Villa Blog

Sleeping Giant Aston Villa Is Back

With a sleeping giant awakening and a young lad called Jack in the script, you could be forgiven for thinking this was some sort of fairy tale. In fact, the only tales told in this region come from our neighbours who constantly live in our shadows.

Sleeping giant Aston Villa is back. We return to the premier league this weekend after a three-year absence. But we are not just back for a trip down memory lane, and neither are we back just to make the numbers up. We are in it to win it.

Our owners have ploughed significant investment into the club, and that may increase further by the time 5 pm Thursday comes around. Call it pr or fancy sound bites, but the noises and the rhetoric coming out of B6, indicate we aim to do more than just achieve survival this season.

So the million-dollar question is, what can Aston Villa realistically achieve this season and what do the fans think is plausible in our first season back in the Premier League?.

It’s hard enough consolidating when you already have a core group of players that you only need to add too. We never had that luxury, so it’s hard to say with any certainty how this season will pan out. It will come down to how good our recruitment has been. And Dean Smith’s ability to mould them into a team.

The Sleeping Giants Pre-Season

There is a real belief amongst the fan base that we can achieve much more than just survival. Pre-season has gone well, and the football that’s been on display has been encouraging. No more than on Saturday when we took the scalp of RB Leipzig. It was anything but a pre-season friendly, and there were plenty of feisty challenges. And without a doubt our most testing fixture to date.

The positives are we came through it, albeit thanks to some world-class goalkeeping heroics from Tom Heaton who made his debut. This result may have dispelled fears amongst some of the fan base that we could struggle this season. But we shouldn’t get carried away too much on the back of this win. To throw some perspective on our survival chances this season. Huddersfield also won at Leipzig 3-0 last August.

The Premier League

The premier league is renown for the quality of players it attracts and for that reason, it’s something of an elite and unforgiving league. RB Leipzig might be a Champions League club. But if they played in the Premier League, they wouldn’t be. But I wouldn’t put them down as relegation strugglers either. So on that basis, if we can be reasonably consistent, we should be fine.

If I am honest, I would like to see some more pace in our final third, and a big target man, a proper CF, come in. We certainly have goals in us from all over the pitch, which is encouraging. But I think the final piece of the jigsaw is still missing and that is a recognised No9.

First Game – Tottenham Away

They don’t come much harder than this on an opening day. I would take a point now, but Dean Smith wants three every game. What a change to the old rhetoric we used to here churned out. Not many teams will come away from spurs with points this season. They need no introduction they have one of the best coaches in Europe.

They also have real quality throughout their team. On top of that, Spurs were last years Champions League finalists. So other than going to the Ethiad or Anfield on an opening day, it couldn’t get much harder. Probably an ideal time to play them and who knows, we may catch them cold. It’s painful to see how they have progressed, given where we both were a decade ago. But it should provide us with real hope going forward now that we have ambitious owners.

Aston Villa Team

In terms of senior players who are still at the club from our relegation season, Only Super Jack Grealish the man, not the boy and Jed Steer remain.

Goalkeepers

Tom Heaton is our new No 1 for me, sorry Jed you did wonders last season, and without your heroics, we would not have returned to the pinnacle of top-flight football in England. But it’s about levels, but you still have a massive part to play in Villa’s future, but for now, Tom is the best man for the job.

Right Back

Frederic Guilbert is our new right-back and although I initially had doubts about him stepping up. He’s been very impressive; what a find he was, whoever found him deserves a pay rise. So Ahmed Elmohamedy will have to wait his chance to get a sniff and then grab it with both hands if he’s to dislodge our young French man.

Left Back

Matt Targett is our new left-back he’s looked pretty solid during pre-season, So he gets the nod for me ahead of Neil Taylor who improved massively under Dean Smith last season.

Centre backs

Where do I start my partner preference, I guess.
It’s got to be Tyrone Mings and our newest centre back arrival Björn Engels. With the other three James Chester, Ezri Konsa, and Kourtney Hause pushing them.

Defensive Midfielder

Oh wow, something of a puzzle this one, I know very little about our new two additions Douglas Luiz and Marvelous Nakamba. Other than what I have seen from scout and youtube videos I have no idea about their qualities. Given what I have seen I would pick Douglas Luiz ahead of Marvelous. But I will be delighted to be proved wrong by Marvelous. Neither in my opinion are going to be match fit for Tottenham, so Conor Hourihane starts that game, even though he’s not a Defensive Midfielder. How do you leave Conor out?.

Central Midfield

This area picks itself at present, Super Jack Grealish alongside Super John McGinn.

Wingers

On his pre-season form, Jota has to start on the right-wing. There has been an excellent little partnership developing between him and Frederic Guilbert on the right-hand side.

El ghazi gets the nod on the left at the minute. Again he’s struck up an understanding with Matt Targett on the left-hand side.
Trezeguet can be a sub, for now, as we saw at Leipzig having quality come off the bench makes all the difference.

Striker

Wesley at the minute who else?, we know he’s not an out and out goalscorer, he’s not your typical No9 he’s more a second striker. But he does hold the ball up well, and similar to Jack, he takes more than one player away. Which, in turn, creates space for our other players to exploit.
Kodjia, for now, can play sub.

Subs

Kodjia, Taylor, Elmo, Chester, Marvelous, Davis, Trezeguet.

Obviously, between now and the close of the transfer window, I may change my mind on the starting 11, and subs, what with me being an indecisive sort of bloke it generally happens hourly anyway.

Season prediction

All I know is that since our Egyptian and American owners took control and started putting the structures in place to wake up the sleeping giant. Good things have been happening at Aston Villa. So I have no reason to doubt this will not continue.

What we witnessed last season does not happen by chance. For me, we started reaping the rewards of those very structures that were put in place. And it was only the start of an ambitious journey they’re taking us on. I believe in Dean Smith, and his brand of football and I think we will continue to improve under him this season.

I am looking at our chances without my rose-tinted claret and blue glasses on, or bias. We all know how difficult the premier league is, I have said all along I will take 17th place, and that remains the case. But because I genuinely believe something exceptional and unique is occurring down at B6.

I am bravely predicting a 12th place finish. The sleeping giant and once conquerors of Europe, the mighty Aston Villa are back. Some will say that’s a foolish and stupid prediction. Maybe, but there is nothing wrong with being positive at least until we have good reason to doubt.

Tottenham 1-2 Aston Villa

UTV

https://avfcvillablog.com

www.avfc.co.uk

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AVFCVillablog
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1 year ago
Begley
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Begley
1 year ago

Today is a memorable day for Villa fans. The 2019 / 20 Premier League season kicks off and Aston Villa is one of the 20 teams competing for the title.

Each of the 3 newly promoted teams have away fixtures with Norwich visiting the reigning Champions League holders this evening, Villa visiting the reigning Champions League runners up tomorrow even and Sheffield with a comparatively easy trip Bournemouth sandwiched in between. Realistically, I can’t imagine any of the respective fans expecting too much from their opening fixtures but there is a glimmer of hope for some.

I see absolutely nothing but a very convincing win to nil for Liverpool. The Blades are very unfortunate with their fixture against Bournemouth imo. This is one of the games they need to take points from if they want to stay in the PL and a few PL games under their belt before this one may have benefitted them.

As for the Villa, we have one of the most difficult fixtures possible, Spurs at The Tottenham Stadium. Only those with claret and blue tinted glasses can probably see anything other than a defeat but those of us that have watched and understood our transfer window and have also watched every minute of our preseason may feel that we won’t come away empty handed. A front 3 of ElGhazi, Wesley and Jota with Grealish, McGinn and Hourihane can create a goal against anyone. We have a top drawer keeper with two good CBs in front of him and out wide we have two proper full backs, something that has been missing for a while at Villa Park.

My head says to expect a loss but I really do believe we can get something out of this game and not just a point.

UTV and I am going to enjoy every minute of our PL adventure.

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

Only those with claret and blue tinted glasses can probably see anything other than a defeat but those of us that have watched and understood our transfer window and have also watched every minute of our preseason may feel that we won’t come away empty handed

Do you have access to my PC ??? Maybe i should publish my match post today before it becomes plagiarism

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

HaHaHaHa Fools etc.

Apologies if I have said something you are going to say. Feel free to delete if you want and I can post a reply to your match day post

AVFCVillablog
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1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

yes seldom differ – just uncanny similarity to my own thoughts buddy.
in fact i will have to go back and read my draft now ?

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

I had forgotten about Dybala to Spurs. I read that although a fee was agreed with Juve personal terms could not be agreed, in particular related to image rights. I don’t think that surprises anyone

Muz1
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Muz1
1 year ago

Anything from the Spurs game will be a bonus.
The game against Bournemouth will surely give us a bigger indication of how our season may pan out, as imo they will be one of the sides battling to avoid the bottom 3.

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  Muz1

The clean sheet will give the defence a bit of confidence and then a couple for Wesley, one for Jack and I think it would be good for Jota to get off the mark too. I would like to see the assists come from ElGhazi and Trezeguet.
Yes the Bournemouth game will give us a better indication of where we actually stand and where the bulk of our goals will come from. It is against a weaker team than Spurs and it is at home so a very convincing win will set us up nicely for the visit of the Toffees

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago

Josh Onomah went to Fulham in the deal that saw Ryan Sessegnon go the other way to Spurs, Levy finally managed to off loads him.

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago

James Bree has joined Luton Town on a season long loan.

Bree will link up with Graeme Jones at the Championship club, with the Hatters playing second tier football after earning promotions as champions.

The deal is subject to Premier League and EFL approval.

Good luck to James for the coming campaign.

I suspect this one is a late deal sheet has it was reported earlier in day

Muz1
Guest
Muz1
1 year ago

You have to laugh about it, less than 12 months ago we were on the brink of administration and wonders have been achieved in such a short time .
Back in the premier, spending £100+ million and still some find something to moan about before a ball has been kicked in anger, unbelievable !!!!

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago
Reply to  Muz1

Nothing surprises me anymore mate, as you say one year ago, Villa couldn’t afford to pay the tax bill and Jack Grealish looked like he was on his way to Spurs for peanuts, we’ve have had our best transfer window to date, and broken our transfer record and signed 12 players not loaned a few who will be going back.

Yet some fans are moaning, it wont belong before we see comments again like Smith Out he’s out of his depth ????? and if that deserved down the line fair enough, but anyone who slating the regime now is an absolute fcukin clown.

I was thinking maybe Damo needs to change is glossary especially the letter W and it’s meaning
comment image

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  Muz1

We only have 3 strikers for one position and one of those is Davis. There comes a time when you have to ask yourself what has Smith actually done for Villa? He inherited a great squad from Bruce and has won a few games in Feb / March. He is going through keepers quicker than BB goes through Guinness. It really is time for him to go. If he had honour he would step aside but unfortunately the incompetent CP is just sitting back, picking up his pay cheque and doing naff all. And where are NSWE during all of this?? Do they even know Aston Villa exists? Did we see any tweets from NSWE about Transfers?

Smith Out

{(-1 mgr 100%)+(+? 100%+5RB100%)=?)}

Muz1
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Muz1
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

Agree with almost all of that, but, ” he is going through keepers quicker than BB goes through Guinness ” ,sorry mate but I very much doubt that.

Vancouvervillan
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Vancouvervillan
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

lol

Vancouvervillan
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Vancouvervillan
1 year ago
Reply to  Muz1

Think a few are disappointed we didn’t sign Benrahma but that no doubt includes Smith !
TBH. we signed one of the best players from Brentford our very 1st signing, for peanuts in Jota.

You know it’s only going to get worse when we lose a few and struggle for a bit of form and that will happen this season.

Muz1
Guest
Muz1
1 year ago

Deano out, no new signings, only spent a paltry £130 million.
We are now relegation certainties and the owners sit by and watch it happen.
Any decent owners would have spent a minimum of £500 million by now with only the worlds best on the radar, they should join Deano on the way out of AVFC and sell to someone who will spend big.
Out, out, out.

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago

Aston Villa and Birkir Bjarnason have today mutually agreed to the termination of his contract with the Club.

The Icelandic international made 54 appearances and scored six goals after joining from FC Basel in January 2017.

The Club would like to wish BB the best of luck for the future.

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

I missed that one. WTF is the club thanking you for? Would have been nice to thank Thor for his service to the club.
I hope he gets a club, he shouldn’t have much problem in doing so, I think he has a lot to offer a team

Vancouvervillan
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Vancouvervillan
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

Just catching up
I wish Bjarnason & Bree best of luck
I am a little disappointed we didn’t sign anyone else today but hey we’ve done really well, amazing window.
Haven’t looked in on NKB yet but I can just imagine the negative comments from some.
Looking forward to Saturday, playing golf so will watch later on, hopefully you are all happy and drunk celebrating an away win by then !
UTV

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago

I can’t wait for Sat. So happy it is the televised Sky game of the day. The build talk will be interesting to hear what they make of our transfers

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago

I am glad we have tied McGinn down by giving him a well deserved new deal, it’s also a very shrewd move by the club, not only will it cost suitors a fortune to pries him away now, it also gives the new players an incentive and shows them that performances will be rewarded when deserved.

AVFCVillablog
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1 year ago

James Bree is on the verge of joining Luton Town on loan

jcv
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jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

thats a good move,both for him and the club.
another player that hasnt really stepped up

Vancouvervillan
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Vancouvervillan
1 year ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

Luton looked okay the game I saw the other day, they were trying to play good football, hope he fits in and does well with them .

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago
Begley
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Begley
1 year ago

BB, I see what u mean about Windmill, he is in overdrive with the negativity

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

Been like it for ages – looked at his profile if i had to hazard a guess someone reinvented themselves

jcv
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jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

David Lluiz has gone to Arsenal for £8 mill.

jcv
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jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

some on that blog sound so disappointed that we havent signed more players.
theres no pleasing some people.

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

I nearly want us not to sign anyone to see the meltdown LOL

AVFCVillablog
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1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

????? blew the budget – OMFG that is an insult to CP DS etc like they can’t even do simple maths – Hilarious but sad

jcv
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jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

Deano hero to villian in one day.LOL

AVFCVillablog
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1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

you just now that’s on the cards – they are just waiting loading the gun

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

100%

And everyone knows that we will have a few bad periods. The foundation is been laid for the ‘Smith Out’ towards the end of November

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

Really comical Fifa heads

jcv
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jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

dont some of our fans,not realise,that we have a decent squad now.
and that other players might be reluctant to come here to be a bench warmer.

jcv
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jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

LOL.

the NKB blog is getting more negative by the minute.
posters in despair that we didnt sign Maupay.
and not signing Benrahma.

theres only mintvilla talking any sense.
even ray has been stunned into silence.LOL

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

So DS has said we have finished our transfer business, it will be nice to draw a line under the window and focus on football ??

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

Yep – more or less in the first 30 seconds of presser classic decoy ???
Purslow having a chat with Augustine and Ben Yeddar agent i am assuming this is what fueled the media speculation
comment image

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

It could well be our way of telling clubs that we are not increasing our bids and if they want to sell their player then they know our price. Accept it or keep the player

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

My thoughts to be honest – It was a message to other clubs – you don’t throw towel in – has anything can develop late in window, a case of if they get back to us then their is business still to be done if not were happy to go with what we got, which aligns with his early comments about everything aligning it has to be right.

jcv
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jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

looks like spud has got his man.
Andy Carroll on a one year deal.?????

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

Charlie Austin to Baggies for 4m

jcv
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jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

that seems a good deal for West Brom.
and its reported that he has taken a huge pay cut.

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

I read on a Baggies board he was on 70k a week but that sounds like BS. I don’t this he will provide the goals Gayle did.

Vancouvervillan
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Vancouvervillan
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

All credit to him, it seems if he wanted a move and to play regularly he had to drop down a tier and take a pay cut, which he obviously had no problem with. I think in these days of overpaid prima donna types it’s commendable he obviously just wants to play football.

AVFCVillablog
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1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

Is that a done deal ?

jcv
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jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

yes mate

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

wow really surprised by this one

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

I’m sure he tried for Darren Anderton first ?

jcv
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jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

??????
or heskeyLOL

Vancouvervillan
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Vancouvervillan
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

Closest to pay as you play deal you’ll ever see by all accounts.
Probably more about improving PR for our friend than anything else, if he comes off the bench (if and when he gets fit) and scores a winning goal, Bruce will be a hero.

jcv
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jcv
1 year ago

Danny Drinkwater going to Burnley on a one year loan.
and chelsea paid £30 mill for him.wow

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

A good player in his day with Leicester but on mega money now. Also, lost his license for drink driving so maybe his head is not in the right place. I think Ross has played more football than Drinkwater in the last few years

jcv
Guest
jcv
1 year ago

good morning.

just checking,has Begley arrived for his medical.??

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

I am here, where is BB. I literally arrived home about 10 mins ago

Begley
Guest
Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

Scott Carson is currently having his medical at Manchester City ahead of a loan move from Derby County.

That’s a transfer I would never have predicted LOL

jcv
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jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

are you jet lagged.LOL

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

I am not too bad. I have had to dial into a bloody call for work, so I am on a call at the moment too ??

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

I am still wearing the same clothes as I was in Chicago yesterday, Went from meeting to airport in Chicago, flight to Dublin and then taxi home and straight into my office and online. I think I probably need shower

jcv
Guest
jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

last day of the window gossip.

Villa linked with saville striker Ben Yadder with a £29.5 mill bid.
also linked with Marcos Rojo man u defender.

true or false.
we wait and see.but i think its just another page warmer.

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

The links with defenders are baffling me a little. We have 3 RBs, 5 CBs, 2 LBs and 3 GKs. Our CBs can also cover our fullback positions. I just think we are well covered at the back to tackle a season in the PL.

Ben Yedder, is a lad I will admit I have never heard of. but 30m for a 28 year old striker suggests that he may be able to score a few goals. Sounds a high risk purchase at that age but one a positive I have read that he turned down a big money move to China as he wants to play football in Europe at a higher level. That’s a good sign I think

jcv
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jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

the thing is,the likes of him would prefer a move to a club thats in european football

Begley
Guest
Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

I would agree with that and particularly at age 28. If he signs a 3 or 4 year contract with Villa is it likely that he will be playing Champions League football in the next 3 or 4 years at B6?

jcv
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jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

i like your faith mate.?

Begley
Guest
Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

According to a report from L’Equipe (translated by GFFN), a €16m (£14.7m) bid from the Premier League side is on the table for Benrahma and Brentford are currently looking to bring in Saman Ghoddos as his replacement.

If we are ‘only’ offering 14.7m it is no wonder that this is dragging out. It is widely reported that Bees want 25m

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago

comment image

jcv
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jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

brilliant news.??

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

Yes, and a 5 year deal. Will cost someone 100m+ if they want him. Probably one of the key signings this window but will no doubt go under the radar a bit when people are moaning about us next season

Vancouvervillan
Guest
Vancouvervillan
1 year ago

BB have you read Damos lead post on NKB ?

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago

Yes He must think everyone suffers from memory loss, i did trawl through his archives once, just for my own sanity after he wrote the post about Smith’s being his Manager, i might add not till things were going well ???

Because I was convinced he had previously questioned Smith credentials prior to him becoming our new manager. his links to Walsall etc and about management levels.

Anyway i was right i found it among the archives articles in comments – in fact i think i even had a conversation with James about it at the time.

Given everything he had said about Bruce prior to posters i thought it was a bit rich so it stuck in my head to this day.

Begley
Guest
Begley
1 year ago

Love the way it is so easy to rewrite history for some people ??

It’s a real insult to the people who post on the NKB, he is basically telling everything they are stupid

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

you got through security ok then mate ???

Begley
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Begley
1 year ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

In taxi, just pulling up to the airport now. Still a chance I may be nabbed ??

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago
Reply to  Begley

I Forgot the time difference again

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago

West Bromwich Albion’s head of academy coach Ryan Maye is joining Mark Harrison’s at Aston Villa, where he will undertake the same role.

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago

After Aston Villa scouted far and wide for a striker named Var, they admitted defeat on deadline day and signed Bangkok wonder boy Sodit ??

jcv
Guest
jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

???????

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago

JCV with the amount of shots Villa will be firing this season maybe we will overtake America ?

jcv
Guest
jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

LOL

jcv
Guest
jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

Begley will have to start wearing body armour whenever he goes over there.

AVFCVillablog
Guest
1 year ago
Reply to  jcv

By the time airport security have finished his internal later he will have wished he had stopped at home????

jcv
Guest
jcv
1 year ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

??????????

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