Villa Blog Header Image
Villa Blog Header Image

Aston Villa well represented at England international level

I'm not really scraping the barrel although it may seem that way when you read the rest of this post, but instead of literally scraping the barrel for news about our club, I'm looking at the players playing for England over the next few days.

Gareth Barry and Emile Heskey will be, you've got to assume, making appearances for the senior England team and we've also got representatives at U21, U20 and U19 level, so it does mean there is something to keep us interested in these barren spells of no Premier League football.

Barry and Heskey have a warm up match against Slovakia, which is when I think we'll see the new England shirt for the first time and if it is the one that was in The Sun the other day, which has now no longer there, then I'll be quite happy and might actually make a purchase - I think only my second ever England shirt, but it is the World Cup next year and well, it will be nice to have, if it is the one.

After Slovakia comes the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine next Wednesday. This is the real match where you want to see your players perform and I'd expect to see Barry start but I'm not that convinced about Heskey, although he does have a presence and Capello clearly likes him, I just can't see him getting the nod over the likes of Crouch and Rooney.

But moving on to the U21's. They've got a match in Norway coming up and a home match against France, this might be a little more interesting for us, as it gives the likes of Gabby, Gardner and Milner another opportunity shine. They're all likely to be playing, or that is the information I am getting from The FA website anyway.

Now, it's not that I'm not interested in the senior England team, I just don't like all the friendlies we have to play these days and while both the matches for the U21's are friendlies, I think I'm going to be taking more interest in them and looking to watch the two matches. For the record, they're playing on Friday and Tuesday.

But, we've also got the U20's where Ciaran Clark and Marc Albrighton will be making an appearance, hopefully, in the friendly match against Italy at Loftus Road next Tuesday - again, it's going to be interesting to see how these two get on as both re now stepping up.

But to the level I'm most looking forward to, the U19's. Strange you may think, but the player that is really making an impression with me at the moment is Nathan Delfouneso and he's playing tonight at The Banks' Stadium against the Czech Republic. Anyone know if this is on TV anywhere? It should be an interesting match and I wouldn't be surprised to see Martin O'Neill watching from the stands.

It wouldn't be right though to write a post about the players representing England without also mentioning Gary Gardner, the brother of Craig, who represents England at U17's. Some say, although I've never seen him play, that he's even better than Craig, but I've got high hopes for the older brother and hope he really does develop like I believe he can, so if he is, it's all good news.

So, if you're stuck for something to do tonight, head on over to Walsall, otherwise, plan your next few days around all the matches you can get on TV where Aston Villa are represented at international level. Quite am impressive list and that's just England!