No Move for German ‘Feller’

January 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller has turned down a proposed free transfer to Villa in the summer after agreeing a new long term contract with Germany’s top club. Houllier has held an interest in the 30-year-old for some time now but a move to replace Brad Friedel with the German is now a no-go after Weidenfeller, who had previously kept his options open to a move to England, signed a new contract until 2014. Houllier will now have to refocus his attentions after confirming that he was on the lookout for a long term replacement for Villa’s American veteran, whose deal is up in the summer.

Houllier Wont Rule Out Friedel Contract Renewal

December 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

Gerard Houllier has revealed an intent to hold talks with veteran goalkeeper Brad Friedel early next year to discuss whether both parties are interested in agreeing a new contract. The American will be 40 next year and the manager has confirmed that he is on the lookout for a future replacement for Friedel with a host of names being linked. It was believed that Rangers keeper Allan McGregor was top of the list but according to reports, although the Villa management were impressed by the Scotsman over various scouting assignments, the club feel that at 6 foot tall, he is too short. Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller, 30, has apparently replaced McGregor as the priority target though the likes of young Championship stoppers’ Jason Steele and Scott Loach have also been linked. Houllier seemingly left the door open to Big Brad to sign a new contract after it was suggested that his time would be up at Villa Park come the end of the season.

“We are looking at several goalkeepers – and we’ve told Brad

“We’re looking for a keeper for the future.

“If Brad is fine in February, then we will keep him. We’ve told him that, if he feels OK.

“I’ve spoken to him and said ‘obviously, you’re 39, so I need to look to the future but I’m perfectly happy with you’.

“And, if he feels fine, why not? We’ll ask him in February. If he feels alright, we’ll keep him.

“If he stays, he’ll stay as the first-team keeper.”

Weidenfeller Linked to Villa Free

December 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

With reports suggesting that veteran keeper Brad Friedel’s Villa time may be up at the end of the season, by which time he will have turned 40, Houllier has been linked to an array of goalkeeping talent at home and abroad. Despite being one of the club’s most consistent performers this season, barring a few blips (Blackburn in particular), it seems that Friedel will be surplus to requirements come the summer. Fellow American and Brad, Brad Guzan hasn’t really been given a hope by many sources of filling Big Brad’s, Big boots and has seen his chances extremely limited under Houllier. It has now been reported that Borussia Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller is interested in a move to the Premier League after his contract expires next summer with Villa emerging as favourites to land the German stopper. At 30-years of age the Dortmund player should be coming into his prime as a shot-stopper and seems reluctant to sign a new deal at the club after 9 years in with the side who are currently romping to victory in the Bundesliga and sit top, 11 points ahead of their closest rivals. The keeper has been first choice at Dortmund for the last 7 seasons and is in top form having kept 8 clean sheets from 16 appearances in the league, better than any other keeper. Villa have also been linked with a number of British keepers including Rangers’ Allan McGregor, Watford’s Scott Loach and Middlesbrough’s Jason Steele although a free transfer in the summer for the German may well be Houllier’s first choice.

Aston Villa vs Liverpool Pre-Match Predictions

December 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Pre-Match Predictions 

Here are my predictions for this Monday’s game with Liverpool. I’m equally optimistic and pessimistic ahead of the match which will see Houllier return to Anfield. An uncertain defence of late doesn’t look like keeping a clean sheet any time soon against a Liverpool team who made a host of chances against Tottenham last week. On a positive note Agbonlahor looked sharp against City and we dominated the game despite defeat so I think we will get a few chances against a Liverpool defence devoid of Carragher and Agger. I’m hopeful of returns for Cuellar and Albrighton but may well be wrong! What do you think will be the score and who will feature in tomorrow night’s 8pm kick-off?

Possible Starting XI: Friedel; L Young, Dunne, Cuellar, Warnock; Albrighton, Clark, Hogg, Downing; Ireland; Agbonlahor

Key Man: Gabby Agbonlahor

Goalscorer(s): Agbonlahor, Ireland

Minute of First Goal: 53

Final Score: 2-2

Liverpool vs Aston Villa Match Preview

December 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Match Previews 

Monday 6th December 2010

Opponent: Liverpool

Venue: Anfield

Kick Off: 20:00

Gerard Houllier will make an emotional return to Liverpool in Monday night as he takes his Villa side to Anfield in desperate search of a win. The Frenchman will no doubt have had his eye on this fixture since moving to Villa and his ties with the club are just one of a number of potential reunions. Houllier’s No.2 Gary McAllister was brought to the club by the manager is a playing capacity and in a short stint with the club the Scotsman became a cult hero. Among the playing staff to have plied their trade in Merseyside include Brad Friedel, Stephen Warnock and Emile Heskey, though the striker is unlikely to feature through injury. Extended Match Preview

Villa’s Dip in Form Leads to Numerous Transfer Rumours

December 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa, Transfer News 

An awful run of results for Gerard Houllier has left Villa in 16th ahead of Monday night’s tie with Liverpool. Despite some decent performances a lack of results has led to a surge in the amount of players linked with the club ahead of the January transfer window. Read how reports suggest that Villa could be in for a change of No.1 as well as links to advanced midfielders and familiar faces up front. Don’t get too excited as Houllier has said that he only plans to bring in new faces in January and has also said that a striker is probably not one of them but this has not stopped the reports! Enjoy! Villa Transfer Merry-go-round!

Villa Injury Update Ahead of Liverpool Trip

December 4, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Injury News 

Barry Bannan is the latest player to join the Villa Park injury list. The young midfielder limped off in the 2-1 defeat to Birmingham in midweek with a groin injury and is unlikely to recover in time for the trip to Anfield on Monday night. Gerard Houllier was erring on the side of caution as he didn’t want to aggravate the problem which would only deplete his squad further. Speaking in a press conference on Friday, Houllier stated:

“I don’t think Barry will be able to play. I’ve got my doubts because it is a groin strain which he picked up against Birmingham.”

Positive News on the Long-Term Injury Front

Aston Villa Performances Overshadowed by Dismal Results

December 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Match Reports 

After a day to grieve over what was really a hit and run from the Blues on Wednesday I have had time to reflect and collect my thoughts! It seems at the moment that Aston Villa cannot buy a win and if you can find me a manager whose new job has started with worse luck then Gerard Houllier I’m all ears. A dominant and much improved performance from the forgettable 0-0 draw at Villa Park last month still saw Villa knocked out of the League Cup. A Semi-final with West Ham awaited which almost had me sobbing into my lonely corner of shame as Villa looked to build on their Final appearance last season. Without sounding too much like a broken record, Villa couldn’t really have been missing many more players once again against the Blues though a goal-scoring return did give us fans something to cheer. Still, poor defending in the first half and a lack of cutting edge meant that all Villa’s possession and passing football came to nothing in a 2-1 defeat at St Andrews.

Extended Match Report and Ratings

Villa Continue Dismal Recent Record

November 28, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa, Match Reports 

Gerard Houllier finds his Aston Villa team in an increasingly large rut following a 4-2 defeat to Arsenal due to an abysmal first half performance. The Villans have now won just one game in their last nine Premier League matches coming from an edgy 3-2 win over a massively under strength Blackpool side. The Arsenal loss was Villa’s first league defeat at home and despite a spirited second half fight back Houllier’s men were unable to overturn what was a fortunate 2-0 deficit by half time. Read more

Hou’d be a Villa Fan

November 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa, Match Reports 

Wednesday 10th November 2010

Aston Villa 3-2 Blackpool

Aston Villa did things the hard way, as ever, in a thrilling encounter with Blackpool at Villa Park which saw Houllier’s side get their first win in 6 league games, running out 3-2 winners. A massive shock came when the Blackpool line-up was announced with no less than 10 changes made from the weekends draw with Everton. The remaining player from the 2-2 tie was Keith Southern who made his first league appearance for Holloway’s side on Saturday. Houllier must have seen this as great news but undoubtedly as a banana skin which was very nearly slipped on as his side twice threw away leads to set-up a nervy finish. An 89th minute strike from James Collins wrapped up the win with three points seeing Villa back into the top half of the table. Extended Match Report

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