Aston Villa Central Archives for January 2010

Preview – Aston Villa vs Arsenal – Gabby doubtful, Carew hopeful, Fabregas out

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Arsenal are a curious side right now, frequently, as far as I can determine, a victim of their own complacency. 2-0 up against Tottenham by half time at the Emirates last Saturday and they somehow conspired to take their foot off the gas to the point they seemed helpless to respond to Spurs' resurgence and rightly ended up with nothing.

Aston Villa 2 Arsenal 4 – 2nd half come back not enough against rampant visitors

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A breathless second half, with a vastly more energised Villa performance, was not enough to prevent Arsenal leaving Villa Park with the spoils, the two unanswered goals during the first period being the difference at the final whistle.

Goals from Arshavin and Nasri during the final 6 minutes of the half capped an irresistible display from Arsenal, Ashley Young's half-volley over the bar the only reply.

Statshack – Aston Villa 2 Arsenal 4

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Apologies for the delay on this one, I haven't had much chance to look at the data and ESPN have introduced significant changes to their match graphics which have made things difficult for me. They say a picture paints a thousand words, this will be graphically heavy I feel.

Firstly, the old cliché about a game of two halves couldn't be more apt, could it?

This Season Vs Last Season #10

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Unfortunately, it's time to review this season's performance against last season and it's pretty grim. Last year I apparently ran the numbers after 14 games so that I could arrive neatly at 19, the half way mark, but I think I'll stick with every five games for the rest of this season.

I won't waste your time with narrative, the numbers speak for themselves.

Statshack – Aston Villa 2 Arsenal 4

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Apologies for the delay on this one, I haven't had much chance to look at the data and ESPN have introduced significant changes to their match graphics which have made things difficult for me. They say a picture paints a thousand words, this will be graphically heavy I feel.

Firstly, the old cliché about a game of two halves couldn't be more apt, could it?

This Season Vs Last Season #10

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Unfortunately, it's time to review this season's performance against last season and it's pretty grim. Last year I apparently ran the numbers after 14 games so that I could arrive neatly at 19, the half way mark, but I think I'll stick with every five games for the rest of this season.

I won't waste your time with narrative, the numbers speak for themselves.

Aston Villa 2 Arsenal 4 – 2nd half come back not enough against rampant visitors

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A breathless second half, with a vastly more energised Villa performance, was not enough to prevent Arsenal leaving Villa Park with the spoils, the two unanswered goals during the first period being the difference at the final whistle.

Goals from Arshavin and Nasri during the final 6 minutes of the half capped an irresistible display from Arsenal, Ashley Young's half-volley over the bar the only reply.

Villa Players In EA Sports Index – 23rd November 2010

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I somehow managed to miss posting an EA Sports Index update during October, but it wasn't deliberate, merely an oversight on my part.

Given that the index is primarily a measure of contribution to a winning team, you probably won't be surprised to find that we're not exactly packing the top 100 with Villa players.

Preview – Aston Villa vs Arsenal – Gabby doubtful, Carew hopeful, Fabregas out

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Arsenal are a curious side right now, frequently, as far as I can determine, a victim of their own complacency. 2-0 up against Tottenham by half time at the Emirates last Saturday and they somehow conspired to take their foot off the gas to the point they seemed helpless to respond to Spurs' resurgence and rightly ended up with nothing.

Villa Players In EA Sports Index – 23rd November 2010

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I somehow managed to miss posting an EA Sports Index update during October, but it wasn't deliberate, merely an oversight on my part.

Given that the index is primarily a measure of contribution to a winning team, you probably won't be surprised to find that we're not exactly packing the top 100 with Villa players.

Blackburn 2 Aston Villa 0 – Concentration lapses lead to conceding two sloppy goals

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I joked on Twitter after the game that I just couldn't be bothered writing this, making me the Stephen Ireland of the blogosphere. Sometimes things are funny because they're true, sometimes they're not funny for precisely the same reason. I'm not laughing much right now.

I didn't get chance to do a preview post yesterday, but I figured having played Blackburn so many times last season we all ought to have a good idea what we'd be in for.

Statshack – Blackburn 2 Aston Villa 0 – Lopsided approach fails

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One of the great things about football (sometimes) is the variety of opinions, some more valid than others. Fans are particularly vociferous in expressing those opinions after a loss. I've read them all. Take your pick of the players not playing yesterday; that's why we lost. We missed Albrighton.

Statshack – Blackburn 2 Aston Villa 0 – Lopsided approach fails

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One of the great things about football (sometimes) is the variety of opinions, some more valid than others. Fans are particularly vociferous in expressing those opinions after a loss. I've read them all. Take your pick of the players not playing yesterday; that's why we lost. We missed Albrighton.

Blackburn 2 Aston Villa 0 – Concentration lapses lead to conceding two sloppy goals

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I joked on Twitter after the game that I just couldn't be bothered writing this, making me the Stephen Ireland of the blogosphere. Sometimes things are funny because they're true, sometimes they're not funny for precisely the same reason. I'm not laughing much right now.

I didn't get chance to do a preview post yesterday, but I figured having played Blackburn so many times last season we all ought to have a good idea what we'd be in for.

Pires signs for six months, Delph in America and Bannan’s MON problem

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It's a breaking news type of thing; Robert Pires has passed his medical at Bodymoor and has signed a six month contract which takes him through to the end of the season. Carlos Cuellar tweeted earlier today that he'd met Pires at Bodymoor, he looked fit and they talked in Spanish Pires was at Villarreal for four years of course.

Pires signs for six months, Delph in America and Bannan’s MON problem

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It's a breaking news type of thing; Robert Pires has passed his medical at Bodymoor and has signed a six month contract which takes him through to the end of the season. Carlos Cuellar tweeted earlier today that he'd met Pires at Bodymoor, he looked fit and they talked in Spanish Pires was at Villarreal for four years of course.

Robert Pires on joining Aston Villa

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Little wonder the official site changed the McAllister quotes on Pires' imminent arrival, someone clearly jumped the gun by some margin. The Guardian have some words from the man himself:-

Robert Pires
Nothing's done yet, nothing's been signed, but the talks with Gérard Houllier are going well.

Aston Villa 2 Man Utd 2 – Young Lions roar, but Utd steal a point

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Wow! What can you say about that? I'm still trying to catch my breath.

Honestly, when I saw the teamsheets confirm the early whisper that Ciaran Clark was out, replaced by Jonathon Hogg, and Ireland too would be missing, Chris Herd and Shane Lowry taking their places on the bench, I feared a mauling.

Robert Pires set for Aston Villa, Birmingham must be “beautiful”

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It's long been rumoured that free agent Robert Pires could be coming to Aston Villa and Gary McAllister has just confirmed that the Frenchman will be "joining in the next two or three days".

We'll have to see in what capacity he'll join, although he's apparently been training with Arsenal, even if he arrives in tip-top shape, he's still 37.

Statshack – Aston Villa 2 Man Utd 2 – Efficiency is the name of the game

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I've taken my sweet time with this one on purpose. I generally have a pretty good idea what the headline numbers look like by the final whistle and I know the more technical statistics almost immediately after the game has finished these days. If taken in isolation, these stats wouldn't make encouraging reading, but that only serves to prove why we should take time look at these things as a whole and recognise that nothing can be "proven" by pointing at any single metric.

Great Scott! Houllier to invent time machine, will sign 17 year old Pelé

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Asked by French newspaper L'Equipe whether he'd be interested in signing out of favour Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema (Benzema was a teeenager trying to break into the first team at Lyon when Houllier was the manager) Houllier responded playfully; "If Karim wants to come and play at Aston Villa, we would sign him tomorrow.

Robert Pires on joining Aston Villa

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Little wonder the official site changed the McAllister quotes on Pires' imminent arrival, someone clearly jumped the gun by some margin. The Guardian have some words from the man himself:-

Robert Pires
Nothing's done yet, nothing's been signed, but the talks with Gérard Houllier are going well.

Great Scott! Houllier to invent time machine, will sign 17 year old Pelé

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Asked by French newspaper L'Equipe whether he'd be interested in signing out of favour Real Madrid striker Karim Benzima (Benzima was a teeenager trying to break into the first team at Lyon when Houllier was the manager) Houllier responded playfully; "If Karim wants to come and play at Aston Villa, we would sign him tomorrow.

Robert Pires set for Aston Villa, Birmingham must be “beautiful”

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It's long been rumoured that free agent Robert Pires could be coming to Aston Villa and Gary McAllister has just confirmed that the Frenchman will be "joining in the next two or three days".

We'll have to see in what capacity he'll join, although he's apparently been training with Arsenal, even if he arrives in tip-top shape, he's still 37.

Statshack – Aston Villa 2 Man Utd 2 – Efficiency is the name of the game

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I've taken my sweet time with this one on purpose. I generally have a pretty good idea what the headline numbers look like by the final whistle and I know the more technical statistics almost immediately after the game has finished these days. If taken in isolation, these stats wouldn't make encouraging reading, but that only serves to prove why we should take time look at these things as a whole and recognise that nothing can be "proven" by pointing at any single metric.

Aston Villa 2 Man Utd 2 – Young Lions roar, but Utd steal a point

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Wow! What can you say about that? I'm still trying to catch my breath.

Honestly, when I saw the teamsheets confirm the early whisper that Ciaran Clark was out, replaced by Jonathon Hogg, and Ireland too would be missing, Chris Herd and Shane Lowry taking their places on the bench, I feared a mauling.

Aston Villa vs Man Utd – Full Teamsheets

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Full starting line-ups and benches for Aston Villa vs Man Utd. Clark injured, possibly ill, Hogg starts. Stephen Ireland has flu I believe. The weakest bench we've ever assembled for a game like this?

Aston Villa
  • 1 Brad Friedel
  • 29 James Collins
  • 5 Richard Dunne
  • 2 Luke Young
  • 3 Stephen Warnock
  • 28 Jonathan Hogg
  • 25 Barry Bannan
  • 12 Marc Albrighton
  • 6 Stewart Downing
  • 7 Ashley Young
  • 11 Gabriel Agbonlahor
Subs
  • 22 Brad Guzan
  • 14 Nathan Delfouneso
  • 27 Isaiah Osbourne
  • 30 Eric Lichaj
  • 31 Chris Herd
  • 35 Daniel Johnson
  • 34 Shane Lowry
Man Utd
  • 1 Edwin van der Sar
  • 5 Rio Ferdinand
  • 15 Nemanja Vidic
  • 3 Patrice Evra
  • 6 Wes Brown
  • 16 Michael Carrick
  • 24 Darren Fletcher
  • 17 Nani
  • 13 Park Ji-Sung
  • 14 Javier Hernández
  • 9 Dimitar Berbatov
Subs
  • 40 Ben Amos
  • 12 Chris Smalling
  • 20 Fabio
  • 22 John O'Shea
  • 26 Gabriel Obertan
  • 27 Federico Macheda
  • 28 Darron Gibson
Possibly Related Posts
  • Aston Villa vs Manchester Utd Preview featuring the "Walking Wounded Fantasy Team"
  • Aston Villa vs Blackpool Full Teamsheets
  • Fulham vs Aston Villa Teamsheets
  • Aston Villa vs Birmingham City Teamsheets
  • Aston Villa vs Burnley Teamsheets

Aston Villa vs Manchester Utd Preview featuring the “Walking Wounded Fantasy Team”

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Man Utd come to Villa Park on Saturday for the early kick off game. For all the talk of being a point off of 5th place, we're a full eight points behind Utd and they're a point worse off than they were after 12 games last season. At that same point, we were just four points behind with 21 to their 25 points.

Aston Villa vs Man Utd – Full Teamsheets

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Full starting line-ups and benches for Aston Villa vs Man Utd. Clark injured, possibly ill, Hogg starts. Stephen Ireland has flu I believe. The weakest bench we've ever assembled for a game like this?

Aston Villa
  • 1 Brad Friedel
  • 29 James Collins
  • 5 Richard Dunne
  • 2 Luke Young
  • 3 Stephen Warnock
  • 50 Jonathan Hogg
  • 25 Barry Bannan
  • 12 Marc Albrighton
  • 6 Stewart Downing
  • 7 Ashley Young
  • 11 Gabriel Agbonlahor
Subs
  • 22 Brad Guzan
  • 14 Nathan Delfouneso
  • 27 Isaiah Osbourne
  • 30 Eric Lichaj
  • 34 Chris Herd
  • 35 Daniel Johnson
  • 49 Shane Lowry
Man Utd
  • 1 Edwin van der Sar
  • 5 Rio Ferdinand
  • 15 Nemanja Vidic
  • 3 Patrice Evra
  • 6 Wes Brown
  • 16 Michael Carrick
  • 24 Darren Fletcher
  • 17 Nani
  • 13 Park Ji-Sung
  • 14 Javier Hernández
  • 9 Dimitar Berbatov
Subs
  • 40 Ben Amos
  • 12 Chris Smalling
  • 20 Fabio
  • 22 John O'Shea
  • 26 Gabriel Obertan
  • 27 Federico Macheda
  • 28 Darron Gibson
Possibly Related Posts
  • Aston Villa vs Manchester Utd Preview featuring the "Walking Wounded Fantasy Team"
  • Aston Villa vs Blackpool Full Teamsheets
  • Fulham vs Aston Villa Teamsheets
  • Aston Villa vs Birmingham City Teamsheets
  • Aston Villa vs Burnley Teamsheets


Aston Villa vs Manchester Utd Preview featuring the “Walking Wounded Fantasy Team”

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Man Utd come to Villa Park on Saturday for the early kick off game. For all the talk of being a point off of 5th place, we're a full eight points behind Utd and they're a point worse off than they were after 12 games last season. At that same point, we were just four points behind with 21 to their 25 points.

Aston Villa 3 Blackpool 2 – James Collins late winner provides a vital three points

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It might not have quite been the Thrilla at the Villa I expected during the opening 45 minutes, but it sparked into life during a great 2nd half with no shortage of drama, James Collins heading in a last minute, emphatic winner when it looked like three points had once again been thrown away with minutes to go against a Blackpool that featured 10 changes.

Statshack – Aston Villa 3 Blackpool 2

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I'm a little short on time right now, so I'm just going to dump the numbers and run. One thing I just want to draw your attention to is the possession. I had a conversation with someone on Twitter recently who felt that our share of possession under Houllier has been less than in the past. I'm not convinced that is the case, in fact, while it's too early to say really, it look extremely similar to me at first glance.

Statshack – Aston Villa 3 Blackpool 2

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I'm a little short on time right now, so I'm just going to dump the numbers and run. One thing I just want to draw your attention to is the possession. I had a conversation with someone on Twitter recently who felt that our share of possession under Houllier has been less than in the past. I'm not convinced that is the case, in fact, while it's too early to say really, it look extremely similar to me at first glance.

Aston Villa 3 Blackpool 2 – James Collins late winner provides a vital three points

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It might not have quite been the Thrilla at the Villa I expected during the opening 45 minutes, but it sparked into life during a great 2nd half with no shortage of drama, James Collins heading in a last minute, emphatic winner when it looked like three points had once again been thrown away with minutes to go against a Blackpool that featured 10 changes.

Aston Villa vs Blackpool – Full Teamsheets

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Aston Villa
  • 1 Brad Friedel
  • 2 Luke Young
  • 3 Stephen Warnock
  • 29 James Collins
  • 5 Richard Dunne (Cptn)
  • 21 Ciaran Clark
  • 25 Barry Bannan
  • 6 Stewart Downing
  • 12 Marc Albrighton
  • 7 Ashley Young
  • 14 Nathan Delfouneso
Subs
  • 22 Brad Guzan
  • 9 Stephen Ireland
  • 11 Gabriel Agbonlahor
  • 45 Shane Lowry
  • 30 Eric Lichaj
  • 35 Daniel Johnson
  • 50 Jonathan Hogg
Blackpool
  • 28 Richard Kingson
  • 24 Rob Edwards
  • 31 Dekel Keinan
  • 29 David Carney
  • 23 Matthew Phillips
  • 19 Ludovic Sylvestre
  • 4 Keith Southern
  • 18 Jason Euell
  • 17 Chris Basham
  • 10 Brett Ormerod
  • 9 Marlon Harewood
Subs
  • 21 Matthew Gilks
  • 5 Neil Eardley
  • 6 Ian Evatt
  • 14 Eliot Grandin
  • 16 Luke Varney
  • 26 Charlie Adam
  • 39 DJ Campbell

10 changes in the Blackpool line up I believe.

Statshack – Fulham 1 Aston Villa 1

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Fulham weren't anything close to spectacular, yet the stats show that their point wasn't undeserved, contrary to what a lot of Villa fans felt at the final whistle, which begs the question of why we should find much to be encouraged by.

Well, four academy graduates in the side and all did well, Bannan's superb pass and Albrighton's take down and shot set those two apart.

The Carew Situation – Part I [Updated with GH video following team meeting]

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I've been mulling over writing a post exploring how player registrations, contracts and amortization of transfer fees work for a little while and planned on using John Carew as an example since there seemed to be a growing opinion that he should simply be sold in January. As if it's really that simple.

Aston Villa vs Blackpool – Time for another Thrilla at the Villa?

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It seems a bit redundant to call this next game against Blackpool at Villa Park a 'must win', they're all must wins really, aren't they? Unfortunately, it really is; big trouble looms if we fail to get three points tonight.

I'm generally an optimist, as regular readers can attest, but I'm not naive, or least I like to think I'm not.

Aston Villa vs Blackpool – Full Teamsheets

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Aston Villa
  • 1 Brad Friedel
  • 2 Luke Young
  • 3 Stephen Warnock
  • 29 James Collins
  • 5 Richard Dunne (Cptn)
  • 21 Ciaran Clark
  • 25 Barry Bannan
  • 6 Stewart Downing
  • 12 Marc Albrighton
  • 7 Ashley Young
  • 14 Nathan Delfouneso
Subs
  • 22 Brad Guzan
  • 9 Stephen Ireland
  • 11 Gabriel Agbonlahor
  • 23 Habib Beye
  • 30 Eric Lichaj
  • 35 Daniel Johnson
  • 50 Jonathan Hogg
Burnley
  • 28 Richard Kingson
  • 24 Rob Edwards
  • 31 Dekel Keinan
  • 29 David Carney
  • 23 Matthew Phillips
  • 19 Ludovic Sylvestre
  • 4 Keith Southern
  • 18 Jason Euell
  • 17 Chris Basham
  • 10 Brett Ormerod
  • 9 Marlon Harewood
Subs
  • 21 Matthew Gilks
  • 5 Neil Eardley
  • 6 Ian Evatt
  • 14 Eliot Grandin
  • 16 Luke Varney
  • 26 Charlie Adam
  • 39 DJ Campbell

10 changes in the Blackpool line up I believe.

The Carew Situation – Part I [Updated with GH video following team meeting]

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I've been mulling over writing a post exploring how player registrations, contracts and amortization of transfer fees work for a little while and planned on using John Carew as an example since there seemed to be a growing opinion that he should simply be sold in January. As if it's really that simple.

Aston Villa vs Blackpool – Time for another Thrilla at the Villa?

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It seems a bit redundant to call this next game against Blackpool at Villa Park a 'must win', they're all must wins really, aren't they? Unfortunately, it really is; big trouble looms if we fail to get three points tonight.

I'm generally an optimist, as regular readers can attest, but I'm not naive, or least I like to think I'm not.

Statshack – Fulham 1 Aston Villa 1

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Fulham weren't anything close to spectacular, yet the stats show that their point wasn't undeserved, contrary to what a lot of Villa fans felt at the final whistle, which begs the question of why we should find much to be encouraged by.

Well, four academy graduates in the side and all did well, Bannan's superb pass and Albrighton's take down and shot set those two apart.

Fulham 1 Aston Villa 1 – Positives can be drawn from last second draw

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Brede Hangeland grabbed a point for Fulham at Craven Cottage with what was literally the last touch of what has been christened the "FxPro Derby", nodding in a free kick at the far post in the 4th minute of injury time. That threatens to overshadow an awful lot of positives from a Villa side featuring two youngsters making their first starts in the Premier League.

Fulham vs Aston Villa – Teamsheets

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Fulham
  • 1 Mark Schwarzer
  • 3 Carlos Salcido
  • 18 Aaron Hughes
  • 6 Chris Baird
  • 5 Brede Hangeland
  • 13 Danny Murphy
  • 23 Clint Dempsey
  • 27 Jonathan Greening
  • 29 Simon Davies
  • 30 Moussa Dembele
  • 11 Zoltan Gera
Subs
  • 12 David Stockdale
  • 2 Stephen Kelly
  • 4 John Pantsil
  • 8 Andrew Johnson
  • 16 Damien Duff
  • 20 Dickson Etuhu
  • 21 Eddie Johnson
Aston Villa
  • 1 Brad Friedel
  • 2 Luke Young
  • 3 Stephen Warnock
  • 29 James Collins
  • 5 Richard Dunne
  • 6 Stewart Downing
  • 12 Marc Albrighton
  • 20 Nigel Reo-Coker
  • 25 Barry Bannan
  • 7 Ashley Young
  • 14 Nathan Delfouneso
Subs
  • 22 Brad Guzan
  • 4 Steve Sidwell
  • 9 Stephen Ireland
  • 21 Ciaran Clark
  • 24 Carlos Cuellar
  • 30 Eric Lichaj
  • 50 Jonathan Hogg

Great to see both Nathan Delfouneso and Barry Bannan getting starts.

Fulham 1 Aston Villa 1 – Positives can be drawn from last second draw

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Brede Hangeland grabbed a point for Fulham at Craven Cottage with what was literally the last touch of what has been christened the "FxPro Derby", nodding in a free kick at the far post in the 4th minute of injury time. That threatens to overshadow an awful lot of positives from a Villa side featuring two youngsters making their first starts in the Premier League.

Age is just a number and what is long term in Aston Villa management?

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I know many people were more than a little concerned about Gérard Houllier's age when he was appointed and that may well have caused feelings that his appointment wasn't a long term solution. Initial reports of a two year contract seemed to compound that feeling, despite his predecessor operating on a 12 month rolling contract that proved to be entirely worthless in the final analysis anyway.

With Heskey out, surely now is Delfouneso’s chance to shine

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You've probably already seen that Emile Heskey tore the medial meniscus in his right knee in training and will require an operation, keeping him out for three to four weeks.

With Gabby still on the come back trail after his own operation, John Carew always susceptible to a sudden injury, if this is not Nathan Delfouneso's chance to get some time on the pitch, I don't know when is.

Carew out with calf injury, but is Houllier likely to show faith in Delfouneso?

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And the hits just keep on coming. The breaking news is that John Carew is the latest name on the casualty list with a torn calf that will keep him out for three weeks.

Curiously, the Birmingham Mail, in an exclusive, say that the injury occurred "during a challenge with Brad Friedel during a training ground practice match yesterday afternoon".

Contracts and internationals – the future remains bright

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I don't know whether it's appropriate to keep referring to them as "kids", I know I wouldn't have appreciated it when I was their age, but regardless of the moniker, there's a good deal to be optimistic when we see the batch of academy graduates long tipped for greatness finally becoming first team fixtures and also gaining recognition further afield.

Fulham vs Aston Villa – Teamsheets

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Fulham
  • 1 Mark Schwarzer
  • 3 Carlos Salcido
  • 18 Aaron Hughes
  • 6 Chris Baird
  • 5 Brede Hangeland
  • 13 Danny Murphy
  • 23 Clint Dempsey
  • 27 Jonathan Greening
  • 29 Simon Davies
  • 30 Moussa Dembele
  • 11 Zoltan Gera
Subs
  • 12 David Stockdale
  • 2 Stephen Kelly
  • 4 John Pantsil
  • 8 Andrew Johnson
  • 16 Damien Duff
  • 20 Dickson Etuhu
  • 21 Eddie Johnson
Aston Villa
  • 1 Brad Friedel
  • 2 Luke Young
  • 3 Stephen Warnock
  • 29 James Collins
  • 5 Richard Dunne
  • 6 Stewart Downing
  • 12 Marc Albrighton
  • 20 Nigel Reo-Coker
  • 25 Barry Bannan
  • 7 Ashley Young
  • 14 Nathan Delfouneso
Subs
  • 22 Brad Guzan
  • 4 Steve Sidwell
  • 9 Stephen Ireland
  • 21 Ciaran Clark
  • 24 Carlos Cuellar
  • 30 Eric Lichaj
  • 50 Jonathan Hogg

Great to see both Nathan Delfouneso and Barry Bannan getting starts.

Contracts and internationals – the future remains bright

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I don't know whether it's appropriate to keep referring to them as "kids", I know I wouldn't have appreciated it when I was their age, but regardless of the moniker, there's a good deal to be optimistic when we see the batch of academy graduates long tipped for greatness finally becoming first team fixtures and also gaining recognition further afield.

Carew out with calf injury, but is Houllier likely to show faith in Delfouneso?

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And the hits just keep on coming. The breaking news is that John Carew is the latest name on the casualty list with a torn calf that will keep him out for three weeks.

Curiously, the Birmingham Mail, in an exclusive, say that the injury occurred "during a challenge with Brad Friedel during a training ground practice match yesterday afternoon".

With Heskey out, surely now is Delfouneso’s chance to shine

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You've probably already seen that Emile Heskey tore the medial meniscus in his right knee in training and will require an operation, keeping him out for three to four weeks.

With Gabby still on the come back trail after his own operation, John Carew always susceptible to a sudden injury, if this is not Nathan Delfouneso's chance to get some time on the pitch, I don't know when is.

Roque Santa Cruz and the myth of the 20-a-season striker

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We're struggling for goals at Villa right now. In fact, we have been for a while. What we need, then, is a striker who can bang in 20 goals a season, right?

Well, it would be a good start to have a player capable of that feat, but a lack of goals is just a symptom of our problems, it's not necessarily the cause.

Age is just a number and what is long term in Aston Villa management?

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I know many people were more than a little concerned about Gérard Houllier's age when he was appointed and that may well have caused feelings that his appointment wasn't a long term solution. Initial reports of a two year contract seemed to compound that feeling, despite his predecessor operating on a 12 month rolling contract that proved to be entirely worthless in the final analysis anyway.

This Season Vs Last Season #09

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We're 10 games into the 2010/11 Premiership season, so it's time to compare this season with last season both chronologically and using an apples-to-apples comparison, or as close as is practically possible. This is the 2nd in the series this year, you can see the first post, which was a snapshot after five games, here and you can also check the 2009/10 vs 2008/09 comparison after 10 games here.

Roque Santa Cruz and the myth of the 20-a-season striker

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We're struggling for goals at Villa right now. In fact, we have been for a while. What we need, then, is a striker who can bang in 20 goals a season, right?

Well, it would be a good start to have a player capable of that feat, but a lack of goals is just a symptom of our problems, it's not necessarily the cause.

This Season Vs Last Season #09

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We're 10 games into the 2010/11 Premiership season, so it's time to compare this season with last season both chronologically and using an apples-to-apples comparison, or as close as is practically possible. This is the 2nd in the series this year, you can see the first post, which was a snapshot after five games, here and you can also check the 2009/10 vs 2008/09 comparison after 10 games here.