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The Villa Times - 24/04/2007

The Villa Times - 24/04/2007

Unoial Villa News...

Shaun Maloney has praised the Villa fans. Our £1million bargain from Celtic said: 'The Celtic support is unique but since I've been here I've been really impressed with the Villa fans. They can be really really vocal at times even when we are not playing well - and the following at Blackburn was incredible. The fans are obviously very dedicated and are very important. They are the mainstay of the club and have the right to say what they think. Thankfully, so far they have been very supportive of me.'

The penny seems to have dropped with Lee Hendrie as he says he has no future at Villa. It also appears his testimonial is being put on hold. On hold? I'd forget about it if I was him. Never delivered what he should and was often talked about in the press more for his off field activities than what he did on the field. Hendrie has been linked to Sheffield United, Blackburn, Middlesbrough as well as an extended stay at Stoke. Such a talent and although he has been ok, he has never achieved what he should have. Plonker, because on his day he was a very handy midfielder, certainly had more about him than Gavin McCann but never gave 100% a 100% of the time. Full article: Hendrie You Plonker!

Juan Pablo Angel is still waiting for his work visa and has been unable to train with his new team-mates at the New York Red Bulls. Team director said: 'We wanted it to happen to be honest. When you turn it over to the U.S. government, it's out of your control again. It's in their hands and we're trying to push it through as quickly as possible.'

Villa's Chief Executive Richard FitzGerald has been talking to the business editor John Duckers at the Post....Such exciting times, so many changes going on and so much to look forward to! Should be a very enjoyable ride following our years of stagnation. I have been lucky enough to meet Richard FitzGerald for lunch and talk at some length and I have to say you can just feel the ambition at the club right now. Full article: Richard FitzGerald On Villa Future

Martin O'Neill is ready for phase two of the big plan at Villa following Randy Lerners arrival. 'Mr Lerner is over here and we will have talks. We are pretty well aware of what we want to do and something a bit more specific should come to mind at the end of the season. I am hoping we would all want to do okay. We want to take it onto the next step. Mr Lerner is looking at a five or six-year plan. But I know this season what he wanted was for us to stay up and then have a chance to look at things.' Full article: Villa survival was the aim.

Craig Gardner says he is happy to be playing and has talked about his ruptured groin injury.........which is nice! Having been out for 3 months he said: 'The physios kept me going and never told me how serious it was. I didn't find out until I was fit again. When I did it, I just thought it was a minor problem which would take two or three weeks to clear. But as time went on, I began to realise it was something more serious. Once I was back, they told me I was lucky to have got over it. Apparently it's a very rare injury and the tendons had come away from the muscle, so perhaps it's as well I didn't realise how bad it was. It's a relief to be over it. Now I'm determined to fight for my place and get as many games under my belt as possible. I feel good and I'm looking ahead, rather than back.'

Gareth Barry says the draws are what have killed Villa's season as we've not been able to kill off teams. The Villa skipper said on the official site: 'Our home results have been really frustrating - we've had too many draws. If we could have turned two or three of those draws into wins, we'd find ourselves challenging for a European spot. But that's football; we need to start stringing wins together. We need to put home wins with the away wins and that's what we'll be looking to do next season.' Barry and Gabby are both on 8 goals in the Prem and 1 goal each in the Carling Cup. Ashley Young has 4 prem and 1 cup goal. Luke Moore has 3 league goals. John Carew and Stiliyan Petrov both have 2. No wonder we've not killed games off with that record for our top scorers! Full article: Villa Lack Killer Touch

Villa legend Ian Taylor is hanging up his boots on Friday. The 38-year-old former Villa midfielder ends his 15 year footballing career with a proud record of 550 games and 100 goals (255 games and 43 goals for Villa in a spell between 93/03). They don't make them like 'our' Ian Taylor anymore! Villa fans have declared it Ian Taylor day and are going to Northampton Town on Friday to give him a big send off. Now that IS a player who should have had a proper testimonial when leaving Villa. Sixfields Box Office on 0870 822 1966

Villa shot-stopper Thomas Sorensen has declared: 'I've yet to hit my peak.' The Danish international added 'I'm 31 this summer and my best years are supposedly ahead of me as a keeper. I want those best years to be here as we push for trophies and push for Europe. It looks like we're going in the right direction, but we need to prove it next year. I've think we've got the base to do it now, which we probably didn't have this year. Maybe with a few additions to the squad, we'll be in a better position. I think the most important thing is the rhythm on the pitch and we've found that. I think that's been lacking in a lot of games, but the fluency and style of play is now coming together.'

Villa man-of-the-match vote for the Pompey game had Martin Laursen as runaway winner with 65%. Freddie Bouma, surely the most improved Villa player this season with 10%. Stiliyan Petrov is starting to impress some and got 7%. The rest can be viewed at: Click Here

Apparently the race is on for £5m rated West Brom midfielder Jason Koumas this summer. Celtic, Manchester City, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Tottenham Hotspur and oh no, sorry that was it, have all been linked to the 27-year-old. The Daily Record claim he has told WBA manager Tony Mowbray that he wants out.

Thought for the day: Try not to let your mind wander... It is too small and fragile to be out by itself.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Wednesday April 25 2007
Time: 3:42PM

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Interested on what people think of Koumas. Robbo didn't like him! Bellers didn't fire last night, appears he could be coming our way.
26/04/2007 09:50:00
In the commentary last night they said that the rumours in the North West were that Bellamy could be heading back to Blackburn.
26/04/2007 11:15:00
Dont want either of them - no better than our current crop of players. Steve Davis and Petrov better than Koumas. Ashley Young and Luke Moore better than Bellamy. Onwards and upwards I say!!! We have enough 'squad players'. However, if we had players like Koumas and bellamy - that may give us the 'bite' we need. Players who get *****ed off and angry with decisions. We certainly wouldnt be near the top of the fair-play league....and thats a good thing!!
26/04/2007 12:42:00
Deano, who would you sign then? Bellamy is a good player, but has baggage. Until we are challenging for Europe we'll struggle to attract the finished article. I like the look of both Sidwell and Reo Coker. I would also go for Upson. Strikers are our problem, we do not have a recognised goalscorer at the club. Defoe?
26/04/2007 15:01:00
We need another transfer thread!
26/04/2007 15:05:00
was going to leave it until the end of the season, but ok, what you want, you shall get! I'll put one up next week!!
The Fear
26/04/2007 15:07:00
Joey Barton is another great player, but would want to join the dippers. He has baggage too
26/04/2007 15:08:00
Thanks JF. Now we are safe the season is over really, it's just a shame we are not in the mix for any cups or Europe. It will be a very interesting summer. Looks like a few of our fans are going to be gutted if we buy a few players and move on a few of thier favourites (Davis, Ridgewell, Sorenson).
26/04/2007 15:14:00
You answered your own question there - Defoe and Sidwell are better options. From what I have heard the scouts are out all around Europe and I think we need that continental flair in our side now to compliment the young English spine we already have. I would like to think we will have a few surprises rather than recycling old stories and links. Who knew of Mellberg before he signed?? The only available strikers in England who are better than our current crop are Defoe and who else????? Outside the Premiership some players would be good squad players but not first team. Then looking at the possible relegated sides only Tevez, Benayoun, Darren Bent etc. would be desirable and even then, the big 4 will be in for them!!
26/04/2007 15:16:00
Shaun Maloney appears to be settling nicely into his new surroundings. I've liked the look of what we've seen of him so far, and he's another young player who can only get better. Pleased to read his comments concerning the reception he's received to date from the supporters. Generally I think there's been a very positive response to his arrival.
26/04/2007 20:47:00
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