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Claret & Blue Blood #32


ChrisVillan
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ChrisVillan sank into his hoodie in the Trinity Road stand when Everton went 2-0 up and hasn't been heard from since. After weeks of trying, the cleaners at Villa Park finally dragged the sulking miserable sod out of his seat and, after a cup of tea and a bostin' chicken balti, he's back in action.

Remember the last time Villa won? You know, that time we picked up three points by scoring more than our opposition? Nah, me neither. I heard a rumour that there were a few this calendar year, but they've slipped my mind completely.

When, Villa? WHEN!?

Villa's slump in form quickly evolved from an irritant to a frustration to a real concern. A run of this length can't be seen as a fluke of the fixture list, starting the season in July or a "dip". It highlights real frailties in the footballing side of the club and those concerns must focus squarely on one Martin O'Neill. Something I've said about Arsene Wenger in the past is that it's all well and good being a great manager when things are going well, but if you can't drag the players out of a rut there's sod all point in being there.

Regardless of management, this hideous run will come to an end - and most likely before the end of the season. The question is...when?! For some unknown, unfathomable reason I was utterly convinced this was going to be against West Ham United. I just knew as we walked up to Villa Park that a win was on the cards. I could see no other outcome, but I didn't factor in our appalling defence, their complete lack of protection from the midfield and our inability to score goals. Silly me.

That said, it's coming. On Monday (that's Monday, Jez), we'll beat Hull. Just you watch.

Barry's 'calm summer'

Liverpool midfielder Gareth Barry, currently physically on loan at Aston Villa while his brain is AWOL, has expressed his wish for a 'calm summer'. This is a neat indication that he already has a firm grasp on the famous scouse victim complex, and conveniently ignores the fact that the turmoil suffered by Barry last summer - and surely coming his way again this year - was his own sodding fault.

Barry seems to actually believe that he's within his rights to demand a move, slag off his manager and annoy the fans despite being under contract to Aston Villa Football Club. Randy Lerner and Martin O'Neill were and are under no obligation to sell him just because he fancied a move. He took his new contract and bought his shiny new Aston Martin, now he has to...drive it.

So, if Barry wants a calm summer there are two possibilities. First - and this is my preference - is we sell him to Liverpool and replace him with better for less money. And let's be honest, that's probably possible. But if Barry really wants a quiet summer (and that makes the rather dangerous assumption that he's not just relaying player-code for "let me go without a fight"), he should sign a new contract and STFU. Ain't gonna happen.

The only person responsible for Gareth Barry's tumultuous last twelve months is Gareth Barry. And now he's ditched his scumbag agent, he's got nobody behind whom to hide when the same old crap comes out at the end of May.

Martin's Old Firm faux-pas

Martin O'Neill has irked Villa fans this week by sharing his one-eyed view on the Premier League's possible invitation to Celtic and Rangers. Obviously Martin is fond of Celtic, and that's fine. But his personal opinion should remain unsaid if he wishes to support a proposal which damages Aston Villa, the club which pays his wages, and also - even more worryingly - damages football in this country and in Scotland irreparably.

I'm going to give Aston Villa the benefit of the doubt here and assume Martin's opinion does not represent that of the club. To re-state my position on this, if Celtic and Rangers join any part of the English league system, I will chop up my Villa season ticket and buy one at Tooting & Mitcham United instead. The Premier League continues to take the game away from the fans, and I think this will be the final straw for many.

And if Villa supports it, I'd be thoroughly ashamed.

The Angel of New York

Six weeks into the 14th Major League Soccer season, and it's time to catch up with our Pablo. Juan Pablo Angel started slowly with New York Red Bulls this season, but has begun to find the net. He grabbed his second of the season last Sunday in the Red Bulls' home defeat to DC United (hurrah!) and is beginning to get up to speed despite his side's pretty woeful form.

CV's MLS Betting Tip of the Week

I had no luck with my MLS bet last week, which is just typical of claret and blue luck. But with JPA netting against DC, I'm going to plump for a result bet on NYRB's game against Los Angeles Galaxy this weekend. The draw is 9/4, and Galaxy without a win this term but having only been defeated once, it looks a good one to go for.

Don't forget to follow me and me (VT) on Twitter. Up the Villa.

ChrisVillan

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and this is my preference - is we sell him to Liverpool and replace him with better for less money. And let's be honest, that's probably possible.

Let's be honest that's not possible at all. Barry's max. Transfer value this summer would be £10m given he has only a year left on his deal. No chance of getting better than him for that price.

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and this is my preference - is we sell him to Liverpool and replace him with better for less money. And let's be honest, that's probably possible.

Let's be honest that's not possible at all. Barry's max. Transfer value this summer would be £10m given he has only a year left on his deal. No chance of getting better than him for that price.

Not if we only look in the Premier League.

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Barry is quality, we've seen it for years. He gave us a decent seaon this year even though i was sure his head wouldn't be in it. If he wants to go this summer, let him, take the cash and lets replace him. Lets build for next year. Who can replace him? Who do we need to get to bolster the back line???

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