Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday March 8 2009
Slow on news as you would expect due to the FA Cup break, only snippet in the paper today is a re-tread of the rumour we covered earlier in the week that Villa will end David Bentley's Spurs hell and that the 24-year-old winger would love to come to Villa - according to the News Of The World - despite choosing Spurs over us last summer!
Meanwhile Martin O'Neill says he is as enthusiastic now as a manager as he was as a player.
On the official site he said 'I came into the professional ranks at the age of 18 and it has never ebbed, never ebbed at all.'
He said he loved it as a player and when his career ended with injury, his only thought was to get into management saying he has the same 'hunger and desire as I did when I was playing.'
The Villa boss also says the break for the FA Cup will do the players good. Not being bitchy or trying to go over old ground, but with this break - and a trip to Dubai to re-charge the batteries, was the CSKA situation ever really needed or called for?
I digress. MON said of the break:
'We have had our disappointments during the course of the season - every side will have had that - but we are ready for the coming battle. It's up to us now. We have the talent and desire - as we showed in the second half at Eastlands - and we can still do it. We will recharge our batteries now and it will help us get ready to go again with that gusto, determination and desire. This is the first real break we have had in a long, long time and I'm hoping it will do us some real good as the crunch time comes.'
He also expects more 'twists and turns' as the season comes to an end.
Meanwhile our Great Dane Martin Laursen says Villa are on the up under O'Neill.
Again on the Official Site he says it is 'remarkable' that we have a chance of getting into the Champions League adding that it is frustrating for him to be sidelined at this 'very exciting special time for the club.'
'It is unbelievable how much the manager has transformed the club. Look at what he has done. If you look at where we were when he took over and where we are now, it is incredible. We are fourth in the Premier League and in the hunt for a Champions League spot. It is a great achievement so far. He dreams of that Champions League place and it would be terrific for him, the players and the whole club if we managed to get that fourth spot. I never dreamt, when I joined, that we would have a chance of this. We were fighting relegation at one point and the Big Four were miles ahead of us.'
'Villa were a big club - a sleeping giant - but I never thought we would get here and certainly not this quick.'
Even El Tel, aka Terry Venables who has waxed lyrical about James Milner is a fan of O'Neill saying
'Martin has also had a fantastic season, transforming his Villa team into serious contenders for a Champions League spot.'
So there you go!
Date:Sunday March 8 2009
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|1.||Pride of Lions||644|
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|13. Aston Villa||16||5||4||7||-10||19|
|16. Crystal Palace||16||3||6||7||-5||15|
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