VOTE NOW: Who has been Villa’s Signing of the Season?

April 25, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: POLL 

After two of Villa’s January recruits combined to win Villa a point against Stoke at the weekend it seems fitting to ask the next question in my series of polls in the run up to the much anticipated VillaBlog awards – Who has been Villa’s Signing of the Season? If you haven’t done so already, please vote on the previous polls regarding Villa’s best defensive, midfield and attacking force of the season. The likes of Robert Pires, Stephen Ireland and Michael Bradley have been excluded from the nominees for pretty obvious reasons, and although Bent has made an immediate impact, scoring 7 goals, fellow signings Walker and Makoun have also impressed since joining so can the challenge the striker in this category? Appreciate all your votes and comments so get involved! UTV

[polldaddy poll=”4967837″]

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Villa Linked to Second Senegalese Centre-Back Diakhate

April 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

Having been linked to Rennes captain Kader Mangane yesterday, Villa have been touted with an interest in his fellow centre back and compatriot Pape Diakhate, according to reports in France. The 26-year-old is currently plying his trade in the Houllier’s homeland having joined the Villa boss’ former employers Lyon on loan from Russian side Dynamo Kiev. TalkSport claim that his capability at both centre and left back have drawn Villa’s interest, along with the fact that he speaks the language. Alongside fellow target Mangane, Diakhate has played 28 times for Senegal, scoring once though it is doubtful that Villa’s Senegalese national Habib Beye would put in a good word for the manager! The defender has played 28 times for the French giant this season, netting once. The Ligue 1 club have kept just 4 clean sheets in his 20 league starts as they have fallen down the pecking order in France though Diakhate has impressed in his time and is believed to be on the radar of a number of clubs around Europe.

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Warnock to Trott Off to Bolton in Cut Price Deal?

April 21, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

Aston Villa left-back Stephen Warnock is set to see the end to a miserable season at the Villa Park by being shown the door by the club after talks with the manager earlier in the month failed to see the two see eye-to-eye. His demotion to reserve team status has indicated a meteoric fall from grace having travelled with the England squad for last year’s World Cup in South Africa. He will now be allowed to leave for as little as £2m in order to relieve the club’s wage bill, a situation which has now attracted interest from Bolton, whose current left-back Paul Robinson had a shocker in their 5-0 FA Cup Semi-Final defeat to Villa’s opponent’s this weekend, Stoke City. The former Liverpool and Blackburn defender has been linked to returns to both clubs and is thought to be in high demand at such a nominal fee come the summer, having signed for Villa for around £6m just two years ago.

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Reo-Coker a Wanted Man Across Europe

April 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

Nigel Reo-Coker, out of contract in the summer, has caught the eye of a number of clubs across Europe after impressing under Gerard Houllier having fallen fowl of the previous regime. The 26-year-old has had arguably his best season at the club and won over a number of his critics with energetic, tough-tackling displays. Despite being handed the captaincy early in the season when fellow midfielder Stiliyan Petrov was injured, Reo-Coker is yet to sign a new deal at the club, though talks are set to open in the coming weeks, providing Villa secure survival, an all but complete task. He is in the same boat as the likes of Brad Friedel and Luke Young in waiting to see what offer the club puts on the table. Reo-Coker is thought to be asking for a considerable mark up in his wages, an area in which chairman Randy Lerner is keen to continue to reduce costs, which could mean that the former England Under-21 captain will leave on a free at the end of the season. This possibility has reportedly drawn the attention of the likes of Galatasaray, who have also been credited with an interest in Petrov, and Serie A’s high flying Napoli, with the Birmingham Mail claiming both clubs had scouts at the West Ham game.

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Quoted: Walker Doesn’t Know Where his Future Lies

April 21, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Quoted 

Kyle Walker spoke to the Express & Star yesterday, confirming that he is unsure of where his future lies in the long term having enjoyed his loan spell at Aston Villa. Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has made it clear that he wants Walker to push for a place at Spurs next season, having impressed at Villa Park, but the 20-year-old wouldn’t rule out a permanent move if he is unable to get regular action at White Hart Lane next term. When asked about his future he stated;

“That’s really not up to me. That’s really for the two clubs to decide. I’m just happy playing football.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here. Whatever the two managers decide to do, that’s up to them.

“If the gaffer down there tells me I’ve got to go and play there, he’s my gaffer and I’ve got to go and play there. It’s his word.”

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Quoted: Faulkner and Club Statement on Gerard Houllier Condition

April 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Quoted 

Villa have released a statement on the condition of manager Gerard Houllier after the Frenchman was taken ill last night and admitted to hospital. Reports suggest that it is unrelated to the health issues he faced at Liverpool, though the details of his illness remain unknown though it has been confirmed that he has spoken to both CEO Paul Faulkner and assistant Gary McAllister, who will be in charge of Saturday’s clash with Stoke.

The Club can confirm that Gerard Houllier was admitted to hospital last night. He is in a comfortable condition and he wishes to convey his appreciation to Aston Villa supporters for their concern and good wishes.

The manager spoke to chief executive Paul Faulkner this morning and he is currently undergoing tests. It is anticipated that he will remain in hospital for several days.

Assistant manager Gary McAllister has taken training this morning and he will be in charge of the team for the game against Stoke on Saturday at Villa Park.

The Club’s thoughts at this time are with Gerard and his family.

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Best Wishes to Houllier in Hospital, McAllister to Manage Stoke Clash

April 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa 

Gerard Houllier was taken ill last night and is in a ‘comfortable’ state in hospital. He is likely to be there for the next few days so Gary McAllister is in charge of training and set to take control of the Stoke game on Saturday. It has been confirmed that Houllier has spoken to CEO Paul Faulkner and is recovering well. Best wishes Gerard. UTV!

Villa Linked to Rennes Skipper Mangane

April 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

The Express and Star claim that Villa are in a fight with Liverpool, again (I swear we must have the same scout if all the links are true!), to sign Rennes defender Kader Mangane. The 28-year-old Senegal international plays at centre-back and has done so 13 times for his nation, netting 1 goal. Mangane is valued at around £2.5m if the reports are true and is the current club captain of the Ligue 1 side who currently sit 5th in the league. The African is the second Rennes player to have drawn interest from Villa Park after keeper Nicolas Douchez, whose contract expires this summer, was linked with a move after an impressive defensive campaign for the club, of which Mangane has been an integral figure. In 23 league games he has scored 2 goals and been part of a back line which has conceded just 18 goals, although 5 of those were picked up in one crushing defeat to Sochaux. On an even more impressive note, the side have kept clean sheets in over half of the games in which the tall Senegalese defender has played (12).

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VOTE NOW: Who’s been Villa’s best midfielder this season?

April 20, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Hot topic debates, POLL 

The third installment of the awards style polling system I am running for members of Aston Villa Blog to vote on their top and flop players for the season asks – Who has been Villa’s best midfielder this season? Please do vote for your favourite from each category, including last week’s best attacking force poll and best defensive force poll, as I wan’t a substantial result in order to get the best idea of who you, the fans, have rated and hated this term. The likes of Ashley Young, Stewart Downing and Marc Albrighton were all involved in the attacking player poll, hence their absence.

[polldaddy poll=”4946304″]

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Quoted: Young on Commitment to Villa

April 19, 2011 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Quoted 

Ashley Young again reiterated his claim that he will discuss a new contract at Villa in the summer following his man of the match display in the 1-2 win over West Ham and stated that his performance in that match proved that he is still fully committed to the club;

“I’ve always said that I’m going to speak to the manager and the chairman in the summer.

“I’m fully committed to the club and you can see that by the performance I put in against West Ham on Saturday.

“I’m just concentrating 100% on my football and we will speak at the end of the season.”

Young on Villa’s mini revival

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