As the news seems a little slow today I thought I’d knock something up with a positive spin and an international flavour given weekends football.
Firstly it seems Villa are continuing their policy of investing in promising young English talent. Following the capture of the Arsenal youth captain Samir Carruthers in the summer, along with promising Leeds starlet Fabian Delph, the club have now been heavily linked with a young striker from Ipswich by the name of Connor Wickham.
Highly rated having already graced the first team this season at the age of sixteen, he looks to be another good investment that could sign on for virtually nothing when he turns 17 in April 2010.
It pleases me to see the way the football club is now aspiring to operate and it couldn’t come at a better time. For a number of years we have had to endure a lack of investment in youth and watch a series of players nearing the end of their careers or over rated foreigners grace our claret and blue colours. The last crop of youngsters we produced was good, but it appears not quite good enough, with the only one who looks to have really grabbed his chance being Gabby Agbonlahor, although even his progression has been up and down at times.
It appears in the next three to five seasons we may well have an extremely good crop of young talent coming through and while not all young players progress the way they promise to, if we keep signing them there will certainly be a few that make it.
It is taking a leaf out of Arsene Wengers book to a certain extent, which can only be a good thing. It is always a bonus to have a team together from a young age, learning each others games and learning the way of Villa and what it means to play for this club.
The new training ground has obviously helped, as has having a promising, highly rated manager with a largely home grown side. Do not underestimate the draw of Aston Villa to a young player aspiring to play for his country one day as the current first team is close to consisting of entirely international players which is something that hasn’t been the case in a long time at Villa Park.
We have three players in the England squad to face Brazil tomorrow, but this could easily have been six had Emile Heskey been 100%, Luke Young not retired and Gabby been selected (he should have). Never can I remember so many Villains involved in the international set up and this can only be good for their confidence and good for the club.
Likewise our new defensive enforcer Richard Dunne takes to the field at Croke Park determined to put one over on the French and I surely hope he does. It would be marvellous to have two home nations at the World Cup in June.
So, in the end a bit of a nothing post, but at least things look bright for the future of Villa.
We have a good team that appears to be improving, we are investing in youth and the future of the club and there is a huge amount of investment due to go into the development of Villa Park. There is an ominous professionalism about the way the club is run these days which lifts us above some of the other pretenders.
It seems to me that we have a bit of polish and style which for a number of years in the late nineties and noughties we were lacking. Now we are sponsored by Nike instead of Reebok or Hummel and have good young pacey talent, a state of the art training facility and soon to be shiny redeveloped ground.
Despite the odd poor performance or bad result it seems that we are on the up and long may it continue.
The future is bright; the future is claret and blue.