BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 20: Stiliyan Petrov congratulates team mate Gabriel Agbonlahor (#11) of Aston Villa after he sets up the second goal for Emile Heskey (#18) during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers at Villa Park on August 20, 2011 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
A few things of note as we head into what is, for we Americans, a lovely three-day weekend. The irony of not working on Labor Day never ceases to amuse me. Unless I've had it wrong this whole time and it's a day to honor birthing mothers. That would be a totally different spin. To the links!
- Darren Bent has some sort of a groin problem (first Shay Given, now Bent. Are they contagious and... oh lordy, nevermind) and may miss England Euro 2012 qualifying match against Bulgaria. Part of me worries because I never like seeing Aston Villa players with injuries, but a part of me likes that he'll get more rest. You get well Darren! You're vital!
- Speaking of England-Bulgaria, Stiliyan Petrov has a piece in the Daily Mail (he gets the byline anyway, I think it was an interview) in which he mentions that a Berbatov-less Bulgaria could shock England! Yeah, and Stiliyan Petrov could make a forward pass. But seriously, it's neat to see a more personal side of our captain and the obvious joy he's taking in his attempt to become the all-time most capped player for Bulgaria. Congrats on that, Stiliyan! You may not be much help to us right now, but you've been good and loyal to Villa. That's worth something.
- Timothy Abraham of the Express and Star points out that while we may not love the Aston Villa summer window moves (more to come on that today! Check back!), Alex McLeish really has done a great job of working with a severely limited budget. I don't love it, but if one year of a crimped budget helps Villa build towards the future, I'm ok.
- In more transfer wraps, Alan Hutton is a coup signing for Aston Villa according to Alex McLeish, as reported by the Beeb. And the good news is that he's saying all the right things about wanting to come to Villa because they are such a great club with great fans etc. Even if you don't like the move, he seems like an affable guy.
- Mat Kendrick gives his video-take on Aston Villa's summer dealing, while Dan Ripley of the Daily Mail labels the club as one of this summer's "Losers." Oh yeah? Well... well... you're a loser Dan Ripley. /Looks around for affirmation
/kicks dirt dejectedly when he receives none
- Despite our complaints that Aston Villa should look beyond the British isles for players, it's worth noting that Villa only have the 7th most British players on their squad by percentages, according to Aston Villa Central. Check out that article for a depth chart of all of the EPL teams. Interesting stuff as always.
- Finally, Chris Herd is eager to prove himself with Luke Young gone and Eric Lichaj out for four months. It's hard to say he hasn't earned a chance, but I imagine Hutton will take the lions-share of the time.
That's it for the links. Check back in a couple of hours for this week's Friday Feedback. You get three questions this week!
Have a safe weekend everyone, and thanks for reading.