Take away Ashley Young at your own peril. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
The transfer window slams shut at 6pm GMT tomorrow, 10am PT for those of us locked in law school class rooms on the west coast of the United States. And when I say "slams", I really mean it sort of eases shut and allows in a few gusts of wind for a couple days.
Aston Villa's activity in the transfer window can best be described as dead. Sure, we now have Stephen Ireland, but I believe that was more about Manchester City throwing him in as a bonus rather than Villa actively pursuing a player. The club has said that they are not seeking signings due to not having in place a permanent manager. So even if the Villa have found themselves a gaffer by tomorrow, that's not exactly enough time to get ourselves a shiny new right back, so stop dreaming.
So what can Villa do in the next 18 hours? They can offload some players, that's what. Although Villa fans appreciated the depth of the squad over the first couple weeks of play, as our defenders appeared to be made out of glass, now that the club is out of the Europa League it's not as vital to keep around 20 defenders to fill various holes. Here are a couple rumors:
Habib Beye: If we could pin the loss to Rapid on just one player, it would be all on Beye. I know that's unfair, but even his assist to Emile Heskey did nothing to take away my loathing for the man. He's 32 and barely able to fill in as a third-string defender. Should Hull City want him, by all means, take him away. Unfortunately, these rumors seem confined to gossip blogs and the Daily Mirror.
Curtis Davies: If we're allotting blame for the Rapid loss, then surely Davies should shoulder some of it as well. Another third-string defender, Davies called out Martin O'Neill as the reason he barely played last season--failing to acknowledge that his greatest talent is, in fact, looking good in a photo. I'd happily rely on Ciaran Clark to cover at full back if Davies heads off to Celtic on loan, but remember, peeps, we don't take the word of Wikipedia as gospel.
Steve Sidwell: Ok, he's a midfielder, but considering I avert my eyes from the screen each time he appears on the pitch, I should be forgiven for clumping him in under a paragraph discussing defenders. Villa's least attractive ginger has spent the early season on the sidelines, nursing an Achilles strain. While our midfield could use some depth, I would rather rely upon other marginal talents then see this weaselly face in claret and blue. Unfortunately, although di Matteo has confirmed interest in Paul Scharner, there's not been much solid evidence that Sidwell is going to West Brom.
And so we come to Ashley Young. For the sake of my sanity, I will rely on statements from the club, telling us that Young is not for sale. Kevin MacDonald has squashed the idea that Tottenham have put forth a former bid for our winger/striker/all-around boy wonder. If I don't trust this, I won't be sleeping tonight.
Finally: David Moyes. Bookies slashed the odds. Tabloids wrote articles. People saw Randy Lerner shake Moyes' hand on Sunday. People, have we not learned that these gestures do not add up to substance? Find me a solid source that can genuinely refute Sky Sports' article on Moyes' denial of a link to Villa, and then we can discuss. Until then, my hopes are not up.