Thursday media watch [27.06.13 AM]: Focus on competition
Sky Sports: Paul Lambert is excited by the competition for places at Aston Villa after signing a handful of players. Lambert has signed defenders Jores Okore and Antonio Luna, midfielders Aleksandar Tonev and Leandro Bacuna and Danish striker Nicklas Helenius so far this summer. And the 43-year-old is hopeful the new faces at Villa Park can help the side build on a frustrating 2012-13 season. "Having genuine competition for places is really healthy and, in fact, vital for any club that aspires to bigger and better things," said Lambert.
Birmingham Mail: Captain Ron Vlaar reckons Villa's early signings will help the team hit the ground running next season. A summer spending spree has already seen five new additions as well as fresh arrivals among the backroom staff. It's in stark contrast to this time last year when Villa had no new players on board and manager Paul Lambert was less than a month into his new role.
Birmingham Mail: Aston Villa's partnership with Acorns has raised around £3m in five years - and promoted the children's hospice group to the 'Premier League' of charities. The support of the football club has helped Acorns become the best-known charity in the region, according to grateful chief executive David Strudley. And Villa say the link-up also has huge benefits for Villa - helping boost staff morale at tough times of the season and keeping the players grounded.
Daily Mirror: Joe Kinnear is trying to put the furore caused by his appointment behind him by chasing Alan Pardew's top two targets of Darren Bent and James Tomkins. Pardew gave Kinnear the names when they spoke on the phone last week before the Newcastle boss went on holiday. The Toon's new director of football, who also discussed the targets with chief scout Graham Carr, is keen to make progress when he moves into his new St James Park office next week.
The Sun: James Chester has snubbed Aston Villa and Newcastle to sign a new three-year deal at Hull. The City centre-back said: "It's perfect. I'm happy here."
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez has completed his £12m move to Italian champions Juventus. City and Juve agreed a deal of £10m that could rise by £2m with add-ons.
Sky Sports: The Football Association's Dan Ashworth says he will welcome suggestions from former England manager Glenn Hoddle about how to help the national team succeed.
BBC Sport: Brighton & Hove Albion have named former Barcelona midfielder Oscar Garcia as their new head coach in the wake of Gus Poyet's dismissal.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.
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