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Villa Youngsters


Shepherd 9
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Due to a HUMONGOUS injury list at Villa at the moment, even more of our youngsters are getting a chance to prove their quality. Both Marc Albrighton and Nathan Delfouneso are well known on these forums anyway, but I thought I would make a thread just to do a quick run through some of the players who could make a name for themselves.

The Villa reserves have won the league for the last 3 seasons in a row, and are currently top of their league this season too, so there is an undoubted quality in the lower ranks of the club.

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Re: Villa Youngsters

Barry Bannan

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Position - CM/LM

Age - 20 (D.O.B: 1/12/1989)

DB - Yes 77

Probably another one well known by forumers, the short Scotsman has already excelled in his two league performances this season. At 5ft 7", many wrote him off saying that the physicality of the PL will be too much for Bannan to cope with. However his undeniable quality with the ball has meant that he can counter this. Given the opportunity, he can do almost anything with the ball. He got his first league start in today's match away to Fulham, where he was given Man of the match for his exceptional display in an all-round good Villa performance, who were unlucky in the end to be denied all 3 points by a stoppage time equaliser from Brede Hangelaand.

Manager Gerard Houllier started him today ahead of Steve Sidwell, and he believes greatly in his talent, and could really grap his chance and prove he is capable with lack of midfielders left fit. It is also expected that he will receive a call up to the Scotland senior team for the next set of friendly matches.

A certain starter until Christmas time as Sidwell is now confirmed as injured until then. Reo-Coker is also injured for a few weeks, so there are no other options.

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Re: Villa Youngsters

Ciaran Clark

Ciaran-Clark-Aston-Villa-Premier-League-PA_2355521.jpg

Position - CB on SM - CB/CM in real life

Age - 21 (D.O.B: 26/9/1989)

DB - Yes 75

Also, another one who is probably well known to forumers, Clark did actually make his league debut last season, in the third game of the season at home to Fulham. He has had more chances this season, and has performed very well when called upon in his 5 appearances this season. He was ahead of Curtis Davies in the pecking order, which has forced him to leave on a month loan. 3 weeks ago in the 0-0 draw against Chelsea, Richard Dunne was forced off with injury, and Houllier decided to use Clark ahead of Cuellar as sub.

In the last 2 matches, Clark has been used as a Centre midfielder. He has played well in both of those matches, and settled in very quickly due to his calmness on the ball. This is especially uncommon for a player who originally applied his trade as a centre back, and came on as a sub in today's match against Fulham for the injured Reo-Coker. This, like Bannan was also ahead of Sidwell, proving Gerard Houlliers faith in the young duo.

He has the potential to be a top player, and in my opinion is a better player than Phil Jones, who is being tipped as a big future for England. He was the reserve team captain for the previous two seasons, and as well as his defensive prowess, he offers a big threat from set pieces. Unfortunately for England though, Clark has decided to play for Ireland who he qualifies for through his family.

Likely to keep place in the centre of midfield with Reo-Coker injured for a few weeks, and Sidwell out until christmas time.

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Re: Villa Youngsters

Jonathan Hogg

0,,10265~8907303,00.jpg

Position - CM

Age - 21 (D.O.B: 6/12/1988)

DB - Yes 70

Originally from Newcastle, Jonathan Hogg suffered a big setback in his development in 2007 suffering a major cruciate ligament injury which left him out of action for a year. He returned for the reserves toward the end of the 08/09 season, and has taken further steps in his career. Still to make a league performance for Villa, but he did play in the away leg against Rapid Vienna at the start of the season.

With Reo-Coker adding his name to the injury list today, Hogg will be a certainty to be on the bench until his return, and may be given a chance to show what he can do.

Made his debut against Manchester United as Ciaran Clark added his name to the stupidly long injury list.

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Re: Villa Youngsters

Eric Lichaj

Eric.jpg

Position - RB/CB

Age - 21 (D.O.B: 17/11/1988, 22 in a week)

DB - Yes 75

USA born with Polish parent, Lichaj joined the Villa youth setup in the 2007/08 season. He is still yet to make his league debut for Villa, but has played has made 3 cup appearances this season (1 Europa League, 2 League Cup). He has impressed with each of those, and has also been on bench multiple times in the league. Personally, I think he should be our second choice Right back, ahead of Habib Beye, because he is already comfortable with the ball and very capable at both defending and attacking. He is fast as well, and in his last performance he took the ball from the edge of the Villa box and ended up running pretty much the whole pitch, beating defenders until he was fouled (although not given because the ref was awful) on the edge of the opposition box. He is also quite tall for a full-back and a good threat from set pieces.

As well as his footballing skills, he also has the 'Rory Delap' long throw in his armoury. With our two other right backs being 31 and 33, it is only a matter of time before he will get his chance to prove himself, and hopefully keep his place. In my opinion, I would rather us bring Lichaj through as first choice right back than sign another, which we will hopefully do.

Also, forgot to mention that although he hasn't appeared in the league for Villa yet, he impressed on loan Lincoln and Leyton Orient last season making a combined 15 appearances and scoring one goal. He also got a senior call-up to the USA national team a few weeks ago, and got his first cap as a half time substitute against Columbia. Poland also called him up at the same period, but he opted to play for the USA .

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Re: Villa Youngsters

Daniel Johnson

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Number 10 in centre

Age - 18 (D.O.B: 8/10/1992)

Position - LM/Wing

DB - No

I'll admit I don't know too much about Johnson, and I am still yet to see him play other than taking shots in a warm-up. Daniel Johnson previously played at Crystal Palace's academy, but Villa signed him on a scholarship. Last season, Johnson was the captain for the academy team, and this season made the step up to the reserves when he was just 17.

He has been in great form for both the reserves and academy side this season, which earned him a first team call for the League Cup clash against Burnley. He was an unused sub, but for someone so young, it is a good sign of his talent. I don't know if he'll get his chance this season, or if he will have to wait, but I we carry on getting injuries at the rate we currently are, he might have to play.

More one for the future, but looks a very good prospect.

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Re: Villa Youngsters

Would be interested in your views on Nathan Baker (19 yo LB/CB rated 72). He played well for England in the U-19 European Championships in the summer. How close is he to breaking through to the first team squad? Will he be going out on loan to get more first team experience?

He was on the bench for the Europa League match vs Rapid Vienna back in August but hasn't been seen at all under Houllier. What's happening with him?

Cheers

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Re: Villa Youngsters

Nathan Baker

0,,10265~8961662,00.jpg

Age - 19 (D.O.B: 23/4/1991)

Position - CB/LB

DB - Yes 72

Nathan Baker caught the eye 2 seasons ago, after shining for the reserves at just 17 years of age. He has still to really step up into the first team, but still at 19, he has time. It is more difficult to break through into defence, as one mistake can be a very costly. He impressed on loan at Licoln City last season, making 18 appearances. He is also capped 9 times for the U19 England squad.

He is currently injured, which is why he hasn't been playing for the reserves. He is a very good defender, but I don't see him playing for the first team this season, and maybe not next. I don't know though, but don't forget he is only 19, so there is no pressure for him to break through right now.

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Re: Villa Youngsters

Daniel Johnson

0

http://www.nufc.co.uk/javaImages/11/d6/0,,10278~9098769,00.jpg' alt='0,,10278~9098769,00.jpg'>

Number 10 in centre

Age - 18 (D.O.B: 8/10/1992)

Position - LM/Wing

DB - No

I'll admit I don't know too much about Johnson, and I am still yet to see him play other than taking shots in a warm-up. Daniel Johnson previously played at Crystal Palace's academy, but Villa signed him on a scholarship. Last season, Johnson was the captain for the academy team, and this season made the step up to the reserves when he was just 17.

He has been in great form for both the reserves and academy side this season, which earned him a first team call for the League Cup clash against Burnley. He was an unused sub, but for someone so young, it is a good sign of his talent. I don't know if he'll get his chance this season, or if he will have to wait, but I we carry on getting injuries at the rate we currently are, he might have to play.

More one for the future, but looks a very good prospect.

Ahhh good to see this thread.

Last year when i was on my placement year i was fortunate enough to go to Bodymoor heath and i watched this lad, he absoloutely bossed it. It was against a team which wasnt fielding there strongest players, including a few trialists but he looked really good !

Forgot all about him, only remember him because of his dreads !

iv done a thread on Weimann to fella

http://forum.soccermanager.com/showthread.php?t=47585&highlight=andreas

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Guest Villa888

Re: Villa Youngsters

Players out on Loan

James Collins (Jnr.)

Harry Forrester

List of Others to Note

Gary Gardner - http://forum.soccermanager.com/showthread.php?t=71278&highlight=Gary+Gardner

Durrell Berry

Arsenio Halfhuid

Elliot Parish

Samir Carruthers

Courtney Cameron

Seb Jenkins

Siegrist, who in my opinion will be better then Parish.

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Re: Villa Youngsters

Post Match Update

Aston Villa 3 - 2 Blackpool

Downing 28

Delfouneso 60

Collins 89

Bannan and Clark both started in the centre of the midfield. Blackpool played 3 in the middle, so neither got much time on the ball. Both players though looked reasonably comfortable and played well. Clark was composed on the ball and rarely gave it away, and also got stuck into challenges. Bannan did give the ball away quite a bit, and did keep trying to pull of a difficult ball when there was probably a more simple one available.

Albrighton started as normal, and did what he has done all season, got past the full back on most occassions and got the ball in the box. Delfouneso also got another start, and rounded it off with 2 goals. For some strange reason though the ref decided to disallow the first one, apparently for a push :confused: Moments later though, Ashley Young picked him out, and the ball was nessling in the corner of the net. His first half performance was a bit drap, a few nice touches but all together didn't look that threatening. Second half was much better though as he chased down the ball and pressurised Blackpool. Got the goal as well before being subbed off for Agbonlahor's return.

In the final minutes, Eric Lichaj was subbed on for Bannan for his league debut. He didn't have too much to do, but he did win a header and make one pass, and did also make the clearance that meant Blackpool didn't have time to have another chance.

Hogg, Lowry, and Johnson were also on the bench, but didn't play

My Ratings :

Albrighton 7

Bannan 6

Clark 7

Delfouneso 7

Lichaj - Didn't play long enough, had a 100% heading and passing rate though with 1 of each ;)

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Re: Villa Youngsters

Post Match Update

Aston Villa 3 - 2 Blackpool

Downing 28

Delfouneso 60

Collins 89

Bannan and Clark both started in the centre of the midfield. Blackpool played 3 in the middle' date=' so neither got much time on the ball. Both players though looked reasonably comfortable and played well. Clark was composed on the ball and rarely gave it away, and also got stuck into challenges. Bannan did give the ball away quite a bit, and did keep trying to pull of a difficult ball when there was probably a more simple one available.

Albrighton started as normal, and did what he has done all season, got past the full back on most occassions and got the ball in the box. Delfouneso also got another start, and rounded it off with 2 goals. For some strange reason though the ref decided to disallow the first one, apparently for a push :confused: Moments later though, Ashley Young picked him out, and the ball was nessling in the corner of the net. His first half performance was a bit drap, a few nice touches but all together didn't look that threatening. Second half was much better though as he chased down the ball and pressurised Blackpool. Got the goal as well before being subbed off for Agbonlahor's return.

In the final minutes, Eric Lichaj was subbed on for Bannan for his league debut. He didn't have too much to do, but he did win a header and make one pass, and did also make the clearance that meant Blackpool didn't have time to have another chance.

Hogg, Lowry, and Johnson were also on the bench, but didn't play

My Ratings :

Albrighton 7

Bannan 6

Clark 7

Delfouneso 7

Lichaj - Didn't play long enough, had a 100% heading and passing rate though with 1 of each ;)[/quote']

I don't know, i think Bannan was our best player on the pitch. Has been for the past 2 games and will be in the future. Probably would have given him an 8.

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Re: Villa Youngsters

I don't know' date=' i think Bannan was our best player on the pitch. Has been for the past 2 games and will be in the future. Probably would have given him an 8.[/quote']

He was man of the match against Fulham, but he was trying to force the ball through a bit too much against Blackpool, so thats why I gave him a lower rating. The effort was still there, and i'm not saying he played badly. Ashley Young was my man of the match, we looked that little bit more likely everytime he got the ball and turned. Downing got man of the match i think though, and Albrighton got the matchday sponsor one.

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Re: Villa Youngsters

Post Match Update

Aston Villa 2 - 2 Man. United

A. Young 72 (P)

Albrighton 76

Villa handed a first team debut to Jonathan Hogg, as Ciaran Clark added his name to the injury list with a calf problem. He played ok, parts of the game seemed to bypass him a bit. He was putting in tackles and making interceptions, but was occassionally left chasing, which you would expect against Man U to be fair. He was partnered in the centre by Barry Bannan, who once again stepped up to the occassion and put in a good performance. Bannan was given the matchday sponsors man of the match, and his highlight of the game was a terrific through ball to Downing, whose cross was then importantly blocked by Ferdinand, as it would've presented Agbonlahor with an easy tap in.

Albrighton started and scored in a fantastic performance from him. He was tackling players, and cutting out passes, as well as doing his normal terrorising of the left back. The official man of the match, and my choice as well.

Albrighton was replaced not long after the Man U equaliser for Eric Lichaj, who played at right mid, and could have made an impact, had fellow substitute Delfouneso not wasted the chance, messing up a simple pass down the line for Lichaj to put a cross in, in the 90th minute.

Hogg, who started for his league debut, and was replaced near the end by Chris Herd for his league debut too. Like Lichaj against Blackpool, he didn't have enough time to really impact anything.

Delfouneso was the most experienced outfield player on the bench, highlighting Villa's injury problems. Eric Lichaj, Shane Lowry, Chris Herd, Daniel Johnson, Isiah Osbourne, and Nathan Delfouneso were the outfield players alongside Guzan on the bench.

My Match Ratings:

Albrighton 8.5

Bannan 7

Hogg 6.5

Delfouneso 4.5

Lichaj and Herd - Didn't play long enough to warrant a rating

If anyone wants to see the injury lists of Premier league teams - here is a good link

http://www.physioroom.com/news/english_premier_league/epl_injury_table.php

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Re: Villa Youngsters

Really happy for the lad ! Couldnt of come at a better time regarding confidence.

He was chuffed to bits about being called up apparently. :)

Just a segment from the BBCs analysis of the Scotland game (vs Faroe Islands' date=' they won 3-0):

[i']"Moments later Bannan then drove forward from midfield to crack a low left-footed shot off the post from 25 yards as the Scots continued to assert themselves."

"However, seconds before the referee could blow the half-time whistle, Scotland added a third when QPR striker Mackie poked the ball in from just a yard after Steven Caldwell had headed down Bannan's deep cross."[/i]

Sounds like it went well for him.

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