Reo-Coker Free Not Bothering Anyone? Toon Interested

March 30, 2011 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Hot topic debates, Transfer News 

Nigel Reo-Coker’s contract at Villa expires in the summer and shows no sign of renewing itself, with the club seemingly unwilling to accept the player’s demands. Either way the issue has gone pretty much unnoticed but apparently not by the 26-year-old’s former West Ham boss Alan Pardew at Newcastle. The midfielder has come in for his critics both on and off the pitch, and a bust up with the old manager MO’N looked to have killed his Villa career. However, this term Reo-Coker has been highly involved in his favoured central midfield role and has impressed (well me anyway), particularly in the development of his passing game. In fact, behind Albrighton, I would suggest that he has been among the following pack in terms of the sides Player of the Year. Read more

Villa Linked to Another Le Havre Starlet in Ryan Mendes

March 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

Villa scouts in Le Havre believed to be paying attention to January target Guieda Fofana have apparently been enticed by the French youth captain’s 21-year-old team-mate Ryan Mendes, according to TalkSport. Born in Cape Verde, Mendes is yet to choose his international allegiance and could yet opt for Portugal, emulating compatriot Nani. I haven’t heard of the guy to be perfectly honest but the article suggests he is a key player in Le Havre’s promotion push to return to France’s Ligue 1. So I’ve had a little rummage around the stats files on the youngster, who is reportedly attracting admiring glances from league rivals West Ham as well as Portuguese league leaders Porto. View Mendes statistics

Quoted: Benitez Hits Out at Houllier Claims

March 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Quoted 

After Gerard Houllier argued that he had played a decisive role in Liverpool’s Champions League success, former Reds manager Rafa Benitez has hit back at the claims from the Frenchman who claimed credit because “apart from two players, they had been signed or developed under me”. The Spaniard took over from Houllier after a six-year spell at the club ended and had instant success in Europe’s elite competition, thanks in some part to bringing in his countrymen Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia. Benitez left Liverpool last season and has since been hired and fired by reigning Champions League winners Inter Milan. In his time out of the game Benitez has revealed that he hopes for a return to management in England and has been linked with a return to Anfield, as well as a move to Villa if his Reds predecessor was to be released after a dismal first campaign at Villa Park. To read Benitez’ comments click here

Quoted: Albrighton Doesn’t Fear Burnout, Speaks on Young/Downing

March 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Quoted 

Villa  winger Marc Albrighton has stated that he would have no problems in playing every game for Stuart Pearce’s England Under 21s, refuting any fears of suffering from burnout as the season draws to a close;

“There’s nothing like competitive football. It’s what you strive for and to go away with your country is a big honour.

“If I can get picked for that squad, it would be great for me. There’s nothing better than playing football. I love it.

“I’m not worried about burn-out, I’m only 21. There’s no chance of that happening. I’d play every day if I could.

“I have to pinch myself that I get paid to play.”

Albrighton on his Villa team-mates in the senior side

Villans for England – Capello Lauds Young Talent but has he Improved?

March 30, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: International Football, Quoted 

Fabio Capello has praised Villa man Ashley Young as ‘one of the most interesting players this season’ after a man of the match display against Wales was followed by an impressive showing alongside team-mate Stewart Downing, who picked up the gong for the Ghana game. With Darren Bent also netting on international duty this week it’s more frustrating than pleasing from my perspective to see them doing so well for their nation. The country is raving about Young as being one of the most improved players this season but ask any Villa fan and you are likely to get a different answer. The 25-year-old who is strongly linked with a move away from the club this summer has been steady if unspectacular this term in my opinion, and certainly hasn’t improved from his first full season at the club. The scenario reminds me a little of the Gareth Barry phase some 5 or 6 years ago when Villa fans were pleading for their star man to return to the international fold. Eventually he did get a call-up and has remained in the set-up ever since but none of which was during his best form for Villa. Anyway I ramble, to read Capello’s assessment of Young click here

Warnock in Action Tonight, for Villa Reserves not England!

March 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Villa Reserves & Academy 

After travelling to South Africa with the England squad to compete at the World Cup last summer, despite not featuring in the tournament, Stephen Warnock’s demise at club level has been catastrophic for his future international chances. With the national side facing Ghana tonight, the left-back would have been hoping to be involved in such games at the start of the season, but a fall-out with Gerard Houllier on the back of a dismal run of form in the first half of the season has seen the defender forced out of the first team set-up. The 29-year-old is all but certain to leave in the summer but lines up alongside fellow reject Habib Beye in an otherwise youthful reserve team which travel to Bolton for a 7pm kick off tonight.

The team in full is as follows; Siegrist, Herd, Deeney, Johnson, Devine, Beye, Berry, Forrester, Taylor, Warnock, Darkin. Subs: Nelson-Addy, Barrett, Juan Serrano, Cameron, Donacien

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Villa Vying for £6m Vedad Ibisevic Capture

March 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

Reports in Germany suggest that Hoffenheim forward Vedad Ibisevic is being lined up as a strike partner for Darren Bent next season. The Bosnia-Herzegovina frontman pairs up with Man City striker Edin Dzeko on international duty and has been an integral part in Hoffenheim’s achievement of establish themselves as a mainstay in the Bundesliga. The story from newspaper Bild suggests that the club will be looking to receive around £6m for the 26-year-old’s services. In 26 games in all competitions this season Ibisevic has netted 9 times, setting up another 4 in a reasonable campaign thus far. He also netted in his country’s 2-1 win over Romania on Saturday and in the game previous against Albania, notching a total of 8 goals in 30 appearances at international level. The striker signed for Hoffenheim in their promotion season but only scored 5 in his 31 games. His opening season in Germany’s top league the next year was a revelation as the Bosnian netted 18 goals in just 17 games (a goal every 81 minutes), assisting 7 in the process. He hasn’t been able to recapture that form since suffering an cruciate ligament injury for six months in 2009. However, he has kept up a respectable goals per games ratio of 1 in under 2 games (165 mins) having scored 47 in 117.

Join the new Facebook group and follow our new Twitter page for regular updates on all things Villa at;!/astonvilla_blog

Quoted: McAllister Refutes Unrest, Confirms Minor Rule Changes

March 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Quoted 

After it was revealed last week that Gerard Houllier had made changes to the code of conduct at Villa Park, reports suggested that a number of senior player’s had become disconcerted by some of the adjustments at the club. However, The Frenchman’s No. 2 Gary McAllister has backed claims from keeper Brad Friedel, refuting any unrest behind the scenes at the club, stating;

“I don’t think there’s any mutiny here. There’s been little arguments here and there but nothing outside the realms of what happens at most clubs.

“The facts are most football clubs have a rule book which is set by the PFA [Professional Footballers’ Association] and apart from little tweaks here and there, it’s a standard rule book.”

Read more

Quoted: Cuellar, Trapattoni and Clark on Clark

March 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Quoted 

Villa’s Carlos Cuellar has waxed lyrical over his young defensive partner Ciaran Clark, claiming that the 21-year-old has the potential to become one the best centre backs in Europe, let alone the Premier League;

“He is one of the best defenders I have played with. He is superb. He is young but he has some amazing assets. He is quick, he has good technique, he can play, he can tackle and he’s good in the air. He’s got everything you need to succeed and flourish.

“He is also incredibly versatile. He can play centre-back obviously but he’s done an amazing job at left-back too when he’s been asked to play there. And he’s even impressed in central midfield too.

“He will be one of the best defenders in the Premier League and in Europe too in my opinion. He’s that good. If he keeps up this kind of progression, keeps learning, he will definitely be one of the best defenders around. I rate him that highly.

“He has so many great assets but the quality of his left foot is amazing. He is so comfortable on it. It’s incredible.”

Trapattoni and Clark on his Irish international progression

Quoted: Pires Likely to Leave in May, Could Retire

March 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Quoted 

Robert Pires undertook an extensive interview with FIFA this weekend, detailing his role at Villa Park, his decision to move to the club and what the future holds for the 37-year-old. Some of his quoted suggest that a new contract with the club seems an impossibility and leaving, whether it be to another club or retiring from the game, is a far more realistic option. When asked whether he still trains in the same way as when he was younger, Pires stated:

“I certainly do. I enjoy training as much as ever. The desire is still there. I came here because I wanted the challenge and because I’m a competitor. I am trying to pass on my experience to a relatively young squad.”

On using his extensive experience;

“I am more patient, that’s for sure. I have learnt how to conserve my energy, both in training and in matches. I’m coming to the end of my career and am determined to enjoy myself while I can. A lot of former players have told me they regret giving up at 32 or 33 when they could have carried on, so I have chosen to keep going for as long as I can. I’m prepared for it all to come to an end in May, but if another coach and club come in for me, I will take on another challenge.”

Pires role at Villa and what the future holds

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