As the claret and blue tumble weed rolls through another international break, lets look at three of the more interesting and legitimate stories doing the rounds this week…
As MOMS wrote before the season kicked off, a team serious on promotion should not be relying solely on an inexperienced 21-year-old in-between the sticks. It’s football common sense.
Perhaps it was ignoring this fact that ultimately cost Roberto Di Matteo his job, as Gollingi cost Villa vital points due to lapses in concentration late on in games. It’s a trait he repeated this week for the Italian U-21’s, when he gifted England a 3-2 victory with a gaff in the closing seconds of the game.
It looks like Steve Bruce feels the same as MOMS in terms of getting decent and more experienced competition for Gollingi and not taking the risk of relying solely on the youngster.
According to the Daily Mirror and Daily Express, Bruce is looking to sign former Swiss international Eldin Jakupovic, whom he signed for Hull City. The 32-year-old started this season in the Premier League as Hull City’s number one, but has since fallen down the pecking order.
It’s likely that Bruce would get Jakupovic in as a January loan until the end of the season and then reassess his keeper options in the summer. The Hull keeper was very much part of Bruce’s Hull City promotion team.
Season Ticket Concern
After several seasons of some of the worse home form experienced in the history of the club and relegation, it’s understandable that Villa supporters have been reluctant to snap up season tickets this season.
The Upper Trinity being closed was a clue at the start of the season that season ticket sales weren’t exactly great. They were reported to be around the 18,000 mark when the season kicked off.
The English Football League today published a table that makes disturbing reading when you see where Villa place in the Championship in terms of season ticket sales
Ok, after the season Villa had last season, you’d expect them to be behind Newcastle, but behind the likes of Norwich and Derby? That is cause for concern and shows you what a big job ahead Tony Xia and his board have in winning over supporters.
No doubt a revamp of the current loyalty scheme is part of that.
If you want an insight into what happens to a club that wallow in this league, look at where Leeds United are. 9th despite promising 15% off next season’s season ticket prices, if they don’t make the play-offs.
You can’t help but think that Villa could do with a promotion this season to offset any potential further rot and start heading back in the right direction.
It came to light last week in the Daily Mirror that the government’s planned £24.7billion HS2 high-speed railway network linking Birmingham and London will run through Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground.
A spokesperson at HS2 Ltd said: “Approximately 10 per cent of Aston Villa’s training ground is needed for phase one of the HS2 project.”
Villa it’s reported are considering launching a multi-million pound claim after commissioning reports into the potential noise and environmental effects.