Villa Noise: Bowling Benteke, Sylla on Twitter and Pires stars
Paul Brown on quirky Villa matters.
29th Aug 2013
Villa Noise: Bowling Benteke, Sylla on Twitter and Pires stars

Yacouba Sylla has explained to me his reasons for retweeting so much on Twitter - he wants fans to know he's reading their messages.

Sylla is an avid user of the social media site as he relaxes away from the rigours of thje Barclays Premier League.

One of the traits that fans associate with our hard-tackling midfield star is his constant retweeting - in everyday parlance this is the reposting of someone else's tweet.

Sylla says he does it to ensure supporters know he cares about their opinion.

He said: "I really enjoy using Twitter. I am learning to express myself better all the time.

"I look forward to interacting with the fans even more and, more importantly, in a better way in the coming weeks and months ahead.

"I am definitely not an expert, not at all. I put the photos up and I put the tweets up. But that's about it. I don't know my way around it in any great detail.

"People have asked me why I retweet everything. That's just out of respect to the fans. I want to show them that I have seen and read their tweets. That's important to me.

"I think Twitter is a good way of keeping close contact with the fans. It's important for me to build a relationship with the fans and to keep that going, to maintain it.

"I want to show the supporters I am interested what their thoughts are and what's on their minds.

"I am with them. There will be longer and more expressive English tweets from me the more I master the language."

Sylla also recalled the funniest moment he's experienced while using Twitter.

He added: "I see a lot of funny things from fans on Twitter.

"When I had my hairstyle - the mohican - there was a young lad who tweeted me to tell me that he really liked the style and was going to have it done exactly the same.

"I unfortunately had to tweet him back to say I was having it cut the next day.

"He still went ahead with it and posted the picture. Fair play to him. He looked great. I really appreciate that sort of support."


Chris Woakes was in fine form with the bat in the fifth Ashes test at the Oval.

Warwickshire ace Woakes looked likely to lead England to victory in the final session with some fine strokeplay in the middle until bad light stopped play.

Warwickshire player Woakes is an avid Villa fan, having watched the Liverpool game when rain swept through Surrey on the fourth day and the Rotherham match several days after the end of the series.

Woakes is a big admirer of giant forward Christian Benteke but he joked he wouldn't fancy facing the powerful striker on the cricket pitch.

He said: "Christian Benteke would be frightening! I wouldn't want him running down and throwing the ball down my neck!"

Woakes - along with fellow Villan Ian Bell - wore a new Villa shirt in the dressing room after the match.

And he waxed lyrical about life as a claret and blue supporter in the cricket world.

He added: "Belly and I are always sticking together and pushing the Villa! We can shove our chests out a bit more now with Paul Lambert in charge.

"We're building a bright future. I love the way Paul Lambert is going about his business. He's bought in these young hungry players. The future is great.

"The thing I love about life at Villa at the moment is the quality of the football - it's superb.

"We knock the ball around and we're good to watch. It's really pleasing. We're heading in the right direction, definitely."


Villa have been gaining quite a bit of support on NBC these past few weeks.

First up, football presenter Rebecca Lowe was also in good form on Twitter, hailing Villa on the broadcasting giant's official page.

The former Setanta, Sky and ESPN host took over the @NBCSportSoccer handle for a few minutes to answer questions on the upcoming top-flight season.

First up, she was quizzed about which USA star would impress this term and then who would be the dark horses of the term.

Check out her answers below.




Meanwhile, another NBC presenter, Carolyn Manno, has come out in support of Villa as the company's coverage expands during their three-year deal.

Manno didn't have a team to support prior to the campaign kick-off so she did her research and eventually opted for the claret and blues as you can see below.

It was a wise choice!

Look out for an interview with Carolyn in the coming days.


Brad Guzan admits he's been thrilled at the coverage of the Barclays Premier League back home in the USA on NBC.

Guzan accepted the fact that in previous incarnations, the presentation of the top-flight across the pond hasn't been the best.

He said: "Sometimes - without throwing anyone under the bus - the commentary for certain games when I was back in the US and the MLS wasn't always the best.

"That was lack of knowledge and trying to force the American terminology on to a world's game. That wasn't happening!

"To have people who know what they're talking about and understand the game makes it so good. It will only continue to grow."


It was a warm welcome to the USA Ladies U17 team as they took in the Villa v Liverpool game.

USA were over for a training camp and two friendlies against the counterparts from England as they gear up for the 2013 U17 Championships in Jamaica, where they will defend their title.

In between the two matches, which saw Lucy Porter, Mollie Rouse and Sarah Mayling star for the Three Lions, the American players visited B6 to take in some Barclays Premier League games, which they thoroughly enjoyed.


Former Villa midfielder Robert Pires may have unofficially retired but that didn't stop him from unexpectedly taking the field to settle a local friendly while on holiday in Greece.

The 39-year-old had been relaxing in the Greek coastal resort of Rafina when he decided to take in an amateur game between local side Storm Rafina and AO Mykonos.

It didn't take long for the home crowd to notice the World Cup winner in their midst but, rather than ask the Frenchman for his autograph, the Storm Rafina players approached Pires after trailing 2-1 at half-time and asked if he would be interested in helping them out.

Despite not playing a professional game since leaving Villa in 2011, Pires duly obliged.

Unsurprisingly, he inspired the home side to come from behind to win the game 3-2 after scoring one goal and setting up another.

Following the game, Pires stayed around to have pictures taken with the players and fans.

Check out the video below.


Christian Benteke is currently top of the pile when it comes to most popular names on the back of Villa shirts this season.

Trailing some way behind is Jack Woodward, the friendly face of our AVTV coverage.

But there are some supporters purchasing home and away tops with the presenter's monikor.

The latest is Corey Canvin, who is a big fan of Woodward's zealous, adjective-fuelled commentary style.

Woodward met with Canvin on the eve of the Villa v Liverpool game to show our popular presenter his new shirt, resplendent with the 36-year-old's name.

Woodward even took time out to sign the top before heading back to the press box for his day job.

Snap up your player shirts now.

Finally, manager Paul Lambert was in jovial mood after the Rotherham cup win.

In fine spirits after the 3-0 victory, Lambert was asked by reporters in his post-match press conference what he had planned for the players with a couple of weeks before their next game, at home to Newcastle United in the Barclays Premier League.

He joked: "I will have to organise another game for them" - hinting of course to the heavy schedule for the lads in the past week.

Pushed further on his thoughts about Villa v Tottenham in the next round of the Capital One Cup, Lambert added: "You might aswell throw another top side at us. We haven't played one for at least 48 hours!"

paul brown, blogs,
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