Villa v Man Utd media watch [10.11.12]: Vlaar on Van Persie
The Sun: Ron Vlaar soared above Robin van Persie to clear his lines with a cloud-bursting header. Then robbed Wayne Rooney with a perfectly-timed tackle before sending Gabby Agbonlahor clear with a majestic flick. Arsenal's Andre Santos may have had Van Persie's shirt in his locker by half-time at Old Trafford last week. But Aston Villa's Vlaar guarantees he will have the Premier League's deadliest striker in his pocket by 5.30pm tonight. That is when the hard work starts and he has to do it all over — for REAL. The Dutchman, 27, dubbed "Concrete Ron", is enjoying a dream debut season in the Premier League because he visualises every game before he plays them.
The Sun: Ron Vlaar does not want to own Robin van Persie's shirt today — he wants to own HIM. Arsenal's Andre Santos got RVP's jersey at half-time in last week's defeat to Manchester United. And Aston Villa captain Vlaar, like Arsenal fall-guy Santos, is a good friend of the red-hot striker. But he said: "I don't want Robin's shirt, I want three points. That's the most important prize.
Daily Express: 'Concrete Ron' has one thing set in stone. He will not be asking Robin van Persie for his shirt at half-time tonight. In terms of creating a shock and Aston Villa beating Manchester United, he would like to take the shirt off Van Persie's back. But fan worship? It's not Ron Vlaar's way. "Am I a tough cookie? I think so, yes," said Vlaar.
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert has urged Villa Park's biggest crowd of the season to play their part in banishing the 'Fergie factor' against Manchester United today. Villa are expecting their first 40,000-plus attendance of the campaign as they attempt to maintain the feel-good factor from the victory at Sunderland. And Lambert wants the claret and blue faithful to generate a partisan atmosphere to dent Sir Alex Ferguson's 26-year dominance against Villa.
Daily Star: Paul Lambert says Manchester United will be running scared of Gabby Agbonlahor today. Aston Villa boss Lambert reckons Agbonlahor is the one player United will be hoping to shackle. Lambert says his striker's pace is enough to frighten the living daylights out of any team - and the 26-year-old has a history of being a thorn in Ferguson's side.
Daily Telegraph: Seventeen years ago, Manchester United played at Villa Park with a side of such striking youth Alan Hansen was moved to make his infamous observation about how little can be won with young players. As the two sides prepare to meet this afternoon it is Villa who are now in thrall to the next generation. With players such as Matthew Lowton, Joe Bennett, Christian Benteke and Ciaran Clark in their midst, the average age of the side which beat Sunderland last weekend was 24. "I know, they aren't half getting younger," says Stephen Ireland of his team mates.
Daily Mail: Paul Lambert will listen to offers for several of Aston Villa's old guard as he looks to rebuild in the New Year. Out-of-favour players will be moved on in order to free up room in his budget. Bids will be considered for Shay Given, Richard Dunne, Stephen Warnock and Alan Hutton in a drive to remove high earners from the books.
The Sun: Paul Lambert claims Gabby Agbonlahor is good enough to break into Roy Hodgson's England squad. Now he wants him to go out and prove it against league leaders Manchester United at Villa Park tonight.
Mirror: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert insists Gabby Agbonlahor can add to Manchester United's defensive woes - and win back his England place. Sir Alex Ferguson's side have kept just three clean sheets in 16 matches this term and Lambert believes his lightning quick striker is back to his best.
Birmingham Mail: Darren Bent is coping well with his latest frustration in a season of setbacks - even though Villa are unsure when he will return from injury. Paul Lambert reported that Bent was "fine" in himself after speaking to the striker about the ankle problem which will rule him out of today's Manchester United match. Tests revealed Bent still has some lingering issues with the ankle on which he had an operation in March after being wheeled away on a stretcher at Wigan.
ManUtd.com: Sir Alex Ferguson harbours both empathy and respect for Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert, a young Scot instilling his own philosophy at a new club. But the United boss will nevertheless seek to exploit a still-evolving set-up when his team heads there for Saturday's late kick-off.
ESPN: Sir Alex Ferguson insists Manchester United do not rely too heavily on in-form recruit Robin van Persie. Van Persie joined United from Arsenal in the summer and has started his life at Old Trafford brightly, netting 11 goals in his first 14 games.
BBC Sport: Manchester United winger Nani will miss Saturday's Premier League game against Aston Villa after being ruled out for 10 days with a hamstring injury.
Sky Sports: Paul Lambert believes Gabriel Agbonlahor will prove a tough test for Manchester United's defenders when they travel to Villa Park on Saturday evening.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.