Villa Noise: Bieber fever, Houllier handywork and Angel Management
Paul Brown blogs on B6 quirky stories.
1st Mar 2013

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I remember the confident discourse used by Gerard Houllier at his opening press conference as Villa boss in September 2010.

He said: "I like to do things as a team. You can ask people I was with at Lyon and Liverpool. I can feel we are going to be in this together."

Unfortunately, Gerard was forced to step aside before the end of the season because of health problems.

But he was back preaching his principles as Villa took on Arsenal at The Emirates last weekend.

Working for French TV station Canal+, he could see his presenter pal struggling with his tie pitchside before the preview piece.

Houllier helped him adjust his neckwear before grinning and proclaiming: "That's teamwork."

Check out the video above

Interesting stat from the Arsenal v Villa game, by the way.

When Andreas Weimann scored in the game at The Emirates, it was the first time that Arsene Wenger had seen an opposition player with the same initials as himself score against his team in the Barclays Premier League since Ashley Ward did so for Derby County in May 1997.

Ciaran Clark is used to watching people next to him heading the ball.

But on this occasion he couldn't stop howling with laughter.

Clark was taking part in an AVTV interview courtside during a basketball session at a Premier League 4 Sport community event.

Cameraman Bobby Bridgeman has his full focus on Clark before the defender spotted a wayward ball flying towards the versatile television ace.

Clark yelled 'heads-up' but it was too late as Bridgeman was pummelled by the stray shot.

Cue loads of laughter from everyone.

Check out the video above.

It clearly wasn't the luckiest of weeks for staff on AVTV.

The club's in-house television channel followed up the courtside community event with a trip to Ward End fire station to film the pre-match show, in the company of firefighter Dani Petrovic, who also happens to be Villa Ladies skipper.

Producer Lucy Finney, doing a spot of filming in the afternoon, jumped into the front seat of one of the engines.

Taking her place, she failed to spot the red buzzer - and accidentally pressed it.

It set off the alarm that is a feature of engines as they career up and down our roads on their call-outs.

Cue a mortified Lucy before the salient staff put her at ease with friendly arm around the shoulder.

Check out the video above.


Congratulations are in order to two former members of Villa's coaching staff.

Kevin MacDonald, who spent seventeen years in the claret and blue family, has been appointed boss of Swindon Town, succeeding Paolo Di Canio in the hotseat.

Rafa Gonzalez has also just got a new job as goalkeeping coach at New York Red Bulls.

Gonzalez worked in the same role under both MacDonald and Houllier.

Interestingly, Houllier is a consultant for Red Bulls.

Congratulations to both Kevin and Rafa on their new roles and good luck for the future!

There was a spot of Bieber fever at Villa Park this week.

Singer Bieber - the most followed celebrity on Twitter with over 35m fans - played a concert at the LG Arena in Birmingham on Thursday.

Checking out his Twitter timeline the day before, we noticed he retweeted the message of his best mate and songwriting partner Ryan Butler.

As you can see, Butler - who travels with Bieber everywhere - is a huge claret and blue fanatic, following in the tradition of his Villa-supporting dad.


Butler even paid a one-time visit to Bodymoor Heath in 1998 and met Stan Collymore.

Look out for the thoughts of Butler on the official website over the coming days.


Absolutely staggering to pop into our archives this week and find a book containing the football wisdom of William McGregor.

McGregor is currently in the media spotlight as it was 125 years ago this week that he wrote the famous letter which heralded the formation of the Football League.

I had already seen the Daily Telegraph's excellent writer Henry Winter pen a wondrous piece about that very subject the previous day and decided I needed something different about out former director.

The incredibly rare manuscript - 'Football and How to Play It' - was a brilliant read, with McGregor's thoughts on football fascinating.

What struck me is that all these years later, his words ring true, as you can see below.

"Young footballers would play football better if they studied the game more.

"There is a good deal of science in football and he who seeks to excel at it is far more likely to excel than the being who plays it in a loose and unorthodox fashion.

"The average professional player seems to have a lofty contempt for practice. The young fellow whose football begins and ends with the Saturday afternoon match should not turn up his nose at the idea of mere practice if chances of obtaining it come his way.

"Most men would play better if they persistently tried to strengthen their weak points."

Great to see Villa smash past the 1m likes on Facebook.

It seems like only yesterday that we were setting up the page on the social media site.

To have hit the million milestone is quite some achievement, especially when you consider our nearest rival in the region only has 55k.

Our players got fully involved in the supporter messages, as they took to the camera to thank fans from their respective regions for following the club.

Christian Benteke bigged-up Belgium, Yacouba Sylla said oui to his fellow Frenchman while Andreas Weimann was awestruck at the Austrians.

Mischievous Fabian Delph was also keen to get involved, proclaiming "thanks to the people of Yorkshire" before winking at the camera!

#AVFCFilmFriday was busy on Twitter again this week, with some fantastic responses to movies starring Hollywood bigwig Jack Nicholson.

See below.







City training

Finally, I spotted this image in the pre-match training gallery ahead of the Man City game on Monday.

It shows Christian Benteke larking about with Gabby Agbonlahor.

Send in your captions for the picture and I'll let you know the best entry in the next edition of Villa Noise.

Snap up match tickets for Man City clash.

paul brown, blogs,
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