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PICTURES: Cartoon doodles of World Cup players

Wayne Rooney is pictured here in this doodle Credit: BPM Media (Midlands)

An Aston Villa fan has designed his own version of the World Cup sticker album by using Post-it notes and a pen.

Cristiano Ronaldo Credit: BPM Media (Midlands)

The anonymous artist has been given the nickname the 'Ballpoint Banksy' and now fans from all round the world tweet requests for pictures of their favourite stars.

To mark the World Cup, he has drawn doodles of at least one player from each of the 32 nations taking part in Brazil 2014.

David Seaman Credit: BPM Media (Midlands)
Mario Balotelli in his famous 'Why Always Me?' shirt Credit: BPM Media (Midlands)
Former Newcastle captain Alan Shearer Credit: BPM Media (Midlands)
Young England star Raheem Sterling Credit: BPM Media (Midlands)

Villa start season with away clash at Stoke

Aston Villa will begin the 2014-15 season with an away fixture at Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday 18th August.

The first game of the season at Villa Park will be against Newcastle United the following weekend.

The derby days against West Brom are at The Hawthorns on Saturday 13th December and at home on Tuesday 3rd March. The final game of the season will be at home to Burnley on 24th May. See full list of Villa fixtures here.

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Joe Cole grew up watching 'massive club' Aston Villa

Aston Villa's latest signing, former England international, Joe Cole, says he grew up watching a number of teams in the Midlands, but he always preferred Villa because it is a 'massive club'.

The club signed Cole yesterday on a free transfer, as it became the midfielder's fourth Premier League club. He has also played for french side, Lille.

I had options elsewhere and I could have gone and earned millions but it’s not about the money for me, it’s about playing and competing. That’s what I want to do, it's that passion for playing that’s driving me on and I want to help the team kick on.

I can’t really say how excited I am for this because Villa is a massive club.

When I was younger at Lilleshall, the national football school, I used to come and watch them. We used to go to either Villa Park, Coventry or Wolves to watch a game, whoever was at home that weekend, and we always preferred going to watch Villa because it’s such a massive club.

There were good players here at the time and it was a good time for the club, the mid-nineties. I know what it’s about and I’ll be committed. I live the life, I train hard and I’ll give everything I can for what we want to achieve here.

Aston Villa sign midfielder Joe Cole on two-year-deal

Joe Cole in action for West Ham United last season Credit: PA

Aston Villa have announced the free transfer signing of Joe Cole on a two-year deal.

The 32-year-old midfielder, who has won 56 England Caps, was released by West Ham United in May. He's also played for Chelsea, Liverpool, and went on loan to French side Lille.

Aston Villa make Swiss defender first summer signing

Senderos in action for Fulham Credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

Aston Villa have secured the services of Swiss defender, Philippe Senderos, after agreeing a two-year deal to make him their first summer signing.

The 29-year-old former Arsenal and Fulham man will join up with the squad after he returns from World Cup action with Brazil.

Senderos told the club website:

I'm really delighted to be joining Aston Villa, a great club with such a big history, and for me this is a great step in my career.

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Aston Villa unveil new kit

The club say the strip complements its 'longstanding traditions' Credit: Aston Villa

Aston Villa has unveiled its new home kit for the 2014-15 season.

The club says this year's strip celebrates the Club's beginnings by having 'EST 1874' embossed on the rear of the shirt.

The strip is new for the 2014-15 season

Reports: Villa sack assistant boss

It is being reported that Aston Villa have sacked assistant manager Ian Culverhouse following an investigation.

Culverhouse, who worked alongside Villa manager Paul Lambert at Carrow Road and at Colchester, was suspended in April.

Press Association Sport is now reporting that the 49-year-old has been sacked, leaving Paul Lambert looking for a new number two. Aston Villa have not made any comment.

Albrighton leaves Villa after 16 years for Leicester City

Villa's Marc Albrighton Credit: Nick Potts/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Aston Villa Winger Marc Albrighton's leaving Villa Park after 16 years to join Leicester City next month.

He will join on a four-year deal. Albrighton said:

“It was a great 16 years for me at Villa and I had some really wonderful times there that will stay with me forever. I’m coming away now with my head held high and really looking forward to this fresh challenge with Leicester. I just can’t wait to get going.

“I’ve spoken to the manager and I know he has big plans, so I just can’t wait to get started and be involved. Before I joined I spoke to a few people and nobody had a bad word to say about the manager or the Club, so I’m delighted to have everything agreed for the new season. "

“I’ve watched some of Leicester’s games over the last season and the lads have really played some great football. It’s incredible what they have achieved, and they’ve deserved every bit of their success."

“I’ve watched some of Leicester’s games over the last season and the lads have really played some great football. It’s incredible what they have achieved, and they’ve deserved every bit of their success."

“Now I’m looking forward to getting involved myself. I’m a direct player who is very positive with the ball and who likes to cross. All strikers say they like crosses in the box, and they can guarantee that I’ll be doing that for them.”

Lambert: 'Let's roll up our sleeves and prepare for battle'

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has vowed to roll up his sleeves and "prepare for the battle ahead" as they recover from a difficult season which culminated in the club being put up for sale.

After returning from a meeting in New York with chairman Randy Lerner and chief executive Paul Faulkner, Lambert said he was "determined to get on with the job", despite the challenging times.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert says he is ready for the "battle" ahead Credit: Nick Potts/PA

Lerner announced last week that he had instructed Merrill Lynch to handle the sale of the club, saying he believed it was time for fresh blood.

In a statement, Lambert said he was not aware that any sale was imminent.

These circumstances are extremely challenging... but we're going to roll up our sleeves, prepare for the battle ahead and do our best by the club.

The squad requires strengthening, that's self-evident, and it won't be easy within the current circumstances. But we'll look to identify players of proven quality to bring in and get ready for the start of the new season.

To the fans, my message is simple - this is your club and it's a fantastic club. Your support has made it into this.

The past two seasons have been tough and expectations, rightly, are high.

I'm determined to give it everything I have, the players will do the same and it is our collective strength as a club which, ultimately, will see us through.

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