The Week In Villa #58 (25/9/09 - 1/10/09)
Friday, 25th September
As the team prepares for the trip to Ewood, it is announced that Nigel Reo-Coker is back in the squad.
In other news, the club confirm that the Wolves game will be available to view in both the Trinity Suite and the Holte Pub.
Saturday, 26th September
Blackburn 2-1 Villa. On one hand, I don`t want to get too down about this, because it`s come on the back of a good winning streak.
But there was so much wrong with it. Tactically, we were too deep, there were massive spaces in the middle of the park and then there was the Heskey substitution - that`s not to say Heskey was rubbish when he come on, just that is seemed a really poor choice to make when the midfield was already left with gaps too big to cover. Throw on top of that the fact that Blackburn went down to ten men (and yet they still won the midfield battle) and you really have to ask serious questions of the manager`s performance today.
In our defence, the penalty given against Richard Dunne was very harsh. But that barely covers a crack in this showing. It was a very disappointing afternoon.
I feel very sorry for Fabian Delph, by the way. We all know we look better in a 4-5-1, yet every time he has played it`s been in a 4-4-2!
Earlier in the day, we were drawn away to Sunderland in the League Cup. The draw could have been much kinder to us.
Finally, the Academy lads drew 2-2 away to Cardiff, with Ryan Simmonds and Kofi Poyser getting the goals.
Sunday, 27th September
Due to the lack of NRC on the pitch yesterday, he is unsurprisingly linked with a move away today, mostly to Middlesborough on loan.
Monday, 28th September
Apparently, NRC is actually going to Fulham in January now. This one is bound to run unless he ever gets regular first team football again.
Stiliyan Petrov and Stephen Warnock both give the usual 'we`ll bounce back` interviews that players give whenever a team loses.
Tuesday, 29th September
As the NRC to Fulham rumours continue, the only other newsworthy item is that our reserves manage to maintain their superb 100% winning start with a 3-0 away win at, ERM, Fulham! Barry Bannan opened the scoring with a penalty, and Andreas Weimann got the other two.
Wednesday, 30th September
Apparently Spurs and Arsenal are now interested in NRC. Okay, maybe Spurs are, although I am sick of talking about any transfer story between us and them. But let us get this straight - Arsene Wenger only wants players that have excellent ball control and passing ability. While NRC probably has some qualities that Arsenal actually could do with, he certainly does not fit the Arsene Wenger criteria and therefore anyone that believes this story should really study Arsenal! Of course, I have no issues with eating humble pie on this one; I suspect I will go hungry though!
Steve Sidwell is reportedly pretty much ready to return to the first-team fold, which in my opinion is a good thing. That said, I STILL think there is more to come from Sidwell, who hasn`t really lived up to the performances he showed at Reading three seasons ago. We usually do better with him in the side, though. That said, we`ve played with three central midfielders in the majority of those games, but what does that prove? Oh, wait…
Thursday, 1st October
The M*rr*r report that Curtis Davies is considering his Villa future due to the delay over his new contract. I think given that he is injured, it is probably rubbish. I also think that, given the source, it is almost certainly rubbish!
MON says some nice things about Gareth Barry but at the same time says his absence hasn`t really hurt us. I`d imagine we`ll be hearing more and more about Gareth Barry over the next few days, as Manchester City prepare to come to B6. To be honest, I have little interest in the situation. When he steps on to the Villa Park pitch I wont be clapping him because I have found some of his comments (like he left us to guarantee his place in the England team) quite insulting. At the same time, he was a great servant to us for twelve years and I certainly will not boo him. I will nothing him!
In other news, the OS says that the Ladies beat Luton 2-1 (goals from Kim Farrow and Nathalie Gibson) although I am not sure when the game was actually played; probably Wednesday?
So, that`s another week done and sadly the end of our winning streak. Hopefully we can get back to it on Monday night, although I am sure the media will spend far too much time discussing our former skipper than anything to do with the actual match! Oh well. Up the Villa!