James Fisher

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Were Aston Villa right to release Marc Albrighton?

He may only have been 24 but Villa’s decision to release Marc Albrighton brought down the curtain on a 16-year playing career at the club. Plucked from his junior team in Tamworth, Albrighton was first on the books as an eight-year-old and hadn’t looked back until last week. A series of fantastic ...

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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Aston Villa: How will the fans remember the Randy Lerner years?

It’s official – Aston Villa are up for sale. The rumour mill had gone into overdrive in Birmingham as fans tried to piece together the jigsaw of what the future held for their club. It was perhaps the worst kept secret that chairman Randy Lerner was looking to cuts his losses – some reported £10...

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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Aston Villa: Can Villa stay up without gaining another point?

One point from their last six games should be enough for any team to be relegated. The way Villa have performed over the past few weeks has been nothing short of embarrassing and to be honest the team doesn’t deserve to be playing Premiership football next year. Of course every Villa fan wants th...

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Friday, 18 April 2014

Are Aston Villa on the rocks?

It seems it’s all going on at Aston Villa after the club suspended two senior members of its coaching staff. Assistant manager Ian Culverhouse and the head of football operations, Gary Karsa, will not be helping Villa’s push for survival for the foreseeable future. Neither have been in Villa fans’...

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Saturday, 12 April 2014

Will Aston Villa's away form see them to safety?

Everyone knows how poor Villa’s home form has been this year and how much of a threat the same side can be away from Villa Park, but perhaps not many people know how truly awfulthe record has been. Villa have set a record for the most home defeats in a single season during the current 2013/14 cam...

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Saturday, 05 April 2014

How will Aston Villa cope without Benteke?

Villa fans couldnt believe their eyes as they watched the ticker tape roll past on Sky Sports News on Thursday with the devastating news that striker Christian Benteke will be out for six months. Its terrible news for the player whose World Cup dreams now lay in tatters, but now Villa, who are s...

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Saturday, 29 March 2014

Can the unpredictable Aston Villa cause an upset at Man United?

Following Sunday’s hammering at home to an average Stoke side Villa pretty much confirmed themselves as the most unpredictable side in the Premiership. To lose 4-1 at home to a side that was level on points before kick-off was hard to take, but surprisingly it wasn’t that embarrassing.The main r...

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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Aston Villa: What's there points target now?

Two wins on the bounce and suddenly things have really turned round down at Aston Villa. It’s important no-one gets too carried away but a win’s a win - and a win at Villa Park has been like gold dust over the last couple of years. To beat Chelsea, regardless of how much influence the referee m...

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Saturday, 08 March 2014

Aston Villa: Is Randy Lerner making the right choices?

The fans have been quick to have a go at chairman Randy Lerner and manager Paul Lambert – myself included - this season. It’s been a very frustrating time down at Villa Park with the team struggling against relegation for the third consecutive season, with no change in those fortunes looking likel...

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Sunday, 02 March 2014

Aston Villa: Will Norwich have any fears of Lambert and Holt facing them again?

It’s a rhetorical question really because the answer would be a resounding no.The sad fact is Norwich fans will be travelling to Villa rubbing their hands together believing they can pick up three points and pull themselves closer to safety. In the meantime defeat for Villa really would start ge...

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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Aston Villa: Can Villa replicate last season's strong finish?

Villa have enjoyed another extended break thanks to their lack of cup action, but now it’s back to business. It’ll be very interesting to see how Villa approach their next two games because now is the time to start picking up points. The team are four points better off now than they were this ti...

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Thursday, 13 February 2014

Aston Villa: Why are Villa so reliant on Vlaar?

It’s quite shocking when you actually look closely at how badly Villa have performed when their captain hasn’t been available over the past two seasons. Any team would struggle without their best defender, but Villa seem to have taken it to a whole new level. Ron Vlaar is a Dutch international, he...

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Tuesday, 04 February 2014

Aston Villa: Has Randy Lerner served his time at Villa Park?

Aston Villa have moved quickly this week to quash any rumours that the media-shy Randy Lerner is set to sell the club. After nearly eight years at the helm he’s appointed five managers and has seen his playing staff changed beyond all recognition. He’s ploughed millions into the club since taking ...

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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Aston Villa: Will two loan signings be enough to turn our fortunes around?

It has been far from a disastrous season at Villa so far, but it’s also been far fromgood. The standard of play has not improved 12 months on, but the defence looks sharper and when the side clicks, particularly away from home, they can play some decent football. The main issue seems to be wi...

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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Aston Villa: Are there small signs Christian Benteke and Villa have woken up?

It’s been another pretty dire season at Villa Park and another home defeat by Arsenal will not have changed how most fans view the campaign so far. But at least on Monday night there was a flicker of hope the side might actually fight for some sort of respectability before the season fizzles out....

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Tuesday, 07 January 2014

Aston Villa: Was Lambert's comments on the FA Cup wrong or just honest?

Paul Lambert has spent the entire weekend explaining his recent comments - that the majority of top-flight clubs would rather not have the distraction of the FA Cup. Since the media swarmed on his words Lambert has claimed to have been misquoted or that his comments were taken out of context.Whethe...

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Saturday, 04 January 2014

Aston Villa: Will Lambert look to buy more experienced players during the January transfer window?

The Villa team has been crying out for a few experienced heads since Paul Lambert took over as manager. The Scotsman appeared to have bought well during the 2012-2013 season, bringing in several young players with a lot of potential. Matthew Lowton filled the right back void well, Ashley Westwood...

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Thursday, 19 December 2013

Where now for Aston Villa?

The last few games have told us a lot about how much progress Villa have made under Paul Lambert. Wins against Cardiff and Southampton have merely covered up the cracks in a team which struggles against most sides in the Premiership. Coming against Man United on Sunday no-one expected to us to pic...

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Saturday, 07 December 2013

World Cup 2014: Will England make it out of the group stage?

Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica – the draw for England could have been worse but it could have been a whole lot better. Group D is arguably the toughest of the lot – although the teams in Group B and Group G may beg to differ – but can England make it through. You can’t really get a much tougher ope...

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Wednesday, 04 December 2013

Aston Villa: Are Villa boring or do the fans need a reality check?

The goalless draw against Sunderland over the weekend was pretty painful to watch, with both sides showing signs of why they could struggle this year. Once again Villa couldn’t break down the opposition at home and once again they could easily have left Villa Park with zero points instead of one. ...

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Monday, 25 November 2013

Aston Villa: Could someone like Dembele be the missing link for Villa?

It’s probably been three years since Villa fans first started calling for a midfielder who could control the middle of the park. Following the departures of Gareth Barry, James Milner and Stilyan Petrov the team has been crying out for someone to take the midfield by the scruff of the neck. Someo...

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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Could Delph or any other Villa players work their way into the England side?

The international break has given Villa’s homegrown English players the chance to get some much needed rest, but it wasn’t so long ago that Villa could boast up five of its players in the national squad. Unfortunately those days seem like a distant memory now. Darren Bent suddenly became out of fav...

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Friday, 08 November 2013

How crucial are the next few games for Aston Villa's season?

Football fans are the first to admit they can jump the gun a bit when things start looking bad, but thepoints Villa get over their next few games could have a huge bearing on how our season pans out. No-one can argue Villa’s home form has been pretty dire under manager Paul Lambert and he deserve...

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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Can Aston Villa match high-flying Everton?

Having played the league’s top teams and a struggling Newcastle United, the visit of Everton at Villa Park this afternoon will thrown up a whole new problem for Paul Lamberts men. Villa have performed poorly at home this season, other than a great battling win against Manchester City they have lo...

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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Aston Villa: Who would we miss more - Benteke or Guzan?

It may sound like a strange question to ask but with rumours of a few clubs sniffing around Villa keeper Brad Guzan the thought of losing him briefly popped into the heads of a few Villa fans. The shot-stopper has been in top form since Villa manager Paul Lambert took a huge leap of faith by drop...

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Thursday, 10 October 2013

How are Aston Villa doing one year on?

Seven new faces have been added to Villa’s squad since the last campaign and many have departed. The team has had a whole season to gel as a team and to work out each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Manager Paul Lambert has had more than a year to stamp his own ideology on the team, bringing in p...

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Saturday, 28 September 2013

Aston Villa: Can we compete with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and United?

Losing to Spurs midweek in the League Cup was hardly surprising, but losing 4-0 was extremely disappointing. The fact that Spurs have now put eight passed us at Villa Park in their last two games shows how big the gulf between the two sides has become. Villa, like many other teams in the Premi...

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Saturday, 21 September 2013

Aston Villa: How do you solve a problem like Villa's home form?

Two home games in and it’s so far so bad down at Villa Park. The performance against Liverpool was poor, but at least it was against a descent side.To perform like we did against Newcastle last weekend has really got the alarm bells ringing. It wasn’t just the fact we lost – it was the manner in wh...

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Saturday, 14 September 2013

Aston Villa: Will the visit of Newcastle be our first real test of the season?

Having played Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool in our three opening games of this season, suggesting Newcastle will be Villa’s first major challenge may seem a bit bizarre. But if you weigh up how results against all four teams would show how much progression, if any, has been made by this young Vill...

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Saturday, 31 August 2013

Aston Villa: Four games in, how are we performing?

The international break has come early for Villa – thanks to Chelsea’s European Super Cup final against Bayern – so the players will be getting an early rest. After four games, including cup competitions, Villa have won two and lost two.One win was against Rotherham in the League Cup but a win’s ...

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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Aston Villa: Can Villa expect to pick up points against Chelsea and Liverpool?

It’s fair to say no-one was expecting that opening result – we were all hoping for a better start, but to beat Arsenal 3-1 away from home was something special.The last time we enjoyed a similar opening win was beating Man Utd 3-1 in 1995 – but even that was at Villa Park! Much has been said about ...

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Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Aston Villa: How will the Villains line-up for trip to Arsenal?

The start of the Premier League campaign is just days away and after months of tinkering, buying, selling and scrutinising, 38 teams will run out this weekend to begin their new seasons. There has been much movement throughout the division, both on the pitch and off it, that it looks set to be on...

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Friday, 02 August 2013

Aston Villa: What can we make of our pre-season so far?

Every year there seems to be less and less of a gap between the end of one season and the start of a new one – which is not a bad thing for those starved of football during the summer. But what it also means is there are far more games played before the start of the season proper and also more ti...

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Friday, 26 July 2013

Aston Villa: Can Lambert's men improve on last season?

Pre-season – a time to let the mind wonder as football fans dream up any number of scenarios for their team. Being a Villa fan it would be easy to once again get carried away following a few signings, but it would be equally as easy to be thinkingofdoom and gloom following the past two seasons wh...

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Saturday, 18 May 2013

Aston Villa: Who has been our player of the season?

When a team looks set to finish one place above the relegation zone you would think picking a player of the year would prove difficult. At Aston Villa that has been exactly the case, but strangely notbecause individual players have performed poorly. The side, as a whole, have taken time to gel but...

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Saturday, 11 May 2013

A tribute to Aston Villa legend Stiliyan Petrov

Stiliyan Petrov was more than just the captain at Aston Villa – he was the club captain. That meant the entire organisation had ultimate faith in himrepresenting the clubona national and international level, whether they were playing abroad on tour, attending charity events or workin...

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Friday, 10 May 2013

Aston Villa: Can they now plan for next season in the Premier League?

What a difference a week makes.The results over the last few days could not have gone much better for Villa, especially when looking at the bigger picture. Of course the two biggest results were their 6-1 demolition of Sunderland, followed by a narrow 2-1 victory at Carrow Road on Saturday.Those ...

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Monday, 29 April 2013

Aston Villa: Will anything other than three points do against Sunderland?

The Premiership relegation battle looks set to go to the wire with five teams still fighting for their lives. Villa, despite sitting just above the drop zone, are perhaps in the most precarious position – particularly due to their horrendous goal difference. The Villans currently have a two...

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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Aston Villa: Will Agbonlahor’s fitness make or break Villa’s season?

It seems strange to say it really but Gabby Agbonlahor could have a huge influence on whether Villa play Premier League or Championship football next season. No-one has ever doubted his quality but sometimes he can be soldier without a cause – as in he always tries but doesn’t always produce the...

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Thursday, 11 April 2013

Aston Villa: Was Lowton's screamer the best Villa goal ever?

Following Matthew Lowton’s screamer against Stoke over the weekend it seems a good time to reminisce over some of the Villa’s greatest strikes in recent memory. We’re looking at goals since the 1990s, simply because, although there have been plenty of wonder goals since Villa’s formation in 187...

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Friday, 05 April 2013

Aston Villa: Will 39 points keep us up?

How many points will be enough to keep Aston Villa in the Premier League? How long is a piece of string comes to mind at first. It’s so close down at the bottom at least seven teams could be relegated come May. The biggest issue Villa have at the moment is their fate is not in their hands. Th...

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Friday, 22 March 2013

Aston Villa: Can Villa now march up the Premier League table?

There haven’t been two more important back-to-back victories in my lifetime than those against Reading and Queen’s Park Rangers over the last couple of weekends. The wins against second from bottom Reading and basement boys QPR were make or break for Villa.Even winning the games have left Vil...

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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Is Aston Villa’s strike force strong enough to keep them up?

It’s been clear since the start of the season Villa’s defence and midfield has been for too weak to compete against most of Premier League’s clubs. The back line is not entirely to blame by any stretch of the imagination because as the old adage goes – you defend and attack as a team. With easil...

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Friday, 01 March 2013

Can Aston Villa reach the magic 40 points before the end of the season – and will it even be enough?

Ever since the Premier League was reduced to 20 teams those at the bottom have been aiming for the ‘magic 40-point mark’ – the mark that usually means your team has avoided relegation. It’s probably more to do with the fact ‘40’ is a nice, round number and easy to add up to, but for w...

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Friday, 22 February 2013

Aston Villa: What can we expect from Arsenal and Man City?

Nearly two weeks have passed since Villa last kicked a ball in anger and every fan’s blood pressure has returned to normal. It won’t be long, however, until the hearts are racing again and Villa will be back in action once more, fighting for their survival. And what a baptism of fire the Vi...

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Thursday, 07 February 2013

Aston Villa: Is this the worst side ever?

With the current crop of Villa players constantly being referred to as the worst in living memory perhaps it’s time to have a look back at seasons gone by to see if it’s really the case. The performance against Everton over the weekend by Villa’s 2012-13 squad gave fans another glimme...

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Friday, 01 February 2013

Aston Villa: Can one signing and one good half of football give Villa fans hope?

In a strange way, watching the second half against Newcastle was even more frustrating than going out of the League Cup against Bradford City. Why? Because now I believe we can stay up again. That might sound ridiculous coming from a Villa fan, but let me explain. It had been so much easier wat...

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Thursday, 24 January 2013

Aston Villa: Can Villa fans still stand up for manager Paul Lambert?

Never before has a victory tasted so bitter – never before has a game started so brightly and ended in such abject disappointment. It is seriously hard to put into words the heartbreak felt by Villa fans who made the journey to Aston in the snow and ice on Tuesday night to see their side capitula...

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Friday, 18 January 2013

Is it time for Aston Villa to call up the old guard?

The last couple of months have signalled desperate times are ahead at Aston Villa. Back-to-back home defeats at the hands of fellow relegation strugglers Wigan Athletic and Southampton have confirmed the fans’ worst nightmares. Villa’s team is not very good and relegation is looking more an...

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Friday, 11 January 2013

Aston Villa: Who is Lambert after in the January sales?

We’re almost half way through January and there hasn’t been much movement made any clubs. The January transfer window is loved by some and hated by others, but it does always throw up a surprise or two, whether it’s a player who turns a team’s fortunes around or a player who completely dis...

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