Aston Villa to Start Season Without a Number 9?

Excuse me? Aston Villa are actually going to start the season without a number 9? It’s getting to the stage where MOMS has stopped shaking our head or shrugging our shoulders at some of the news that comes out Villa Park nowadays, but this is just weird.

Okay, so the club’s best striker Christian Benteke chose the No. 20 jersey when he joined the club and elected not to change to the number 9 last season for sentimental reasons (or maybe because he already had 20 in his Twitter address and it was part of his ‘brand’). When the number was subsequently given to Nickolas Helenius, it suggested Paul Lambert had faith in the young Dane to become a major player for Villa. That faith seemed short-lived.

After being demoted out to 39 last season, Darren Bent a previous Villa number 9, has chosen Stan Petrov’s old shirt of 19 instead. Whether it was a sentimental choice (they were buddies) or there are internal politics at play, is for anyone to guess.

The number 9 shirt has always been the most famous shirt in football and in terms of Aston Villa, a former wearer of it just happened to have scored the most important goal in the club’s history on that evening in Rotterdam.

Last season, Paul Lambert used the squad numbers to spell out to certain members of the Aston Villa squad – including Darren Bent, Charles N’Zogbia, Shay Given and Alan Hutton – their futures at the club were over, before egg on face, Lambert was asked to reverse his stance by the club’s reluctant owner. This season, the squad numbers are more straight-forward., although a lack of lynchpin number 9 suggests a lack of rudder on a ship that is potentially heading towards an iceberg.

Reasons for Aston Villa having no number 9

1. Maybe the club have retired the number in honour of Nickolas Helenius and his efforts in the shirt last season.

2. In the days before the club was being run like a circus, holding back allocating a prized number meant that a nice juicy signing was on their way to fill the shirt number.

3. Nobody cares about the tradition of football anymore? For a striker, the honour of wearing the number 9 shirt was the biggest honour they could have.

4. The number 9 is unlucky in the Czech Republic? Why doesn’t Kozák want it? He has he potential to be a good old-fashioned number 9 for Villa.

5. Darren Bent used to be Villa’s number 9. Surely if he was serious about staying at the club, he’d snap it up as a statement of intent? It would also be a poke in the eye to Lambert too. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mr Bent leave yet, before the window closes.


 The Aston Villa Squad Numbers 2014/15

* Brackets indicate ‘bomb squad’ number last season.


1 Brad Guzan
2 Nathan Baker
3 Joe Bennett
4 Ron Vlaar
5 Jores Okore
6 Ciaran Clark
7 Leandro Bacuna
8 Karim El Ahmadi
9 ????
10 Andreas Weimann
11 Gabby Agbonlahor
12 Joe Cole
13 Jed Steer
14 Philippe Senderos
15 Ashley Westwood
16 Fabian Delph
17 Chris Herd
18 Kieran Richardson
19 Darren Bent (39)
20 Christian Benteke
21 Alan Hutton (41)
22 Gary Gardner
24 Aleksandar Tonev
27 Libor Kozak
28 Charles N’Zogbia (36)
31 Shay Given (35)
32 Janoi Donacien
34 Matt Lowton
35 Enda Stevens (37)
36 Daniel Johnson
37 Callum Robinson
38 Graham Burke
40 Jack Grealish




  1. Gosh, when I look at the squad like that I think I will refrain from buying FIFA15, made me shudder a bit. How do we consistently do well against the top 4?

    If DB19 left it wouldn’t be the worst thing, appreciate the half season he saved us and would wish him well wherever he went. Villa as someone mentioned need more youth, I have yet to be convinced that two old guys are gonna be covering the whole pitch on the flanks for 90 minutes effectively. And resolute is not a word I am familiar with when discussing Aston Villa’s defense, even with Roncrete. The number 4 crops up a lot more, especially when referring to goals allowed.

    Promote one of the youth and give them the 9, if they don’t make it, promote another till someone owns it. Bring the pride and competition back to being Aston Villa’s no9, by keeping it specifically for the best Villa Academy grad for that year. If they make it, they choose their own number after one season. By then they’ll have their own twitter brand to make anyway.

    • Yep, he was on the list to be shipped out last summer due to his wages and a fall out with Lambert at the Manchester United game at Old Trafford (when United claimed the league title). Backed up by dropping from number 10 to 38, last summer.

  2. As Kozak is a Czech think you might have answered why he might not want the number 9 !
    As for adding players to the squad unless the new comers are U21’s we need to lose more than 2 players as currently we have 27 players in the squad when we should only have 25 excluding the U21’s

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