Wednesday media watch [16.10.13 AM]: Agbonlahor on Holte End buzz
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert has saluted Villa's homegrown players for helping the club's foreign legion feel at home in the increasingly cosmopolitan dressing room. Six of Villa's seven summer signings arrived from overseas - Antonio Luna, Leandro Bacuna, Jores Okore, Nicklas Helenius, Aleksandar Tonev and Libor Kozak. It has added Spanish, Danish, Bulgarian and Czech to a league of nationalities including English, Dutch, Belgian, Moroccan, American, Austrian, French, Irish and Scottish. Lambert knows from his own experience, as a Scot, moving to Borussia Dortmund, how important it is for new players to feel welcome in a different land.
Birmingham Mail: Christian Benteke has become the poster boy of Paul Lambert's recruitment policy at Villa. That is the view of Shay Given, who rates keeping hold of Benteke as the claret and blues shrewdest signing of the summer. This weekend Benteke is set to come face to face with Tottenham - the team who wanted to prise him from Villa in the close season - if he is passed fit following a hip flexor injury.
Birmingham Mail: Gabby Agbonlahor wants the memory of scoring in front of the Holte End to inspire him as he targets his first goal of the season against Tottenham at Villa Park. Agbonlahor has not found the net this term, but the Brummie striker has laid on four goals for his team-mates instead during his six Barclays Premier League appearances. After a flurry of six goals in nine games in the closing stages of last season, Agbonlahor would love to notch his first of the current campaign against Tottenham on Sunday.
Setanta Sports: Aston Villa's Shay Given says he hopes to become a specialist goalkeeping coach when he ends his playing career. The former Ireland number one still has three years left on his Villa contract, but has dropped to third-choice behind Brad Guzan and Jed Steer under Villa manager Paul Lambert. Given, 37, feels his post-game career is likely to concentrate on specialist rather than general coaching.
Clubcall: Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given has revealed his desire to become a coach to future number ones. Given, who still has three years on his Villa contract, has found himself dropped to third choice behind Brad Guzan and Jed Steer under boss Paul Lambert. It has left Given looking at his options for when he does decide to bring the curtain down on his playing career.
Daily Mirror: Ian Bell was the pride of English cricket after his three Ashes hundreds earned him the Compton-Miller medal. Appropriately, they also won him a VIP invitation to the Daily Mirror's tear-jerking Pride of Britain awards and a standing ovation from the Holte End when he showed off his replica urn at his beloved Aston Villa.
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: Roy Hodgson said reaching next summer's World Cup in Brazil was his proudest moment in football after England secured qualification with victory over Poland at Wembley. Goals from Wayne Rooney and captain Steven Gerrard ensured that England topped Group H to qualify.
Sky Sports: Wayne Rooney felt England deserved their World Cup qualification after saving two of their best performances for the end of the campaign. Roy Hodgson's men overcame Montenegro 4-1 on Friday and produced another impressive display to beat Poland 2-0 at Wembley and reach Brazil.
BBC Sport: Former Wales footballer Robbie Savage has been treated for severe altitude sickness after falling ill during a charity climb up Mount Kilimanjaro. The Wrexham-born midfielder was struck down at 12,000 ft (3,657 m) of the 19,341 ft (5,895 m) peak in Tanzania, and had to quit the challenge.
*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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