm, but I think it was just momentum. With the De Ridder one, I think everyone could see it was a dive. If you watch the replay, he could have gone down the first time but he delayed it and went down afterwards, so I think it was right he got a yellow card.’

Martin O’Neill hopes Villa take heart from their local derby to face the tough games upcoming (Boro and Blackburn Rovers away + Arsenal and Pompey at home) ‘We’ve also got that first away win because I was concerned about this three game period; Birmingham, Middlesbrough and Blackburn before we play Arsenal and Portsmouth and Sunderland. We have a tough period ahead and this gives us more confidence going up to Middlesbrough. It was an important win for everybody, the fans are delighted, it was a big win.’

Thoughts for the day: ‘Old lawyers never die they just lose their appeal.’ and ‘The roundest knight at king Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference.’