Aston Villa v Everton: Updates, news, the manager and banter banter banter

Sorry for the lack of activity the last couple of days. Had a bit of work on and we're making quite a lot of chances to the site - in fact the chances we are making right now is the single biggest change we've undertaken to the site since I started it in 2005.

Most of the changes aren't visible, but hopefully you'll like the new functionality in the site. I'm quite pleased with it but transferring all the posts and comments has taken time and some would have noticed that on occasion while that was happening the site dropped and for that I can only say sorry.

Aston Villa v Everton

First home match of the season

But, enough about the site changes we've got a football match today and well, I suspect it is going to be a tough one because Everton looked very decent on Monday night and they were more than worthy winners over Manchester United.

I know we looked like we were playing better football against West Ham on the opening game of the season, but Moyes has had a lot longer to get across to his players how to play, Paul Lambert is still working on that.

I wont be writing that next February. By then Lambert would have had long enough to get the team playing football his way and that in itself will be a bit step in the right direction, but for now, things are going to take time. But we can still win today.

Everton are a very solid side but that is all. If we get 'on the front foot' and put them under pressure early on, we will create chances and Darren Bent will score - but not if the ball isn't played into him and for that the ball has to come from the side as well as hoping we will play through a team, especially a side like Everton that contained the likes of Rooney and van Persie quite comfortably the other night.

Gary Gardner

But we can win. We really can. I'm not sure we will, but my thoughts are just that, thoughts. The result also doesn't really matter. We're not going down this season, we're not going to win the league, so it doesn't really matter. Although, I will say this; there are a lot of good sides in the Premier League this season, the football is going to have to be better.

Odds below, something from the manager and news that Makoun has left on loan for a French club - does anyone else get the feeling that there is something more to this than we are getting told? Also, not nice news that Gary Gardner suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his right knee this week and is out for the rest of the season.

You'll know that this isn't the first time Gardner has suffered this injury but you should also know that last time it was his other knee and that looks solid now so expect him to be back. He is a fantastic talent and he really is the future, but there are obviously going to be concerns, so lets just hope he comes back.

Aston Villa manager

Paul Lambert
In terms of approach it will be the same as the West Ham game. I always try and get on the front foot. I play a high tempo and a high intensity. We are at home and we have to get on that front foot. There's too many people come to watch not to. We have to force the game.

I give them the freedom to go and do it. You look at it on paper and we have Brett Holman, Stephen Ireland, Charles N'Zogbia and Darren Bent. They are four really, really talented players.

But for some strange reason we didn't get a chance at it. But from back to middle I thought we were really fine. To go away from home in the Premier League and have that possession? But ultimately you have to score. The game is about creating chances and trying to score so that's what you try and do. We will try and get on the front foot to try and win the game.