Category: Aston Villa

Hopefully Sky Sports will appreciate how long this took and won’t try to sue us. Please. (Image | Sky Sports, very graciously)

Deadline day once again produced its usual mix of excitement, hyperbole and confusion yesterday, with a standard assortment of a couple of ‘blockbuster’ moves and many, many loan deals done between Premier League teams and lower-league clubs.

As is our duty, though, we’ve dredged through the rumours, the hopes and the hogwash to bring you the ten most intriguing deals of yesterday’s shopping frenzy…

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Frustrated | Once again Arsenal failed to break down inferior opposition in a pattern drearily reminiscent of previous seasons. (Image | The Guardian)

With one Premier League match played, and football having returned from its slightly shorter than usual summer break, if the season were to abruptly end before tomorrow’s action begins, Fulham would have narrowly lost out on their first ever Premier League title to neighbours Chelsea, while Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers would be heading back to the Championship having failed to find the net in the top flight.

Although, while Cottagers supporters struggle to contain their nosebleeds and Swansea City fans organise an open top bus parade for legendary manager Michael Laudrup, we must remember that there are 37 games remaining (for most sides), and plenty of time for the table to take on a more predictable appearance. However, although it is impossible to assess a side’s ability and probable fortune this early on, it is worth taking a look at what is likely to transpire over the next nine months.

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Stalwarts | Paul Lambert and Grant Holt have, more than any other figures, been synonymous with Norwich City’s mercurial rise from League One to the Premier League. Both will be sorely missed. (Image | EDP)

“It’s over, you don’t need to tell me.”

Norwich City Football Club look almost certain to lose manager Paul Lambert, the man who took the Canaries from bedraggled League One also-rans into genuine contenders in the Premier League. Further to this. With Aston Villa expecting to name Lambert as their new permanent boss on Wednesday, it has been rumoured that the Scotsman will make Grant Holt his first signing, for a fee in the region of £3m.

This is the nightmare scenario for City: while it is understandable that Lambert, who is fiercely ambitious and has worked wonders in the space of three years at Carrow Road, would want to move on one day, the timing is painful for the Yellows. Having acquitted themselves tremendously in the top flight, and not once looked out of place against more illustrious and financially potent competitors, the club is set to lose its heartbeat, the core of a tight-knit group of players and coaches.

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Andre Villas-Boas was sacked as Chelsea manager Sunday after a 1-0 away loss to West Brom

Well, the inevitable happened again. Chelsea fired a manager. Big deal.

Andre Villas-Boas has looked ready for the chop since Christmas. The youngest manager in the Premier League, in his third season as a manager, sitting in the hottest seat in world football? Working for the most trigger-happy owner in top-class sport with a record of three wins in 12 games? Fighting a losing battle in seemingly trying coerce a group of veteran superstars into his new-age training and tactical methods? It could never last.

And yet, after casting aside numerous more successful managers without a second blink, that trigger-happy owner didn’t want to fire this one.

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