5:34 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
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7500 To Holte 1 hour ago

Cleverley Set to Sign Permanent Deal

Loan deal looks to be cut short as ex-United man finds a new home. Tom Cleverley rather awkwardly walked into Aston Villa after a summer deadline day where he initially rejected the club's advances before coming back to sign after Everton rejected him. This did not exactly endear him to the Villa faithful, whom can't be blamed for not wanting a guy who doesn't want them! Well, bygones will be bygones, Cleverley has performed well enough for the Villa to cut short his loan deal and make a permanent transfer to the Birmingham club after a few rocky years in Manchester.  The real question...
7500 To Holte 1 hour ago

Tottenham, Napoli Impressed by Cissokho

Villa's LB has a few admirers this January. Aly Cissokho has been nothing if not consistent for Villa since he joined in the summer. So consistent, in fact, that we have loaned out his two deputies, Antonio Luna and Joe Bennett to other clubs for the year. Now it looks liked we might need the pair back as Cissokho has attracted a keen pair of suitors in Tottenham Hotspur and Napoli. If the threat of losing Ron Vlaar and Delph was not enough, Cissokho's departure would leave the team incredibly weak at the fullback position and Lambert would have to work hard to find a new replace,met...
7500 To Holte Dec 20, 2014

Aston Villa 1, Manchester United 1: WE DID IT

I DON'T HATE EVERYTHING FOR ONCE Aston Villa was playing really well and led 1-0 at halftime thanks to Christian Benteke doing a really, really good thing because he's awesome. Delph played in a free kick (a thing we learned he should be doing all the time) and Benteke chested down, took his time, and fired a goal through traffic into the upper corner from the edge of the box. A brilliant play from the Belgian. Shortly after the restart, with Villa under a lot of pressure, Ashley Young beat Matthew Lowton down the wing, crossed a ball in, and happened to find Falcao. The result, of course,...
7500 To Holte Dec 20, 2014

Watch Benteke's STUNNING goal put Villa up over Manchester United

I'm not sure I even have words for how perfect this goal is. Christian Benteke has scored in the 18th minute against Manchester United on what may be his best goal in a Villa uniform. Coming off of a long free kick, Villa lofted the ball into Benteke on the right corner of the box. He chested it down and looked sure to shoot, but hesitated just a bit. When it seemed as if the chance were gone, he calmly moved to his left and bent a ball into the upper left corner of the goal. Here's the video: That gives Aston Villa the 1-0 lead in a match that Manchester United have been pretty...
7500 To Holte Dec 20, 2014

Aston Villa vs. Manchester United CONFIRMED lineups and open thread

Well, it's time to see how this all actually lines up. Below, you'll find Paul Lambert's response to an absurd rash of injuries as Aston Villa get set to take on Manchester United. But really, does the lineup matter that much? Aston Villa haven't beaten United in almost exactly five years, an 0-1 victory at Old Trafford on 12 December 2009. Before that it was a League Cup victory in 1999. And in between? Futility. Last year at Old Trafford, Ashley Westwood put Villa up 0-1 and we were all amazed. And then came four unanswered United goals. In November 2012, there was a 2-0 lead at Villa...
7500 To Holte Dec 20, 2014

Aston Villa host Manchester United, outcome predetermined by fate

We're all well aware of Villa's history of futility against United, but eventually it's going to end. Is that really something you want to miss? Aston Villa's struggles at home against Manchester United have been going on for so long that it's gone through the cycle of frustration-amusement-numbness-frustration several times by now. It's been very nearly 20 years since the Claret and Blue have defeated the Red Devils in league competition at Villa Park, a time that's spanned storied careers and many distinct eras in each club's recent history. It's been a hell of a long time, and it's one...
7500 To Holte Dec 20, 2014

Aston Villa vs. Manchester United live stream: How to watch Premier League online, TV

All the info you need to watch Aston Villa vs. Manchester United on your TV or online Manchester United will travel to Villa Park to take on an Aston Villa team who have not beaten them since 2009. If you want to look at wins at Villa Park, that hasn't happened since 1999. And if you want wins in the league at Villa Park you've got to go back to 1995. Add into that the fact that Villa will be without seven senior squad players and you've got a recipe for a bad loss. So it's probably time to expect a thriller. If you want to tune in and watch, here's how you can do it! Match Date/Time:...
7500 To Holte Dec 19, 2014

Three at the back the key to beat Manchester United?

Depth for Aston Villa may be short at depth when it comes to central defenders, but that may be the area that needs the most focus in this weekend's clash against Manchester United. Radamel Falcao, Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Angel Di Maria, Juan Mata. Five perfectly good reasons that Aston Villa should employ five defenders for Saturday's match at Villa Park. Manager Paul Lambert has admitted that his team may be short staffed, and we know that centre back has been a problem this year, but with the return of Ron Vlaar, Lambert may be able to switch his system to one with three (five)...
7500 To Holte Dec 19, 2014

A different suggestion for Aston Villa's formation versus Manchester United

This is a warning: if you want serious tactical discussion, turn back now. We here at 7500 to Holte have some excellent posts on Aston Villa tactics. This is not one of them. I don't normally write about them. While I did lead Villa to an FA Cup triumph on Football Manager 2014, I would not say I'm well versed in tactics. But I thought I'd give it a go. Sort of. Villa are in a bit of a tough spot this weekend. There are like 700 first team squad members injured, suspended or are Tom Cleverly, who is suspended for a game he was already ineligible for (an impressive feat). Paul Lambert is...
7500 To Holte Dec 19, 2014

Roy Keane: Why we probably should give the ex-Manchester United man a break.

The Media vs Keane: Round 478 Roy Keane has always had a problem in British football. No, not the fact he was an aggressive player who found himself on the end of many a yellow card, no. Roy Keane's problem in British football has always been with the media. Back in say, around 2002. If you were to ask any media outlet except MUTV who Roy Keane's parents are, they would probably say Satan and Elizabeth Bathory. The man will almost always do wrong in most newspaper's eyes. I will always be the first to admit that Keane's savage tackle on Alf-Inge Haaland was horrific and certainly ill...
7500 To Holte Dec 19, 2014

Manchester United injury report full of good news for Aston Villa

Manchester United will be without Marouane Fellaini and Luke Shaw on Saturday, and it remains to be seen if Angel Di Maria will make the trip to Villa Park. Everyone is running with the news about Di Maria as their lede, but to me the nice surprise is Fellaini. I couldn't be happier to see that guy missing this match. In my gut, I just instinctively feel as if Fellaini terrorizes Villa, but I wanted to see if there was any truth to that. Last year, he only played against Villa once and committed three fouls during United's 4-1 win at Old Trafford. But in 2012-13 he found the back of the net...
7500 To Holte Dec 19, 2014

Lambert promises a lineup surprise against Manchester United

Callum Robinson and Jack Grealish are set to make Aston Villa's matchday squad against Manchester United on Saturday. Do you remember Callum Robinson? Jack Grealish? You know, those super-promising young players who we haven't seen much of lately. The former was recalled from an incredibly successful loan spell so that he could not make the bench in favor of Australian superstar Chris Herd. The latter makes a random appearance now and then, but is buried on the depth chart behind the likes of Charles N'Zogbia and Kieran Richardson. Well, brace yourself for a massive shock. It appears that...
7500 To Holte Dec 18, 2014

After years of futility, how can Villa finally beat Manchester United?

Jack and Robert are back to quickly move past the West Bromwich Albion loss before getting to more pressing matters. Manchester United matches, Tottenham Hotspur transfer rumours, and all the Aston Villa talk you need to get through your day! Aston Villa lost to the Baggies last weekend. And this weekend they've got the resurgent Manchester United, who they'll have to face without Ashley Westwood, Tom Cleverley, Kieran Richardson (yay) and heavens knows probably someone else. So, yeah, we'll talk about that. But let's look at some other stuff too. Namely, it's only two weeks until the...
7500 To Holte Dec 17, 2014

The Curious Case of Aleksandar Tonev

Bulgarian winger releases statement following charges. Villa's Bulgarian winger, Aleksandar Tonev has today released a statement after being charged with racially abusing Aberdeen defender Shay Logan during a match in October whilst on loan at Glasgow Celtic. Tonev was found guilty and hit with a seven game ban by the Scottish FA for using a set of 'choice' words towards Logan. Tonev's statement which can be found on Celtic's website, backs the winger's main point throughout this ordeal - that he did not use racist language towards Logan and that he is not a racist. "A lot has happened...
7500 To Holte Dec 17, 2014

West Brom 1 Villa 0: Tactical Analysis - Lambert sees progress, shoots it dead

Villa were on a roll - until Kieran Richardson tackled it. Some thoughts on why Richardson might soon be an top ten all-time Premier League player, Lambert's selection issues and how Villa might nick a win against Man Utd at the weekend. Lambert's choices puzzle again I don't have much appetite to talk about the West Brom game - I was working and didn't get to see it, and games where one side plays with 10 men for most of the game are tactically dominated by that fact. I will make the brief note that Lambert decided to play 4-3-3 again, presumably hoping to imitate the success against...
7500 To Holte Dec 16, 2014

Spurs may be interested in swap for Villa midfielder, probably aren't

From one paragraph in the Mirror to an entire piece in the Sutton Coldfield Observer. This is how transfer rumours begin. The latest is that Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur have apparently considered a swap of Mousa Dembele for England international Fabian Delph. Is it a rumour that makes much sense? Eh, kind of. Do I put much stock in it? No. There's been plenty of talk that Delph would be leaving in the January window. His injury and the subsequent nice run of form the Villa midfield had without him provided a valuable trial period that set a few minds at ease. Would losing Delph be...
7500 To Holte Dec 16, 2014

Failures in transition may be stifling Villa's academy

Losing to Chesterfield in the FA Youth Cup just the latest embarrassment for Villa's academy. But what has gone wrong? It doesn’t seem that long ago to a time when the Aston Villa youth teams were something to be proud of. For many years, the Villa academy and reserves was regularly among the best in England, competing for the FA Youth Cup and finishing at or near the top of the Premier Reserve League each year. More importantly, the Villa academy produced and held players that seemed ready to enter the first-team setup and become the next generation of Villa Park heroes. As the youth...
7500 To Holte Dec 16, 2014

Good News & Bad News

Cleverley benefits from ridiculous loophole whilst Tonev pays the price. In one day, there has been a victory and defeat for the laws of Football in the United Kingdom. On one hand, we have Aleksandar Tonev being rightfully punished for his racial abuse of another player and on the other, Tom Cleverley's one match ban will be served even though he cannot play against Manchester United in our next game. No, you don't need to sort your eyes out, Tom Cleverley's ban will be served. In a rather fortunate turn of events, a loophole in the FA rules allows a players ban to be served in any match,...
7500 To Holte Dec 15, 2014

American billionaire doesn't even know who Villa are, isn't buying

Mark Cuban will not be buying Aston Villa despite the rumours you've likely seen all over the internet. Let's get this out of the way at the top here: Mark Cuban will not be buying Aston Villa. The billionaire owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks and Shark Tank star has been connected to the club overnight by a website that appears to have just entirely made up their story. Why anyone would do this right now is beyond me (though I and countless others are writing about it, so maybe that explains it), and I have no idea where it really started (though I have my suspicions). But let's...
7500 To Holte Dec 15, 2014

Lambert Recognises Defensive Duo

Paul Lambert appreciates the hard work of Okore and Clark. Good things usually come in pairs - Jake and Elwood Blues, Kirk and Spock, Han and Chewie, Roy Keane and Paul Lambert (RIP), Sherlock and Watson. Well, add another pair to the list: Okore and Clark. The sigh that followed the injuries to Ron Vlaar, Senderos and Nathan Baker could have honestly been heard on the richter scale. What would Villa do now? Ciaran Clark isn't good enough and Paul Lambert must've benched Jores Okore for some reason! Three or four games later, Villa fans would be calling (again) for Lambert's head should...