The Week In Villa #6 (27/9/08 - 02/10/08)
Friday, 26th September
Not a lot to report today, looking through the news it is all just preparation for tomorrow. Martin O`Neill is demanding an improved performance. So is everyone else. We wait and see…
Saturday, 27th September
We delivered. It`s such a shame that due to my continuing ill health I once again missed out on going to Villa Park, not just for that but because I missed out on what is becoming a rare beauty in the game; a home match at 3pm on a Saturday!
However, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I still managed to see the game. Similar to other recent 2-1 victories over Spurs and Albion, overall we probably deserved it, and while it was uncomfortable at times, it never REALLY felt like we were in danger. The difference in this game was that we had to come from behind, which of course is something we did consistently well last season. All Martin O`Neill teams have tended to do that, in all fairness to our manager.
Sunday, 28th September
The match reports tend to praise the brilliance of Ashley Young`s free-kick, and I can`t help but feel that if someone like Ronaldo had scored a goal like Carew did, that the media would al be in a bath of drool over it, but ho-hum, what can you do.
Stilyian Petrov also comes in for some praise. I myself would like to take this opportunity to say that, to date, Petrov has been man-of-the-match in virtually every game so far. It is nice to see, and for those of us that had faith in him it`s certainly satisfying to be re-paid, albeit far later than any of us would have liked!
Looking around the Sunday tabloids, there is little transfer news. A few reports suggest that we are worried about Gareth Barry`s wage demands if contract talks ever start, stating that we need to qualify for the Champions League to pay for him. I`m not so sure. I think we may need to qualify for the Champions League to satisfy his ambitions, but I am not overly convinced that his wages would be that much of an issue.
Finally, the bad news is the Academy lads lost 2-0 at home to Spurs. The good news is the Cleveland Browns won… Well, it`s good news for Randy, anyway!
Monday, 29th September
The Reserves were away to Arsenal tonight. Due to me having Setanta, I was able to see the game via Arsenal TV, as I`m sure a fair few of us did; and didn`t we do well! In the wake of the young lads of Arsenal demolishing Sheffield United in the Carling Cup, I`m sure lots of people were expecting us to take a bit of a beating. Once the team was announced, and the likes of Cuellar, Knight, Gardner, Osborne, Salifou, Routledge and Harewood were NOT included, the beating was on, to anyone that doesn`t know the Villa youngsters. However, I daresay that our young lads are a match for anyone in the world at that age group, and they duly delivered a 4-1 hammering of the North London lot. Marcus Albrighton, who scored two goals, was particularly impressive. Zoltan Steiber scored the other two (the latter of which was a cracking free-kick) and also looked good. Barry Bannan, Andreas Weimann, Nathan Delfounso and Gary Gardner all caught my eye as well.
The future is bright… The future is Claret and Blue ;-)
Tuesday, 30th September
Not a lot going on today. There is a story that Curtis Davies says Ashley Young is better than Ronaldo. He doesn`t actually say that, but what good is a quote if it can`t be sensationalised?!
In other not-very-exciting news… John Carew is named in the Norway squad, the big man also bigs up the Villa fans, and there is a loose link to Joleon Lescott.
Wednesday, 1st October
Another quiet day, but a day of decent news nonetheless, as Steve Sidwell returns to full training, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Craig Gardner and James Milner are all named in the England U-21 squad, and the club announce that the ticket prices for tomorrow night will stay at the current cut-price offer right up to kick-off.
On the subject of the England-U21`s, tickets and good news, I got my tickets for the game. I knew you`d all be pleased!
Thursday, 2nd October
The good, the bad, and the ugly.
The good is that we are in the draw for the group stages.
The bad (for me) was that once again, due to ill-health, I was unable to attend the game. I`m sure I`ll get better soon!
The ugly was pretty much the performance, but it is no big deal really.
Once again due to the internet I didn`t miss out on the game, although the quality of the streaming wasn`t great. So from what I can made out it was a bit of a slow and disjointed performance… but then my viewing was slow and disjointed so maybe I am doing the lads an injustice!
We`re also linked with Kevin Doyle. The suggestions are that it will take a bid of around £10m to prise him away. Is he worth that? Probably not but I don`t suppose they need to sell him. Lots of reports indicate that Marlon will head the other way. I suppose it makes sense, but ultimately it is likely to be just another bit of filler in the non-transfer-window time of the season.
So Chelsea on Sunday. I`m sure we`ll be at our best… we`ll need to be, anyway. They have lots of injury problems and we have a decent record against them so maybe, just maybe, we could be the team to finally break their excellent home record. I`ll take a draw though, I must admit. It`s exciting anyway!
Up the Villa!