The Villa Times - 10/09/2007
Unoial Villa News...
Gabby Agbonlahor has made his international decision and says England is where his heart is. The Villa striker scored for the Under-21s against Montenegro on Friday and said: 'I have other choices but England are the team I want to play for and I won't be playing for anyone else. What happened in the summer before the Championships is in the past and has been put behind us. I want to be there in Sweden and Stuart Pearce has been good about welcoming me back into the squad. That has been the best part about it. He has seen how much I am enjoying my football at Villa and gave me that chance. It means a lot.' Full article: England Dreams For Villa Striker
Congratulations to Gareth Barry for his performance in the England team today against Israel. Barry had a hand in two of the three goals, one with an inch perfect pass through to Michael Owen - who finished with aplomb and another from a great corner converted by Micah Richards. Reports today are suggesting despite a great game, he still could be dropped, along with Emile Heskey for the game against Russia on Wednesday. NO McClaren, show some bottle, don't change a winning team!
Barry has said: 'I think I appreciate being in the England squad a lot more now than I did when I was first involved. Then I was just a teenager and everything had gone well for me, so maybe I took international honours for granted. Now I know just how hard it can be to break into the England side and I don't take anything for granted. The competition is so fierce that you can't afford to take it for granted. I'm not getting carried away. This was just one good performance and I know there are a lot of good players fighting it out for the central midfield places.' Great to think Barry is only 26, he is only just reaching his peak and more importantly, he is OURS!
Blimey the rumours for the January transfer window have started early this season! According to the gossip sites and red tops:
1) Villa's main right-back target through the summer was Arsenal's Justin Hoyte and O'Neill will return for him in January. Truth of fiction? Would fit in with the young England player policy, could well be true but will Arsene Wenger let the 22-year-old leave?
2) The People say we are after Adelaide United striker Nathan Burns. Truth or fiction? No idea, but seems to be one plucked out of nowhere with no quotes or substance!
3) Luton are hoping to strike a deal to take Villa midfielder Zoltan Stieber on loan. Truth of fiction? O'Neill has already said he'll consider loan deals for the fringe/youth players to get them move first team football, so could well be true.
4) Porto right-back Jose Bosingwa is still a player that O'Neill wants but his club will have to reduce his £12million price tag. Truth of fiction? We could very well be after him, although I believe the Hoyte link more. However this report has no substance or quotes so I'll put this one down as a space filler!
According to the News of the World, Villa new boy Curtis Davies left West Brom with a fine. The report says Baggies chairman Jeremy Peace fined him £10 000 for refusing to play for West Brom and wouldn't let it drop despite the player moving. Sorry, on this one, I don't blame Peace at all. You don't play, you don't get paid, seems fair enough
Tickets for the home clash with Manchester United (Oct 20) are now on priority sale.
A reminder of the evening with Paul Merson: Click Here
More reports on homesick Shaun Maloney including some quotes that are bound to land him in hot water with Martin O'Neill! Shaun Maloney - Get A Grip Lad
Martin O'Neill has spoken about Villa owner Randy Lerner and says that the performance and atmosphere at the Chelsea game was what he deserves for his investment in Villa. However he also slightly confuses me here (not difficult I admit) saying: Somewhat confusingly he adds, 'We by comparison to smaller clubs are trying to invest and that's great, but by comparison to the big boys, we're still well behind. But the fun of it is still trying to compete with those people when the level of investment isn't anywhere near what they've put in - not that he's ever said it, but there has to be a bit of sense to all of this. I would dread to think what the wage bills of some of the big clubs and some clubs not in the top four. I think we've got a real sensible structure here. Some of the players at this football club undoubtedly could earn more elsewhere - even in this day and age.' Full article: O'Neill Paints A Confused Picture?
Randy's Cleveland Browns got off to an awful start losing to the Steelers. The Browns official site said: 'The Steelers dominated in every aspect of a 34-7 win Sunday, using turnovers, field position and big plays to build a 17-0 first-quarter lead and unforgiving defence to protect it.' Villabrownie, a Vital Villa member said, 'Honestly, the first five minutes of that game were the sorriest display of football I've ever seen. EVER. If Romeo Crennel survives this season, I'll be shocked. Hell, I'll be surprised if he survives through the end of the month!'
Thought for the day: When my TV repairman got married the reception was excellent. (The old one's are the best!)
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