The Week In Villa #54 (28/8/09 - 3/9/09)
Friday, 28th August
The club makes an announcement that Curtis Davies will see a specialist next week regarding his shoulder injury. Davies should be applauded for his efforts with this injury and his willingness to play when many other footballers in the modern era would simply have cried off.
Stephen Warnock says he hopes that the move to Villa will help his England chances. While I don`t think he has much hope of ousting the extremely dislikeable but undoubtedly talented Ashley Cole, I would say there is every chance he could move ahead of Wayne Bridge in the pecking order if he can get a good run of form together this season.
Saturday, 29th August
Aren`t Saturdays boring without the Villa?
We draw Cardiff in the 3rd round. With all due respect to our friendly non-compatriots but I am pleased I no longer work in the City Centre!
John Carew rubbishes rumours of dressing-room rifts, even calling the suggestions as nothing other than 'hocus pocus`! I know a lot of people have heard and read various reports but I find it to believe there is truth in all of them. I`m sure there is no smoke without fire but hey, what football club is all hugs and puppies?! Bottom line - we win matches, and people are happy.
Sunday, 30th August
Villa 2-0 Fulham. It was a relative stroll in the park in all honesty. We played quite well and Fulham didn`t, which ultimately lead to a comfortable win.
I was delighted to see the 4-5-1 formation and as anyone that has read my thoughts on this will know, I hope that is the way we stay forever and ever, amen!
The defence had more help, we were winning the ball higher up the field and had much more of a flexible approach in attack. Indeed, there were times when Gabby - who scored a fantastic goal - was on the right or left wing and Milner or Young were in the middle.
It has been proven that we are more effective with this formation. It looks like it is here to stay and I for one am delighted.
Monday, 31st August
Happy bank holiday!
Villa though are still working, as a bid for West Ham`s James Collins is made.
No news on Richard Dunne, though.
Tuesday, 1st September
Transfer deadline day sees James Collins sign from West Ham. We also THINK that Richard Dunne signs from Man City, but we`re not sure!
What we are sure of though is that there are no 'surprises` to come out of the last day. If we`re sticking with 4-5-1 then I am not too disappointed about that from a striker point of view, however I would have liked to have seen us bring in a 'lock-picking` kind of midfielder. That said, once Downing is fit we wil have further attacking options, plus we could always go with Gabby on the right, Carew in the middle and Milner playing more centrally as we did at the end of the Fulham game. That is not as important in the games like we had at Anfield, but it certainly is where playing teams that just want to sit deep against us.
In terms of outgoings, potential moves for Nicky Shorey (loan to Portsmouth) and Marlon Harewood (Hull) fall through.
Finally the reserves earn a deserved 2-1 victory over West Ham.
Wednesday, 2nd September
Finally, it`s a Dunne deal! The Premier League were the hold-up, as the FA confirmed that everything was fine at their end yesterday, but the Premier League staff didn`t want to miss happy hour in the pub ;o)
Thursday, 3rd September
The transfer talk doesn`t end! Due to the ruling that means Football League sides can still make loan signings, Marlon Harewood is linked with a move to Newcastle. Personally I hope Marlon gets a move. Whilst it`s generally accepted that he isn`t good enough in terms of where we want to be, he showed in his first season for us - as he did in his first season in the top level with West Ham - that he is capable of doing a good job for someone and because he has never moaned about his Villa situation, I certainly believe that he deserves regular football with someone.
Another good thing about the loan window is that it may provide some good experience for some of our younger players. If we are sticking to 4-5-1 then I think Nathan Delfouneso will be a prime candidate to get out there on loan. In addition the likes of Barry Bannan and Isaiah Osborne may well be loaned out, although I think that this side of the window we need to keep Marc Albrighton and Ciaran Clark close to the first team due to the injuries of Stewart Downing and Curtis Davies if he is going to have surgery as expected.
The club make an announcement that Season Card holders who attended the Rapid Vienna game at Villa Park will be entitled to attend the Cardiff game for free and non-season card holders who attended will be entitled to a free ticket for a home league game against either Portsmouth, Bolton, Hull, Burnley or Sunderland. That`s a good thing, I reckon!
So that`s it for another week. I for one am glad the window has ended and although it lacked the kind of signing to make it a brilliant window, I think it was good enough. We now comfortably have two players for each position - three in some cases - and while we had two major holes to fill, there is more than one way to skin a cat and all that jazz, and the squad feels more rounded than it did twelve months ago. Anyway, as you know, this week is an international week so I would like to apologise a week in advance for next weeks entry!