Aston Villa latest: Including Ireland and Holman hit out at critics

Villa Park Outside

A round up of the latest news stories about Aston Villa football club.

Stephen Ireland says he is happy to have escaped from his Aston villa nightmare. The midfielder has joined Stoke City on a season long loan deal after failing to force his way into Paul Lambert’s first team plans.

“I knew the writing was on the wall at Villa back in March and they made the decision before last season had even finished,” said the midfielder.

Despite his departure, boss Paul Lambert says he is relishing watching the competition for places in the Aston Villa squad develop. He says that competitive element is something the side didn’t have last season as they were dragged into a relegation scrap.

Lambert will therefore be pleased that left-back Antonio Luna has said he’s up for the challenge of trying to keep Joe Bennett out of the side. The pair of full backs are expected to fight for that left-back slot over the course of the season.

Another player who has defended his choice to leave Aston Villa is Brett Holman who has moved to the UAE to continue his career. Several critics from his homeland of Australia have slammed the move and described it as a sign that he’s ‘given up’.

Former Villa star Dion Dublin has backed the manager and the players to push on and have a successful season. Dublin suggests the players are fully behind Lambert and listen to what he says.

“That’s Paul Lambert’s stamp, that’s his signature dish so to speak where he looks to give young players a chance. He will continue to do so because he does believe in the quality of the youth of today,” Dublin told the Birmingham Mail.

One of the club’s new signings, striker Libor Kozak, says he is ready for a new challenge and the next step in his career. The six feet and four inches tall Czech striker has joined from Lazio, as Paul Lambert looks to create extra competition to Christian Benteke in attack.

In England news concerning Aston villa players, several TV pundits have reacted furiously to Gabriel Agbonlahor not being included in the latest England squad.

If you are picking an England squad based on current form, there is no way that Agbonlahor deserves to be overlooked. He tore Arsenal to shreds on the opening day of the season,” said Robbie Savage.

One piece of news that will have caused a few frowns on the faces of Aston Villa supporters is the decision of former midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger to retire. The 31-year-old has taken the decision after a string of injuries have stopped him maintaining any decent level of fitness.

Away from the team, Aston Villa have announced a partnership with Turkish Airlines for the 2013-2014 season. The airline has become the official Airline Partner for Aston Villa over the rest of the season.

image: © ell brown

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