Villa the Busiest and Best Team in the Transfer Window?

February 1, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

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

Davies Joins Blues, No Larsson Deal (For Now)

January 28, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Transfer News 

Curtis Davies has completed his move to second city rivals Birmingham pending a medical today in a deal believed to be worth up to £2.5m. It had been hotly expected that Seb Larsson would move to Villa as part of the deal but this has been confirmed by Villa as very unlikely in this transfer window. Larsson is out of contract in the summer and Villa are believed to have spoken to the player with regards to a move but most likely in the summer window as opposed to now, hence being able to ask more money straight up for Davies. If it pays off it could be a clever bit of business to get a bit more money for Davies, thought to be £1m (Larsson’s supposed worth),  with the potential of signing the Swede on a free later in the year. The deal for Davies is speculated to be worth an initial fee of £1.75m with a further £750k in potential add-ons, one of which may well be whether City stay up this season. Davies will join fellow Villa players who were unsuccessful at retaining a first team place at Villa Park in Liam Ridgewell and Craig Gardner. The 25-year-old is believed to have put pen to paper on a three-and-a-half year deal, acting as cover for Scott Dann who will miss the rest of this campaign. I would wish a departing player luck for the future but that can’t be done in a move to the Blues!

Larsson for Davies: Who Gets the Better Deal?

January 27, 2011 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Transfer News 

An inevitable transfer story was leaked today after interest from Birmingham in Curtis Davies was confirmed. With Villa having previously shown an interest in Blues midfielder Seb Larsson, a part exchange deal seems favourable for both clubs. From what I can tell, and have heard the offer that City accepted from Newcastle for Larsson was £1m with player’s value dropping significantly with his contract expiring in the summer. The move to the Toon fell through after the Swede failed to agree terms although it is almost certain that Larsson will leave the club in the summer, if not in January. Curtis Davies was set to rejoin Leicester on loan a few days back but his head was turned by Premier League interest from Birmingham and the defender is believed to be keen on the controversial move. Davies was touted to be available for around £2.5m which has led many, myself included, to believe that a player plus £1.5m move is being made by Birmingham. If this is the case then I would be pretty happy with that from a Villa perspective. Larsson is a decent, versatile player with a sweet left foot as well as a deadly set-piece and although and although I wouldn’t place him in a starting XI, the 25-year-old would be a valuable squad player. The Swedish international can play on either flank as well as in an emergency full-back role and would provide decent cover for the likes of Downing, Albrighton and Young. Davies, also 25, is clearly fed up with life at Villa Park and wants out. He was a good centre-back and is very young in terms of his position so still has the potential to be decent again but he hasn’t been at his best for some time and it is undoubtedly time for him to move on. I think that £2.5m in cash would be fairly cheap for a defender who was touted for greatness early in his career but from what I have heard from Leicester fans, they didn’t rate him either. A deal to bring in Larsson along with cash is very appealing in my opinion and I’m sure Houllier will favour that option so I think that Villa get the better deal on the basis that City lose a good player and have to part with cash. However, I do think the Blues could do worse in replacing the injured Scott Dann and as long as he never scores against Villa I’m not really bothered!

Birmingham to Scupper Foxes Hunt for Davies

January 26, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

After reporting that Curtis Davies was set to rejoin Leicester on loan, movement has been made by a top flight club believed to be Birmingham City today. Davies confirmed reports that he was rejoining Leicester City on loan until the end of the season on his twitter page, having spent a short spell with the Championship club prior to the New Year. The 25-year-old tweeted ‘En route to Leicester to re-join Sven’s revolution!’, an account which also bares the bio ‘Aston Villa centre back (well sort of!) LOL’. However, the Midlands outfit have since revealed that Davies is unlikely to join the club due to interest, on a permanent transfer basis, from a Premier League club. Davies has made no secret of wanting to stay in the Premier League and Sky sources have claimed that the potential Premier League bidders are fierce rivals Birmingham City. A move to the Blues would not really enhance many of the Villa fans opinion of the defender after he was outspoken of his frustration under O’Neill and since under Houllier’s current regime. Despite having been vocal in his displeasure at the club and angering some of the supporters, Davies had a case, having been a consistent performer prior to a shoulder injury at the beginning of last season. The defender’s highest form saw him reach the fringes of the senior England squad but a fall from grace at Villa Park is set to see him leave the club in a highly controversial switch to City in a bid to slash the wage bill. How do you rate Davies? Is he right to feel that he has been treated unfairly or is he deadwood which needs offloading?

Stoke Deny Davies Desire

January 13, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

Despite Stoke manager Tony Pulis denying any contact has been made with Aston Villa with regards to the obvious availability of  centre-back Curtis Davies, the Potters are still thought to be keen to add the 25-year-old to his defensive ranks. It is thought that Davies is keen on a move to Stoke ahead of a return to Leicester as well as links to clubs such as Wolves and Werder Bremen. However, it seems Stoke are unwilling to do business unless they can offload one of their centre-backs in the window, in which case they may well make a formal offer for the ex-West Brom man. Robert Huth was linked with a move to Liverpool earlier in the month but played down talks and the German is unlikely to be one of those that the club would be willing to offload. It remains to be seen whether Davies has a future under Gerard Houllier since returning from his loan spell with Leicester but it is public knowledge that as it stands, Villa are willing to listen to any offers on a defender who has slipped way down the pecking order at Villa Park in unceremonious fashion since a shoulder injury at the beginning of last season. Do you think the club have been somewhat unfair to Davies, who at one stage was tipped to break into the England set-up after a decent run at the club? How do you rate him in terms of our other centre-halves?

Player Review: Nigel Reo-Coker

October 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa, Player Reviews 

Who better to occupy my second instalment of Player Review than Villa’s new temporary captain, Nigel Reo-Coker. The 26-year-old was handed the honour of the club armband after permanent skipper, Stiliyan Petrov was injured in last weekend’s clash with Sunderland. The knee problem is likely to keep the Bulgarian out of action until the New Year but the unfortunate nature of the injury for Petrov symbolises an unbelievable turn of events in the Villa career of Nigel Reo-Coker. After featuring in 8 of the 9 league games thus far, just 2 less than the whole of last term, the midfielder has impressed new manager Gerard Houllier and fans alike with his tireless performances in the centre of the park. It is perhaps not a surprise that the London born player was entrusted with the captaincy having led both of his previous clubs, Wimbledon and West Ham, from the age of 20. Reo-Coker has also captained Villa on numerous occasions, most notably lifting the Peace Cup in last year’s pre-season, and his ability to lead by example made him an exemplary candidate for the role. The tenacious England Under-21 international will guide his team out for the first time in the league this season against fierce rivals Birmingham on Sunday. Full Reo-Coker Review

Aston Villa vs Chelsea Match Preview

October 15, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Injury News, Match Previews 

Saturday October 16th 2010

Opponent: Chelsea

Venue: Villa Park

Kick Off: 17:30

Gerard Houllier faces his toughest test to date as manager of Aston Villa as the club play host to League Champions, Chelsea. Many Villa fans will look back in dread at the crushing 7-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge last season but Villa have plenty to be optimistic about this time around. In the same fixture last term the home side made one of their best performances of the season to spring a shock 2-1 victory over Carlo Ancelotti’s men. Goals from centre back’s, James Collins and Richard Dunne were enough to overturn an early Didier Drogba goal, a man who is missing this time around. More Match Preview

Curtis Davies and Collins Jnr. Leave on Month-Long Loans

October 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa, Transfer News 

Reports were circulating this morning in the Daily Mirror that Curtis Davies was set to rekindle his playing career at Leicester City. Aston Villa have now confirmed that the 25-year-old will link up with the Foxes on a month-long loan deal. Leicester, now managed by Sven-Goran Eriksson, who was interviewed for the job at Villa Park, have pounced to sign the out-of-favour centre back in a deal that should benefit all parties. The club have also confirmed that young striker James Collins Jnr, who netted in yesterdays reserve win against Blackburn, has joined League Two side Burton Albion for the same duration. More on Davies and Collins Loans

Gerard Houllier’s To Do List: #2 – Release Some Deadwood

September 21, 2010 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Aston Villa, Hot topic debates 

Aston Villa’s squad has never been substantial enough in the past to have the luxury or selling or releasing players. The first team is still relatively small with only 22 players registered from an allotted 25. This number, however is backed up by numerous talented Under-21’s who do not have to be registered due to their age. With youth talent at the club, Gerard Houllier may look to release some of the first team players on undeserved wages in January and hence freeing up space and funds for new signings. Unnecessary Earners?

Gerard Houllier’s To Do List: #1 – Keep First Team On Their Toes

September 20, 2010 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Aston Villa 

Today signalled the start of a new era at Villa Park with new manager Gerard Houllier and his back room staff taking charge of their first training session. After a questionable start to the campaign I will be looking at some of the things that Houllier should be considering in order to improve the clubs fortunes on the pitch. In my opinion, first port of call is to drop some of the first team regular’s, some of whom just haven’t started this season. Here I will discuss who could be left out and why. Changes To Be Made

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