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Week 19: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Aston Villa, football blogs, Chinese scandals and weakened Wolves all feature in this week’s the good, the bad and the ugly section of the podcast. Vocabulary support can be found for the words in bold at the foot of the post.



It’s been a good week for English side Aston Villa as they record back-to-back away victories to move into third place in the Premier League. First of all they defeated champions Manchester United away at Old Trafford – that was the first time in 26 years they had managed to do that – thanks to a goal from England starlet Gabriel Agbonlahor. They followed that up with a convincing 2-0 victory at Sunderland on Tuesday to move into third place in the league. Could this be the year that Villa break into the top four?


Good to see a footballer showing another side to his life. Any football fan should go and check out Darius Vassell’s blog about his life in Turkey. The  ex-Villa, Manchester City and England striker, now playing for Ankaragücü in Turkey, started writing a blog last month and it’s a fascinating insight into what it’s like to move to another country to play football. It’s really worth the read. Latest blog – Darius looks like he’ll take the plunge and try and learn Turkish!



English Premier League side West Ham United are going through troubled times both on and off the pitch with the side languishing near the bottom of the table and their finances are in disarray. A further setback came this week when England striker Dean Ashton announced his retirement from the game due to injury. Ashton is only 26 and this is a huge blow for both the club and the player.


Chengdu Blades’ President Xu Hongtao has been accused of bribing Qingdao boss Liu Hongwei in 2007 to help the Chengdu side gain promotion to the Chinese Super League. The Chengdu side were bought by English Championship side Sheffield United in 2006 and face the possibility of relegation and a large fine as punishment as Chinese authorities attempt to clean up the sport’s image.



Manchester United bounced back after that shock home defeat against Villa by thrashing Wolves 3-0 in a Premier League match earlier this week. Wolves made ten changes from the team that had beaten Spurs the previous Saturday as their manager Mick McCarthy felt his side needed more recovery time to face Burnley this weekend – a game he feels his team have more of a chance of winning. Managers from other Premier League sides complained that this act had given Manchester United an unfair advantage – an easy, uncontested three points. The 3.000 Wolves fans who travelled to the game must also have felt extremely let down. The Premier League do have a rule whereby a team must select its strongest line up for every game but yet again this will not be enforced meaning that this practice will continue to happen leaving supporters frustrated time and time again.


England starlet: Young England international

he’ll take the plunge: Finally decide to do something after thinking about it for a long time.

A further setback: Another problem; some more trouble

finances are in disarray: The club has many financial problems; they are in a mess

a huge blow: A very big disappointment

has been accused of bribing: The club tried to give money to another club to influence the match result but they were caught

gain promotion to: To move up a division

relegation: To move down a division

thrashing: Beaten heavily, losing a game by a large score

uncontested: Not having or facing a strong opponent

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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly