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John Gregory's return - Aston Villa F.C

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ASTON VILLA F.C

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JOHN GREGORY RETURNS TO ASTON VILLA

Shock and disbelief engulfed a Villa Park press conference today when under-fire Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner announced that John Gregory would be returning to the club for a 2nd spell as manager following resigning in 2002.

Back then, Aston Villa were owned by the infamous 'deadly' Doug Ellis and Gregory had been the club's manager for 4 seasons (1998-2002) and had lead the club to top-8 finishes in the English Premier League. Times have changed since then and now the club have gone from the brink of champions league qualification to being on the verge of relegation to championship - a reality which was proved last season under the unpopular management of Alex Mcleish which saw the club finish 16th.

Returning Villa boss Gregory had this to say at a press conference ''Obviously I am delighted to return to the Villa, it's been a long time coming. I was a little surprised when i got the call from Randy but I had a long think about it and I thought it was about the right time to get back into football. I think that the club still has potential to fall back into the top-8 picture and even beyond - why not?'' The 58-year old then went on to say: ''Rome wasn't built in a day and instant success won't happen within this season. Building the right squad and the right mentality does take time, so of course this is a long-term project but I believe some of the current players can be apart of that long-term project - I am very impressed and encouraged by the potential of the current team but of course potential is potential and we need some satisfactory ability to go forward with and currently I believe this squad has it. What we also need is the fans to return to Villa Park and get behind the lads so we can all move forward together. Up the Villa!''


FAN ZONE - OPINIONS

Peter Fardell, 48-year old Villa fan: 'I was a season ticket holder when John was in charge before and enjoyed his time here at the Villa. We didn't miss out on the top-8 previously under him but I think that achievement may be hard to repeat but it'll take some time - looking forward to this!'

Alan Eltherington, 63-year old Villa fan: ''Not sure about this appointment - when he was last in charge his reign went a little stale and not many of us liked what he was doing but still optimistic on what he can bring back to the club. Up the villa.''

Debbie Jones, 8-year old Villa fan: "Whoever he is we are going to be the best again, Villa till i die.. Villa till i die!!!'


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On a side note, I had to re-format my computer yesterday therefore my Portsmouth save was unfortunatley lost and I couldn't wait to get a save back on following my Grimsby one. Hope you all enjoy!
 
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Looks good mate. Could you take a look at mine when you can. Cheers. :)
 
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JULY UPDATE

Eric Lichaj is sold to Ipswich Town for 1m
Chris Herd is sold to Leeds United for 1m

Villa boss John Gregory says that 'Agbonlahor will not be sold'

A defiant John Gregory told the press today that star player Gabriel Agbonlahor will not be sold amist strong interest from some of England's top clubs such as Arsenal. ''I said when i re-joined this club that I wanted to progress once again and selling Gabby would be the absolute opposite of that completely.''

View attachment 318435

Gabriel Agbonlahor has shown signs of revitalizing his career under Gregory with impressive performances in friendlies and it is now clear that the Villa taskmaster will be looking to keep the Villa loyalist at all costs despite possible big bids from other clubs.Many Villa fans infer from the press conference that Gregory is showing that Villa still have ambition as a club whilst others aren't too sure about the story..

Alan Hardy, 39-year old Villa fan: ''I'm utterly delighted by this news.. it's showing that we have the ambition to keep our top players despite recent tough times whilst other clubs would take the other option.. hopefully Gregory won't fall out with players this time and we could be back on the right track to success.''

Gary Smith, 52-year old Villa fan: ''Last year under Mcleish I think that Gabby was poor and has been really since O'Neill left. O'Neill unleashed his true potential and won him 3 England caps. If motivated right he may almost come close to recapturing that form but I wouldn't take the risk. I'd take the money and run to be fair, loyal or not.''

Peter Barrow, 24-year old Villa fan: ''He's a fans favourite and he's done fantastic for us in pre-season but it's all about performing like this in the Premiership - it's a 50/50 situation. I would hate to be in John's shoes right now but I hope he makes the right decision for Villa's sake.
 
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FINAL PRE-SEASON REPORT/UPDATE

Final results (all simulated)


Aston Villa 1-2 Aston Villa reserves
Cowdenbeath 0-2 Aston Villa
Tamworth 0-3 Aston Villa
Crystal Palace 1-2 Aston Villa
Peterborough United 1-3 Aston Villa
Aston Villa 1-1 Real Sociedad
Aston Villa 1-0 Juventus

INJURIES:

Ron Vlaar (will miss WBA game)
Braz Guzan (will miss around 7 games)
Joe Bennett (will miss WBA game)

2012/13 FIXTURE LIST

AUGUST

WBA (H)
STOKE (A)
BURTON (H) (CARLING CUP/CAPITAL ONE CUP)

SEPTEMBER

QPR (H)
SOUTHAMPTON (A)
ARSENAL (H)
MAN CITY (A)

OCTOBER

NEWCASTLE (H)
FULHAM (A)
LIVERPOOL (H)

NOVEMBER

WIGAN (A)
WEST HAM (A)
SWANSEA (A)
READING (H)
NORWICH (H)

DECEMBER

TOTTENHAM (A)
MAN UTD (H)
CHELSEA (H)
SUNDERLAND (A)
EVERTON (A)
WBA (A)

JANUARY

QPR (A)
STOKE (H)
SOUTHAMPTON (H)
MAN CITY (H)
ARSENAL (A)

FEBRUARY

NEWCASTLE (A)
FULHAM (H)
WIGAN (H)

MARCH

LIVERPOOL (A)
WEST HAM (H)
READING (A)

APRIL

SWANSEA (H)
TOTTENHAM (H)
NORWICH (A)
MAN UTD (A)

MAY

SUNDERLAND (H)
CHELSEA (A)
EVERTON (H)

Key: (H) - Home ... (A) - Away
(forgot about emoticons appearing!!)

fixtures are subject to change..

Up the villa!



 
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AUGUST UPDATE

Aston Villa 1-2 West Bromwich Albion

Obviously it is disappointing to be coming back to a loss and especially when you lose against your bitter rivals at Villa Park but you have to show the right character to bounce back in the next game - we weren't good enough to win the game due to a lack of effort by the players and that's why we didn't win. Rookie mistakes from Lowton at the back didn't help things either - he was at fault for both of West Brom's goals. (Scorer: Westwood) (Att: 42,785)

Stoke City 0-0 Aston Villa

A much improved defensive performance from Lowton after Vlaar returned from injury (he was a rock in defence) and the rest of the lads in defence performed well too which nulified Stoke who are quite a good team at home to say the least. The lack of spirit upfront though is hugely worrying at the minute despite being a few games in. Overall though, a point gained. (MOTM: Vlaar) (Att: 27,740)

Aston Villa 1-0 Burton Albion (Capital One Cup 2nd round)

Looked comfortable throughout the match with a weakened side but it took a late Darren Bent goal to seal the win against the league 2 side. (Scorer: Bent) (Att: 10,181)

AVFC player of the month

RON VLAAR

Hard to pick considering that only 3 games were played but when Vlaar came back for the hard game away at Stoke his presence really got us kicking for the impressive draw at the Britannia where Ron put in a great performance.


Charles Nzogbia is sold to Russian giants CSKA Moscow for a fee of around 5m after falling down the pecking order at Villa under manager John Gregory.

BLUES VS VILLA
in the league cup 3rd round as the two second-City rivals are drawn together. The match will take place at ST. Andrews


LEAGUE TABLE

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SEPTEMBER UPDATE


Aston Villa 0-0 Queens Park Rangers

Another disappointing result for Villa as I felt we should've won this game.. finishing needs improving now.. the lack of goals are starting to become worrying. (MOTM: Dunne) (Att: 35,937)
ALL MATCH REPORTS BELOW LOST

Southampton 2-1 Aston Villa (Scorer: Weimann) (Att: 32,689)
Aston Villa 2-1 Arsenal (Scorers: Clark, Benteke) (Att: 33,765)
Birmingham City 4-1 Aston Villa (Scorer: Agbonlahor) (Att: 21,605)
Manchester City 5-3 Aston Villa (Scorers: Benteke, Holman, Westwood) (Att: 47,405)

AVFC PLAYER OF THE MONTH

Ciaran Clark

Ciaran has been the most consistent player this month, all of his performances have reflected this - especially the 2-1 home win over Arsenal.
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OCTOBER UPDATE

Aston Villa 0-0 Newcastle United

Quite a stale game with Newcastle who defended excellently - we could have won but I think a draw was probably the fair result. (Att: 32,873)

Fulham 1-3 Aston Villa

A much better performance from the lads and a fantastic away result at Fulham who are doing well at the moment - everybody performed good in this game and we need to build on this result. (Scorers: Bent X2, Sylla) (MOTM: Bent) (Att: 25,700)

Aston Villa 4-0 Liverpool

We sure did build on the Fulham result - what a win! Despite Liverpool having a struggle earlier on this season I am unbelivably proud of this result because I'm sure they will bounce back very soon. Great display by every player. (Scorers: Benteke X2, Bent X2) (MOTM: Albrighton) (Att: 32,221)

AVFC PLAYER OF THE MONTH

Darren Bent

It has to be Darren Bent this month. The striker seemed to be falling down the pecking order just a little following Weimann/Benteke's rise but the 24m-man seems to have turned a new leaf in his Villa career by scoring 4 goals this month!

LEAGUE TABLE

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NOVEMBER UPDATE

Wigan Athletic 2-1 Aston Villa

A disappointing result to open up November. We were never really in the game and a late consolation from Darren Bent was the only real positive from this game. (Scorer: Bent) (Att: 18,476)

West Ham United 1-3 Aston Villa

Very good win at the hostile Upton Park which in my opinion is one of the hardest away days in the league - we were full value for our win. (Scorers: Benteke, Vlaar, Bent) (MOTM: Vlaar) (Att: 31,031)

Swansea City 2-0 Aston Villa

A poor start and poor performances from midfielders Clark (who was probably rushed back early) and Westwood arguably was our downfall in this game. (Att: 18,731)

Aston Villa 3-1 Reading

A fantastic win against newly-promoted Reading - who lacked confidence. Incisive finishing from Gabby Agbonlahor and Weimann insured a very comfortable win at Villa Park. (Scorers: Agbonlahor X2, Weimann) (MOTM: Agbonlahor) (Att: 32,820)

Aston Villa 0-3 Norwich City

Nathan Baker being sent off didn't help our cause in this game.. never the less we were poor and Norwich were much better in front of goal and deserved the 3 points. Looks like inconsistency is starting to blossom so far. (Att: 34,611)
AVFC PLAYER OF THE MONTH

RON VLAAR

Ron Vlaar has put in some really decent performances throughout the season has probably remained the most consistently good and has made the fewest mistakes.

LEAGUE TABLE

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DECEMBER UPDATE

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Aston Villa

Quite a poor performance from the lads but to be fair our tactics were over-ambitious and in a way we were lucky not to concede more. Great work from the defensive trio of Lowton, Vlaar and Clark who performed rather well at the back. (Att: 36,284)

Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United

A very good performance from the Villa.. all the players were motivated and all played their part in a marvelous win against Manchester United who looked very dangerous themselves. (Scorers: Weimann, Benteke) (MOTM: Westwood) (Att: 42,042)

Sunderland 4-0 Aston Villa

The inconsistency is almost starting to drive me nuts now! I think that this may take time. Poor performance from all but to be fair Sunderland fully deserved it and destroyed us to ease their early relegation fears. (Att: 35,909)
Everton 2-1 Aston Villa

It looked like one of them away day hammerings again as Everton blossomed on to a fine display with great confidence but we were much better in the second half and pulled a goal back but weren't good enough to equalize in the boxing day clash. (Scorer: Benteke) (Att: 32,011)

West Bromwich Albion 5-1 Aston Villa

Our relegation fears are starting to grow after local rivals West Brom demolished us either. Not trying to use excuses but our injury problems are also grow after players have had to play out of position. Still though, an awful result. Hopefully a better 2013 will be in store for Villa.. (Scorer: Gardner) (Att: 26,445)

AVFC PLAYER OF THE MONTH

Ashley Westwood

If it has to be anyone, it probably would be Ashley Westwood. The young midfielder put in an exceptional display against Manchester United in our 2-1 win at Villa Park and had been unlucky in the games after that with him being forced to play out of position due to injuries.

LEAGUE TABLE


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JANUARY UPDATE

Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Aston Villa


I blame this defeat on a lack of fatigue and also the injury list mounting up again. Points dropped, yes but we have been seriously unlucky but unfortunately we are now deep in the relegation battle. FRUSTRATING. (Att: 17,876)

(Injury list: Joe Bennett, Nathan Baker, Ashley Westwood, Ciaran Clark)

Rotherham United 2-2 Aston Villa (FA Cup 3rd round - winner faces Birmingham City)

And our fatigue's deterioration will begin to show as our slightly weakened side fail to defeat Rotherham United at their hostile new york stadium. Shocking, this speaks volumes for how poor our current form is. (Scorer: Weimann X2) (MOTM: Weimann) (Att: 12,009) (Agbonlahor and Guzan added to injury list - 2 weeks for Guzan, 10 days for Gabby)

TRANSFER NEWS:

Aston Villa announce the signing of Costa Rican international legend Gilberto Martinez for a nominal fee. The 33-year old defender has signed for the troubled Midlands club until the end of the season from Italian side Lecce.

Lazio goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo will join Aston Villa at the end of his current contract which expires in July. The 27-year old keeper is delighted to be joining the Midlands club and is said to be confident that the club will prevail in their bid to preserve their premiership status otherwise he would have not agreed to join the Premiership strugglers.

Aston Villa 2-1 Chelsea
Finally! We have recorded an overdue win to stop the rot. Really happy with this win, a very gutsy performance and to be fair we deserved to win this one.. did well to win after going 1-0 down, performance was good and tactically spot on. (Scorer: Bent X2) (MOTM: Bent) (Injured: Delph - out for 5 weeks) (Att: 42,326)

Aston Villa 2-2 Stoke City

Despite squandering a 2-goal lead, it is pleasing that we have took 2 points in our 2 meetings with the potential premiership champions - unfortunately in the second half we were unable to cope with the physical aspects of the Stoke side. Well done to Darren Bent on another fine goal-scoring performance though. (Scorer: Bent X2) (MOTM: Bent) (Att: 33,461)

Aston Villa 0-1 Southampton

Disappointing result considering the past 2 games.. very stale and frustrating for us.. need to do better. Bent getting unfairly sent off very early in the game didn't help things. Southampton do the double over Villa. (Att: 33,169) (Sent off: Bent) (Injury - Martinez out for 3 weeks)

TRANSFER NEWS:

Villa veteran defender Richard Dunne moves to Europa league-chasing Fulham for a fee of around 500,000. The deal is said to be a catalyst in lowering the club's wage bill which has been lowered further this season by sale of high-earner Charles Nzogbia.

Aston Villa prospect Samir Carruthers moves to league one outfit Crawley Town on a loan deal which lasts 3 months. Carruthers' only appearance this season came in the club's 2-2 FA Cup 3rd round draw with Rotherham United.

Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester City

In my opinion probably the best result so far on this save. To beat a Manchester City team takes a lot of doing when you're a struggling side and to beat one consisting of the likes of Aguero, David Silva, Sandro, Fellaini and Tevez is unbelievably good - fantastic result and a vital one. I mean, we had 10 men for most of the game!! Huge credit to Vlaar as well, his first game as captain and he did fantastically well and fought to at 60% condition at the end - Paul Mcgrath would be proud! (Scorer: Benteke X2) (Sent off: Baker) (MOTM: Vlaar) (Att: 42,216)

Aston Villa 1-0 Rotherham United (FA Cup 3rd round replay)

Fairly comfortable victory with a weakened side to beat League 2 Rotherham and secure our place into the next round were we play Second City rivals Birmingham once again but this time at Villa Park. (Scorer: Gardner) (Sent off: Gardner) (MOTM: Stevens) (Att: 30,579)

Aston Villa 2-0 Birmingham City

Pleased to get one over our Second City rivals following our embarassing 4-1 defeat at St. Andrews in the league cup earlier on in the season but this match was rather close following some end-to-end action at Villa Park with the Blues hitting the post with not long to go. Good win for us though and a great attendance too boost our finances. (Scorer: Benteke X2) (MOTM: Benteke) (Att: 42,785)

Aston Villa draw Millwall at Villa Park in the 5th round of the FA Cup.

Arsenal 0-0 Aston Villa

A great point to end the month for Villa - we had 3 shots on target to Arsenal's 1 but unfortunatley our lack of possession prevented us from making any sort of clear cut chances therefore we settled for a point but a point is good at the Emirates. (MOTM: Baker) (Att: 50,189)

AVFC PLAYER OF THE MONTH
CHRISTIAN BENTEKE

Really hard one to decide as numerous of players were excellent throughout January but Benteke was a player that scored quite a few goals and performed well in most matches.. his work rate and strength was also key to providing other goals.

LEAGUE TABLE


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Anybody still interested in this save? Lack of feedback is shocking and i'm thinking of stopping the story now.
 
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No keep going! Interested to see what you do at the end of the first season. Good luck staying up!
 
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I've just registered to this forum, but I read your story before and I think it's worth to continue(as all AV story are). :)
 
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An update to those that were interested:

After flirting with relegation for much of the season we beat Chelsea 3-2 at Stamford Bridge and Everton 4-1 at Villa Park to secure our Premiership finish by finishing 10th.
 
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