Villa Noise: Suits you Lambert, Bertrand joke and Benteke boost
7th May 2014
Journalist Percy quizzed Paul Lambert in the post-match press conference and enjoyed a few humorous digs from the boss.
First Percy asked Lambert if the decision to go away to a hotel the night before the game - and arrive on a coach - was one taken due to the importance of the Tigers clash, after previously seeing players arrive for home matches in their own cars.
Lambert told him the team had done it on several occasions before Percy interrupted, adding: "The team coach nearly ran me over by the way!"
Lambert quickly countered: "I know. I told the driver to do that!"
Before Percy could catch breath, he was enjoying more friendly banter with the gaffer.
Other reporters asked the boss if his decision to wear a suit was a superstitious one.
Lambert immediately told them it wasn't.
Out of nowhere, Percy said: "Lambert isn't suiterstitious then?"
There was a collective groan before Lambert added: "Oh dear. Come on man!"
The Villa News & Record has landed yet another award.
Programme dealers www.gpfootball.com have voted us the Best 2013-14 Programme Cover for our special edition issue against Everton in October.
The image was designed by renowned football artist Paine Profitt to commemorate 150 years of the FA, and depicted Villa and Everton players from the 19th century.
"The cover was stunning," said George Peters.
"It was the easiest category for us to select the winner - it was a programme cover with maximum impact and fantastic artwork."
The cover design award follows three awards from Independent View, the magazine of the Northern Programme Club - programme of the month for August, most improved programme of 2013-14 and best feature for the Villa Vault.
Matt Lowton was on hand this week to back Villa's participation in the Homeless FA scheme.
Homeless FA is a national homeless football charity supporting all initiatives that use football as a means of improving the lives of homeless people in England.
Villa are acting as one of 11 professional training centres offering five-day programmes of activity run between April and May.
Lowton attended the introductory day where participants received their Villa training kit and a tour of Villa Park.
After offering them a warm welcome, the full-back signed certificates of attendance, posed for photographs and took part in a short Q&A session.
The club has 34 participants on its programme, having had one of the highest demand levels of all the clubs involved.
Ryan Bertrand had the AVTV team scratching their heads this week.
Taking part in a funny Q&A about his team-mates, Bertrand was asked who the best dressed player was in the squad.
Bertrand quickly said: "I think it's the lad who plays No.23."
AVTV presenter Jack Woodward and cameraman Craig Martin looked at each other, attempting to recall the name of the player who wore that particular shirt.
Eventually after about a minute of waiting, ever-patient Bertrand told them it was him!
The season is almost over but there's a host of West Midlands derbies in store this summer - all on one action-packed day.
The Club Legends Cup, in support of Cure Leukaemia, will take place at the LG Arena on Saturday July 12, the day before the World Cup final.
Villa play in Group B, along with Coventry City, Wolves and the Rest of the World team, while Group A will comprise West Brom, Walsall, Blues and a Media/Showbiz team.
"I'm really looking forward to this tournament," said former Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie.
"To put on the claret and blue shirt and take on our rivals at an arena like the LG will be special."
The Villa squad will also include David James, Stefan Postma, Ian Taylor, Paul Merson, Julian Joachim, Dion Dublin, Darius Vassell, Darren Byfield, Alan Wright and Gordon Cowans.
To find out more, click here.
Ian Taylor was up and down like a yoyo during the Hull game - and not because he kept popping out a drink.
Legend Taylor was only too happy to keep standing up and clapping the crowd as they sang 'Taylor, Taylor, give us a wave' and 'There's only one Ian Taylor" throughout the 90 minutes against the Tigers.
Little did he realise that one of his acknowledgements would be captured on camera.
When he saw the picture on social media some hours later, he tweeted: "Lol. Sit down!"
Christian Benteke will be feeling much better soon - thanks to the get-well cards of kids in Northern Ireland.
Benteke is currently recovering from his knee operation but he will receive a pick-me-up in the coming weeks as he takes hold of hundreds of letters urging him to stay positive in his rehabilitation.
As we chronicled some months ago, staff at Ampertaine Primary School in County Londonderry wanted to use the power of football to help educate the kids in a range of subjects.
So headmaster Garry McIlwaine organised a draw in assembly one morning to pick a team to get behind.
Villa were selected at random - and it was very apt as the school uniform is claret and blue!
Now children will improve their literacy, maths, ICT, PE and study a subject called 'World Around Us' courtesy of Villa facts and figures.
Kids from the school are truly behind Villa now as they follow their heroes every weekend.
They were truly overwhelmed when staff from the club - including Hercules the Lion - flew over to congratulate them on choosing Villa - before showing them 'thank-you' messages from Paul Lambert and his players.
This week, the children took it upon themselves to write to our star striker in order to keep his spirits up.
They sent through a huge amount of letters, which have been forwarded on to Benteke as he focuses on getting fit for next season.
Player officer Lorna McClelland told us: "Christian will be delighted to receive the letters.
"When players have a serious injury, it can make them feel a little isolated from the club and their fans.
"We are in constant contact with him and are forwarding messages from fans.
"He's going to have a wonderful surprise. It will give him a huge boost."
There was a delegation of staff from the school at the Villa v Hull game at the weekend - their first claret and blue match.
It's fair to say they were overwhelmed by the welcome, the facilities, the pitch, the atmosphere - oh, and the score!
Four year-old Samuel Cash was thrilled to meet his idol Brad Guzan before our home match with Southampton.
And the youngster from Bingham in Nottinghamshire couldn't believe it when our American keeper presented him with a pair of his gloves.
Samuel's first game was the 2-1 win over West Ham last year and he now has a season ticket in the lower tier of the Doug Ellis Stand, along with his dad Jamie and his grandparents, who live in Streetly.
"He shouts Brad's name when the team are warming up," said Jamie. "Sometimes Brad hears him and waves to him."
His mum Cathy told us that Samuel couldn't make it to the Man City game earlier this season - but it didn't stop him showing his extreme excitement as he watched the massive match on TV.
As you can see below, he was somewhat delighted when Leandro Bacuna banged home his wonder free-kick.
Defender Hayley Crackle can really move on the football pitch - but seemingly not on the dance floor.
As part of the matchday programme for Villa Ladies home games, players are asked to dish the dirt on their team-mates in a range of categories, such as loudest, best trainer and most skilful.
Bethan Merrick was asked to contribute and her good friend Crackle was firmly on top in the 'worst dancer' category.
Merrick said: "Hayley has the most uncoordinated limbs of any girl I have ever met.
"Don't go near her on the dance floor!
"I remember that we went out as a group at Christmas and it was one of the most embarrassing things I have seen in my life."
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