Writer: Mike Field
Date:Tuesday August 5 2014
Incredibly slow news day with not a lot of note other than odd snippets, so an easy to digest and more importantly, very easy way of covering it for me because I'm lazy.
We shall start with 21 year old midfielder Samir Carruthers.
Having spent time last season out on loan with MK Dons before a knee injury cut his time short with them, it appears their manager Karl Robinson wants him back.
Carruthers was very impressive in a series of showings for the club and he quickly became a key part of their squad making 23 starting appearances for them across all competitions, with a further five off the bench. He also scored twice for them.
With it already being rumoured that both MK Dons and Notts County have expressed an interest in securing him for the season, Robinson has gone a stage further following reports that Sammy's car was outside their ground during their friendly defeat to Leicester City and said he'd love to secure him on a permanent basis.
'Samir is someone I think is a top, top player. I'm not going to rule it out, but I'm not going to tell you I've done a deal either. He's someone I'd love to bring to the club on a permanent deal and when you see the team, and the number of young players, he'd certainly add quality. I know he was here, but nothing is done. We'll have to wait and see.'
Carruthers now only has one year left on his deal and many of us wanted to see him last season, so are really hoping he makes the step up this campaign but so far he hasn't been involved on our tour to Texas nor involved in the Groningen friendly, but he did get pitch time against Mansfield and Chesterfield, so maybe the Walsall game will be a pointer.
On to Ron Vlaar news.
Shay Given appears in the press a few times talking about Vlaar and new assistant gaffer Roy Keane.
Briefly on Keane he's said.
'He has been very helpful for all of the players. He has been out there coaching aswell, giving players lots of advice. When an ex player like Roy Keane gives you advice, you take it on board.'
For Vlaar he added.
'Ron was fantastic at the World Cup. One of the best players in the tournament. As far as I'm aware the club are in discussions with him about extending his contract. He's our club captain and we would love to keep him.'
Manager Paul Lambert has also been talking about our Dutchman in recent days in terms of sitting down with him and sorting out a new deal, and given we all need some good news you would hope that one can be settled quickly given all the rumours surrounding his future at the moment.
'Ron has told me he is concentrating on the Stoke game. I will speak to him in depth to see how he's feeling. He has not had much of a break but he's enthusiastic, it was a good feeling I got from him. Ron has another year still to go on his contract, it's not as if he's at the end of it. He loves it at Villa, that's well known.'
Ending the day's news, is Lambert talking about Brad Guzan, and whilst admitting he has a selection headache when it comes to choosing between him and Shay Given for the opening day, he's not putting much stock in Guzan's recent errors against Chesterfield nor the less than shining moments from Given either this pre season when you look at the goals against column.
'I said to him (Guzan/Chesterfield) he better get them out, the errors, before the start of the season. On a serious note, though, he'd only joined up with us in Houston and has not done much before that. The two years I have been here he's been absolutely brilliant. He can make as many mistakes as he likes in pre season games, but when it's for real I'm sure he'll be right up for it.'
With the old bomb squad no more, and the return of Given to first team matters, he added.
'I've got two really top goalkeepers in Shay and Brad. They will push each other and come the Stoke game I will pick the strongest team.'
And that's about the lot for today so far. I'll let you decide if it was worth the wait.
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Date:Tuesday August 5 2014
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