The Villa Times 10/02/2007
Unoial Villa News...
Martin O'Neill says 20-year-old Craig Gardner is 'chomping at the bit' to play after recovering from his groin injury. 'The physios have said to him to leave it for this week. He is chomping at the bit to play and that's great. He was keen to tell that to the physios.'
With Villa not playing until March 3 (v Fulham away) Martin O'Neill is considering taking the squad on a winter break. CAN I COME, I'll bring my own bucket and spade, honest. I am giving it some thought at the minute. I know that next week is half-term for the schools, so maybe some of the players would rather spend some time with their families. I am considering it anyway.'
Wilfred Bouma missed the game against Reading after returning from international duty with Holland with a calf injury. Martin O'Neill explained: 'He got a knock to his calf that he didn't think was a major problem at the time - he was just playing on the adrenalin ad euphoria of returning to the Dutch squad. But he reported back with a problem and he's in a wee bit of trouble. He didn't train this morning and we'll see how he is.'
Chris Sutton has been given the green light to return to light, non contact, training next week as he looks to overcome his eye injury. O'Neill explained: 'Chris saw the specialist on Wednesday and there's no significant progress. But he has been given the go ahead to resume light training - non-contact work - next week.'
The Express & Star have revealed that Randy Lerner is sending two of Villa’s backroom staff to the United States in order to meet staff at the Cleveland Browns to discuss using more technology to look at players’ performances. Villa use ProZone to provide stats on players during the games but according to the paper 'Lerner wants to see if Villa can steal a march on the rest.'
Martin O'Neill has pinpointed John Carew for special praise despite the 2-0 defeat v Reading. He told Sky after the game: 'John Carew was immense today. His ability to play the game is there for all to see. Since he arrived he has given us all a lift. Shaun Maloney did very well on his debut. Overall it's difficult, we have been beaten but I am remarkably upbeat. I feel the team feel better about themselves. Overall we are heading in the right direction.'
Steve Wade's excellent column continues as he asks: What am I on about - I don't even like Chardonnay!.. Something For The Weekend (127)
The latest FFC survey, this time on ticket pricing: Football Fans Census
Chairman and owner Randy Lerner says he will do everything he can to make sure Martin O'Neill never wants to leave Villa. Full article: O'Neill In It For The Long Haul
Randy Lerner says he has funded the purchases of the new players and that he has no set limit for when he will stop spending. Full article: Lerner Has No Set Spending Limit
Match stats Reading v Villa: Click Here
Martin O'Neill and Steve Coppell post match comments: Click Here
Thought for the day: 'when blondes have more fun, do they know it!'