What next in January for Aston Villa?

Yesterday was a surprise. Okay, maybe not yesterday but until the news broke that Darren Bent was of serious interest, it was a surprise and I fancy there might be one or two more surprises this month. But not complete surprises.

You see, the players that come in are going to replace outgoing players, so if you look at the likely candidates to leave, you should have a good idea of what type of player is coming in and because of all the speculation, quite possibly who the player is. So make a mental list and I'll write mine down below.

Leaving Aston Villa

If I had to put money on one player leaving, it would be Stephen Warnock. If I had to pick another, it would be Richard Dunne. So, it is fair to assume that if those two are leaving, a rightleft-back and a central defender would be coming in.

I think it is fair, because our numbers are solid. We have quite enough defenders, quite enough midfielders and more than enough strikers now.

Like I suggested, you also don't have to be a genius to figure out who is coming in either, especially when players of other clubs start talking about contact from us or when agents in other countries start mentioning our name. It isn't rocket science, but it also doesn't mean they are nailed on certainties.

Put your money on this

What is, for me anyway a nailed on certainty, is the manager will get a bit of breathing space and it is about time, but judging by some of the comments yesterday, there are still some living on a different planet and will no doubt be happy if we lose our next game so they can start in on him again. Saying that, they are very much in the minority now.

But they're not in the minority because Darren Bent, Kyle Walker and Jean Makoun are now at the club. They are in the minority because many actually not recognise that this is a transitional season and that with transition comes difficulty and upheaval.

They can see that the club is going to back this manager, as I told you back in December and they recognise that the owner isn't going to spend this amount of money if he has any intention of getting rid of him in the next few games.

The owner, board and everyone at the club have put faith in Gerard Houllier and those that now recognise this, will also put the necessary amount of faith in him too.

But like I said, some wont and they might be right in the long run, but if you never give someone a chance, you'll never really know and seeing as everyone else is, isn't it about time this manager got the full support of everyone connected to the club?

There is however, a long road ahead and it isn't going to be easy but trust me, if everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet and we regularly get the type of support at home that we know is possible, it will make a difference. I promise you, it really will make a difference.

So who is next?

Samba is top of my list - only because the player has told us we have contacted Blackburn and I also see a left back coming, only because I don't think the manager will play Ciaran Clark there for the rest of the season and because Liverpool I think are quite keen to bring him in, but only if a left back can be found will Warnock be allowed to leave.

So, speculate all you want, but please, if you are copying in speculation below, please credit the source.