Birmingham news and blogs Saturday 18 November 2017
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Aston Villa Life

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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.

Do the Numbers Add Up Yet? 

9 Jul 17

So Villa are coming back from Portugal.

Signing-off On A Great 50 Years 

7 Jul 17

And, lastly, here’s a transcript of an article by one of Villa’s fine foot-soldiers of the 1920s, Arthur Dorrell, Villa’s left-winger and son of a former Villa player of the 1890s.

Interviewing Fred Rinder 

30 Jun 17

The following is a transcript of an interview of the then Villa chairman Fred Rinder, in the week preceding the 1924 Cup Final, by a senior member of the Athletic News, a foremost journal of that time which existed until 1930.

McGregor’s Tales Of Villa On Tour In Scotland 

24 Jun 17

This week’s article is of lighter vein! The following is another article written in 1902 by William McGregor, in which he tells various tales of his times on tour with the Villa in Scotland during the 1880s.

John Terry: Finally the Right Kind of Villan? 

21 Jun 17

Well, the rumor mill is in full spin now, and naturally, the big preoccupation out there for looming incomings concerns one John Terry, a man not necessarily beloved by Villans.

William McGregor On The Need To Practise 

17 Jun 17

The following is a substantial extract from an article written in 1902 by William McGregor, the ‘Father of the League’: the founder of league football.

Howard Spencer on Method (Part Two) 

11 Jun 17

The following is the second and final part of an article written around 1905 to 1907 by Howard Spencer, who was the Villa captain between 1902 and 1907, in-between John Devey and Joe Bache.

Bring It In for a Hug, Guys 

8 Jun 17

So we’re still in click-bait limbo before the window opens and new kit leaks have been making the rounds.

Howard Spencer on Method (Part One) 

3 Jun 17

The following is the first part of an article written around 1905 to 1907 by Howard Spencer, who was the Villa captain between 1902 and 1907, in-between John Devey and Joe Bache.

Times Remembered 

27 May 17

I am in the act of writing a book on the Villa that has called upon a great deal of newspaper research on-line, and the downloading of many articles in their pristine state, requiring scanning and processing through Optical Character Recognition…

The Art Of Captaincy 

22 May 17

I am in the act of writing a book on the Villa that has called upon a great deal of newspaper research on-line, and the downloading of many articles in their pristine state, requiring scanning and processing through Optical Character Recognition…

Villa’s Summer of Truth Is Upon Us 

18 May 17

Tony Xia talking recently about financial considerations, FFP, and a team coming together rather than throwing indiscriminate sums around in search of a solution can’t help but make a person recall the broad optimism that greeted Randy Lerner…

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Aston Villa 1-1 Brighton and Hove Albion 

9 May 17

Aston Villa sent Newcastle down once, and now they’ve helped Newcastle to a championship by digging in a man down to claw back a well-deserved 1-1 draw against league-leading Brighton and Hove Albion.

Do Villa Have Anything to Say Today? 

7 May 17

So here we are.

Is Steve Bruce In Over His Head? 

4 May 17

The headline might seem a bit of a wind-up.

The Memories Of A Remarkable Villa Fan 

2 May 17

I have the pleasure of knowing John Flanner, a remarkable Villa fan.

Match Preview: Blackburn Rovers vs. Aston Villa 

28 Apr 17

This week we take on another relegation-threatened side in Blackburn Rovers, currently sitting 22nd on 45 points, two behind Small Heath.

The Return Of The Cult Hero? 

26 Apr 17

Where once alchemy was regarded as the means towards the creation of gold, the invention of football generated a new means of obtaining gold: the football hero! Yes, for one game at least, Gabby has achieved cult status with his near-cameo…

Some Wins Are Bigger Than Others: Aston Villa 1-0 Small Heath 

24 Apr 17

A happy day at Villa Park, Sunday, as Villa, and Gabby yet again, put one over on Small Health Alliance, giving the supporters a measure of satisfaction and joy you can’t really get from any other single fixture.