Pardew Has The Players - Can He Make A Team?

Last updated : 29 January 2013 By Footy Mad - Editor

Alan Pardew: "Every day is a learning experience for me at this football club.


"You have to grow and enjoy it, otherwise it would kill you, so that's what I do, I grow with it and enjoy it.

"I know the feeling around is very much about results more than anything, and we need to put that right.

"Graham Carr (NUFC scout) doesn't speak a word of French, so it's amazing that he has done so well there.

"We not only use Graham, but we use his team in France. We have very, very good contacts in France and I think that's probably the main reason that the transfers have come that way.

"But the most important thing is getting good players, and we think the French market is a good market.

"I always make the same speech to my French players and say to them that I will speak in English and they need to learn English very, very quickly.

"We talk in English on the pitch. Amongst themselves, for sure, some French dialogue can go on. Here, they have to understand me and they have to understand English."


Geordie Mascot An Inspiration To Us All!

Geordie mascot Cory Davison brought his magic sparkle to help Luton Town record their historic 1-0 win over Norwich City.

The Journal reports:- The eight-year-old, who is recovering from intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy, was invited to be The Hatters’ mascot by former Gateshead player Jon Shaw.


Jon, who now plays in the number nine shirt for Luton, became friends with Cory and his family after meeting the schoolboy in his role as a mascot for Blyth Spartans when they played Gateshead.

This friendship saw him invite Cory as a mascot for Luton on Saturday, a match which would end up being one for the record books when the non-league outfit eliminated the team from the English top tier – a first since 1989.

Cory was diagnosed with a severe malignant tumour the size of a plum around his brain stem in February 2011, but has battled back to strength and is on the road to recovery.

The Year 4 pupil at Newsham Primary School in Blyth now dedicates his spare time to fundraising for different charities and, for the past two Christmas Days, he has handed out presents to children spending the festive season in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary’s Ward 4.

Cory’s dad Steven: “It was the biggest result in 24 years.

“All the players signed his shirt and all the Luton fans were superb, even though he was not from around there. It was fantastic.

“All the Luton players were tweeting him after the game saying he was inspiring and if Cory can do what he has done it is no surprise they can do that on the pitch with Cory there.

“A lot said Cory inspired them to play better and harder.

“At the end of the day, Cory’s roots are Blyth Spartans and Newcastle United but he will have a special place in his heart for Luton.

“Football seems to be one big family when they are supporting someone like Cory. It does not matter what your colours are.

“If it means supporting another team for the day then that’s what it means.

“Cory has been asked by the players if he will be the mascot for their next big game.

“A result like that is something that will never probably happen in Cory’s lifetime, it’s something that does not come around often. It was just amazing.

“It was a great day, he brought everyone together.

“It was fantastic, when the whistle went and before and after the game, everyone was together for Cory and wanting to know how he was doing.

“He is doing very, very well and hopefully we are trying to save for a holiday in the summer.

“Cory has been given the go ahead to have a holiday abroad. It will be the first time he has been abroad and we are trying to save for that now he is allowed to travel.”

To keep up with Cory’s progress and fundraising follow him on Twitter @1CoryDavison.



What Is It Like For Away Supporters?


Away supporters are located on one side of the Doug Ellis Stand, towards the North end of the stadium. Up to 3,000 fans can be accommodated in this area, split between both the upper and lower tiers of the stand. The concourse at the back of the upper tier is particularly tight and easily becomes crowded, whereas there is more space behind the lower section. There is a fair selection of food available and it is the first football ground that I have visited that offers meat products that are Halal. There are a selection of pies (all £3.10), Burgers (£3.10), Fish & Chips (£3.50), Southern Fried Chicken and Chips (£3.50), Vegetable Samosas (£2) and Chips & Curry Sauce (£2.50). There are wide screen televisions on the concourse, showing past encounters between the teams before kick off. There is also betting facilities available in the form of a Ladbrokes outlet. Entrance to the stand is gained by entering your match ticket into an electronic reader.

A visit to Villa Park is normally an enjoyable experience, with the stewards normally taking a relaxed and friendly attitude. One concern though, is that there is very little separating the home and away fans and this could lead to possible future crowd problems.

Where To Drink?


There are a number of pubs in the vicinity of Villa Park, but most of them on match days are either members only or have bouncers on the door. However, Dave Cooper recommends the following for away fans; 'The Witton Arms (formerly the Cap and Gown), is not a bad pub, to which half the pub is given to away fans (there is even a separate entrance for visiting fans). It is only two minutes walk from the away entrance, right on Witton Island, however it does charge £2 per person to gain entry'. Alex Alexander a visiting Norwich City fan adds; 'We found a pub approximately 15 minutes walk from the ground where away fans were made welcome. It is called the Yew Tree. Although they don’t serve real ale, they had a good range of beers and Magner’s on draught. It is on the same road as the Witton Arms, but with this pub on your left carry straight on up the road, passing Witton Railway Station on your right. After about half a mile you will see the pub on the right hand side'.

If you arrive a bit earlier then you may wish to visit the historic Bartons Arms, located about a 15 minute walk away on High Street Aston (A34). This Grade II listed building, is one of Birmingham's finest pubs, with superb Victorian decor, serving Oakham ales and Thai food is also on offer. It is a regular entry in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

Darren Williams a visiting Manchester City fan adds; 'We have always park at an entertainment complex called StarCity. It is just off Junction 6 of the M6, going towards Villa Park. Huge free car park, plus plenty of food and drink outlets. It is then about a mile and half walk to the ground'. Please note that alcohol is not available to away fans inside the stadium.

How To Get There By Car & Where To Park


The ground can be seen from the M6, if you are coming from the North side of Birmingham. Leave the M6 at Junction 6 and take the slip road sign posted Birmingham (NE). Turn right at the island (the fourth exit), the ground is well signposted from here. However to be on the safe side, turn right at the second set of traffic lights (there is the King Edward VII pub on the corner) on to Aston Hall Road. This road will take you down to the ground. Mostly street parking (don't be surprised though if you are approached by kids wanting to 'mind your car'), although this is not as plentiful as it once was due to a local residents only parking scheme now in place in the streets around the Witton roundabout area. Roland Archer a visiting Southampton fan adds; 'If you arrive early enough then in-between the Witton Arms and Witton Station there is a small pay and display car park which cost only £1.60 for six hours.'

By Train

Take the short train journey from Birmingham New Street (around 10-15 minutes) to either Aston or Witton station. Witton station is nearer to the away section and is only a few minutes walk from the ground. Turn left out of the station exit and continue down to a roundabout. Turn left at the roundabout into Witton Lane and the entrance to the away section is down this road on the right. Aston station is about a ten minute walk away from Villa Park. Extra trains are laid on to the ground on matchdays.