Category Archives: Aston Villa

4 Potential Replacement for Sarri

With Maurizio Sarri, now well and truly back in Italy, along with his almost famous ‘cigarette’ butt, which was permanently between his lips during Chelsea’s matches, who is in line to replace him.

There are 3 good, candidates, which include one outstanding one and no that does not mean Jose Mourinho, returning back for an impossible 3rd time. I think from a Chelsea fans point of view, that would be almost as bearable as

Rafa Benitez, returning for a second spell… when he was universally unpopular in his first term

So lets look at the first candidate, which is the man Sarri has replaced at Juventus

Max Allegri

There is no denying he is a very good contender for the job, a serial winner, like his predecessor at Juventus Antonio Conte, and would be a very good fit for Chelsea, however, as is the way with bosses at Europes top flight clubs, the very pressure of keeping the club at the top of their game and league, nearly always takes its toll

As is the case with Allegri, who after a good few years in the Juve Hotseat, has declared his intention to take a year out of the game, in much the same way that Pep Guardiola did, before he pitched up at Bayern Munich

Darren Moore

Yes the Ex West Brom manager / head coach, a surprise outsiders choice, but still none the less a very good coach, who did a brilliant job at West Brom under difficult circumstances and was very unfortunate to be sacked

John Terry

Chelsea, through and through and currently the assistant manager at Aston Villa to Dean Smith, who got Villa promoted back to the premier ship. Terry has been closely watching the methods of Smith and has stated his intention to return to the Bridge one day as manager, though he has yet to manage a club at any level, unlike …

Yes, you guessed it…

Frank Lampard

Like Terry, he stated his ambition to return one day to manage ‘his’ club, yet opted for the less glamourous surroundings of Pride Park with Derby County in EFL Championship and… against the odds, go them to the Play Off Final, where they lost to

Aston Villa!!

 

That said though, he has a years experience of club football under his belt and go the Derby Job, through his uncle Harry (Redknapp) who knows Mel Morris, the Derby chairman

In that time Lampard has shown himself to be an oustanding managerial candiate for A top job, though wether that is Chelsea at this time remains to be seen

Given the fact that he is a Chelsea Legend, in a different way to John Terry, he would certainly bring the Solksjaer effect to the Bridge and gives Chelsea a chance to bring through some of their outstanding Youth

Will he get the nod… Well he hasn’t said No!!

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Aston Villa | Agbonlahor Retires!

Aston Villa’s long serving player Gabby Agbonlahor, has announced his retirement from Professional Football at the age of 32

Agbonlahor, lived out every schoolboys dream, by playing for the club he watched as a child growing up in Birmingham, before going on to captain the club as well.

The former Villians striker played in 341 games over his 13 year stint with 3 England caps coming during his time at Villa Park. Ultimately, Agbonlahor finished with 75 goals and ended as their 2nd highest goal scorer in the top flight division- Premier League & Division One.

Injuries blighted his career slightly and he found himself out of the first team picture, before being released by the club around 18 months ago, so he could find himself another club. Sadly that didn’t materialise, leading to this announcement from him

In this era of players moving round quite a lot, Agbonlahor is a shining example of that rare thing called one club loyalty (excluding loan moves to Watford & Sheffield Wednesday earlier in his career), older readers might recall how John Trollope famously served Swindon Town his only club, for over 700 appearances

Reflecting on his retirement from the game Agbonlahor, said

I have been fortunate to live out my dream, of playing for and then captaining my home town club, now it is time to move on and find new adventures, while still being able to be a fan and watch the team at home

On his day, Agbonlahor was a world-class talent but due to injuries hampering his potential, no one will know what his true potential could have been.

Jack Grealish lands final blow as Aston Villa claim bragging rights in local derby

Jack Grealish has wrote his name in Second City derby history as the local lad scored the winner as Villa triumphed 1-0 over city rivals Birmingham. But it was an incident in the 8th minute that stole all the headlines, as a Birmingham fan stormed the pitch and struck Grealish in the face from behind.

The fan managed to break free of watching stewards and police to enter the pitch, make a beeline for Grealish, and punch him from behind leading to the Villa star dropping to the floor. The fan was then removed from the pitch, being dragged from the pitch to a heroes applause from the Birmingham fans and has since been arrested.

Already facing a hostile atmosphere from the first whistle due to his strong Villa connections, and with his every touch being met with a chorus of boos and jeers, it would have been very easy for Grealish to shrink and go missing under such circumstances.

But the young man took the game by the scruff of the neck and was the best player on the pitch all afternoon. Picking up the ball on the edge of the box and faced with no pressure from the opposing Blues defenders, Grealish simply took his time and fired a lovely left footed shot across the keeper into the bottom corner.

Right in front of the Villa fans the local hero couldn’t contain his joy as he leapt straight into the away end, facing more abuse as he was seemingly kicked by a steward on his way out.

Post-match Grealish proclaimed it the best day of his life, as a lifelong villa fan scoring the winner away at St Andrews in their first ever appearance there, you can see why. In a time where loyalty in football is at premium, there is something brilliant about Jack Grealish’s love and loyalty to his boyhood club. But if he keeps turning in performances like this, Grealish must be on his way to a top club in the not too distant future.

Tammy Abraham: Another Brit in Germany?

Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham is reportedly being lined up by German team RB Leipzig for a £20m move.

The 21-year-old has been on loan at Championship outfit Aston Villa this season, where he’s notched up a very impressive 21 goals in 29 games.

This news hardly comes as a surprise for multiple reasons. It is another example of a Chelsea loanee performing very well elsewhere, but seemingly having no chance of breaking into the first team. Abraham has also had a successful loan spell at Bristol City in recent years, scoring 23 times in 41 games. As well as this, he has made 41 appearances for England youth teams, scoring 15 times.

The other reason this transfer news it not particularly surprising is the upturn in English youngsters heading to Germany for competitive first team football at a high standard.

It is quite a compliment to Abraham that RBL are looking to sign him, as their highly sought after striker Timo Werner looks increasingly as if he will be on his way out in the summer.

Of course, the most notable is Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, who decided at the age of 17 that he was ready for first team football. He knew he wouldn’t find it at Manchester City, so he took the incredibly brave decision to leave his family and friends behind and move to Germany.

Sancho signed for Dortmund on 31st August 2017 for a reported fee of £8m. He was instantly placed in the first team squad. He made his debut from the bench less than two months later against Eintracht Frankfurt, becoming the first Englishman to play in theBundesliga for Dortmund.

It took until January for Sancho to be given his first league start, at the end of the 2017/2018 season, he signed a deal keeping at the club until 2022. This investment has paid dividends for Dortmund, as Sancho has now rocked up nine goals and 11 assists. He was also named Bundesliga player of the month for October and has become a key player for the team top of the Bundesliga.

Jadon Sancho is now being seriously linked with a £100m move to Manchester United, with other top teams also sniffing around. If this transfer were to materialise, it would be a stroke of financial genius from Borussia Dortmund.

Another slightly less publicised example of a young English player in the Bundesliga is Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson. The 19-year-old is currently on loan at Hoffenheim, and although not as successful as Sancho, is playing more football than he would have done in England. He’s made 15 appearances for Die Kraichgauer, scoring six times. Nelson scored fourteen minutes after coming off the bench for his debut against Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Everton’s Ademola Lookman had a short stint at Tammy Abraham’s potential new club Red Bull Leipzig. He joined on loan in the January of the 2017/18 season, scoring five times in 11 appearances.

Many of these English youngsters are friends, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that they all feel there is more competitive football to be played in Germany, at clubs where they can be a key player. Chelsea’s Callum Hudson Odoi very nearly moved to Bayern Munich in January, because it is obvious to everyone except Maurizio Sari that he is ready to be a first team player for a quality team.

It’s not just Germany that is becoming popular with English youngsters. Last night, Watford’s Ben Wilmot made his debut for Serie A side Udinese in a 4-1 defeat to reigning champions Juventus.

It could be a very positive trend for the England National team, with youngsters gaining first team experience and maturity earlier in their careers.

Euan Burns//@burns_euan

The 127th Second City Derby: Birmingham City v Aston Villa Preview

This Sunday lunchtime sees the second city derby take place between Birmingham City and Aston Villa, arguably one of the biggest derbies in England. Their encounter earlier this season at Villa park was a 4-2 victory for Aston Villa. The two midlands clubs are both in the mix for a play off spot and Sundays game could be a pivotal match in both clubs season.

Birmingham City will be looking to end a scandalous run against Aston Villa not recording a league win against the villains since 2005. Last time out Gary Monks side lost 2-0 to tenth placed Hull despite having more attempts on goal. Birmingham come into the game winning 3 of their last 6 and no real injury concerns. Garry Monk has recognised what this game means for the supporters. The blues boss has spoken to the media and has said “We’re all looking forward to it”. Monk has also labelled Villa’s attack as the best in the league and noted the threat of Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham. City tend to play with a 4-4-2 formation and striker Che Adams is the one to watch for the blues. His record this season has seen him contribute with 21 goals in 35 matches this term. Gary Gardner is likewise a player to watch, as the central midfielder has consistently performed well for the Blues.

The pressure is on Birmingham to produce a result after poor form in recent years against Villa. However , the atmosphere at St Andrew’s may give Birmingham an advantage. It would be a dream result for Birmingham to beat Villa on Sunday as the game has the potential to energise the club and it’s fans until the end of the season. The Blues boss has said he wants to repay the fans for their outstanding support.

Aston Villa will be looking to extent their great record against bitter rivals Birmingham City. Villa appointed Dean Smith in October 2018 , they have never really flourished under Smith. Furthermore Villa have had glimpses of greatness with excellent wins away at Derby and Middlesbrough. The Villans have been rather inconsistent as of late , although they had a convincing 4-0 win against Derby last week. Tammy Abraham will be fit for the clash , the Chelsea loanee has netted 21 times this season and has the third lowest minutes per goal, showing he’s been effective in front of goal. Conor Hourihane is another player to watch, the Irishman has scored 6 times and picked up an additional 9 assists this campaign. Villa have used the 4-1-4-1 formation frequently this season.

Defensive Crisis?

Aston Villa could be facing a defensive crisis for the Second city derby this Sunday. Tommy Elphick , James Chester and Axel Tuanzebe are all ruled out as well as Alan Hutton. Villa boss has said this week “He’ll be out for a number of weeks” regarding the Alan Hutton injury.

My Prediction

The result that I predict will be a 2-1 Win for Aston Villa with goals from Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham. Che Adams could possibly grab a goal for the Blues as he’s been in tremendous form as of late.

Can Villa walk out of St Andrew’s with all 3 points or can Birmingham flip the script in the Second City Derby?

Whats your predictions for the game?