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Summer transfers survey

Aston Villa Jul 20, 2014
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Lambert's last in charge?

Aston Villa May 9, 2014
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Kevin Hughes Aston Villa Posted by Kevin Hughes
4 days ago

Villa's new-look defence impresses

Andreas Weimann's second-half strike proved the difference as Aston Villa won 1-0 at Stoke on the opening day of the Premier League season.

Andreas Weimann's goal gave Villa a winning start to the new Premier League season, but it was his defensive colleagues who deservedly stole the headlines.

Villa's man of the match might have been Ron Vlaar, Philippe Senderos, Alan Hutton or Aly Cissokho. The truth was that all the members of Paul Lambert's new-look back four emerged from Saturday's 1-0 victory over Stoke with credit. No doubt there will be tougher times and bad days to come over the duration of the season, but this was an ...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa Posted by Kevin Hughes
7 days ago

Doom-mongers don't see the bigger picture

Aston Villa have been tipped for relegation under Paul Lambert this season, with the future ownership of the club uncertain as well.

"Either way, barring dramatic events inside the next fortnight, I fear Villa will be battling the drop. A sad state of affairs. They will struggle to stay up at this rate.'"

- Phil McNulty, chief football writer, BBC Sport, predicting a finish of 17th

"My other team to go down would be Aston Villa -- I just don't think they've bought well enough so far."

- Matt Le Tissier, "Soccer Saturday" football expert

"Their squad and recent form suggest it will be a serious struggle for them."

- ITV Footb...

7 days ago

New season brings fresh optimism for Stoke

Stoke City get their Premier League campaign underway at home to Aston Villa on Saturday. Mark Hughes' men did the double over the Midlands side last season.

It's difficult to describe to those who don't follow football the loneliness of the summer break and the sense of excitement and anticipation that builds with every passing day until the big kickoff. Some of them have asked whether I had any plans this weekend and my response was simple: football.

Such was the predictability of the previous regime, fans would not only know the team weeks or months in advance but would also have a good idea how the season itself would pan out. The good early sta...

 Posted by Iain Macintosh
Aug 11, 2014

Predicting The Premier League

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Paul Mariner discuss the difference that Cesc Fabregas will make at Stamford Bridge this season.

The new season is almost upon us, but how will it play out? We asked Iain Macintosh, but we rather regret that now.

AUGUST

Louis van Gaal inspires Manchester United to opening day victory over Swansea by threatening to make Tom Cleverley run a marathon for every misplaced pass.

Brendan Rodgers calls a team meeting for Liverpool and ceremonially marks down the name of the player who he believes will let him down this season. Unfortunately, he gives the name away when he is seen mouthing the sylla...

 Posted by Rory Smith
Aug 8, 2014

Villa's 'code of conduct' highlights growing gap between clubs and fans

The ESPN FC crew previews the Villans' season as they hope to avoid flirting with relegation for a fifth consecutive year.

It is the sort of story that gets lost in the frenzy of the summer but it is a good one, and well worth revisiting. After all, it says just as much about the state of modern football as clubs lavishing huge salaries on mediocre players or fans despairing because their team have yet to squander a king's ransom on a striker they saw twice during the World Cup but who now ranks as their only viable saviour.

The story, as reported by the Birmingham Evening Mail, was this: Aston Villa, a team tryi...

Aug 6, 2014

Lessons learned from Villa's preseason

The ESPN FC crew previews the Villans' season as they hope to avoid flirting with relegation for a fifth consecutive year.

Villa's preseason has been a mixed bag in terms of results, earning victories over Mansfield, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo and Walsall; while suffering defeats to Chesterfield and Groningen. At this time of year, with manager Paul Lambert taking the opportunity to use as many of his players as possible, the true state of the team can be difficult to interpret. Nevertheless, there are notable lessons we can learn from Villa's preseason so far.

Out with the new, in with the old

Lambert wasn't merel...