Day: July 28, 2010

The Premier League 2010/11 Previews 3 – Birmingham City: Second Season Blues?

Between the battle at the top of the table and the chaos at the bottom of it, the achievement of Birmingham City in finishing in ninth place in the Premier League last season feels as if it was rather overlooked. It was their first season back after promotion the year before and, significantly, it was their highest league position since 1959. Those that continue to look back at the 1970s as being somehow the halcyon days of the club (which, one rather suspects, may at least in part have entered into local folklore because of the club’s dominance of their cross-city rivals Aston Villa) would do well to look at last season’s final Premier League. It could, of course, yet end in tears. Carson Yeung swept into St Andrews in October of last year with the type of grandiose plans that always seem to come as part of the package with such buy-out, but, whilst some money has been spent on new players during the summer, the club’s spending hasn’t been of the largesse that had been anticipated when he took over in the first place. This isn’t a bad thing, of course, though, and the normal caveat, that there are still two and a half weeks before the start of the Premier League season, still applies. There is plenty of time for further reinforcements yet to be drafted in. Birmingham...

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The Premier League 2010/11 Previews 2 – Aston Villa: Becoming A Single Issue Party

Aston Villa’s summer thus far can be neatly condensed into two words, and the second of those is “Milner”. Their own supporters will be thoroughly sick to the stomach of the constant pas de deux that has been going on over the last couple of months between their most-prized asset and a team which they last season regarded as rivals for the final Champions League place, and it is starting to become a little wearing for the rest of us, too. Consider, for example, the front page of The Guardian’s section on Villa. At the time of writing, eleven of the fifteen main articles on the site concern the long, drawn-out saga. Aston Villa Football Club are at the point of becoming a single issue party. These stories tend to follow a predictable arc and it now seems difficult to believe that that Milner won’t go to Manchester City. The only questions that remain are those of how much money Villa will be able to wrench out of their crown and ermine wearing foes and how much time Milner will spend fine-tuning his Sudoku skills whilst warming the bench at The City of Manchester Stadium next season. For Aston Villa supporters, though, this isn’t their clubs only possible loss this summer. It now seems almost certain that Luke Young will be leaving for Liverpool (the suggested fee is £2.5m)...

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