Date: 14th January 2009 at 3:42pm
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Unoial Villa News…

Only rumour, if you can call it that, I can see about Villa today is from fansfc saying Didier Drogba has fallen out with Chelsea boss Philip Scolari and Villa have faxed a £9million bid for him. Hogwash. Anyway, the weekend reports said that it was Nicolas Anelka who’d exchanged angry words with the under pressure Scolari. Why do these sites exist if all they do is make up stories!? You watch, it’ll end up true now!

Our FA Cup opponents are still not known as they drew 0-0 in last nights second shot at the 4th round! Doncaster Rovers will face Cheltenham Town again next Tuesday (20th Jan) for the chance to take on Aston Villa. The game, whoever it is against, will be played on Saturday 24 January.

Villa info: If you’re looking for some January bargains, look no further than our two Villa Stores. The Villa Village and New Street outlets are currently holding fantastic sales, with up to 50 per cent off a range of clothing items. There are bargains to be had throughout the stores though, with team posters at £1 and calendars as low as £3. Make a trip to either store and you could end up picking up some claret and blue crackers!

Thank the good lord Paul McGrath we have Randy Lerner, billionaires are in short supply! Full article: A chill wind, thank God we have Randy Lerner

Carlos Cuellar, according to the official site, watches two films a day with subtitles and a dictionary so he can continue to improve speaking English. Cuellar said ‘It was a big opportunity for me to come to one of the biggest clubs in the Barclays Premier League. From my first day, everyone was very friendly and welcomed me, which was a big help. We have a young team and we are very together. It will be difficult but I believe we are capable of achieving Champions League football next season. Every day is a dream for me. Ever since I was young, I’ve wanted to play in England. When I get up, I feel happy because this is what I have always wanted.’

Gareth Barry has told the Sunday Mercury that the Villa are strong mentally and have their sights firmly set on a Champions League place. Who knows, with the right injection of skill this January, we could be looking at above 4th as well, it might seem unlikely but why not, we are in the mix points wise and no team has got a runaway lead at this stage. There again, the second half of the season often sorts the boys from the men, or is it the men from the boys, not sure! Especially with injuries and suspensions usually kicking in. Full article: Gareth Barry ‘We’ve Never Had A Better Chance’

Martin O’Neill has re-stated that it does players no harm to be played out of position, in fact he believes it makes them better players. MON has become notorious for moving players around, like Luke Young (a right-back) at left-back. Carlos Cuellar (a central defender) at right-back. Nigel Hokey Cokey has played at right-back, central midfield attacking and played on the right of midfield as well as playing the holding role. Gareth Barry (a central midfielder) has played on the left and as left-back and then there is Nicky Shorey who has been utilised as left-back in the changing room. Need I go on? Well, I guess I’d better! Full article: O’Neill Out Of Position Is Good For Players

Martin O’Neill has warned the team, although it is great to be in the top four, they must realise they can easily fall from grace. On the official site he said: ‘I can’t pretend that it’s not exciting because it is. It’s great to be up there – it’s where you want to be. And it’s where the players want to be. If you want to be contesting things, you’ve got to be up there. It’s great and I am delighted we are where we are. There is a genuine excitement in and around the place, no doubt.’ But goes on to warn ‘But I think the players realise – whatever experience they have gathered from this Barclays Premier League – that it can flatten you as quickly as it can raise you up.’

Great news, Freddie is on the way back from injury. Oh and so is John Carew! Updates on both Freddie and JC: Carew & Freddie Are On The Road To Recovery

The Vital Villa man of the match votes are in for the Baggies derby game win. No real surprise that Stiliyan Petrov once again won, this time with a not too shoddy 48% of the votes. Luke Young, who could just have easily won given his performance was second with 14%. Full results: Villa’s Man Of Match v WBA

Vital Villan: Martin Laursen has revealed that he is desperately disappointed that he won’t be able to be an ever present for two seasons on the trot. Speaking to SSN, Laursen said: ‘It’s always frustrating to miss games and that was certainly the case for me when I had to sit out the last two Premier League fixtures of 2008 with a knee injury. Before then I’d enjoyed an unbroken league run stretching back to April 2007 and I’d had my sights set on becoming an ever present for the second consecutive season. But my knee felt sore after the game at West Ham just before Christmas.Full quotes: Laursen’s Disappointment

Murph: Brad Friedel has made his all the way up the Actim stats for goalkeepers, slotting in behind Peppe Reina in the top goalie stakes. The summer signing from Blackburn Rovers, after a shaky start, has proven to be one of Martin O`Neill`s best buys to date providing rock solid goaltending for the boys in Claret & Blue. The difference someone like Friedel makes to our squad was highlighted when former Villa #1 Scott Carson returned to Villa Park, gifting us the kind of odd goal I haven`t seen for Villa since Zat Knight signed off his Fulham career by scoring the winner for us via an unlucky ‘deflection.’ Full article: Click Here

Video Highlights Villa v WBA: Click Here
Match report: Villa Win – In Your Face Adrian Chiles!
Tony Mowbray shows a bit of class after losing saying Villa aren’t interested in playing football… no but we are top four Tony! Click Here
MON’s post match reaction: Click Here
v Baggies stats: Click Here

That was the week that was by Sheriff Kimbo: The Week In Villa #20 (02/01/09 – 08/01/09)

The Daily Mail reckon that Martin O’Neill is so unimpressed with our summer buy from Reading Nicky Shorey that he would sell him on the cheap to get shot of the left-back.

Thought for the day: ‘Our ice cream man was found lying on the floor of his van covered with hundreds and thousands. Police say that he topped himself.’