Birmingham news and blogs Saturday 20 January 2018


Aston Villa Life

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Match Day: Aston Villa vs. Barnsley 

20 Jan 18

Now that Bristol have done their job and held Derby to a scoreless draw, can Villa capitalize with a win against visiting Barnsley? If so, we’ll overtake the Robins, move into third with a little luck, and draw within three of the Rams, regardless…

A Mid-Week Review (1) 

16 Jan 18

We hoped for a Happy New year, and that’s what’s been delivered – so far at least.

Nottingham Forest 0-1 Aston Villa: The Good, Bad & The Ugly 

14 Jan 18

Villa got back to winning ways at the City Ground yesterday, riding a Scott Hogan goal through to the finish line and a 1-0 win over our European Cup-winning companions.

Match Day: Nottingham Forest vs. Aston Villa 

13 Jan 18

Bit of a break for me, since it was a brutal week in the work world, and I didn’t end up considering the Peterborough game a real match.

‘Posh’ Though The Visitors May Be, the Villa Should Not Stand On Ceremony 

3 Jan 18

Well, after a win on New Year’s Day that must surely have prompted delusions of grandeur amongst Villa fans, the visit of a mid-table third-tier side this Saturday should present little difficulty, right? Well, let caution prevail: once…

Match Day: Aston Villa vs. Bristol City 

1 Jan 18

First off, Happy 2018, Villans! Here’s to prosperity, joy, and health for all of you and yours in the new year.

Match Day: Middlesbrough vs. Aston Villa 

30 Dec 17

Well, dear readers, you’ll notice that I’ve not done a match review for the last couple of games.

What Are You Thinking, Dr. Xia? 

27 Dec 17

Well, Dr Xia, you have a dilemma.

Match Day: Brentford vs. Aston Villa 

26 Dec 17

First off, hope all of you celebrating Christmas in one way or another had a good one.

Match Day: Aston Villa vs. Sheffield United 

23 Dec 17

The festive season is upon us, and we’d like our first present in the form of three points against Sheffield United.

Derby vs. Villa: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly 

19 Dec 17

To say Villa’s 0-2 loss to Derby was underwhelming would be an understatement.

Match Day: Derby County vs. Aston Villa 

16 Dec 17

Following the hard-fought point Villa rescued against Leeds, the side turned in a rather underwhelming performance against Millwall last week, and Villa were lucky to get a point in the 0-0 affair.

Match Day: Aston Villa vs. Millwall 

9 Dec 17

Villa’s three-game winning streak was interrupted last Friday night with a draw away to Leeds, and today sees Millwall, currently 17th, coming to Villa Park.

Must-Wins, Fitness Boosts, and Cholesterol Control: Aston Villa This Week 

8 Dec 17

It’s rather strange having full weeks between matches.

Are We Dreaming? Leeds United vs. Aston Villa 

1 Dec 17

So, Steve Bruce apparently divides opinion.

Villa Bore Fans, Win Third in a Week: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly 

25 Nov 17

This is getting boring.

Match Day: Aston Villa vs. Ipswich Town 

25 Nov 17

The third match of the week is upon us as Ipswich Town, currently sitting six below Villa in ninth, come to visit.

Aston Villa vs. Sunderland: Villa Keep the Cats in the Bag 

23 Nov 17

Another match, another three points.

Sunderland, QPR, Pre- and Post-Match Grab Bag 

21 Nov 17

We’re going to double things up here…Have a late match review and obviously a Tuesday fixture with Sunderland.

Match Day: QPR vs. Aston Villa 

18 Nov 17

Following yet another unkind international break, Aston Villa head down to Loftus Road to take on Queens Park Rangers without Jonathan Kodjia and Scott Hogan.

Villa Still in Search of a Soul 

15 Nov 17

There are football teams that have heart.

Post-match: Aston Villa vs. Sheffield Wednesday 

6 Nov 17

It perhaps wasn’t a “disastrous” day at Villa Park on Saturday, but it neither was it a good one.

Match Thread: Aston Villa vs. Sheffield Wednesday 

4 Nov 17

Another day, another game.

Small Heath 0-0 Aston Villa: The Good, Bad & Ugly 

31 Oct 17

Well, the always heated derby with they who shall not be named was reprised Sunday, and to no-one’s great satisfaction ended in a scoreless draw.

Match Thread: Small Health vs. Aston Villa 

29 Oct 17

Derby day is here, and Villa want all three points, thank you very much.

A Tactically Correct Move? 

25 Oct 17

An oldie like me usually looks at the importance given to tactics with some disdain.

Aston Villa 2-1 Fulham: The Good, Bad & Ugly 

23 Oct 17

Villa hosted Fulham Saturday, and came away with a hard-fought three points.

Aston Villa vs. Fulham: Which Villa Will We See Today? 

21 Oct 17

It’s been an interesting week of banter following Villa’s loss to Wolves—some good questions asked, some good answers given.

Torn Apart By The Wolves, But Was It A One-off? 

16 Oct 17

Yes, we lost against a good-looking Wolves attack on Saturday, without a doubt.

Are Villa Contenders or Pretenders? 

14 Oct 17

Now the season gets interesting, starting with this evening’s derby clash with Wolves.

How Long Should a Career Last? 

10 Oct 17

It’s International Week and everyone is looking for a news story.

The Villa Way, 1874~1944 

8 Oct 17

“The Story of What Made Villa Special” From the very words of George Ramsay, Fred Rinder and other early architects and supporters of the great Club, published in newspapers of long ago, this book brings to light the character …

One Year After… 

4 Oct 17

On October 12, Steve Bruce will celebrate his first year in managerial charge at Aston Villa.

Match Day: Aston Villa vs. Bolton Wanderers 

30 Sep 17

It’s been a rather fun week as far as football goes.

Match Thread: Burton vs. Aston Villa 

26 Sep 17

Tonight, Villa chase a third successive league victory on the heels of 3-0 and 2-1 wins against Barnsley and Nottingham Forest.

Match Preview: Aston Villa vs. Nottingham Forest 

23 Sep 17

I love the Villa.

Carabao Cup Preview: Aston Villa vs. Middlesbrough 

19 Sep 17

Cup ties haven’t been much to look forward to for Villa the last several years.

Barnsley 0-3 Aston Villa: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly 

17 Sep 17

Villa returned to winning ways Saturday with a 3-0 win away to Barnsley.

Match Preview: Barnsley vs. Aston Villa 

16 Sep 17

Oh, what a brutal week that was.

And Now For The Plus Points… 

13 Sep 17

It’s a curious thing that over 100 years ago if there was one criticism due to the formidable Villa sides of those days, it was that they failed to convert enough chances into goals.

Aston Villa vs. Middlesbrough: Match Thread 

12 Sep 17

Well, we know it’s a big game tonight as Gary Monk’s Middlesbrough come calling.

Aston Villa 0-0 Brentford: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly 

11 Sep 17

A frustrating afternoon saw Villa rather improbably keep a clean sheet while failing to offer virtually any threat, and the resulting 0-0 draw against visiting Brentford was a let off.

Are Villa Serious? A Match Preview, of Sorts 

9 Sep 17

Football is a game, right? Although it might be heresy to say football is “just” a game.

Has The Real Nature Of The Footballer Changed in Over 100 Years? 

1 Sep 17

As we’re entering a break I thought I’d pull out of the archives something that was a subject of contention at the Villa well over 100 years ago.

State of The Villa: Don’t Look Back 

27 Aug 17

There is an old saying, “time waits for no one”.

What’s Gone Wrong With Villa? 

25 Aug 17

So here we are, third game coming up to close out a week of revelations that’s seen Villa score—score, not concede—eight goals in two games.

Match Preview: Aston Villa vs. Wigan Athletic 

22 Aug 17

Football, it seems, never sleeps: weekend matches, weekday fixtures, cup ties, internationals.

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Aston Villa 4-2 Norwich City 

19 Aug 17

A huge sigh of relief all round as Villa showed signs of life, attacking intent, and more than enough finishing to see off the visiting Canaries 4-2.

Norwich, Bruce, and I Like Toasting Things 

19 Aug 17

So here we are.

Reading Run Circles Round Villa: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly 

16 Aug 17

You watched it one way or another.

Reading vs. Aston Villa: Match Thread 

15 Aug 17

Well, obligations have prevented me from getting a preview up for this one.

Alarm Bells Ringing After Cardiff Thrashing: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly 

12 Aug 17

Aston Villa traveled to Wales for their first away match of the young Championship season, and were dismantled by a rampant Cardiff City side who will be shocked they only won by three.

Bacuna, Colchester & Cardiff 

12 Aug 17

Interesting week, overall.

Aston Villa 1-1 Hull City: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly 

6 Aug 17

What seemed like a very short close-season came to an end yesterday as Villa hosted relegated Hull City in the first game of a crucial campaign.

Aston Villa vs. Hull City: The Season of Truth Kicks Off Now 

5 Aug 17

As usual, I’m a bit behind the curve in getting out previews and the like.

Shuffling the Deck…Chairs? 

1 Aug 17

You go on vacation for a few days, and Nathan Baker leaves, along with Aaron Tshibola and Jordan Veretout.

The Only Way Now Is Up. Isn’t It? 

26 Jul 17

Well, is this the season when we will see the Villa Pheonix rise out of what were truly ashes? Will this be the end of nearly 20 years of developing misery for Villa supporters, punctuated only by the false dawn and excitement with the appearance…

Villa’s Cup Runneth Over: The Good, Bad & Ugly 

23 Jul 17

Not really sure where they got the name for this little competition, maybe it has a bit better ring to it in German, but it’s an interesting format, and given that substitutions usually make for two sides playing a full 90 anyway, I thought…

Villa Getting Older…But Better? 

20 Jul 17

I was going to belatedly opine about the Walsall match—in brief, why would anyone expect anything but a bore draw when playing 4-5-1 with Gabby as your 1—but events, as they often do, supersede the best-laid plans.

Shrewsbury-Aston Villa Match Thread 

15 Jul 17

Right, here we go, Terry’s first appearance in claret and blue, Veretout starting, and Johnstone back in goal.