The Return of King Carlos

Carlos Cuellar got on the pitch last night for the first time since his knee operation in May, playing 45 minutes in the reserves’ 1-0 win over Chelsea – Callum Robinson with the goal – and says that he’s feeling good.

That’s great news for a very popular player, but what happens from here remains to be seen. It seemed likely that Rangers would have pursued their interest to conclusion during the summer had it not been for his knee

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One out, one in, one on the fence, one in the wings

So, Liverpool upped their offer to £20m, Stewart Downing handed in a formal transfer request and there’s not much more that needs saying. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Stewie. Textbook no-brainer.

That’s £8m more than we paid Middlesbrough two years ago, but represents a £14m profit in terms of “disposal of player’s registration”. Aside from the fact that we went from three wingers to two recently, and now to just the one, it still represents some

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Bradley deal off, Rangers bid for Cuellar and new away shirt and sponsor to be revealed

After a generally well received first press conference, it looks like life at Villa Park is getting off to a predictably busy start for Alex McLeish. During his time in front of the cameras on Monday, he mentioned being inundated with calls from agents offering their players, but it’s the futures of Carlos Cuellar and Michael Bradley that are capturing the headlines first.

Carlos Cuellar

McLeish was quizzed about Cuellar’s future specifically because it’s become fairly open knowledge that Rangers are interested

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Why wasn’t Carlos Cuellar in the starting line up recently? Probably this

I heard a whisper a day or two ago that Carlos Cuellar was in London for a knee operation and the Express & Star and OS have confirmed the news with some interesting details today. Apparently, Carlos was having a torn meniscus in his right knee fixed and will now be out for up to three months, probably causing him to miss the start of next season.

The most interesting part though, according to Craig Birch at E&S, is the revelation

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Villa’s Fitness Woes And der Hammer

Not the greatest of shocks, it was looking dicey 10 days ago, but it’s been confirmed that James Collins and Carlos Cueller will not be available for the season opener against West Ham on Saturday. As far as I know, Richard Dunne came through Ireland’s 1-0 loss to Argentina unscathed and there should be no issue with Ciaran Clark.

Curtis Davies and Gabby Agbonlahor are both back in training and there’s some optimism that they will be available. Ashley

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We’re Suddenly Short On Centre Halves

Ironic really, given our embarrassment of riches at centre half, but it appears that we may be on the edge of a minor injury crisis. If that’s not an oxymoron. I play it down and describe it as ‘minor’ since there’s a couple of weeks until the curtain opener and these things always seem to be blown out of proportion initially, but we are running a bit thin on the ground at this moment.

Firstly, as you’ll know, James

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Extended Video And Player Interviews From 2010/11 Kit Launch

A bit thick on PR here and there as Jack Woodward unconvincingly attempts to lead the players into agreeing that the new FxPro deal will somehow bring success no other sponsor could, but still interesting to see extended interviews. Especially Carlos Cuellar talking about the World Cup and Brad Friedel’s obvious disdain for the bumblebee costume goalkeeper kit.

(More vids after the jump)

Carlos Cuellar

Stiliyan Petrov

Brad Friedel

Stewart Downing

Carlos Blogs And Pre-Season To Include A Trip To Dublin

Carlos Cuellar’s website has gone live and it looks like he’s going to be doing a spot of blogging. There’s some content there which I’m presuming has been ported over from a column he had at and I think he’s also syndicating some World Cup analysis to, but don’t quote me on that. No idea if he’s writing this himself or employing a ghost writer, but it’s pretty cool all the same. The photo albums

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Amazing Shot – John Carew Fixes Sign At Villa Park – Video

I love these types of videos and this is quite nicely done, although no one involved is in any danger of winning an Oscar any time soon.

John Carew gets bored during filming before an interview and fixes an annoying flickering light behind the Villa badge on the North Stand using his skills. Yes, that’s Jack Woodward’s dulcet tones you hear in the background making convincing requests for “maintenance” to fix the sign before Carew steps in.

Perhaps Carew could put

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