Date: 18th August 2012 at 12:37pm
Written by:

Men of the England (and the odd Welsh club supporters I guess) perhaps pop the bike in the garage, put that cricket stick down and make sure that your golf sticks are posted on eBay. The English football season is back.

Women of England (and the odd Welsh club supporters I guess) perhaps go clothes shopping with your “girlfriends,” learn to do DIY yourself, and take a solo weekend trip to IKEA when it is rammed full of other women and non-football fans desperate for meatballs in sauce and flat-pack furniture.


(*Note: I am aware women like football too, it`s a joke ok?)

I genuinely didn`t know where to start with this, the first Vital Villa preview of the season, which would explain why I didn`t start it, until Saturday morning. It finally dawned on the Aston Villa leadership that there was a slight chance that our previous manager Alex McLeish may not have been the best person for the job.

The style of play and tactics that the former Birmingham City manager displayed makes today`s opposite numero uno`s dull, lifeless, negative, long ball (DON`T CALL IT LONG BALL) dross look like a performance that Xavi, Iniesta, Messi and Heskey could only dream about.

Tweedle Dee has departed the club and will face us today, we are yet to rid our club of Tweedle-Dunne however.

The most positive move is the addition of former Canary Paul Lambert has changed the style of play, attempted to move out a number of Alex McLeish`s (and indeed Martin O`Neill`s) deadwood before him, and basically kick-started the Randy-loution that somewhat faltered somewhere in the middle.

Today we take on a West Ham side that returns to the Premier League after a year`s absence having been relegated last season.

It`s Villa,
It`s WHAM,
Crack open a Corona,
It`s time for some LIME,

Vital Quotes:

It`s back once again – The Vital Villa “who said this” competition. Easy one to kick off:

“I didn`t see it”

The new Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has spoken of having an ‘adrenaline rush` ahead of this year`s Barclays Premier League season, with a mention for some minor sporting competition that has happened between today and the end of the European Championships. Speaking to Paul Brown over at, the new and improved McBoss said:

“Like everyone else, I thought the Olympics were a great event with great sportsmanship.

“But football is a different environment, it really is. It’s an aggressive environment and an adrenaline rush.

“Every emotion you go through, the players go through the exact same.”

Turning his attention towards today`s fixture, the Birmingham Mail this time took their time out to print comments regarding the first competitive fixture of the former Norwich City bosses claret & blue career:

“It will be a really tough game,” said Lambert.

“They will be vibrant because they`ve been promoted. We will be going into a cauldron tomorrow and we have to stand up to it and not be frightened by it.

“I`ve never been to Upton Park.”

I wouldn`t worry Paul, it`s not that great from what I have seen on the telly, you also risk bumping into David Gold.


On the other side of the claret & blue tinted divide, Sam Allardyce has suggested that Aston Villa are no pushovers, which is quite a comment from him, because he`s quite a big bloke! <

“I am expecting a pretty determined and well-organised side.

“Paul`s record in terms of moving into a new club and producing results almost immediately stands there in front of everybody.

“I think he will get them playing a system that suits the players and playing the best they possibly can play.

Meanwhile, former Aston Villa and now returning West Ham centre-back James Collins said of his time last season at Villa Park:

“Whinge whine moan, it wasn`t my fault, and Sid Cowans ran head first at that chair leg, I didn`t hit him.”

Wet Spam Team News:

James Collins is fit to play against his old club in an undoubted boost to the chances for Darren Bent.

Another boost for Villa is that Wet Spam`s shock summer signing Alou Diarra is not yet fit to play, nor is Modibo Maiga.

Player to watch: You know who

A special mention goes to former Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. The 309-year-old stopper has joined West Ham on a free and it will be interesting to see which Jussi turns up, the well respected keeper of old, or the slightly forgetful, flappy, ageing version that saw him replaced at the Reebok last season.

However all Villa eyes will be on James Collins, hopefully the James Collins of last season turns up, we could get a hatful!

Lamberts Limes Team News:

Gabriel Agbonlahor, Marc Albrighton and Richard Dunne are all out of this due to injuries suffered in pre-season friendlies. Paul Lambert is likely to give debuts to Brett Holman, Karim El Ahmadi, Ron Vlaar and Matthew Lowton. Holman has recovered following an injury picked up during the midweek pointless international friendlies.

Player to watch: ALL OF THEM


Match Facts & Stats

Firstly, dear West Ham fans, you can shove your bubbles up yourÂ…jumper. The last two seasons I`ve used the same song, so now for something completely different, but relevant:

Yeah! Rock and Roll and all that stuff.

West Ham United are attempting to make a move into the Olympic Stadium. This would be a massive shame as so far the stadium in Stratford has been associated with respect, excellence, quality and pride – none these things can be said of the West Ham owners.

At the moment they play at Upton Park/Ann Boleyn ground. The London Borough of Newham, where Upton Park is located, has a park, some shops, overground and underground rail links, and may or may not have a library.

Upton Park FC won an Olympic Gold medal in 1900.

Famous West Ham fans include unfunny fat man James Cordon, who isn`t fit to kiss the feet of fellow supporter and comedian John Cleese. Also blowing bubbles, so called hard-man Ray Winstone, Russel Brand and Talksports very own “Moose” (who also works for the club and regularly tweets pictures of food.)

So John Cleese aside, what a classy bunch eh?

Birmingham City`s away kit is black and pink, their 3rd kit is almost all pink. Yes Villans, you really couldn`t make it up!

Ref Watch:

We`ve got Mike Dean for our first game. Has kept his cards in his pocket so far this season which is good to see having issued 0 yellow and 0 red cards!

Match Prediction:

I believe that Mystic Mug has gone for 2-1 to the Villa “and no messing” whilst everyone`s least favourite BBC pundit Lawro went for 2-1 to West Ham because he hates the Villa.

As always both are wrong as West Ham will be Lambs to Paul`s lime slaughter, 76-3 to the good guys.

Next Fixtures:

Paul Lambert takes up his (now moved) seat at Villa Park on Sat 25 August as Everton come to visit before we play Tranmere the following week in the now renamed Non-Alcohlic-Credit-Card-Backed-Cup – bring back Bozzie!

Thanks for reading folks. Sorry it`s a little late and a little rushed. Good to be back and COME ON VILLA!