You know when it's club released PR because it hits all the news sites over the same day and then the next day the papers. This time, the club have rolled out Gabby, again, to talk about Benteke after his agent was reported as saying something about him possibly moving in the summer.

Now, I don't know for sure that Benteke is off, but I'd place a bet he is. I wouldn't bet a testicle on it, but I'd put my mortgage on it, but you know what, so what if he is?

But if he is going or not isn't the point of this post. The point is club PR to spin a story. It's a bit like when the club told us that it wasn't Downing in the photo with the Liverpool scarf and his future Liverpool team mate Andy Carroll and then a few days later Downing signs for Liverpool.

But after Gabby has given it the Benteke this, Benteke that, he comes out and says Benteke is too good for Arsenal. Will he still be too good for Arsenal if they spank us at the weekend? It's almost as if he is fuelling the fire and giving Arsenal a reason to show us how to play football.

Benteke is good, but I've no allegiance to a transient figure at the club and I don't mind saying that Benteke should be grateful if he got the opportunity to play for Arsenal. One season does not make a Premier League striker, much like it doesn't make a manager. Think Roque Santa Cruz or Mark Hughes.

If the return is good, sell him

But as long as we make money, we should sell him. It would be a fantastic bit of business for the top and bottom line and that's the way we have to think now. The game has changed.

And don't be angry at that statement, that's the club we are now. We can't be expected to hold on to a player that does well. We're the club that goes and takes a gamble on a player that the likes of Manchester United or Arsenal wont take the gamble on, in the hope that they do well and we can sell on at a tidy profit, to a Manchester United or an Arsenal.

Arsenal on Saturday

Enough about that, it's off my chest now. We play at Arsenal on Saturday, which is also good for business as there is a greater chance that overseas TV channels will want to pick up an Arsenal match, so that means even more cash for us. It's all good and when the sun shines ... you know the rest. We've got to be happy.

And that's my preview of that match. I mean, what do you want me to write; you're an intelligent bunch and you don't need me to talk down to you as we all know how important this game is. This is FA Cup final number two.

My map

Right before I go, have you seen the map I created the other night while a little bored and because I was playing with a spreadsheet and looking at services that use the Google Maps API?

It lists every player since the start of the 1992/93 season to have made a first team appearance for the club and it includes all competitions. Any comments on how we can develop this are welcome below.

Author: Damian
Damian started The Villa Blog as a passion project quite a few years ago while he was living in South Africa. Now living in Sweden, it continues. He's originally from Chasetown and grew up when supporting Villa meant there was a real chance of silverware at the start of every season.
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  • Guest - expat007


    Any comments on how we can develop this are welcome below.

    No problem on how to improve the map; The Villa to invest in Brazilian, Spanish, Argentina, Italian, French and German international players and that map would look good:D:D:D

  • We were the last nail in the coffin of "The Special One" Perhaps we could also be the last nail for Arse en Wenga:) Oh I put the precial one cos i can't spell his name:p

  • Guest - expat007

    symbas It's spelt GOD;)

  • Guest - Chris

    Really dont agree at all! Why should we just accept that he goes, like every good player we have had the last 10 years? Why should we just accept it, when Swansea signs a new contract with an even better player, Michu? Are we even worse than Swansea now?!

  • Guest - muz1


    I thought it was spelt McGrath :):):)

  • Chris,

    On league positions yes, we are worse than Swansea.

  • Guest - Chris


    Yes, we are, but we do this all the time. Barry? Milner? We look useless at holding on to players.

  • On Benteke possibly going, like I said the other day, where's our ambition? If Villa are ever to amount to anything other than 'an also ran club' we have to stop selling our best players. Fair enough Benteke has only played his first season here so he maybe awful from next season but we've done it too many times already, sold, sold and sold again and where has it got us?

    So if we accept that Villa are a re selling club and we are, surely we're selling to make things better for that 'Bright Future' aren't we? Where is it, can anybody see it on the horizon, is it getting close, is there even a skinny possibility that it will become a reality? Did things improve after selling Barry, Milner, Young and even Downing?

    No, no, no and no.

    Now Benteke I believe came to the Premier League or Villa specifically only to put himself in the shop window, there are even stories that he thought Villa were based in London but that's irrelevant, our concern is AVFC and actually achieving something, anything at the moment and that anything is staying in the league, which isn't good enough by a long shot.

    The club has to change it's philosophy to progress and improve but at the moment all the indications are that it isn't going to change anything except for the make up of the board and that's not good enough either. For how many more years will the club keep selling and expect supporters to throw away more money and time? We are being treated like idiots, simple.

    Perhaps on Saturday because of all the pressure on Wenger we've got a chance, slim as it maybe but a chance, but where's the long term future of 'our' club? At the moment and for the foreseeable the best we can hope for is survival in the Premier League and never mind comparing us to Swansea, we're now another Wigan!

  • Guest - expat007


    The number of adults in England playing rugby union at least once a week has declined from 230,000 at the start of the funding period, in 2009, to 177,900 at the latest calculation.

    Sport England reports those playing regular football fell from 2,144,700 in 2007 to 2,090,000 by last year.

    There are 265,000,000 male and female players in addition to 5 million referees and officials make a grand total of 270 million people – or 4% of the world’s population – who are actively involved in the game of football.

    International Rugby Board states that the number of World Registered players is 4,671,024

    The number of those playing Rugby Union (4,671,024) compared with those playing the beautiful game of Association Football (265,000,000) in the world as a percentage is insignificant or in footballers terms, fu*kall.
    There appears to be more referees and officials (5,000,000) for football than all those that play and officiate Rugby Union.
    Make of this what you like.

  • Guest - expat007

    John Salter

    Now Benteke I believe came to the Premier League or Villa specifically only to put himself in the shop window, there are even stories that he thought Villa were based in London but that's irrelevant, our concern is AVFC and actually achieving something, anything at the moment and that anything is staying in the league, which isn't good enough by a long shot.
    As to the Benteke remark and putting himself in the shop window, can you blame him?
    To staying in the Premiership, of course that is the only thing that matters and what else can now be done with the transfer window shut is anyone’s guest?[/quote]Whilst The Villa still have the chance of retaining a Premiership place for next season we all have to hope that the Gods are with us.

  • Copy and paste is your friend Expat.Of course its a no brainer,why risk life and limb playing rugby when you can forget your morals,forget your scruples and earn millions of pounds kicking a ball around.Rugby had a chance to build smoething when Jonny kicked that drop goal and they blew it!! I dont think they will make that mistake again with 2015 but im looking forward to football being second best for a change and hopefully done well more kids will get into it.
    Youve got to understand as well theres hardly no rugby in school due to our pussyfoot government and tag is only being introduced now.It will never get to footballs level due to there being too many lemmings watching it but it will do ok.

  • Guest - David Collins

    You missed Brett Holman off the map ;)

  • Guest - expat007

    I understand they will be playing in some wonderful Stadiums!

  • Really dont agree at all! Why should we just accept that he goes, like every good player we have had the last 10 years? Why should we just accept it, when Swansea signs a new contract with an even better player, Michu? Are we even worse than Swansea now?!

    To be fair, you cant judge all players the same, some are loyal, some are only here for money. Michu was playing second division football in spain, no one gave him a look in except his idol brian laudrup, then this season they are in the top half and in a cup final, which they will most likely win and have Europe.

    Benteke is only 22 (michu is quite a bit older) so will be arrogant and think he deserves to be at a better team (maybe he does?) and therefore will jump ship straight away as hes been in a relegation scrap all season long.

  • Guest - expat007

    When the Rugby World Cup was held in France some of my Rugby friends stayed with me to see the Irish play, I think it was Romania at the Bordeaux Football Stade. I went with them and they were so disappointed with that game and all those given free entries to get the attendances up.
    When I next met up with them in Brum they were so disillusioned by the French response and could not believe that no one in France seemed to care.
    The problem was they were staying in the Paris area to see most of the matches, where the only Rugby played is when there is an International.
    They did tell this lovely storey of the fantastic Scots supporters in Paris, it would appear there were tens of thousands of them, but they were there supporting the Scottish Team play France at Football and not for the Rugby. One of them said that it was the only time they saw any other supporters than the English and the Irish. They actually went to see the football match, but it was sold out and watched it in a Paris Park on a Big Screen with of thousands of Scots and French who also could not get tickets.
    If any of them use this Blog that will recognise themselves as one of them is actually a nephew of Peter McParland.
    PS: Although they were born in Brum they were all there to support Ireland, 'Plastic Paddy’s’.

  • Guest - Daveyboy

    Just a quick one people whilst we are on the discussion of other sports.

    Does anyone else feel that skysports + sky sports news especially in the last two years have been trying to brainwash us to watch the painfully awful sport of NFL

    It may be just me but it seems to have a permanent slot on Sky sports news. Surely there aint that many, in the UK that watch that dross?? Think I'd rather watch crown green bowling

    Sorry to be so negative rant over for now

  • Guest - Vital_Loans

    Just saw that David Gill is standing down as CEO of Man U in June. Wonder would Randy make the best decision of his life and sack Faulkner and offer Gill the job. You may think Gill would never come to Villa but if for example he was offerred 10% of the club to take the job, I am sure Gill (who went to Birmingham University) would be tempted. If Villa is worth say 300m that would be a 30m sign on / success bonus. Personally I think it would be worth every penny!

  • Guest - expat007

    I have not noticed that they are promoting NFL and that would surprise me as it is shown on the opposition ESPN.
    I agree with you about watching it, I would prefer Chess.
    As to the posting alternatives to The Villa, that's simple apart from Benteke's agent there has been nothing about us, not Gossip columns to discuss. Supporting Aston Villa is like living in a void!
    The only advantage supporting The Villa is that it drives me to drink:p:p

  • Guest - expat007

    Sorry to tell you that he is to stay as a Director of Man U.

  • Guest - Daveyboy

    Expat I feel your pain pal feels like groundhog day these past 3 seasons and if we carry on with little investment, we may well go down. I think we will have enough to stay up this yr, but next yr with no investment, I dont think we'd stay up

  • Guest - Vital_Loans


    Ah ****e, may as well dream here as in bed :)

  • Guest - Len

    It does worry me that if we do manage to stay up, then next season will end up being the same as this, we will be drifting between the bottom and the middle, selling our best players, changing managers because they can't take the club forward because we have an owner who is no longer interested.

  • David Collins
    Brett Holman is on the map .. if you cant find a player you can always search to see if he is there ... otherwise just click on one of the icons at the bottom to show up just positions of player .. looking at the map as a whole Brett Holman is under Bosnich, but they are two different colour markers as they played in two different positions

    Comment last edited on 2013-02-20 18:38:27 by Damian
  • Guest - astonman

    John salter,
    Great post every word true.
    More and more fans are finally waking up to the disaster that is Randy Lerner. If Villa are ever to move forward we have to keep our best players and bring in more of equal quality, simple as that. Lerner has proved he will not do that so fans should make it clear at the end of the season by refusing to renew season tickets unless there is a change of policy or better still a change of ownership !

  • Bored sh*tless watching pass you to death Barcelona. Rather watch 4 4 2 any day.

  • Now lets start looking at getting back to basics.

    Benteke rumours have had a turnkey solution that could drive everyone insane.
    Time to start focusing on the games in question.
    We've not played for two weeks.
    Players are fresh.
    The club chose the option of not going to Dubai for a break.(Good thing imo.)
    No reports of new injuries.
    The players that were ill should have had enough time to recover

    It's all systems go for Arsenal at the weekend !

  • By the way it was a good decision by the club either by luck or judgement not to travel to Dubai over the last week.
    A few sporadic sand storms materialised as they always do this time of year, before the climate moves into the sweltering heat.

    Would have hampered training no end.

  • Read all the posts and my considered opinion is that CB will leave in the summer, the only questions is whether the fat ginger twat can broker a deal which is better for AVFC than any other party.

  • Moving onto to Arsenal they have been playimh poorly perhaps we can snatch a point as their focus may be on the spuds match which AW cannot afford to loose - champs league position would be gone

  • night all back tomorrow to read some more "Expatpedia"

  • Guest - Falmouth Villan

    Just got back from a long weekend in amsterdam met a few locals and some brits and the question was always the same..."so who do you support?" "the villa of course" was always my reply ....greeted by ohs and whoops and laughter bit embarrasing really. thought it sort of summed us up at the mo! but my answer was always the same...we will be back!
    on Benteke if he goes he goes not happy about it but if it happens we should be looking for at least 25-30mil whats the point of selling for any less? if we make him see out his contract we only drop about 8mil isnt it?
    Love that badge....keep the faith V.T.I.D.

  • Guest - mogs9villa

    did any1 read the article about john carew back to villa on a free.
    still love the guy , saying villa is still my club, love the fans
    not many john carews around now.

  • Guest -

    Why not just bite the bullet and sell everybody else why we are at it?. I couldnt care less what Gabby said about Benteke pre-Arsenal, all i care about is my team pulling together on the pitch, not worrying about what is happening off it..

  • Arsenal away brings back some of the best memories I have following Villa away, and the sweetest defeat I had ever or will ever witness. May 1981 last game of the season at Highbury really needing a win and seeing Pele paraded around the ground before the match wearing an Arsenal scarf. Having little hope that 'Boro would do us any favours against Ipswich hoping but not expecting, losing the game hearing that 'Boro had indeed beat Ipswich and we were champions!!!!!! Stopping the coach on the way home in an unsuspecting village in Buckinghamshire a coach load of exstatic Villa fans running across a village cricket pitch (whilst a game was in progress) into the village pub - whose takings must have been a daily high - back on the coach home for 10ish got changed went to a local nightspot till God knows when woke up in a field my velvet jacket soaked in the early morning dew, home, changed showered into Brum to see the victory parade in the City centre - memories aye? sadly I suspect never to be repeated - at least not in my lifetime - still we live in hope!!!!

  • Arsenal away brings back some of the best memories I have following Villa away, and the sweetest defeat I had ever or will ever witness. May 1981 last game of the season at Highbury really needing a win and seeing Pele paraded around the ground before the match wearing an Arsenal scarf. Having little hope that 'Boro would do us any favours against Ipswich hoping but not expecting, losing the game hearing that 'Boro had indeed beat Ipswich and we were champions!!!!!! Stopping the coach on the way home in an unsuspecting village in Buckinghamshire a coach load of exstatic Villa fans running across a village cricket pitch (whilst a game was in progress) into the village pub - whose takings must have been a daily high - back on the coach home for 10ish got changed went to a local nightspot till God knows when woke up in a field my velvet jacket soaked in the early morning dew, home, changed showered into Brum to see the victory parade in the City centre - memories aye? sadly I suspect never to be repeated - at least not in my lifetime - still we live in hope!!!!

  • See Gabby has been at it again.

    In the Daily Mail today - Headline.

    " Spurs or Arsenal? Benteke can play higher than that... Agbonlahor tips team-mate for big move "

    Why doesn't he just shut his mouth.
    Hasn't he got enough to concentrate on, only scoring 3 Premier League goals all season?

    Just because he's been at the club the longest and a Brummie Villa fan, does not give him the god given right to be the club's spokesman.

    This guy Benteke has proved in just over half a season that actions speak better than words.

    See Gabby, Benteke walks the walk !
    You just talk the talk !

    Can't anyone at the Club pull him to one side and tell him to shut up ?

    Shut your bloody mouth !!

  • jonnah: no problem with him being a Brummie Villa fan who is lucky enough to play for the club, I think as with Gerrard at Liverpool he loves the club I dont doubt that, but, I just question if he has been duped by the club to say these things, "can do better than Spurs or Arsenal............." suggests to me Man City, Man U or Chelsea in other words more money, we can stick out for a bigger fee from those 3 where as Spurs and Arsenal have limited budgets, I blame the club for this, its the money thing again.

  • expat007 - No I can't blame Benteke for coming to Villa to put himself 'in the window' but the fact that players do this should not be acceptable to any supporter of Aston Villa Football Club. It demonstrates that the club is merely a stepping stone for players of above average ability and they'll use Villa then move on but where does that leave us, the club and the supporters and what does it mean for the future?

    Accepted the club had to reduce the wage bill, accepted we sold nearly half a full team of very talented players but at the same time the club were telling us they were preparing the foundations for the future, that 'Bright Future' they kept banging on about. It's been a few years now and all the club has done is slide further and further down the table until we are now another version of Wigan and it's just not good enough.

    Loyalty goes both ways as far as I'm concerned for anything, friends, work, colleagues and football etc etc, I back you and look out for you and you do the same, we've done that for Villa for decades but where's the return? There's virtually none at the moment and it has to change, the clubs philosophy has to change. We all want what's best for Villa and we want to see ambition, challenging for the upper half of the league but it's nowhere to be seen.

    Granted survival in the PL is the priority but with a little more insight and ability by the board and the owner, Villa wouldn't be in this position, shouldn't be in this position. So if they don't change the way they do business, it can only get worse and at best we'll stagnate and become a regular Wigan and I'm certain none of us want that. Continually selling our better players will only ensure stagnation so it has to stop if we're to become a top six side or better again.

    We as supporters shouldn't accept this selling disease if we want the best for our club.

  • Guest - expat007

    John Salter

    We as supporters shouldn't accept this selling disease if we want the best for our club.
    I totally agree with you and others saying that it is unacceptable for we fans to go along with this policy.
    What can we do about it, sweet FA and that’s the honest truth. As Villa fans we have no control and I suspect very little influence on what decisions are made by those who have total control of our famous and beloved Club.
    I regret it’s a fact of live and sometimes I wonder if its worthwhile putting up with the agro and just remember the good times!

  • John Salter,

    As a long time fan I find myself in agreement about much of what you say, but the game has moved on for better and worse, whether we like it or not.

    Virtually every club in the country has had speculation linking their best players for a move right now. Lots of team's fans think their club is bigger than their league position. Just ask Arsenal and Liverpool fans. Why should Aston Villa be any different?

    The player loyalty you describe will always come second when potentially there's money to be made.

    It has it's good points. If Benteke was following your principles, he wouldn't be a Villa player right now - and we needed him this season wouldn't you agree?

    The thing that would really be the icing on the cake would be if I thought that any business we do for Benteke was a master-stroke by the club and was the start of the type of transfer policy that has served Arsenal so well. Unfortunately, I think the club just got lucky this time and I think it's fair to say that most fans have doubts about whether or not his sale would be re-invested in the club as it should be.

    If anything, I'd say the proper reinvestment of player sales is where we have fallen down. The money from Milner, Young and Downing should have been used to buy 5 or 6 Benteke style players with 3 of them coming good and being sold on for big profits. If that had happened, I see no reason why we still wouldn't be a top 6 club - and we probably wouldn't be having this conversation.....

  • Short version - We'll have a much better chance of keeping our best players when we have a run of top 4 finishes. In the meantime, I'm in agreement with any strategy that is plays it smart.

    I think selling Benteke and going out and looking for 2 or maybe 3 more potential Benteke's would be prudent for us in our position.

  • Guest - expat007

    Good morning Mate,
    Re you piece on the empty seats at the Arsenal. I was watching a Arsenal home match earlier in the season and the commentators commented on the empty seats although it was advertised as a sellout.
    The answer was simple as the attendances were bases on tickets sold and not those attending. It would appear that Arsenal have sold all their season ticket allocation, the number is restricted and those empty seats were season ticket seats not taken up.
    What luxury! The Emirates is the most expensive football ground to visit and they supposedly have the wealthiest supporters in the land, some of whom do not even bother to turn up for home games even though they have paid as much as £1,000 per season for the privilege.
    No wonder they make a profit every season.
    PS: I still have a season ticket for the Trinity Stand that is used by a friend and myself and there are occasions when that seat is empty so why am I surprised? We will not be taking it up next season, so fu*k them:(:(:(

  • JCV,

    I'd agree to some extent. Arsenal fans legitimately have something to moan about - their stadium is full every week and they pay through the nose to see their team. Their problem is that the sale of Fabregas and RVP was invested in the wrong players. Wenger panicked and bought reasonably big name players with no room to grow. He could have bought (and hindsight is a wonderful thing) Benteke and Michu many many times for the money he paid for Poldoski and Mertesacker which in previous years he might have.

    As for the business of holding on to players - we tried to do it with Barry, and it could have worked had we done better. Exactly the same as Arsenal and RVP.

    I think that once a player announces he wants to go, it's pretty difficult to stop them. Especially if the team they want to go is Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City, Barcelona, Real Madrid.

    In recent history, we haven't sold any of our top players to anyone else.

    We only really need to get worried if Benteke goes on strike because Sunderland are trying to buy him.

    BTW - It doesn't mean I like it. Just trying be realistic.

  • Guest - christhevillan

    We have been a selling club since Andy Gray. Why all the "oh we shouldn't be a selling club" all of a sudden.

  • Guest - christhevillan

    Just four Famous teams in world football are not selling clubs, Barca,Madrid,Chelski and Man city then any oil rich club but team's including Man u,Arse,Spurs and Liverpool have all have to sell their top player's in resent years. UTV

  • Bobvillian

    Is gabby working with bentikes agent!

    NO Randy's

  • Blade_one,

    ha, ha, you may well be right there!

  • Injury's and players coming back into the fold.

    Albrighton Ankle injury.........April 2013........ N/A
    Dunne Groin injury.................... N/A N/A
    Gardner ACL injury........... May 2013 N/A
    Herd Ankle injury................ March 2013 N/A
    N'Zogbia Knee injury ................February 23 2013 Arsenal (A)
    Petrov ................................N/A N/A

    Need N'zogbia back in the starting XI for Saturday!

  • Just waiting for toadys top up news from CB's agent - ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

  • On Twitter 15 mins ago.

    Timothy Abraham ‏@TimothyAbraham
    "Charles N'Zogbia definitely fit for #AVFC trip to #AFC - came off with a slight knock against West Ham. Chris Herd has resumed training."

  • bobvillian - It's all well and good saying 'Villa are a selling club, get used to it' if you not too bothered about achieving anything. I for one want more for the club I support and fighting to avoid relegation or being in the lower half of the table isn't a part of what I want. Fans just accepting this dire state, won't help change it nor will blindly going to the games and coughing up your hard earned cash. If and when I see an improvement, I'll go back to Villa Park, until then I'll stay away.

  • Guest - jaf

    Well there was a time here in Sweden, when nearly every Villa game was shown on tv..but since that woman in england won the court case about showing foreign football channels in her pub its 2 games on a saturday and the rest on a ppv website.!

    Not sure if we get any extra cash, dont we just get a lump sum in the summer.?

  • jaf,

    If we stay in the Premier League we automatically receive 60m from BskyB.

    All depends on how much of that 60m Lerner will take for himself (if he does take any of that money), bearing in mind that from Lerner's previous lavish spending we're still approximately 75m in debt to him.

    The problem as I see it, is that if we stay up next season and Lerner does take some or most of that money that is owed to him from BskyB deal, Villa will be say, for example sake, some 40m worse off than some of the so called lesser clubs in the League if Lerner decides to take the money from Sky.

    These so called lesser clubs I would determine as Norwich, West Brom and Southampton, in terms of buying players. Ok some of this money is used for players wages, but what we may find is that it puts us in a difficult position for the start of next season, with others clubs using much of that money to enhance their respective squads. Our money from the BskyB deal may well have gone into Lerner's pocket to reduce the debt.

    It will be the first time that some of these so called lesser clubs will have received such a large amount of money.
    If we look at how much money Lambert spent pre-season, it was the 5th highest spend in the Premier League. These so called lesser clubs will be able to spend what we spent pre-season and more, based on the forthcoming BskyB funding. Which means the competition next season will even more fierce due to even more money being invested in the Premier League.

    It all depends on what Lerner's plans are for this 60m?

    If he swipes the carpet from underneath our feet and takes most of that BskyB money for himself we may find that come August the 15th, kick-off for the new season, and up to the end of the August window, we're starting the season with the likes of these so called lesser teams such as Norwich, West Brom and Southampton all out spending us which would be previously un-heard of.

    Looking and quantifying our recent season's, bouncing around in the lower half of the league means that if Lerner did take most of this money, we would find it even more difficult based on other clubs spending more than what they have previously done and historically, which makes the situation of bordering on nigh on impossible to stay in the Premier League next season.

    Lerner takes the money to remove some or most of the debt and we have problems, even if Lerner gave the manager 20m-30m next season it would not guarantee us staying in the League due to fact that the so called lesser clubs will be spending more, and quite probably the so called lesser clubs will spend each, a lot more than 30m next season.

  • Guest - expat007


    But whatever state we are in i will always support my team whatever divison we end up in.
    Bloody hell 65 years supporting the Villa, 1946/7 was the first season after the War, how old are you? I was reportedly the oldest poster at 76, 77 in May so you obviously were a born and bred boyhood Villa fan or you are very ancient!
    I originate from Devon and the first pro team I saw was Plymouth Argyle and so they were the first team I supported, Argyle always being in the lower Divisions meant you look at teams in the 1st Division and possible followed one of them. My first was the Arsenal as they were then like Man U of today and had followers all over the UK.
    In 1956 when in the RAF I had a Brummie friend who took me to Villa Park to see Villa play Wolves, then a top side. I think it finished nil nil as I cant remember anyone scoring, but I was hooked as Villa Park was full and the crowd was fantastic and we had a great day in Brum, apart from the pubs closing at 10 o’clock where everywhere else in England they shut at 10.30!
    Over the years I grew closer to The Villa seeing them whenever I could and when I had the chance to move to either Nottingham or Brum in the sixties it was not difficult to chose as it had to be Brum and I lived in Erdington, so it was easy to get to Villa Park.
    Finished up marrying a Brummie and have been based there ever since apart from the time I now spend in France.
    Never had any regrets, Brum and The Villa have been very good to me and soon I will be back

  • Guest - Vital_Loans


    I can't see a spending spree on players next season due to the increased increase from Sky. Last season Villa received 42m for competing in the Premiership. With the increased revenue next year Villa may receive circa 60m which is an increase of 18m, hardly the budget to go mad with. Most clubs in the Premiership are in serious debt and are desperate to get some money to reduce their debt which in many occasions is owed to a financial institution. And as with all of these type of loans 'your home is at risk if you do not keep up your repayments'. We are in a very fortunate position that our owner loaned the club money rather than borrowing fromt he market. Villa Park is NOT as risk the same way Leeds and Portsmouth were and Everton is! Furthmore Premiership clubs have massive opperational costs, not only for the funding of cars in the players car park but also in maintaining the ground and paying the bills. The quality of the pitch at VP is one of the best in the Premiership, although I dont know the cost of this I am guessing it does not come cheap.

    In summary, although the tabloids and agents may like to create some hysteria of a spending spree by all of the clubs I just can't see it coming to fruition :)

  • Guest - expat007

    As usual there is nothing to report re The Villa. We will just have to see Lambet's today interview about the Arsenal game throws up, but I doubt it will tell us anything!
    Even though the Arsenal are doing badly at the moment I still can't see us getting out of the game as they must win to have any chance of Champions League next season.
    Goodbye for now, back on if anything turns up.

  • dont expect to see Arsenal anywhere near as poor as they were against Bayern.Home win.

  • Guest - astonman

    If Arsenal score early it could turn out to be another Chelsea. We need to score first to have any chance.

  • Guest - Rocco

    Astonman, Sjh

    Arsenal are by far the worst of the so called top 4, it won't be a chelsea mauling for sure, they are slightly better at defending set pieces than we are but don't expect a bombardment that we have had to endure of late,

    1-1 draw tomorrow

  • Guest - astonman

    I hope you are right but this is Villa and I feel even this average Arsenal will be far too strong for a poor Villa. That just shows how far we have sunk due to the idiots running the club.

  • Guest - nollaigmac

    Personally, I don't care whether or not CB has come to England to put himself in the shop window. As long as he keeps us up, who cares? Next season is another and who knows?

  • Guest - B6 villa

    Think we will give arsenal a good game tommorow and I'm going for a 1-1 or a sneaky 1 goal win, don't think they will handle our front players if on form

  • Guest - nollaigmac

    Kind of agree with you B6 but Arsenal may be smarting a bit after mid week. Need to be wary of Walcott. Sagna has played better at times this season so I think for once we might get some joy out of him.

  • Guest - ftkv

    Arsenal are by far the worst of the so called top 4,

    & we are by far the worst of the bottom 4
    also we have the worst owner in the league

  • Guest - ftkv

    Well lets hope Christian puts on a real show
    He wants to be a gooner so let him show them what they are missing and help us too boot

  • why is it that when the papers mentioned about the speculation that Bentekes agent started that there were loads of comments on here about him leaving but since Lambert came out and said he is the one who will be deciding not one comment?

  • keithj,

    Lambert can say what he likes, but if Lerner wants to sell Benteke then he will be sold.


    Arsenal have not lost 3 home games on the spin for well over 30 years, can you see us ending that run:):)

  • Guest - B6 villa


    think if we can keep them quite for the first hour or even better take the lead, the crowd will turn on the players and the manager and we must take advantage. The first goal will be important

  • jcv

    Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert says he will decide on the future of Christian Benteke after insisting the striker will stay at the club.

    Thing is mate there were posts saying that if the club were ambitious or give a **** about the fans they would make a statement saying that he isnt for sale. Well theres the statement but I guarantee the posts will be this is just bull****/pr when the money is offered he will be off.

  • Guest - B6 villa

    Meant to say - first half hour

  • muz

    Lambert made a statement months ago about Benteke saying whats the point trying to build a team when you keep selling your players. If Lerner/Faulkner sell Benteke then I am sure Lambert will resign.

  • jcv

    Its a definite win so go get the big odds:):):):)

  • jcv mate,

    I'm with you on the result of the game, hope we are both wrong though.

  • 22/2/2013

    Lambert said: "As far as I'm concerned the guy's here and he isn't going anywhere until I say so - that's the bottom line."

  • Guest - B6 villa

    No point speculating about benteke's future because nothing will be decided until the summer. We will hear alot of he will he won't rumours, but hope it don't affect the player himself because we really need him for the final 12 games

  • jcv

    Linked by the papers not the club;)

  • jcv

    You still worrying about relegation, I keep telling you we'll be nearer top 4 than bottom 4 by the end of the season, maybe after we beat arsenal and citeh you will start to believe.:):):)

  • Guest - B6 villa

    Think PL has found a settled formation and players and we have played well in the last two games, just hope we have learnt to close out games in the last few minutes, I'd take a draw at the start of the game and anything else will be a bonus and a really good for us villa fans

  • Guest - B6 villa

    Really good weekend for us villa fans

  • jcv,

    I wish keithj would stop being so negative, a few weeks ago he was saying we would finish in the top 4, now its nearer the top 4.
    Do you think his faith is on the wane? :):):)

  • jcv,

    Dont forget if we win tomorrow us over 50's have still got to come on here, otherwise we will get told off.:):):)

  • jcv,

    mate i think it is old mac, he hasn't been on for a while has he? is he still ill?

  • these next 2 games are freebies imo.Im expecting zero points so anything else is a bonus,im targeting the QPR and REading games and they have to bring 6 points!!!!

  • Guest - B6 villa


    We have to look at the positives rather than the negatives because we are running out of games and being negative doesn't help our situation

  • muz

    Old mac only appears to offer words of wisdom, his posts are rare but are golden nuggets

  • keithj,

    Yes his comments always seem well thought out, not like the crap some of us spout.:D:D

  • jcv

    I am surprised you let it get to you because like me you have been there, done it, got the t shirt etc so is it that you just got more cynical in your old age. By the way I am not nearly 60 years old I'm nearly 60 years young,:):):)

  • keithj,

    I think it can be harder for some that have been there and done it and have the tshirt, as we've seen it all before and dont want to see the same thing happen again

  • muz

    I think a good way of putting how I feel is how would we as young lads/men liked to have been told that our club was **** and had no ambition and when we went to the 3rd division the next step was oblivion when in reality we were having the time of our lives following the club we love without a care in the world. Well you know what, maybe todays young lads/men feel the same so lets not take it away from them.

  • jcv

    Have a good night mate and be ready to party :):):):)

  • Guest - B6 villa

    It's been hard for all of us, nobody wants thier team doing bad or getting relegated. It's hard to take from being a top six team we have fallen so far, it's hard to take we lost to a league two team when being one game away from the final, but we are still here talking villa because we all care and can't get away no matter what we do or try

  • jcv,

    goodnight mate.


    I understand what your saying, and yes we did have some great times back then,but it was easier then being a big club and bouncing back. In those days if you were a brummie it was Villa or the noses, nowdays many are utd, chelsea etc.
    While not trying to be negative if we went down now many youngsters would follow suit as they want to be associated with a premier club so many new fans could be lost.Also many seem to think if we go down it will be a formality in coming straght back up.
    So while i hope the younger fans have a great time, todays game is very different to the seventies.

  • Guest - B6 villa

    Goodnight jcv, hoping for a positive result tommorow so we can enjoy the rest of the weekend;)

  • Guest - nollaigmac

    any good stream source for game? Broadband sloooooooooow here in Ireland!

  • Guest - belfastvilla

    If Wenger could handpick a team to play now then it would be Villa he,d go for. Seen it so many times before. If we turn over Arsenal i,ll eat my bowler hat.

  • Being positive, I think Villa could get a 2-1 or 3-1 win.

    If we can get amongst them early and also score an early goal, the level of gesticulation and enmity towards Arsen Wenger will reverberate around the Emirates which could only be likened to the British winter of discontent.

    Villa need to strike seize and grasp the opportunity, when it presents itself.

    Here's an interesting match stat for today's game.

    Arsenal have created fewer goalscoring opportunities from corners (24) this season than any other side in the Premier League.

    Happy days, they won't score against us from a corner !!

  • Seems that Stephen Ireland may well not feature again this season for the first team.

    Thursday night Ireland was spotted at a concert in Manchester with family. Again has been told by Culverhouse that he is surplus to requirements, persona non grata for today's game at Arsenal. According to the papers he's been told that he still has to train with the reserves.

    8m quid from Man City on a reported between 55k - 70k / week. We won't sell him either in the summer, it's going to be another white elephant such as Warnock and Hutton sitting it out in the reserves.
    These high earning players who get left out are normally senior pro's who realise that they can take their time in choosing their next opportunity. Still getting paid a Kings salary, they can afford to sit and look at all options.

  • "Villa top empty seats revenue table"

    "Premier League clubs are scoring an ‘own goal’ by losing millions of pounds on seat revenue each season with empty seats estimated to be costing them up to £7 million per year in lost revenue, reports fcbusiness.

    Analysis from BDRC Continental’s Sports and Sponsorship Insight team has revealed that Premier League football clubs are losing out on valuable home game revenue by failing to maximise match day sales, resulting in empty seats and lost cross-selling opportunities from food, beverages and programmes.

    At the top of the league are Aston Villa, with a missed home game opportunity just shy of £7 million each season. Hot on their heels are Sunderland, scoring a missed revenue opportunity of £6.5 million plus.

    Wigan Athletic and Everton say goodbye to a potential £4.2 million and £3.1 million per season respectively. Newcastle, Southampton and West Bromwich Albion are also guilty of missing out on valuable revenues to the tune of £2.3 million, £2 million and £1.8 million respectively.

    While the top seven register significant lost revenue opportunities, three further clubs still notch up more than £1million per season: QPR (£1,368,000), West Ham (£1,143,000) and Manchester City (£1,082,000). The rest restrict their lost revenue to less than £1 million.

    Swansea have the best performance in avoiding missed revenue, losing just £5,264 per match – or a shade over £100,000 per year – thanks to a 99% seat utilisation.

    Mark Long, Director of Sports & Sponsorship at BDRC Continental, said: “Since the Premier League announced its new financial controls, top-flight teams need to address how they can turn this lost opportunity into valuable income.

    Under the new regime kicking off with the 2013/2014 season, any increase in match day revenue can help fund players so empty seats in the ground will have a direct impact on the quality of a club’s squad on the pitch.

    “But it’s not just about slashing ticket prices to get supporters into the stadium; there is a balance to be achieved between attracting new fans and keeping loyal season ticket holders happy. And don’t forget the need to maximise on-site sales in the various retail outlets once fans are through the turnstiles.

    “No two clubs are the same, however, so it’s never a ‘one size fits all’ solution. But through careful research and data analysis clubs can still move forward and optimise their fanbase to fill seats and impact the bottom line.”

    (Sources: and BBC ‘Cost of Football’ survey)

  • The empty seats is just another in a long line of unwanted record breaking achievements this season. What was Lambert explaining when he first joined the club. 'Villa should be playing in front of full houses ever week!'

    Apart from the obvious we're top of the league for empty seats. At a loss of 7m / season. (That could have been another Benteke) if we'd have had the right owner showing intent to drive the club forward...

    This quote caught my eye. 'Under the new regime kicking off with the 2013/2014 season, any increase in match day revenue can help fund players so empty seats in the ground will have a direct impact on the quality of a club’s squad on the pitch.'

    First of all I would like to say that small heath are buggered then under this new scheme.
    Reminds me of that joke Jasper Carrott said. ' I was down the blues the other week and I said the the bloke next to me... Oi !!' (Shouting as loud as he coud because the bloke next to him was the other side of the pitch) ;)

    Still.... Villa are top of the charts again for all the wrong reasons. The Villa fans have voted with their feet, and Lerner must be seeing and starting to feel the pinch.

    'Don't put out on the pitch, the fans won't put out on the terraces.'

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