The Hidden Meaning of the New Aston Villa Shirt Numbers

Looking at the Aston Villa shirt numbers can be a bit like trying to tell the future from reading the tea leaves at the bottom of a tea cup. In days of old, numbers 1 to 11 would have indicated the Villa first 11, but since players now like to get fancy with their numbers, the honour of having a number in the first 11 has lessen. Still, Brad Guzan, now officially Villa’s No.1 and Weimann, who’s Villa’s new No.10, will both see it as a promotion.

In a traditional 1 to 11 the Villa first team would read something like this:


                                     Guzan (1)

       Baker 2)  Vlaar (4)  Okore (5)  Bennett (3)

                                      Clark (6)

                    Bacuna (7)  El Ahmadi (8)

  Weimann (10)   Helenius (9)  Agbonlahor (11)


The Unexpected New Aston Villa No.9

What? No Christian Benteke at No.9? The Belgian stays number 20, apparently by request,  instead of taking up the challenge of the Villa No. 9 shirt. This could be down to several reasons:

a) So he doesn’t have to change his twitter address which has ’20’ in it; bad forward planning there Mr Benteke

b) So he can remember how many league goals he needs to score, so Villa supporters forgive him for his transfer request.

c) He’s bottled it!

New signing Nicklas Helenius instead will get the honour of the No.9 shirt. No pressure.

Matthew Lowton also keeps his No.34 shirt from last season, instead of opting for the No.2 shirt. Who knows the reason behind that? Does he know how long we’ve waited for a decent number 2? Nathan Baker picks up the No.2 instead, despite it not being his position. I’ve got to admit, I’ve never liked players using shirt numbers outside of the traditional position for the number. Life goes on though.

There’s a nice solid feel about Jores Okore wearing the No. 5. Lets hope he continues the legacy of that shirt. Interestingly Bacuna takes the No.7 jersey, when you’d think Tonev (No.24) might have been the first choice for that.

One noticeable standout from the full list below is the ‘Bomb Squad’ members, who have been informed by Lambert they have no future at the club, are listed at 35 and over. Charles N’Zogbia’s injury isn’t going to save him from his inevitable exit.

Noticeably none of the NextGen winning team are given a squad number yet, apart from Samir Carruthers, who swaps No.40 for No.25.

The No.19 shirt is respectfully not available for this season in honour of Stiliyan Petrov. A nice touch. UTV


Aston Villa Shirt Numbers for the 2013/14 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 Nicklas Helenius
10 Andreas Weimann
11 Gabby Agbonlahor
12 Marc Albrighton
13 Jed Steer
14 Antonio Luna
15 Ashley Westwood
16 Fabian Delph
17 Chris Herd
18 Yacouba Sylla
19 Not available this Season in Tribute to Stiliyan Petrov
20 Christian Benteke
21 Jordan Bowery
22 Gary Gardner
24 Aleksandar Tonev
25 Samir Carruthers
34 Matt Lowton
35 Shay Given
36 Charles N’Zogbia
37 Enda Stevens
38 Nathan Delfouneso
39 Darren Bent
40 Stephen Ireland
41 Alan Hutton
42 Barry Bannan

* Told by Lambert they are no longer in his plans.


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  1. The “traditional” formation is a 4-1-2-3? I’ve always thought of the traditional formation being a 4-3-3 with:
    2           4                    5              3
    6                    10                      8
    7                     9                       11

    • ScottTrimble Clark is No. 6. Already got three centre-back with the numbers 2, 4 & 5. Playing Baker (No.2) out of position at right-back already. Would probably swap Baker’s positions with Okore. So, since Clark can also play defensive mid, that’s why I put him there to make up a 4-1-2-3. I was talking what the line-up would be if you took the  first 11 shirt numbers – not traditional formations. Get it?

  2. Actually quite depressing reading, some of those players in the 30’s should have delivered a lot more and half I feel have been treated incredibly poorly by Lambert. I completely agree that Bent, as an all round player, is lacking however he offers a lot more than rotting in the reserves and being unceremoniously written off, for one thing it does his resale value a whole world of harm. N’Zogbia is another who I feel hasn’t been given a fair crack, he has decent attributes and needs to have a team built around him not just expected to carry a team of youths or sat on the bench, given no chance and expected to perform at the top of his game for 20minutes every 4 games.

    • adamrlees Bent – wrong place at wrong time. Lambert plays with a target man striker who brings others into the game. If the midfield had been a lot stronger last season, then Bent & Benteke could have played together in  4-4-2. I still think the midfield is below par. N’Zogbia, I don’t think delivered. He was known for having an attitude problem and prone to sulk, long before he joined Villa. That’s why he never got his expected move to a top 4 team. Remember last season, with him admitting he wasn’t enjoying his football anymore? He was always arguing with McLeish in the middle of matches. He shouold have knuckled down and got on with it…considering the wages he was on.

  3. I’m guessing Lowton keeping his number is more superstition. Had a great season last season so why change anything.

    • MintyT85 As a Villan from Houston, Texas I love that he has no. 34. Hakeem Olajuwon, Earl Campbell, & Nolan Ryan (who the hell are they, you ask) are Houston legends that wore that number. May have to get a Lowton shirt now.

  4. Shame about Nathan Delfouneso. Never really given a chance by any manager they all just sent him out on loan. He will be lethal in the championship mark my words.

    • clbick3 He played in the Championship for the whole of last season so what happened there then? Mugged yourself of there!!!

    • Reports were he got too big for his boots and refused to put in the hard work in training. Brought it on himself. Such a shame as he had talent.

      • MyOldManSaid clbick3 you mean the chances he got when he was 19-20 years old? Hardly seems fair to be asking so much of a player just starting to experience the premier league. I mean does Lambert seriously think that Jordan Bowery will turn out to be a better player than Nathan Delfouneso? Delfouneso who was a regular member of the England U-21s? If he does, he is simply wrong.

  5. One of the reasons behind Benteke not changing his kit number may be because so many people have bought the Benteke “20” shirt already.

    • Jinksy Makes no difference really. Players only want their international and club shirt numbers to match when they start thinking about branding. Like Mr DB7

    • Jinksy lets be honset since his 9.6m move he hasnt done a great deal and im sure hes 
      on good wages he had chances last year apart from his goal free kick against west ham he has been average at best for the villa .

      • Every player joining a new team should have the benefit of an adjustment year. N’Zogbia showed a lot of promise this year when he was healthy which was not often. I understand Lambert has a philosophy but Charles seems decently committed to the cause. The club agreed to pay his wages when he signed why should he be ostricized now?

        • clbick3 i totally agree but i just think he had the season mcleissh brought him and last season and didnty really do anything special and we are in a time of building a better younger team he hasnt showed any form of which he showed at wigan i am no way saying he is not committed to the cause but i believe lambert has gave him his chance and with the signings of bacuna and tonev along with weimann and agbonlahor to supply benteke and helenius is the reason i think he is not part of his plans also a bit injury prone and i am expecting if we unload bent, given ireland bannan stevens or even a couple i can see a new number 10 being signed i really like the idea of that kiyotake fella but have total faith in lambert and would love to see him sign a new long term deal like 5 or 6 years to really build aston villa back to a european competing side in the next 5 years you can see the young players are really buying into his way and its brilliant to see please randy lerner offer lambert a contact extension.

        • gazrushton4 clbick3 I’m not sure what games you were watching because i didn’t see him have a bad game last season when given the chance….He came on against Man City in tyhe League cup and ripped them apart, West Brom away was brilliant, Everton away..i could go on. Lambert kept taking him off to protect the lead and we all know what happened then don’t we!!!

        • Jinksy gazrushton4 clbick3 I was thought N’Zogbia was better in theory than in practice. 
          We’ve had so many players that promised so much – Bent, Ireland, N’Zogbia…I’m also guessing these guys didn’t exactly knuckle down when it came to training. They’ve also had their chances to impress on the pitch. Ireland should have took his last chance against Bradford in the semi, for example.
          Also, their wage levels create problems within the squad. You’ve got Benteke who carries the team for a season on £20,000-a-week, looking at Bent and Ireland, who are on three-times that, and thinking WTF? That’s why he wanted out/much more cash. If Bent is on £65,000, Benteke’s suddenly thinking (or his agent is), I should be on £100,000.
          Lambert is building a real united TEAM. With players around the same age and also the same pay. He puts them on a low wage first, then improves it on performance. This helps motivate the players. Ireland & N’Zogbia haven’t been particular motivated at all. They have talent, but if it’s not applied, then they’re a waste of space. To be honest they’re the type of players that normally the likes of Blackburn, Blues, Hull (when they’re all) in the Prem tend to buy. Players with ability, but with attitudes that keep the big clubs away from them.
          As for Bent, it’s a case of wrong place, at the wrong time. In this team, last season the strikers had to create their own chances, as the midfield didn’t have any dimension going forward.

        • MyOldManSaid Jinksy gazrushton4 clbick3 All I am saying is that I think there really wasn’t much more Zog could have done this past year to prove to Lambert he would be a benefit to the team. I mean he basically single-handedly won us the game at West Ham. He won a penalty and scored a free kick in a game where the overall performance from the team was below par. I don’t care what kind of philosophy you are implementing, that is a player worth keeping no matter his wages. Sometimes I worry Lambert is a bit too rash and for lack of a better word merciless when it comes to adjusting his squad with this being the case in point. I think N’Zogbia could be very valuable going forward and I will just hate to see him go. BESIDES HE’S SOOOO GOOD IN FIFA ISN’T THAT REASON ENOUGH?!?!?!

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