One of the more interesting pieces of Aston Villa news to emerge during the international break was the club’s intention to include a clause in future contracts that would oblige players to live within 30 miles of Bodymoor Heath. Or at least have a base to use during what constitutes a “working week” for a Premier League footballer.
The rule is unlikely to be enforced to the letter, I’m sure living 31 miles away won’t be an issue, but the spirit
One of the words on the street is that Houllier and Randy Lerner are meeting today to flesh out finances for player acquisitions. Then again, that was also one of the words a couple of weeks back, so who knows?
However, it seems self evident that there’s plenty to discuss and that they’ll be getting together at some point. It also seems self evident that there will be some significant activity in January one way or another.
Paul Faulkner seems
Villa will not be letting Ashley Young head for the exit door in January and, if he doesn’t re-consider signing a new contract, the club may be willing to let him run down his contract and leave on a free in 2012. The thinking being that another season with Ash in the team is worth more than any potential transfer fee, but that would depend entirely on how committed he is.
In the mean time, Houllier is hopeful that Ash
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. There are just six Villans in the current top 100, none in the top 20; Stewart Downing the highest ranked in 24th place.
Similarly, Bolton’s high
Sky Sports were at Villa Park as part of another successful open training day, the third time the club have done this I think off the top of my head, and there’s a nice, relaxed interview with Gérard Houllier here. The gaffer confirms that Warnock will be suspended for Burnley, that Petrov will be out for at least a couple of months, Luke Young should be back in training in a week and Gabby is a week or two
Stephen Warnock will be writing a cheque out to The FA this week for £1,500 after his 87th minute booking at the Stadium of Light, making a total of £7,500 he’s contributed to the Soho Square coffers so far this season. It’s not Warnock’s bank account I’m concerned about though, I’m sure he can take that hit – you may have already done the math yourself – yes, Warnock picked up his 5th booking of the season against Sunderland
Gérard Houllier probably won’t mind the two week break in the domestic fixture schedule as he continues to settle in, but he will be without several key players:-
Ashley Young and Stephen Warnock were called up to the England squad for Tuesday’s European Qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley.
Marc Albrighton and Nathan Delfouneso are with England Under 21s ahead of the play-off against Romania for next year’s European Under 21 Championship in Denmark. The first leg is at Carrow Rd on
James Milner, Emile Heskey, Stephen Warnock and Brad Guzan will all be in South Africa this summer and now join a list of 19 who were Aston Villa players when they represented their countries in the previous World Cups.
Unfortunately, it was bad news for Shane Lowry when Australia finally announced their 23 man squad, but he was one of the youngest in the provisional squad and will have plenty of opportunities in the future.
With 4 players at
Aston Villa flavoured news has been a little thin on the ground recently, but here’s a few things that have been going on in the last few days that caught my interest:-
World Cup Squad
This is happening right now and whispers started last night that it’s our Stephen Warnock who will be Ashley Cole’s understudy, not Everton’s Leighton Baines. Neither will play unless Cole is injured and, from what I’ve seen of Baines in an England shirt, I know which