Time to roll out Gabby, my Aston Villa player map and a look ahead to Arsenal

You know when it's club released PR because it hits all the news sites over the same day and then the next day the papers. This time, the club have rolled out Gabby, again, to talk about Benteke after his agent was reported as saying something about him possibly moving in the summer.

Now, I don't know for sure that Benteke is off, but I'd place a bet he is. I wouldn't bet a testicle on it, but I'd put my mortgage on it, but you know what, so what if he is?

But if he is going or not isn't the point of this post. The point is club PR to spin a story. It's a bit like when the club told us that it wasn't Downing in the photo with the Liverpool scarf and his future Liverpool team mate Andy Carroll and then a few days later Downing signs for Liverpool.

But after Gabby has given it the Benteke this, Benteke that, he comes out and says Benteke is too good for Arsenal. Will he still be too good for Arsenal if they spank us at the weekend? It's almost as if he is fuelling the fire and giving Arsenal a reason to show us how to play football.

Benteke is good, but I've no allegiance to a transient figure at the club and I don't mind saying that Benteke should be grateful if he got the opportunity to play for Arsenal. One season does not make a Premier League striker, much like it doesn't make a manager. Think Roque Santa Cruz or Mark Hughes.

If the return is good, sell him

But as long as we make money, we should sell him. It would be a fantastic bit of business for the top and bottom line and that's the way we have to think now. The game has changed.

And don't be angry at that statement, that's the club we are now. We can't be expected to hold on to a player that does well. We're the club that goes and takes a gamble on a player that the likes of Manchester United or Arsenal wont take the gamble on, in the hope that they do well and we can sell on at a tidy profit, to a Manchester United or an Arsenal.

Arsenal on Saturday

Enough about that, it's off my chest now. We play at Arsenal on Saturday, which is also good for business as there is a greater chance that overseas TV channels will want to pick up an Arsenal match, so that means even more cash for us. It's all good and when the sun shines ... you know the rest. We've got to be happy.

And that's my preview of that match. I mean, what do you want me to write; you're an intelligent bunch and you don't need me to talk down to you as we all know how important this game is. This is FA Cup final number two.

My map

Right before I go, have you seen the map I created the other night while a little bored and because I was playing with a spreadsheet and looking at services that use the Google Maps API?

It lists every player since the start of the 1992/93 season to have made a first team appearance for the club and it includes all competitions. Any comments on how we can develop this are welcome below.

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Comments (128)

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  • FTKV,
    mate you beat me to it,with your point about us compaired to arsenal.

  • why is it that when the papers mentioned about the speculation that Bentekes agent started that there were loads of comments on here about him leaving but since Lambert came out and said he is the one who will be deciding not one comment?

  • KEITHJ,
    hi mate,if benteke carries on his form,then im afraid the roumers will carry on.
    and with our policy,if the right bid comes in he will go.we all know it.
    thats where we are under lerner.

  • keithj,

    Lambert can say what he likes, but if Lerner wants to sell Benteke then he will be sold.

    jcv,

    Arsenal have not lost 3 home games on the spin for well over 30 years, can you see us ending that run:):)

  • Guest - B6 villa

    NOllaigmac

    think if we can keep them quite for the first hour or even better take the lead, the crowd will turn on the players and the manager and we must take advantage. The first goal will be important

  • MUZ1,
    hi mate,
    no ive said i fear a backlash tomorrow.

  • jcv

    Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert says he will decide on the future of Christian Benteke after insisting the striker will stay at the club.

    Thing is mate there were posts saying that if the club were ambitious or give a **** about the fans they would make a statement saying that he isnt for sale. Well theres the statement but I guarantee the posts will be this is just bull****/pr when the money is offered he will be off.

  • lads,
    if you do fancy a draw tomorrow,you will get 4/1 odds on it.its up to you.:p

  • Guest - B6 villa

    Meant to say - first half hour

  • muz

    Lambert made a statement months ago about Benteke saying whats the point trying to build a team when you keep selling your players. If Lerner/Faulkner sell Benteke then I am sure Lambert will resign.

  • jcv

    Its a definite win so go get the big odds:):):):)

  • jcv mate,

    I'm with you on the result of the game, hope we are both wrong though.

  • lamberts last statement on benteke,was you better have big money available,which is a shift on the situation.

  • 22/2/2013

    Lambert said: "As far as I'm concerned the guy's here and he isn't going anywhere until I say so - that's the bottom line."

  • Guest - B6 villa

    No point speculating about benteke's future because nothing will be decided until the summer. We will hear alot of he will he won't rumours, but hope it don't affect the player himself because we really need him for the final 12 games

  • then why are we linked with the watford striker.?

  • jcv

    Linked by the papers not the club;)

  • but i agree with B6 VILLA.
    we have to stop up first.then see what great plans lerner has for us.
    and if we do drop,thats answer enough.

  • jcv

    You still worrying about relegation, I keep telling you we'll be nearer top 4 than bottom 4 by the end of the season, maybe after we beat arsenal and citeh you will start to believe.:):):)

  • keithj,
    mate,we are still in a big battle to stay up.
    blind faith is something to beware of.:p

  • Guest - B6 villa

    Think PL has found a settled formation and players and we have played well in the last two games, just hope we have learnt to close out games in the last few minutes, I'd take a draw at the start of the game and anything else will be a bonus and a really good for us villa fans

  • Guest - B6 villa

    Really good weekend for us villa fans

  • jcv,

    I wish keithj would stop being so negative, a few weeks ago he was saying we would finish in the top 4, now its nearer the top 4.
    Do you think his faith is on the wane? :):):)

  • B6,
    beware it could be a nightmare.:(
    but i hope you are right.;)

  • jcv,

    Dont forget if we win tomorrow us over 50's have still got to come on here, otherwise we will get told off.:):):)

  • muz,
    mate,keithj is the born optimist,forever believing and ever hopefull.
    nothing fazes him.i dont know how he does it.;);)

  • muz,
    count youself lucky,im over sixties.:p:p
    on another note,expat today thought he was the oldest on here,i think its old mac.:p

  • jcv,

    mate i think it is old mac, he hasn't been on for a while has he? is he still ill?

  • these next 2 games are freebies imo.Im expecting zero points so anything else is a bonus,im targeting the QPR and REading games and they have to bring 6 points!!!!

  • muz,
    he had the flue for a few weeks.he did still post.but has been quiet these past couple of weeks.
    hoping he is back on tomorrow.
    i like to know he is okay.

  • Guest - B6 villa

    Jcv

    We have to look at the positives rather than the negatives because we are running out of games and being negative doesn't help our situation

  • muz

    Old mac only appears to offer words of wisdom, his posts are rare but are golden nuggets

  • keithj,

    Yes his comments always seem well thought out, not like the crap some of us spout.:D:D

  • jcv

    I am surprised you let it get to you because like me you have been there, done it, got the t shirt etc so is it that you just got more cynical in your old age. By the way I am not nearly 60 years old I'm nearly 60 years young,:):):)

  • next time old mac is on,im going to ask his e.mail address,i dont know if he lives alone.but i fear he does.and i want to know if he is okay.we must look after the old villa fans.
    i do worry about him,as you all do.

    B6,VILLA.
    agree with you,but its hard.

  • keithj,

    sorry mate,it still gets to my guts to see whats happening.i know how you take it,but for me its a disgrace.
    if i didnt feel this way,id just give up.and unless there are big changes in the summer,i will.
    i know ive said it before,and have come back.
    but i live on the hope,that lerner sells out.if not that will be me.

  • keithj,

    I think it can be harder for some that have been there and done it and have the tshirt, as we've seen it all before and dont want to see the same thing happen again

  • muz

    I think a good way of putting how I feel is how would we as young lads/men liked to have been told that our club was **** and had no ambition and when we went to the 3rd division the next step was oblivion when in reality we were having the time of our lives following the club we love without a care in the world. Well you know what, maybe todays young lads/men feel the same so lets not take it away from them.

  • LADS,
    however we all feel,i take it that we have the villa at heart.and the last three years have been a shambles.where we want to end up,is any ones guess.
    but for me.if we are to just make up the numbers in the prem.forget it.
    my aims are higher,as should yours be.
    and indeed the club itself.
    but there is an undercurrent at the highest level,that now seems to be,a lower level of achievement.we as fans,must not let this happen.sooner or later,we have got to give lerner,the lesson that we the fans,will not stand for this crap anymore.

  • anyway,
    i wish you all a goodnight.
    and lets see what happens tomorrow.;)

  • jcv

    Have a good night mate and be ready to party :):):):)

  • Guest - B6 villa

    It's been hard for all of us, nobody wants thier team doing bad or getting relegated. It's hard to take from being a top six team we have fallen so far, it's hard to take we lost to a league two team when being one game away from the final, but we are still here talking villa because we all care and can't get away no matter what we do or try

  • jcv,

    goodnight mate.

    keithj,

    I understand what your saying, and yes we did have some great times back then,but it was easier then being a big club and bouncing back. In those days if you were a brummie it was Villa or the noses, nowdays many are utd, chelsea etc.
    While not trying to be negative if we went down now many youngsters would follow suit as they want to be associated with a premier club so many new fans could be lost.Also many seem to think if we go down it will be a formality in coming straght back up.
    So while i hope the younger fans have a great time, todays game is very different to the seventies.

  • Guest - B6 villa

    Goodnight jcv, hoping for a positive result tommorow so we can enjoy the rest of the weekend;)

  • Guest - nollaigmac

    any good stream source for game? Broadband sloooooooooow here in Ireland!

  • Guest - belfastvilla

    If Wenger could handpick a team to play now then it would be Villa he,d go for. Seen it so many times before. If we turn over Arsenal i,ll eat my bowler hat.

  • Being positive, I think Villa could get a 2-1 or 3-1 win.

    If we can get amongst them early and also score an early goal, the level of gesticulation and enmity towards Arsen Wenger will reverberate around the Emirates which could only be likened to the British winter of discontent.

    Villa need to strike seize and grasp the opportunity, when it presents itself.

    Here's an interesting match stat for today's game.

    Arsenal have created fewer goalscoring opportunities from corners (24) this season than any other side in the Premier League.

    Happy days, they won't score against us from a corner !!

  • Seems that Stephen Ireland may well not feature again this season for the first team.

    Thursday night Ireland was spotted at a concert in Manchester with family. Again has been told by Culverhouse that he is surplus to requirements, persona non grata for today's game at Arsenal. According to the papers he's been told that he still has to train with the reserves.

    8m quid from Man City on a reported between 55k - 70k / week. We won't sell him either in the summer, it's going to be another white elephant such as Warnock and Hutton sitting it out in the reserves.
    These high earning players who get left out are normally senior pro's who realise that they can take their time in choosing their next opportunity. Still getting paid a Kings salary, they can afford to sit and look at all options.

  • "Villa top empty seats revenue table"

    "Premier League clubs are scoring an ‘own goal’ by losing millions of pounds on seat revenue each season with empty seats estimated to be costing them up to £7 million per year in lost revenue, reports fcbusiness.

    Analysis from BDRC Continental’s Sports and Sponsorship Insight team has revealed that Premier League football clubs are losing out on valuable home game revenue by failing to maximise match day sales, resulting in empty seats and lost cross-selling opportunities from food, beverages and programmes.

    At the top of the league are Aston Villa, with a missed home game opportunity just shy of £7 million each season. Hot on their heels are Sunderland, scoring a missed revenue opportunity of £6.5 million plus.

    Wigan Athletic and Everton say goodbye to a potential £4.2 million and £3.1 million per season respectively. Newcastle, Southampton and West Bromwich Albion are also guilty of missing out on valuable revenues to the tune of £2.3 million, £2 million and £1.8 million respectively.

    While the top seven register significant lost revenue opportunities, three further clubs still notch up more than £1million per season: QPR (£1,368,000), West Ham (£1,143,000) and Manchester City (£1,082,000). The rest restrict their lost revenue to less than £1 million.

    Swansea have the best performance in avoiding missed revenue, losing just £5,264 per match – or a shade over £100,000 per year – thanks to a 99% seat utilisation.

    Mark Long, Director of Sports & Sponsorship at BDRC Continental, said: “Since the Premier League announced its new financial controls, top-flight teams need to address how they can turn this lost opportunity into valuable income.

    Under the new regime kicking off with the 2013/2014 season, any increase in match day revenue can help fund players so empty seats in the ground will have a direct impact on the quality of a club’s squad on the pitch.

    “But it’s not just about slashing ticket prices to get supporters into the stadium; there is a balance to be achieved between attracting new fans and keeping loyal season ticket holders happy. And don’t forget the need to maximise on-site sales in the various retail outlets once fans are through the turnstiles.

    “No two clubs are the same, however, so it’s never a ‘one size fits all’ solution. But through careful research and data analysis clubs can still move forward and optimise their fanbase to fill seats and impact the bottom line.”

    (Sources: Football365.com and BBC ‘Cost of Football’ survey)

  • The empty seats is just another in a long line of unwanted record breaking achievements this season. What was Lambert explaining when he first joined the club. 'Villa should be playing in front of full houses ever week!'

    Apart from the obvious we're top of the league for empty seats. At a loss of 7m / season. (That could have been another Benteke) if we'd have had the right owner showing intent to drive the club forward...

    This quote caught my eye. 'Under the new regime kicking off with the 2013/2014 season, any increase in match day revenue can help fund players so empty seats in the ground will have a direct impact on the quality of a club’s squad on the pitch.'

    First of all I would like to say that small heath are buggered then under this new scheme.
    Reminds me of that joke Jasper Carrott said. ' I was down the blues the other week and I said the the bloke next to me... Oi !!' (Shouting as loud as he coud because the bloke next to him was the other side of the pitch) ;)

    Still.... Villa are top of the charts again for all the wrong reasons. The Villa fans have voted with their feet, and Lerner must be seeing and starting to feel the pinch.

    'Don't put out on the pitch, the fans won't put out on the terraces.'

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