Unoial Villa News…
Do you want a perfect example of an oxymoron? The headline on the Villa site reading: Blues Friendly. There is and can never be any such thing as a friendly with Blues! Villa play the Blues in a behind private game this afternoon. Martin O’Neill explained: ‘We’ve arranged a game against Birmingham. It’s basically young kids with maybe one or two of the senior players getting involved. This game will be too early for John Carew, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Saturday will be too early – I don’t know yet. But he’s not done enough so far. We’ve got this week and we’ll see. It will be touch and go. Moustapha Salifou will play and it’s just a case of fitness with him, but that is improving.’
Ashley Young is hoping the Martin O’Neill to England link proves unfounded as he is desperate for the Villa boss to stay. He told Sky Sports, ‘Yeah of course it would be disappointing not to be working with a manager like that. He is a top manager, so hopefully I can still have the opportunity to work with him not just now but for years to come.’ Our latest poll, suggested by eltoro, asks ‘How well do you think MON’s done so far?’
Gabriel Aghonlahor says that Villa have to return to the fortress Villa Park days. The striker told the official site ‘We’ve got some important games coming up, starting with Derby at home on Saturday and we’re looking to string a few results together. We want to start jumping up the league and to do that we definitely have to win our home games. We’d been doing well at home until the Man United game and we want to get back to winning ways at Villa Park. When the fans get behind us at Villa Park, we feel we can do a job against anybody and we want to go into the derby game against Blues with a win.’
Moustapha Salifou says he isn’t the Togolese Zidane as suggested by Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor adding, ‘I’m my own man.’ He was in the reserves side and set up two goals as we beat Chelsea 6-0. ‘Zidane was an amazing player and I’m very happy to be spoken of in this way. But I play my own game and will be judged on what I do at Aston Villa.’
Tickets for Villa v Pompey (Dec 8 Villa Park) are now on sale and the club have come up with two offers. ‘Season Ticket Holders can purchase junior tickets (under-16) for just £5 in any part of the stadium*. This offer is limited to 2,000 tickets.’ and ‘Non Season Ticket Holders can purchase a ‘one adult & one junior’ combo package for just £20** This offer is also limited to 2,000 tickets.’ Tickets are also on general sale for the home clash with Manchester City (December 22)
Randy Lerner has said that he can’t see the Premiership clubs replicating the NFL experiment as the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins played at Wembley last week. ‘I don’t see it. I don’t think I’d be terribly comfortable with that. I think that you’re going from spreading the gospel to preaching – I think the gospel is spread quite well. You go to Villa Park, Goodison Park or St James’ Park and you have the environment and the surroundings.’ Full article: Randy Against Prem Games In USA
Martin O’Neill says that Craig Gardner is still in his plans despite being dropped against Bolton. ‘With young Craig Gardner I felt it was right to rest him for just one game but he will come roaring back. Please, do not read anything into that- or think that it was anything to do with how he played against Manchester United. I am a great pains to say that.’
The club have issued a warning to smokers. If you want to miss three games, then carry on ignoring the new no smoking law, as Villa will now dish out a 3 match ban if you are ejected from the ground for smoking. The new rules, which come into effect for the Villa v Arsenal game are a way to cut out what the club have called ‘persistent abuse of the new ‘no-smoking’ law by a small but significant number of supporters.’
Vital Sheffield United are speculating about the loan future of Gary Cahill. I think they are putting two + two together though, can’t see him returning early to VP as Zat seems to be flavour of the month and Curtis Davies hasn’t really had a go yet! Must admit I’d prefer Cahill to both of them but as often (and rightly) pointed out, it matters not one jot what I think! Vital Sheff United
According to Tuttosport, a regular read in the Fear household (!!), Olof Mellberg who is currently playing as stand in right-back, will be leaving Villa Park in the summer on a Bosman with Juventus being touted as a possible destination. Full article: The Bearded One To Leave?
The Vital Villa man of the match poll vote had 41% voting for no player saying none of them stood out. Next up was midfielder Stiliyan Petrov with 32% of the vote.
Martin O’Neill says Gareth Barry isn’t for sale and the Villa skipper says he isn’t looking to leave following links to a £15m move to Chelsea in the weekend press: Gareth Barry Not For Sale
Yet another sign that Gareth Barry won’t be going to Chelsea hopefully as the official site have announced that Gareth Barry will be handed a testimonial as he nears 10 years at Villa. Full article: One Testimonial Worth Attending
The News Of The World claim – and I must admit isn’t exactly rocket science to come up with this story – that Martin O’Neill wants to take Scott Carson on a permanent deal from Liverpool. The price mentioned is £10million. Rafa Benitez had allowed the England U21 keeper to go out on loan as his first team chances were limited but had said he didn’t want to sell him. However Carson has been an ever present for Villa and has since been called up into the main England squad.
Thought for the day: I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.