UK time is: 22:49:51
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Popcorn and Pride...Debut Days For Young Villans

The dramatic story of two debuts in the Europa League, coming soon to a cinema near you.

Our opening leg of the Europa League Qualifier against Rapid Vienna was interesting for more than one reason, but here I shall talk of only two of them.

Eric Lichaj and Jonathan Hogg.

It was the competitive debuts of both young lads in a Villa shirt, albeit both having gained their football debuts away from the club, but we shall start with Eric simply because he's the little more known.

Eric's debut story was marked by popcorn. Sadly Mr Brown on the Official Site has already used the King of all puns here (so not for the first time I'm stuck), in stating:

'Eric Lichaj was pelted with popcorn on his debut in the Europa League trailer against Rapid Vienna and he can't think of anything butter now than a standing ovation after a starring role in the second leg Villa Park sequel.'

Popcorn-butter....I salute you Sir.

Anyhoo, Lichaj was delighted to have opened his claret and blue appearance record and doubts he'll experience many games with that level of intimidation again, so coming through it with Villa maintaining the upper hand in the two-legged affair has delighted him.

'It was a really good atmosphere in Austria. All the Vienna fans were jumping up and down, they were actually throwing popcorn at me at one point and I think they were throwing beer at Brad.

It was too bad we couldn't hold on for the win but it was a good, solid draw.'

The only regret Lichaj seems to have is in not being able to taste test the popcorn.

'I didn't get a chance to sample any of the popcorn after the game!'

Sensible lad, professional athlete, I'd have been horrified to read he was after the beer and was wringing out Guzan's shirt for every drop.

Lichaj is also full of confidence ahead of the second leg, the Villa youngsters certainly rose to the occasion (popcorn-rise it's the best I can do after the butter jibe went early) and he sees no reason at all as to why we can't dominate on home soil and put the game out of their reach.

'I think we have the upper hand going into the return leg. They didn't really water the pitch before the game out there, it was stickier for the way they wanted to play - but now then pitch is waters and we can use our flanks more. That is really our strength, so I think we have a very good chance of going through.

The other debut story comes from the very surprise inclusion of young Jonathan Hogg - he was a certainly a name very few, if anybody, expected to read on the teamsheet last Thursday. Those left out may have felt a little prejudice towards him, but he felt nothing but pride! (yay corny!)

Speaking on the Official Site in his own little post match interview, young Hogg was absolutely delighted to have been considered by Kevin MacDonald given the injuries he's suffered so far in his short career.

Hogg has been out to the States numerous times to see Martin Laursen's old friend, and experienced surgeon Dr Richard Steadman with a recurring right knee problem.

In March 2008 during a reserve clash, he suffered a severe cruciate ligament injury that left him on the sidelines for 11 months and once he returned to action and started to impress an unfortunate training ground collision with Luke Young left him out for another 5 months.

'My debut in Austria was the end of a long journey for me, when you look at the injuries I've been through. If you would have said to me two yeas ago I'd make my debut in Vienna, with the state my knee was in, I'd have said 'no chance'.

'I loved every minute of it and I am just grateful for the opportunity Kev gave me really.'

Hogg also admitted that man mountain Martin Laursen had plenty of words of wisdom during his spell on the sidelines, given what he was/went through himself.

'He had a few words with me to tell me to keep working hard and to keep thinking positive. Because he'd had similar injuries he'd been through the same programmes and he knew what was hard and what was easy. He really helped me through it, it was really nice.'

Vital Villa on: facebook

Vital Villa on: twitter

Join The Vital Debate




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



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

The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday August 25 2010

Time: 6:00PM

Your Comments

What I'd Give to have laursen back!!! The more experience the youngns get the better, I hope we see them More and more regularly. It can't do us any harm.
Pooley79
No idea chap, just beaten to the pun again! lol
mike_field
im with you Pooley79, why not give the young guns a chance, cos lets be honest we cant lose any more than against the Bar Codes can we? im very concerned this season as to what situation wrere gonna find ourselves in come christmas has gone, i had a bad feeling as realised as i saw that us, small heath, baggies, wolverines, were all in Prem together, just had a vision by the end of season we all gonna be scrapping to stay clear of drop? I HOPE IM WRONG ,, VERY !
ClivetheVillan
Good to see the kids coming through, but in the right manner. I still think that we need experience and quality though if we're going to compete. If we're going to blood the kids then it just says to me that we're settling for 'best of the rest', be interesting to see how we're positioned come January.....
CannockVilla
 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Articles

Deeney In, Helenius Out? (Thursday April 17 2014)

Lambert Upbeat Ahead Of Saints Clash (Thursday April 17 2014)

Randy In Praise Of Lambert (Wednesday April 16 2014)

Villa Confirm Suspensions (Tuesday April 15 2014)

Culverhouse and Karsa Suspended (Tuesday April 15 2014)

U21s Lose To Chelsea (Monday April 14 2014)

Archived Articles

List All Vital Villa Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Pride of Lions 829
2. The Fear 729
3. ClivetheVillan 278
4. Barney2004 245
5. Villan57 220
6. tarzan 193
7. Villan Of The North 189
8. sirdennis 184
9. BlackCountry Villa 172
10. Sussex Villan 170

League Results (view all)

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
11. Crystal Palace 34 12 4 18 -14 40
12. West Ham 34 10 7 17 -9 37
13. Hull City 33 10 6 17 -6 36
14. Aston Villa 33 9 7 17 -14 34
15. Swansea 34 8 9 17 -5 33
16. WBA 33 6 15 12 -11 33
17. Norwich 34 8 8 18 -27 32

Breaking League News

Mulumbu Wins WBADSC Award
WBA : 17/04/2014 21:53:00
Olsson amp; Morrison Boost?
WBA : 17/04/2014 21:48:00
The Ped Report City 2-2 Sunderland
Man City : 17/04/2014 21:41:00
Poch - Villa Isn't Just Revenge
Southampton : 17/04/2014 21:33:00
Bolasie Looking For Strong Finish
Crystal Palace : 17/04/2014 21:18:00
Pulis Delighted With Everton Victory
Crystal Palace : 17/04/2014 21:10:00
Palacegate Saga Continues
Cardiff : 17/04/2014 20:54:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

How many more points will we get this season?
Suggested By:  villa2stoke1
0 32%
1 14%
2 10%
3 12%
4 17%
5 3%
5-10 8%
11+ (in your dreams) 4%