Aly Cissokho, Parma and a rumour

There was speculation this week and it was confirmed yesterday; Aly Cissokho, on loan at Liverpool last season, has signed a four year deal with Aston Villa.

Yes, he's another left back and yes, we have quite a few of those at the club, if you count Baker and Richardson, but you've got to fancy he is the managers starting left back for this season.

Which raises some questions. Is he a left back in a back three or a wing back? If he's the wing back, is Richardson good enough to be playing in midfield? If Richardson plays in midfield, who else does, if you factor in that Delph will be?

A lot of questions. I quite fancy he'll be the left sided centre back and Richardson, with his experience and love of getting forward, will be the wing back. But then what of Senderos or Okore, if Vlaar stays and Vlaar is staying.

Put it this way, the manager now has many options. And most of them are his options. No more excuses come October.

To the football

And with that written, we have a game today. It's the last pre-season friendly and it's against Parma. Now, this is as all friendlies go, just a kick about, but it's at home and it's a week before the season starts. It might just be a friendly, but it's one the supporters are going to be anxious for a victory in.

And, with one week to go until the season starts, you can sort of expect the team to be as good as ready. If they're not ready today, there is every chance they won't be ready next week. It's a must win game for Lambert, in the sense that, it will give the supporters some optimism.

After all, Parma are not a side to be taken lightly and they'll be coming to win.

A quick rumour

And before I go, I met a man at the airport yesterday who briefly told me that there is another player the club are very hopeful of signing. I got the impression it was a player we would all have heard and that it was happening because of Keane, not that he wanted, but through influence.

Now, it was a guy at the airport in a hurry to catch a flight, but we've known each other for a few years, he works in the world of football but not for a club anymore (he did when I first met him and not Aston Villa). Take it with a big pinch of salt, but you never know.