Villa Noise: Given in the hotseat, Guzan on the attack and 70s flair
Paul Brown on quirky B6 matters.
23rd Apr 2014
Villa Noise: Given in the hotseat, Guzan on the attack and 70s flair

Shay Given eased the tension pre-match against Southampton - but it was all accidental.

Given accepted his new backroom coaching role "within seconds" according to boss Paul Lambert as the Irishman stepped in to help out with the first team.

But he risked the ire of the gaffer by sitting in his seat on the bench in the minutes leading up to kick-off.

The likes of Matt Lowton and Jed Steer were howling with laughter as Given realised his mistake before the genial goalkeeping ace moved down a few places.

Boss Lambert also saw the funny side of things when he was told of Given's error.







Marc Albrighton admits there was great banter in the dressing room on the eve of the Southampton game as Shay Given took on his new coaching role.

Albrighton says Given took a fair bit of stick from the players as he arrived with his new tailored tracksuit.

He said: "Shay walked straight in with his new tracksuit on - with those SG initials - and he had a clipboard under his arm too.

"Everyone was giving him a bit of grief. But joking aside, we all recognise that he has the making of a really good coach. He has all the attributes.

"All the lads are really relaxed around him. You can't fail but get on with Shay. He's been a great addition."

The banter was really flying on Twitter between Brad Guzan and Shay Given - as the Irishman celebrated his 38th birthday.

Guzan offered his congratulations to Given on the social media site but that only stirred up a hilarious conversation between the friendly pair.

See below.











David Taylor enjoyed his second visit on to the Villa Park pitch - and both have been memorable.

First up, the 26-year-old from North Wales became the first supporter to land a ball on the circular target on the halfway line when his kick from the Holte End came to rest on the EA SPORTS segment.

That ensured him the prize of an Xbox Console and a copy of FIFA 14, the flagship football game of our official football action game partner.

The Doug Ellis season ticket holder received his prizes on the hallowed turf at half-time during the Southampton game - and he was thrilled to see ace defender Jores Okore hand over the goodies.


AVTV take great pride in their final production with interviews.

But they were under pressure this week from Brad Guzan.

Cameraman Craig Martin was interrupted at the start of the exclusive interview with Guzan by an extractor fan which went off in the background.

As he waited for the frustrating noise to subside, Guzan barked: "Come on man! Let's go. Dub it out. Dub it out."

Thankfully, Craig stuck to his guns and the engaging piece to camera - conducted by Jack Woodward - started some 30 seconds later.

Watch the full interview on AVTV now.


Great to see Villa Ladies take their first point of the Women's Super League season and boss Ron Mellor congratulated the girls on the performance afterwards - not that they understood what he was saying.

Villa Ladies followed up their frustrating opening day 2-0 defeat to Doncaster Belles with a 1-1 draw with Watford Ladies, one of the big favourites for the title.

Mellor told AVTV in his post-match interview: "We played really well. We had a good tempo. We passed it well. We really put Watford under a lot of pressure.

"I told the girls in the dressing room after the match that if it had been a boxing match, we would have won on points. I said it would have been a technical knockout.

"Unfortunately, some of the girls didn't have a clue what that meant."

Watch the full interview with Mellor now.


Great to see the stars of 1971-72 here at Villa Park on Saturday - plus a selection of other heroes from yesteryear.

Author Colin Abbott held the launch of his engaging 'Encounters of the Third Kind' book in the Villa Store on Saturday morning before the Saints game.

Despite the early start, the B6 shop was jam-packed with autograph hunters.

And they were delighted to see a plethora of claret and blue icons in their midst, including Ron Wylie, Bruce Rioch, Andy Lochhead, Jim Cumbes, Jimmy MacEwan, Chris Nicholl and Bobby Thomson.

The book chronicles the 1971-72 campaign where Villa - under the stewardship of Vic Crowe - finished as champions of the Third Division, a season fondly remembered by many supporters.

Check out the "team group" above, featuring: Andy Lochhead, Geoff Vowden, John Dunn, author Colin Abbott, Bobby Thomson, Bruce Rioch, Neil Rioch, Jimmy Brown, Ken Barrett, Barry Lynch, Dave Gibson, Jim Cumbes , Jimmy MacEwan, Jimmy McMorran, Harry Gregory and Harry Burrows.

'Encounters of the Third Kind' is available in all Villa Stores.

Great to hear that Villa's partnership with US-based soccer club Pacesetters is going from strength to strength.

The agreement sees the team - Pacesetter Villa Super 20 - wear official claret and blue kit.

The Premier U20 men's league - the Super 20 League - provides the platform for top 17-20 year olds in the United States and Canada to compete at the elite level.

The Super 20 League is undoubtedly the leading avenue for players to progress to the professional ranks.

But, other than the obvious football benefits, their community work is proving extremely rewarding.

This week, coaches from the club held a training session with the Inner City group they work with.

Pacesetters representative Jimmy Walker - son of the former claret and blue physio - said: "It went really well and the kids had a blast.

"These children are underprivileged and some have learning and development issues so it puts things into perspective."


It's becoming more regular for goalkeepers in the modern era to dash forward in search of goals at the end of vital games.

Villa shouldn't need to resort to such drastic measures as this season comes to a conclusion.

But if they do need a late winner, Brad Guzan is confident he has the ability to deliver at the death.

He told AVTV this week: "I haven't gone forward yet but I've mentioned it to some of the boys because my finishing in training has been fantastic.

"I think I might have to give it a go one of these days.

"The bit that worries me is having to run back to my own goal if I don't score."


Ron Saunders "knew everything about football" - even when he left Villa for Blues!

That's the verdict of former England No.1 David Seaman.

Seaman played for Villa's greatest ever manager at St Andrew's - and was glowing in his praise of Mr.110%.

Talking to the Sky Sports programme, Goals on Sunday, Seaman said: "I will never forget my first day.

"I signed the contract and he said: "Right, you're going training." I said: "What?" We were at the ground - St Andrew's at the time.

"He said: "Yes. We've got some kids to have some shots against you." I said: "Really? But I haven't got any gloves." "He said: "We've got it all sorted!"

"It was a full session in front of all the TV cameras. To be fair to him, he went to speak to the press immediately after and told them: "This lad will play for England one day."

"He understood goalkeepers. The drills he gave me back then, I used throughout my career.

"I never had a real goalkeeping coach. But when I went to Birmingham, Ron just knew everything about the game. He knew all about the art of goalkeeping.

"It was frightening. He was telling me all about the position of my hands, when to catch, when to deflect. He was a great, great help."


Rex Ford has plenty of reading material to keep him going when the football season ends - after scooping more than 1,000 Villa programmes.

The 63-year-old from Selly Oak was the winner of the competition in our Acorns Day issue for the match against Stoke City.

He correctly answered that 1906 was the first year the Villa News & Record was published - and his entry was drawn at random.

A Trinity Road season ticket holder, Rex has followed the club's fortunes since 1957.

"My grandfather told me I should support Villa," he said. "They won the FA Cup that year, so it was a good start!"


Villa have signed Brian Little - to present the prizes at the prestigious Lions Club awards evening.

The annual event is always a huge success as members from branches all over the world, like USA, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, Norway and Sweden, converge on Villa Park.

The date has been set for this year's event - Saturday May 3, kick-off at 8pm.

Following the Hull City match, there will be the popular UK Lions v Overseas Lions chairman match on the pitch in B6 before the big gala dinner in the evening.

The awards include UK Supporters Club of the Year, Overseas Supporters Club of the Year, Most Improved, Outstanding Contribution, Guess the Score Trophy and the Clubman of the Year.

All trophies on the night will be handed out by Little in the 1874 Suite, a claret and blue favourite who played for and managed the club.

To snap up your ticket, contact Consumer Sales on 0800 612 0970.

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