Unoial Villa News…
Martin O’Neill has spoken ahead of this Thursday’s UEFA Cup qualifier against FH Hafnarfjordur which is surely, as we are 4-1 up, a formality. A win will put Villa into the first round draw which takes place on Friday at 1pm. The Villa boss told the official site that he truly believes Villa can be ‘contenders’ in the competition.today insisting Villa can mount a serious challenge in Europe this season, however he also warns that Villa have to stay focussed on the league as well. Full quotes: Villa Boss Says Villa Can Be Uefa Contenders
Well this will put the cat amongst the pigeons, or in this case the magpies. Newcastle winger and reported Villa target James Milner has handed in a transfer request. Newcastle have now agreed to listen to offers but have warned that interested clubs will have to match their asking price. A club statement has been released: Newcastle United can confirm that it has received a written transfer request from James Milner. The club is very disappointed that James sees his footballing future as being away from St James` Park. He is a valued member of the squad and it is only a year ago that he signed an improved long-term contract.’James Milner Hands In Transfer Request
Yesterday Villa were linked with Reading’s Kevin Doyle. The Daily Mail amongst others suggest Villa are getting closer to a £7.5m signing of the striker. That contradicts Steve Coppell’s comments in the press yesterday that he had no calls for the player and that the 24-year-old wasn’t for sale. Meanwhile a report in the Guardian say that Liverpool are close to buying Espanyol winder Albert Riera which they say will draw to an end the Gareth Barry saga.
Talking about Barry, the Express & Star say that Martin O`Neill will wait and see what develops before trying to offer the former Villa captain a new contract. O`Neill said: “We`ll see what develops. It`s been a long period of time and I genuinely thought it would have resolved itself long, long before now. It hasn`t happened. If Gareth is our player for the foreseeable future, then that is something that would be delightful for all of us.”
However the news since then is that Gareth Barry WILL stay at Villa this season but won’t be looking to negotiate a new contract until the end of the season. Full article: http://www.astonvilla.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=509339 He Comes, He Goes, He Stays – Barry Saga Over!
Curtis Davies says Villa have to bounce back after the Stoke disappointment and says that Villa are still a team gelling together. ‘Just a week ago everything looked rosy after Gabby’s hat-trick. But that’s what football can do to you. You can never think you’ve cracked it.’ Adding, ‘We’ve still got new players in the team that are trying to gel. We still have work to do all across the pitch but that probably goes for most teams at this stage of the season. We’re still a work in progress and the manager is still looking to add to the squad before the deadline. So we know we’ve got a lot of hard work to come.’
Tickets for Villa v Liverpool this Sunday (kick off 4pm) are still available to Villa supporters with a booking history. Available from the ticket office, or call: contact 0800 612 0970 or buy online: Click Here
The Villa reserves beat Hereford United 7-1 in their preparation for the start of the Barclays Premier Reserve League (south) which kicks off against Stoke on September 3. Zoltan Stieber scored a hat-trick, Marc Albrighton got a brace and Adam McGurk and Barry Bannan weighted in with one each. VILLA: Parish, Lichaj, Roome, Clark, Stieber, Albrighton, Herd, Forrester, Bannan, Williams, McGurk. Subs: Weimann (for McGurk), Mikaelsson (for Williams), Hofbauer (for Forrester), Collins (for Albrighton).
You have to watch this! An ode to Steven Gerrard from Villa mad Colin: Who Do You Think You Are Fooling Steven Gerrard!
An article on the lack of Villa players in the England squad by Chris Heath: Lack Of Villa Players In The England Squad
Vital Villa asked for your man of the match votes for the Stoke defeat. Not sure how or why as there seems to be very differing opinions of Petrov, but he ran away with the vote with 47%. Next up with 30% was the ref Mark Halsey who ignored our clear penalty claim but then seconds later gave a penalty to Stoke for a similar incident. The rest: Click Here
Martin O’Neill has also said that our new signing Carlos Cuellar has stepped up his recovery from his calf injury picked up whilst at Rangers and that Steve Sidwell is on the mend. O`Neill said: ‘Carlos has done some training with us. Steve Sidwell is getting there. He wants to come out and train but we are just holding him back a bit. Carlos should have done a fair amount by the end of the week and we will see where Steve is.’
Vital Villa asked if you thought Villa would sign any more players. 51% said yes, 2 more. 18% thought 1 more. 17% believe no more, we are done leaving 14% expecting more than two signings!
Thought for the day: Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, and the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other one off.