Tag Archives: Aston Villa

Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane on the Same Page with Winter Loans

By Ryan Fleming

Their moves back to the Premier League are more than to keep their fitness up. Their moves now pin supporters’ hopes on the backs of these once greats. Theirry Henry and Robbie Keane are in their own respects, two different players with more things in common than one would think.

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Stephen Ireland continues to fall from great heights

Stephen Ireland enjoying his Christmas with his girlfriend a little too much. (Courtesy twitter)

 By Kevin Koczwara

Trouble and controversy follow Stephen Ireland. The Aston Villa midfielder stirred more controversy after his girlfriend posted a picture on twitter of him lounging, smoking and drinking shirtless on Christmas day. The once promising midfielder no longer seems to find himself in the headlines for the right reasons. Instead of making headlines with his play on the field, he makes the back pages for his inconsistency and poor choices.

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Eric Lichaj needs to succeed at Leeds

Elland Road (picured) is one of England's most storied stadiums, and Lichaj will be able to get more first team playing time at Leeds United in the second half of the season rather than sitting out at Aston Villa. Leeds United is one of England's most stories clubs. (Courtesy Auz Flickr)

By Kevin Koczwara

Eric Lichaj found himself in a tough situation at Aston Villa this year. The 22-year-old American defender began making his way into the first team and establishing himself as a young defender to watch in the English Premier League early in the season.

Lichaj started fighting for a spot on the first team because of inconsistent play from Luke Young, Ciaran Clark, and Stephen Warnock. Then Gerard Houllier took the vacant position as the club’s long-term manager and replacement for Martin O’Neil. Houllier brought in Kyle Walker from Tottenham on loan to play right back for Villa, making Lichaj a surplus to requirements. The American has been given a way to get back on track, a chance to catapult his carrier back on the fast track, with a loan move to Leeds United for the second half of this season.

The move to Leeds for Lichaj could be a real boost for his young career, even if he isn’t getting playing time in the Premier League. The American is getting a chance to play for a club fighting back from some hard times in the Championship.

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Time is right for Michael Bradley move to Aston Villa

Michael Bradley's loan move from the Bundesliga in Germany to the English Premier League will help the player keep growing and it will be another challenge for the American midfielder.

By Kevin Koczwara

Michael Bradley made the best of his chances in Germany with Borussia Monchengladbach, but right now, as Gladbach sit in last place in the Bundesliga, and Michael Fink’s arrival at the club on loan, Bradley needs to get out. Aston Villa signed the American midfielder on loan for the rest of the season. It’s about time he moves on and test his American spirit in the English Premier League, a league tailored to his style. .

Bradley will find himself in a similar situation at Villa to the one he leaves behind in Gladbach. Aston Villa is fighting the relegation battle too, but it has better prospects than its German counterparts. Things look brighter these days at Villa Park.

Gerard Houllier has the team fighting again. He has removed a few of the cancers in the side that were sleep-walking through the season (looking at you Stephen Ireland). The one piece Houllier is missing, a hard-working and young holding midfielder who can break up an opponents attack and spring a counter-attack. He gets that missing piece with the arrival of Bradley.

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Time for Charlie Adam to move on from the Tangerine Dream

By Kevin Koczwara

Let’s just get it out of the way: Charlie Adam is the Premier League’s second best player this season. Nemanja Vidic is the best. Vidic has been the ever-present specter blocking the Manchester United net this season. He keeps that defense running, and the team clicking forward because his teammates knows the big Serbian’s got their backs. United would have been beaten by now if it weren’t for Vidic.

United should have lost to Tottenham just a week ago, but didn’t because Vidic defended with the fortitude of Fort Knox. If a ball came into the box, he cleared it away. If anyone tried to take him on, one-one-one, Vidic pushed them aside like he was playing against the Under-10 team. He’s been the backbone of the best team in the league – the only undefeated team – and the best player week in and week out for United. But Adam isn’t far behind.

The Blackpool ace carries the Tangerines midfield and spurs all of its attacks each and every game, making the impossible dream of avoiding relegation in the Premier League, closer to reality. He almost ended Vidic and Manchester United’s undefeated season with his inspirational play and darting corners yesterday. United stormed back from two down to win, 3-2, but Adam’s inspiration cannot be ignored because mighty United pulled off another Sir Alex Ferguson special.

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Bent move makes sense now and Arsenal setting up title challenge

Darren Bent's exspensive move to Aston Villa was highly criticized, but it proved to be the right move last weekend. Bent's goal sealed an important win for Villa over Manchester City. (Courtesy Bad English Flickr)

By Ryan Fleming

It makes you think that maybe, just maybe these managers know what they are doing. A week after acquiring £24 million man Darren Bent from Sunderland, Aston Villa not only played with Manchester City, but beat them thanks to Bent’s first-half strike, not to mention impeccable keeping from American international Brad Friedel.

Personally, I have a soft spot for Sunderland, so after seeing him go, and the way it all happened, I was rather disgusted to see that outcome, but it got me thinking.

Perhaps Gerard Houllier does know what he is doing and maybe Steve Bruce, despite losing his No. 1 scoring threat can still get things done. Aston Villa had to dig deep, but they picked up Bent to assure that the club would remain above the relegation zone. My initial thoughts were skeptical. How could one player ensure that a club doesn’t go off the deep end and begin next season in the Championship? At least for now, the ex-Liverpool manager is looking pretty smart.

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Darren Bent move to Aston Villa could leave Sunderland lacking attacking punch

Darren Bent's proposed move to Astonv Villa would be his fourth transfer in England. (Courtesy Vic. T.)

By Ryan Fleming

If rumors of Sunderland’s and Darren Bent’s demise … I mean, change of paths are true, then I am utterly confused – sort of. After handing in a written request to manager Steven Bruce, Bent showed his desire at moving away from the Stadium of Light and on to bigger and better things. Really? Not quite.

Aston Villa have reported offered somewhere between £18 million and £24 million for the England international. The move makes complete sense for Villa, a team struggling against relegation zone and are as inconsistent as weather in New England. With the move for Bent, Villa are showing, to its supporters at least, that the team’s dedication to success can no longer be questioned and the fight not only against relegation, but to make an impression in the second half of the season, is on.

In regards to Sunderland, the move really doesn’t make much sense at least in the short term. Despite being managed by one of the best in the English Premier League, Bruce’s side has also struggled with inconsistency, especially as of late. Sunderland were embarrassingly shown the door out of the FA Cup by League One side, Notts County, after defeating Blackburn 3-0 and Villa 1-0.

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Omar Cummings deserves chance at Aston Villa on loan to prove himself

Aston Villa is in search of a dynamic player that can ease the pain off of Gerard Houllier's injury plagued squad for the second half of the season. Omar Cummings of the Colorado Rapids could be just the type of player Houllier is looking for. (Courtesy Ben Sutherland)

By Kevin Koczwara

Aston Villa fans haven’t had much to cheer for this season. Former boss Martin O’Neil resigned a few weeks before the season started. James Milner sold his soul to the devil, Manchester City, after being the team’s brightest spark last year. Injuries have rampaged through the squad and tested a young and inexperienced bench from the start. Now, Villa sits just two points from the drop zone and a desperate need to turn things around.

With a desperate need for goals, Villa boss Gerard Houllier may look to Major League Soccer for a short-term answer if transfer funds are tight this January. It is believed that Houllier is interested in signing a short-term loan deal for Colorado Rapids forward Omar Cummings if the two teams can agree on a deal. Houllier will look for Cummings to bring some pace into his slogging squad that has been hampered by injuries to players like Ashley Young.

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Angel Casts Doubt on Future

New York Red Bulls striker Juan Pablo Angel recently suggested he is unlikely to return to the MLS club next year. (Photo Courtesy RedBullNY_049)

By Michael King

It seemed like an innocuous question. Something closer to standard in-studio fare than a probing inquiry –  just there to fill the void between halves on ESPN during Tuesday’s United States-Columbia exhibition match.

But when former U.S. defender and prominent ESPN soccer personality Alexi Lalas asked fellow half-time analyst Juan Pablo Angel if he planned to return to the New York Red Bulls next season, the midfielder responded with a surprising and puzzling, “I probably won’t.”

ESPN’s rapid move to cram in a few more commercials before the start of the second half prevented further questioning. Continue reading

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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading — August 31, 2010

Manchester City broke the transfer record fee in England when they signed Brazilian forward Robinho from Real Madrid just two seasons ago. But the little playmaker has been a flop in the Premier League and had to be loaned out last summer to his boyhood club Santos for the season. Could he be on his way out of Manchester for good today?

The Washington Post – Bob Bradley to remain with U.S. National Team – Steven Goff

After leading the United States Men’s National Soccer Team to the Round of 16 in this summer’s World Cup, Bob Bradley has signed a four-year extension that will likely make him the leader of the USMNT for another World Cup. Bradley, who took over following Bruce Arena’s dreadful performance as manager in the 2006 World Cup, had been connected with the job atop England Premier League club Aston Villa, but he agreed to terms with U.S. Soccer on Saturday night. German national Jurgen Klinnsman, who has lived in California for years, was rumored as Bradley’s replacement.

The Guardian – van Persie likely out of a month – David Hynter

Arsenal fans worried that Saturday’s match at Blackburn was going to be more of the same – a loss or a draw instead of what should have been an easy three points. While the Gunners defeated Blackburn, 2-1, Arsenal fans did see a familiar sight, as van Persie left with an ankle injury. It is likely the Dutch international will miss at least one month due to the injury, which rules him out of European Championship qualifiers for the Netherlands and Champions League matches with Arsenal.

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