The Villa Times - 22/12/2006
Unoial Villa News...
Villa legend Ron Saunders has been speaking with the official site and says he expects the old 'tingle' to run through him. Amazingly he also says when he said he wouldn't return to the game when he quit football following his sacking from WBA in 1986 he meant it and doesn't even watch the game on tv. Ron Saunders - Return of the tingle
Martin O'Neill said he is delighted that Ron Saunders is returning and adds that he'd love to emulate his achievements. 'I don't know him at all, I've never met him. I'm hoping if he has time he might pop in and see us. Somebody has asked him to come along and I'm delighted he is. I wouldn't know the ins and outs of why he left, but I'm really pleased he's coming. Honestly, really pleased. He was an absolutely fantastic manager.' Full quotes: Click Here
Glenn Roeder has said that James Milner, who nearly joined us just before the end of the summer transfer window, will not be sold in January slamming shut the door of speculation that Martin O'Neill was set to return for the Geordie midfielder. Full article: Magpie not flying the nest
Villa crocks update's aplenty! Martin Laursen is ahead of schedule for his return, Luke Moore is also getting closer to a return having joined in shooting practice in training the other day. Mark Delaney and Jlloyd Samuel are getting closer to fitness. Samuel played the full 90 mins of a behind closed doors friendly v Wolverhampton Wanders but Delaney wasn't quite ready despite being pencilled in for the same game. He has however been able to re-start training. Full article: Villa Crocks
Despite ending up a loser against dirty dirty Bolton, on loan keeper Gabor Kiraly had a very quiet debut only really having to face one shot, that being the penalty. However he realises tomorrows game against Manchester United might be slightly more demanding. The Hungary international keeper has recently stated he'd love to have another shot at the top level and be back in the Premiership. Talking about Hungary, did you know that Villa means fork in Hungarian? No, didn't think so, you do now though!! Full article Kiraly Plays For Aston Fork
Martin O'Neill has told Isaiah Osbourne not to worry about being dropped against Bolton. 'Hopefully his contract will be sorted out in the next few days. I thought he did alright when he came on against Sheffield United, but we changed it accordingly. And at one stage or another I was looking to introduce Craig Gardner into proceedings. If anybody has deserved it on reserve showings with his attitude and everything, it's young Gardner. He's the one person who I didn't really know exactly what he's capable of at first team level.'
Villa are joining the modern age now that whatwashisname has left! Martin O'Neill has been able to bring in inflatable pitch covers for the training ground pitches, something he used whilst at Celtic. On the facilities at Bodymoor he said: 'I've got no complaints here about the facilities - absolutely none. The very fact that they're improving them for next season is phenomenal. The only reason I'm bringing a tent in is for the frost, that's all. It's so we can continue to train during the frosty period. We had one up in Glasgow and it's the same people that we're using. We don't have any undersoil heating, which is understandable for a place this age, so we're looking at this so we're able to train. I know it works a treat and it's not that costly.'
Juan Pablo Angel says he won't be sulking, he'll just work hard at getting his chance again after being dropped to the bench in the last few games with Milan Baros taking his place. He said: 'I am just waiting for another chance. I am really looking forward to when that happens. I was desperate to come on against Bolton at the weekend. I only played a few minutes but I am still in there. I am here to add to the team. I am not going to be sulking around. Of course, I like to play and be involved and I had my chance at the beginning of the season.' Full article: Angel For Christmas?
Olof Mellberg has said tomorrow against Manchester United 'might be a good game to move back into central defence' having played mostly at right-back recently to cover for players missing by injury. The Sweden international defender added: “It has been all right at right back. I played there at the beginning of my international career but it was a long time ago. I feel more comfortable in the middle but I am happy to fulfil a role there if that’s what the gaffer feels is best.' Must admit, I'd much rather see Mellberg play in the centre, trouble is who would O'Neill drop in the centre, both Gary Cahill and Liam Ridgewell have been playing well, Cahill especially in my ever so humble opinion? Full article: Olof, alright on the right
Vital Villa asked a couple of snap polls this week. Is Wilfred Bouma any good? 60% saying yes and a further 12% saying he would be if he could stay fit. 16% said no and 12% sitting on the fence as unsure. The second asked who should we sell in Jan? 47% said Eric Djemba-Djemba, 5% said Milan Baros, 2% Lee Hendrie and just 1% Aaron Hughes. However that isn't as big a vote of confidence as you might think because 45% voted 'can I pick more than one?!' Our latest poll asks for your predictions for tomorrow's game v Manchester United.
Weekend betting preview: Click Here
Something for the weekend, excellent Villa column: Click Here
Interview with Man Utd supporter ahead of tomorrows game: Click Here
Bodymoor Heath development photos. Click Here There are also photos of the Holte Hotel just been made available but they've been given a tacky Villa official site 'stamp' so I'll not use them, seems to go against the spirit of sharing these things with the unofficial sites really.
The gossip sheets have been linked Villa to Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton (as has the local Manchester Press) and we've also been linked to Leicester City's young defender Richard Stearman. Villa Links To Barton and Stearman In another article we have Barton's agent saying Barton is happy in Manchester. Funny, I've never met anyone happy in Manchester! Joey Barton Happy In Manchester
Thought for the day: Recreate the fun of a visit to a public swimming pool in your home by filling the bath with cold water, adding two bottles of bleach, then urinating into it, before jumping in.