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!

Aston Villa vs Everton Match Preview

August 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Injury News, Match Previews 

Sunday 29th August 2010

Opponent: Everton

Venue: Villa Park

Kick Off: 16:00

At the end of a very bad week for Aston Villa a match up against Everton may not be ideal to remedy the pain caused by Newcastle and Vienna. The home sides record against the Toffee’s makes for interesting reading having not lost in their last 8 encounters of the most played fixture in English football.

Boosts for the Villain’s include the likely return of Stewart Downing, Stephen Warnock and Richard Dunne after they were rested in midweek. John Carew is looking to return from a knee injury with fellow strike partner Gabby Agbonlahor also hoping to be fit after coming off against Vienna with a calf problem. It is likely that the unimpressive Curtis Davies and Habib Beye will make way but Heskey should keep his place after a decent performance in Europe.

Everton have no real injury worries with captain Phil Neville and Joseph Yobo the only real doubts for the game. The visitors will no doubt be looking to profit from a disastrous Villa spell and are hoping for the first win of the campaign. Failure to do so would result in the worst league start for 10 years though Moyes’ side have lost just once in their last 13 games.

Villa new boy Stephen Ireland will be looking to build on a decent performance on Thursday in his home league debut and should cause Everton problems. An undoubtedly strong midfield for the opponent’s will look to exploit a shaky Villa defence with advanced playmakers such as Mikel Arteta and Steven Pienaar. The main threat for Villa may be an aerial one as they have struggled with crosses recently and the imposing danger of Tim Cahill who has 4 in his last 4 against the Villa will need to be dealt with.

Overall a defensive master class is needed and a clean sheet would be a godsend for Kevin MacDonald. This, backed up by a goalscoring start to the league campaign for Gabby Agbonlahor would certainly turn Villa frowns upside down with the possibility of moving into the top 6 with a win. 3 points would definitely quash any thoughts of a crisis at the club though a draw may not be a terrible outcome.

Possible Starting XI: Brad Friedel; Luke Young, Richard Dunne, James Collins, Stephen Warnock; Ashley Young, Stiliyan Petrov, Stephen Ireland, Stewart Downing; Emile Heskey, Gabby Agbonlhaor

Martin’s predicted scoreline: 2-2

Dark Day for Villa

August 27, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Aston Villa, Villa Manager 

It seems relaunching this site has cursed Villa to some extent. A 6-0 crushing defeat to Newcastle being followed up by an unceremonious dumping out of the Europa Cup at the hands of an old enemy. Villa lost 3-2 at home to Rapid Vienna who have knocked us out at the same stage in consecutive seasons. The tie ended 4-3 on aggregate against a side who we should be beating comfortably. Please see the full round up on the Match Report page of the site. Although it is early days it appears that one of last season strongest defence’s would now struggle in a junior Sunday football league. Conceding 9 in two games against inferior opposition does not exactly instill confidence for the rest of the season.

Will Kevin MacDonald call time on his short reign thus far at Villa Park and more to the point should he? It is clear that the player’s would like to know who will be leading them into the new campaign and the uncertainty appears to be affecting them. Mistakes were made tactically in the game resting players who, after a full pre-season and just 3 games under their belts, should not need resting. I feel the outcome would have been different had Warnock started in place of Beye who was at fault for 2 of the 3 goals. Curtis Davies was poor once more and should do his talking on the pitch rather than moaning to the media about not being played because frankly Curtis, if you’re going to play like that every week you’re better off in the reserves.

Stephen Ireland looked in good shape but may be wondering what he’s gotten himself into since joining the club and the likes of Heskey and Albrighton also put in good shifts. It was in the defensive third where we looked dismal and when the ball is delivered into the box at the moment we appear to be giving away free gifts to opposing sides who are more than happy to accept. Are some players surplus to requirements at the club and who do you think should be bought in?

In other news youngster Harry Forrester will be hoping to gain some invaluable first team experience at a decent level after agreeing to join SPL side Kilmarnock on loan. The 19 year old forward who was signed from Watford has impressed in the reserves and we wish him all the best for the season and look forward to him coming back bigger and better.

Who do you think should be the next manager? Where is it going wrong on the pitch at the moment? I want to know your opinions or if you just want to have a good moan about the club that’s fine by me. The site is now fully up and running and updated so keep checking for updates and surely things can only get better? Or maybe worse?

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