Well, the international break probably came at a good time for Alan Pardew and United, VILLA PARKwith the ‘High Powered, Transfer Delegation’ that we read about, drawing a blank on the permanent signings front, there were some seriously disappointed Mags as the window closed and the awful statement, no doubt shoved under Pardew’s nose to sign in blood, did nothing to quell the discontent, but having 2 weeks with no action, and a distraction of SJP being the venue for Harper’s testimonial meant some of the sting has been taken out of things whilst the team prepared for Aston Villa.

What actually transpires between now and Christmas will either justify Ashley’s gamble – that being both; not increasing the budget and hiring the incompetent, fuckwit, JFK to negotiate transfers (if results go well) or, and probably more likely, cost Pardew his job (should the wheels fall off,) have no doubt about, when Pardew became complicit with the plans, any further, 6-0 humpings off Liverpool or defeats to Sunderland between now and the next transfer window, are on his head, and his potential excuse has been taken away.

So, on to Aston Villa, who I’m sure at one point in the past 7 years have been mooted as the plan for Ashley’s United to follow. However, those blue prints would have been used to light cigars with,            once they started spending big money on the likes of Milner, Downing, Bent N’Zogbia and the like…..

Last season’s fixture was a bit of a nerve shredder, never have I encouraged the referee to “blow that fucking whistle” quite as emphatically and enthusiastically as I did that night. The second half was torture, and from the moment their penalty went in, I’d have snapped your hand off for 40 mins of waterboarding! A similar result would be canny, perhaps without the strain.

Paul Lambert was well supported by his board in the summer and he brought in Lazio forward Libor Kozak for £7m. 2 defenders, Okore from Danish football (£4m) and Luna from Seville for £2m were fetched in as well as midfielder, Bacuna from Groningen and Bulgarian forward, Tonev. Bannon, Dunne, Delfonso, Bent and Holam all exited Villa Park either on loan or permanently.

They were handed a dreadful start to the season in terms of fixtures, but opened with a stunning 3-1 win at Arsenal. They were victims of Chelsea’s European success and had their fixture at Stamford Bridge rearranged but lost 2-1 just 4 days later, and in their first home fixture of the season they lost 1-0 to what looks like a handy Liverpool side. A routine 3-0 victory over Rotherham progressed then to round 3 of the league cup.

Charles N’Zogbia is out with an Achilles injury. Benteke has 4 goals and needs to be shackled.

Team News

The good news here is that some injuries have cleared up, you always suspect that this will be a short term situation but it gives us options for Saturday.

But, in my opinion, Pardew has a problem with Cabaye not getting his move, in his (and Tiote’s) absence, Anita and Sissoko have performed to decent effect in the centre of the park. Cabaye is a first choice player, but should we really be playing a player who’s heart’s not in it instead of a player who wants to be here? Its a conundrum for the manager to sort out. Also, what does he do with Steven Taylor? The common consensus is that he was stupid to get himself red carded at Man City, but with the exception of Morecambe, Yanga-Mbiwa has been part of a back 4 which has looked much improved. In his press conference, Pardew intimated that Remy is fit enough to start, so is that pressure on Cisse or is he considering 2 strikers away from home? Jonas Gutierrez is now claimed to be fit and Williamson and Obertan have returned to first team training.

I’d like him to put out a 4-3-3 and take the game to Villa.


Massadio Haidara – knee – no return date

Ryan Taylor – Knee – not expected back this year

Possible Team (4-3-3)

1.Krul: 2. Debuchy, 5. Yanga-Mbiwa, 6. Coloccini, 3. Santon: 8. Cabaye, 4.Sissoko,: 10. Anita:  7. Ben Arfa,  9. Cisse, 11. Remy:


Elliot, Shola Ameobi, S Taylor, Tiote, Gutierrez, Marveaux, Gouffran

Referee: Mike Dean

League History at Villa

1984/85 A fucking right good hiding, 4-0, hat trick for Paul Rideout. Ian Baird’s first game for us. In the team that day, Gary Megson, Malcolm Brown, Pat Heard and Baird, don’t know how we didn’t win the league!!

1985/86 Won 2-1 Beardsley and Gascoigne on the scoresheet for us, with Andy Gray on target for them. John Bailey’s fat arse squeezing into NUFC shorts for the first time

1986/87 2-0 defeat. Steve Hodge being a little, fat, shit, and scoring twice, Peter Jackson making his debut for the mags. Their relegation season!!

1988-89 Lost 3-1 with a Mirandinha penalty for us.

1993/94 won 2-0 Allen (pen), Cole “United are back” Cole’s 11th goal in 11 games.

1994/95 won 2-0 Lee, Cole. Robert Lee was fucking immense at this point in time

1995/96 drew 1-1 Ferdinand powering through the Villa defence to score

1996/97 drew 2-2 Shearer, Clark. Still in the aftermath of KK quitting

1997/98 won 1-0 Batty with a rare goal

1998/99 lost 0-1, Lee Hendrie pen

1999/00 Drunken Duncan superb header was enough to win it for us, 1-0

2000/011-1 a wicked Nobby Solano volley, cancelling out Dublin’s opener.

2001/02 1-1 Shearer turning in a goal mouth scramble .

2002/03 1-0 Shearer’s late header, away end going mental

2003/04 0-0. O’Brien sent off after 10 mins

2004/05 2-4 defeat, the game that done for SBR and we should have pissed it. Sorensen should have been sent off but went on to thwart us.

2005/06 2-1 win with only 10 men! Shola and N’zogbia with the goals, Babayaro seeing red.

2006/07 Lost 2-0. Juan Pablo Angel, couldn’t score in a brothel with a £50 note strapped to his cock, but he did against us.

2007/08 Lost 1-4. Another fucking shit performance followed immediately after by another X-rated horror show that is probably more fitting for Razzle than this high class publication (cough)

2008/09 Not one to relive, much worse than the relegation of 88/89 when we knew our fate weeks in advance

2010/11 0-1. James Collins header, one to forget

2011/12 1-1 Leon Best dug us out an equaliser to earn a point.

2012/13 2-1 win, Cisse and Cabaye had us in a comfortable position, Villa poisoned our half time lucozade and the 2nd half was awful.

Aston Villa Fanzines

In a forum style format, we have @Heroes and Villains’ http://www.heroesandvillains.info/forumv3/ 

More online dealies here at Vital Villa http://www.astonvilla.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=506786

Doesn’t look like there is a paper fanzine still on the go.

Pre match drinking congregation will be communicated on the #MagsInBrum as soon as we have details however, if people wish to let us know where the cool kids are ‘hanging out’ pre match then either add them to the comments section underneath this preview or get on twitter and add the destinations to the hash tag.


Win 2-1. Although I think I may have been influenced by Gareth’s video blog.

Obviously Benteke is the chief goal threat, but Aston Villa’s quick attacking, pace, movement and youthful exuberance is likely to cause us problems if we’re not fully switched on, so whilst Debuchy and Santon showed defensive signs of improvement against a listless Fulham, this game will be a bigger test of their attributes.

Chris Betts

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