There isn't too much news in the world of Aston Villa today, unfortunately. Is anyone else getting anxious to see the team make some sort of move? Any move at all? I understand due diligence and all that jazz, but boy do I want something new to read about. That said, there are a few interesting things out there today, so let's get right to them.
It appears that Liverpool pundits and fans at least realize the value they'd be getting out of Stewart Downing, should a move occur. James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo gives us a column that is interesting not for what is contained in it (we know it already), but rather for the attitude it shows. If we can get 20 million and a player for Downing, it would be hard for me to be mad. At this point, I feel like anything will be win-win. If Liverpool refuse to pay well over market value, we get to keep a superb wing player. If they do pay, we've got money to spend elsewhere.
While we're talking Downing, be sure to have a look at Aaron's take on the matter from yesterday.
Alex McLeish has apparently "thrown down the gauntlet" at Fabian Delph and "challenged" him to play up to his contract. You can read stories about this here, here, or here, but there isn't anything too earth-shattering there. Instead, I'd like to comment on what a trash job the papers have done of reporting this.
To read the headlines, you'd think there had been some sort of confrontation, and that McLeish was angry. In one, Delph is labeled as a "misfit," and while that is technically true (he is often not fit to play), it's absurdly misleading and outside of the normal usage of that word. If you can get past the headlines and read the quotes, you realize McLeish is pretty much saying "Boy, it'd be great if he were injury-free and got a chance to play." So he plans on giving a promising young player a chance to prove himself in the preseason. In other news, humans have been forcing unwitting oxygen into their lungs without the atom's consent.
Finally, I'll leave you with an excellent essay by Sam Fayyaz about national and team style. It piqued my interest for a few reasons, but mostly because I thought it could be a good starting point for a conversation that attempts to figure out what, exactly, Aston Villa's style is. Does the team have an historic style? The Villa I know is pace-focused with a "strong" counterattack up the wings. But I can't imagine it's always been this way. Thoughts, anyone?