Friday, 17th July
There is very little happening today. A link to Leicester`s Andy King is dismissed by his agent. A random link to Citeh`s Kasper Schmeichel (son of former Villa keeper Peter… yeah, I forget he played for us as well. A bit like John Fashanu. Not that Schmeichel did a bad job, he definitely wasn`t the same keeper as his Man U days though. Anyway, where was I… oh yeah, link to Kasper…) appears but I would be surprised if there was much in it.
Saturday, 18th July
FOOTBALL! So I went out Friday night and only got two hours sleep, but I was still up like an eager beaver on Saturday morning to head to Town and be on that coach for 9am. As it was, when we got there, our two reserved seats seemed to have gone missing but thankfully there was just enough room for me & my mate to squeeze our four bumcheeks on there!
We got into Peterborough for just after 11 and went to a pub that was 99% Villa quite quickly, and it felt like the season had never been away… Getting into the ground (how nice was it to be in a standing area?) and being all excited that Villa were back playing again, the start was predictably dull. Entertainment was provided by some old fella who decided to climb the rafters and had a particularly nasty – albeit very unsurprising – fall!
Not long after he was carried away by his mates, the stewards and some other fans, Andreas Weimann popped up with a nice headed goal after a move that pleasingly was executed by Barry Bannan and Marc Albrighton. A goal made in youth and as many of you that have read my articles before will know, I`m a huge fan of both bannan and Albrighton. For me the latter was actually our best player.
The second goal came from Curtis ‘Messi` Davies, who essentially ran the length of the pitch, played a couple of one-two`s and finished with some aplomb. If Curtis can adapt some of that composure into competitive football next season then he should start to look more like the defender he is capable of being. Either way, it was a lovely goal and something he should cherish, friendly or not!
The third and final goal came from Steve Sidwell. A direct replacement for Barry he aint, he shares nowhere near the same passing ability and vision. However there is more than one way to skin a cat and if we are going 4-5-1 next season with Milner/Young/Downing creating, there is definitely a part for Sidwell to play there. With Petrov sitting, Carew the focal point up top, Sidwell can be the link that gets from box to box and hopefully grabs us a few goals – the ‘Ian Taylor role`, if you will. Taylor was never great on the ball but had lots of other good qualities and while he was better defensively than Sidwell, there are similarities there that make me believe if we do go 4-5-1, Sidwell could have a big season this term.
So all in all it was a good day. Lot`s of youngsters playing, the first-teamers that were involved did okay, Brad Friedel did one great double save and we had plenty of fun too!
Sunday, 19th July
Not a lot going on today and that is a bit weird for a Sunday. Liverpool are the latest team to be linked with Ashley Young.
Monday, 20th July
MON sort of says he wants five new players. Better get on it Mart!
Rumours today are Jermaine Jenas in from Spurs and Zat Knight off to Bolton.
Tuesday, 21st July
MORE football! Unfortunately I couldn`t make this game and there didn`t appear to be any coverage of it so I can`t comment on the performance. I suppose the positive was that if you`re going to draw 2-2, the best way to do it is to come back from 2-0 down! The goals came from Steve Sidwell again and Adam McGurk. When it comes to the latter you can`t help but will him to do be a success after all the injury problems he`s had. He certainly looked good when he come on as sub on Saturday anyway.
In other news, Sam Williams moves to Yeovil. I wish all the best to him with his future career.
Wednesday, 22nd July
The Peace Cup squad is announced. The three lads who went to the Euro U-21`s are missing, as is the Fonz, who is on U-19`s duty with England. There are no other players missing, and that includes BOOOOUUUUMMMMAAA, who is in the squad albeit I would be surprised to see him play much if at all. It was just ace to see his name in the squad though.
The young lads had a friendly at Boldmere St Michaels and won 7-0. A first half hat-trick from James Collins and a brace from Adam McGurk (yes, the same lad who scored the previous night, good for him!) took us into a half-time 5-0 lead. McGurk grabbed another to get his hat-trick in the second half, with Kofi Poyser getting the other.
Thursday, 23rd July
Well, it is Thursday night and I am finishing this column off for the week. There is precious little to discuss. No real rumours in or out other than the usual, and a new club allegedly after Ashley Young – this time it`s Citeh. I suppose if they offer enough money it may happen (and they certainly have the cash) but I think, money aside, he would be a loon to go there. At least you can see where Gareth Barry will fit into that team, supposing they are looking at a Liverpool type of formation. But Ashley Young would probably play about ten games next season if he was to go there!
So, the new kit is out tomorrow. Would have been nice to have a new signing in it, wouldn`t it? Oh well, maybe next week…? I mean, I know we`re in the Peace Cup but we could still do it, right? What? What are you looking at me like that for?
The Week In Villa #48 (17/7/09 – 23/7/09)
Friday, 17th July