Friday, 7th August
We sign Habib Beye from Newcastle. I will reserve judgment on what he does in a Villa shirt, as at this point I am not overly pleased. I will be DELIGHTED to eat humble pie on this one though.
MON is at the Riverside to watch a snore draw between ‘Boro and Sheffield United.
Saturday, 8th August
A victory over Fiorentina ends pre-season nicely, thank you very much. I have a match report here. Quick summary of pleasing things – Delph was superb, Albrighton looked good when he come on (the Holte even gave him a chorus of ‘Super Marc Albrighton`), Gabby looked refreshed, both Brads pulled off nice saves and ‘The Fonz` continues to look more physically able to deal with defenders. ‘Twas a decent afternoon. I can`t wait for the real thing though!
Sunday, 9th August
The media wax lyrical over Delph`s performance. There is very little transfer talk, though.
Monday, 10th August
We pull out of the Olympics as a venue due to construction work that will be going on. Irritatingly, the local, pro-Blues/Anti-Villa Mail report it as though we`ve been ‘ditched`; idiots.
No new transfer news today, either. Well, incoming anyway; in terms of outgoing, Harry Redknapp says he would love to sign Ashley Young but wont be doing so as he`s not for sale. Yeah, cheers for that mate.
Tuesday, 11th August
An unrealistic-but-why-not-get-a-little-excited type of development occurs when there are reports stating we are favourites to sign Wesley Sneijder as Inter can`t match Real Madrid`s (apparent) £21.5m asking price.
At the England camp, Steven Gerrard gets an injury and it is confirmed that Ashley Young will be his replacement.
In other news. £areth £arry said he left us for Citeh with the World Cup in mind. Yeah right, cause the Villa was really holding back your England prospects! What complete and utter codswallop!
Wednesday, 12th August
Andy Marshall signs as goalkeeper cover. This unsurprisingly leads to sarcastic and detrimental comments from a section of our support. Why, I don`t really know; he is a solid enough keeper, the ideal type of keeper we should be having as 3rd choice to plug the hole left by Stuart Taylor – and he`s probably on less money. I for one am not a fan of Elliot Parish and think this type of signing was the right thing to do, as it provides cover and costs very little. No reason to let that get in the way of some perfectly good moaning though, eh!
As England draw 2-2 with Holland, James Milner puts in the best performance of the Villa boys and set up Jermaine Defoe for his second goal. Emile Heskey played the first half and didn`t do much wrong without doing anything overly exciting – he is like that at times, isn`t he! Ashley Young played around 70 minutes before being replaced by Milner. I felt a bit sorry for Young as he was quite isolated but he can do better than that performance and I am sure he will do if given another opportunity.
Finally, there are rumours that Fulham are interested in signing Nigel Reo-Coker, and that we have bid £4m for Stephen Warnock but have been told to treble it. There is no confirmation about either rumour though.
Thursday, 13th August
Today brings some very sad news; Andre Young – the half-brother of Luke Young – was found dead whilst on holiday. I am sure everyone reading this will want to join me in sending all the sympathy in the world to Luke and his family.
Back to the football, and Ashley Young takes a fair bit of stick in the media for his performance. Strange that Rio Ferdinand (gave the first goal away) of Manchester United, Gareth Barry (gave the second goal away) of new darlings of the media Manchester City and Glen Johnson (was absolutely dire, made Babel look world class) of Liverpool didn`t get anywhere near the same level of criticism. But then, two of them play for ‘Sky 4` clubs and the other plays for the club who have essentially replaced Newcastle as the club Sky most love to talk about so it is safer to have a dig at a Villa player, obviously!
Finally, in irritating (but unsurprising) news, Wesley Sneijder says he wants to stay at Real Madrid. Nah, come on Wes me old mucker, deaf ’em off and come the Villa, you know it makes sense kid!
So another week comes to an end. Two signings, albeit fairly low-key but, in terms of squad-building, them signings are needed to go along with the big ones like the two that went before them. I just hope that there are still more to come and they fall into the bigger transfer category.
But a pleasant distraction from the transfer window has arrived the season is here!! Woo-hoo!! I am very excited, and really hope we can break the Wigan-at-Villa-Park hoodoo. In fact, I have to believe we will be a lot better at home this season – seven wins out of nineteen was simply not good enough. It makes you think doesn`t it; had we just won a few more at home oh well, can`t dwell on the past, new season begins tomorrow! UP THE VILLA!
The Week In Villa #51 (7/8/09 – 13/8/09)
Friday, 7th August