Villa World

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Wednesday Round-Up, 29/4/09

As I didn’t update after the WHAM! game, I thought we could take a little look at the happenings in and around Villa Park.

Ashley Young wins PFA Player of the Year. Good for him. I am a fan of Ashley Young, but I do feel that he has not been at his best since getting suspended for his sending-off in the Sunderland game. He appears to be more wasteful than at any other time in his Villa career. Perhaps he is just a little over-rated right now.  I mean, he got three player of the month awards in a calendar year, but I would argue whether he was even Villa’s best player in that month! Still, he is a good lad. He works hard, is a delight to watch at times and I think has the potential to be a great player for us as long as he keeps his feet on the ground. I’d like to see him cut out the diving, too!

Laursen and Bouma. Martin Laursen is likely to retire soon, which is horrible. Not just for a Villa point of view, but for him. Wilfred Bouma is now not going to be making a comeback this season. To me that is okay, I just want him back for next season. It’s a cliche, but it really will be like signing a new player.

The Reserves win the league. I was there, too. The club deserve tremendous credit for the Academy work, and a lot of them lads are what have won us that league. Sure there has been the odd contribution (mostly Nicky Shorey) from first- players but overall it’s a bunch of young lads that will all stand a good chance of being relative successes in football – hopefully, in the main, with us! Congratulations to all involved.

MON discusses the Old Firm. The annual should-Celtic-and-Rangers-join-the-EPL question has come up. When asked, MON has unsurprisingly said yes. For me, I can see the arguement but it raises too many questions and in all honesty, would Celtic and Rangers fans want it? After all, would they qualify for the Champions League on a consistent basis? They would certainly be in a better position financially and the potential for both clubs would be enormous, but they would not be in a position to be as dominant as they are now and subsequently I don’t ever see it happening.

Speaking of MON… He also won a libel case against Football365 regarding an article from May 2008 involving his dealings with Rafa Benitez. According to BBC Sport, his representative Paul Hackney said,

“It appeared to the claimant there was a campaign by some of the employees of the defendant to try to undermine the claimant’s reputation”

Amusingly, the article came 16 days after 365 Media Group had apologised for another libellous piece concerning the Villa manager’s dealings in the transfer market. Lawyers for 365 Media Group apologised and will pay the costs of action at the High Court in London. Cretins!

And finally, transfer talk a-plenty! We have been linked with… *takes a deep breath*… Dorin Goian (Steaua Bucharest, defender), Rafael van der Vaart (Rea Madrid, midfielder), Fabian Delph (Leeds, midfielder), Nikola Zigic (Valencia, on-loan at Racing Santander, Striker), Ibrahim Afellay (PSV, attacking midfielder), Mohammed Sarr (Standard Liege, defender), Paul Scharner (Wigan, defender/midfielder), Yohan Cabaye (Lille, midfielder) and Nathaniel Clyne (Crystal Palace, right-back). We will probably sign none of them!

April 29, 2009 Posted by | Football, Soccer | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bouma Suffers Setback

Left-back Wilfred Bouma will not be making a comeback this season after Martin O’Neill revealed that there have been further complications.

“There have been some floating particles in the ankle that might have been there for some time or might have broken off in his rehab,” said O’Neill.

“We will know better about that by the middle of next week but I think the idea is that it is best to get the surgery done now.” (Source: BBC Sport)

To me, much like Martin Laursen, if him remaining on the sidelines for the rest of this season means he is ready to go next season, then hopefully that will be the case. Bouma – like Laursen – is a popular character within Aston Villa and it’s supporters, and we are all hoping for themselves and the team that they make full recoveries and are ready to go next season.

April 17, 2009 Posted by | Football, Soccer | , , , | Leave a comment

MON laments Laursen loss

Martin O’Neill has admitted that Martin Laursen is unlikely to play again this season. He last played against West Brom in January, where he was coming back from the knee injury – and in hindsight it was too soon. Maybe if he had rested a while longer then he would have been in a position to come back. However, what is done is done, and to be honest I just hope he is ready for next season.

MON has also alluded to the fact that not only have we missed him defensively, but also from an attacking point of view.

“You just can’t keep moaning because he’s been out,” said O’Neill. “You’ve just got to address it and try and go forward with it. But we have missed him this season.

“I’ve likened him to a Paul McGrath-type here. Martin has been immense for us and we have missed his presence.

“We’ve missed his presence defensively and, interestingly enough, we’ve actually missed it in the opposition box.” (Source: Express & Star)

Martin Laursen was the best signing of David O’Leary in terms of ability, and you have to believe that DOL would have done a little better had Laursen been fit. Not saying he would have done great, just better!

If Martin Laursen is available next season, then brilliant. If he is not, then that is a huge shame for the player, and something that will be very worrying for us. Clearly we have missed him hugely and while I think it would be ludicrous to suggest that our bad run is down to his absence alone, it has certainly been a factor.

April 15, 2009 Posted by | Football, Soccer | , , , | Leave a comment