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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The Darren Bent Ton Up Challenge

Darren Bent’s brace against Norwich on Saturday took his Premier League career goal tally to 96, he’s just four short of joining the Ton Up Club.

It’s a pretty exclusive club with former Villans Dwight Yorke and Dion Dublin, plus current Villan Emile Heskey, among its 20 members.

Bent’s definitely got his eye on getting past the doorman, he told the official site:

I’ve still got a few things I’d like to achieve, like 100 Premier League goals. I’m only four off it.

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Unless you’ve been in a cave, you’ll be well aware of the suggestion from Liverpool’s managing director, Ian Ayre, that his club is getting short changed from the overseas TV money pouring into the Premier League these days. Or, more to the point, the smaller clubs in the league are getting what’s really due to Liverpool.

The good people of Kuala Lumpur, Ayre informs us, are not subscribing to the Premier League TV packages available in their neck of the woods

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Premier League 25-man squads announced

The Premier League have published the full list of 25-man squads for the first half of the 2011/12 season and there were no surprises from Aston Villa, naming 23 players.

Teams are required to name up to a maximum of 25 players aged over 21 and are not allowed to include more than 17 players who do not qualify as “home grown”. As we only have six players who cannot be classed as home grown, this was not an issue for

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Premier League squad depth comparison: All 20 teams

Now that the summer transfer window has finally closed, we know what our squad looks like for the season. Or at least until January. A lot of fans are a little nervous; what if we get a few serious injuries?

What if we don’t though? Isn’t our main core of players pretty strong?

Here’s a similar thought: What if one or two of our immediate competitors suffer injuries? How deep does their quality run?

We’ll get confirmation of the 25-man Premier League squads

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The obligatory Premier League prediction post

If you had asked me a little over a year ago to name the eight teams most likely to fill the top eight places in the Premier League come May I would have said; Liverpool, Everton, Man Utd, Man City, Aston Villa, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea. Not in that order, obviously.

Then our manager skipped off into the sunset and the season that followed will last in the memory for many years. For all the wrong reasons. Still, thanks to a

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The current squad depth chart

There is apparently a quote from Alex McLeish doing the rounds this evening which has caused a few knickers to get well and truly twisted. It doesn’t take much admittedly, if it’s not the colour of socks, it’s something else equally earth-shattering. The new gaffer has said something to the effect that he only expects to make one more signing before the season starts.

ZOMG!?!? Where’s the ambition?!?

Without seeing the actual words, or arguing the semantics attached to “start of the

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25-man squad rule: there’s less room left at the Aston Villa inn than you might think

I’ve covered the Premier League 25-man rules several times since it first cropped up so I won’t dwell on the details in this post. If you recall, last summer we named 22 players within our maximum of 25 players 21 years old or over on January 1st 2010 without any problems with the quota of “home grown” players. Including the academy players, we had no less than 36 additional players under the age of 21 also listed.

That stacked up favourably

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The Not-So-Magnificent Seven: Which three will go down?

I’ve talked for some time now about needing to hit a theoretical safety threshold of 43 points by the 36th game, essentially writing off our last two games against Arsenal and Liverpool. As it happens, West Brom occupy the final position offering mathematical safety today; 13th place with 43 points.

We’ve fallen a point shy and head a group of seven teams capable of suffering relegation. Mathematically speaking. Leading the group, as we do, we’re the least likely to go down

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