The Duke of Cambridge, a well known Aston Villa fan, has been doing his bit for the club, promoting the Villa during the opening of the new FA Football Centre in Burton-on-Tren tin the Midland’s. He joked with youngsters present at the complex, asking if there were any Villa fan’s amongst them. When a schoolboy replied ‘Yes,’ the Duke quipped, “You’re a Villa fan? Good man.”
No Aston Villa players have been named in Roy Hodgson’s latest squad, but when the Duke was asked whether any would make the next one he diplomatically avoided the question, by returning ‘it’s not my decision.’
Paul Lambert is said to be interested in Celtic playmaker Kris Commons. The midfielder is enjoying a productive time up north with the green and white hoops, having scored 19 times in 66 games. Commons has played in England before but never in the top flight. The lure of a crack at the Premiership may be too much to ignore for the 29 year old. His creativity might just be the tonic that Villa’s midfield needs? Villa are also thought to be interested in 23 year old striker Charlie Austin. But will face competition fromNewcastle, for a player that has scored 15 goals in 12 games forBurnley.
Gordan Cowans suffered his first defeat of the season with the U21’s last night. Villa lost 2-1 to Newcastle. On the plus side however Graham Burke and Jordan Bowery continue to look bright. Burke scored and Bowery had a volley disallowed for offside.
Villa captain Ron Vlaar has admitted to being impressed with Ciaran Clarke’s performances so far this season. Although ‘Concrete Ron’ also admits that lot’s of hard work is still required to build a more formidable partnership with the youngster. "The partnership with Ciaran is good but I think we have to improve, for the team and for ourselves," he said.
Clarke’s displays this season have been enough to encourage Repulic of Ireland manager, Giovanni Trapattoni, to recall the Villa defender into the Irish set up. After being left out of recent squads, Clarke will want to take advantage of Ireland’s injury crisis and become a more prominent fixture in the aging Italian’s thought process.
Staying on the international front, Villa full back Eric Lichaj believes that fellow countryman, Brad Guzan, can become the number one keeper for both Villa and the USA. First the ‘Big Polar Bear’ will have to displace Everton’s Tim Howard.
image: © ell brown