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

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

War of Words Between ‘Disrespectful’ Houllier and ‘Stupid’ Carew

November 7, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Aston Villa, Villa Reserves & Academy 

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier has reacted angrily to John Carew’s claims of a lack of respect shown towards him from the Frenchman. The two men did not seem to see eye to eye after the player’s Lyon career fizzled out under Houllier prior to joining Villa. The manager doesn’t exactly mince his words when discussing his assets and launched a scathing attack on a second player in a week after previously criticising Stephen Ireland’s commitment. Since coming to Villa Park the 63-year-old has been very media friendly but not so much to his own team which could be disrupting the harmony at the club. I would advise the pair to do their talking behind closed doors rather than launching unnecessary comments to the press. After a poor run of results the backroom and playing staff all need to be pulling in the same direction to get Villa out of a difficult rut ahead of Wednesday’s must win game with Blackpool. Comments From Houllier and Carew

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

Fulham vs Aston Villa Preview: Houllier Needing Win

November 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa, Match Previews 

Aston Villa travel to Fulham tomorrow in need of a win after picking up just 2 points from a possible 12. The away day at Craven Cottage is an exceptionally difficult one with Mark Hughes continuing Roy Hodgson’s accomplishment of making his side extremely hard to beat at home. Under normal circumstances many Villa fans wouldn’t be too disheartened with a draw but after a poor run of form culminated in a dismal performance against the Blues on Sunday, Gerard Houllier is in desperate need of three points. It has been hard going for the Frenchman so far but is only going to get harder in the coming weeks after injuries to his two remaining fit senior strikers. Team News

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

Player Review: Why Nathan Delfouneso Deserves His First Team Chance

With my Player Review feature having singled out first team stars Ashley Young and Nigel Reo-Coker to date, I wanted to focus on one of the fringe players staking a claim for a first team place. Gabby Agbonlahor has been out for over a month and it is still unsure when he will return and the clubs striker woes have been added to by injury to Emile Heskey this week. Compile this with a lack of form and goals for John Carew and you start to understand why Villa have scored just 1 in their last 4 matches. The strikers have 1 Premier League strike between them which feel to Heskey with Stewart Downing being the only real threat in terms of goals with 3 in the league thus far. Depressed after reading that? Enter Nathan Delfouneso. Nathan Delfouneso Review

Heskey Adds to Villa Injury Woe

November 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa, Injury News 

Aston Villa front man Emile Heskey could be out for up to a month after sustaining a knee injury in training on Wednesday. The news comes on the back of the revelation that captain Stiliyan Petrov is likely to miss out for at least three months with the ligament damage he picked up in the 1-0 defeat to Sunderland. Heskey has been in good form under Houllier, having worked with him at Liverpool, scoring 3 in his last 6 appearances with two of those coming from the bench. The injury leaves John Carew and Nathan Delfouneso as the only fit first team strikers with Gabby Agbonlahor’s groin injury taking longer to heal than anticipated. With Carew lacking in confidence in the box and without a goal all season I think it should be time to give Delfouneso a chance after fine form with the reserves this season. More News on the Injury

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