I'm keen, Facebook and Stewart Downing

There are rumours around one player that I am not going to mention, you know who it is and we've done them to death, but there are a couple today that I do want to mention. First is Stewart Downing.

Downing joined us injured, didn't have a great first season but has impressed in this one and he is extremely valuable. We sort of always expected this season to be better and he is still only 26 years old, so there is every chance next season will be even better, but he can not be allowed to leave.

I know we can't stop him, but we have to convince him. We have to tell him he is wanted and demonstrate that by offering him a new contract that keeps him here for the next four to six years. It would also help if there was an announcement soon on the new manager, or actually it might not and that worries me.

It worries me because as I wrote yesterday, the new manager has to be a priority. Getting the right manager could inspire these players to sign or in one particular case, it could impress him so much that he wants to commit to the club for another few seasons. What I'm saying is, I think ti is actually quite important for the players to know what is going on too - after all, what they are earning with us, they can earn somewhere else, if not more.

Manager speculation

So, there is more speculation surrounding potential new managers and apparently Frank Rijkaard is keen to come to the Premier League. I'm keen too and if I managed Barcelona for five seasons I'd win silverware, so I'm hoping the report in The Mirror, that he is top of the wanted list and keen, isn't true.

I've just read that back. Don't worry, it was in The Mirror. The reason I wouldn't be impressed however is this; he hasn't impressed and yes he won things at Barcelona, but so could a lot of managers - it doesn't make them special. Also, just because he is keen, means nothing. I'm keen too.

Back to Facebook

Right, Stewart Downing has to stay. In fact, he has to be offered a better deal to stay. Frank Rijkaard will not be the next manager of Aston Villa and he isn't on a list, unless they have made a list of managers to not call.

So lastly today, notice that we are going to start using the Facebook page again. So, if you haven't done what you do on Facebook, the group is here and hopefully you'll see a link to this post and very soon, a few more things, as I've decided were going to get a bit Facebook proactive.

Now it is time for coffee and a read of the papers and some work and maybe later today, or tomorrow, some news about a few changes to the site and how it operates. It is good news for you and hopefully good news for me, but we will see what the reaction is, it isn't radical, but it does put some pressure on me and maybe you.