Lerner to speak, Gabby call up, tickets for tonight and Gaz Baz, return of the legend

Morning all. First things first, we're going to get the news out of the way then this afternoon, start a post specifically about the match, although I am going to touch on Barry in this post. Not in that way, more a position on why he should be applauded and thanked for his service, because I mean, without him, we wouldn't be the team we are now.

He helped mould this club and wherever you look you see Gareth Barry. Without him, we wouldn't be the club we are and he is the real Mr Aston Villa.


I know I'm likely to get into trouble for my views on Barry but I don't understand why he should be welcomed back with open arms. I mean, he lied. It also wasn't the first time he wanted to leave and what exactly did he do for the club that every single one of us wouldn't have done for a tenth of the money? He really didn't show loyalty. Loyalty would have been turning down the money and committing to Aston Villa, believing it was possible.

Several players are suggesting he get a good reception but I actually think there should be silence for him. I'm all for holding up the odd £50 note, but I don't think he should be cheered and I also don't think he should be booed.

If he were an Aston Villa fan and went off to play Champions League football at the end of his career after pouring out his heart, yes, cheer him as it would have been done the right way. It's just the way he did it, it showed little respect and ultimately, that is what it is coming down to for me.

Some want us to respect what he did for the club tonight but I'm afraid respect goes both ways. For a good example of respect, look to Olof Mellberg and if he ever comes back he'll get a fantastic reception and we all know why, but the way Barry did it, for me anyway, doesn't deserve anything. He was paid for his services while here and this is where his association should end.

Gabby Agbonlahor

Moving on to Gabby. He has been picked, along with James Milner and Emile Heskey, for the England squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Ukraine and Belarus coming up.

It is good news and proof that if you do the business in the league you get picked for England and while, had this happened last season, I'd be worried he'll think he has arrived and take his foot of the gas, something that has always concerned me about Gabby, I don't think it will happen this time.

I think he'll start to see that with good football and hard work at Aston Villa it is possible. I'm also not concerned about Gabby having his head turned while with England. He is a proper local lad and if he knuckles down and does the business, others might start turning heads in our direction, it is a good thing for player and club and I hope he gets his chance and I hope he takes it.

Tickets still available

If you didn't know, for £15 you can get a ticket for tonight too. I'm just putting this here as it is the early post and it might make one or two more go. Call the ticket office on 0800 612 0970.

Randy Lerner

Now, reports yesterday suggested Lerner was looking for investment and I have a feeling this might be where the banter starts and ends today again and I know this might fall on deaf ears, but he is our owner, surely, if there was ever a time he should speak to the customers supporters, this is it.

Doesn't he have a responsibility to tell us if he is looking at investment or to sell? Everyone, myself included, would say well done for what he has done so far but I also think most would welcome a multi billionaire to the club who was willing to spend money on some top class £30mn players, but also and this shouldn't go unnoticed, some, maybe even most, would still like to see Randy involved, but if there is anything or even if there is nothing in this, surely he has to talk now.

In fact, I'm fairly confident we will get something from him soon, it's almost as if he has a responsibility, so look out for something very soon. {rokbox title=|Randy Lerner Interview :: Responding to mounting speculation that he was interested in Aston Villa| text=|Probably something like this|size=|425 344| album=|demo|}http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQHrYE8MnUc&autoplay=1{/rokbox}, which was what he offered up when asked about the rumours linking him to Aston Villa back in 2006.

Match post this afternoon, but for now, I'm going to drink coffee and try to wake up. It is going to be a long day and I was woken with a screaming baby at some stupid hour this morning and while it was lovely to be woken by her, I'm knackered and need a pick me up. Is it too early to have a lass of wine?