May 30, 2011
What promises to be a rather eventful summer at Villa Park officially got underway late last week with the release of 10 players, including John Carew, Nigel Reo Coker and Robert Pires. Next on the agenda is the contract situations of Supporters’ and Players’ Player of the Season Stewart Downing and winger-turned-playmaker Ashley Young. From there, additional players will have to be signed to offset the departures and improve the club. And, oh yes, then there is the matter of the head coach.
May 10, 2011
It is always revealing when a player speaks out about the state of affairs at his football club. It doesn’t really matter how candid he is. The fact that he is voicing his opinion - that he is either frustrated enough to go public with his thoughts or sees himself as some sort of representative of his teammates - is enough of an indication that something isn’t right, that the club is somehow dysfunctional.
March 17, 2011
Last season, Aston Villa’s 39 goals against marked their fourth-best defensive campaign of the Premier League era. (They conceded 35 goals in both 1995-96 and 1999-2000 and 34 in 1996-97). They’ve already conceded 50 in 29 games this term, and have done so with a group of players almost identical to last season’s contingent.
February 16, 2011
I've been back and forth on Ashley Young too many times to count. I've been a waffler. I've often thought he should leave Aston Villa, and leave the club a handsome profit in return; I've also been an admirer of his for a very long time. He, in some ways, is how I feel about the club in a nutshell. And of late, I've been feeling rather good.
January 5, 2011
Aston Villa’s on-field performances provoke so much head scratching it’s enough to give one a rash. An embarrassing 4-0 trouncing at Manchester City; a gutsy, 3-3 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Of course, there are no shortage of questions off the field, either. What has become of Stephen Ireland? Does the club have any sort of transfer strategy? When did Robert Pires become Gerard Houllier’s press officer?
November 15, 2010
Aston Villa’s injury crisis continued to mount, Monday, with news that defender Richard Dunne had pulled out of the Republic of Ireland squad ahead of Wednesday’s match at home to Norway. In so doing, he became the 10th Villa player to be sidelined at the moment, unless you count Stephen Ireland. (I don’t).
November 2, 2010
When he arrived at Villa Park from Manchester City in late August, Stephen Ireland was trumpeted as a decent makeweight in the James Milner transaction. Two months on, the 24-year-old has yet to make any kind of impact in Gerrard Houllier’s squad and was benched for the Birmingham derby on Sunday. Makeweight has become deadweight. Not that we should be all that surprised.