Aston Villa Face Blues in Must Win Quarter Final: Match Preview

November 29, 2010 by · 2 Comments
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Villa travel the short journey to St. Andrews in what is a massive League Cup Quarter Final draw with fierce rivals Birmingham City. The two sides met last month, producing probably the dullest derby in decades and a strong contender for worst Premier League game of the season. Villa were riddled with injuries and remain severely depleted as they look to turn around a poor run of results. A spirited comeback against Arsenal on Saturday was all in vain due to a dire first half display but did encourage some fans ahead of the nail biting clash on Wednesday. Houllier’s side have won just 1 in 9 in the league though they qualified for this stage of the cup with a tense 2-1 extra-time win over Championship Burnley. Birmingham reached the Quarter Finals at the expense of League One Brentford who pushed the Blues all the way but were beaten in a penalty shoot-out. Read more

Villa Continue Dismal Recent Record

November 28, 2010 by · 1 Comment
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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
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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 Match Preview

November 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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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
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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 Preview: Houllier Needing Win

November 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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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

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

November 3, 2010 by · 2 Comments
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Following on from my defensive stats accumulation, I have also gathered some attacking statistics for each midfielder and attacker in the current Villa squad. The stats again, 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 each player’s shots on target ratio, the shots to goals ratio and the average amount of minutes on the pitch it takes each player to score. Again the findings do reveal some interesting results. I will list the top 3 players in each category regarding their attacking record as well as the bottom 3 culprits. Individual Attacking Stats in Full

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

November 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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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

Gerard Houllier Unhappy With Villa Stars

November 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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Gerard Houllier has shown that he is not afraid to let it be known of his frustration with some of the player’s recent performances for Aston Villa. The Villa manager spoke out of his disapproval of captain Nigel Reo-Coker’s conduct in the weekend’s derby with Birmingham. The newly appointed temporary skipper was part of a fierce duel with ex-Villa midfielder Craig Gardner for much of the encounter with both parties guilty of unnecessary challenges. The two players were booked during the game Reo-Coker having to be separated from a minor brawl after consecutive tackles from Gardner. The Villa man was clearly rattled and after being booked, was withdrawn from the proceedings by Houllier and still needed to be calmed down after the game had ended. Houllier’s Comments on Reo-Coker and Ireland

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