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The Villa Times - 18/04/2007

Unoial Villa News...

Rumour mill, this time in the Guardian, says Villa, Spurs and Newcastle United are after West Ham striker Marlon Harewood. Oh joy of joys. Yes, there are some bargains to be had from relegated clubs, but Marlon Harewood? Hmmm, me thinks not if we really want to get to the next level.

Another report suggests O'Neill is determined to land Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy.

Juan Pablo Angel has said his farewells as he leaves for the MSL in America. The 31-year-old striker said: 'Aston Villa will always have a place in my heart.' Adding: 'I would like to take this opportunity to basically thank the fans and everyone at the club. They will always have a place in my heart.' Full quotes: Angel thanks fans

Juan Pablo Angel, Villa striker no more, has spoken of his time at Aston Villa and of the new manager. Makes for good reading, so nice to see a player leaving with good grace and no rancour. That said, he was always the ultimate professional as far as I could see, whether playing, on the bench or dropped from the squad, he always seemed to conduct himself with dignity and didn't whinge or cause trouble. Full quotes: Juan Pablo Angel - Villa Fan

John Carew (calf) and Patrik Berger (hamstring) should both be fit to return for the Portsmouth match on Sunday. O'Neill said of Carew: 'He's making good progress. He trained on Monday and obviously he has all week to get himself right. We play on Sunday, so I think I'm optimistic about John.' And on Berger: 'He sat out on Monday, but I think towards the middle to the latter part of the week, he'll be out there. It just jolted his whole system the two games in quick succession, not having played them for such a long time. I'm optimistic about him being available for the weekend.'

Portsmouth Sunday April 22 kick-off 4pm, Villa Value Game, tickets still on general sale: Come on, lets pack the ground out! Call consumer sales on 0871 423 8101.

Martin O'Neill is working hard looking at who to bring in to boost the squad ready for next season. The Villa boss says, following Angel's departure: 'Does it open up a space here? I would think we'd be trying to strengthen anyway, to give us a decent squad. I wouldn't want to be stuck in the same mode as we were in November/December of this year when we just didn't have the numbers, never mind anything else. We could have done with a transfer-window in November, but it just wasn't to be.'

Craig Gardner has said he'd like to be a Villan for life! He told the official site following reports that Martin O'Neill is looking to give the midfielder a new contract: 'I'd stay here for the rest of my life if I could - that's how happy I am.' Adding 'I don't want to talk about contracts just yet, but if he has mentioned it, that's nice. But I'm definitely happy here and I'd stay here for the rest of my life if I could - that's how happy I am.' Full article from possibly our new Andy Townsend (?) Gardner would stay for life

Craig Gardner`s goal and overall performance in Aston Villa`s 3-1 away victory over Middlesbrough has seen the 20-year-old midfielder named in The Actim Index Team of the Week - the Official Player Ratings of the Barclays Premiership. The academy product scored his first goal for the Midlands club, helping to push Aston Villa into the top half of the league. Actim Stats reveal that Gardner has made nine appearances this season, contributing nine shots, eight tackles, three clearances, six interceptions, two blocks, 60 passes, four dribbles and three crosses. He is currently ranked 376th in the Index after 648 minutes of first team action. Gabriel Agbonlahor, who is currently ranked 13th in the division, has been another player in fine form recently. Actim Stats reveal that the England U21 striker has climbed 21 places in the Actim Index following his last three Premiership matches. So far this season he has hit eight goals and had 43 shots, while making 61 tackles, three clearances, 17 interceptions, one block, 371 passes, 52 dribbles, 68 crosses and five assists in 3,162 minutes of football. Full details and table: Gardner In Actim XI

Villa are second in the all time record of games played in the English league: Full table: Villa 2nd In All Time Games Played

Vital Villa asked who should replace Thomas Sorensen. Seems 21% think no one, the majority with 37% wanted Ben Foster as our No 1. Click Here

Gabby Agbonlahor isn't taking his place in the Villa team for granted and knows he will face more competition now Carew and Moore are fit again. He said: 'That's what we all want, especially the manager who wants competition for places. We'll have to wait and see, but hopefully I will be able to stay in the team. You get judged on your last performance and if you are not doing it you will be brought off and will be sat on the bench. So you are always looking behind you.' Gabby, currently on 9 goals, is looking to get into double figures by the end of the season.

Thought for the day: 'A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory'

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday April 18 2007

Time: 12:56PM

Your Comments

well that ended up more than a mouthful.
The Fear
I'm not having a dig in the slightest...but come on you are a 'big' club you shouldn't need to encourage fans to buy tickets. They should already be snapped up! I think you have got potential in your squad / team though, just wait and see what happens in the summer with you lot.
aye we are going to kidnapp Berbatov =)
Good luck with that, but the big Bulgarian would be hard just to 'pick up' off the Definatly think a front 3 of Carew, Agbong (u know who i mean) and Young can go places next year though. Whatever happened to Davis?? He looked really good last year?
You've sold out all home games this season matt? I hadn' thought you had? I agree though, we are one of the big clubs, much like the others, we do need to be selling out and I'm sure that will come.
The Fear
I think Davis will still fit in somewhere, he is only young. Been a bit of a backward step this year but he is still learning, if he doens't fit here he'll certainly have no shortage of takers in the Prem. Depends who we buy, guess you can't keep them all happy. Wouldn't be surprised to see us bid for Defoe in the summer, another good player who is pushed out by two better. Must say Berbatov looks top drawer, can't believe the top 4 missed him!
The Fear
Yeh if your not a STH or club member at spurs you dont get a ticket..luckily i dont have the problem being a STH but if you look at our attendances we have always sold the home allocation for all games be it in the cups or league its away supporters that dont make it a complete house week in week out!
have to say I'm impressed, hadn't realised that Matt!
The Fear
If our stadium only held 36,000 then we would have sold out every home game. Hopefully we can push on and get away from the Ellis days which made some fans reluctant to attend. Definetely bridges to be buit with some fans. We're all still a long way behind Man U, Arsenal and Newcastle though.
have to agree think we will go for defoe in summer and personally i would love him at villa,just the natural goalscorer we need.
Belfast Villain
I say we definitely need at least one of the following midfielders: Barton, SWP, Milner, Parker, Sidwell. Strikers: Defoe or Keane, Bent. Defenders: Upson, Matty Taylor - please Taylor - if there is a God.
Not so sure about Defoe, but am more than sure about Harewood. We dont want him! Cant agree about Upson either koolbill. Always seems to be injured for lengthy spells, and is he any better than any of the central defenders we currently have on our books?
Defoe will want to go to the top 4 if he can. Upson would be a great buy, his wages might be an issue though ;-)
Just looking at our last few league results down the right hand side if the site - MAJESTIC!
SWP is getting a run out lately for CSKAhelsea so his departure from the Bridge of Sighs seems less likely. Upson is not a player I would assess as having top four potential, his recent Injuries have been unfortunate but I bet the porn dwarfs have been laughing all the way to the bank.

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