Celebrating the 30th anniversary, introducing HexFC, and officially closing the blog

I put this blog on hiatus shortly before Christmas last year with the promise of being back in the new year with a clearer idea for the future. This might not be what anyone thinks of as “the new year”, but here I am and it’s not last year.

I’ve written and re-written this post countless times, but it always degenerates into a verbose, self-indulgent trip down memory lane. That isn’t what I want to do, I’ll try to keep it

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Alex McLeish is an ex-Aston Villa manager

The season from hell is finally over and Alex McLeish’s Aston Villa career has, as expected, been terminated. His tenure has passed on. It’s no more. It has ceased to be. Expired and gone to meet its maker. A stiff, bereft of life. It rests in peace. Its metabolic processes are now history. Kicked the bucket. Shuffled off its mortal coil. Run down the curtain and joined the bleeding choir invisible.

This is an ex-Aston Villa manager.

Today is a very good

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It’s all gone quiet over here

If you’ve been stopping by Aston Villa Central for a while now you would have noticed something amiss this past weekend and may have assumed that I had joined Darren Bent on a quick shopping jaunt.

I had no such luck I’m afraid. I did indeed watch the 2-0 loss at the hands of Liverpool, but for the first time in a few years I hadn’t done any preparation before the game. I didn’t relay the teamsheets before kick off. I

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Bolton 1 Aston Villa 2: Albrighton and Petrov grab the goals in first away win of season

Marc Albrighton and Stiliyan Petrov produced the vital goals to deliver Villa’s first away win of the season, but Ivan Klasnic was able to prevent Brad Guzan earning a clean sheet on his first Premiership start.

It was a much improved performance during the first half, and fans crying out for a 4-4-2 system will be quick to point out that was the case today with Marc Albrighton on the right and Charles N’Zogbia on the left. However, it has to

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Confirmed Teamsheets: Bolton vs Aston Villa

With Shay Given out for a month, Brad Guzan gets his first Premier League start, and it’s also emerged this week that the American is in contract discussions with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season. Jermaine Jenas is out for the season, and with the club apparently on the hook for his wages the less said about that the better.

It looks like it’s a straightforward 4-4-2 from McLeish this week, and with Herd providing

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Aston Villa 0 Man Utd 1: Exciting line-up provides another false dawn

They obviously can’t be bothered, so neither can I. It was a positive line-up, but Utd never needed to get out of 1st gear. McLeish must be giving out his instructions in Russian or something because he’s managed to make some very capable players look like they haven’t the first clue what they’re doing.

Worryingly, Shay Given was carried off after his hamstring went shortly before half time. Brad Guzan didn’t have much to do, not really, but we’ll probably get

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Confirmed Teamsheets: Aston Villa vs Man Utd

One of the bigger talking points has been the return of Ashley Young. James Milner showed class by not celebrating at Eastlands recently, expect Ashley Young to do exactly the same today, but preferably because he hasn’t scored.

Either way, it’s a tough game ahead and I suspect there will be a bigger interest in the manner McLeish approaches the game than any real expectation in getting much from it.

The two managers go way back of course, here’s how they are

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HOOF! Long ball statistics over the last three seasons

At the onset of his tenure, it wouldn’t have taken much effort to find predictions about the brand of football Alex McLeish’s Aston Villa side were destined to serve up. None were particularly exciting or encouraging.

I prefer a ‘wait and see’ policy myself, but I think we’re far enough into the season now to look at some statistics and draw some conclusions.

In this post, we’ll focus on the number of attempted passes that have been hit long as a percentage

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NextGen Series: Ajax lose, Aston Villa win group and home advantage in QFs

Despite it being a dead rubber for Rosenborg, and Ajax having the ability to win the group, it was the Norwegian side who took all three points with a 2-0 victory in Amsterdam tonight, leaving our own Young Lions at the top of the pile.

This means that we’ll have the advantage of playing the single-legged quarter final at Villa Park, more than likely against Marseille. There’s just one game left in Group 1, Marseille will face Celtic with second place

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