Well, it's finally here. In about 25 hours, we'll have the kickoff to the 2011-12 season! But I don't want to leave you without a roundup of the news for the day. Let's dive right in:
Apparently Alex McLeish is looking to get a little more depth in the midfield, as Aston Villa have been linked to Thomas Hitzlsperger, as the Express and Star writes. I don't think this should come as a surprise to anyone. Rather, what I find interesting is that McLeish acknowledges he wants another player or two, but that he can't buy anyone else until he's sold someone. The solution put forth in the article is the finish of Carlos Cuellar's move to Rangers. If that's McLeish's plan, I am far from happy. As it stands, a bit of defensive depth is our most pressing need, but doubly so if we sell Cuellar. This would be akin to shooting yourself in the foot and putting a band-aid on your forehead.
In rumors-I'm-not-sure-I-believe-at-all territory, Villa have also apparently have interest in a year-long loan of Manchester City winger Adam Johnson. Johnson has a lot of skill, and he could be a help. If he's cheap, I like this (despite not loving the defense situation still), if not, avoid. Also, this should be taken with a salt-lick, as I saw the rumor a lot of places, but none that I believe implicitly.
Fabian Delph is healthy again, and looks to figure in tomorrow's match against Fulham, according to Mat Kendrick. While I mention Kendrick, give his bite-sized preview of the match a look.
Don't get too excited about a potential 2012 rematch against Rapid Vienna, warns Alex McLeish. As Kendrick reports in the Birmingham Mail, the gaffer is warning fans that the process to European contention again will not be instantaneous. This is pretty obvious, but for some reason I can't shake the idea that I wouldn't be shocked if Villa got to Europe somehow.
Finally, do you want to play like Darren Bent? No, I don't mean nabbing the daughter of Steve Bruce, I mean on the pitch. Well, he's got an interview in Four-Four-Two that explains some of his style and why it is effective.
And that's it! Last links of the preseason. I'll be back on Monday with what I assume will be a bevy of wrap-ups.