Villa Noise: Actor Carew, Wonderkid Bowery and Abbey Road Hercules
Behind-the-scenes in B6.
18th Jan 2013
Villa Noise: Actor Carew, Wonderkid Bowery and Abbey Road Hercules

Ron Vlaar
wishes he'd been fit and available much earlier than this weekend for the Baggies derby clash.

But he admits it's been an eye-opening experience sitting in the stands with the fans for several of Villa's away games.

Vlaar has been a regular on the road with the claret and blue faithful, heading off to places like Norwich's Carrow Road with Gary Gardner.

He's certainly enjoyed the passion of the supporters.

He said: "I have sensed the passion of the fans.

"I feel the same myself sitting there. You want to scream the lads to victory. There's a lot of passion. It's a good feeling. That's what all the supporters feel every game.

"It's good to watch the game from the stands because it's a nice view of the pitch but one or two games is enough because you want to be back playing."

We're glad to have you back Mr Concrete.

Jordan Bowery

Jordan Bowery has been picked out as a 'Wonderkid of 2013' by Match magazine.

Match have revealed "red-hot talents" who they insist will "boss the top-flight" this year.

Wonderkids must have less than ten Barclays Premier League starts, be 21-years-old or younger and, most importantly, be a "top footy talent."

They said of Jordan: "Bowery is awesome in the air and has loads of pace. If he keeps improving his finishing, he could make it as a top Premier League marksman.

"Paul Lambert has made it clear Christian Benteke is his No.1 striker but Bowery will get his chance."

Match picked out Gary Gardner as a 'Wonderkid of 2012' and he went on to start against Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Bowery will hope the magazine keeps up its good prediction levels!

Elsewhere in the magazine, they have predicted a 2-2 draw against the Baggies on Saturday.

They said: "We're expecting a fiery derby. We reckon Villa can get something against Steve Clarke's Baggies."


Christian Benteke has been voted No.3 "Money Maker" in Match of the Day magazine.

Dubbed a look at the "deals that could make a tidy profit", Benteke features high up in the rankings, just behind Michu and Gareth Bale.

They believe Benteke's value has increased from £7m to £18m - an £11m increase!

They say of Benteke: "The big Belgian is only 22 but already has the useful knack of making Premier League defenders look silly and bagging important goals."

It's well worth picking up Match of the Day magazine, which features a nice poster of Matt Lowton.

Top 10

1] Gareth Bale - Increase £26m
2] Michu - Increase £18m
3] Christian Benteke - Increase £11m
4] Wilfried Zaha - Increase £10m
5] Jack Butland - Increase £7m
6] Danny Rose - Increase £6.5m
7] Alex Kacaniklic - Increase £6m
8] Arouna Kone - Increase £5.3m
9] Luke Shaw - Increase £5m
10] Mohamed Diame - £3m

John Gregory was a very welcome visitor to Villa Park this week as he took part in an AVTV interview about all things claret and blue.

It's fair to say that the managerial game is a merry-go-round at times, with gaffers changing their allegiances regularly through the years.

While Gregory moved himself later in his gaffer career, his heart has always been with the Villa.

That was illustrated by the way he admired the grand old stadium on his arrival in B6 for the piece to camera.

He said: "This place makes the hairs on the back of your head stand up.

"It's always been a beautiful - and I mean beautiful - stadium. Everything always looks fantastic and everything is kept fantastic.

"It was a stadium I was always very proud of. To be able to say this is your home ground is incredible. Football people all across the world will tell you great things about this grand old stadium.

"The Holte End is tremendous. I always looked forward to the second half when we kicked that way. You always felt you could get something kicking towards the Holte End. It's so intimidating for the opposition.

"But all four sides of the stadium are magnificent. When this place is rocking, there's no better place to be."

Gregory had presenter Jack Woodward giggling at the end of the interview.

Having discussed his memories of bossing Villa, telling us some classic anecdotes, Woodward ended the interview by saying: "We haven't talked about Doug Ellis?"

Gregory smiled before replying: "We really haven't got enough time. We'll leave that for another day."


John Gregory worked with some wonderful players in his four-year stint as manager of Villa.

There was Benito Carbone, Paul Merson, Gareth Southgate, Stan Collymore, Dion Dublin and Ian Taylor.

But in his latest interview about all things claret and blue, Gregory was keen to highlight the impact - and professionalism - of left-back Alan Wright.

He told us: "I had some of the best years out of Little Alan Wright.

"He stood about 5ft 5in but he was massive in terms of contribution. He gave absolutely everything.

"Also, he lived in Manchester but he was never late for training. That tells you all you need to know about him.

"He was so dependable. He was a proper player. He was always a 7/10, some weeks he was 8/10 while at Tottenham one season he was 9/10.

"We won 4-2 and he scored an absolute screamer for our last goal, a half-volley from 25 yards.

"But what impressed me most was that we had lads who lived round the corner who turned up ten minutes late for training but Wrighty was always on time and lived miles and miles away. He was a great pro."


John Carew is the latest footballer to try his luck at acting.

Carew, 33, has been without a club since he was released by West Ham in the summer and the Norwegian hitman now appears to have hung up his football boots in order to start an acting career.

Speaking to Dagbladet on Wednesday, Carew told reporters: "I will be here in Canada filming for a month.

"I can't say much about the film until the project gets more developed, but it's an action-thriller movie.

"I think I have 'it' and 'it' is what you need to be successful in the film industry."

Accompanying the picture on Twitter, the former Norway star said: 'First day of shooting done #KillingTime #RobertRice #KimBerlin movie of 2013, watch out! :)'


Diving has been a hot topic in the media these past few weeks but Villa Ladies have taken it to extremes.

Winger Emma Follis was so quick in her last game that the assistant referee pulled up with a calf injury chasing her down the line.

Follis has been the star of the show for Villa Ladies these past few matches, showing pace, precision and power in abundance from the flanks.

The 21-year-old Villa fan scored in the 7-0 friendly win over RAF Cosford on Tuesday - where she was too pacy for the official!


Hercules the Lion joined his fellow Capital One Cup mascots in London for a photoshoot to promote the climax of the competition.

Hercules was joined by Cyril the Swan, Stamford the Lion and Billy the Bantam in being snapped in a collection of places in the capital.

Our favourite picture is undoubtedly Abbey Road, as the quartet recreated the album cover made famous by The Beatles.

They also visited the London Eye and the London Underground before joining Charlotte Ord - 'Personal Trainer of the Year 2012' - for a fitness session to help them lose their festive flab.

Villa will look to see off Bradford in the second leg on Tuesday, with the Bantams currently holding a 3-1 lead.








Ron Vlaar is renowned as an intense trainer, spending many hours at Bodymoor Heath working on his fitness.

Ashley Westwood backed up his reputation in Shoot magazine, hailing the skipper's enthusiasm for exercise.

He said: "I don't know how he sleeps because he's always at Bodymoor Heath training!"


Paul Lambert told the press that he's looking to bring in a strong, powerful centre-half in the transfer window.

When Martin Laursen read these quotes back in Denmark, the former claret and blue colossus admits his mind drifted.

He said: "I read the comments of the manager last week that he wants a strong, physical defender in the transfer window. I agree with him. I think a solid defensive addition could make a massive difference.

"I know I'll never play again. But when I heard the manager's comments, it really made me want to lace up my boots again. That's for sure.

"I'd give anything to be out there playing for Villa again and helping them. But I cannot do that. I can think about it.

"I have drifted back in time before. Unfortunately I know it won't happen."

Make sure you pick up tickets for Newcastle.

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