There isn't too much news, but I can't tell you how happy I am to compile a links post that doesn't include transfer rumors. Those things are so obnoxious. But anyway, there is some wrapping up to do from yesterday's 3-1 defeat of Walsall. If you haven't read Aaron's recap, it's legitimately better than anything else I've come across today, so give it a look.
Stephen Ireland came limping out of the game last night, and has apparently done something to his hamstring, writes Mat Kendrick. The good news is that it doesn't appear to be too bad and Ireland is still slated to travel with the team to Hong Kong.
In even better news from that article, Alex McLeish is delightful. On his having to face the Villa fans in a game setting for the first time: "You’ve got to confront it you have to face it, some of the challenges in life you’ve either got the balls for it, or you’ve not."
- The Express and Star bring us a reiteration of the fact that McLeish wants to give the players a clean slate, especially Ireland and Stephen Warnock. What I find most interesting about this is how quickly I'm willing to go along. I abhorred Stephen Ireland last year. He might have been my least favorite non-Pires player. Yesterday, however, I was excited to see/hear him on the pitch. If McLeish wants to give him a go, who am I to complain?
- If you didn't notice this in the game recap comments, here are some highlights from yesterday.
- Finally, in a heartwarming story: Mat Kendrick brings us the tale of reserve-team keeper Benjamin Siegrist who is enamored of Shay Given. The reason? The Swiss national was the ball-boy for FC Basel when Newcastle came there to play. He apparently threw a ball to Given, who was nice in return. The story is worth a read.
I hope you all have a great weekend. And good luck surviving in this hellish weather to any of my fellow East Coasters!