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

10 Games in: Gerard Houllier’s Record and Review

Many neutrals and Villa fans had their doubts over the appointment of Gerard Houllier 2 months ago but how has he really done in his opening 10 games at the club. The pessimistic may have seen the choice of the Frenchman as somewhat of a sideways step after his tenure at Liverpool was left on a low point with the Anfield club. Despite this, Houllier had a terrifically successful spell at the club leading them to Community Shield, UEFA, FA, League Cup (x2) and Supercup glory, a feat which has surpassed any of his successors at Liverpool. After health issues seemed to stunt his progress with the club, many in the Merseyside remember Houllier as a negative and uninspired tactician as he looks to answer the critics who doubted him. Villa have had a stop-start season to say the least and some impressive performances and results have been overlooked due to the sides current inability to close out games. Here is why I believe the new manager has done a decent job in his opening 10 fixtures and why Villa should not be counted out of a European finish. In-depth Managerial Review

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

Aston Villa vs Blackpool Pre-Match Prediction

November 9, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Pre-Match Predictions 

Villa play host to newly promoted Blackpool on Wednesday night who have been overlooked in all of their games thus far. The Seasiders have impressed many in their attacking play and deservedly find themselves in mid-table with 14 points from 11 games. Villa lay two places and one point behind Blackpool meaning a win would overtake the visitors with the home side unbeaten at Villa Park in the league this season. If Villa can score first then I’m going to join all those who have been mugged off when predicting against Blackpool and go for a comfortable home win.

Possible Starting XI: Friedel; L Young, Dunne, Collins, Warnock; Albrighton, Clark, Bannan, Downing; A Young; Delfouneso

Key Man: Ashley Young

Goalscorer(s): Bannan, Delfouneso, A Young

Minute of First Goal: 16

Final Score: 3-1

Aston Villa vs Blackpool Match Preview

November 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Match Previews 

Wednesday 10th November 2010

Opponent: Blackpool

Venue: Villa Park

Kick Off: 19:45

Villa will be looking to put a turbulent week off the field in the past with a winning performance on it as the Midlands club play host to newly promoted Blackpool. Gerard Houllier must have been ready to celebrate when his side went into the 94th minute of the weekends match with Fulham 1-0 up. A last minute equaliser from Brede Hangeland crushed Villa hearts to put a dampener on an otherwise impressive performance. The result means that Houllier’s side are now without a league win in 5, during which the clubs only two goals have come from Marc Albrighton. Blackpool are having a decidedly happier time in their debut Premier League season having shocked fans and pundits alike to see themselves in the dizzying heights of the top half. Villa lay in 14th place in the league just 3 points above the drop zone but also just 3 points off a 6th placed finish in a tight league table. Extended Match Preview

Hero to Villain – Albrighton Pays Penalty for Late Foul at Fulham

November 6, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Aston Villa, Match Reports 

Aston Villa missed the chance to climb the Premier League table with a win at Fulham after the hosts equalised in the 95th minute to break Villa hearts. Villa came into the game without a win in 4 and without a goal in 3. These daunting stats were worrying with Villa missing their 3 senior strikers going into the game. A first start for Nathan Delfouneso was the result of Houllier’s injury woes but it was the last Villa player to score a league goal, Marc Albrighton, who gave Villa the lead. The manager also handed a start to youngster Barry Bannan who impressed and set-up the goal expertly. Villa could not hang onto their lead from the first half and dramatic late equaliser from Brede Hangeland but a sever dampener on an encouraging display. Goal-scorer, Albrighton was left with his head in his hands after needlessly giving away the free-kick which assisted the late and bitter blow to the visitors. Extended Match Report

Fulham vs Aston Villa Pre-Match Prediction

November 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa, Pre-Match Predictions 

Aston Villa visit Craven Cottage on a poor run of form having not one in four games. The reason, a lack of goals with their last coming in the 16th minute of the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham almost a month ago. Gerard Houllier has not been helped in trying to solve this issue after injuries to John Carew and Emile Heskey see them join Agbonlahor on the sidelines. Youngster Nathan Delfouneso will be in charge of goal-getting in what is set to be his first league start for the Villa after 2 seasons on the fringes.

Fulham (Away) – Saturday 6th November

Possible Starting XI: Friedel; L Young, Dunne, Collins, Warnock; Albrighton, Reo-Coker, Clark, Downing; A Young; Delfouneso

Key Man: Marc Albrighton

Goalscorer(s): Nathan Delfouneso

Minute of First Goal: 28

Final Score: 1-1

Villa Striker Shortage Beyond a Joke Following Carew Injury

November 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa, Injury News 

Yesterday I sang the praises of young striker Nathan Delfouneso to stake a claim for a place in Houllier’s plans for tomorrow, now the Frenchman has no choice. With Gabby Agbonlahor still recovering from groin surgery, the striker did take part in ball work for the first time today, and Emile Heskey revealed to be out for a month after injuring knee ligaments on Wednesday, John Carew now joins the ever growing injury list at Villa Park. Carew has suffered a calf injury that is likely to keep him out for at least three weeks to a month, similar to Heskey. The injury crisis has paved the way for 19-year-old Delfouneso to prove his worth on the big stage after 2 years of cameo appearances. How John Carew picked up the problem is unknown but many Villa fans are now starting to doubt the manager’s strenuous training regime after Luke Young and Heskey have both recently sustained injuries. More on Injury Crisis

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