Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
It's that time of year again Manchester United return to their rich hunting ground of Villa park expecting their 3 points and who can blame them we have gone 9 years and an astonishing 22 games without a win against this lot, including every FA cup 3rd round I can remember. I went to this fixture 2 years ago at a time when Martin O'Neill and Randy Lerner hadn't had a transfer window yet. It was a very different team back then and just a glance at the squad that day shows how much we have improved in that area since: Kiraly, Hughes, Mellberg, Cahill, Barry, Agbonlahor, McCann, Angel, Gardner, Petrov, Davis, Sutton, Olejnik, Baros, Bouma, Ridgewell. We can only expect three members of that side to start tomorrows game, on the other hand only one of the United players who started that game (Saha) is no longer at the club. There can be no doubt that this is now Martin O'Neills team, no matter how much we scratch our heads during the transfer window he has chosen players that are really starting to make an impact in the league but are we good enough to beat our Bogey team Man Utd? At long last I think we are last weeks stunning performance shows that we can really outplay the top teams as opposed to snatching results however we are still tied to the rock called consistency and must wonder which Villa will turn up tomorrow the one that convincingly beat Arsenal last Saturday of the one that rolled over to Middlesbrough the week before. Personally for a game like this I am approaching it with the same attitude I did last weeks game, expecting a loss, delighted with a draw ecstatic with a win. Villa vs Manchester United - tomorrow 12:30 ET live on Fox Soccer Channel enjoy it in the comfort of your home or better show your colors at your nearest football bar.
Team update: The adorable Carlos Cuellar is out with a strain so Shorey returns with the back two partnership of Davies/Laursen remaining in place Carew is believed to be fully fit but it's unclear if O'neill will start him or keep faith in last weeks forward force. Goalkeeper Brad Friedel will make history when he equals the Premier League’s consecutive appearance record currently held by David James and sure to be broken in our next fixture. On the other side Berbatov and brown are both out and BEHOLD A MIRACLE! Wayne Rooney far too injured to play for England on Wednesday has somehow recovered just in time for our game. Isn't it remarkable how this always happens? I swear Alex Fergusson must have the healing touch of the great profit either that or the lying tongue of the devil.
Hope to see plenty of you at Nevada Smiths tomorrow.
Now wasn't last week fun, I got a great sense of well being running it into the wounds of those Arsenal "fans" in the bar, seriously they have to me the most annoying little runts in the football world. As a result of the great result Villa have been media darlings all week with countless articles being printed about our continuing rise, here's a couple for your enjoyment:
We had 4 players in the England team that beat Germany on Wednesday. Gabby Agbonlahor had a very impressive debut and was man of the match in many polls, Gareth Barry was his usual assured self in the middle but unfortunately Ashley Young failed to impress in his run out for the last 10 minutes. Curtis Davies was an unused substitute.
Michael Johnson (no relation to Ginger legend Tommy) was a surprising visitor to Bodymoor Heath midweek, the Olympic legend and still current 400m record holder appeared to be consulting the Villa coaching staff on sprint techniques and how his experience can be used in the football world. Can we imagine the terrifying prospect of an even faster Gabby Agbonlahor? Next week Barack Obama stopping by for a cup of tea and to ask Martin O'Neills advice when it comes to motivation.
New Nike ad doing the rounds featuring a load of Villa players and staff: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=rl-fHSAMdmM see how many you can spot.
And that's about all I have to say in this update, well done to old boy Juan Pablo Angel and the Red Bulls for getting to the MLS Cup Final which is on Sunday at 3:30 ET, pretty odd time but in fairness it's a pretty odd league.
Posted by Donal Neligan at 9:45 AM
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Quick one as I'm busy today. Hopefully we have all gotten over the rather crap performance against Newcastle on Monday, it really was hard to digest after such a decent run of games. Regardless it's back to business this afternoon in Villa's second UEFA group clash away to Slavia Prague. Once again the game isn't being carried in the us so we are going to have to rely on web streams from the likes of justin.tv. Villa go to Prague without Milner and Petrov both with injuries that are believed minor. Marlon Harewood also sits this one out as he just became a father (adorable baby picture below) Isiah Osbourne is also expecting but probably wouldn't have been on the bench anyway and I just heard an unconfirmed report that Curtis Davies has just gone on paternity leave. Hopefully the kids our their own and not more spawn of the busy Agbonlahor.
Sunday see a rare return to live weekend coverage with our game against Middlesbrough. This one is on Setanta Sports Xtra with delayed coverage on regular Setanta at 6:45pm. Most pubs should have the game live but since it's on Xtra, call to confirm. Those in NYC see you at Nevadas. The big game on Saturday is Arsenal vs Man Utd at 7:45 EST, Arsenal are starting to look the weakest of the top 4 so a win for Utd will for once be welcomed. For those who fancy a sporting weekend I highly recommend catching some of the Rugby internationals France are playing Argentina on Saturday afternoon in what should be another classic between the two sides.
Some club news, we finally have this years Lions Club Membership cards and are looking to send them out next week following some intense envelope stuffing, 140 members = a lot of papercuts.
Article on Villa in the current issue of ESPN magazine written by a NYVillan, I haven't managed to find a copy yet but it's all about our relationship with Acorns.
For those wondering Stephen Lanham put in a respectable time of 3 hours 9 minutes in the marathon on Sunday, granted I know bugger all about running so I'm assuming it's respectable. What I do know is that when he found us after finishing he wasn't even sweating which casts doubts over whether he is even human. Congrats to Steve.
Finally I would like to announce we will be having our own NYVillans Christmas bash sometime soon where we will be raffling off some goodies and having a rather good time. If anyone can suggest a good spot to have it let me know, thinking of an uncrowded bar where we can order some grub but not sit down etc.
Posted by NY Villans at 8:30 AM