I seriously contemplated not doing this post today. Because, really: who cares? Aston Villa aren't even vaguely entertaining right now, and I'm sure that we could all find something more entertaining. Me? I'm hoping and praying that I don't have to go teach today. Whatever happens, Hurricane Sandy will be less painful than watching Villa was this weekend. But, let's get to the weekly wrap-up:
Just The Facts, Please
Form (Last 5): L D L L D
Results Last Week: Aston Villa 1-1 Norwich (EPL)
at Swindon Town (League Cup) - Tuesday, October 30, 2045 GMT, 1545 Eastern
at Sunderland (EPL) - Saturday, November 3, 1600 GMT, 1100 Eastern
at Stoke (U21 League) - Monday, October 29, 1930 GMT, 1430 Eastern
at Sunderland (U21 League) - Thursday, November 1, 1400 GMT, 900 Eastern
New Injuries Last Week:
- Charles N'Zogbia - knee ligaments (possibly out for 3+ weeks)
The Week That Was
- Do you remember Ireland's disastrous run in Euro 2012? You know, the one that showed us that Shay Given might be past his prime. Or the one that injured Richard Dunne? Well, we were all hoping that Dunne could come back soon, and that appears to be a false hope. Apparently Dunne may not be returning until "Christmas at the earliest."
- That's okay though, Aston Villa have got a really healthy squad, right?
Hahahahahahahaha. You're hilarious, rhetorical question asker. Charles N'Zogbia, who has looked... better (?)... this year has injured his knee ligaments and is out for what seems likely to be at least three weeks. I cannot be the only one who sees "knee ligaments" and thinks that three weeks is pretty optimistic.
- Despite being the team's best player and being left on the bench, Darren Bent says that he doesn't want a January transfer. Can we all agree that this is like giving a manager a vote of confidence? This simple article probably means a 95% chance of Bent leaving, right?
- Aston Villa are looking to reincorporate standing in the terraces at Villa Park. On the one hand: neat! On the other: this club can't even sell out the park as it is, why do they need more capacity?
- Midfielder Daniel Johnson has been loaned to Yeovil Town for a month.
- Did you get up early to watch this match? If so: all I have for you is pity. If not: jealousy. Rumor has it that footage of this match is being edited by the British government to be used as a new "humane" method of interrogation. Apparently the UN is investigating the decision, claiming to be dubious of the "humane" part of the claim.
- In case you think I am exaggerating, the match was terrible. Dour play by both sides (with the two goals being the lone moments of true excitement, and even they weren't all that stunning) coupled with some pretty rancid refereeing by Phil Dowd made for a match that was well-nigh unwatchable. Neither team could seem to string together anything and it looked a lot like a bunch of idiots running around on a pitch.
- Joe Bennett picked up his first yellow on a pretty nasty foul in the 29th minute. In the 52nd minute, however, he seemed to bump a Norwich player. Nothing that was card-worthy, but Phil Dowd disagreed and put Villa down to 10 men. It's hard to be happy with the team's performance, but were it not for the red, I feel like 3 points would have been in the offing.
- Benteke's goal was pretty nice, as he struck with his right foot which sent the keeper to Benteke's left while the ball went to his right. Take a look:
- The Norwich goal came on a - you will NEVER believe this - a corner kick. The Canaries took a very quick short kick and the Aston Villa defense was left standing around looking helpless while Wes Hoolahan sent in a cross to Michael Turner who deftly headed it past Brad Guzan.
- Don't blame Guzan though, there was nothing he could do about that goal, and for the rest of the match he was immense. Villa only have one point thanks to his heroic efforts in goal.
- You can find our coverage here.
- The WhoScored recap is here.
- As miserable as things have been, Aston Villa have two chances to turn them around this week. The best chance for a moral-building win comes in Tuesday's League Cup match at League One side Swindon Town. After the comeback win against Manchester City to keep this cup alive, a loss here would be crushing.
The real problem is that this is a match that Aston Villa should win. Sure, the win will feel nice, but I imagine it will be more relief than true joy. And if they lose? Prepare for the pitchforks.
- The weekend match is one that seems much less winnable. Sunderland haven't been amazing this year, but the match is at the Stadium of Light which is a pretty tough place to go into. I think a draw here would be perfectly acceptable.
Stick around, as we'll have news and coverage of the Villa happenings all week. Thanks, as always, for visiting, and Up the Villa!