Early team news, Lerner a busy man and supporting your local team

I'm starting in reverse order again today and starting with supporting your local team. You can walk around London or Birmingham or Glasgow today and see kids with Manchester United shirts on and it winds me up a little.

You could blame the parents, but if they're not into football what can you do? You could blame Sky TV or games like Championship Manager as it is only natural, to some degree to follow a winning team and a well marketed team, but for me and now my family as I don't live near Birmingham any more, it will always be Aston Villa.


But, if you are local, how did you come to pick Aston Villa over the other local teams? For me, born in 1974, there really was only one team in the playground at school and it was natural and to some extent I was just lucky that I hit the age of having to decide when Aston Villa were the best team in the country and in Europe, but what of others born around the same time in the same area that picked someone else?

I think it interesting to hear about how people picked Aston Villa and as we are head and shoulders bigger and more successful than any other local team with a level of stability the yo-yo clubs around us can only dream of, do supporters of other teams ever think about jumping ship?

I could never change so I suspect that question is a pointless one but there must be some regret for those that started supporting other teams, certainly envy.

Randy Lerner: Two matches in one day

One man that won't have any regrets of envy is Randy Lerner. He has two matches to watch tomorrow; first up is the local derby and after that he'll be getting on his private jet and flying to Cleveland for the season opener of his American rugby team that kicks off at 11pm UK time (6pm Local) and while he isn't a local boy, he must be a supporter.

He picked Cleveland Browns because of his family and while we know why he picked Villa, it would be interesting to know if, when he was at Cambridge, if he followed any other sport or football team. We will never find out, but it might be interesting to learn one day.

Early team news: Birmingham City

It looks like Dunne will be making his debut and there is even talk that Collins might also. If my name was Carlos Cueller I'd be quite annoyed if that were true. I'd also be quite annoyed if my name was Nicky Shorey, as I think Nicky is a girls name.

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I'd be even more annoyed if the rumours that Warnock were to replace me, if my name was Nicky Shorey, because he's played well recently, but I do suspect O'Neill has made his mind up about Shorey and with Bouma back in training, I suspect when O'Neill knows he has two left backs, Shorey will be off.

There is also a strong possibility that O'Neill will start Heskey up front and I wouldn't be surprised if he changed the formation around to 442. He said earlier this week that formation doesn't matter and on this subject I disagree with him.

It is only my opinion but I think O'Neill is setting us up for 442 and while I fancy we will probably still win, I think it a dangerous game he is playing, only because 451 works for us and I don't understand why we are changing something that clearly works for us.

So, expect our midfield to consist of either Milner, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Sidwell and Young or Milner, Petrov, Reo-Coker and Young and if we do play four, I wouldn't be surprised to see Carew and Heskey up front.

Right, I'm off to tidy the house a little in preparation of the new Aston Villa supporter hopefully arriving today or some time early next week, because the wife is now two days overdue and she looks like she is about ready to burst. Don't forget to vote in the Quick Question to the right; 442 or 451 and if you didn't know, we are now a featured site on FourFourTwo.com here.