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

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

Villa Linked with Host of Stars Ahead of Transfer Window

November 1, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Rumour Mill, Transfer News 

My bi-weekly Rumour Mill feature steps up a gear at the end of October as manager Gerard Houllier looks to strengthen his squad. Many of the rumours and reports over the last two weeks have featured midfielder’s despite a desperate need for proven goal-scorer. Some interesting and encouraging links none the less will go under my rule of quality and likelihood in 15th-31st October instalment. Diarra, Makoun, Muntari and More

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

Player Review: Nigel Reo-Coker

October 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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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 Birmingham City Pre-Match Prediction

October 29, 2010 by · 2 Comments
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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

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 Pre-Match Prediction

October 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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Gerard Houllier will be looking to capitalise on the opportunity to get back to ways against weaker opposition in Villa’s Carling Cup 4th round tie with Burnley. Defensive absences, notably with both starting full backs missing, will give Brian Laws men hope. I believe that the youngsters who impressed in the last round such as Bannan and Delfouneso joined by Albrighton and Clark will have enough to see off inferior opposition tomorrow night. The mix of this youth and experience from the likes of temporary captain Reo-Coker should provide the fans with another glimpse of the bright future ahead at Villa Park. Tough to call the starting line-up in this one ahead of Birmingham on Sunday so let me know who you think will be given the nod.

Burnley (Home) – 27th October 2010

Possible Staring XI: Guzan; Lichaj, Clark, Cuellar, Beye; Albrighton, Reo-Coker, Sidwell, Bannan; Ireland; Carew

Key Man: Marc Albrighton

Goalscorer(s): Sidwell, Carew, Albrighton

Minute of First Goal: 33

Final Score: 3-1

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