Yesterday I had a call from the Channel Four website asking for my predictions for the new season. Obviousy I'm not one for expressing opinions, but decided I'd try to shed my shy tendancies (stop laughing at the back) and answer them!
Standard questions really, always gets me thinking though because I'm very Villa focussed and sometimes spend less time than I should concentrating on other teams as well!
They asked who would win the league, I predicted (shock of shocks, really stuck my neck out here) Manchester United. Why? Because Sir Alex Chewalot is really building a new generation of winners and also I can't stand the thought of Abramovich winning anything, nothing personal against the Chelsea fans, just detest that man and what he's 'brought' to the game ie over inflated wages, massive egos and a transfer system that is twice as nuts as before!
Who would be relegated? I predicted Stoke and Hull, as much as I'd like the new boys to be strong enough to stay up, I think it is all but inevitable? Then one of either West Ham (mainly because one of my mates is a Hammer and I knew it would **** him off!) or Fulham. Not sure why, just have a feeling that an established Premiership team might join the two new boys. The Baggies I think have boing boinged a few times and might just have enough this year to stay in the PL. So bad luck WBA, that means automatic relegation!
They asked who I thought was the best signing this summer and I had to go with Deco. I hope so much he doesn't do the business (!) but fear he will, the guy is quality.
Who would be the dark horse? Well, I'm not sure there are many dark horses really, so I asked can Villa be a dark horse after finishing 6th last season? It was either us pushing the top four; and I still think to do that we need a top striker and being an optimist (lets face it, with a face like mine you have to be an optimist!) I think we'll get one this summer or Spurs having a better season than last year, lets face it they can't have a much worse one, although I'd be perfectly happy if they did as it will keep them out of our way!
I don't mean that nastily, but I see only Spurs, Manchester City, Everton and maybe Newcastle as being in the group of teams along with Villa who could break the top four at some point. Spurs need to improve drastically, Manchester City are doing what only Manchester City seem able to do, imploding just at the point you think they are going to take off and Everton, despite their size and history, carry too much debt at the moment.
So to cut a long story short... I never use two words when 20 will do ... I put Villa down as the dark horses to push the top four.
Optimistic? Or do you think now we've started to bring in some decent players (and the fact Gareth Barry now looks likely to stay) that we could push on from last season?
Then we have the far more intelligent Young Jonah (!!) who has done the season 2008/2009 preview. Click Here I think it makes for interesting reading and am just relieved I didn't have to write it, must have taken him an age.
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Regular forumers will know about this already, and I don't intend to shine his head but wanted to do something on it when I could find the time...
Aston Villa have a few players out on loan so far this season, so here's an update following on from the last month.
Gordon Cowans' Under 21 side hosted Burnley on Monday at Bodymoor Heath in a friendly.
Aston Villa have six players away with their countries in the October international window.
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