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Lowdown on Villa

Posted on 28 December 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

"We can only roll up our sleeves and make sure we put it right in our next game against Spurs."

These were the sentiments expressed by Aston Villa boss John Gregory after his team failed to add to their tally of one win in their last nine games.

A trip to Villa ended the mini-slump suffered by Liverpool and Glenn will hope that an afternoon in the midlands can similarly re-awaken his troops after slip-ups against Ipswich and Southampton.

Liverpool emerged from spending a Boxing Day at Villa Park with three points in the bag using up a hefty dollop of good fortune. Whether Peter Schmeichel and the referee will combine to hand us a goal is another matter.

A celebrated ex-Spur said football was a funny old game and so the last few days have proved. Villa came from behind to consign Ipswich to another defeat, then Ipswich produce a coupon-buster at the Lane. Gregory's side fall to a 3-1 defeat at relegation threatened Derby, while Ipswich come off the bottom with a 2-0 triumph over Leicester. Meanwhile, Southampton ease their own concerns with a win over us.

Glenn says this is a common theme and the key is to acheive consistency - to keep your head while all around are losing theirs'.

Saturday's encounter is perfectly poised ahead of kick-off time, both teams level in the Premiership on 27 points. Villa have fallen from a position of strength at the top, while we made a climb and slightly lost our grip in the last week.

Villa were top for a spell, the cause of a bit of friction between Gregory and his board - the season just wouldn't be the same without it! Gregory says that was the time to strenthen his hand, suggesting that it would be easy to attract players while sitting top of the pile.

For his part, chairman Doug Ellis reflected that he has never come across a manager who does not want another two players - and Ellis has had a few managers over the years.

So a proposed move for Leicester's Muzzy Izzet stalled and Gregory fired a warning shot by hinting that the popular Juan Pablo Angel might have to be sacrificed in order to finance new faces. He has since backtracked and said he would be strung up if he sold the Colombian.

Angel has been one of the success stories of the season. He did not look a happy striker last term as he struggled to find his feet following his introduction to English football and it has since emerged that he also had to endure family problems.

This season he looks a striker re-born with the adulation of the Holte End raining down on him and 12 goals in his account so far. He has also been ably assisted and that department by England under-21 striker Darius Vassell.

However, it seems a good while ago that Villa were chalking up victories over Liverpool at Anfield and Fulham at home, and the midlanders, like ourselves, are desperate to sample that winning feeling once again.