Villa Noise: Guzan on song, Taylor flying high and Elton lookalike
7th Aug 2013
Okore and Tonev have been picked out as players who could impress greatly when the season kicks-off in just over a week.
On Okore, they said: "Jores is a natural centre-back who has enjoyed an impressive rise to prominence with Nordsjaelland and the Denmark national team.
"Born in 1992, he fits the young and hungry profile that Villa boss Paul Lambert favours but can also bring Champions League experience to the squad.
"Having previously turned down a move to Chelsea, his arrival represents something of a coup for the West Midlands club.
"If I was to describe myself, I think I'm a big, strong defender with good pace," said Okore.
"Obviously, my priority is to be a really good defensive player but I think I can bring something to our game offensively, too, and maybe start some attacks."
On Tonev, they added: "The 23-year-old winger arrives from Polish club Lech Poznan and will boost Villa's options in the wide positions.
"The Bulgaria international has pace, trickery and a powerful shot in his armoury, impressing in his limited appearances in pre-season.
"If Tonev can make as big an impact as his countryman Stiliyan Petrov did at Villa Park then fans have cause for optimism and the man who is now a part of the coaching set-up at the club is backing his old international team-mate.
"I played alongside Aleks, so I know a little bit about what kind of a player he is," said Petrov.
"I think Villa fans have one exciting player on their hands. He doesn't have a dominant foot which is really interesting. He is the kind of player who can really make an impact in this young, exciting team."
Ian Taylor is definitely a hero with the claret and blue fanbase - and this was demonstrated perfectly on the journey back to Birmingham from Dublin this weekend.
Taylor joined the marketing team on the trip to the Emerald Isle in his role as club ambassador and left supporters in no doubt about his character as a top bloke, signing autograph after autograph as well as posing for pictures.
After a tiring few days, he thought he could slip on to the plane and relax for the 50-minute flight back.
So he was shocked when he walked aboard and heard at least 75% of the passengers chanting: "There's only one Ian Taylor."
After a quick wave, the humble Taylor jumped into the first available seat!
The midfield marauder was in stitches the day before, however, when a supporter shouted 'Legend' as the marketing crew walked across the River Liffey bridge.
Taylor turned around, only to hear the fan insist: "No, not you Tayls, Jack Woodward!"
Cue tonnes of laughter.
DC Comics hero Superman obviously has special powers - but so does Hooperman.
Hooperman is the Shamrock Rovers junior mascot and he mingled with players and supporters prior to kick-off on Sunday.
Villa player Ashley Westwood took time out on his exit from the pitch to give the popular kids hero a high-five.
The result? Westwood produced a man-of-the-match performance in the 2-0 win, which saw Andi Weimann and Christian Benteke score the goals.
To the Emirates and beyond!
Neville Williams has to be snappy in his role as club photographer - but even he was amazed at the speed of the humour from our fans at the game against Walsall.
Making his way around the Bescot Stadium pitch, Williams was in stitches as claret and blue supporters started chanting 'Elton, Elton, give us a song."
They were referring, of course, to renowned musician Elton John, famous for hits such as Rocket Man, Daniel, Sacrifice and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.
Williams has grown his hair and, fairly recently, changed his glasses but I wouldn't dream of giving my opinion on the striking similarities.
"I'm still standing," insisted the popular Williams.
Brad Guzan takes his senior role very seriously at Bodymoor Heath and is a big reason for the top team spirit in the claret and blue camp.
One of Guzan's chief weapons is comedy and that was very much in evidence this week.
Waiting for an exclusive interview with Christian Benteke at the training ground, I was greeted by Guzan who asked eagerly: "Are you working hard...or hardly working?" before strolling off with a large grin.
Then, as I conducted the piece with Benteke, Guzan returned and started eagerly commenting: "Hello I'm Christian Benteke and I'm the greatest striker in the world."
Benteke was in fits of laughter before Guzan again departed the scene singing 'Ooooh Christian Benteke."
A lot is said about the positive mood in the camp but it's absolutely apparent when you're in the company of our young, emerging stars.
Andi Weimann wants to go on a double-date with Jack Woodward, according to an AVTV Q&A.
AVTV are currently compiling interesting question and answer video interviews with our star names to be aired over the next few months.
Weimann was the subject this week and was asked who his ideal dinner date would be.
Without a moment's hesitation, he pipped up: "Jessica Alba!"
Pondering his other two choices, Woodward interceded and said: "It can be just the two of you if you want."
Weimann continued: "No. Maybe you can come Jack to fill in the air-time if we have nothing to say to each other at certain points during the evening."
Woodward agreed before adding: "That's fine but only if I can bring my date Jennifer Love-Hewitt."
Weimann readily nodded, saying: "That's it then. It's sorted. A double-date."
Watch out for the lively Q&As coming soon.
In the meantime, check out our football interview with Weimann which is on AVTV now.
It's fascinating to think that Dwight Yorke will go down as one of our best-ever strikers - yet the matchday programme couldn't get his name right when he arrived.
Trawling through the Villa News & Record archives in Villa Village for a website tale to use in the coming weeks, I happened upon the 1989-90 bound-volume.
Yorke's picture was splashed across page two of one edition, next to fellow Trinidad and Tobago trialist Colvin Hutchinson.
The only problem? The editors had mixed up the names.
Just goes to show that the unknowns of today can become the heroes of tomorrow.
Great to see so many fans sending in their snaps each week for our fun Facebook picture feature.
Fans have been busy emailing our address - firstname.lastname@example.org - with pictures of themselves and their loved ones showing support for the claret and blue all around the world.
There are so many great images in the ether that it makes total sense to share them with the Villa Family on the social media site.
Here are a couple of great examples - Tobias Howell showing off his claret and blue supporting family all the way from Australia as well as Gary Haynes and sons in their new away kits closer to home.
Check out this week's Fans on Facebook feature.
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