Date: 12th September 2008 at 1:16pm
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Friday, 5th September

Milner (pen) & Agbonlahor both scored for the England U-21`s in a 2-0 victory over Portugal (putting them into the play off stages of next years European U-21 Championship) and played well to boot. Good for them!

Earlier in the day, we were once again linked with Joey Barton. Sigh. Trust me, this aint gonna happen, so it wasted your time reading any links and right now, it is wasting my time writing about it so I am going to stop right now!

In other news, MO`N stated that he believes we have the strongest squad since he arrived and that out of the players who left in the summer, the only one he would liked to have kept was Olof Mellberg. I concur with both points.

Saturday, 6th September

With International football taking centre stage, not a lot happened domestically. Gareth Barry played reasonably well in a boring 2-0 victory for England against Andorra. That Stewart Downing was on the left when Joe Cole was on the bench and Ashley Young wasn`t even involved is beyond me, but hey, I suppose Cole come on and proved (half of!) my point so it al worked out, eh!

In good news for the youngsters, our academy lads beat Chelsea 2-0 at Bodymoor Heath with goals from Andreas Weimann and James Collins.

Sunday, 7th September

Gareth Barry gives an interview in the Sunday Mercury (which seems full of old quotes) where he admits it was a difficult summer but now he just wants to get on with playing for Villa and England. Good!

A James Milner interview also pops up in a few places where he basically says, in a very nice and diplomatic way… “See ya, would not wanna be ya!” when talking about the Barcodes. Part of me almost wishes I`d coincided a Newcastle United diary with out own over the last couple of weeks, because the comedy just writes itself!

Monday, 8th September

Chris Herd scored in a 1-0 win over Spurs reserves at Villa Park. Hopefully that bodes well for the first team in their next league game!

The good news was Carlos Cuellar played again, and apparently played quite well. The bad news is that Steve Sidwell missed out due to (presumably) picking up another knock.

Tuesday, 9th September

Strangely, we are linked with a player again, this time it is Emile Heskey. Why we are being linked with anyone this long before January is beyond me, but I suppose the papers need to fill space.

In excellent news, fan favourite Wilfred Bouma finally signs a contract extension. While I don`t think it was ever really in doubt that he would, it`s still good to hear it is sorted, and I am sure we all wish him as speedy – and as full – a recovery as possible.

Finally, Zat Knight says he is ready for the battle for his first-team spot. Sorry Zat, I think that`s a battle you can`t win…

Wednesday, 10th September

Gareth Barry gives another good showing for England in a superb 4-1 victory in Croatia. Personally, I don`t care about the England ANYWHERE NEAR as much as I do the Villa, but I do still care and this was a pretty enjoyable evening.

In not-so-good news, MO`N confirms that Steve Sidwell is highly unlikely to be available for Monday. The consolation is, with 7 games coming up in the next three weeks, there are enough games going round for everyone to get involved.

Thursday, 11th September

Carlos Cuellar says he is looking to push for a start soon, Wilfred Bouma says he is hoping to be back for Christmas, Brad Friedel says he welcomes competition, Stilyian Petrov says he wants a new contract and Luke Young says he is happy to rotate. Good, positive times at Villa Park.

Unfortunately, we have to wait until Monday to get back to actually football. He exciting part is, it is the first of 7 games in 21 days, which is what we want to see as business as usual. Bring it on!


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