Quarterly 2010/11 Season Review: Aston Villa Defensive Statistics by Player

November 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa 

Mainly down to having far too much time on my hands and being a stickler for a good stat, I decided to comprise a list of the defensive statistics for each Aston Villa defender and midfielder (excluding wingers Marc Albrighton, Stewart Downing and Ashley Young). The stats show each player’s record thus far this campaign as well as their overall Premier League record for their combined clubs in parenthesis. The stats include the average amount of goals the team concede per game, the average amount of clean sheets the team picks up and the average number of shots on target it takes to concede when each player is on the pitch. Exciting stuff I realise but it does reveal some interesting results. I will list the top 3 players in each category regarding their defensive record as well as the bottom 3 culprits. Individual Defensive Stats in Full

What is Aston Villa’s Best Starting XI?

November 1, 2010 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Aston Villa, Hot topic debates 

I have decided to use my Average Player Ratings stats to decipher who have been Villa’s best starting XI this season in the familiar 4-4-1-1 formation. The ratings started after the 6-0 defeat to Newcastle which should be taken into consideration and Carling Cup performances are included. Each player must have featured at least 3 times for Villa in the last 10 games. Villa’s Top XI Performers

Houllier Team Selection to Blame for Lack of Creativity

November 1, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Aston Villa, Match Reports 

Sunday 31st October 2010

Aston Villa 0-0 Birmingham City

Sunday afternoon saw the epic battle between fierce rivals Aston Villa and Birmingham that wasn’t so epic at all. A competitive game which lacked creativity, imagination and overall quality turned into a bit of a Halloween nightmare for the home fans. Villa set up with a defensive line-up which had many Villans scratching their heads in what is the most important game of the season for the majority of the home support. Gerard Houllier’s team selection will be questioned after setting up with what appeared to be a 4-1-4-1 formation. The tactics left no room for flair and attacking threat in a first-half in which I hate to say, Birmingham should have led. A lack of support for Emile Heskey in the opening hour of the match seemed an extremely negative approach which Alex McLeish and Blues fans would have loved. To this point I haven’t really questioned any of Houllier’s decisions come match-day but I have to concede that a more attacking Villa line-up should have won the game on Sunday. A full yet brief match report follows, summing up what was a drab and disappointing affair at Villa Park. Report and Ratings

Aston Villa vs Birmingham City Pre-Match Prediction

October 29, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Aston Villa, Pre-Match Predictions 

No self-respecting Villa fan, especially one who runs a blog viewed by other Villa fans, is ever going to bet against his own team in the derby with the Blues. It would be like betting that Scotland would beat England, you just can’t bring yourself to even comprehend the possibility. Villa do have key players missing and I beg that Houllier drops Beye for Cuellar, I know he’s not a right-back but he’s also not Habib Beye! These issues aside people do forget that the times of our depressingly under-strength squad depth are nearly over. Nearly. I have to predict a home win and thoroughly believe that we will win. Maybe not 5-1, maybe not even 2-0 but scrap that, I’m going for 2-0. Am I biased? Yes I am, but what do you think the score will be, who will score, and do any of you dare to bet against the Villa? I want to hear from you!

Birmingham (Home) – Sunday 31st October

Possible Starting XI: Friedel; Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Warnock; Downing, Reo-Coker, Sidwell, Young; Ireland; Heskey

Key Man: Emile Heskey

Goalscorer(s): Heskey, Delfouneso (sub)

Minute of First Goal: 52

Final Score: 2-0

Big Game Preview: Aston Villa vs Birmingham City

October 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa, Injury News, Match Previews 

Sunday 31st October 2010

Opponent: Birmingham City

Venue: Villa Park

Kick Off: 12:00

Sunday afternoon sees this season’s first encounter of fierce rivals Aston Villa and Birmingham City. Both sides have had inconsistent and somewhat disappointing starts to the campaign but, rest assured all will be forgotten with a victory in the biggest game of the calendar year for both sets of fans. Villa play host to the Blues in a game which sees the two sides separated by just 1 point in mid table positions. Villa sit in 10th with Birmingham close behind in 12th but a win means so much more than points and league standings for the opposing fans. Villa have ruled the roost in the second City bragging rights for many years and City manager McLeish is yet to rack up a win against his rivals. Villa have come out on top in the last 6 meetings between the two sides with memorable moments bringing unbridled joy into the hearts of Villa fans including my own in recent times. The 5-1 thrashing and a late Gary Cahill acrobatic winner among the very best and much needed pick me ups of the home crowd in past encounters. Extended Big Game Preview

Houllier’s Brilliant Big Brad Selection

October 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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Wednesday 27th October 2010

Aston Villa 2-1 Burnley (AET)

Villa have made it through to the Quarter Finals of the Carling Cup thanks to a 2-1, substitute inspired win over Burnley after extra-time. Villa dominated much of the first half and should have been in front but a lack of goals is still a real worry ahead of the Blues derby on Sunday. Burnley capitalised on Villa’s poor finishing and came out strongly in the second 45, putting the home side on the back foot for much of the half. It took substitutions from Houllier to change the game with Heskey and Downing both introduced to great effect. The former put the home side ahead with 5 minutes remaining but Villa failed to protect this lead with Burnley equalising on 89 through captain Clarke Carlisle. A stunning goal from Stewart Downing sealed victory for the hosts despite a Marc Albrighton red card in extra-time. Extended Report and Ratings

Aston Villa vs Burnley Match Preview

October 26, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Aston Villa, Injury News, Match Previews 

Wednesday 27th October 2010

Opponent: Burnley

Venue: Villa Park

Kick Off: 19:45

Villa will be hoping to take advantage of some shock exits in the Carling Cup to strengthen their chances of another Wembley date next year. The competition has seen the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham knocked out thus far leaving Villa as third favourites behind Manchester United and Arsenal. Houllier’s men will have to overcome a tricky 4th round tie against Championship outfit Burnley to reach the Quarter-Finals of the tournament which they have won on 5 occasions. New manager Gerard Houllier will have fond memories of the Carling Cup as it was his first trophy as Liverpool boss. He went on to secure another final victory in his time at Anfield and Villa will be hoping the Frenchman’s impressive record in the competition continues. The home side will be big favourites but injury problems and a huge game against Birmingham at the weekend could prove potential banana skins. Full Match Preview

Reo-Coker Caps Fine Form with Captaincy

October 26, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Aston Villa, Hot topic debates 

After a couple of seasons to forget under Martin O’Neill, Nigel Reo-Coker has achieved a complete turnaround of fortunes under new manager Gerard Houllier. Since it was revealed that captain Stiliyan Petrov would be out for a number of months rather than weeks, Houllier has had to consider his options in selecting a new captain. A reported training ground bust up between MON and Reo-Coker had threatened to end the midfielder’s spell at the club but a string of tireless performances this term have seen him rewarded. It is thought that the 26-year-old’s main rivals for the role were centre backs Richard Dunne and James Collins but Houllier has opted for the Englishman who has skippered both of his previous clubs, MK Dons and West Ham. To top off the fantastic news for the player, the £8.5m signing has also seemingly earned himself a new contract with the club. With his current deal expiring next summer Houllier will be keen to thrash out new terms ASAP after praising the tenacious skipper. Houllier Press Statement

Lady Luck Not Shining On Houllier’s Villa

October 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Match Reports 

After another tight game at the weekend led to a disappointing defeat it seems that Gerard Houllier may just need a little luck to revert back to winning ways. Decent performances in the club’s last 3 games have bought just 1 league point and perhaps the reason for this being 1 league goal. After starting promisingly against Tottenham, a club whom Villa have previously seemed to fear under MON, Albrighton gave Villa a deserved lead. Rafael van der Vaart proved to be too hot to handle, despite arguably warranting a point from the tough clash at White Hart Lane. The champions of Chelsea were next up at Villa Park and Houllier’s men more than matched their opponents for most of the game. Other than two efforts that hit the woodwork for the visitor’s Villa had more real chances and could have nicked the points late on through Reo-Coker. Saturday’s defeat to Sunderland was probably the most crushing of the lot after again starting brightly, Villa were beaten by a Richard Dunne own goal. Sunderland Match Report

Sunderland vs Aston Villa Pre-Match Prediction

October 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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After a decent performance at Tottenham could not be backed by a result and real chances to win against Chelsea, Houllier will be looking to go one better on Saturday. Both sides have good records to fall back on with Villa not losing in their last 5 games at Sunderland and the home side having lost just once in their last 14 games at the Stadium of Light. Both managers will feel that, despite strong results in some cases, their teams have not accumulated as many points as they would have hoped. Villa go into the game in 8th with Sunderland occupying 13th ahead of this close encounter.

Sunderland (Away) – 23rd October 2010

Possible Starting XI: Friedel; Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Warnock; Downing, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Young; Ireland; Heskey

Key Man: Stephen Ireland

Goalscorer(s): Ireland, Heskey

Minute of First Goal: 42

Final Score: 1-2

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