If he works on the facial expressions, Barry's got a promising career in ballet ahead of him.
There isn't too much news to wrap up from yesterday, as most players were just traveling home from the international break, or resting. That said, there are a few interesting stories of Villan derring-do, and a brewing protest before the Everton match on Saturday. Read on!
- Ireland managed a 0-0 draw in Russia and brought themselves closer to qualifying for the Euro 2012 finals. The impressive clean sheet was largely the effort of Shay Given and RIchard Dunne, according to the Express. From the reports, I think we can all rest assured that Shay Given seems to be doing fine, as he made several brilliant saves. Richard Dunne, however, was Ireland's hero, as he made several key blocks and even sacrificed his head to the tune of four stitches. But fear not! Our pillar of central defense came immediately back into the game despite the wound, and played admirably.
- As a side effect of his head-wound, Off the Post points out that Dunne had to change shirts, and went to a blank one with his number drawn on in felt-tip marker. I give Off the Post credit here because they have the delightful video evidence. I think it's also worth noting that in that video you can really see how much more fit Dunne looks this year. He is, I think, key to Aston Villa doing well, and all early signs are encouraging.
- In other international news, wee Barry Bannan was named man of the match as Scotland beat Lithuania 1-0 to keep their Euro 2012 hopes alive. Barry is every bit as adorable as you'd expect here, but the reason I chose the Sky Sports article is to bring the large Bazza pic (Barry Banner?) to Kirsten's attention. You'd better appreciate that.
- Finally, despite some displeasure with the transfer window, I don't think Aston Villa fans are as upset as those of Everton. Members of the Blue Union are planning to protest the chairmanship of Bill Kenwright before Saturday's clash against Aston Villa. Maybe this will put a damper on the crowd. That would certainly be a help for Villa.