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!

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