Monday, July 16, 2012

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

NY Villans Update - Premiership 11/12 Week 1

Villa fans of America welcome to the first update of the 2011/2012 season. The New York Villans is officially 5 years old this month and what a roller-coaster 5 years it has been. Before the main diatribe begins quick match update. The Villa vs Fulham tie like all Premiership games could potentially be postponed due to the current underclass insurrection in England. If it does happen it'll be live for FSC.tv subscribers at 10am Eastern. NYC crew we are back in Legends for the opening game, for newcomers the bar is on 33rd street between 5th and 6th aves directly opposite the southern entrance to the Empire State Building. Games are usually on in the downstairs bar.

Also I demand you all join the Facebook page for some quality banter: http://www.facebook.com/groups/113197252080708/

The summer started out in chaos and excitement for some but not for others. While the majority of you have been wearing out the F5 on your keyboards I was baking myself in the Hawaiian sun. While rumors abounded of Anchelotti, Moyes, Jol, Hughes, Martinez, McClaren and ultimately McLeish, I was barely bothered to follow the madness. Instead I was busy flinging the wife off a Jetski at high speeds into dolphin infested waters and drinking myself stupid on Pina Coladas. Still I did occasionally have a sneaky glance at the footy headlines on my phone but thankfully avoided the insanity on the Villa message-boards.

So here we are and nobody could have seen it coming the great ship Villa having barely managed to stay afloat is now being steered by the man who relegated our bitterest of rivals not once but twice, a man who against all the odds somehow found a way to guide Glasgow Rangers to 3rd place in a two horse race. Not only that but he is a ginger (shock/horror/burn him at the stake). Well you would think I'd be livid, you would imagine me outside Bodymoor Heath burning an effigy or dialing long distance to rant on Talksport. In fact I'm not too disappointed.

Back in 2007 when McLeish chose to take the Birmingham City job I was not only surprised I was actually gutted. Here was a reasonably young manager with a lot of potential who worked magic to guide Motherwell to a second place finish in the SPL and Hibernian to third. Who snatched a league title at Rangers from a then dominant Celtic team under Martin O'Neill and he was holding the reigns at the Sty.

Now as previously mentioned he did have his failings up north before taking a dip into the choppy Premier league waters but it would be cruel to pin those failures on him alone. Rangers at that time were barely able to stay afloat and his squad was being sold from under him at an alarming rate. That first half season at Birmingham was a mountain to climb and given the resources few managers if any would have been able to keep them away from the inevitable drop that we celebrated so much. However McLeish bounced back and Birmingham escaping the Championship the following year was rarely in doubt, he followed it up with an excellent 9th place finish and that Carling Cup victory that will pain us for sometime before their eventual relegation on the final day of last season. Said relegation may have appeared difficult to justify given how well they performed in the first half of the season but given a squad and resources at his disposal that really guaranteed little more than a relegation scrap; it is understandable given the bizarre circumstances of said scrap, involving almost the entire bottom half of the table till the last day that they did go down.

Now the real question: "Is McLeish the best man to take Villa forward?" No, of course he isn't. There are countless other managers that would have been better choices but unfortunately none of them were either available or interested in the Villa job. Martinez as we know firmly rejected us to continue learning his trade at Wigan a decision I really admire. Jol if he was ever in the running wanted to remain in London where he lives. Anchelotti may have entertained the idea for a couple of minutes before remembering he has better opportunities ahead and fuck knows what's happening with Mark Hughes, perhaps he was naive enough to think Chelsea were interested or maybe Randy like myself just doesn't rate him. McLeish was undoubtedly quite far down the wish list but as many Villa fans have suggested it certainly wasn't barrel scraping.

Deciding to take a manager across the second city divide is not a decision to take lightly. In doing it Randy Lerner has certainly put his credibility at stake. Should McLeish be as big a failure as Houllier then Villa fans will have no faith in the current board making future appointments.

So the turbulent summer has come to an end, we have seen many departures from the squad. As expected Ashley Young went to Old Trafford but you really can't hold a move like that against him. Downing on the other hand was much more disappointing, here was a player who we brought to the club at a time he was badly injured (at the hands of Petrov no less) we nursed him back to health watched him play some rubbish football in his first season then some excellent football in his second season. As soon as another opportunity came along he was off like a rat. I do hope Petrov sticks it to him again next time they meet on the pitch.

A less important pair also departed: Nigel Reo-Coker as we understand was offered a contract far below the bags of money he was seeking and went out onto the open market eventually ending up at Bolton who I can't imagine were willing to dish out the kind of money we were lead to believe he was seeking. Also sniffing for a pay day was Brad Friedel who chose a 2-year last hurrah at Tottenham over the 1-year deal we offered, no complaints there.

Coming into the club is seasoned guardian of the uprights Shay Given. Now there can be little doubt that Shay has been one of the finest keepers the Premiership has seen and I've no doubt that if he had been born in England would have had a hundred caps but thankfully he's a wee Donegal lad. As preseason has shown age isn't a major factor for him with some impressive displays. In fact, after watching bits of the recent Celtic XI vs ManU XI I don't think age is much of a problem for his legendary mentor Packie Bonnar who can still pull off a string of wonder saves. The real concern over Shay is his shoulder problems. We can speculate all we want about how likely the problem is to rear its ugly head again but if it doesn't we will have a very solid keeper for many years to come.

Our second signing is a 25 year old French international who scored 9 league goals last season and 8 assists compare this with 9 assists and 7 goals for Stewart Downing and you would consider it a fairly good swap but also factor in N'Zogbia being 2 years younger and half the price? Looks like it was the Scousers who got robbed for once! If only there was another one knocking around for the same fee.

Preseason itself has been a mixed bag an excellent performance against Walsall was followed by a solid result against Blackburn before a disappointing defeat to Chelsea. A much weakened team was dispatched by Derby before the final warm-up a mixed bag at Braga. I was able to catch the Braga, Blackburn and Chelsea games couple of notes:
Warnock was exceptional against Blackburn one of the finest performances I've seen from him but I would be concerned about coverage if he of Luke Young were to get injured. For now Warnock looks like he can play; as opposed to the Warnock of old who was arse.
Gabby looks very fired up for the new season and appears to have the spring back in his step but a couple of goals would be good for his confidence.
McLeish appears to be able to get the most out of Heskey with the formation we have been using.
Back in from the cold Stephen Ireland is actually showing some promise.
The defence has finally remembered how to defend set pieces.
Makoun still needs time to find his role in the squad.
Jury is still out on the Fonz.
Barry Bannan hasn't yet transformed into Paul Scholes. I hope the fans have some patience and don't turn on him and the other youngsters.
Overall the new shape of the team looks pretty solid but I am fearful that a couple of injuries might reduce us to rubble.

My season prediction: 10th place, it wont be exciting but we wont have the terror of flirting with relegation. I expect a bit of a reverse Everton - very strong first half of the season, very poor second half.


Other news:

A Jean II Makoun song and music video you say? Absurdly awesome: http://youtu.be/YZ5zCfOHk9c and another? http://youtu.be/jYt_EpmsOXQ I can't think of another Villa player who has had such a soundtrack. Not since Right Said Fred sang Deeply Dippy about Stefan Postma.

And it's time for another installment of "Colin Davies has far too much time on his hands": http://youtu.be/cDVCYt3Ygq0 Cheers for keeping us entertained Colin!

Fantasy Premier League is back! register your team at fantasy.premierleague.com before the season starts and join the Aston Villa USA league. Join code is: 497440-134949 28 teams already in at time of writing including some big names but surprisingly not the Millionares of Bob Warren... What gives?

A new footy pub is expected to be opening soon. Smithfield 215 West 28th Street, Between 7th and 8th Ave. Will be the domain of our old pal Kieron and we very much look forward to checking it out.


That's about all I have for now with this 2,000 word dissertation but I'm sure to have forgotten something.

Up the Villa!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

NYVillans Coverage update FA Cup 5th Round

A quickie, Villa are back at Eastlands facing Manchester City. We will be hoping to replicate the win we enjoyed at the end of January and continue the good form we showed at the weekend. The game is live at 2:45 on Fox Soccer plus and foxsoccer.tv for subscribers. Should also be plenty of decent streams knocking about. Saturday we remain on the road with an important league match against Bolton, a win here will secure a solid table position. this one is a 10am kickoff with FSC showing a delayed broadcast at 5pm. There doesn't appear to be any other coverage on the cards so it's highly unlikely we'll be able to watch in the pub. For those in NYC I'll be trying for a stream on my projector so feel free to drop by.

Up the Villa!

Friday, February 04, 2011

NY Villans Update - Premiership Week 26 10/11 Fulham at Home

A little late in the week for the update, sorry about that. Tomorrow see's Fulham make the trip from London to the Villa a trip they have not returned from with three points since the 1970's but past form counts for nothing this season and Fulham come into this game on the back of an impressive run of form which includes a 1-0 win over Newcastle on Wednesday. No real injury concerns for Villa. Downing's was a concern but he appears to be mended, unfortunately he still hasn't found his spine and will dive out of the way of all opposition shots. Nathan Baker remains suspended following his red card in the cup and Michael Bradley is now available for selection after receiving his work clearance. It's hard to know if Bradley will be given a run out tomorrow but it would be nice to see him introduced as a sub at some point in the proceedings. There is no standard live coverage of the game, FSC has a delayed broadcast at 5pm ET, however the match is live for subscribers of FoxSoccer.tv and most footy pubs should be carrying it. New York fans we will be in Legends for this one at 10am tomorrow morning with our trusty old flag salvaged by John and Toni from the deserted ruins of Nevada Smiths. For those who haven't come down to watch a game with us there's no better time than present to give it a go. Legends is on 33rd street between 5th and 6th Ave's directly across the street from the Empire State building. Games are shown downstairs.

Tuesday night was always going to be a tricky game for Villa, it was very unfortunate to concede so early in the match and from there it was mission impossible to turn things around. There are however a couple of things we can take away from the defeat. Firstly on the night where brad Friedel became Villa's oldest ever player he showed that he still has the reflexes of a keeper half his age with some magnificent saves. Darren Bent made it 2 goals from 3 games with a tidy finish from Downing's excellent cross. Bent now has 10 goals for the season and can hopefully bag many more to drive us up that table. The player with the most acclaim following the game was Makoun, the Cameroonian put on a passing masterclass despite a very limited window of adjustment to the level and pace of the Premiership, I can't wait to see what he does next.

Facebook users bounce on over and join the Aston Villa America group: http://www.facebook.com/#!/home.php?sk=group_113197252080708&ap=1 will be nice to put some mugs to associate with the names.

The 89/90 season was a big one for the Villa ultimately losing out on the league title to Liverpool and finishing second, it was the year that Paul McGrath came to Villa and Graham Taylor said goodbye (for the first time) as he took the England job. Both former player and manager discuss the memorable year on Irish radio: http://media.newstalk.ie/podcast/22415/popup a fantastic listen if you remember it or not.

Have a great weekend, enjoy the Superbowl the Rugby and hopefully 3 points for the Villa!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NY Villans Update - Premiership Week 23 Noses Away

There's no doubting the enormity of this Sundays Villa Blues match. It's always a huge clash for us but with Villa rotting in the relegation zone the stakes are higher than ever. The result against Sheffield United we can only hope gave the team a boost in confidence ahead of the trip to St Andrews but despite the scoreline and the quality of the goals, our second half approach on Saturday was all too telling. After a dominant first 45 for Villa, Sheffield were gifted the penalty early in the second and suddenly the lines between Championship and Premiership were blurred. Misplaced passes, panicked clearances, poor crosses and a lack of discipline. Villa are suddenly unrecognizable from the team of 12 months ago and now face the very real prospect of a brutal relegation scrap. Houllier for now has been given a stay of execution but for how long? 3 points and a solid display against our most hated of enemies will go a long way to ease nerves but anything else will be sure to whip the Villa fanbase into a disgruntled frenzy.

The transfer window has so far been rather uninspiring. No doubt work is going on behind the scenes but looking at our table position and you would imagine most prospective signings might have second thoughts about coming to Villa Park. The main links at the moment are Jean Makoun of Lyon and Momo Sissoko from Juventus, both decent midfielders and good signings if we land them but the middle of the park surely isn't the area of most concern. Up front we are having a wretched time finding the net. Gabby is way off form, Heskey blows hot and cold, Delfouseno has yet to find his feet and god only knows what's going on with Carew. Supposedly big John has been ordered to get in shape and may be utilized in Heskeys absence. We can hope that the fact he's on the market might inspire him to put in some effort attracting other clubs.

Personally I'm banging my head off the wall with this 4-5-1 crap, sure great formation if you are Spain but Ashley Young is wasted in the hole. I don't care if that's the position he wants to be playing, somebody just needs the balls to tell him that he's crap in the middle and to stick to the wings. Would love to see us at least try to revert to a 4-4-2 but I somehow doubt it will happen as footballing fashion dictates otherwise.

The big match is Live on Setanta Canada kicking off at 7am Eastern, there is a delayed broadcast on Fox Soccer Plus at 11am and I have no idea if ESPN3 is an option (can't wrap my head around their listings). I'll update the nyvillans.com website if I find out more. NYC posse: converge on legends as usual. I was thinking of switching up to Lunasa this week but it doesn't look like Kieron will be opening up that early in the morning so maybe for the next one. One more time for those who don't know Legends is on 33rd Street just West of 5th Ave and directly opposite the Empire State Building, matches are shown in the downstairs bar.

Gary Shaw is a name that reminds Villa fans of legendary times, League winner, European Cup winner, PFA Young Player of the Year, Brummie and Villa fan. The former Claret and Blue striker graced us with his presence for last Saturday's FA Cup game and not a nicer gent could you wish to meet. Gary shared with us with his memories of playing for Villa and subsequent career travels, it was a real treat for those of us struggling through a difficult phase of our Villa supporting roller-coaster and he's welcome to return every week if it means a win like it did on Saturday morning.

Now for the round up:

10-1, not a scoreline you'd expect from a top of the table clash, even in the reserves league and especially when Arsenal are on the receiving end but that is the massacre that Villa's youngsters delivered on Wengers much heralded "Wonderkids" Monday evening. Villa abused the Arsenal side like Sepp Blatter abuses his power and the goals came from all over. Gary Gardner and Andreas Weimann returning from injury bagged a brace each as did Nathan Delfouseno. Chris Herd the Aussie with the dodgy haircut nodded in a hat-trick and Jonathan Hogg also added his name to the crowded scoreboard. Despite some of the excuses being banded around by Arsenal youth bloggers the result made waves in a number of newspapers the following morning so who knows maybe the London media might start taking some notice of the goldmine that is Villa's academy rather than their usual Arsenal wank.

Despite Peterborough reeling in disgust at a supposed "insulting" bid from Villa for their 23-year-old keeper Joe Lewis the news from Villa Park is that no bid has been made. So own up, which one of you faxed Peterborough an offer of Robert Pires and a zimmerframe for their highly rated shot stopper?

The NYVillan most likely to win a Nobel prize for literature Ben McCool has a new comic out on Wednesday the 19th, MEMOIR is the story of a small Midwestern town where the population wakes up one morning to discover they are all Villa fans (it's not really but I'll prod him to write that one in the future) more info on Ben's site: http://therealbenmccool.blogspot.com/

Jersey Shore's very own Steve F has pledged to join us in NYC for the Blue match on Sunday, Steve is Birmingham's very first naturalized Guido and will challenge anyone to fist pump stronger than him.


Sunderland for some bizarre reason thought we might be willing to part with the services of Stuart Downing, they have been politely told to piss off.

28 Year Old MLS star Omar Cummings is training with the Villa. The Jamaican international scored 14 goals last season as Colorado Rapids were crowned champions, it remains to be seen if there's an opportunity for him to join Villa on a full time basis but after saying in an interview that with coming to Villa "One of the most important things that I had to put on hold was that my wife was trying to get pregnant," the name puns write themselves.

On a more serious note former Villa player Chris Price is this evening believed to be recovering in hospital after what appears to be a freak accident while playing football on an Australian beach with his daughter. The right back who played for Villa from 88-92 was apparently pulled out to sea by some unexpected large waves. Keep Chris and his family in your thoughts.

Up the Villa!

Monday, November 29, 2010

NY Villans Update - Carling Cup Quarterfinal SOTC

We are going down the shitter, it's true Villa are on their way to St Andrew's this Wednesday for some Carling Cup action against the most vile of opposition the diseased, illiterate neighbour with the repulsive body odour. On the back of Saturday's 4-2 defeat to Arsenal the team and supporters are really in need of a lift and nothing could be better than getting one over on the old enemy. The game is Live Wednesday at 2:30 ET on Fox Soccer plus. For those in NYC who can get out of that pesky thing called work the game is being shown in Legends 6 W 33rd St (between 5th Ave & Broadway) .

Skipping ahead, our next league game against Liverpool will be on ESPN 2. Monday December 6th at 3pm. For the locals I'll be hosting a delayed broadcast at 6pm in my place, give me a shout if you want to join (there will be curry).

Sorry for the lack of updates last week Turkey Coma got the better of me. The Arsenal game was an interesting one. We were utterly outplayed in that first half it was truly hopeless and how we were only 2 down at the break defied logic. Granted we should have had a penalty and Young had a very good chance to score when he knocked over at the back post. I wondered to myself what could the manager possibly say to lift the team? Whatever it was it worked, the boys came out for the second half hungry and we quickly got back into the game. In the end Arsenal deserved the points but we could easily have snatched a draw.

Now for a quick roundup of Villa news:

The FA today apologised as an error with their fixture scheduling system drew Sheffield United as Aston Villa's FA Cup third round opponents instead of Manchester United who have been drawn at home against Liverpool. This is the second consecutive year that the system has failed to schedule Villa vs Man Utd after nearly a decade of miserable success.

Will Gabby and Reo Coker be fit to face Birmingham on Wednesday? Your guess is as good as mine since the club haven't said anything yet, however it is believed that Reo has resumed full training and Gabby who loves nothing better than scoring against the noses will hopefully be over the sniffles by then. Big boost if it happens.

This week Villa have been linked to every over-the-hill and out of contract former Premiership star the press can dream up, it's going to be a boring month until the transfer window opens so feel free to bury your head in the sand anytime a cheap journalist pulls a name like Freddy Ljungberg out of their arse.

For those of you who like me enjoy their grub, NY Villa fan Zach Brooks has an excellent NYC foodie Blog that's well worth checking out: http://midtownlunch.com/

I haven't booked flights yet so I can't say for certain but more than likely I'll be attending the boxing day home fixture against Tottenham, if any of you are in Brum for Christmas and heading to the game let me know and I'll arrange some drinks beforehand.

Up the Villa.

Friday, November 19, 2010

NY Villans Update Premiership Week 14 - Announcing a new pub for match watching.

The Man United game last week pulled us through the whole spectrum of emotion. After seeing the team sheet before the game I thought we were screwed then the young lions started to roar and for a moment it looked like the win was there only to be cruelly snatched away. It was odd coming out of the pub afterwords I should have been devastated but in fact I was quite inspired. The sheer talent and hunger of our kids is a marvelous sight, Albrighton and Bannan fearless and composed. Jonathan Hogg making his debut in difficult circumstances more than up for the challenge. After so many years of hearing how great our reserves and academy are, we are finally getting to witness it ourselves.

This week our kids face an always difficult trip to Ewood Park. Blackburn very much in the news today after being taken over by an Indian family, it's hard to know if this will boost or distract the side ahead of Sunday's encounter but have no doubt that Allardyce will have them well prepared as we play them for the 6th time since January. Villa have another injury concern over the fitness of James Collins but Gabby, Clark and Dunne are expected to be available. It'll also be interesting to see if there is a place in the match day squad for new acquisition Robert Pires. This one is live on Fox Soccer Plus Sunday morning at 8:30am Eastern.

Now for some news on the local coverage front, as those of you following my updates will know, we have gone through an interesting 6 months for football in New York. Following a number of disputes long time footy mecca Nevada Smiths fell out of favour. Since this happened we have been watching games with our mate who was at Nevada's Kieron Slattery in a pub called Lunasa. Last week we learned that Jack Keane is building a new football hub for the city in a massive venue called Legends on the South side of 33rd street a few doors from 5th Avenue. After the United game myself and John went up there to chat with Jack and take the tour. The venue itself is pretty stunning the main bar is rather large with a sizable dining area, above it is a lavish balcony area all with excellent views of the many screens strewn about. Downstairs is where I expect most of the action will happen, a open space for about 2-250 people. A large variety of beer is on hand along with plenty of food including the Jack Keane sandwich (rashers, sausage, pudding, eggs and cheese) each one will take about 3 months off your life expectancy. Although things are only just kicking off Jack has solid plans for transitioning the bar to a football palace starting with the gradual replacement of memorabilia around the venue and the addition of permanent flags for each supporters group to be hug from the ceiling. It's both exciting and relieving to see a final resolution to the venue issue. Kieron however remains at Lunasa for the time being and we will for the near future be dividing our time between both establishments. As for Legends there will be an opening party for NYC football fans on Monday the 22nd at 7pm, come on over and check the place out for yourselves or better come enjoy the Blackburn game there on Sunday morning.

Other Villa news Barry Bannan is the latest in our crop of rising talent to put pen to paper signing a new contract that'll keep him at Villa Park until 2014. Barry earned his first international cap playing for Scotland against the Faroe Islands midweek.

In what seems like an odd move but in my opinion is a clever one, Gerrard Houllier has picked up former Arsenal and France star Robert pies on a free transfer the World Cup and Euro Championship winner is getting a little long in the tooth at 37 but will not only bring bags of experience to the team but also is sure to have a great influence on our kids. I also expect the manager brought him in preparation of adding a number of other french player to the squad. By the time the window comes around pires will be familiar with the club and the city helping any other new acquisition settle in.

One an even more bizarre note comes the news that Moustapha Salifou a veteran of Togolese bus conflicts slapped around a journalist while on international duty. Details are in short supply but as reported Salifou took exception to some comments the journalist made about his personal life and worked him over on the team bus with the help of a goalkeeper. No comment has yet to come from the club or the player but with an attitude like that he should really be present at all club press conferences and post match interviews.

Up the Villa!

Friday, November 05, 2010

NY VIllans Update - Premiership Week 11, 10/11 Season, Fulham Away

Cometh the day, cometh Delfonz...

Villa travel to Craven Cottage tomorrow and manager Gerrad Houllier must be looking at his available roster of players and wondered if he brought too much of a French surrender ethic to the club. As of this morning all three of our senior strikers are injured. Gabby has only returned to light training following his surgery, Heskey yesterday damaged a medial knee ligament and just when it couldn't get any worse this morning John Carew tore his calf muscle. Now the spotlight has turned to a player somewhat forgotten since Houllier took the reigns the talented but troubled Nathan Delfouneso. The Fonz has an exceptional record at youth and reserve level but his inability to break into the first team has widely been seen as down to a lack of desire and commitment in other words "Luke Moore you lazy bastard look what happened to your brother syndrome". But following a run of injury luck for Villa that's comparable to a weekday morning at the Everton training ground Delfouneso now finds himself as our only forward option and is set to make his first Premiership start as Houllier told Sky Sports: "It is an ideal opportunity for the young Nathan to step up. He will definitely be the main striker". Lets hope he can seize the opportunity.

This one is live on Fox Soccer Plus at 11am Eastern, please be aware of the timing as Birmingham is currently only 4 hours ahead of us due to their earlier switch for DST. NYVillans continue to gather at Lunasa 1st Ave below St Marks place. In other pub news our old friend Jack Keane has setup shop for the moment t Scully's Public house in "idyllic" Downtown Newark: http://www.scullyspublichouse.com/ We will be planning a trip out there to see him sometime in the near future.

The Blues match last week isn't much worth talking about, I was in Vegas for it and due to a random bout of illness I didn't make it to the Crown & Anchor as planned and watched it in my hotel room, what I will say is that that was probably the strongest scum team we have played in many years still they failed to beat a weakened Villa. little comfort for the frustration, I know but we can at least look forward to revenge as the two team meet once again this time in the Carling Cup. With my stream fuzzy and my commentary in some exotic Eastern European language it took me quite a while to figure out what system Houllier was playing and was very surprised to see Ciaran Clark in midfield but didn't the young lad do well? Obviously I extra delighted to see the emergence of Clark as he recently declared as an Irish international but I think he'll be a true star for Villa in the future.

Matt from Chicago traveled over and gave this report:

"I was at the game. First time for me. I had no idea how heated a good derby could be... WWIII nearly started outside the North Stand stand as the City supporters got off their buses and promptly made their way to Witton Lane pushing aside the barricades meant to keep the sides apart. Terrible first half of football. Thought we had them with Ashley's shot off of the wood in the second (I jumped so high I nearly fell into the stands below me). If was also lucky enough to be following the ball out of bounds as the young guy dived to head it back on the field (and landed on the field which got him sent off the grounds). I can't wait to get back!"

A couple of announcements:

Best of luck to those of you running in Sunday's NYC Marathon notably Andrew and Lorianne (sorry if I forgot anyone).

Congrats to John for learning how not to play FIFA 11 taking a pasting by yours truly this week, get some practice in John and stop blaming your controls!

For those of you in the DC area former NYVillan Keith is trying to get the action going down there, please head over to his site for more details: http://capitalvillans.blogspot.com/2010/11/in-youth-there-be-truth-and-hopefully.html

To answer Andrews jibe in last weeks email about me not doing the update due to no internet in Vegas, Andrew at the time I texted you I was strolling down Freemont street with a Daquiri the size of my head, internet was somewhat of a challenge as was walking straight.

Juan Pablo Angel has scored his last goal for the Red Bulls in last nights miserable Playoff defeat a sad way to say goodbye to a player who brought a bit of Villa class to New York football. Juan Pablo is a true gent still very much enjoys watching the Villa and always had plenty of time for us Villa fans whenever we met him on this side of the pond. Cheers mate, gutted to see you go.

Up the Villa!

Friday, October 01, 2010

NYVillans Update - Premiership Week 7 Tottenham Away

It's the weekend and that means the Villa are back in action. The Heskey roadshow heads to White Heart Lane, a miserable hunting ground for Villa in recent years with 1 measly win in the last 10 years. Our new managers record away to Tottenham is equally awful with 5 losses in six visits with Liverpool. I know I've gone and got you all really excited for tomorrows game however, take heart. Tottenham will be tired after their midweek Champions League game and their defence is utterly knackered with Ledley King looking to miss the game. Villa are without Gabby who's getting some minor surgery but otherwise the team is at full strength with both Dunney and Carew fit. Not to mention we are enjoying the new manager honeymoon period so 3 points are very much up for grabs. This one is live at 10am Eastern on FSC. NYC folks we are once again watching at LUNASA (126 First Avenue between 7th & St Marks).

In other news I've finally after about 2 years cleaned up our mailing list so some of you who's emails were entered incorrectly into the database are probably getting this for the first time, hello! My next task is to dig through the member list and provide the new supporters groups in the US with details of members in their area so we can have more regional groups getting together on match days.

For the Ex-Pats heading home around Christmas, it looks like a few of us, myself included, will be heading to Villa park for the Boxing Day Villa vs Spurs game. Let me know if you plan on going and I'll see if I can make arrangements for a meet-up prior to the game, perhaps even a stadium tour.

Up the Villa and Europe to give the USA a hiding in the Ryder cup, provided it stops raining long enough in Wales for them to actually play golf.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

NY Villans Update - Premiership Week 1

Update contents:

1. Intro
2. Aston Villa vs West Ham
3. Supporters Shield Tournament - Players Needed
4. News Round-up
5. Fantasy Football
6. Supporters club info.

1. Wow what a week, I was in the process of updating the member list and writing a season preview email when the news broke. Andrew sent me a private message that I just couldn't believe, Martin O'Neill gone? Days before the season starts? Utterly amazing and at the same time scary. O'Neills arrival 4 years ago signaled the start of a new era for the club. Villa had become a shadow of its famous former self during the final days of the Ellis era. David O'Leary very nearly relegated the club and the fans were praying for a takeover. I can still remember the excitement surrounding O'Neills appointment we all believed the only way he would have joined the club is if Deadly Doug had decided to sell and sure enough just a few days later we were introduced to Randy Lerner. Four years have passed and the club is unrecognizable from the one of 2005 both on and off the pitch. A large part of this must be credited to the former manager. O'Neill made some questionable signings but he also made some inspired ones all the while investing in youth the rewards of which we will be reaping for years to come. While I have always been a big fan of his and can see few other managers having accomplished what O'Neill has in the last 4 years I am truly horrified that he has left the club in such a quagmire. No circumstances can justify abandoning your troops on the eve of a battle especially when he could have walked 2 months ago. Now the club must scramble to replace him much to the distraction of the players and under the impending doom of the rapidly closing transfer window. Martin thanks for everything but in the end you departed like a plonker.

2. Manager or not the season kicks off for Villa on Saturday at 10am Eastern time against color thieves West Ham. this one is Live on FSC and the NYVillans will be watching at... Nevada Smiths. Yes after the boycott and madness towards the end of last season we have decided to return to Nevadas at least for now. I can confirm the West Ham fans will be joining us there. We still aren't entirely happy with the Kieron incident but for the moment it's really our only option. Hope to see many of you there, for the newcomers Nevadas is on 3rd Avenue between 11th and 12th. I'm the big handsome hairy Irish chap in the Richard Dunne shirt, don't be scared to say hello, I only bite after my 6th pint of Bass.

3. I've entered the NY Villans in an mens 8-a-side tournament to be played at pier 40 on Saturday August 28th. the pier is at Houston and the West Side Highway. We need players it's $30 a head with all the proceeds going to the DUSC City Soccer Initiative which provides coaching for inner city youth. if you like to play and you are interested let me know asap. The level will be reasonably good and the other teams are all various NYC supporters clubs Newcastle, Tottenham, Man City, Real Madrid, OM etc. Plus there will be a good session afterwards.

4. Obviously the biggest news being the departure of Martin O'Neill and the speculation around his successor but here's some stuff you may not have heard:
American Eric Lichaj has signed a new 3-year deal so expect to see the young right back challenging for some time in the senior team. Villa have released a new official website at avfc.co.uk which is a major improvement on the old one. Nicky Shorey has departed for West Brom. James Milner is expected to depart for Man City tomorrow for what is believed to be 25 million pounds. Moving in the other direction will be Stephen Ireland on a one year loan with the option to buy for a fixed price next summer. Until the appointment of a new manager the coach of our very successful reserve team Kevin McDonald will take charge of the senior squad and of course we wish him well.

5. The fantasy League is back for 2010/2011, those of you in it last year should be back in as I simply renewed the league for those of you who want to get involved go to: http://fantasy.premierleague.com/ and once you setup your team use the league join code: 1312649-268178 perhaps this year I'll actually maintain my team after the first week of the season.

6. Obviously not much has happened regarding the supporters club over the Summer months but heres a quick round-up. Congrats to club secretary Bob Warren who recently became a Dad. This seasons membership cards are on their way, once again due to the cost of sending 300+ cards out we will only be doing so for those who actually need them. So if you are headed over to Villa Park for a game let us know and we'll bung a card in the post for you. Of course anyone who comes to a game in Nevada's can usually get one off me or Steve. Lots of new members signed up since the end of last season - welcome to the NY Villans! I see many of you are situated in far flung sections of the country, if any of you are interested in finding Villa fans in your area let me know and I'll check the database. All the perks of being in an official Lions Club can be found on the website: http://www.avfclionsclubs.co.uk/ the main one of course is reserving match tickets for those traveling over, this season we are going to use a Pay Pal linked to the supporters club bank account and cash for tickets will need to be paid up front before Steve places the order as opposed to Steve having to hunt down peoples payment. We of course have always been talking about a big group trip over from the US could 2010/2011 be the season we finally do it? For anyone interested in buying merchandise we get a generous 15% off at the online store, to avail of this just browse to the Club store via the following link: http://www.astonvilladirect.com/stores/astonvilla/default.aspx?portal=D7NOMF74 and you should then see the Supporters club price.


Well it's definitely going to be an interesting next few days for the club, lets hope we get the manager we deserve.

Up the Villa.