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Grealish apologizes for breaking lockdown rules, alleged car crash

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Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish has issued a public apology after he was spotted away from his home at a friends house and reports stated he was  involved in a car crash in Birmingham as police were called to the scene.

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Grealish, 24, posted a video on his Twitter account to apologize for his actions as the UK is currently on a nation-wide lockdown, with people only being allowed out of their home to buy essential items, travel to work (if necessary) and for one piece of exercise per day.

The car of the star midfielder allegedly hit several parked cars outside an apartment owned by his ex-Aston Villa teammate Ross McCormack, as locals said Grealish, former player Tony Capaldi and others had attended a party on Saturday evening at the house and then left the scene on Sunday when a security guard arrived.

“I wanted to say how deeply embarrassed I am at what happened this weekend,” Grealish said. “I know it is a tough time for everybody at the moment, being locked indoors for so long. I obviously got a call off a friend asking to go around to his and I stupidly agreed to do so. I don’t want anyone to make the same mistake that I did. I urge everyone to stay at home and follow the rules and guidelines of what we’ve been asked to do. I know for a fact I will be doing that in the near future now. I hope everyone can accept my apology and we can move on from this.”

Aston Villa have also released a statement on the situation, as they said they will discipline and fine Grealish for his actions.

“Aston Villa is deeply disappointed that one of our players ignored the Government’s guidance on staying at home during the Coronavirus crisis. Club Captain Jack Grealish has accepted that his decision to leave his house was wrong and entirely unnecessary. It breached the government guidelines which are clear and should be adhered to by everybody. The player will be disciplined and fined with the proceeds donated to The University Hospitals Charity in Birmingham.”

West Midlands Police released the following statement: “We were called to Waterside, Dickens Heath, just before 10am yesterday (March 29) to reports that a Range Rover had crashed into two parked cars in the street. The driver left his details with a member of the public at the scene before leaving on foot. Arrangements have now been made to obtain more details around the circumstances of the collision from the driver. Anyone with information has been asked to get in touch, via Live Chat at quoting log 643 of March 29.”

Grealish has a history of being in the headlines for the wrong reasons but in recent years he seemed to have settled down and matured as he became Aston Villa’s captain and led his boyhood club to promotion back to the Premier League, where he has been sensational for them this season.

Many questions have been raised as to why Grealish has never sealed a move away from Villa to one of the Premier League big boys and why he hasn’t played for the England national team. Incidents like this prove why there are question marks about his temperament and attitude and it would be a shock if the Villa captaincy wasn’t taken away from him.

Being involved in this kind of incident during the first week that Premier League players had been advised to stay away from training grounds due to the coronavirus pandemic is a terrible look for Grealish, especially as the UK government and police urge people to stay indoors and away from public gatherings to safeguard the NHS and vulnerable people.

Grealish posted a message on social media late last week urging people to stay home and to listen to government advice.

Ex-Newcastle winger Solano detained for breaking coronavirus curfew

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Former Newcastle, Aston Villa and West Ham winger Nolberto Solano was briefly detained by police in Peru after breaking the nation’s coronavirus curfew.

Solano told Peruvian national radio station RPP that he was invited to a friend’s home for a meal and it went on longer than expected.

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“Those who know me know that I have tried to handle myself in the best way,” Solano said. “I went to a lunch and end up in a situation like the one at night that was not a party, it was just a meeting, a lunch that I was invited by a friend who we always visited. Obviously I am very sorry for all this and I apologize for the case.

“I am not going to justify it, the whole country is in the same situation, one puts oneself in the shoes of people who must live day by day, it is very hard for them, but the most important thing is, health, without that we can not do anything.”

Peru’s government on March 18 announced a curfew from 8:00 p.m. local to 5:00 a.m. local to cut down on the spread of the coronavirus.

Solano is currently an assistant coach for Peru, working with head coach Ricardo Gareca. Solano earned 95 caps for Peru, though he was not able to lead them to the World Cup despite his talent and speed along the wing.

The 45-year-old came up with Peruvian club Sporting Cristal and later played for Boca Juniors before getting snapped up by Newcastle. Solano played eight seasons with Newcastle, wowing the crowds with his athleticism between 1998-2004 and again from 2005-2007. Solano played all over England, featuring for Aston Villa, West Ham, Leicester City, Hull City, and Hartlepool United. Since his playing days, Solano served short spells as a manager, first for Peruvian giant Universitario and then for Jose Galvez. Randomly, he coached a Canadian semi-pro team for a few months in 2014 before it lost its license.

Overall, Solano played 302 Premier League games with 49 goals and 62 assists.

Reina believes he had coronavirus, concerned for general public

Pepe Reina
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Aston Villa goalkeeper Pepe Reina knows his privilege, and worries for those in a worse spot than him in the battle against coronavirus.

For what it’s worth, Reina believes he’s had COVID-19 thanks to a conversation with doctors and that he’s come out the other side.

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Reina was sick and said his symptoms matched coronavirus but he wasn’t tested due to the lack of severity of his symptoms.

From Marca:

“It was a different kind of week as I had to take precautions to avoid infecting those living with me.

“We’re privileged people, with a big house and a garden. I’m worried about the people who live in a 70m² flat with two kids.”

Reina has been pretty good since returning to the Premier League on loan from Napoli. He’s made 23 saves including a penalty stop during his six appearances for the Villans, who are 1-1-4 with him on the field including four-consecutive league losses.

What we love about Aston Villa

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This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be detailing what we love about each Premier League club competing in the 2019-20 season and next up it is Aston Villa.

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Each day we will release details on why who adore each team in particular as we remind ourselves just how awesome the PL is as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Time to focus on The Villa.

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We love, love, love Villa Park: There are a lot of beautiful stadiums around today but let’s be honest, a lot of them look very similar and most like spaceships. Villa Park has managed to blend the old with the new beautifully. If you’re ever lucky enough to stroll through Aston on a fall day, as the leaves brush your feet you can look up and see the golden brown bricks of the Holte End from far away. A stadium having four separate stands is a rare thing in the modern game and when you visit Villa Park it is like you’re going back in time.

Jack Grealish, generally, and his socks: Talking about a throwback, Jack Grealish is one of those. A playmaker who plays the game at a different pace to most in the Premier League, Grealish is a boyhood Aston Villa fan who has come through their academy ranks to captain the team he loves. Grealish led Villa to promotion back to the Premier League and has easily been their best player this season. From his excessive use of hair gel reminiscent of a character from Peaky Blinders to his rolled down socks, Grealish stands out and, most importantly, is a genius with the ball at his feet. A once in a generation player who has finally matured.

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The sense of humor Villa fans have: For some reason I always remember a study I read when I was younger which voted Birmingham, England as the most miserable place in the UK. You wouldn’t think it if you met Villa’s fans who are always smiling or joking about something. Their sense of humor has remained through all of their recent struggles and their fans are okay with having a laugh at their own misfortunes and don’t take themselves too seriously. Let’s not forget, Prince William and Tom Hanks are Villa fans too. US and UK royalty.

The former European champs are truly a sleeping giant: A lot of clubs claim they are sleeping giants but Aston Villa truly are. Birmingham is known as England’s second city and Aston Villa have a huge, loyal fanbase. They won the European Cup in 1982, something a lot a people forget about, and in the early 1900s they dominated English football. Birmingham is a city which was transformed by the industrial revolution and amid that Aston Villa were one of the founding members of the Football League way back in 1888. Since their heyday in the early 1990s they’ve also won five League Cups, an FA Cup and the league titles to add to their European title. They are historic. They are massive. They are a sleeping giant.

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Peter Whittingham dies after suffering head injury

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Former Cardiff City and Aston Villa winger Peter Whittingham has died at the age of 35 after suffering a head injury after an accidental fall.

The sad news of Whittingham’s passing was announced on Thursday and came after he was said to have fallen over at a pub in Barry, Wales on March 7, according to a police statement.

An England U21 international, Whittingham starred for Cardiff City during his 17-year career as he played 457 times for the Bluebirds.

After coming through Aston Villa’s academy Whittingham made 56 appearances for them in the Premier League before spending the majority of his career playing for Cardiff in the Championship. He also had loan spells at Burnley and Derby County as he finished his career at Blackburn Rovers during the 2018-19 campaign, after which he retired.

Cardiff released a statement mourning the passing of Peter Whittingham, a tricky winger with an eye for goal.

“It is with an immeasurable amount of sorrow that we must inform supporters that Peter Whittingham has passed away at the age of 35. We are heartbroken. The news of Peter’s sudden and untimely passing has shaken us to our very foundation. Our love goes out to his wife Amanda, their young son and family. They are at the forefront of our thoughts and, on their behalf, we ask for their privacy to be respected at this unfathomably cruel and difficult time.

“First and foremost, Peter was a family man – and somebody who could light up a room with his sense of humour, warmth and personality. Then, as a professional footballer – as a Bluebird – he excelled with talent, ease, grace and humility. Nobody did it better. The loss of Peter will be painfully felt by our city, supporters and indeed all who ever had the pleasure of knowing him. We love you Pete and your memory will eternally stay with us.”

RIP, Peter Whittingham.