King Carlos Reportedly Wants Out

January 7, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Transfer News 

Speculation has surfaced today stating that Carlos Cuellar has informed his agent that he wants out of Villa Park. The Spaniard has returned to the side in recent weeks through the dropping of Richard Dunne and injury to Luke Young, but is reportedly unhappy at a lack of first team involvement. The centre-back has been deployed as a right-back for the majority of his time at the club after Martin O’Neill captured his signature from Rangers after picking up the SPL Player of the Year. Cuellar has consistently impressed in his natural central role but continues to be ousted to a full-back role under Gerard Houllier. After struggling to shake off an injury at the start of the season, Cuellar saw his chances limited and when he was brought in against Wolves last year, winning the man of the match along with praise from his manager, he was subsequently dropped when Dunne returned to fitness. The club’s awful form partnered with a discontent at the club has led to rumours suggesting that he has asked his agent to seek a transfer from the club. King Carlos is a Villa favourite and a player that Houllier would be foolish to let go in my opinion, our best centre-back on his day as far as I’m concerned. I must stress that this is purely speculation and has not been confirmed so it may well be rubbish but thought I’d report it anyway because the notion didn’t sit well with me!

Friedel Quashes Bust-Up Reports

Aston Villa keeper Brad Friedel has been quick to deny reports of a bust-up between Richard Dunne and assistant manager, Gary McAllister. The rumours come as one of many stories regarding a lack of harmony at the club since new manager Gerard Houllier’s arrival three months ago. Dunne was dropped from the Villa starting line-up along with fellow countryman Stephen Ireland who was omitted from the squad entirely. Many Villa fans had been calling for the move to replace Dunne with the returning Carlos Cuellar for some time and it had first appeared that Houllier had been heeding this call. However, suggestions were made of a bust-up between the Villa centre back and Houllier’s right hand man which had apparently shocked much of the Villa squad and may have led to his demotion to the bench. Friedel stated that the side were lacking confidence after a dismal run and that meetings had been held with and without members of staff between the players. When asked of the reported fracas between McAllister and Dunne he said:

“I never saw a proper bust-up at all, although I know he was left out of the team on Saturday.”

More rumours circulated today that yet another Villa player had fallen foul in Gerard Houllier’s Christmas card list. According to sources from the Daily Mail, Habib Beye was involved in an angry confrontation with Houllier during a routine training match. It is reported that the defender reacted furiously to being told to curb his tackling and of his lack of opportunities at the club. Beye has already been linked with a move away in Villa Park to cut the club’s wage bill as one of the bench-warmers of the side. If the reports are true then he may well be a step closer to a departure and if factual, then he would join the likes of Dunne, Ireland and Carew who have been rumoured to be on bad terms with the new Villa management. What do you make of all the apparent lack of harmony behind the scenes? Is it all being blown out of proportion or are the mounting stories a concern under Houllier who has appears to be incapable of staying out of the papers of late.

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

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

Aston Villa Face Blues in Must Win Quarter Final: Match Preview

November 29, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Match Previews 

Villa travel the short journey to St. Andrews in what is a massive League Cup Quarter Final draw with fierce rivals Birmingham City. The two sides met last month, producing probably the dullest derby in decades and a strong contender for worst Premier League game of the season. Villa were riddled with injuries and remain severely depleted as they look to turn around a poor run of results. A spirited comeback against Arsenal on Saturday was all in vain due to a dire first half display but did encourage some fans ahead of the nail biting clash on Wednesday. Houllier’s side have won just 1 in 9 in the league though they qualified for this stage of the cup with a tense 2-1 extra-time win over Championship Burnley. Birmingham reached the Quarter Finals at the expense of League One Brentford who pushed the Blues all the way but were beaten in a penalty shoot-out. Read more

Quarterly 2010/11 Season Review: Aston Villa Defensive Statistics by Player

November 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa 

Mainly down to having far too much time on my hands and being a stickler for a good stat, I decided to comprise a list of the defensive statistics for each Aston Villa defender and midfielder (excluding wingers Marc Albrighton, Stewart Downing and Ashley Young). The stats show each player’s record thus far this campaign as well as their overall Premier League record for their combined clubs in parenthesis. The stats include the average amount of goals the team concede per game, the average amount of clean sheets the team picks up and the average number of shots on target it takes to concede when each player is on the pitch. Exciting stuff I realise but it does reveal some interesting results. I will list the top 3 players in each category regarding their defensive record as well as the bottom 3 culprits. Individual Defensive Stats in Full

What is Aston Villa’s Best Starting XI?

November 1, 2010 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Aston Villa, Hot topic debates 

I have decided to use my Average Player Ratings stats to decipher who have been Villa’s best starting XI this season in the familiar 4-4-1-1 formation. The ratings started after the 6-0 defeat to Newcastle which should be taken into consideration and Carling Cup performances are included. Each player must have featured at least 3 times for Villa in the last 10 games. Villa’s Top XI Performers

Double Fitness Boost for Villa Ahead of City Derby

October 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Injury News 

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier today confirmed the return of John Carew and Luke Young ahead of the Birmingham City game on Sunday. Carew was expected to return from the illness that kept him out of the midweek clash with Burnley but is likely to have to make do with a place on the bench after Emile Heskey impressed once again in the cup tie. Gabby Agbonlahor is still a couple of weeks away from a return though Luke Young should feature at the weekend. The news will come as a shock to many Villa fans after Houllier had played down reports of a return in the coming weeks. Whether Young is fit to start is unsure but if he does it would mean a return to the bench for Senegalese international Habib Beye and most likely Carlos Cuellar too. Houllier also revealed that local lad Marc Albrighton was distraught at being unavailable through suspension for derby day at Villa Park. The young winger was sent off for a professional foul in the Carling Cup after Villa had regained the lead in extra-time.

“John Carew seems to have recovered from his flu. We need everyone. Not having Gabby, it is good to have John and Emile.”

“Marc Albrighton is suspended. The boy is devastated – very downhearted. Luke Young should be involved.”

Aston Villa vs Birmingham City Pre-Match Prediction

October 29, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Aston Villa, Pre-Match Predictions 

No self-respecting Villa fan, especially one who runs a blog viewed by other Villa fans, is ever going to bet against his own team in the derby with the Blues. It would be like betting that Scotland would beat England, you just can’t bring yourself to even comprehend the possibility. Villa do have key players missing and I beg that Houllier drops Beye for Cuellar, I know he’s not a right-back but he’s also not Habib Beye! These issues aside people do forget that the times of our depressingly under-strength squad depth are nearly over. Nearly. I have to predict a home win and thoroughly believe that we will win. Maybe not 5-1, maybe not even 2-0 but scrap that, I’m going for 2-0. Am I biased? Yes I am, but what do you think the score will be, who will score, and do any of you dare to bet against the Villa? I want to hear from you!

Birmingham (Home) – Sunday 31st October

Possible Starting XI: Friedel; Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Warnock; Downing, Reo-Coker, Sidwell, Young; Ireland; Heskey

Key Man: Emile Heskey

Goalscorer(s): Heskey, Delfouneso (sub)

Minute of First Goal: 52

Final Score: 2-0

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