Birmingham Mail- What are Villa up to?

After the success at Sassuolo, the lads were looking forward to a few days of rest ahead of the Basel side, but no, that was not the plan as the manager Rahul W decided to invite his friend Andre Villas-Boas to Argentina for his Boca side to play Villa in a friendly. There was muted response from the team but it was good to see that they made short shrift of Boca in a comfortable 4-1 win in a near-empty stadium. Goals from Scocco, Kone (his first, though unofficial) and a brace from Djuricic capped off the game, with Choupo-Moting getting one for Boca. There were also assists from Park, Sanchez and Scocco again. Given this is a side likely to play in the Regional Cup (more on that later), it was a good game, even if it was against a D5 side.

With that in mind, we welcomed Basel the next day, who sadly were not good enough for our front 4. Three first-half goals from Veretout, Djuricic and Scocco, with assists from Kone and Ayew, won us the game by half-time. Aboubakar did get a goal back for Basel but that was as good as it got for then. A minor injury for Ayew failed to take a shine of a very professional win for us.

We welcomed Leverkusen for the third game of the Youth Cup, a few days later, but we were expecting a very tough game and got one too. This time they put 3 past us in half an hour thanks to Lobotka, Brandt and Biro. Grealish, our captain, did get one for us by half-time to give us a chance but we couldn’t create much after HT and Carlos wrapped up their thrashing of us. Bratveit made a plethora of saves through the match to get a rating of 9, very impressive indeed. Rahul W did tell his boys later not to be disheartened and look forward to the big game next week.

With that the main team flew to nearby Marseille for the league game, a tricky game that was compounded by Sahin and Fernandao scoring two by HT. An offside goal by Derlis did not help, even while Eder scored again for us, it did not suffice and we fell 1-2 to the French giants. A shame, but it was a good fight shown by us.

We had a few days to mull over our performance and we had a home game again, to appease the fans not at all impressed by Billy Jones posting a video on Periscope talking about his purchase of a Villa in the Midlands as well as Mercedes. He later apologised saying the video was posted while he was driving, by some miracle it had been posted by his jeans or some sort. What a pathetic excuse, does he think he is Harry Potter or Davy Jones, I do not know but he has been given sometime off to reflect on this behaviour.

Anyway coming back to football Shakhtar have been hit by some bizarre management in recent weeks, with the manager not adhering to the squad cap and sending the same team to play over and over again. Sad for them, although I did not know this, and we demolished them 5-0 thanks to a brilliant show from Scocco (again!) with 3 assist and 2 goals, that guy is a genius. Sinclair also got two goals, with an assist from Sanchez and a goal from Gueye. What a game, in fact the opposition keeper Pyatov prevented the margin from being 10-0. I have asked Jones to get Pyatov’s autograph and learn from him.

So we are now 3rd after 12 games, 3 points from the top and with a healthy GD, however we have some tricky games against Monaco (near the bottom but have top-quality players), Ajax (5th in the table) and CSKA Moskva (leaders).

The manager is currently in Madrid for the big Youth Game against Real Madrid, I hear Keano has given his kids off for the entire day, but we all know how good his team is. A win today would be absolutely massive AND mental, imagine if that does happen. If they do win/draw I will give them off the entire week as a reward. Pressure is on Keano.

The Regional Cup has also been announced and we are in the Churchill Cup, in the Southern Section. We are pleased to see that we will be hosting Chelsea and West Ham, with away games to Arsenal and Tottenham. This means there will be lot of travel which is why it is good we are knocked out of the cup and shield. We are together with 4 London sides so we are the rank outsiders to go through so I am hoping we can just go and get some points, good exposure for us. Only the West Ham game seems relatively easy to me.

Lastly, two youths have decided to leave the club due to lack of game time, so Callum Robinson and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy are leaving us. A shame but hope they do well elsewhere.

Good luck all as the fixture list heats up in the coming weeks! 

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