Writer: Sheriff Kimbo
Date:Monday August 3 2009
Hello all. So how was your July?
I`ve got to admit, I thought there would be more than one signing by now, but alas, one it is.
Now, some of you will say that MON is slow in the transfer market. But clearly he is a genius - by signing Stewart Downing, he already has his first January signing. Who else can say that?! ;-)
While it is tempting to get down on the transfer side of things, I write this today in good mood. First of all, we won the Peace Cup last night (I am still chuckling at Del Piero`s penalty!) and then this afternoon we have agreed a fee with Leeds for Fabian Delph.
The Peace Cup was a good trophy to win, because when you look at the opposition and see the likes of Porto, Juventus etc then look at our squad missing Agbonlahor, Milner, Gardner, follow it up with Luke Young, Bouma and Petrov all injured, Salifou ill, Heskey suspended for the final, Zat Knight sold, Delfouneso on international duty, Laursen and Barry still not replaced, our only signing out injured until Christmas, even Marlon picked up an injury… well, didn`t look good did it? Now, throw in the performance in the first game against Malaga and then the fact that we went 1-0 down when we needed to win by two goals against Atlante and the semi-final - let alone winning it - seemed very far away.
But little did anyone know that the kids would rise to the challenge! Albrighton, Guzan and Lichaj in particular deserve praise but Bannan, Clark, Lowry, Herd, Weimann all played a part. The more senior players did well too. Cuellar looks much better in the middle, Ashley Young looked like getting back to his best form that went missing towards the end of the season, NRC was tenacious and overall, we did enough. Absolutely everybody involved should be very proud of their efforts.
Then, on to Delph… I haven`t seen much of him beyond the two highlight programmes of the lower leagues and therefore have only seen the good stuff. There must be something about him though for so many clubs to be interested. It`s strange, I`m pleased about the prospect of it going through but I`m not really basing most of that on my own opinion!
Going back to Albrighton, it is nice to see that many people are finally catching up with me! Seriously though, most of you that have read the Week in Villa will know what a big fan I am of his and I wasn`t surprised at his performances this past week. I do worry that some people may now expect too much of him but I genuinely think he can very much be part of the regular 18 for us next season, and he is one of the reasons that I think we don`t need to sign David Bentley, who we have been strongly linked with this window.
Speaking of 'The Week in Villa`, the next edition is the 50th. That means that 2 weeks later I`ll have been doing that column for a year. BLIMEY!
One of the features I like about the new look Vital is the 'Breaking League News` on the right hand side. I`ve read more Vital pages than ever before through that facility.
I see Spurs got themselves a couple of Kyle`s. I actually thought we were going to do that. We already have a couple of Brad`s, so I thought that MON may be adopting a 'Noah`s Ark` approach to players…
If you read the first issue of this new column you will know that I suggested we sing a John Carew song to the tune of 'Vindaloo`. This month (and I don`t plan on making this a monthly feature!) I have a suggestion for Delfouneso, otherwise known as 'The Fonz`…
Sunday, Monday, he scores goals
Tuesday, Wednesday, he scores goals
Thursday, Friday, he scores goals
Saturday, here`s the Fonz, ready to score some moooore!
Obviously that is based on the theme tune to 'Happy Days` which starred Henry Winkler as 'The Fonz`. So what do you thi… No? Really? Not even if… Still no, huh? Really? Okay! FINE!
Last month I mentioned the rumours about Paul Scholes leaving United and that we should be in for him if they are true. They seem to have disappeared now so I am disappointed not just because I think he`s a wonderful footballer but also, as a ginge, I would have loved to have seen him & Sidwell in the middle of the park! I`m not as ginger as them but I`m still part of the family! It could have been like the days of Draper, Curcic and Wright; if Alan Wright wasn`t so small it would have been even more difficult to tell them apart from high up in the ground!
It`s been so nice to have football again. Prior to the Peace Cup we had two games, one against Peterborough and one against Colchester. I made the journey to Peterborough and had a very good day out, partly because I was just excited to be going to my first away game since Blackburn in February (stupid unemployment!) but also thanks to the old fella that climbed the rafters! I amazingly met him on Saturday (small world) and showed him a video of him falling; he took it all in good humour. He`s still on crutches, glad to see his eye has cleared up though!
Some quick awards:
Player of the month: Marc Albrighton (Honourable Mention: Brad Guzan)
Goal of the month: Ashley Young v Atlante (Honourable Mention: Curtis Davies v Peterborough)
Match of the month: 2-1 v Porto (Honourable Mention: 0-0 v Juventus)*
Moment of the month: Beating Juventus (Honourable Mention: Del Piero`s penalty!)
Wooden Spoon of the month: Steve Sidwell for that penalty (Dishonourable mention: Emile Heskey for raising his arms. I know he shouldn't have been sent off but once he did that, it was always going to go one way. On the flip side, I should give it Heskey for not smacking him!)
Quote of the Month: "It will be like having a new player" (NEW Vila signing Stewart Downing on what it will be like when he returns to fitness. Pssst, Stewie, you`ll be a new player anyway!!)
*Technically I suppose that should be the other way round but Porto was the more entertaining match overall I reckon.
I think that will about do it for this month. I think there was something else I meant to add but I can`t remember what it was, so it can`t have been that important! Next month the transfer window will have closed, I wonder what will have happened by then… eek!
Have a good August.
Up the Villa!
EDIT: I remember what it was I was supposed to add:
Sorry Darth Fear!
Date:Monday August 3 2009
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