Stoke Preview 'int it!'
With this preview being written and posted so flipping late (sorry all, I have been rather busy) there`s a risk nobody will read it.
Then again, what`s new?
Aston Villa should be returning to some form of reality having sent the last week or so prioritising ourselves out of competitions, oh, and losing to Chelsea. It`s a must-win game for martin O`Neill`s side and indeed Martin himself, who will be under fire should his "rested" stars fail to pick up all 3 points against Stoke City.
Stoke, the team who rely so heavily on the Delap artillery bombardment for survival, find themselves 3rd in the up-side down league table and need the 3 points to climb out of the relegation zone.
Stoke, Villa, no prioritisation here, free food, Gabby sort it, Vietnam, oatcakes, WOW!
Oh Arsene Wenger, you do make me giggle, this quote making far less sense than anything that pops up in these previews:
"There is a big desire to do well and to make sure we score, but it is not there at the moment. The more I speak about it, the more there is a problem."
The desire is there, but it isn`t, there is more of a problem with the desire that is there but isn`t when he speaks about it, so he`s spoken about it. Righto!
Anyway, moving onto all things Claret & Blue (Villa, not WHAM, Burnley or Cobh Ramblers), Martin O`Neill has been somewhat silent regarding the Stoke City match, probably still working out why he did an interview wearing one of those big furry hats. However I did manage after a bit of trawling (no doubt by time this goes out his programme comments will be available on avfc.co.uk) and found this:
"Because we get knocked out [of the Uefa Cup] does it mean there is more pressure on Sunday? Not for the players. The one thing you want to do is take pressure away from the players. I'll take it myself."
Vital Villans everywhere will know that I can often be one of the biggest critics of the Official Club website, and, it continues. With Villa having such a disappointing week those who actually get paid to write nonsense (take note JF!) have done wonders once more. The UEFA Cup captain for the night, Luke Young has gone into cliché overdrive as he told avfc.co.uk:
"This game becomes very important now. We need to get back on track with a win.
"The manager has made the league his top priority and we have 12 games to go. They are now so, so important - massive - and they will shape our season.
"There will be a sense of occasion every time we play - and it will be like 12 cup finals, no doubt about it."
Shame really, had we perhaps tried a bit harder against QPR way back when, our 3pm kick off today could have been IN a cup final, rather than a 'cup final` against Stoke City.
On the flip side, Sjoke City boss Tony Pulis believes that Martin O`Neill is the only man for the England job, once Fabio Capello has finally learnt English, at the end of his contract.
"I think he's a top, top manager and was very unfortunate to get overlooked for the England job last time round. Villa won't thank me for saying this, but if he keeps doing what he's been doing, he should be the next England manager - if he wants it."
Pulis added further praise, especially over the Villa bosses` dress sense:
"Martin is very passionate, and it will be nice to be up against a manager wearing a tracksuit. There are loads drifting away to wearing suits. He's old-fashioned in that sense, but you can't say that about his team."
Trinny and Susannah, eat your hearts out!
ASTON VILLA Team News:
Villa will likely return to normal for the league match, having rested no fewer than 8 players for the midweek trip to Russia however bizarrely, BBC report that John Carew will return to the squad following his "injury."
Captain fantastic Martin Laursen and Wilf Bouma continue to be on the long-term injured reserve list.
Player to watch: Gabby 'Where's the Goal?' Agbonlahor
If Gabby`s goal scoring record of late was in a Wild West Movie, it`d be the tumbleweed.
Sort it out lad.
Stoke City Team News:
Thankfully, we won`t have to suffer the Rory Delap long throw, as he has been suspended for being too one-dimensional (or something along those lines.) Mr Pulis also has to do without Matthew Etherington (suspension) and may not be able to field Ricardo Fuller who has been suffering from a shoulder injury.
Perhaps we could lend them Marlon Harewood for the game?
Player to watch: Teflon Tommy Sorensen!
Thomas, if you`re reading on your mobile whilst sitting in the dressing room. Remember that utterly atrocious error you made in a Villa/Blues derby, in fact the one that not only did I have to watch that, but I had to spend some time with Fieldy. You lay on the floor and watched the ball bounce over your head. Remember?
Same again please! :o)
I heard someone driving past in a car with this screaming louder than a Guantanamo Bay "prisoner." So thought it`d be a goodun to stick on here! I can`t remember the name of the film, but it was a Vietnam film with Mel Gibson in it, this is the backing to the moment they fly in in helicopters, brilliant! Credence Clearwater, Revival and their hit Fortunate Son
Press play, and enjoy whilst you read the rest of the preview!
Now it`s time for some Thomas Sorensen facts, as we welcome back a man who unfairly had to sit and watch Scott Carson somehow sink Villa goalkeeping ability to a new low. Sorensen was brought to this country by Peter Reid, has played 77 times for his country, and somehow managed to put the ball into his own goal against England once.
Enough of that, did you know that Stoke-on-Trent only became a city in it`s own right in 1925. One of it`s most famous son`s is Robbie Williams, but again, enough of that!
Stoke, and indeed Staffordshire is known for oatcakes and something called "lobby."
People from Stoke can`t speak properly, as they mispronounce many a word such as 'boooook, loooook, cooook, fooook`, and indeed they seem to wish to ride around on giant bees, as they occasionally go on 'buzzes.` Everyone in Stoke is a Duck, unless you`re a shug, and one of the best things you can do when visiting is 'Go up 'anley.`
The referee in charge is Howard Webb who shares many a common thing as our site editor. He has no hair, think`s he`s a genius, and knows very little about football ;-).
We`re winning this one 3-1. Easy easy easy! I hope.
Next, Villa travel to Eastlands to take on Robinho, who apparently has told his team-mates they need to run more for him.
Thanks for reading this quick preview folks, I`m off for an oatcake and to continue my quest for ridiculous love!