James Fisher

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...


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. ...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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 ...


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 ...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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 ...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


Monday, 31 December 2012

Aston Villa: What has happened at Villa Park?

The Christmas break has been the worst run of performances and results ever seen by a Villa side over the festiveperiod in the Premiership, if not their history. Having beaten Liverpool away and made it to the semi-finals of the League Cup it was looking like things had finally star...


Sunday, 23 December 2012

Aston Villa: How well is Lambert doing?

It’s hard not to get too carried away with how Villa have been performing over the past few weeks. Unbeaten in six games in all competitions, back-to-back away wins and a League Cup semi-final to look forward to next month against Bradford City. It would appear manager Paul Lambert’s visi...


Friday, 14 December 2012

Aston Villa: Are the Villans on their way to Wemley?

Two League Cup semi-finals in four seasons is good going for any team but for a side that has seen as much turmoil as Villa over the past few years it’s close to a miracle. Perhaps that is going a little overboard but having seen five managers come in during that time, while the sid...


Friday, 30 November 2012

Aston Villa: Can Villa raise their game against the weaker teams?

The three points against Reading on Tuesday night for Aston Villa were absolutely huge. The win has seen Villa begin the early stages of reeling in the likes of Sunderland, Wigan, Norwich and surprisingly Newcastle. A win against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday and Stoke City next weekend wou...


Thursday, 22 November 2012

Aston Villa: Can Villa avoid the bottom three at Christmas?

It’s been coming all season and no-one’s surprised Aston Villa have ended up where they are. Perhaps the hope of having a new manager and a clear out of some of the worst performing players gave fans a glimmer of hope at the very beginning of the campaign. Back-to-back defeats soon put an end...


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Have Aston Villa found their best formation?

Despite an agonising defeat at home to Manchester United on Saturday evening the performance by Aston Villa was by far the best we have witnessed this season. It perhaps doesn’t say much for a side when they are frustrated but happy having thrown away a two-goal lead going into the seco...


Thursday, 01 November 2012

Aston Villa: Could a good run in the League Cup change Villa’s fortunes this season?

No-one’s getting too carried away but Villa are just two more rounds away from a trip to Wembley – just two rounds. There’s nothing like a good cup run to bring the feelgood factor back to a club and Villa’s win against Swindon Town could be just the ticket. The League Cup brings back so...


Saturday, 27 October 2012

Aston Villa: If Lerner sells the Cleverland Browns will it lead to riches for the Villa?

It’s been a strange few years since Randy Lerner took over at Aston Villa. When he first arrived in 2006 it heralded the beginning of a new era on more than one front. Not only did Lerner take over the hot seat from Doug Ellis, who had been in charge of the club for decades – other than when...


Friday, 19 October 2012

Aston Villa: Has Lambert been told to get rid of all the high earners?

Placing Alan Hutton and Stephen Warnock in Aston Villa’s reserves before the opening game of the season was surprising but not something that drew too many complaints. The full backs had performed terribly all of last season and fans were keen for Villa to either bring in a few new face...


Thursday, 11 October 2012

Is a look back at Aston Villa’s position and form this time last year cause for concern?

If Villa perform anywhere near as badly as they did last season from here on in - they are going down. It’s as simple as that even at this stage because this time last year, having played teams of a similar quality, Villa were seventh and on 11 points. This season we’re nine places worse ...


Friday, 05 October 2012

Is Paul Lambert’s rotation policy at Aston Villa starting to get to the players?

It hadn’t really seemed to matter whether rotating players every game was getting to the players or not until Darren Bent voiced his displeasure about being dropped against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. To be fair he hadn’t been playing particularly well the past few games but that ...


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Aston Villa: Does Shay Given have a future at Villa Park?

This time last season Shay Given had just walked into Aston Villa on a red carpet as the fans heralded the arrival of their latest great goalkeeper. Having proved his worth at Newcastle for more than a decade, keeping together whatcould be considered an otherwise leaky defence, as well ...


Thursday, 13 September 2012

Should the lack of Aston Villa players in the England squad be worrying?

England have picked up four points from their opening World Cup qualifiers, but there was a time not so long ago when a good England performance would have meant starring roles for Aston Villa players – not any more. Going back through all the years Villa have been playing in the top divis...


Thursday, 06 September 2012

Aston Villa: Have the Villa turned the corner?

The first two games for Aston Villa could not have gone much worse after all the hype of a new manager and a new beginning. Anyone who was at the home game against Everton will tell you it was demoralising in the extreme. It wasn’t because Villa lost – something we’ve become accustomed to at Vi...


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

How good a signing would Jermain Defoe be for Aston Villa?

It’s only been talked about in whispers around Villa Park but the fact his name is being mentioned at all is exciting. Paul Lambert has obviously realised, like every Aston Villa fan, that we need another striker - and the fact he appears to be targeting Defoe should be music to everyone’s...


Friday, 17 August 2012

Aston Villa: Will injuries force Lambert’s hand for the season's opener?

 So it’s nearly here, the dawn of a new season and a new era at Villa Park. Having seen Aston Villa’s draw with Werder Bremen on Saturday, it seems Lambert has a few selection headaches for the opener against West Ham. He would have had even more had all his squad stayed fit before August 18. ...


Thursday, 09 August 2012

Aston Villa: Could Vlaar Vs Collins be a benchmark for our season?

Pre-season seems to have gone reasonably well for Aston Villa so far, other than the 3-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest, and it all bodes well for the season opener against West Ham United on August 18, which will see Villas new rock at centre half come up against our former one. After selling James ...


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Aston Villa: How should Villa line up for the opening game of the season?

Aston Villa kick off the 2012/13 season with a visit to newly promoted West Ham United on August 18. It will be the third time in three seasons that Villa have started the new campaign with a new manager, but this time round there seems to be a more positive vibe around Villa Park. With three ...



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