Three Aston Villa players nearing end of contract

I had a good night last night. I had a very cheeky bet on Arsenal, Roma, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich to win and it came in, with the Germans scoring a last minute goal to beat Basel. When I say cheeky, you'd expect all those to win normally but five results on one slip is cheeky, the amount was very cheeky too, so today I'm skipping.

And I just wanted to tell you. Rub your noses in it, sort of, although it isn't really. I'm just still quite chuffed. I did something else last night too, which reminded me of my childhood and what I love about football. I watched an old documentary on the 1988 FA Cup Final.

Those were the good old days. Players were players and football was football. Just watch this tackle just after kick off in this clip. Not even a card or a roll around on the ground.

Today, that is a sending off and a player rolling around crying for his mum. Players were players back then and football was honest and real.

I know I harp on about this, but it's just that it doesn't feel real any more and I know we've got a great excuse at the moment, but you could have gone to Wigan or Bolton five years ago and still seen empty seats. It isn't just about the recession.

I see change ahead and I see it soon. But enough of that, to Aston Villa.

Three players nearing end of contract

I'm not very good at remembering when a player signed or how long he has left on his contract but according to one national paper this morning Nigel Reo-Coker, Steve Sidwell and John Carew all enter the last six months of their contracts in January and are free to negotiate terms with overseas clubs. I know Reo-Coker does, I'm just not sure about the other two, so instead of believing that Elvis really is still alive, I will believe this for today.

It is putting the manager in a tough spot, very early on, because I suspect if he offered new contracts to all of them today, they'd all sign. I think Reo-Coker might need a little extra, after all he was treated very badly by the previous manager and will need to know he is wanted and loved, but the manager has to make these decisions and I am sure a lot rests on how much money he has available to spend.

If Lerner has given him a proper amount of money, then the decision will be a lot easier for him to make, but if he is on a tight budget it is going to be a tougher one, because with these three, there is potential. It is seeing that and believing it can be developed.

Either way, I'm not sure John Carew has a future, if he does enter the last six months of his contract in January but I have no doubt he will be playing European football next season and that a host of clubs would be willing to take him on a free and pay him a healthy amount each week to sit in the sun.

Right, that is it. I'm off to do something nice for the wife and to get some breakfast. Lots on today.