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Aston Villa
April 28, 2009
Posted by Jerrad Peters on 04/28/2009

Martin O’Neill and his scouts were “up and down the country” this week, searching high and low for players to bolster Aston Villa’s squad. With the club in the midst of a 12-match tailspin and midfielder Gareth Barry likely to leave Villa Park in the summer, the manager has tagged squad depth as his top priority as he prepares for the reopening of the transfer window.

Here’s hoping he has eyes and ears in Spain, Belgium and Russia as well. For while his domestic search will surely turn up one or two decent prospects, O’Neill’s best options are currently plying their trades on distant shores.

April 17, 2009
Posted by Jerrad Peters on 04/17/2009

It’s taken eight months, but I’ve finally soured on Curtis Davies. In that, I suppose I’m no different than the manager. Had both of us—particularly him—lost faith in him four months sooner, Aston Villa might have bolstered their defense in January and avoided the swoon they now find themselves in. Hindsight is wonderful, isn’t it?

April 10, 2009
Posted by Jerrad Peters on 04/10/2009

It’s about to get very, very dicey. Currently nursing a one-point lead over Everton for fifth-place in the Premier League table, Aston Villa’s winter swoon has become a spring slide that now threatens their place in next season’s Europa League. Whatever their fate, it will probably be decided when the Toffees visit Villa Park on Easter Sunday.

April 3, 2009
Posted by Jerrad Peters on 04/03/2009

On April 15, Steven Defour will turn 21. Most footballers his age would just be breaking into the first team. Not Defour.

Despite his slight frame—he’s 5-foot-8—Defour has played professional football since 2004. He broke into Rene Vandereycken’s Genk side as a 16-year-old and made his international debut for Belgium just two years later. Vandereycken is now the head coach of the national team, and Defour has claimed more than 20 caps.

He’s also the captain of Standard Liege. Last season, he took his club to the Jupiler League title and received the Golden Shoe as the most valuable footballer in the country.

Kevin Hughes Kevin Hughes spent the best part of ten years working and writing for the football magazine Match; once (sort of) inspiring David Beckham to copy his shaved-hair look, getting lost in Paris after the 1998 France v Croatia World Cup semi-final and other such nonsense. As Deputy Editor, he launched and established Sport, the London-based free weekly magazine, before moving on to become a consumer magazine publisher, a position he holds today. Introduced to Villa by his father and grandfather, he attended his first ever match at Villa Park as a seven-year-old in 1982… and has suffered almost constant disappointment since. You can follow him on twitter @KevHughesie

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