Aston Villa Plan Mid-Season Friendlies
With a unique and lengthy mid-season break to accommodate the winter World Cup, due this season, Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard was keen to organise a few mid-season friendlies, during the break. There’s also the aim of a potential European training camp, which could include a couple of friendly fixtures too.
The first mid-season friendly locked in will double up as the Peter Whittingham Memorial Match, which, as previously announced, will be at Cardiff City Stadium on Wednesday, November 30 (7.30pm kick-off).
Whittingham sadly passed away in March 2020, aged only 35. He started his football career at Villa and was part of the team that won the FA Youth Cup in 2002. He played 56 times in the league for Villa, before making his name in Cardiff for making over 400 appearances over a decade with the club.
After Villa play Brighton on 12th November, they won’t play again until Boxing Day against Liverpool, so while players not on World Cup duty will no doubt get a week or two’s holiday, they will remain active during the break. A training camp in a warmer European country will no doubt be on the minds of many Premier League clubs, so they’ll be plenty of jockeying for retreats and suitable friendly opposition.
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Gerrard will obviously be hoping to still be in the hot seat by then, and if he can turn results around in the meantime, it will be valuable extra time with a chunk of the squad. Likewise, the World Cup break would be a logical time for Premier League clubs to pull the trigger on managers, if they have problems. If would give them time, if needed, to find a new manager and give them a lengthy pre-season of sorts with at least some of his squad, directly before the January transfer window opens.
It’ll certainly be an interesting break for Villa, one way or another.