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

Arsenal Reserves 0-2 Aston Villa Reserves

November 2, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Villa Reserves & Academy 

Kevin MacDonald’s men built on their decent run of form, following up a win over Midlands rivals Wolves, with a comfortable 0-2 victory over Arsenal. The former caretaker manager took a strong squad with him to London with first team members such as Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj, Marc Albrighton, Barry Bannan and Nathan Delfouneso all in the starting XI. It was Delfouneso who broke the deadlock on the half hour mark stretching his impressive form in front of goal for the reserves and pushing himself into Gerard Houllier’s plans. With Villa severely lacking in fire power recently the talk has been of bringing in a new striker, one begs the question why are only proven goal-scorer at any level hasn’t been given a chance in the first team as of yet. The 19-year-old was supported superbly from either flank by Marc Albrighton and Samir Carruthers with the former setting crossing for the latter to head home Villa’s decisive second. An impressive performance, in a game which the away side dominated for much of the encounter. Reserves Match Report

Houllier’s Brilliant Big Brad Selection

October 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa, Match Reports 

Wednesday 27th October 2010

Aston Villa 2-1 Burnley (AET)

Villa have made it through to the Quarter Finals of the Carling Cup thanks to a 2-1, substitute inspired win over Burnley after extra-time. Villa dominated much of the first half and should have been in front but a lack of goals is still a real worry ahead of the Blues derby on Sunday. Burnley capitalised on Villa’s poor finishing and came out strongly in the second 45, putting the home side on the back foot for much of the half. It took substitutions from Houllier to change the game with Heskey and Downing both introduced to great effect. The former put the home side ahead with 5 minutes remaining but Villa failed to protect this lead with Burnley equalising on 89 through captain Clarke Carlisle. A stunning goal from Stewart Downing sealed victory for the hosts despite a Marc Albrighton red card in extra-time. Extended Report and Ratings

Aston Villa vs Burnley Pre-Match Prediction

October 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa, Pre-Match Predictions 

Gerard Houllier will be looking to capitalise on the opportunity to get back to ways against weaker opposition in Villa’s Carling Cup 4th round tie with Burnley. Defensive absences, notably with both starting full backs missing, will give Brian Laws men hope. I believe that the youngsters who impressed in the last round such as Bannan and Delfouneso joined by Albrighton and Clark will have enough to see off inferior opposition tomorrow night. The mix of this youth and experience from the likes of temporary captain Reo-Coker should provide the fans with another glimpse of the bright future ahead at Villa Park. Tough to call the starting line-up in this one ahead of Birmingham on Sunday so let me know who you think will be given the nod.

Burnley (Home) – 27th October 2010

Possible Staring XI: Guzan; Lichaj, Clark, Cuellar, Beye; Albrighton, Reo-Coker, Sidwell, Bannan; Ireland; Carew

Key Man: Marc Albrighton

Goalscorer(s): Sidwell, Carew, Albrighton

Minute of First Goal: 33

Final Score: 3-1

Aston Villa vs Burnley Match Preview

October 26, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Aston Villa, Injury News, Match Previews 

Wednesday 27th October 2010

Opponent: Burnley

Venue: Villa Park

Kick Off: 19:45

Villa will be hoping to take advantage of some shock exits in the Carling Cup to strengthen their chances of another Wembley date next year. The competition has seen the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham knocked out thus far leaving Villa as third favourites behind Manchester United and Arsenal. Houllier’s men will have to overcome a tricky 4th round tie against Championship outfit Burnley to reach the Quarter-Finals of the tournament which they have won on 5 occasions. New manager Gerard Houllier will have fond memories of the Carling Cup as it was his first trophy as Liverpool boss. He went on to secure another final victory in his time at Anfield and Villa will be hoping the Frenchman’s impressive record in the competition continues. The home side will be big favourites but injury problems and a huge game against Birmingham at the weekend could prove potential banana skins. Full Match Preview

Heskey Makes the Difference at Villa Park

September 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa, Match Reports 

I won’t be submitting a match report on Wednesday’s game as I was way and unable to watch the tie unfortunately. From the highlights I’ve seen and what I’ve read, a poor start to the match was turned around by some profitable changes by new manager Gerard Houllier. Villa fans should take heart in the fact that it appears the Frenchman can change tactics and indeed the game if things aren’t going so well. MON always seemed reluctant to make changes both pre-match and during games to revitalise flat performances. Who would have thought that Emile Heskey would be introduced to the usual groans when needing to score goals, and change the game with 2 vital contributions? His goal was uncharacteristically well taken and didn’t go in off his face or stomach and one could even say that he meant it! The strike signified his first touch of the ball after being brought on in place of the ineffective John Carew. Perhaps more impressive was the inch perfect cross to kill off the game and provide Ashley Young with a simple tap in to seal the game 3-1 in Villa’s favour.

Good displays from the youngsters on show will also encourage Houllier and the faithful with the likes of Lichaj, Clark, Bannan and Delfouneso all playing major parts in the victory. With the team that was fielded, 3-1 has to go down as a magnificent result and the players showed a fight that hasn’t been there since the 1-0 win over Everton last month. The manager also was confident enough to bring young Nathan Delfouneso into the fray once Gabby had picked up an injury which will please many fans who have been longing to see the striker given a chance at the club. Undoubtedly there will be large scale changes once more ahead of the derby with Wolves on Sunday though Heskey may well be rewarded with a start ahead of Carew who has been pretty dire thus far. I would imagine Ashley Young will revert back to starting in a central role after netting 2 goals from that position after being moved off the wing against Blackburn. A full match preview will follow along with predictions and injury news.

Kicked to the Curb?

Today’s main story at Villa Park surrounds an interview supposedly help with former player Alan Curbishley on Wednesday. The board hope to fill the managerial vacancy by the time Villa kick-off in their next league game against Stoke City next weekend. Curbishley who joined the club as a player from arch rivals Birmingham has been touted as a candidate since MON departed and it is now apparent that he was indeed shortlisted for the job. With the club stating that a manager with Premier League experience was a necessity, Curb’s has shot up to second favourite for the job. Whether this should be read in to too much is another matter as the favourite seems to be changing every other day but it is clear that the former Charlton and West Ham boss is in the frame.

So four days ago it was Koeman and two days ago it was Moyes, both of whom are still though to be in the running, but out of these three gaffer’s who would you most like to see at Villa Park?

Curbishley’s record is very decent at Premier League level considering the players he has dealt with. He took Charlton into the league before establishing them as a mainstay in and around mid table, a feat that hasn’t really been emulated since with Stoke looking the most likely. After leaving the Addick’s the club found themselves in turmoil as many a manager tried and failed to feel his boots. With West Ham he battled relegation and successfully so keeping the club up in a dramatic, down to the wire fashion before leaving two years ago. One main issue may be that he hasn’t managed since but this seems to have been through his own choosing as he is linked with nearly every job that has comes upon his departure. I hear he was very close to becoming a checkout girl at Sainsbury’s!

In other slightly less interesting news a 22 man squad was named yesterday with no shocks whatsoever from the 25 available places. Hopefully this paves the way for three superstars in January, who knows. The squad in full is;

Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan, James Collins, Carlos Cuellar, Habib Beye, Curtis Davies, Richard Dunne, Luke Young, Stephen Warnock, Eric Lichaj, Stewart Downing, Jonathan Hogg, Isaiah Osbourne, Stiliyan Petrov, Nigel Reo-Coker, Stephen Ireland, Steve Sidwell, Ashley Young, Moustapha Salifou, John Carew, Gabby Agbonlahor, Emile Heskey

If you’re wondering where the likes of Albrighton, Delfouneso, Delph and Clark are on the list they do not have to be submitted as they are under 21 and can be called upon at any time. They are joined by youth hopefuls such as Shane Lowry, Nathan Baker, Barry Bannan and Andreas Weimann.

In some positive news right back Luke Young has expressed his desire to stay at the club and move on after a difficult season last term. The ex-England international was strongly linked with a move to Liverpool this summer but opted against a switch and has started all three Premier League games thus far. This is great news as Young was unlucky not to play more last season after having a fantastic first season at the club and he looks back to his best now, especially in last weekend’s victory against Everton, netting the winner. This should mean that Cuellar, who is far from an inspired right back, should fight for a centre half spot, where he has turned in a number of impressive performances.

Although it is too late to get excited about since the deadline is passed, it is typical that Villa were linked with a player today. Sporting CP striker Yannick Djalo is rumoured to have been a deadline day target, although it is thought that the club may revive their interest in January. Djalo is a pacey, young striker who abused Manchester City scoring twice in a pre-season friendly earlier this summer so if we were to sign him it would be just grand if he could do that to them again later in the campaign because we don’t like them much!

UTV!