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

Various (Weak) Transfer Rumours

Alva Negredo. A few Internet sources have us linked to the 23 year-old Spanish striker, who currently plays for UD Almeria. He formerly played for Real Madrid, who have a buy-back option (believed to be around £5m) so if we are interested then it may be a moot point anyway.

Almen Abdi. Labelled as ‘the new Gareth Barry’ (!) in one report, this is a 22 year-old Swiss play-maker who plies his trade with Swiss side FC Zurich. I know nothing else about him other than he scored a couple of penalties against us in a pre-season friendly last summer.

Jose Manual Jurado. He is an Athletico Madrid player currently on loan at Mallorca, and is another midfielder aged 22. He is quoted as saying:

“To play in the Premier League would be magnificent, as it is a top division, but I have not spoken to anybody as yet.”

(source: http://www.goal.com/)

This would suggest that our being linked to him has no real credibility in it and I can not really say how I feel about that because if I have seen him play, then I have no memory of it.

Dickson Etuhu. Another player that doesn’t really spring to mind although I probably have seen him play. This fella is Nigerian, plays for Fulham and is 26; once again, he plays in midfield.

I would expect much more of this over the next few weeks, and then another summer of expectation, disappointment, delight and frustration!

April 2, 2009 Posted by | Aston Villa, Transfer Rumours | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment