The Week In Villa (14)
Wednesday, 31st October
In non-footballing matters, we announce that Bon Jovi will be playing Villa Park as part of their tour. Funny, it kinda feels like we've been livin' on a prayer for a while now… badum-tch.
Back to footballing matters and Paul Lambert's return to Carrow Road has been brought forward from May to December (Anyone remember that show? Reminds me of Sunday evenings at my Nan's…) as we are drawn against them in the League Cup.
Thursday, 1st November
The U-21's lose 2-0 away to Sunderland.
On the subject of Sunderland, attentions start to turn to Saturday. Naturally, Paul Lambert and Martin O'Neill have their connections. People who appear a bit clueless about football and/or lazy in their conclusions use the formula of:
Tracksuit + Glasses + Celtic + Norwich + Wycombe + Villa = OHMYGODTHEYARETHESAME
Friday, 2nd November
Previews continue. Lambert and MON, as you can imagine, say lots of nice things about each other and suggest that those given them stick should shut their yaps!
The Norwich game is confirmed as December 11th.
Two Villa Ladies received awards at the FA Women's Awards; Sherry McCue finished second while Sarah Mayling of the U17s finished third in the Young Player of the Year award.
Saturday, 3rd November
Well now, that was a needed win! The ironic thing is we won in the same way we won a lot under O'Neill - soak up pressure and hit them on the break.
Despite a bit of pressure I never felt concerned to be honest besides standard lack comfortableness at 1-0 (a second goal would have been lovely!) and we defended well. Everyone out there did themselves proud. Well maybe apart from Lichaj; that was not his best performance…!
Overall I think we deserved the win, and it was much needed given the horrific run of games we have coming up.
I would like to think it represents a turned corner. That said, I thought we may have done that after a good performance at Newcastle and beating Swansea but it didn't happen.
Now, do you know the one common denominator in those two games and the Sunderland victory? Barry Bannan started. The wee lad is much maligned by many Villa fans but statistically, he has been our most creative player this season, and there is no doubting the fact that, this season, when he starts, we play better.
Sunday, 4th November
Abbeyleigh Stringer scored twice and Kelly Clarke grabbed the other as the ladies won 3-0 away at Leicester in the League Cup.
Monday, 5th November
Darren Bent, who didn't travel with the squad on Saturday, appears to have aggravated the same ankle that kept him out for a sustained period last season. In addition, Eric Lichaj and Joe Bennett are also injured, which means Enda Stevens could be making his first Premier League start against Manchester United!
On the flip-side, Richard Dunne returns to training. If he comes back the Richard Dunne who can be bothered, then that's good news. If he's the lazy Dunne that doesn't concentrate, then he may as well stay injured…!
Tuesday, 6th November
We're linked with Maribor striker Robert Beric; seems a bit random.
In more substantial news, 15-year old Swedish striker Ihab Naser is joining us for a week. Could come to nothing, could be a great bit of business, who knows.
Finally, Ron Saunders turned 80 today. Happy birthday, sir.