Lambert ponders Villa´s problems

27 August 2012 20:57

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert says that he has no ‘magic wand’ to solve the club’s current problems.

The former Norwich City boss lost his first game in charge at Villa Park as his side were completely dominated by an impressive Everton team, who ran out 3-1 winners on Saturday.

The Scot hopes that he can bring in some fresh faces as the end of the transfer window draws nearer to breathe new life into a Villa team who are looking to avoid a repeat of last season’s battle against relegation.

“There’s no magic wand. That’s why I never got caught up in the euphoria of it because I know what it’s like,” Lambert said.

“It’s not a quick fix, I know that myself, but it’s something where you don’t want to be left behind, you want to try and win as many games as you can.”

Lambert is set to meet chairman Randy Lerner and chief executive Paul Faulkner to discuss possible targets as he aims to complete his squad before Friday’s transfer deadline.

“We have to start to win – that’s first and foremost, whether you have the players or not,” the 43-year-old said.

“The chairman and Paul and myself will have a conversation and we’ll see what happens.

“I’ve got ideas in my head. If something becomes available and I think it’s worthwhile, then we can look at it.”

N´Zogbia targets improved showing at Villa

27 August 2012 20:46

Charles N’Zogbia has vowed to up his game after a poor first season with Aston Villa, insisting that signing for the club was the right move.

The winger joined the Villans from Wigan in a big-money deal worth 9.5 million pounds but, in a uninspiring 2011-12 campaign that saw the Midlands outfit narrowly avoid relegation and manager Alex McLeish lose his job, the midfielder’s form dropped considerably as he contributed just two goals.

The Frenchman received criticism for his poor displays but is determined to put things right this term by returning to his form of old, while suggesting that will be able to settle better into his role in his second year.

“I’ve now been playing over here (in England) for eight years, so I know what to do,” the 26-year-old told the club’s official website.

“I know what I’m capable of and my focus is always to win games. Joining Villa was a good move for me. It was a difficult first season but I know I can work through that.

“I know the mistakes I made and I’m working on them. I know the other players much better now and that helps a lot.”

The former Newcastle man then indicated that he was trying overly hard to impress when he first arrived at Villa Park, indicating that he will stick to his strengths this time around.

“When I came here, I tried to offer something different because I felt I was joining a bigger club with big-name players,” N’Zogbia said.

“Maybe I tried too hard but it just wasn’t working.

“Now I’m determined to just be myself. I think I will benefit, and hopefully the team will as well.

“My strength is to be on the ball more often and go with it. That’s what I’m aiming to do this season and I know I will be better for it.”

Moses hoping to make an impact at Chelsea

27 August 2012 20:31

New Chelsea signing Victor Moses has revealed he moved to Stamford Bridge in order to win silverware.

The 21-year-old had been the subject of prolonged speculation over the summer with reports constantly linking the winger with a transfer to west London, a deal that was officially completed on Friday.

The Nigerian admits the Blues’ interest shocked him at first, but says he was delighted to make the switch to the reigning Champions League winners, something he believes any player would have done.

“When I first heard that Chelsea had come in for me I was surprised, but I had a call from my agent saying they were really interested in me and what did I think,” he told the club’s official website.

“I said they are the European champions and anyone would like to play there and now that everything is sorted, I am delighted to be here.

“I am happy to come back to London as I grew up here and it is a great honour to play for the club that won the Champions League.”

Roman Abramovich has dug deep into his pockets this summer in a bid to avoid a repeat of a disappointing sixth-placed finish in the Premier League table last year, only qualifying for the Champions League as eventual winners.

Eden Hazard, Oscar, Marko Marin and Cesar Azpilicueta are among the names already brought in, as well as Moses, and the spending has paid off so far with Roberto Di Matteo’s men sitting pretty on top of the table with three wins from their first three matches.

The former Wigan attacker said he is looking forward to working with some of the best players on the planet, while insisting he will do his best to add to the team in their hunt for titles.

“There are a lot of world-class players here and I am here to do my best for the team and to help them win more trophies,” he said.

“The club has done well for the past few years, they have achieved a lot, and I am delighted to be able to play with these world-class players.

“I just want to ask the fans to sit tight, there is more to come from Victor Moses and I hope to do my best for the club and that there are more trophies to come in the future.”

Johnson set for Sunderland debut

27 August 2012 20:25

Martin O’Neill has revealed new Sunderland signing Adam Johnson will feature against Morecambe in their League Cup tie on Tuesday.

The former Manchester City midfielder completed his move to the Stadium of Light on Friday for a fee understood to be around 10 million pounds, with the Black Cats also capturing Steven Fletcher from Wolves earlier on the same day for a reported figure of 12 million pounds.

The Black Cats manager revealed the winger tried to complete the move in time for their clash with Reading on Saturday, before it was postponed due to a water-logged pitch, but instead indicated he will make his debut in the League Cup second-round clash.

“After playing for England, Adam is a lot fitter than Steven Fletcher,” O’Neill said.

“In fairness, Adam wanted to get things sorted on Friday, but the timing for Saturday just beat us.

“I think it would be a great opportunity for him. He will be playing.”

The manager will be hoping the duo can add goals to a front-line which managed just 45 last season, although Louis Saha has already been brought in as well with Asamoah Gyan leaving the club for Al Ain.

The former Aston Villa boss is looking forward to seeing his new men in action, while suggesting they have more creative quality in their ranks this term.

“Fletcher gives us a bit of a new dimension,” he said. “I would love to promise that we will score a lot more goals with those two in the team, but I do get the impression we will create more chances.

“Johnson is a very exciting player. He just needs more encouragement to keep going.

“He is the type of player I love – someone who takes opponents on. I used to do it myself – without great success.”

Although Johnson is in line to play for the Black Cats, O’Neill will most likely use the fixture as an opportunity to rotate his squad, just as many other managers do.

However, he insists he is taking the competition seriously, and hopes his team can put on a show for the home crowd.

“The cup tie is very important for us,” O’Neill said. “We had a taste for the cup last year and the atmosphere that night against Everton in the replay was extraordinary.

“It showed just what it means to the people here. We would love to do well.

“We have a home tie and really want to make the most of it. We just want to give it a real go and show people what we want to do.

“I have not had the chance to see Morecambe myself, but we have reports and we will look at video coverage of them.

“We want to do really well in the cup competitions.”

Lyon president unclear over Lloris future

27 August 2012 19:57

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas says goalkeeper Hugo Lloris’ fate is in his own hands.

The 25-year-old has been linked with a move to Tottenham in the Premier League throughout the summer, but the French side have been adamant that they have no intention of selling the player.

However, Spurs have since made a formal approach for the Lyon stopper and Aulas said that only Lloris himself knows where his future lies.

“I’m not going to stick my neck out and say that he will be here on September 4, even if I am hoping for that,” Aulas said.

“We have been in contact with Tottenham since yesterday (Sunday). Now, it’s Hugo who holds the key.”

Aulas went on to reveal Lyon had received offers from unnamed teams for striker Bafetimbi Gomis, but said Michel Bastos is yet to attract any fresh interest.

“For the moment, (Gomis) is at Lyon. We have more propositions coming from England for him. It’s for us to discuss. Concerning Bastos, we have not had any new contact this weekend,” he said.

Aulas also stated he feels Paris Saint-Germain’s new-found wealth puts them in a position of responsibility to try and help improve the overall standard of French football.

“PSG have to find a method to help French clubs get bigger off their back, and they have to be generous,” he said.

“It would have been good if (Eden) Hazard had stayed in France, or if (Karim) Benzema, (Hatem) Ben Arfa and other France internationals had returned since the training fees would have strengthened French clubs.”