Quoted: Houllier on New Downing Deal

February 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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“His (Downing) contract is long enough not to worry about that (two-and-a-half years remaining) – there’s no problem there. At the end of the season we will see.

“He’s improved a lot. He never misses training, he works hard with application, commitment and dedication.

“He is really focused. He’s a major part of our set-up here and I think he can play in several positions.”

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Quoted: Houllier on Shopping Abroad

February 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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“Football has become open to Europe and open to the world because you have a lot of Brazilians in the Champions League over the last six or seven seasons.

“You need to know now that all clubs buy players from all over the world.

“I believe we were one of the last clubs to put out 11 English players in one game.

“But we’ve got to understand there is not a Europeanisation but a globalisation of football now.

“I think this won’t stop. The main thing is to be able to get some young players from other countries and bring them here early because they would get the feeling of the club.

“We have a few players, one from Austria and one from Hungary, and I think those players are very much part of the Villa youth team.”

Villa the Busiest and Best Team in the Transfer Window?

February 1, 2011 by · 1 Comment
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There are so many ways to look at the recent ridiculous dealings in the transfer window it is hard to decide on who comes out best but surely Villa, having been the busiest team with 4 incomings and 4 outgoings, are up there. In January Gerard Houllier managed to sign a young right-back, already being tipped for a senior England call-up, two vastly experienced international midfielders with age still on their side, and one of the league’s most proven goalscorers of the last decade. Well done Gerard! The potential £24m price tag for Darren Bent seemed a little ludicrous but in the context of what went on yesterday we could get done for robbery! Jean Makoun was cheaper than first thought it seems with Gerard Houllier stating that he folked out just £5m for the Cameroonian. Michael Bradley joined on loan yesterday and is highly rated in his native America having played 50 senior international caps at just 23. He joined on loan along with Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker, whose first 3 games have given much encouragement to the Villa fans, not least due to a fantastic solo effort on his debut. Add to these signings the significant wage bill slashing due to departures of the out-of-favour Carew, Sidwell, Davies and Ireland and Gerard Houllier will be sitting far prettier on his Villa perch! So how do you rate Villa’s transfer dealings this summer against our Premier League rivals? Has Houllier turned you round? To read my full round-up of why Villa can consider themselves well-off this February click here

Confirmed: Bradley In, Ireland Out, Warnock Unlikely

January 31, 2011 by · 1 Comment
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It has been confirmed that American midfielder Michael Bradley, son of national team coach Bob, has signed for Villa on loan from Borussia Monchengladbach until the end of the season. It is believed that there is an option to buy the 23-year-old once the loan spell expires. In terms of players leaving the club, the signing of Michael Bradley has ensured Stephen Ireland a like-for-like move to Newcastle. Ireland will also be on loan until the end of the season but Villa manager Gerard Houllier said that the door remains open for the Irishman at Villa Park. Finally, Stephen Warnock’s mooted return to Liverpool has come to a stand still. It appears that the left back will have to endure a miserable few months at Villa after Gerard Houllier confirmed that he wanted to leave. The Frenchman has stated that he will show preference to those players who are 100% committed to the club even if they are not natural left backs, i.e. Clark, Baker, Walker and Luke Young. To read Gerard Houllier and Michael Bradley’s quotes upon joining Villa along with Newcastle manager Alan Pardew’s opinion on the capture of Stephen Ireland click here

Wage Wars Block Warnock’s Anfield Return

January 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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A suspected return to Anfield for Villa full-back Stephen Warnock is apparently being blocked by Aston Villa who the Guardian claim, are asking for £500k in return for a loan agreement until the end of the season and for the player’s wages to be paid in full. Kenny Dalglish is searching for left back’s with Paul Konchesky set for a return to Fulham and being awful and all. Warnock has fallen massively out of favour amid reports that he is somewhat of a ‘bad egg’ in the Villa dressing room. Add to that some really terrible form in the first half of the season and the England international has fallen behind the likes of centre back Ciaran Clark and debutant Nathan Baker as well as probably Brad Friedel. Houllier has come across as a somewhat unforgiving man when it comes to dropping and recalling players, with only Richard Dunne able to force his way back after being benched. Warnock joins the likes of Stephen Ireland and John Carew in seemingly being ousted from the club with the big Norwegian having joined Stoke on loan earlier this month. Carew claimed that Houllier had given him the cold shoulder, to which the manager replied, “I don’t want to say anything about John Carew, and that is to his advantage.” Ooooh! Get you Mr Houllier.

Darren Bent Official Press Conference Quotes

January 18, 2011 by · 5 Comments
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After signing for an initial fee of £18m, Darren Bent was unveiled as Villa’s record signing at 7pm in a press conference at Villa Park. Here are some of the key things that the striker has had to say about his new club along with manager Gerard Houllier’s opinions upon getting his man, who incidentally will wear the number 39 shirt until the end of the season; Read Here

Lyon: Villa Move in Makoun’s Hands

January 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Without wanting to jinx things, it appears Villa are close to finally securing a deal for long-term target Jean Makoun. The Lyon midfielder may well have played his last game for the club after being recalled to the side last time out which now seems to have been his fairwell to the fans. The Cameroon international is believed to be in talks with manager Gerard Houllier, who has flown to his homeland in the hope of finalising a deal ahead of this weekend’s massive clash with Birmingham. The Blues were buoyed by the addition of long-time Villa target David Bentley, who arrived on loan this week and is likely make his debut in the derby on Sunday. Houllier will be hoping that a deal can be struck in time to give Villa a much needed boost ahead of the game with their fierce rivals in three days time. News of a fee is fairly widespread with Lyon originally holding out for £7m. Sky sources report the agreed fee is around £6-6.5m though sources in France say that it is not as straight forward as that. A translation for L’Equipe states that an original fee of 6m euros (£5m) has been agreed with add-ons of 3m (£2.5m) more, depending on Villa’s performance this season with a total potential value of £7.5m. Lyon have now confirmed that the player’s future is entirely in his own hands as the midfielder looks to decide on a move to England after a frustrating campaign in France.

No Move for German ‘Feller’

January 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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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.

Fergie Targets £30m Clark and Young Package Deal

January 11, 2011 by · 4 Comments
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Alex Ferguson is believed to be keen to revive an aging squad with the additions of Villa duo Ciaran Clark and Ashley Young in the summer. Reports have been suggested due to the likes of golden oldies Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville coming to the end of their careers. A touted offer of £30m is apparently being lined up and with Ashley Young’s contract running out at the end of next season, one must assume that a sizeable chunk of that fee would be spent on the young Villa defender who has broke into the Villa first team this year in three different positions. Clark, who decided to commit his international future to Ireland over England, has impressed in roles in his natural centre back position as well as in midfield and at left back, netting 3 goals in the process. Young has been linked to United for a number of seasons but fears that the 25-year-old could leave the club are becoming all too real after the England international refused to commit his future to the club. The opposite applies for Clark who signed a long term extension on his current deal a couple of months back. What do you make of the fee? If the story was true I would doubt that it would be that high with Young’s contract winding down. Who do Villa need to keep the most out of the two and would selling a youngster such as Clark, send out the wrong message, attracting interest in the likes of Albrighton and Bannan in the process?

Houllier Ups Adam Bid After Makoun Priced Out

January 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Gerard Houllier has reportedly returned with an improved offer of £3.5m for Blackpool midfielder after an earlier offer was rebuffed by the Seasiders. Villa are thought to be in a battle with rivals Birmingham to sign the Scotsman but Holloway will be loathed to losing his talismanic skipper. The club had bid £2.5m for the 25-year-old and Houllier seems keen to secure his signature after an interest in Lyon midfielder Jean Makoun has cooled after the two clubs valuations of the player were not equal with the French side waiting for £7m for the Cameroon international. To douse the fire further, Lyon have recently recalled Makoun to the starting line-up with the player stating that although he was aware of interest from Villa and not ruling out a move, he was just happy to be playing again.

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