Writer: Sheriff Kimbo
Date:Wednesday August 15 2012
Quiet week this week, don't bother getting a up of tea, it will still be too hot to drink by the time you've read this
Wednesday, 8th August
It`s been a very quiet day today. The NextGen prices have been announced though; £3 (£1 U-16) for season ticket holders, £4 (£2) for non-season ticket holders. Pretty darn reasonable, I`d say!
Thursday, 9th August
There have been a few transfer rumours doing the rounds, nothing new though. Kenwyne Jones, Aaron Cresswell and Kyle Naughton have all been linked.
On the flip side, James Nursery has said that Fletcher is unlikely, for whatever that is worth.
As for players that are here, Brett Holman has suggested that he would prefer to play behind the striker. That may well be what happens, at least in a rotation system with Zog and Ireland anyway.
Friday, 10th August
It`s confirmed that Marc Albrighton is going to miss the first 2/3 months of the season. That is a shame, any player will want to prove themselves under a new manager and any attacking player in particular will be pleased to play without the shackles of McLeish. Also, most players, when they miss pre-season, often don`t seem to catch up. It makes you wonder if this injury could be a turning point in Albrighton`s career; depending on our transfer activity and form, he could find it very difficult to break back in.
We`re playing in Germany tomorrow, neither Hutton nor Warnock have travelled. Excuse me while I do a little jig…
Saturday, 11th August
…and I`m back. An entertaining 3-3 draw in Werder Bremen is our last game before the real stuff starts. If you read my column last week you will know as I was hoping Darren Bent would get a full 90 mins and a couple of goals, which is exactly what happened. Nice to see he listened to me!
The other goal was taken very well by Ciaran Clark; we did concede three though and a few people have expressed concern that we have conceded six goals in two games with a Vlaar/Clark partnership. I would say that is jumping the gun a bit at this stage!
Perhaps the most interesting thing was that Delph and Weimann started rather than Ireland and Bannan. I am not sure what the team will be on Saturday but if I was making a prediction, I wouldn`t be surprised to see Delph with El Ahmadi to provide a bit of protection, with Ireland, Holman and N`Zogbia rotating around Bent. That said, I have been impressed with Bannan in pre-season so would not be stunned if he played rather than Delph. I would genuinely be a bit surprised if Weimann started though.
Sunday, 12th August
The charity shield was held at Villa Park today, between Chelsea and Manchester City. Citeh won 3-2. I didn`t watch it, so that is all I have to say about that!
Richard Dunne is linked with a move to Stoke. It was in the Star though, so, ya know.
Monday, 13th August
Shay Given has announced his international retirement. This can only be good for us, although I would rather Guzan be in goal anyway. Say what you want about our back four last season (I had plenty to say!) but Given was just as responsible for our woeful set-piece record.
Tuesday, 14th August
Paul Lambert speaks to the fans. The most significant moment appeared to be his reply of, "Who?" when asked about Makoun. I wasn`t there so I don`t know the full details and whilst undoubtedly tongue in cheek, I would say that sums up the fact that we won`t see him in a Villa shirt again. Some people will be happy, some will be annoyed, I am very much indifferent. But then I am now in my 30`s and starting to turn into a grumpy old man.
There is proper football next week. How exciting!
Date:Wednesday August 15 2012
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