Good morning, all. I trust the first weekend of worldwide soccer treated you all well. In case you didn't hear, Birmingham are continuing their downward quest with an opening-weekend loss to a Derby County side who finished 19th in the Championship last year. But we're here for Aston Villa, and while the news is sparse, I've collected a few links for you that I've found interesting this morning. Enjoy!
- Mat Kendrick dishes out his grades for the Aston Villa players after their match with Portuguese side Braga this weekend. I point this out as much to remind you that you should follow Mat Kendrick's writing as anything else.
- In another Birmingham Mail piece, we get further news of the injuries affecting James Collins and Darren Bent. What I find really interesting here is that Collins injured himself on Friday and thought he'd be fine, while Alex McLeish says it was just a flare up due to the intensity of training. I won't worry until the real season starts, but I can't help being reminded of what Kirsten wrote last week. The upside is that both players may return for the Fulham match, and they won't have had to play in an international match during the week.
- The Telegraph has an amusing-ish season preview up. It's good for a quick read.
- Finally, if you didn't watch the Community Shield yesterday, you missed an absolute cracker of a goal. Some stunningly crisp passing set up a Nani goal for Manchester United that equalized the game. For full coverage, by Graham MacAree, check out the SBN StoryStream.