1997 Aston Villa News

Aston Villa have been drawn to play Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup next March. Brian Little's side will travel to the Spanish capital for the first leg on Tuesday, March 3 and will welcome Atletico to Villa Park two weeks later on March 17. The tie pits Villa against former Middlesbrough star Juninho, who helped the Spanish giants beat Leicester in the first round of the competition. Little's former club narrowly lost 2-1 at the Estadio Vicente Calderon in the first leg but were beaten 2-0 in the return game at Filbert Street. Villa have now been drawn away first in all four rounds of their UEFA Cup campaign this season (Carling Net)
Injured Aston Villa forward Dwight Yorke is set to miss the busy Christmas schedule and may not return until early next year. Yorke, forced out of Tuesday's UEFA Cup victory over Steaua Bucharest at Villa Park with a calf injury, is expected to need up to three weeks to recover. If he does fail to return before the new year, Villa will be without him for four Premiership matches, against Manchester United, Southampton, Tottenham and Leeds. The injury could also put Yorke in doubt for the start of Villa's FA Cup campaign. They are away to division one strugglers Portsmouth in the third round on January 3.(Carling Net)
Savo - "We can do it" in promise to the fans (10/12)
Savo Milosevic, who said before the first Bucharest game two weeks ago that if Villa over-came Steaua they would win the cup says he is still sticking to his opinion, after Villa were rarely troubled in the two-nill win last night that could have and should have been 4! Round one to England in the build up to the WC, with onwatching Glen Hoddle surely impressed and confident, of the job England will do next year in France. He would have also noticed another superb performance from Draper, and Ehiogu nearly back to his best
It's All 'Dwight without you Yorke, as Villa see Bucharest away (9/12)
Aston Villa proved two things with this wonderful result tonight. The first, that they are not a one man team with Yorke sitting out injured. And the second, they proved there European credentials with another fine result to send another top team tummbling out the cup. Villa's progression into the 1/4 finals has seen them concede 3 goals in 6 games - two of those came in the two one defeat away to Bucharest! The Romanians came over with the promise of skill and style, sadly they left with the memories of cheats, divers, and boring. Number nine Christian Ciocoiu proved that when after only about 15 minutes, he tryed a dive worthy of Jurgen Klinsmann, and Olympic Gold winning swimmers status; the only problem was he forgot he was supposed to be actually tackled by a player before he went down - not when he was on his own. Bucharest tryed every trick in the book to waste time as they desperatly tryed to hold Villa 0-0 including a substitution and free kick taking nearly 5 minutes to complete. Ian Taylor could have put Villa one up early in the firat half after a fine Draper pass set him on his way only for him to semi-volley at the keeper and see him tip it over. Why there was no corner given god only knows. It would also seem apparent that these highly skillful wonderfully technical players that wear the pride of Bucharest colours on there backs also need some kind of training on how to take a throw in. Not all blame however can be heaped upon the cheating Romanians, for German referee Bernd Heynemann and linesman Frank Schumaker were just as bad for missing every foul throw, every dive, every time wasting incident and foul that Bucharest commited. It was wonderfully strange to also see every decision go again't Aston Villa - by no means a new thing after some of the decisions in the Bilbao and Bordeax games! The first goal came just on the hour mark, Savo Milosevic found himself unmarked, 6 yards from goal with the ball at his feet. BANG past the keeper and it's one nill! Steve Staunton did a repeat of Coventry, when a free kick he had in almost the exact position as Saturday was somehow saved by the 'keeper Zoltan Ritli. Again no corner was given (???). Ian Taylor got his goal on 74 when a wonderful pass from Draper beat the off side trap and sent Taylor on a one-on-one with the keeper. Bang at the 'keepers near post and it's two nill. Substitute Lee Hendry almost made it three nill, but his fine strike was tipped round the post by the keeper. Stan Collymore also found himself on a one-on-one with the keeper - this time the keeper guessed correctly and it cannoned back off his legs. Stan Collymore had plenty to complain about after a strike by him was seen to cross the line but a Bucharest player cleared it and the ref didn't give it. The few hundred Romanian fans who traveled the distance for the game were severly out-numbered by the 35,000 cround, with less than 500 fans there. Mark Bosnich was only tested once by the Romanians, when at two-nill a speedy break from Lacatus long ball nearly put Marius Luca thru to score, but for the wonderful resulting save from Bozzy
Yorke Misses Bucharest Clash (9/12)
Dwight Yorke has failed in his fitness battle to be ready for tonights game versus Bucharest. The all important star, Yorke, who provided the all important away goal two weeks ago in Bucharest will be sorely missed by a Villa team lacking fire power and inspiration this season
Simecca Euro doubtful (7/12)
Ricardo Scimeca - the new villa superstar defender, is battling to be fit for Villa's crunch match against Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday. Scimeca, who suffered a head injury in the 2-1 defeat at West Ham last week, was ordered to sit out the home win against Coventry yesterday by the doctor
Dwight Yorke could miss Bucharest Game (6/12)
Dwight Yorke, who scored Villas all important away goal against Bucharest could miss the return leg after picking up a heel injury in the Coventry game today (Saturday 6th). Manager Brian Little is optimistic that Yorke will be fit after saying that hopefully they took him off early enough in the Coventry game, as not to aggravate his injury. Yorke was substituted half way through the first half, which gave youngster Lee Hendry a chance to shine - and he did, after a wonderful performance and great goal!
Villa brush aside Coventry in Euro preparations (6/12)
In a very physical game which saw Coventry reduced to 9 men, Aston Villa got the perfect result before there midweek Euro Clash. The game was full of disgracefull challenges, with Coventry luck to finish the game with 9 players! The first goal came after Stan Collymore picked up the ball midway in Coventry's half and went on one of his great runs past player after player before unleashing a shot worthy of a goal that deflected off a player and beat the keeper. Steve Staunton was unlucky to not make it two-nill from the resulting free kick of Coventries first dismissal. Steve Staunton was unlucky to see his tremendous free kick come back off the cross bar/post, with 'keeper Ogrizovic well beaten. The second game from some brilliant individual play from youngster Lee Hendry, who found some space in the penalty box before bringing the ball round the remaining Coventry defender and bang bast Ogrizovic. The second city player to be dismissed was for violent conduct towards little Gary Charles, after he was pushed and smacked in the face! Villa's third goal came from Julian Joachim after his 'cross cum shot' failed to make contact with the fast approaching Stan Collymore, but in a comical way found it's was into the back of the net. Coventry could have been down to 8 men after Mark Draper, on a superb run from midfield was brought down outside the box clear on goal. Stan Collymore was unlucky to not make it 4 after his free kick was just saved by Ogrizovic, but on a whole Villa totally dominated this one. The injury to Dwight Yorke however, could dampen the feel good factor after this result
Villa lose out in Swedish signing (5/12)
Former Villa boss Ron Atkinson has rocked Villa after signing Villa target Niclas Alaxanderson. The Sheffield Wednesday boss has agreed to pay 750,000 pounds for the Gothenburg Midfielder. Manager Little, who personally watched Alexanderson three weeks ago, has denied the failed signing will dissapoint anxious Villa fans who are desperate to see there terrible league form turned around
Villa come back from UEFA disaster (25/11)
Aston Villa grabbed a vital 'away goal' in Romania this evening as they head back to Birmingham with the scores locked at 2-1 to Bucharest. It all started going wrong for Villa as late on in the first half a two goal burst inside five minutes saw Villa crumble apart. A mistake from Collymore deep in the Romanians half allowed Steaua to break free in impressive style. A deep cross caught Villa defenders sleeping and as the 19 y/o Steaua striker shot, young 'keeper Michael Oakes was unlucky to see the resulting effort bounce off the post, and then off him and into the net. An own goal was unfortunate, just five minutes later another cross created the second goal for Steaua after a cross deflected by Ian Taylor found it's way to a Steaua player in the box to provide a spectacular bicycle kick into the back of the net. Villa started the second half looking bright and a cross from Savo Milosevic allowed a totally unmarked Dwight Yorke to power a header into the back of the net and make it two one! Both sides had chances throughout to score more, with Villa having as much as 70% of the possesion as they looked for the deserved equaliser. Manager Brian Little said after the game that he was very pleased with the outcome, and apart from those five minutes of Villa sloppiness, Villa could have won this game on a bad pitch, and the odds are on them to complete the job now when they take Steaua Bucharest home to Villa Park on December 10th
Home win against Everton (22/11)
Villa won a closely fought battle today with Everton despite all the first half possesion. A penalty in the first 20 minutes put Everton in the front and totally against the run of play, only for Savo to scramble the ball into the back of the net for the equaliser. Uhgo Ehiogu put Villa deservadly in front after a Steve Staunton corner found it's way to the big mans head and then into the back of the net. Stan Collymore ran his socks off for Villa and was very unlucky to get his goal dissalowed, when only 4 minutes after Ehiogu had put them into the lead he found himself unmarked, ran onto a loose ball and powered it into the back of the net quite magnificintly. It was a pleasing performance from the big man, although not as pleasing for Little to see Savo Milosevic not passing to Collymore! Savo had Collymore infront of him clear on goal on numerous occasions but just wouldn't pass to him. Maybe Villa could have been more comfortable and had a bigger goal margin if Savo could lose that chip on his shoulder?!
Savo here or Savo gone? (22/11)
Ongoing stories about the ongoing transfer of Savo Milosevic were no clearer, despite officals from Napoli flying in to speak to the club and player. The reported fee is 4.4 million with Savo reported to be desperate to get out of his Villa hell.
Players play down reports of Collymore fued (22/11)
Aston Villa players have been jumping to record signing Stan Collymores side after newspaper articles saying the player was a 'loner' and 'misfit' with the other players. Young star Ricardo Scimeca said in a local paper that the stories in national papers during the week were simply not true! Other players including Gareth Southgate and Steve Staunton also went public to dismiss reports of a player feud with the star.
Little furious at Southgate remarks (3/11)
Manager Brian Little was today reported to be furious with defender Gareth Southgate following outspoken comments from the England International defender after the Chelsea defeat. Southgate was reported as saying that Villa lacked could not perform together and that manager Little has got it wrong on the field. Manager Little was reported as saying he did not need this on the eve of such a vital European clash that Villa's season and his job depend on.
Villa slump to Chelsea (3/11)
Aston Villa failed at home again after home defeats against Wimbledon and Chelsea leave them in 14th position. A Dwight Yorke missed penalty (which was a miss of at least 5 yards) is now three misses in a row for the Trinidad star who just isn't performing at present. Mark Draper, in form at last, ran his heart out in midfield but a chelsea defence usually lacking was not to be broke this time. Lebouf easily dealt with Villa's attempted long balls and it is fair to say that the penalty was Villa's first actual attempt on goal in the first half. Mark Hughes put Chelsea ahead before half time. After the break Villa were just terrible - the crouds boo's said it all with most fans walking out or even already out the ground by the time Flo made it 2-0 to Chelsea. Savo Milosevic had a fantastic effort saved late on by the Chelsea 'keeper, showing he does still know which way the goals are. With Dwight Yorke's lack of form and woefull penalty misses manager Brian Little is faced with a dilema should it go to penalties. One thing is for sure - after another defeat in the premiership and lieing 14th, EURO exit will firmly put manager Brian Little in the spot light - after one manager was sacked this week (Pleat of Sheffield Wednesday) could we see another one following soon?
Savo slates Collymore (1/11)
Manager Brian Little was awaiting Savo Milosevic's return from internation duty after claims that Milosevic said in a newspaper back home that Stan Collymore was lazy and arkward, and did nothing at all for Villa. That for 7 million they expected someone that could make things happen. Little was waiting for Savo's return to confirm what was said before he takes any action againt the Yugoslavian Centre Forward
Gazza latest snub (24/10)
Latest reports from Rangers state that Paul Gascoigne has snubbed a move to premiership team Aston Villa, and any other premiership team for that matter after deciding to stay with Rangers. Gazza allegadly had talks with England international boss Hoddle to decide his future and has been told that a return South of the border to England would not make any difference to his England place and he should go where he feels happy. Manager Brian Little has refused to comment on the speculation surrounding Gazza's possible signing except to say a new signing was 'probable' before the weekend. He has been locked in transfer talks with supremo Doug Ellis before making his move for a so far un-named man thought to be Paul Gascoigne.
Gazza swap deal? (23/10)
Sources from Spain on Tuesday revealed that a swap deal for Paul Gascoigne with either Sasa Curcic or Mark Draper going the opposite direction were on the cards despite press reports stating different. Villa manager has been linked with Glasgow Rangers star 'Gazza' for a week or so after Tottenham and verton pulled out of the running. Manager Brian Little seems certain that a transfer could be completed before the weekend game against Arsenal and all the talk at the moment seems to point to Gazza
Bilbao 0 0 Aston Villa (22/10)
Boss Brian Little was left with pride as his Aston Villa braves produced a UEFA Cup performance packed with discipline and determination. Villa had Collymore and Yorke both booked by the German ref Strampe but after such a performance that won't worry them. Mark Draper was recalled for 'out of form' Ehiogu in a back three formation of Scimeca, Staunton and Southgate. Dwight Yorke nearly put Villa ahead on 37 but after great link up and bewildering inter-passing between Savo Milosevic, Yorke, and Stan Collymore cut Bilbao's cover wide open only for Yorke to miss when scoring looked easier. Substitute Simon Grayson nearly squeezed Villa in front but saw a 68th minute header on goal blocked with Bilbao 'keeper Imanol Etxeberria struggling badly. Mark Bosnich held a commanding position in the Villa goal but was rarely called on as Bilbao failed to please there adoring fans.
When is this going to end? (18/10)
Villa home defeat against Wimbledon has put manager Brian little firmly in the spot light. The pressure is certainly on now after title contention is surely out the question and Coca Cola cup glory is definately out of the question. To attract big name players such as Gascoigne and co Villa must be up there challenging for titles and not losing home games to lesser opposition. Fa cup and Uefa cup hopes are all that remain for Villa and they are certainly not favourites or even near favourites in either. Whether the Savo Milosevis signing was successful or a mistake depends on the individual, and the same can be said about Sasa Curcic and Stan Collymores signings because these multi million pound 'stars' have simply failed to provide the goods. More is expected from Little and he must start to fulfill the expectations of the ever increasing fed up Vila fans who expect much more from a team with International stars, average gate attendance of 35,000+ and multi million pound investments. The message is simple from every Villa fan to manager Brian Little and the Aston Villa club - we are not prepared to carry on like this. Villa seem to take one step forward then three steps backwards and where will this end? Euro failure? FA cup failure? Or the unthinkable - relegation from the Premiership and elite league in the world.
Gazza in 4mill move (16/10)
Paul Gascoigne is today having talks with Aston Villa on a proposed 4 million pound transfer back to the south of the border. Gazza is attracting interest from various other clubs including Tottenham and Everton. Manager Brian Little denied the stories but Scotish sources say Villa have been in touch with the club and also the player. Gazza's last game in Scotland could be this week as Gazza makes a bow out the league back to England.
Collymore fine (15/10)
Stan Collymore has received a near 30,000 two week fine after his dismissal at Bolton for fighting with Todd. Little had waited for the referees report before taking action but now he has received it, Collymore has been fined a maximum two weeks wages and will miss Villa's next three games.
Soccer justice
Although beaten 3-0 by rivals Liverpool, you do have to look at reflecting issues surrounding the game. Was it a penalty? It was obvious that gareth Southgate made minimal contact with Michael Owen and the youngster was looking for a penalty. I think we can all agree it wasn't a penalty. That would have kept the game at 0:0. We also look at whether Villa's claims for a penalty were justified. In short, Villa had more claim for a penalty than the penalty Liverpool got - is that because the Villa player didn't actually take a dive. Ok Macca's goal was an individual goal but is it fair to say had the game been 0:0 or even infact 0:1 that he wouldn't have scored that goal. The penalty changed the game no doubt and Villa would have been unlucky to leave the game with nothing. After an unfair wrong penalty decision Villa had to try and push forward more to get the goal they deserved. This just created more space for Liverpool to attack and the three goal rout was totally unfair to Villa's performance. One thing that was clear however and that is 7million man Collymore must do better when the pressure is on.
Curcic - should he stay or should he go? (19/09)
After another credible performance by Sasa Curcic, fans are watching to see if he stays to take Townsend place after his departure to Midlesboro'. Curcic is aiming to win back a first team place and make ammends for earlier controversy surrounding the star. Although admitting his genius skills, many Aston Villa fans have lost all respect for Curcic after his outbursts and antics - it is up to Curcic to prove himself.
Aston Villa Euro hopefulls (18/09)
Aston Villas resilient team performance earning them a credible 0-0 draw leaves fans hoping they can kill them off at home. While Bordeoux dominated for parts of the game, the Villa defense more than held out and Collymore should have done better when a Draper ball over the top had Collymore miss when scoring looked easier. Dwight Yorke had his chances too, and with Curcics arrival in the second half some fans could sense that Villa goal. Villa now have home advantage as they aim to finish the job they started with tv pundit Ron Atkinson telling how he feels Villa have got the best of the British results on Tuesday. Ex Athletico Madrid and Villa boss Atkinson said he now strongly fancied Villa to progress through to the next round, after last years humiliating upset.
Sasa in hot water and facing a massive 14,000 fine (26/08)
Brian Little is pushing for the maximum 2 weeks wages fine for missfit Sasa Curcic after the disgruntled Serb stormed out of training at Bodymoor Heath. Curcic, who has already missed scheduled training sessions on Saturday and Sunday, has became an outcast at the club and has now been banished from training with the first team because of his "dissruptive" attitude.
Sasa "I am 100% committed to Aston Villa" (26/08)
Sasa Curcic has stunned the club and fans by announcing today he is going to get his head down at the club and aim at winning back a first team place. Sasa - a one time record buy for Villa, has failed misserably at Villa but has been unable to move on after no clubs put in official bids for the player.
Townsend in late fitness battle for Tottenham game (26/08)
Aston Villa captain Andy Townsend is trying to shake off an ankle injury that is threatening to put him out of the Tottenham game on the 27th. Manager Brian Little would only say that Townsends chances of playing were 50/50
Sasa - "I am 99% certain to join Wolves" (25/08)
Sasa Curcic declared befroe Aston Villa's game against Newcastle United that he was 99% certain to be joing Wolves. Wolves have denied this saying Curcic is too expensive for them and they have not spoken to either club or player for two weeks
Villas worst Premiership start since 86 (24/08)
The last time Aston Villa lost their first three league games in a row was in the 86/87 season. No presure is being put on Little but many fans are doubting his ability after the dismall start to the season when hopes were so high.
Davies to Tranmere Rovers (24/08)
Neil Davies, a bright young Villa prospect, is the next to announce he is leaving Villa Park. The young attacker has decided to move on after Collymores transfer shut the door on any hopes of a first team place. He is the second to go after Farrely's close season transer and manager Little may now have a battle on his hands to keep the rest of his young stars who are becoming very disilusioned at the club with the prospect of sitting on the bench for the next few years.

Curic in cut-deal move to Wolves (23/08)
Sasa Curcic is awaiting the result of Wolverhampton Wanderers interest after attracting interest from the neighbouring team. Curcic, Villa record buy when bought, has been made very unwelcome after his public crys to the newspapers. After his first outburst last season Manager Brian Little had strong words with him although this seems to have done no good. Speaking after the Newcastle Utd game on Saturday Brian Little commented on Curcics latest outburst in the national press of his 'personal Villa hell' by saying that he was not prepared to keep a player at Villa who didn't want to be there and he would be trying to get rid of Curcic as quickly as possible.
Collymore scores on Villa debut
Stan Collymore opened up his scoring account with Villa after marking his US debut with a goal. The 7 million man got the opener in Villa's 1-1 draw after good play by Ehiogu and Draper to set Collymore up. Villa fans will be hoping it's the first of many, as Collymore aims to push Villa for there first league championship in over 15 years.
Charles makes succesful comeback
Gary Charles who suffered a sickening injury in the Villa West Ham game two seasons ago has given manager Bryan Little a massive boost by coming un scathered through 90 minutes. Charles made his comeback in Aston Villa's 1:1 draw with San Jose and now hopes to knock Fernando Nelson out of the first team. It was a remarkable night for Gary Charles after he revealed at the start of the season he feared he would never play again. Nelson has been in good form all seson and Charles will have to get back to his best from 2 seasons ago to try and force an oppening in the starting 11.
Another bright star gets international nod
Young Micheal Hughes who made an immpressive start against Liverpool earlier in the saeson and then went on to start the next 2 games has been called up for the Wales U-21 squad. The young superstar joins the list of current U-21 stars such as Scimeca and Lee Hendry for England. As well as former U21 keeper Oakes.
Collymore affects club value on stock exchange
The signing of Stan Collymore has suprisingly seen Aston Villa's share prices drop. Little who insists it is nothing to do with Collymore signing says that with Collymore and one or two new players then they will be definate title contenders.
Newcastle deal falls through.
The joint signings of Newcastle pair Clarke and Gillespie has been put under doubt now after West Ham have put in a bid for Clarke which is thought to match what Villa were prepared to pay. Little had lined the two younsters up and valued them at 4 million each. The question now is who is available to buy after promising youngster Clarke has slipped away. Villa are still searching for the two players that will make them strong title contenders.
With millions still in the kitty the question is just who will Villa buy next?
Bryan Little has indicated that he is still looking to buy a big name attacker and offensive midfielder; several names have been put forward including Cole and Sturridge of Derby- We will just have to wait and see!
Savo out?????? Or here to stay??
With Collymore signing at Villa this week people were claiming it was the end for Savo, but is it? Bryan Little has give no clues that Savo is going after he released a statement saying " A lot of people have said that with Collymore here there will be no room for Savo but that is simply untrue. I am quite looking forward to the idea of trying Collymore, Yorke and Milosevic in a new-look 3 man attack!"

Stan Collymore is new 7 million man at Villa
Stan Collmore completed his move to Aston Villa Tuesday morning after completing a medical as exclusivly revealed by us Monday! He has joined his new team-mates today in California and is set to start tomorrow nights friendly.