Villa Noise: Carew back in B6, Carl's century and good luck Gards
Dan Harrison on this week's events in B6.
13th Feb 2014
Villa Noise: Carew back in B6, Carl's century and good luck Gards


There was a surprise visitor to Villa Park on Wednesday - none other than former Villa striker John Carew.

Carew - a huge favourite with Villa supporters between 2007 and 2011 - stopped by in B6 to do some filming with Tubes from the Sky Sports show Soccer AM.

And, despite his busy schedule, the big Norwegian made time for a short interview with Villa's in-house TV channel AVTV.

When the cameras started rolling, there was plenty of reminiscing for Carew, who helped Villa to three sixth-place finishes and two Wembley appearances.

It soon became evident that the club is still very much in the 34-year-old's heart.

"I've been doing some TV stuff and it is the first time I've been back since I left the club so it awakes emotions, good feelings and good memories," he told AVTV's Lucy Finney.

"I'm really grateful to the Aston Villa fans. They always took great care of me and they always have a place in my heart.

"They loved me as well and they mean a lot to me. They always will.

Carew

"It is a club I'm always going to be a supporter of. I feel welcome here.

"I feel like if I come back here I will always be welcomed by the people and that means a lot."

Central to Carew's cult status during his four years here was the "John Carew, Carew, he's bigger than me and you..." terrace chant sung by the claret and blue faithful.

On arrival at the stadium, the former hotshot was treated to an unexpected rendition of the song by programme Rob Bishop.

Bish, who never needs an excuse for a sing-song, said: "He didn't look too impressed with my singing!"

Make sure you check out Carew's fascinating interview on AVTV.

  


A big welcome to the newest addition to our ever-expanding Lions Club network - Berks and Bucks Lions.

The supporters club, for claret and blues fans in the Berkshire and Buckinghamshire regions, is chaired by Steve Henson.

Berks and Bucks Lions are the 192nd club to join our impressive worldwide network.

We're edging ever-close to the 200 mark!


Villa noise

The clash at Cardiff on Wednesday night brought up an impressive centurion for one ground-hopping Villa fan.

Season ticket holder Carl Tate has been watching Villa home and away since 1972.

And this week's trip to South Wales saw him reach a magic milestone.

The impressive Cardiff City Stadium became the 100th professional ground at which Carl has watched Villa play.

"My first away game was Blackpool in 1975 and the majority of the grounds visited were initially in the 1980s and 90s," he said.

"I managed to get to 100 grounds overall a few years back but that included non-Villa games and internationals."

Carl's current favourite away ground is Arsenal's Emirates Stadium - hardly surprising given our record there since it opened in 2006!

But his best away experience overall was Villa's trip to face Inter Milan in the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza back in 1990.


Ron Vlaar showed once again at Cardiff why he is the bedrock of Villa's back four.

The skipper returned from a hamstring injury to help Paul Lambert's team earn a shutout against the Bluebirds.

And, according to stats website WhoScored.com, Vlaar was the best performing defender in the midweek Barclays Premier League games.

Not only was the Dutchman named in the team of the week, he achieved the highest rating of any player in the best XI other than Tottenham's Emmanuel Adebayor.

whoscored.


Best of luck to Gary Gardner, who joined Sheffield Wednesday on loan this week.

Gardner goes straight in at the deep end for Stuart Gray's team, who have a huge FA Cup fifth round tie against Charlton Athletic on Saturday.

Not only did the 21-year-old receive plenty of goodwill from the claret and blue public as he bids to gain some match sharpness,  but the Wednesday camp are extremely excited about having him on board.

Striker Connor Wickham - who has been on loan at the Hillsborough club from Sunderland for most of this term - was among the first to wish Gardner well.


Rain failed to stop play at Bodymoor Heath on Wednesday lunchtime - despite one of the worst storms I've ever witnessed during a game of football.

Credit to Villa U21s and their Fulham counterparts for battling on during the torrential downpour which kicked in during the second half of the Barclays U21 Premier League clash.

As you can see from these photos taken by intrepid club photographer Neville Williams, conditions became pretty atrocious for the players, who all got a good soaking.

The match itself turned out to be as extreme as the weather, as Fulham scored three late goals to edge the claret and blues 5-3.

U21s

U21s


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