Date: 17th July 2008 at 3:41pm
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Unoial Villa News…



Fair few press claims linking us with various players today including Brad Friedel, Michael Johnson, David Bentley, Stewart Downing and Anton Ferdinand as well as loads more press talk on the Gareth Barry saga. Full details: Thursday’s Aston Villa Transfer Press Talk

Meanwhile Martin Laursen, who is surely at the top of list of candidates to become Villa captain, has told the official site he believes Martin O’Neill will bring in the right quality players for the new season. ‘Obviously we need a lot of new players because we’ve lost a few this summer. We definitely need some quantity and a lot of quality as well. I’m sure that the manager will bring in good players, so I’m not worried about that. It would be nice to get them as soon as possible so that we can build up a team but I understand it’s not that easy. We want to try and take the best players. We want quality and quality players are not easy to get and you need to work a lot for them.’

Marlon Harewood also says that the arrival of Steve Sidwell from Chelsea proves that Villa mean business. On the chances of breaking into the top four he says ‘Anything is possible. If we can get a team together with good team spirit, the lads start performing then anything can happen. We had a small squad last year and we did really well. I think Martin will be trying to work on that and get more players in and hopefully he does that. If we get players like that in then you never know.’

The Hare has also spoken about this weeks Intertoto game (on Setanta Sports) and says ‘It’s a great opportunity for Villa to get into Europe but we can’t enter the game thinking like that.’

Stiliyan Petrov meanwhile says that the pressure will increase on Villa next season. Again on the official site that they played well last season and to improve have to play even better for this coming one. ‘That is about more expectation and it is a lot of pressure. But I think we’re all ready to handle that pressure.’ He is also looking to imrove personally, ‘Of course that’s my aim, to be consistent, but people saw last season that even when I wasn’t playing I never gave up – and I won’t. I have still got two years left on my contract, I will try to play as much as I can and try to help the team as much as I can with my ability. At the end of the day, what is more important is the team effort and how we play as a team, because last season we stayed together as a team and we achieved a lot.’

Sky Sports News quote Slavia Prague defender Marek Suchy claiming there are a few clubs chasing him. He says he spoke to his agent last week and was told ‘the interest is still there. But Slavia have not received a specific offer. That’s the problem.’ And on possible destinations he denied links to Everton and Rangers and added, ‘No, also other clubs from the Premier League – Newcastle and Aston Villa.’

Lincoln City 3-1 Villa match report by Randy.Stand: Click Here

Martin O’Neill has confirmed that Martin Laursen was simply rested for the friendly against Lincoln. However Villa do have other concerns, with O’Neill yet to find out on the fitness of Craig Gardner. But it’s expected John Carew will be ok for Odense. Full article by Vital Villan: Click Here

An interview with Vital Blackburn ed Walker (formerly Hughes Da Man) about the possible move for David Bentley: Click Here

Looks like the majority of Villa fans are a forgiving lot according to our poll results! We asked should Gareth Barry not move away from Villa, would you accept him back? 59% voted: Yes, he is quality and will still do a good job. Full results: Click Here

Martin Laursen has warned his team mates that Odense BK will not be passengers in the Inter two legged game. ‘It’s very early to play competitive football but we have to be ready for the two games against Odense. We want to play in the UEFA Cup and we have to be ready. It’s almost impossible to be 100 per cent fit just yet but they will not be 100 per cent fit either. So it’s going to be exciting. Odense are a good team – one of the best in Denmark. As well as Thomas Helveg they’ve got some international players, so it’s not going to be easy.’

A warning from the official site that I thought was worth repeating here: Villa are advising season card holders who joined the club’s Cup Scheme after July 7 that the Intertoto home leg game will not be included as part of the package. Full details on the official site or: Cup Scheme Members Intertoto Warning

Thought for the day: ‘If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you’. (Yes, I know I’ve used it about a year ago but I love this one!)