The Villa Times - 07/05/2008
Unoial Villa News...
Martin O'Neill has said his number one job this summer is convincing Gareth Barry to stay at Villa. 'A player of Gareth's undoubted quality and ability would take some replacing, so keeping him at Aston Villa is as important as anything we do in the transfer market.' Vital Villa asked if you thought the Villa skipper would leave this summer. 66% said yes. 23% no and 11% thought it was in the balance. I guess we'll soon find out, the transfer window opens when the season ends on Sunday. Full article O'Neill On Barry And Summer Transfers
Gordon Cowan's hopes Villa can keep Barry. Full article: Cowan's Hopeful Of Keeping Barry
Villa reserves hope to end the season in style tonight when they travel to Liverpool for the Barclays Premier Reserve League Play-Off.
Unfortunately it is over and out for Craig Gardner as far as this season goes after Villa boss Martin O'Neill confirmed the midfielder and stand in right-back won't be featuring in the last game of the season v West Ham on Sunday. Bloody hell that was a long sentence. Hang on while I get my breath back. Phew, not as fit as I once was. Right, where were we? Oh yes, Gardner. Full article: Over And Out For Gardner
Former Aston Villa boss John Gregory has spoken about the transfer from Brighton to Villa in the Sunday Mercury. 'We got absolutely robbed at the time by Brighton. He was substitute for Brighton youth team once. They didn't even know who he was! Suddenly Bryan Jones, the youth development officer at Villa, took him from there and he came to us. We tried to agree compensation and we couldn't. When I put him in the first team his valuation went through the roof. Brighton were very shrewd and they knew the longer they left it the more they'd make because Barry was doing so well. Also at the start of the season he got called up by Glenn Hoddle to train with the England squad and that put his valuation up even more.
We'd already paid £100,000 at the time and we ended up paying £1 million for him. That sounds cheap now when you see what he's achieved, but it should've been a lot less.'
Martin O'Neill has again said he wants to tie Wilfred Bouma to a longer contract. Wilf, who joined from PSV Eindhoven, has a one year option on his contract but MON wants to do more and extend the deal. 'We are at least taking up the one-year option and want to extend that by at least another year. We are in discussions and will be having more talks at the end of the season. Wilfred is pretty happy here and with a bit of luck on Sunday he will complete his tally of games and that's a big improvement on where he was before with injuries. Whatever contract we come up with, if it works out well he will have deserved it.'
Martin O'Neill says that he is sure Villa will be able to attract top players this summer. 'Obviously being involved in Europe - even at Intertoto level - helps immensely. But in truth I've thought a lot about this and I think the Premier League itself is a massive lure for the continental players. Obviously it helps if there's European football and of course the ultimate is Champions League. But the Premier League and a side like ourselves with a reputation of being up and coming and attack minded should be enough of a draw.'
Vital Villan said: Patrik 'the gob' Berger will relish no more first team action at Aston Villa, he's set to rot in the reserves after his comments in the papers yesterday. Berger Set To Rot
Stiliyan Petrov has been talking about his new holding midfield role: 'I spoke with Nigel Reo-Coker (Hokey-Cokey) and said I could play for another 15 years in that role because you don't move much. (insert own sarcastic comment here should you wish!). I've been playing this position for all my international career, so it's not new to me, and it's good for me that things are going well. The last two or three weeks have been great - apart, of course, from the defeat against Wigan. But, when I wasn't playing and the manager left me out of the squad, I didn't give up.' Adding, 'I'm a positive guy and I always look at myself. I don't blame anybody else. I'm the only one that can push myself forward and make things right. I got my chance again, the manager moved me into the middle and I started playing well again. I hope the Villa fans will see more from me and I'm hoping it will be a massive season next year.'
Vital Villa fantasy league standings with a Villan at the top of the overall league as well with just one round of fixtures left to play! Click Here
Vital Villa asked for your man of the match (cough cough) v Wigan. We didn't put up the usual full team as a choice as most weren't worthy of the vote, so we went with just Mellberg, Wilf, Laursen, Hercules (who I thought was excellent throughout) and Bella. Olof Mellberg won with 82% as the bearded wonder bowed out from Villa Park. Next up Hercules with 8% and Bella with 6%. That left Laursen and Bouma on 2% each.
Not that much in the way of transfer gossip today, few snippets including Zoltan the destroyer. Well, his name is Zoltan Gera really but he sounds like a character from an old Flash Gordon film! Also Newcastle and former Tottenham Hotspur right-back Stephen Carr after being blocked in any move for Jose Boswinga. Wigan defender Paul Scharner has been linked to Villa and Everton according to The Manchester Evening News and another report, this time in the People, albeit with no substance or quotes, says that Villa are after Sevilla midfielder Christian Poulsen who is valued for around £4million. Barcelona are also linked! Full details: Click Here
Our latest poll asks for your player of the season votes.
Thought for the day: 'I'm not into working out. My philosophy is no pain, no pain.'