Another Game another Loss…. Same old story?

There was huge reaction to Villa’s loss to Newcastle on Twitter, for the first time too the Media have sat up and noticed that Villa are going to struggle to lift themselves out the bottom 3. Danny Mills the latest to come out and confess his confusion of Aston Villa’s predicament.

If he’d have watched Villa this season, like we all have, he would have realised by now where the issues are. We’re just to0 nice, I can’t see a nasty streak anywhere in the team, no single person in that team with the personality to bring them together and drive the team forward.

I did see improvements from Villa yesterday, we did pose more of a threat going forward, but it wasn’t enough by far.

As far as I can see there are a few very simple things that would make a massive change to this Villa team.

There are obvious weaknesses in or team, the lack of creativity coming from the the central midfield areas, our inability to consistently deliver from dead balls, the lack of clever movement ahead of the ball which is all leading to the impotence in front of goal.

I thought the team picked for Newcastle was a strange one again. It wasn’t Lowton coming at at Left Back that concerned me. It was more the fact that Gil, the one player who had shown anything prior to Sherwoods time at Villa being once again left on the bench. Not even being put on for the last 20mins to stretch the game.

Gabby starting though was (to me at least) a mistake, its no good being able to run fast if you lose the ball every time its gets to you. Delph has not performed since signing a contract and coming back from injury, yet Sanchez hasn’t been given a chance?

Zoggy was an odd one, but I suppose TS wanted to show the squad that everyone has a second chance and to fight for a place in the team.

It would seem that Sherwood has come in and fallen for the same traps as previous managers… I can’t for the life of me see why we are not able to send out a balanced team.

For me now its time to take some caution out of the team. We only have one striker worth his salt in the Premier League, Benteke, but we now have 3 players who can pose an attacking threat behind him, namely Bacuna, Sinclair and Gil. So lets see if they can get in and around him in and have threats running from deep.

Benteke won everything in the air on Saturday and not once did Gabby or Weimann (when he came on) have the most basic of ideas to get around the big man to win the second ball.

Hutton Okore Clark Cissoko
Sanchez Cleverly
Sinclair Gil Bacuna

I think this has got the right balance of flair and bite. Cleverly used to take Corners at United, Sinclair took corners at Swansea, Bacuna can deliver a decent ball, even N’Zogbia has a wicked free kick on him… Why oh why are we persisting with Westwood who invariably hits the first man. I can’t remember how many corners or free kicks around the box we had on Saturday, I do remember how many missed the first man, two. Its poor, its amateurish and it needs sorting out.

The Championship is calling if we continue the way we are, do we go down with a fight or limp out like we are now? Sound bites about single performance are all well and good, but overall the team hasn’t performed as a complete unit for the best part of 5 months, and I can’t remember the last time I thought we played well or looked like we wanted to take the game to a team with any real confidence.

I want to be positive but it’s just so hard when the only thing I see is this Aston Villa team and all it’s failings.

Comments 418

  1. Hello Matt,
    I was reading another blog yesterday which mentioned Cleverleys goalscoring record at the various clubs he’s been on loan and surprisingly its very respectable, perhaps Lamberts total negativity has denied us a goalscoring MF ?
    Your team is certainly mobile and they would be difficult to pin down, also a threat on goal which, imo, is imperative because, again imo, we need to score first or Olbyon will just shut up shop. I think they could possibly rest the two strikers for the cup game.
    For anyone in the Witton vicinity tonight, don’t worry its not Zombie Day yet, just our six-fingered pals from yam yam land.
    Shame about Dave Mckay he’d probably cost 100m today, great touch, great tackler, very astute, a fantastic leader and if people thought Roy Keane was hard believe me DM would have chewed him up at spit him out no bother, RIP.

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more Graham; I was nonplussed when I saw the team for Newcastle and even more so when N’Zogbia was brought on. Gil has to be in the side; I quite like your proposed team selection as it would give us some creativity coupled with a bite.
    A lot of criticism has been leveled at Cleverly but I find he has worked his socks off, more than can be said about a few others.
    Another player who works hard but not always as effective in front of goal is Weimann; he could be used as a mischief maker towards the end of the game if we are struggling.
    Of course it’s all down to the Manager and he has a thankless task to get us over the line.

  3. Sorry Graham, thought Matt had done the leader.
    Clevs goals –
    2009– Manchester United 54 (3)
    2009 → Leicester City (loan) 15 (2)
    2009–2010 → Watford (loan) 33 (11)
    2010–2011 → Wigan Athletic (loan) 25 (4)
    2014– → Aston Villa (loan) 18 (0)

  4. pretty much sums it up for me Graham other than we still push the full backs up leaving us exposed, a better team on Saturday would of scored maybe one or two more on the break . the last 2 games should of yielded a point each against weakened opposition a win being beyond us at the moment I think.
    Against stoke we had Sanchez busting a gut in a 442 while Delph looked lost yet next game Sanchez is out?
    Against Newcastle Sinclair ends up isolated and without Richardson to play off of largely ineffective in a 433. TS’s tactics or our players inability to implement them? I know which my moneys on. that said he doesn’t seem to come from the tony pullis train of thought, be hard to beat and give yourselves a platform.

  5. Graham,

    I a very nice article … except for a few things (from my p.o.v.) 😉

    Firstly: Sinclair. You seem to love the player yet at Newcastle what did he do? Now he could just have had an off-day, of course, but I haven’t seen that much from him – except 2 goals, though one was lucky – to say whether he is a hit or not.

    In fact, to raise Sinclair’s profile over Gabby – who in my view has improved in the last few games, though we didn’t see too much of him at Newcastle – without more proof of his (Sinclair’s) ability is surely wrong?

    You go so far as to complain about Gabby being fast but giving the ball away. Well, yes, he was certainly doing that a lot up to when TS took over (if not before) but now I’m seeing less of that and in a couple of recent matches was expertly laying on chances for Benteke. Sinclair hasn’t (I think) offered any chances to anyone yet.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m not trying to cut through your article … particularly as you make some good points. But *please* give TS more of a chance. He is trying to identify who his best options are to get through this dogfight … not who the prettiest player is. So in leaving Gil out maybe TS has (for the moment) decided he is not quite the player he wants for the situation Villa are in.

    We hoped that TS would come in and that might spark an immediate response from the players. Instead it looks as though we have to go through a period of assessment. It can still work out OK … we just need to hang onto our seatbelts! 😉

  6. One other slight worry for me is TS has watched all our games on video and come to the conclusion we don’t create enough ( no surprise) same conclusion that prompted Lambert to buy Gil, who then showed some improvement in that regard.
    He also said the forwards are not to blame, can’t agree on that entirely, its demoralising when your up against it and not playing well to see benteke, gabby etc struggle to hit the target when they get a chance.
    now I’m assuming TS watched those games too yet felt nzogbia has more potential to help us than Gil that puzzles me.

  7. So the first of two massive games against Sandwell Town have arrived, tonight will see a close affair, and if it goes to form we will struggle to break down a baggies side that doesn’t concede much, and is extremely hard to break down. Talking to some of the six fingered folk at work, they say Pulis sets them up with two solid banks of four, and everyone knows their role, it’s not great to watch but it’s effective especially now the strikers are on form, against saints they scored after two mins then defended for the rest of the game( saints missed a sitter though). I don’t care how we do it, we simply have to win tonight and get over the survival line, we won’t win 6 games but neither will the others around us, it’s matter of not being the shittest, unfortunately we have been the the most dire side in this league for far too long, it seems ingrained on the players . We need miracles and they need to start now.

  8. Hi Graham another well considered piece.

    As a long term manager TS fits the bill, he will grow into the role and given a season or so may become a legend…(may!). his fall down is he isn’t the man to get us out of the predicament we are in, for that we need a cunning old fox, someone with experience and a bit of guile. Someone who we can bring in till the end of the season just to oversee the manager and give the benefit of his advice.

    Ballsack face comes to mind,(Redknapp), much as i despise the man, for a 12 game contract he could do a job, theres definitely enough wheelchair access around the ground for him.

    John Gregory, he is also a great man motivator and to be honest they dont need to be in the dugout just around.

    As the banner said at st jameses “too little too late!”, There is a wealth of older Villa players who have expressed a desire to help keep us up, surely they could also do a job.

    Without something we will not survive, sorry boys but i see a loss tonight!


  9. John, hey I take no offence football is about opinions. What I saw from Sinclair is a player making runs and finding space, its just no one is finding him at the moment. Gabby was the worst culprit for giving the ball away against Newcastle, even in his preferred role as a striker he has no instinct to the second ball, Benteke won everything in the air and Gabby was no where to be seen. That’s supposed to his game is it not? I feel sorry for Gabby at times, he’s never been allowed to become that whippet like player we first saw, MoN tried to turn him in to the new Heskey, Houllier then benched him for lack of technical ability, and the last two and only used Gabby for his pace down the wings. He’s become a jack of all trade and master of none.

    I think Sinclair and Bacuna playing either side of a player like Gil would be a bold move, but one that would surely result in far more a threat in attack, Gil has shown in his short time and can pick a pass and pick it quickly, he has a turn of foot and from what I’ve seen so far is able to receive the ball to any part of his body and control it…

    Sanchez for me has to come in to the team for his physicality, he has a very different dimension to his game over Cleverly and Delph who can both be tenacious without being imposing… they’re Jack Russells while Sanchez is an Rottweiler, just the size of him can scare people off… But I would like to see him Snarl a bit on the pitch too.. that goes for Benteke too, want him to impose him self on defenders, scare the life out of them like we’ve all seen him do.

    I’d be interested to see Zoggy at LB to be honest, he’s done it before and done it well, if he really wants to play then perhaps he will apply him self to it and do a decent job? His delivery from the left would be an boost too.

    Nows the time, beat the TescoBags and it give us impetuous to move on and perhaps win a few more…

  10. Roderick, I’d love to see Gregory get back involved… if they didn’t like Keanes brutal honesty jezzzz JG would have fun with them. But the difference is I think JG is kind of endearing too, you’d want to do well for the man. Never the best tactician but a brilliant coach and man manager… we’ll forget the Yorke incident for now….

  11. Also about Bozzie….in Mersons book apparently bozzie did what he wanted!

    Like the above team….Sinclair has to play in front of gabby. Sinclair has more football abitlity and intelligence in his little toe than gabs.

  12. great assesement GOG

    i am with you on the sinclair debate and he has already done more than gabby has all season in a few apperences for the club

    I must be mad but i think we will turn a corner and get a win or two in the near future although i can’t see us beating tesco’s tonight as the are so well drilled under pullis ., you just never know when things are going to click on the goal scoring front for villa

    Sunderland 27 4 13 10 22 38 -16 25
    17 (17) Queens Park Rangers 26 6 4 16 27 45 -18 22
    18 (18) Burnley 27 4 10 13 25 45 -20 22
    19 (19) Aston Villa 27 5 7 15 13 37 -24 22
    20 (20) Leicester Cit

    with the table as it stands there are some real shocking teams down there with us and one win could see us jump out of the bottom 3 – a couple of wins would really get the belief that everything will work out in our favor

    UFC did anyone see Ronda Rousey win in 15 secs at the weekend – pound for pound i think she is possibly the most skillful mixed martial artist on the planet — apperently her mom used to wake her out her sleep each night saying arm barr me 🙂 – amazing talent

  13. Morning all. I do like your proposed team Graham, apart from one change Delph in for Cleverly. Granted Cleverly has played better last couple games but he has not scored or assisted and this is what we need. Delph for me has been poor ever since he got into the England squad, but he is a far better player than Cleverly he can pass forward and is capable of spectacular goals (not that he has scored any this season, now would be the time!). On performance he doesnt deserve it but purely by match winning ability he has to be in there.

    The fact Sherwood dropped Gil does concern me. and Im hopeful he will be back tonight. Wbrom will play exactly as they did at Sunderland, dour defensive and look for you to break them down…. exactly the style of play we struggle with. I would say that them having a striker problem helps us but as Stoke’s defensive problems and Newc problems in midfield didnt help us I cant say this will.

    We cant afford to lose and a win will be massive, im feeling the nerves with this game. Havent been so nervous about a game since the West Ham game at home 2 seasons ago, 2-1 win with Nzog scoring a beautiful free kick. That game was gut wrenching bcos of its importance, it kicked us on to the end of season run that saved us . I get the same feeling from this game, lose and its curtains.

  14. graham I really want the lad to succeed he is villa through and through and a good lad, have watched him for years can see him as captain before delph

  15. I want him to become our Gerrard and drag a mediocre team to the heights of Football and allow us to grow around him… unfortunately we’re Villa and we’d sell him if he gets that good. lol

  16. Graham I’m shocked at the amount of players with potential that have been sold under Lambert, I’m sure TS would of seen something in the next gen team to nurture and progress. there was virtually a ready made team there that had been together for 5 years. I think Gardner is that good if he got his game head on, bit of a jan molby crossed with lampard

  17. had to share this

    Police have warned west bromwich fans attending tonights game that flares will not be tolerated and will end in arrest

    A spokesman for Albion commented

    I cor believe it wem bin wearin em and our demin jackets since the seventies

  18. Graham,

    I understand what you’re saying about Gabby and fair do’s … though I have seen Sinclair do even less than Gabby when he has the ball, so (whether he makes runs or not) what he does when he does get it seems to be lacking. If the midfield do find Sinclair more it will be interesting to see whether it ups his confidence to do more.

    But – to be frank – its now a team of fighters we need now. Whatever was lacking in quality in the teams of the 60s, there was usually a sense that the team was making an effort and fighting when they were down – and the crowds used to respond to that. Oh, for the Holte End roar to return!! That was when the Holte *really* was the 12th man – together with the stamping of feet on floorboards in the stands.

  19. Great article GOG,

    Perhaps TS should get the team to read our blog, and help them understand where they are going wrong.

    Unfortunately working tonight, so will miss the game, but intend to be there on Saturday.

    Agree with getting Johnson and Gardner back..I am sure they would love to play a part in saving our Villa, but can’t see PNE letting him go if it were possible…..another bad Lambert mistake…., not sure if we can recall GG, or not.

  20. Jl the key to Sinclair is those around him, when richardson played against stoke he picked several good runs out Sinclair made off of the back of there defenders. he’s quick and makes good runs if players can thread the ball through .unfortunately against Newcastle it was in a 433 and asked different things of him and he didn’t look as effective.

  21. I’m off to the match tonight. Can’t wait. I am resigned to us losing and resigned to relegation, so anything other than that is a bonus.

    Once you resign yourself to something, things don’t seem as bad. No pressure.

    Anyway. I hope Vlaar is fit but if not quite 100%, then Okore is an able deputy. Unfortunately we have no left back so we will have to make do with Lowton again.

    I would bring Sanchez back in for Westwood as this is a derby and Sanchez is far more combative. Westwood’s delivery was embarrassing against Newcastle, so no loss in that department either. I think the team pretty much picks itself.





    Benteke looked the best I have seen him in a long time at Newcastle. We need a massive performance from him tonight. I think he can do it but West Brom are looking very strong defensively.

  22. Wading in on the Sinclair vs Gabby debate… Id pick Sinclair, he’s a better player… better control, better dribbling, better passing, better shooting. The only thing Gabby does better is run faster. Whether SInclair has the heart for it is another matter. No doubt Villa is in Gabby’s blood, but nothing seems to be working for him right now.

    Iv always thought Gabby is almost the perfect sub, come on when defences are tiring and stretch them. I mean it cant be encouraging for a defender having dealt with whatever thrown at him for 60 odd mins to see Gabby come on with his pace. At the very least it changes their mindset and they drop off that lil bit extra allowing spaces to be opened up elsewhere. I dont think Weimann or anybody else we have really has that impact as a sub.

  23. Gabby has lost that top end in his sprinting. He truly was the fastest and could outstrip defenders easily, unfortunately his brain couldn’t keep up. 4 years on and 2 stone heavier defenders recover against him, unfortunately his brain still hasn’t caught up so just shows you how rapid he was! His brains still in 2011

  24. Gabby looked lively at Newcastle for the first time in ages. He tends to do well in derby games. He’d be one of the first names on the team sheet for me tonight. I’d play Sinclair as well and bring on N’Zogbia in the 2nd half for whichever one isn’t playing well. N’Zogbia also looked lively for the first time in ages.

  25. Funny how people watching the same game see different things. I didnt see much from Nzogbia, he needed to provide a spark and I think he failed to do that. I think Grealish has provided more of a spark in games where he has come on, and id like to see him do it again.

    On Sinclair vs Gabby, I dont even think thats a choice to be made, they are not rivalling each other for a position. Its more Gabby vs Weimann.

    Normally I would say drop Gabby but he seems to give extra for derby games so it may be worth sticking with him.

  26. Hasn’t Gabby got a decent record of scoring in derbies ?

    Much prefer Vlaar to Okore.

    Apparently Gabby has only been in the opponents penalty box 14 times this season. Someone should lay a trail of chicken nuggets to show him where it is.

    No pens this season, you can imagine the last game vs Burnley, 0-0 and Villa get one, score to stay up, Weimann or Gabby to take it, frightening.

  27. Gabbys problem is one of specivity, his role is no longer defined so what do you judge him on? Weimann too. They are supposed to be forwards but rarely play that role, benteke is the only out and out forward we have bar robinson who’s on loan. How many other prem teams have this situe I’m guessing none. Benteke truly has no competition bar the injured kosak not a good situe.

  28. Steamer- been thinking the same not one pen, that means very little time in the oppositions box causing problems. If they missed I can see mass suicide at b6

  29. Another intersting article Graham – and I like your team choice but the Gabby dilemma persists. I think he will play without a shadow of a doubt – it’s a Derby and with his villa through and through tag – he will play . He usually does well in Derbys too. The ill informed football pundits continue to talk about Villas impressive strike force of Gabby , Weimann and Benteke (heard this only yesterday on talk sport ) .

    I’m still smiling at Tim Sherwood’s press conf about WBA

    “Is there any extra needle in this match for me? Not at all. Good little club isn’t it?

    “It just wasn’t right for me and wasn’t right for them. I am delighted to be at this massive club.”

    “Good little club ” and our “massive club “. Fighting talk! Hahaha . None of this self preservation talk most managers come out with when they big up the other side .

    Pullis has had a brilliant impact on WBA . 5 clean sheets and 6 wins 1 draw out of 8. That’s incredible .

    Whilst we can complain about the MF until the cows come home – stats don’t lie (well maybe they can be manipulated ). But here’s the thing . Taken from MOMS who is usually accurate AV have the worst shots on target in the league at 72 with a pitiful 6% being converted . There were times at Newcastke when players should have got in front of the defenders and driven the ball home . This is what Ian Taylor was so annoyed about .

    Benteke looked the brightest he has all season – with the bycycle kick Doug would have been proud of 🙂 It’s only a matter if time surely before one goes in which isn’t off side.

    As TS has said he wants more confidence , I am hoping he picks Gil. He looks the keenest and most confident out of the lot of them – no expectations on him and has had a good few sparking performances to build on .

    Feeling positive as we need it more than them and without Berahino and Brown Adeye they are like a clock without hands – pretty much like we have been this season . Time for change !

  30. Another point is back in sept when things were rosey we had no benteke and the chuckle bros had 3 each, could this season get any weirder?

  31. Mark,

    Again we find ourselves not seeing the situation the same way!

    On Sinclair, whilst I agree with your point about Richardson etc., there are *so many* times I have seen Sinclair just fail to do much with the ball when he’s received it.

    On Gabby, I agree also about the fact that his role has become blurred, and I also think there’s a tendency to berate him (not you necessarily) because he’s been around a long time and we expected him to develop into a certain vision we had of him.

    So we have a situation where Sinclair, as a recent arrival, is being almost lauded by the fans (yet hasn’t really done much except “runs” and scored 2 (one lucky) yet when he gets it I generally have less confidence in him doing the right thing (his intent) than Gabby!!

    I’m not saying Gabby is great, but I am saying that in my view neither impresses me greatly except that I have seen Gabby provide bloomin’ good chances to Benteke, and Gabby also does chase after opponents although invariably he gives away a free-kick.

    However, if we want a team of *fighters* then I’d go for Gabby over Sinclair.

  32. Jen- ts’s comment about it not being the forwards fault is clearly there to take pressure off but as you pointed out we can create chances until the cows come home if our forwards continue to missfire. Would be interesting to see wba chance conversion is under pulis, he’s made them hard to beat but if they played like our forwards they wouldn’t have won many.

  33. The more I look at the situation the worse it seems to be, already had to change my plans for today, I had a nice afternoon drinking session in the Lord Clifden planned, followed up by a few in the Social pre match. This is no longer the case due to my mates nipper being sent home from school with a sickness bug, so now I’m on plan B, a couple locally and a lift to the game and back, I hope we win as I’ll be pretty sober(ish), however I’ve earns browny points by taking the nipper swimming and spending a family day , means more beer on Saturday for the cup game to dull the pain of another loss 😉

  34. *Everyone* …

    Please don’t joke about killings … I’ve just heard the lunchtime news about that girl in Bristol and the girls-for-sale business in Oxon.

    On top of that I’ve just read large extracts of Kathy O’Brian’s and Brice Taylor’s books, so anything hideous or bloody is not welcome on my screen just now!

    Yeah, I know, I shouldn’t read all that stuff…

  35. Andrew unfortunately now the club need to win the fans back… they’ve been going to long with nothing to shout about.

    If results do a u-turn I expect the fans to start dribbling back in, but the damage has been done and it’ll take time to recover.

  36. B62 – The Lord Clifden – Now there is a quality boozer. It’s one of my locals, as I now live in the Jewellery Quarter. I had no idea how good this area was for pubs and restaurants until I moved here a few months ago. I love the place.

    Sorry to hear about your plans but I’m sure a Villa win would cheer you up!

  37. Jl- tbh if our plan is to battle our way to safety we are doomed. It’s what we have done to little effect all season, it worked when we were we’ll organised and at 0-0 not when we go behind. The way we set up relies on us scoring 2-3 to win not conceding would be miracle and a 1-0 even more so.
    Gabby annoys me as I see him as missed potential, Sinclair needs a team to play with gabby less so as he relies on physicality these days. It’s horses for courses between them imo and as TS hasn’t settled on formation yet time will tell. I will say this Sinclair has barely got to know this team yet and has been out at this level for a long time gabby doesn’t have that excuse

  38. Sorry John – i try and avoid all the grissly stuff

    Let’s hope the 31000 can create a good Derby atmosphere . Maybe the club should have put reduced tickets on if they want to make VP a fortress . Mid week games always more dufficult to sell and it’s on BT – and forking out £80 plus for two games a week is a big ask . What’s happened to the “bring a friend fir free offers”. We need it packed out – better full with free seats than a quarter empty .

  39. John, Its been a quiet shop floor for the last week… worse today. Its not even his family but its still something that has affected him massively… and every one else it would seem too.

    Anyway, need to get away from that subject.

    Its strange that no-one has argued against the case for Bacuna to start

  40. Sorry Graham – I wasn’t intending being dismissive about the sad Bristol school girl case . I haven’t been following it other than knowing a 16 year old girl had home missing – that in itself is an unbearable trauma . I have daughters of similar age – it is unbearable to imagine what the poor parents are going through ,

  41. JL haven’t seen the girls for sale thing but here in banbury there has been drug rings coercing young girls into prostitution and in David Cameron’s chipping norton it’s young men. I know this from a friend in the police. Scum the lot of them

  42. John – sorry I didn’t click . I don’t watch or listen to the news and read only selections of the paper . I try to limit the depressing stuff going in that I can’t do anything about . I know it a a bit head in sand – but they only seen to report on bad news – every headline on news not the good .

  43. R.I.P. Dave Mackay,a wonderful footballer,a grat tackler who always seemed to stay on his feet.He never gave up,and led by example.You couldn`t hide or be a shirker with him as your skipper.R.I.P.

    A draw tonight.

  44. I get all my news from talk sport in the car 🙂 my girls are the only ones of their age who know every word of the screw fix jingle and the Johnny Vaughan “float on ” injury song on the Saturday warm up 🙂
    They also know where to get a better hedge hog gutter brush 🙂

  45. Jenny,

    I don’t blame you at all for steering clear of it.

    But there is a sickening world out there and if you have never heard of the New World Order and what allegedly their leading lights get up to, then reading O’Brian or Taylor is almost a must to read the kind of things that could happen in the development of the world under The New World Order.

    In fact, the psychological issues in those books are deeply disturbing.

  46. B6,

    Dave Mackay? Oh boy … and Eric Houghton said that he was about to sign him from Hearts just before he (Eric) was sacked! What a Villan he would have been! 🙂

    That photo of Mackay squaring up to Billy Bremner will always stick with me! The two fieriest Scots you ever saw.

  47. Droyd,

    You’re right. It was an issue I was very sceptical about until some other matters took me back onto the subject of the NWO.

    Key thing I, though, that we must not allow ourselves to be intimidated by them…

    As Harold Pinter said:

    I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. – It is in fact mandatory.

  48. Seems like TS is a fan of Zoggy, if he can motivate him i think he can be an asset but he seems to be another one who’s overweight..

  49. The Droyd
    The Jewellery 1/4 and S Paul’s are quality for pubs and restaurants . 31k for a derby is disgusting, especially for one of this magnitude, I’m ashamed at our lack of support, big club my arse. We take the piss out of clubs for shite attendances, but you look at Man city( when they were shit), Sunderland, Newcastle, Leeds even the likes of Albion, Hull don’t have 11k empty seats. Albion will bring 6k Saturday and well and truly take the piss, the current plight isn’t the fans fault but they aren’t helping by staying away now Lambert has gone and we have these massive games.

  50. JL,
    Most people in this country would think The New World Order was a tribute rock band such is the dumbing down process that has being going on since the fifties. Soap opera’s and cartoons are the extent of educational output of the BBC, which, imo should be forced to provide their own funding. All the top jobs seem to go to the offspring of the powerful and wealthy not the talented or best qualified, just the best connected, i give you David Camoron and his entire party including the clowns who vote for them.

  51. We are the only team in all four divisions not to win a game in 2015, cannot go on forever can it, its the law of sod, these things must come to an end sooner or later.

    Still hate the boggies with a passion used to love going there walking down the brummie road on mass to the uplands, if only the team could show some fight, useless knobheads.


  52. If the attendance is 31k for a local derby when the club needs the support of the fans then that is pretty dire. But we dont know what the official figure will be until match time. Tension is building, cant concentrate on work!

    I just did the PL predictor and I have us finishing on 37 points (4 wins – West Brom, Swansea, QPR and West Ham, 3 draws – Sunderland, Everton and Burnley) which sees us going into the last game of the season relatively safe. The safe number I have is 35. Along with Sunderland we have the easiest run in, I wouldnt want to be in anybody else’s shoes.

    Our only problem is us, we have to overcome ourselves.

  53. ”Apparently Gabby has only been in the opponents penalty box 14 times this season. Someone should lay a trail of chicken nuggets to show him where it is.”

    🙂 🙂 🙂 Steamer stikes again – stop this mate i now have coffee all over the paperwork on my desk 🙂

  54. Ree one good result tonight could very well suddenly set confidence swell through the team, confidence make such a big difference to what players do on the pitch… Its not the end of the world if we lose tonight… a win though against our local rivals would be massive for the fans, the manager and the team…


    I started to day convinced we’d lose, I’ve gradually come round to thinking we could just do something tonight…. I feckin hate Pulis and his anti football, I feckin hate 6 fingers boggie fans… its a perfect storm… Benteke HATRICK!!!!!

  55. If it comes down to the last game of the season you couldn’t have written a better script.

    Villa – Burnley
    Leicester – QPR
    Chelsea – Sunderland
    Hull – Man Utd

  56. this is a must win against one of our nearest and dearest!!!! make no mistake a double loss this season followed by an FA exit and relegation will spark some of them to learn to write so they can jot it down on there cave walls

  57. Steamer (on the NWO),

    Words of wisdom again…!

    I well recall in the days of 5 terrestrial channels (and when the programmes weren’t that bad) a visitor coming in to see us from the Far East who went on about the fact that in the US of A “you get 36 channels”.

    I looked at him and said – “and what would you use those for?”.

    Now we have 70-odd channels on Freeview and I find it hard to find a programme worth watching. That recent ‘Wolf Hall’ series was the best drama I’ve seen in decades, but as for documentaries I find the best on al-Zazeera.

  58. Graham – cosign about Pulis, I hate that guy! Not saying TS is the zenith of progressive football but Iv hated Pulis’ anti-football ever since Rory Delap and his throw ins reared their ugly heads.

  59. JL
    l think if you timed yourself channel flicking on sky l reckon you’d spend about an hour , every evening and still not find anything worth watching , l think lv seen every “How Its made” ………………

    cant predict tonight , want a win to shut them bloody yam yams up , oh hum ,

  60. John – as with any big news network theres always an agenda behind the journalism. Most of Al Jazeera’s programmes and documentaries are excellent but there are occasions when you do see the Qatari gvmt policy influence.

  61. The sadest part is i am numb about tonights game. I should be bouncing off the walls….but im considering watching game of thrones again and ignoring the footy.

    Cheers learner for destroying my villa love affair

  62. Ree,


    But a few weeks ago there was an excellent documentary about a guy in a poor west-African country (can’t remember its name) where he’d invented a way of kids being able to use tablets on a cheap basis via solar panel inserted in their schoolbag.

    Now that sort of thing doesn’t seem to come out anywhere else on TV – unless someone can tell me a channel on Freeview that does cover that sort of thing.

  63. I can’t make a case for us tonight. Yes it’s a massive game, a local derby and we’re desperate for points, but I can’t see where the fight will come from. There isn’t a genuine winner amongst our lot. Nil nil at best and Pulis will be happy with that.

    I like Sherwood but the ‘they’re a nice little club’ stuff should have come after we’ve beaten them.

  64. Mark,

    You can also look for Youtube links for Kathy O’Brien, and I recommend you do so as listening to her speak (plus a link giving proof of her modified anatomy can be seen) helps to validate her assertions.

  65. Interesting books John. Might have a read.

    Re Al Jazeera they do have a lot of merit with their programmes, Im just saying with some of their news reporting or documentaries particularly about the ‘Arab Spring’ you have to have in the back of your mind they a pushing a certain narrative and question what/why they are reporting.

    As for alternatives, theres not much else. Russia today have some good programmes but they are totally state controlled. Doubt you’d want to watch Fox news! The best source of alternative news is the internet, but theres so much misinformation out there its hard to pick whats true and whose truth it is.

  66. Back to the football and I had a chuckle at those ‘nice lil club’ comments. I guess Pulis will use it as motivation for his troops. TS seems to be going down the route of ramping up the pressure on the players, not sure how effective that will be. Who will respond? I dont see many strong willed people in the line up, most are passive and will not respond well imo. God knows how this will play out. Its all fun and games at the Villa!

  67. Our only problem is us, we have to overcome ourselves.
    Very good point.

    All of a sudden i’m overcome by a wave of optimism, possibly overdosing on caffeine, yes, i’m going for the old Claret & Blue to at last show some pride in the lion rampant. Throstles don’t usually emerge victorious in a battle with lions and tonight will be no different. There’s only so much you can do with poor players and Olbyon are very poor, Pulis has done a great job in organising his team but, for me, Villa have better players, 1-0 to Villa and more misery in the black pudding mines tomorrow.

  68. Well if we don’t pick up 3 points tonight it’s game over for us, and I don’t think we will get the points

    I fear the belief in Sherwood will be gone already from players and fans. He made a few errors on Saturday. Lowton left back was one. Should be be right back. Clev on the wing the other. Gabby and Wiemann

    If Gabby and Wiemann have any involvement tonight it’s a disgrace to football.

    And FFS start Gil

    Of the the game in a bit


  69. Tony Brown picks his best Villa team on the OS, best one i’ve seen yet. What a great player he was, won ONE cap due to that Laaanden bias.

  70. Possibly DoF, sorry. Yanks know everything about footy so its a good move, get a few more cockenees in too, why not move the club to London ?

  71. Liking the optimism Steamer. Im feeling the nerves build. If we concede early its gonna be gut wrenching. Ima advise the wife to keep the baby and stay well clear of me tonight.

    Pulis is gonna park the bus, I pray to God for an earlyish goal. first half at least. i dont care how it comes deflected/own goal/bad mistake or genius. We need some luck to go our way for a change. Beneteke pls stand up!!! Delph step your game up!! Vlaar recover and make up for your f-up!! Villa needs you all!!

    2 things we need, character and luck.


  72. steamer- Throstles that’s what my gramps from staffs used to call thrushes haven’t heard that in 20 years.
    why move us to london? bring it this way.
    feeling myself being swept along on a wave of near misery
    ( one notch up from depression) whatever next? hope?

  73. 01 Guzan
    34 Lowton
    05 Okore
    06 Clark
    21 Hutton
    08 Cleverley
    15 Westwood
    16 Delph
    11 Agbonlahor
    20 Benteke
    28 N’Zogbia


    07 Bacuna
    09 Sinclair
    10 Weimann
    24 Sánchez
    25 Gil
    31 Given
    40 Grealish

  74. Gabby starting again is a joke. Fucking joke

    Think Sherwood has got it wrong tonight

    Lowton needs to be right back. Cleverley is not a winger

  75. So much for Berahjno and Ideye being doubtful / that’s a blow

    Nzogbia starting – could be a stroke of genius you never know . This is a huge boost last chance for Zog .

  76. Don’t ask!!!!;2-1 villa. I think its my split brain . left side 2-1
    Right . can’t call it ….ciders me thinks

    Steamer don’t get kicking Rufus . and has found Ben . he’s under the settee cushion .

    Have a good night all …if you can get

  77. I don`t see how the players who got us in this mess,keeping us up.What does Gill do wromg in training?,As for CNZ playing,well,I give up,I really do.
    Nothing,absolutely nothing,encourages me about that selection,The Flabmeister and CNZ passengers.

  78. Steamer as my friend just texted who has gone to the game “bloody joke -where’s all the creativity going to come from. It’s took nearly 2 hours tonight to come and watch that garbage run ragged. “

  79. Wow what a first half! Was worried when I saw that team sheet but its worked better than expected. Loving the high pressure and intensity. Bit of quality with Nzog who’s looked good and Gabby… really lively. Only thing that concerns me is the CB’s, Okore is looking shaky as hell and its transferring onto Clarke. He needs to calm down.

    We should be 2 up or even more, and we need that second goal. The defence does not fill me with confidence. Longer it goes on 1-0 the shakier they will get. Need to play with a bit of composure now, keep the ball let West Brom do work chasing it, draw them out then hit them in behind.


  80. cant believe how high a line wba are playing Taylor made even for flabby. think we will need another goal for the win though, our defenders are crapping it

  81. Ree,
    Thats the thing about Zog, he has the quality, he needs motivating although 60,000 a week should motivate anyone.
    Don’t think Boggies can be that bad in the 2nd half, Okore needs to shake himself.

  82. There must be an enquiry,Villa just don`t get those decisions that late ever.94th min,bloody hell.

    Something to cling on to .good call S75 2- 1 you said.

  83. well it doesn’t get much more dramatic, maybe they will believe their lucks changed. would be interested to see lowton at right back his crossing still good

  84. Lets be real here… we were lucky to win that game…. but we were well overdue for some luck.

    Way we played first half meant we deserved it, we should have been 2 or more up. Then second half we were so reserved…. completely different from the first. Their goal from their only shot target, Gabby didnt do great but why was he marking Lescott who is obviuosly much stronger than him?? That should have been Benteke. Also thought Guzan should have come, the ball was well within his box.

    Thought it was a bad decision to take off Nzog so early, maybe he was tired but should have lasted a few more mins. Also why the hell is he not playing Gil??? He would have been great at the tip of the diamond and also had so much more composure on the ball than Grealish.

  85. Gabby!!!!!!!!!!!! What a player! 😉 And CB coolness personified! 🙂

    Hutton? I say he’s a liability when it comes down to it. I think we can see that Lowton has been missed and will be in at r-b on Sunday.

  86. *The disallowed goal*

    After thinking about it a lot, I’d say that ball (it’s centre) was over the line. For me that was a goal, and as Mark so rightly said if that had been the sideline a throw-in would have been called.

  87. We’ve waited so long for something to smile about. That was the first penalty we’ve been awarded all season. In the last minute of a derby too.

    16 shots – 8 on target to WBA’s 3 shots (one on target). 58% possession – that’s encouraging.

    I’ve enjoyed it.

    Still a lot of work to do. Five wins or four wins and three draws still required.

  88. B6,

    Oh, yeah!! 😉

    There’s me … I’d have gone away on Saturday thinking that I’d the match to look forward to on Sunday…!

    Hang on a mo, I *am* going away on Saturday! Oh, heck.

  89. An ancient Villa supporter (like me) said to me in December that Lambert had some hard luck.

    I said, “You make your own luck!”

    Ladies and gentlemen, I think tonight we have seen proof that you make your own luck. By trying to play +vely you force something to go your way, but who could have predicted a 90+ minute penalty!

    Long live the Sherwood Foresters!

  90. B6 I agree with you its all about the result, but the performance first half was great.

    Mark I saw the replay, it was Westwood who was marking Berahino then lost him. Okore was marking the space I think. Grealish does need some time and I think he could develop into a good player but for me Gil is better right now and probably better potential overall. Im not even joking when I say he could be our Silva.

    This match will be one that will live on in the memory.

  91. That is world class. I dont believe it happened. Hahaha baggies, last min pen, a knife in there hearts.

    Still think we are down but boy you have to love nights like this.

    I forgot how to celebrate though

  92. Andrew just be glad we won! For 4 days we are winners! How long will it last?

    We’re out of the bottom 3 and within striking distance of Sunderland, Hull even Everton. This win is our springboard to survival! I feel it. I mean 3 or 4 wins and a couple draws out of 10 is not impossible,esp considering who we face. And we’reone game away from Wembley!

    Things are looking up.

  93. Ree,

    The other teams at the bottom have games in hand, so it’s just as well we won tonight! 😉

    I think we’ll be fine now … there may well be a stutter or two, but I reckon it’s the old 15th place finish coming up again!

  94. John I wish 15th but I doubt it… Tomorrow Leicester play Man city away, QPR play Arsenal at home and Burnley play Liverpool away. Cant see any of them picking up any points, maybe QPR if ARsenal have a bad day.

    Interesting listening to Sherwood on BT Sport right now, sounds a bit drained. Not surprised.

  95. Jenny,

    It just sows, doesn’t it … Gabby played tonight as he did a couple of seasons ago when he scored 12.

    Someone has touched his ‘on’ button and made him wake up.

  96. Ahhhhhh well. I’ll sleep no different tonight, but it’s a big relief they’ve won just when it looked like *13* matches without a win.

    13 is lucky after all.

    Night all!

  97. Ree

    Been listening to ts. He does crack me up, i like him loads more each day.

    His celebration at the end touching his pulse on his neck. Haha

    I always think the villa need that type of manager, charasmatic. It suits us.

  98. Andrew he is entertaining, bit of a marmite figure. Spurs fans hate him. He does talk sense imo, I just hope theres more to him than just guts and glory.

    He seems to rate Nzog and so do I when he’s on form, I dont think Villa have seen anywhere nr he nest of him and I pretty much gave up on him and wrote him off. He looked a lot better today and I do like the fact he’s introduced this diamond 4312 formation. Nzog or Gil are perfect for the 10 role, Im surprised he hasnt taken to Gil yet. Maybe he thinks he doesnt have the stomach for the fight? From what Iv seen he is fearless, like Grealish, and has genuine ability on the ball.

    Also interesting to hear that he said the players dont have the fitness levels for the game he wants to play ie a pressing high backline game, but he says they are getting fitter. The drop in intensity in the second half was very noticeable, esp after we conceded.

    This win is massive, we need to carry on the confidence from this to the next game.


  99. Holly mother of God. We won a game

    Over the moon for Sherwood. Love his celebrations. Great for the players but most of all the long suffering fans

    I thought Sherwood got the line up wrong but he didn’t. Would have liked to see Gilmin zoggys role though

    Shabby Gabby- finally decided to turn up after 5 years of retirement. I’ve said a few times if he lives breathes and sleeps getting in behind then he will be a decent standard. He’s quick. He’s not a good player so there is no need to link up play and deep. He has realised to move onto to flick on’s as well

    Beat them again on sat please Villa

  100. Did we really win a game . That is it we are now going on a 3 month 12 game unbeaten . Tom sheer wood effect I believe . Long live the king

  101. Frem,

    Clearly you’re never going to be happy with Gabby so I’m not going to try to change your mind. 😉

    But there have been worse performances by other players of late so why pick on him I don’t know.

    You say “He’s not a good player”, but he scored 2 goals last night (yes, the disallowed one was a goal in my book) and one occasion in the second half when he very nearly dribbled through 5 players before being fouled epitomised his re-found spirit — *and* ability.

    Keep it up Gabby!

  102. ree- Your right westwood was marking him initially but loses him then Okore appears to pick him up only to follow the ball to the back post and leave him open. a bit more awareness and he would of seen the threat especially as gabby and hutton were already on the player at the back post. he does seem to go for the ball in preference to picking up the man which isn’t always the best option, he’ll learn but he sure looked nervous last night. we seem to mark in a mixture of zonal and man marking doesn’t work for me, zonal requires a really dominant centre half in the air and the only one we have is baker although clarkes not bad.

    I think we should send foster a thank you card, as well as gabby played foster let 3 weak shots under his body and gave away a pen my MOTM 🙂
    Lowton did ok and links play far better than mutton and his crosses are missed, so, who’s playing left back? I hope its kinsella

  103. Morning all,

    Incredible feeling to win a game like that, can anyone remember if we have ever had a last min pen before to win? Some points on the game…

    So good to see us score from a Benteke flick on to Gabby, since Benteke arrived I think many of us have wondered why this tactic has not been employed before, it uses both of their main strengths so effectively and is so hard to deal with.

    Karma is a bitch Ben Foster, time wasting at 1-1, clear pen in the half… moreover is there a more dislikeable player in the prem? Retired form international duty? Utter gobshite.

    Hutton should be disciplined for that nonsense, wasted two mins of normal time in that incident in a must win game, moron.

    Pleased to see Gabby getting more respect on thus forum, I find the various comments on his general performances harsh but no problem, but the constant personal insults I find in very poor taste, please remember nights like last night, he always turns up for the derby games.


  104. John- Yes, others players have been poor but Gabby and Wiemann by far have been the worst. Wiemann came on again yesterday and did fuck all for the third game in a row. We need to stop brining the useless so and so on. So glad he out he out Grealish on. Now that’s a guy who can play football, not Wiemann

    One thing I noticed against Newcastle was that our making from corners was shocking at times. They had a few free headers, WBA did last night to and scored from one. We have to work on that on the training ground

    Anyhow, we did really well last night. Lowton was legendary. Play him at full back ahead of sissy any day. Clark won everything in the air. Another great display. Benteke won a lot in the air. Gabby ran in a straight line and kicked a ball 😉

    And Sherwood, so glad for him

    All the glory supporters will be turning up Saturday. The ones who couldn’t be arsed to support the team last night

  105. Yes Frem your right about the next game . lv had loads of texts asking for a ticket for that game , some really good mates , l told them all to fuck off , also wembley tickets !!!! . if we get there l hope you have a great time down there mate as you deserve it , you and B62 have sat through some terrible shite its fans like you who deserve that credit mate , and yes its good to see Kristina back ,
    well lm off mate to put a security light up for my nephew and pray for me Frem as l have Steamer helping me !!! , and TC said thanks for the kind words mate l showed him your text , he sends his best and said he hopes your doing well in your new job and you have to come over one day to his garage bar , you’ll obviously stay at mine as we wont get out till about 4/5 in the morning ,
    did anyone else hear that pig carrier on the radio last night, hopes they beat us and we go down and the noses go up as they like them , what a twonk , inbreds the lot of them .
    steamer be over soon mate

  106. It was nail biting stuff listening to the game on AVTV. It’s good to know you’ll all be a little bit happier for the win.

    Hello Kristina, I visited NYC a couple of weeks ago, thought about you.

    Should be a good rematch in the weekend, can’t wait. Wembly here we come!

  107. Fair play to Sherwood. All his substitutions were positive and showed we were desperate to win the game. Last 2 managers would have settled for a point and ended up losing 2-1.

    Last night doesn’t get Gabby off the hook. It shows the level of performance he’s still capable of when he’s interested. It would be nice if he didn’t just save it for when the opposition fans are singing songs about his mum.

  108. Frem, don’t worry about the stay away supporters. It was their loss mate. Every home game for the past 3 years dragging yourself down to VP has felt like a chore. But last night when Benteke slotted his penalty reminds you of why we still go. Nothing beats that feeling.

  109. Steamer,

    Hide he is on his way over, not there behind the settee you twonk.

    Well what a night that was I felt dejected when Stork got the winner in the last minute and over the moon when we won it in the last minute, there is an A & E department somewhere full to the ceiling with Villans.

    Can Sir Tim of London Village really get us out of this mess, well sometimes you have to believe in something just to get through the day, so this is it my pet project, there will be loads of twists and turns before the season ends but we have now got hope.


  110. Hello Kris, hope everything is ok with you.

    Agree with Andrew about TS, Villans always respond to a manager with a personality.
    Like the way TS had a laugh with Benteke, i think he responds to that sort of thing.

    Fosters a Villa fan.

    Onwards and upwards, lets hope we now stay up and get new owners.

    Apparently a real VP atmosphere last night.

  111. ST75- Fair play for you for still staying away. Not like it’s hard to becasue we are crap but still fair play. Will you be back when Randy leaves ? hopefully he will be gone in the summer.hopefully.You still going to the Saints game ?

    Is this Steamer helping you mate?×712.png

    Andrew- It was great to see Villa fans like that again last night. It made it all the sweeter that it was a last gasp winner. The place was rocking even after the whistle going down the Holte steps

    hopefully time’s will change.

  112. “What a difference a day makes “. ST75 you will know that one tune from years gone by ! X

    Before we get carried away too far , the most important difference we are seeing with TS are that we are now a/winning at VP and b/ Beating the teams around us ie Leicester and WBA.
    We haven’t done this for a long time .

    Also, TS picked the right team for the occasion and boy did they rise to it. We saw the Gabby of old as John said and no doubt Zog was put in as an experienced relegation battler . This is what you need on the pitch when the chips are down . They made WBA look slow and poor. Is it my imagination but is Gabby looking slimmer ?

    Finally Benteke is looking the player he was when he first arrived . And that penalty reminded me of Balotelli’s and Berbatovs – but better . If you can trick the keeper like he did – when 3 points are hanging in the balance , in front of the Holte in the last minute of stoppage time , you are one cool customer . Foster was shot – and Benteke played him like a master . So pleased for the lad .

  113. Steamer and Frem, the atmosphere was brilliant last night. Steamer, you go back further than me but for me nothing in football beats a huge game at Villa Park at night under flood lights.

  114. Jenny, you’re right about Benteke’s penalty. How can you be that calm under pressure? If I’d been asked to take it in those circumstances I’d have legged it down the tunnel and hidden in a dark corner.

  115. About half the stadium couldn’t even stand to watch The Beast’s pen. It was a case of, we miss, we will go down, we score, we live to fight another day. My god the feeling was a long time coming watching the ball cross th line

    The Foxes and Burnley have two games in hand over us now which makes that win even bigger

    hopefully City will batter them tonight. QPR and Burnley to lose as well hopefully

  116. Frem,

    Fair play to you and others that turn up every week, I live in Bournemouth now so I can’t get down but I can’t honestly say I would turn up if still in brum, the hardcore deserved that last night, I’m glad the causals weren’t there.

  117. Ree,

    TS – ‘Benteke and Gabby are the best strike partnership outside the top teams’
    Well TS is 50% correct.

    Andrew P,
    I went to virtually all the old 92 grounds when standing was allowed so a better atmosphere, but VP on a night game is EASILY the best, second was Newcastle. The London fans just sit there like dummies, Liverpool was always vastly overrated, at Untied you didn’t know they’d turned up.

  118. Rags,
    Loveley place Bournemouth, St75 and a few of the old boys are down there after the Soton game if you want to meet up for a drink.

  119. Morning all ,
    What an emotional roller coaster last night, ST75 its all gone quiet over in tesco bag land, there phones must be off !
    Fair play to the team and TS last night, we started like a train, we played at pace and went at them, we should have easily been 3/4 nil before the break. The Albion looked shellshocked and very average, the second half we let them back into it, and they had a lot of possession leading up to a set piece, which they scored from, and despite the first half showing, it looked like they might Nick it or it would Peter out to a draw, but then up steps self confessed Villa fan, Ben Foster to complete his nights work and VP erupted. Tekkers had ice running through his veins and was calm personified as he sent agent foster the wrong way, when goal went in it went mental, those who stayed away missed a hell of a night, great atmosphere a real Derby affair, roll on Saturday when the great unwashed from Tipton return .
    Also great to see Kris posting last night, I hope things are on the up for her over in New Yooork 😉

  120. Frem: … but Gabby and Wiemann by far have been the worst.

    In your opinion, sir! 😉

    You obviously don’t go with Gabby, so fair dos. I do, though I know he has disappointed in some ways.

    As far as Weimann is concerned, he was scoring some really good goals a couple of years ago and I fear now he’s lost all confidence – hence what you see now. Not that he was a great footballer (I agree with you there) but he could shoot.

  121. Steamer,

    That would be great! I’m going to try and get tickets for that one anyway, might be a home crowd covert job though!

  122. oh what a feeling, I could get used to winning again, let’s repeat the efforts this weekend but has something clicked with the players that they do have to fight like lions (in that desperate twitter fashion statement, hate twitter, FB is enough for me).

    Also, TS is another day closer to figuring out his best 11, like above disappointed Gil isn’t playing but if TS’ thought process prove successful, who am I to argue. He maybe the luxury we can’t afford at this time but a big part of post-survival Villa (fingers crossed)

    Happy Dublin Villan


  123. John- It was Gabby’s first goal in 14 games yesterday. 14!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He goes through spells like that all the time.

    I did like the goal though. Iv’e said for ages, go 442, big man little man. The big man won the header, the smaller man ran onto it ( finally)

    lets hope we put the same display on for Sat. all of them

  124. Anyone Come down yet? I’m still bouncing round like we’d won the FA Cup!!!!

    I have a feeling Delph or Zoggy will be asked to fill the LB role on the weekend and Lowton will move to RB.

    I thought Cleverly was really good last night, not only in his hustle and play, but he was the one talking to the team, he might not have the captains arm band but last night he was the leader of that team…

    Who is this Agbonlahor lad? Where’d he come from?

  125. Still think we will drop but if you ever need a spark last night was it.

    If you cant kick on from here we never will.

    Glorious night though, nice to be reminded why we love villa.

  126. for me I thought the effort first half was there, second half after a sit down the energy levels dropped. TS has said we are not fit enough to play a 90 min pressing game and he’s right. WBA left acres in behind them surprisingly but we actually played and looked like a team for once. if gabby and tekkers can keep it up teams will have to think twice how they play us, basically all they had to do was mark tekkers before, now he’s moving and those around him are getting forward, different ball game.
    If and its a big if, we can keep this level up, tighten the defence and bring the likes of grealish, gil, sinclair into a solid base to play off we should stay up, may even surprise the big guns.

  127. Ecstatic, traumatised , delighted

    TS really show the passion we need so badly and the players are slowly but surely fllowing suit

    The one negitive is seeing commemts on various media saying why the heck are we playing jack grelish
    this is typical of fans that do not understand the game properly imo

    if we cant get are young talent involved we should just scrap the acadamy – remember how bad clark and co were and now look at them

    how can we win next gen and not have one home made product to show from it – a few of those guys are doing well elsewhere but it is a crime they are not at the club or worse , sold
    Developing players means playing them in the first team – no pain no gain were any young player is concerned – lay off our jack grrrrrrrrr
    Now the worst manager in the pro game has gone we are starting to see signs of were this current group should be in terms

  128. Well, at the end of the day, a great result for the team, TS and us , the fans..!!!. Hated missing the game, but have now watched the match through in full twice, just to make sure that I have not missed anything.

    Great to see a slim Gabby back to his best, and could easily have had a couple at least. Enjoyed seeing young Jack getting involved, showing some great positional sense, maybe next time, those with the ball will see him. Nice to see so much commitment from everyone, and there is more to come from Zoggy and the others. Defense is now going to be the crucial problem for Tim now, with injuries and suspensions.
    Zoggy can apparently play full back well enough, and that may be part of the solution, or perhaps Kinsella will come into the reckoning.

    Great to see Monty back here, may be now we will all have something to shout about. Really looking forward to Saturday now..!!

  129. runtingz jack needs more time not less, he seems slow getting into a game from the bench but the last ten he started demanding the ball. he needs to see plenty of the ball to work his magic, I’d start him on sat

  130. For years, AVFC has been the forgotten team of the Premier League, the Midlands didn’t exist, it was North West, East and London. Now following years of attempted relegation just to get a back page story, the redtops have now finally picked up on us, mostly due to a young Harry Redknapp, short on tactics, large on soundbites and finally we have the column inches in papers that show we are worth talking about.

    TS’ passion is there to see, what a change from Lamberk, it appears to be slowly rubbing off on the players and we are starting to possess the ball and also use it more effectively in the final third, granted Foster had a ‘mare but we still had to create the chances.

    Buzzing for Saturday, it’s my birthday and we’re on the tellybox and we are playing, All the thought process on how to win lies with the Boggies after our win and they’ll be missing Fletcher

  131. Afternoon all, on Grealish… I rate him as a talent but I dont think right now is the time to be blooding youngsters. Given the situation we are in, I would rather pick the best players we have right now. Right now he is in direct competition with Gil for that starter/sub spot and for me Gil has to play. Imo he is better suited for the 10 role, has better ability right now and has the potential to develop even more.

    Good to see Clark hodling it together so well, he has really turned him game around this season. Now looks a solid dependable player, before he always had a mistake or two in him. He’s been our best player so far this year maybe even for the whole season.

    Also special mention to Delph who was everywhere last night. He was the one driving us on when we got deflated when they scored. Him, Westwood and Cleverly bossed that midfield.

  132. Runtingz.
    These muppets would sooner pay 7m for an established mediocrities like Clevs or play Westwood who can’t even lift a ball over the first man than a top talent like Grealish who will only get better with experience and who will outshine them both. When he’s established they’ll be saying that they wanted him in all the time. I know footies all about opinions but some of these mugs opinions aren’t worth listening too, they’re probably still saying ‘who was Dave McKay?’ Ignore them, their still lerning the game from Gobby Cabbage and the like.

  133. Steamer,

    Also agreed on Clark, but worried about Okore.

    Has he lost confidence, or what? If Vlaar not available then Okore needs to ramp his game back up again i.m.o.

  134. Darren: TS’ passion is there to see, what a change from Lamberk, it appears to be slowly rubbing off on the players …

    Absolutely. They are just now coming out of the transition from the poor mental state that TS found ’em in.

    Must be a good manager to turn this lot around. It was a tight finish last night but they made their own luck. Well done team and TS to get ’em thinking right.

  135. TS leaving out players like Sanchez and Gil must (in my view) point to the fact that they’re both newbies in the PL and they don’t know what relegation fights are all about.

    If that’s what it is, then I can see TS’s thinking on this … to exclude them until we’re in a much better position.

  136. if sherwood can save us he going to busy in summer
    guzan need a keeper big time how many goals has he conceded from crosses inside 6 yard box need a big dominant keeper
    hutton stupid tackle at end the annoys ref by hiding stupid runs upfield then instead staying wide comes inside with ball and usually loses it
    sissko can t cross the ball but doesnt concede many goals on his side
    clark big apolgy my player off season should be captain
    okore got slated last night but i counted 3 last ditch tackles he won,one straight after wba goal definatly stick with him and clark baker as sub plus one more ch
    delph better last night needs to play like that for rest of season
    westwood can nt believe he in team can t pass hit deadballs tackle shocking player
    clevely do not waste money on the crab shockingly overrated
    gabby play like last night not like all season has to play on last defender and when we defending set pieces stay at half way line 4 goals down too him sleeping
    benteke please god let him return to form of first 18 months if only to get big fee for
    zog almost 2 1/2 years since he completed 90 mins football

    i think sherwood needs keeper 2 fullbacks 1 center half 2 center mids 2wingers 1striker
    guzan lowton okore baker clark sissko sanchez delph zog gabby benteke gil kozak

    sell release
    given hutton sendross vlar luna richardson westwood wiemen tonev cole cleverly sinclair helnius sylla bennet

  137. cheers steamer i won’t let um wind me up – so annoying thou

    Re TS team selections – i think he is already being very clever and i wouldnt like to try and secound guess his next team as i think he will continue to shuffle the pack and everyone will have a chance to be involved — which is so refreshing to see for me

    TS made me laugh on his BT sport interview when asked about huttons foot in his reply was he was a bit unlucky — hutton has already been slated for his actions when we were chasing a win but at the same time he gave a full blooded performance last night and his effort makes up for what he lacks in ability

  138. Clark was great again last night. won everything in the air.

    James- would,’t keep Baker Sissy or Zoggy. i’d keep Hutton as well

    Ree- westwood Delph and Clev did very well last night. Very pleasing midfiled display. If Clev can play like that more often maybe geetting him on a free wouldn’t be so bad

    John- Gabby is our top scorer, but Guzan isn’t far off either even though he hasn’t scored yet.

  139. James Gil… that’s an incredible list.

    Hutton has come back in to this team and not once given up the fight, his been a corner stone this season with Clark in defense and without these two we’d have been cut adrift a long time ago.
    Cissoko has been solid this season, dependable in defence and has shown willing to work hard. Think we can persist with him.
    Cleverly has had his 3 best games for Villa since Sherwood turned up and showed that he can move the play forward quickly. Though he and Delph looked a good pairing in that formation last night.
    Westwood well there is a player in there but in all honesty his dead ball skills wind me up no end… All of WBA corners where dangerous last night…. Westwood’s? Theu’r either hoisted way over everyone’s head or smacked plumb on to the first defenders head. Shocking school boy stuff. I especially don’t understand it when Delph, Cleverly and Zog are on the pitch who can all deliver mean whipped balls.

    If Sherwood gets £20m this summer I think he’ll buy 2-3 players max. He’ll replace Vlaar, Probably get a Keeper and another Striker, but I expect him to go young with his buys…. Although its being suggested today that we’ve already nabbed a couple of players on precontracts – Rudy Gestede being one of them, and a 16 year old from Norway who scored 48 goals this season – he came to visit Villa Park last week.

    I don’t think massive upheaval of the first team squad is needed, just a different mentality. If we can maximise the potnetial of this squad we will suddenly become a threat.

    I also think he’ll give the rest chance to come in and show what they can do before releasing anyone. Bennett isn’t a bad football, the tactical and positional side of his game need sorting out. Lowton would have been on you list probably had it not been for his last two performances. Letting Vlaar go is a tricky one, keep him fit and he’d be great in the team.

    Grealish, Gardner and Robinson too will all be vying for a place next seaon, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens… for now though I don;t care who drags us out of this mess as long as they do!!!

  140. frem
    hutton is athug should have been sent off last night at a time we where holding on for a point,when you needed experienced players to keepcool our back 4 bar hutton havent played many big derbys, then maddened ref by not going straight over,stoke chelsea games he was at fault for goals,and for going forwad he is not answer and if you read it all want 2 fullbacks plus 2 wingers have to keep some for squad and zog has not had manager get best out of him at villa sherwood could be,cleverly won t be free to villa same as barry deal to everton

  141. I think Okore is still settling, the lad has only had 17 prem appearances and a year out. clarke has had 92 and is only just showing his potential. Okore is a quick physical player and needs to look at positioning etc so he doesn’t have to make so many last ditch tackles, still learning IMO but worth persevering he’s only just 22, clarke 25 centre half takes a lot of learning to play well.

  142. Leaving Sanchez out is an odd one. He is harden to relegation scraps coming from Elche, he is also a combative midfielder for sure, I can see the argument you make re Gil, but for Sanchez I can’t. I think he’d protect the back line better than Westwood, he’d be a more physical presence in the middle of the park and we’d win far more headers in their too.

    Saying that who ever is pick aslong as we a competitive how can we question the selection?

    The Grealish conundrum is one Sherwood will have to balance this season, he clearly rates the lad bringing him on ahead of Sinclair and Gil, but it’s walking a fine line of giving him experience and avoiding burdening him with the pressure and responsibility of the situation. He did well last night I though, didn’t set the world on fire, but did enough to suggest he can do it. Want to see him running at players like I did a year or so ago, then he will truly scare defenders and have bums and the edge of their seats… the boy have skills… it’ll take time before he’s comfortably show casing them all.

  143. Mornng/Afternoon and Evening All Lifers,

    What a feeling to wake up and be proud,of a Villa performance.I am so pleased for all of you fans that have been turning up for the last 4 years of dross,drab,humiliating results and football.

    Clark,what a renaissance,he looks like a good central defender now.A late developer?Let`s hope so.

    Which brings me on to Grealish Runtingz.I agree,there are some twerps out there commenting on him.I believe he should start games,and then be subbed if his ball retention or tiredness is a factor.It`s tough to come on toward the end of a hurly burly local derby.Just my opinion,but I would start him.You have to take the good with the bad where young players are concerned.Kane is 21 now and is starting to deliver week in week out.A bit of patience and understanding must be shown toward this talented player.

    Guzan is known for dominating his box/area yet he was glued to his line for that goal.Yes,the delivery was good,but that was his to claim IMO.We will always put ourselves under pressure with only a 1 goal lead,as we never can capitalise on our set plays,simply dreadful.
    See how many players we had in their box in the 94th min?A very positive approach,makes all the difference,instead of being grateful for a point.

  144. gog
    remember back to leicster game start december we where coasting hutton lost head leicster got player later changed sent off we holding on for dear life also at fault cup game for goal
    don t think for going forward hutton is answer

  145. Agree with Mark, Okore does have a mistake in him, but he also has the power and pace to reverse that mistake, he also has a knack of getting in the right place at the right time to clear balls… Imagine Vlaar trying to get back and make a couple of those tackles last night… they would have been pens and red cards.

  146. James, Hutton as far as I can see has made mistakes this season, but fewer than Vlaar, Okore & Guzan . What he has been is solid, he’s been a 7 / 10 most games this season. Our defence has been under relentless pressure for so many games and mistake will happen under those circumstances… I think Hutton deserves some respect this season from all us Villans.

  147. Frem , yes still going to southampton and Bournemouth for the night . Rags this is my mobile 07957613492 , on the day ring me and will tell you where we are for a pint , or you will find us at about 4am getting thrown out of some night club just look for a bunch of 60year old somethings , and if SWW turns up he’ll be the one in his Nelson House clobber ,

  148. James – I happen to agree with you about Hutton. He doesn’t care how he goes into the tackle on occasions and I don’t like to see that.

    Frem – “Gabby is our top scorer, but Guzan isn’t far off either even though he hasn’t scored yet.” 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Sometimes I think you deliberately try to avoid what I’m getting at! We’ll leave it at that…;-)

  149. Steamers… what are your thoughts on Hutton?

    “Villa are still going down, without Benteke they’re absolutely useless” from a man who’s just watched his team batter for 90 minutes and are lucky not to be walking way with a 4-1 defeat…. Hmmm Bitter? Just a little bit,

  150. Okore did look very nervous to begin with and made a few mistakes , but I really like him and I think he’s got the right commitment and grit to develop into a sound player . When others have not looked up fir the challenge in the past , he has done and he shows a good attitude . In his favour last night , he didn’t go completely to pieces and he managed his set backs and got on with it and grew into the game . He’s still very green so needs time and encouragement.

  151. Mark,

    It could well be as you say about Okore, but now is not the time for the nervous, is it? 😉

    I can see the good player in Okore – particularly (as has been said) to get back and cover, which he once marvellously last night. At that point it was 1-1 and if Okore hadn’t intercepted it would have been curtains for Villa.

    Let’s hope last night will help to settle him.

  152. Against West Brom, Okore had a passing accuracy of 80 per cent while he made a total of 14 effective clearances (11 with his feet and three with his head).

    He also won five ground duels, two aerial duels and two interceptions.

  153. S75

    I am landing in lovely old Laaandan Town on March 21 st and I would hope to make the bournemouth booze up,if invited.I am over for a while and would hope to make at least one trip to Brum as well.

  154. gog
    fair enough hutton puts in effort
    don t rate vlar at all not from day one or guzan either
    yes okore has made mistakes but don t think he has played 25 matches in england,along with coming back from bad injury,last night after wba scored we were attacking which broke down and where left 3 at back okore made goal saving tackle
    and my main point is hutton wasnt good enough at spurs 4 years ago and for us to go forward not good enough,as an attacking fullback he keeps cutting infield with ball and cannot cross it for dear life

  155. Graham – he also mis-kicked twice and got away with it and something else that happened that I can’t remember. And you could say his positioning *might* have been better for Albyun’s goal.

    But I’m not against Okore – it’s just that we need total solidity in that department. Hard to achieve I know.

  156. okore has the tools but is still leaning how to use them. clarke used to have poor positioning and was constantly getting turned or caught out and he would pull and commit fouls as a consequence. this year it seems to have clicked with him. positioning is 80% of the game at centre half imo. you don’t have to throw yourself around, you can guide peoples actions with your body positioning angle to goal etc
    god was a master at it, he made himself twice as big and he was a big man, knew when to stand off and when to step in, its an art.

  157. I take you point James, my point is that I’d rather Sherwood looked to spend his money and people he knows will improve the team, rather than trying to make £20m stretch over 6-7 players and “take a punt” as we have been doing and failing miserably at. If Lowton can continue his form he’ll probably get in head of Hutton anyway but he is an able reserve.

    John Okore is far from the finished article and again positionally he has a lot to learn, but he has the attribute to be able to recover from mistakes so when the other side of his game improves he’ll become a solid centre back… this learning will only come with games. I’d be happy to stick with Okore and Clark for the rest of the reason, However with Cissoko, Richardson and Hutton out of the next game we could see Okore and Vlaar with Clark at Left Back?

  158. Graham,

    There’s no question you’re right about Okore. My fear is in respect of Villa’s current situation and at times I think the defence does suffer from Okore’s rawness. But I certainly do rate him – no question. Villa have the makings of a brilliant central defence.

  159. Some very good points on here today, thats why its AVFC’s best blog.

    John- Gabby is our top scorer, but Guzan isn’t far off either even though he hasn’t scored yet. no answer is their.

    I think Guz has had a dip in form this season, Shay, i think, has one more season on his contract, dunno where Siegrist is but a big no to Jed Steer.
    Despite his many faults i think Hutton has been a good influence on Villa, he’s battle hardened and mentally strong, not many would come back after the way Lambert treated him.
    Must admit i’m not a fan of Okore,hopeful that Baker will improve like Clark has.
    Cleverley has improved in my opinion, he has more to offer than Lambert allowed him to show, a month ago i’d have got rid, i wouldn’t object at all if we signed him now as long as Westwood isn’t played along side him.
    Sanchez, i think will be fully settled next year, strange mixture of very good and diabolical.
    Gil, we haven’t seen a player of his type at VP for a good while.

    Most of the rest are dead wood, imo, i’d like to see Helenious given a chance, i though Lamberts treatment of him was utterly disgraceful.

    Six possibly nine new signings for me, even some of our better players can’t be described as decent and we need to raise the standard to keep Benteke happy.

  160. A lot of us seem all to keen to bash the players that play for our club — while i don’t see any of them going of to barca anytime soon i still maintain that we have a top 10 squad

    Lambert sucked all the life , inventiveness and bravery out of then with the exception of hutton who as the commentator discribed last night is playing like he is fed on raw meat

    I have been banging on about how any team can only be as good as its manager and the worst manager on the planet has now left the building

    hopefully we will continue to give everything in games to the end of the season and the fans will continue to see the players fight for the club in the way TS and the fans are demanding

    next season will then be interesting but i too don’t see major changes unless the club is sold which sounds more and more likeky

  161. Benji is on loan at Cambridge Steam I think,

    I want Gil to be playing Steamer, the speed in which he turns at goes at players, his first touch, the confidence on the ball… I think he is a little Gem… the problem with player like that though is managers don’t know how to use them and often try and smash them with a blunt objects in to square holes… Can we afford to give him the free reign of a Silva?

  162. JL- clarke has certainly added a coolness to his game, he reads situations quickly and has the speed to match. probably the most improved player I’ve seen from the academy since Barry moved to midfield. in fact I think Clarke could easily do the same such is his improvement.

    I wonder what TS would make of Tonev?

    Steamer- Don’t think baker has the same skill level as Clarke, will probably end up with permanent concussion. brave as a Lion but will always need a leader next to him, he did ok with sendeross

  163. Runts if we stay up the mystery footballer account thing says there’s a deal in place… he gets most things right… Not getting my hopes up and some times its a case of better the devil we know but knows what could happen… I’m hoping Fox has been on to his mate Uzmanov and said “you really should come down and look at the potential of this club….”

  164. Steamer, Henry Winter in the Telegraph (not my paper of choice but when your mRs drags you to a cafe in Hagley you get what your given): “in the Holte End a roar rolled down across the pitch, a reminder of the huge hunger for this distinguished old club to be upwardly mobile again”.

    On Hutton, yes he is a limited footballer but he’s absolutely genuine. If Gabby and co showed the same application we’d be top half, comfortably.

  165. gog
    if we stat up think we need too buy 4/5 at 10m mark like soton last summer
    no more nonesense buying 6/7/8 players for 20m every summer
    big strong spine needed
    centerhalf to play along side clark
    hopeful sanchez will come good in centre mid but if not someone over 6 foot tall and well built ie not westwood
    benteke up front
    fill in rest and look mid to long term for rest of team
    bertrand ended up looking very average last year look at him now

  166. I think the likes of cole, sendeross will go and we will get 3-4 decent £5-8 mil players in. pretty much what should of happened this season. youth players will push through and we have signed some very good youngsters under the radar. the way Gardner is fitting in at forest in a dm will stand him in good stead, he will make runs from deep, score and lay on goals a proper midfield general. lots of little pieces coming together for villa if we stay up, shame they have sold johnson, carruthers and a couple of others.

    Graham- I can see Gil getting a run on sat. TS is making us functional and harder to beat once the foundations are laid Gil will get his chance to shine and he will, especially with much more movement around him. strangely enough I can see him zoggy and grealish fitting in together, they’re on the same wavelength.

  167. 100% agree about Guzan not being at his best. He should have come for that corner. Last year we saw many point saving performances from Guzan, not this year tho. Still think he’s a better option than Given atm.

    Okore has huge potential, he’s strong and quick and has that ‘never give up’ spirit. When he first came into the side I was taken back by how composed he was, couple mistakes later and he’s shaky. He did redeem himself second half with that tackle. But if Vlaar was fit, he should start imo. Nothing beats experience in a relegation battle.

    I think Westwood gets too much stick, for me he’s an intelligent player who uses his football brain to be in the right positions. He sees the danger quicker than anybody else and can pass the ball. Only Delph outperforms him in that respect. I think he is in direct competition with Sanchez for that DM spot, both have their strengths and weaknesses. Sanchez is bigger and more physical and can also keep the ball ticking, but get caught out far too often. I think Westwood deserves the spot for now.

    TS seems to be going with this diamond 4312 formation with the fullbacks and the attackers providing width, which is a good way to go imo. So it looks like theres only room for 1 DM (Sanchez or Westwood), Delph and 1 other (Cleverly or Bacuna). We do have options.

    Hutton is out for a couple games, and while I do think hes been one of our better players, I do rate Lowton. I think he’s an intelligent footballer and he showed that last night. ID like to see him at RB the next couple games and hopefully one of our LB can recover. Anybody know if we can recall Bennet?

    Gabby deserves his spot based on his last few performances, lets hope we keep getting better and stronger as a team. We need to be able to perform for more than 1 half at a time.

  168. Ree … good points and interesting comment there about Westwood. I agree with you, but the big thing is that he doesn’t know how to deliver dead balls. And in this kind of fight you need someone who can do that job. In that respect I suspect Bacuna is better taking dead balls, but he doesn’t start. Also Zoggy and Gil.

  169. GOG – TS did give Zog the license to roam and affect the game wherever he could. Gil is more than capable of doing the same. I hope we do see him on Sat as a starter. Rest of the team barring Hutton pretty much picks itself.

    Mark Im not sure we will see 2 of them in the same team, unless he changes up the system to 1 upfront. I do love seeing creative players play together.

  170. Ree

    Recall Joe B.?Steamer would be taken into intensive care if this happened.

    Agree re Westy,a good player,IMO,but would shine if he had a top class MF player beside him IMO.Desrves some stick yes,but a lot of it is unfair.His dead balls though are woeful,I won`t defend him there.

    Okore is class,has been out for a season,only 22 and hasn`t even played 20 EPL games yet.Too much stick for him,…..but at the back you can`t hide can you?One mistake and you are finished,crepe…at the other end of the field one mistake and you are “unlucky”,that`s footy though

  171. Yes Graham, Gil provides that individuality that Lambert frowned upon but fans love to see.

    There’s still folk out there who think Lambert is the real deal, unbelievable.

  172. John Westwood wouldn’t have half the critics he did if we could find anyone else to take the dead balls. Why Delph does take them I do not know? Cleverly took them at United… so why doesn’t he? Zoggy, Sinclair, Gil… which ever one of them is in the team needs to start taking them.

    Anyone but ruddy Westwood, as several people pointed out last night we’d rather forfeit the free kick for a throw in at the minute at least we find a man that way!

  173. John – Im sure Westwood delivers perfect dead balls in training and thats why he’s the corner kick taker. But he cant replicate that in a match right now. When he whips it in it hits the first man, when he stands it to the back post it gets cleared easy. I do think Bacuna is a better dead ball specialist, even though he horribly wasted a late chance yesterday. Gil was taking corners when he was in the team. We do need to be better at set-pieces. Under MON we were lethal, I remember at 1 point half of our goals came from set pieces thanks to Young and Laursen mostly.

  174. B6 – I think Bennet is a decent footballer ability wise, its just that the pressure of the dogfight got to him and he couldnt cope mentally. I wish Lerner would have just stumped up that extra bit of cash for Cresswell whos having a good season for West Ham.

    Also wanted us to buy Clyne when he was at Palace before Southampton did, our RB spot would have been sorted for years. If we do survive, Trippier is a really good option.

  175. I am with Runts on our players, and TS is right to give them all the chance to prove themselves, as many may well have a lot more to give, played in their natural positions, and given the opportunity to play a natural game.We may need far less players at the end of the season, if more continue to blossom, like Clark has.

    On Hutton, I am sure that the red mist he saw, was a mistake, as Gardner had him a few moments before, and I know Berahino looks nothing like him, it was more like Gardner’s nuts he would have liked to been salting…

    I am also with everyone who things young Jack should be in there now, and he is ready to give his best.The important thing is that other players notice him and look for and include him, as several times last night he was in a great position, and he was missed by his colleagues.

  176. Ree yeah I think Trippier would be a good buy too.

    Also think Callum Wilson could step up to the Prem… boy has rockets in his boots and knows how to finish.

  177. ree- just watched wba goal a couple of times, the cross looped to the far side of the six yard about 5 ft above the bar, Guzan would of been suicidal to try to go through 3 players for that ball no way he would of got to it.
    don’t forget TS said what you see this season will not be what you see next

    the westwood free kicks are a mystery but so have villas free kicks since downing, maybe its because he’s shortest? TS must surely look at it in training and he’s still taking them.

  178. Mark – there was exactly the same type of corner swung in by Brunt not too long after the goal and Guzan came for that. Yeh I know there were people around him but he had to be strong and find a way through. If he blocked off maybe we would have had a foul. Lescott was matched up with Gabby and didnt even have to jump to get that header back into the danger area, Im sure Guzan could have got something on it and at the very least put Lescott off. To me he bottled it and put the responsibility on the defenders when they needed his help.

    I remember Westwood taking some great free kicks, the goal at Old trafford springs to mins and also an assist from a corner against Reading. He should be more consistent but he does have it in his locker.

    GOG – havent seen much of Callum Wilson but he looks to have a good scoring record for his age.

  179. TS has just said on Clubcall:

    “We’ve got a group of players who are not really suited to a relegation battle, if I’m honest.
    “The old-fashioned style is blood and thunder to dig out results so we have to change it.
    “We have to play as if we’re not in a relegation battle. We have to pass the ball and move and we did that in the first half. It takes bravery to do that, especially against an expectant crowd.”

  180. B6B
    yy to meet us in bournemouth ur most welcome , you more than likely see fast Eddy and his bloody light blue coat and yellow shirt he wears at away games and let us know if you’d be staying over as l will get Perksy to book you in the hotel we all stop in , you must behave though !!, lv left my number on here so text me when your coming up ,

    sww just heard on the radio about them Bristol pounds , dont you try passing me any of them for the money you owe me ,

  181. 🙂 yes indeed steamz truely shocking how some people’s minds work and how they come to a conclusion like lambert needed more time — meanwhile teams like palace look like madrid compared to us under the guy

    Watched the albion post – love it – we had a lucky escape not getting pullis – steamer i know you are not a fan and last nights tactics showed why — while he will build a solid team that won’t go down the football is prehistoric and watching paint dry would be more exciting

  182. Yeah said all that after the game on BT Sport, he also said that Villa have the players to be a mid-table club pushing Europe.

    And Petrov was on BT telling everyone he’d spent the day with the squad and had been offered a role by TS.

    Also that Bob Bradley has been linked to the director of football role, although his agent has subsequently denied this.

  183. Loving the change of approach in terms of comments, gone is the slating of Lamberk and his lack of tactics and now to honest if sometimes over-critical assessment of player performance.

    I’ll preface any review of player performance by reminding everyone, we’ve just moved away from the dross that was Lamberk, the soul was ripped out of the club and the players under his mgmt.

    I don’t doubt that Westwood currently is rubbish at dead balls but I expect that all our players are suffering a lack of confidence in every position, only standouts as have been mentioned are Clark and Hutton.

    Guzan – needs to get back to the commanding goalkeeper that we had when he re-signed for us, as we all complained that Given didn’t do it but a great shot stopper
    Hutton – solid full back, I think he knows his limits and plays to his strengths, typically using strength over skill, nothing wrong with that as a defender
    Vlaar – great world cup, don’t see that being transferred to us but see my preface and will most likely be gone in the summer so joining Villa history books
    Okore – young, learning his trade, showing his quality although inconsistent, one for the very near future
    Clark – player of the year, huge progress not comfortable in any other position and made centre defence his own, well done
    Sissokho – headless chicken, sorry glimpses of good work but neither brilliant in attack as a wing back or defending
    Sanchez – honestly my favourite player, shows determination and a good ball winner but unfamiliar with the pace of the game but one that will progress as a DM
    Delph – I don’t see the England call up in his performances, think he got lucky in terms of options for Hodgson, doesn’t get enough goals and neither a creative midfielder or DM, don’t think the box to box midfielder is a modern requirement anymore
    Cleverley – took Man U rejection badly and has not recovered, in addition playing alongside players who play the same way and devoid of support from Lamberk, if he does stay, he could be our creative midfielder and surprise some people
    Westwood – I don’t think he is prem league quality, reminds me of a player not good enough for PL but too good for Championship
    Gabby – the club stalwart who has rested on his laurels, got fat and forgotten what it is all about, needs a kick up the arse or a new club, he could be good again as a pacey frontman
    Benteke – under too much pressure upfront alone, devoid of service and devoid of match sharpness that meant he never gambled in the last third, will return to form
    Gil – one for the near future, rival to Gabby position in providing a bit of guile in the final third alongside Benteke, love to see him given more opportunity
    Grealish – our luxury player, should be given a free role with no responsibility to defend but only when the confidence is back in the rest of the team
    N’Zogbia – wasted talent and in the last chance saloon, door is about to hit him in the back, no loss and that’s a shame
    Bacuna – hard working, limited but gives his all and would provide solidity on one wing if the role is to protect the wing
    Sinclair – we got a player from Man City so surely the assessment from Man City is that he had the qualities needed at that level, can only be good for Villa, given time, he joined a team low in confidence from training with world class players

  184. GoG,

    When you replied as you did to my links, did you consider that maybe others hadn’t heard about them?

    Just wondered. If I post something it’s because I’m sharing, not because I’m trying to make a point.

  185. Yes John just mentioning that he spoke about this last night on BT , then perhaps people who have BT would go and watch the interview on FletchandSav and hear all of what he had to say including his reaction to Hutton tackle when he saw it. Unfortunately there are no links for me to post on this as it is encrypted BT footage.

    So if I reply to your posts I’m not trying to get one over you… merely sharing a bit more…

  186. GOG savage was as useall on his high horse having a dig at the villa – and i mean big time
    he was like a dog with a bone re the hutton tackle and was saying he shouldve got a straight red
    Savage is pretty biased about the villa and also talks a load of shhh most of the time imo — we don’t like him n he don’t like us

    Jen black man blushing here 🙂

  187. Ta Deano

    I won`t need a coach though as I`ll be going London-Bournemouth and back.Please don`t get me ticket for the game,not interested,footy has had enough £££ from me over the years,no more.If you could let me know when you lot ate arrivimg?Friday night?

  188. Steamer,

    That article you linked to on Gil was before yesterday’s match, expressing how there might be comeback on TS if we didn’t get a win. Well we did get a win (just!).

    Though I do like Gil, the formation last night looked pretty balanced and if it’s a winning side you can’t really change it.

  189. Runtings, the bloke is a worm. It staggers me that BBC actually pay him for his opinions particularly about the conduct of footballers. Do you remember a derby at Blues maybe ten years ago. Old bill went into dressing rooms at half time to tell players to calm down because it was about to kick off. First thing the worm did at the start of the second half was to cut one of our players in half. Should have walked and the ref bottled it. A waste of skin.

    Next Albion fan who mentions Hutton, tell them it’s payback for Alex Cropley. Another 50 of those from Hutton and we still won’t be equal.

  190. Changing subject what about the Sunderland fans singing about Adam Johnson last night? I like Sunderland as a club and I understand about the presumption of innocence and about loyalty to your own, but I’d be really uncomfortable with Villa fans doing the same in the same circumstances.

  191. Andrew P

    How dare you insult worms in such a fashion.Worms are a useful,productive part of the eco system,we couldn`t live without `em,……as for the one you are refering to……..whenever I see hi,or hear his inarticulate whine,I always check the soles of my shoes,he makes me feel I have stepped in something.

  192. Andrew (P)?
    St75 just phoned me, the Caribbean Restaurant is at St. Vincent Street West, Ladywood, its called Granny’s Original Menue and the curried goat curry is 6-50.

  193. Gobby Cabbage has just been let off on a second charge of speeding, 99mph, used the usual interfere with my charity work scam. Read a story once about him being cut up, he tailgated the bloke all the way to his street, flashing his lights and making gestures, Cabbage didn’t know the bloke lived in the same road and when he pulled up and saw him getting out of his car he thought he was going to get a kicking and grovelled just like noses do. When the vermin call you scum you know you are.
    Talking of vermin, serial lowlife, potato head, actually defended the assault on Ireland, no surprise there, he defended Dugarry for spitting on Gudjohnsson and Boyd for spitting on another player, what is it with the Blues that attracts scum as players, managers, directors and fans ?

  194. On Okore, I really like him. I love his pace and power he has for a centre back. He’s still only young as well. Berihino or what ever the twats name is tried to beat him one on one a few times and he got nudged of the ball with ease.hope he starts again on sat alongside Clark

  195. 3 below us all losing 1 nil.Everton too.Whatever happened to flavour of the month Martinez?Only 3 points ahead of us,mind you ,he has great experience of the relegation fight,he took Wigan down.Not being bitchy,but he is so overated.

  196. Steamer, flys are attracted to shit mate!

    Frem, agree 100% on Okore, he will turn into a class centre half IMO, it’s easy to remember a scuffed pass and that can make him look bad. I still have no idea how he intercepted that cross from Morrison to Ideye last night though! He’s still like 20-21 isn’t he?

  197. well l got a takeaway of the rice n peas and curried goat , got home and blinkin daughter had half , steamer might go back over tomorrow for some more and Ackee and saltfish , you’d like that . l will treat ya .

    Brasil . l aint going the game lm staying put in the pub at southampton , if you want to stop at mine when you drop upto Brum your more than welcome mate ,

    night Jenny xxx

  198. ave it from inside BH that gil and Sanchez are not playing because Sherwood is not happy with fitness the players have been doing shuttle runs foe 30 mins every day after training to get them fitter and gil and shanzez cannot keep up the team is picked from the fittest players at the moment can only think that this is true as sid says as look at gabby last night just 2 weeks of proper fitness training and you can see the difference they all will get a lot fitter from this training and it can only help them all it looks like gabby will get the weight off as he loves the shuttel running and is the top dog at it followed by Lowten and young jack the likes of gil and shanez will come back far better players when they are properly fit

  199. The fun of having a media friendly ego, sound bite, heart on sleeve manager is here again…
    We’ve had far too many years of mumbly nonsense.
    Have we turned a corner? Not sure… But hope has returned and Tim makes me chuckle, so it’s an improvement… UTV

  200. JD/ mark ….sounds frightening , if 2 stone overweight Gabby is the fittest (at this moment) then l can only think the others are as fit as steamer ,

    Steamer /sww get the evening mail page up with the photos from the albion game , 1st pic is fellow steamer Hog Mcgonagle ,

  201. Frem , now the mumbler has gone l will start next season going down whatever league were in , could’nt trust myself while that ejit was there, l would have got thrown out or got into arguments with happy clappers , you should drop into the sacred hearts club before the games as Ged is always in there with his son , he’s been in touch on facebook , and during the break we will be going to his local in Evesham (you and jenny included) . he has some great charity days ,

    lm off now to wind a few 6 fingered yam yams and noses at the post sorting office ))
    and l do hope l bump into gardner in the chinese takeaway this weekend ,

  202. ST75,

    Just had a gander but could not spot Hog mind you I doubt we could recognize half of our mob due to the aging effect although I have managed to retain my boyhood good looks.

    Do not diss Nelson House was my first port of call on Friday afternoon after payday to see what gear I could pick up, Brutus button downs were my favourite along with a nice pair of sta-press, you could not get better, in fact last time I came to Brum I went down the underpass just to see if it was still there gutted to see it replaced by a 99p shop, did they have a shop on Alum Rock just up from the Pelham.

    I am not sure I recognize AVL this week just lots of happy people talking about winning games it is a bit mental.


  203. John Doyle – That is a really interesting post which stacks up.

    Gabby looked like a different player the other night. If fitness levels (and I’ve heard this one before) are the reason that we are underperforming then that is pretty unforgiveable from Lambert. This is very basic.

    I have a lot of time for both Sanchez and Gil but have also got to respect Sherwood’s plan of only playing the fittest players, if that story is true.

    Sherwood, whatever his managerial credentials and track record, is like a breath of fresh air that this club has needed since the O’Neill days. All we had since O’Neill was a past it Frenchman and dour Scots.

  204. swv- come back at about 8 on Saturday if its still the same or worse, there’s talk of winning something!! go directly to your nearest pub and get happy pissed

  205. When Vlaar fucks off in the summer, I can’t decide who I want as captain – Delph or Clark. I would be very happy with either. Clark should be offered a new deal in the summer as he has been a rare bright light during this horrendous season.

  206. Fitness levels have been an issue for many years, as opposition managers would always bide there time until around the 60th minute, and then hit Villa with everything, and usually score. This was always the time that the team used to feel they were winning , and running out of steam. How many times were we in winning positions, and I think JL will bear me out here on the stats, and we ended up drawing, or losing by the end of the 90mins.

    The fitness levels could make all the difference to this squad, between now and the end of the season.

    Hopefully by Saturday, the team will be in much better shape, and give another full 90+minutes of solid effort. It will be great to be in a sell-out crowd for once, and for Villa Park to be rocking once more. VTID.

  207. also i cannot believe these are the same shuttle runs that keno wanted to implement and they all spit there dummies in the dirt just goes to show how much control lambert really had the players could do what they liked

  208. You give these spoilt prem players an inch and they will take a yard.

    With TS and Kev Mac there should be some respect now and put the players back in there box!

    10 games to go…30 points up for grabs. We need 13 points to get to 38 which should be enough.

    Need qpr to loose to spurs sat and us to beat blunderland and i may believe.

  209. I’m not as nervous regards Saturday’s game, as for me it’s a bit of a free hit , away from the pressure of relegation.
    I’m not looking forward to 6000 Six fingered scruffy yam yam bastards at VP, but would love to send them home with their tails between their legs and book a Wembley date.
    That Bournemouth weekend sounds messy, although judging by the age group that are going some of those blue rinses that live their are gonna get some action 😉

  210. JD very interesting points on fitness — just shows without the right type manager the whole thing goes down the pan
    avl is the brightest i have seen it —- boy have we suffered for supporting this club

    Hope any atempts i make at humor is not too unsettling – i am the least pc person ever i think and my collegues cring at my comments on a daily basis 🙂 — dont know how i get away with it really

    massive difference in gabby – i did wonder how that could be

  211. Mark,

    I might need a few drinks if this caper carries on I just hope ST75 sends the £20 he owes me.


    Was it petrol blue, had some lovely stuff in there back in the day bought my Crombie from moss bros white silk hankie and diamond stud how smart was the lads in them days none of your Lacoste bollox at £120 for a fecking t-shirt.


  212. A light bulb went off in my noggin when Delph was using a personal trainer. He played so much better then he got an England call. I can only think we must train hard preseason then slack off a lot. If you remember we always play quite well for 3-4 games at the start of the season then bomb, Gabby especially.

  213. SWV-Wouldn’t hold out much hope for that mate, he’s been buying axes, presumably for his electrical work!!? Anyone noticed more power cuts in brum than usual? You can get quite lot for copper.

  214. Mark,

    ST75 buying axes are work related I can guarantee it is for those customers who vary from his cash on demand terms and conditions, please read the small print when entering into a business agreement with ST75 it should actually come with a public health warning.


  215. The fitness thing does make sense. We had lost 9 points in the last 10 mins of games now we can but a +2 to that figure! We did get some ‘second wind’ in the last mins of the game which led to the goal and that can only be a positive thing for the future. If the reason why Gil and Sanchez are not playing is because of fitness then Id be onside with that, although I do hope both make an appearance Sat. We cant play the same 11 week in week out.

  216. just so we know where we stand for March

    Burnley home to Man City and away to Southampton, chance of points zip
    Leicester home to Hull and away to Spurs, chance of points 1 v Hull
    QPR home to Spurs, away to Palace and home to Everton, chance of points 3 v Everton
    Sunderland home to the Mighty Villa and away to West Ham, chance of points zip
    Everton home to Newcastle and away to QPR, chance of points 3 v Newcastle
    Villa away to Sunderland, home to Swansea, chance of points 3 v Sunderland

    Maintaining the required equal or better than the teams around us, we can relax for March and enjoy beating the Boggies on Saturday

  217. You missed Hull Darren

    Hull – Away at Leicester and home to Chelsea – points 1 v Leicester

    I think of all the teams above us, Hull is most likely to drop into danger looking at their fixtures remaining. Burnely and QPR got a nightmare fixture list. Leicester not so bad but they are far behind atm. Sunderland have the easiest along with Villa. Everton should be safe.

    Also think we are more than capable of 3 points vs Swansea, and think we will get 1 point against Sunderland… they are the draw specialists of the league drawing half their 28 games.

  218. Now that I would like to see Rubtingz 🙂
    As for your humour – I love it , bring it on ! 🙂

    Now TS is hands on at BMH he will be able to see first hand what’s going on. From what PL said , he entrusted training to his assistants . I know it’s not every manager that takes an active part in training but how does the mgr know who is performing well – he has to rely on his coaches .

    Yes the fitness has been an issue – I remember the shenanigans when GH banned mobiles in training (essential IMO) and the likes of Dunne and Collins has bust ups over having to train too hard .

    I remarked that Gabby looked slimmer so this is why – and he was like a rocket on Tuesday.

    Sanchez has looked slower , particularly in second half when he is visibly struggling to keep up. Gil surprised me but clearly TS has been monitoring them all and at least it is his decision not his assistants .

    Will be in Cardiff on weekend – somehow I don’t think my female friends will want to find a football bar – but if I engineer gojng back to hotel to change at 5 pm I might be able to sneak a look. Bad planning or what !

  219. Hahaa Mark as i alway tell everyone at work theres nothing wrong with speading a little chocolate luuurve 🙂

    D O R the fixture are deffo being kind to us and if we can continue to improve we could be in a relaxed mood come the end of the month

  220. PP How many times were we in winning positions, and I think JL will bear me out here on the stats, and we ended up drawing, or losing by the end of the 90mins.

    Yeah, confirmed – I agree. A lot of games is what I’ll say without looking at stats.

    However – whether it was fitness or lack of effort, or mixture of both, I’m not sure. They were certainly not motivated well enough, and if PL wasn’t doing the coaching, just what else was he doing?!

  221. Darren,

    On Sunderland – be careful here. People say they’re in freefall, but they’ve “only” lost 10, but 14 matches have been draws. Unless we produce a very good performance a draw is likely at Sunderland, I’d say.

  222. I think in the past as far back as mon we have faded in games, maybe the way we tend to play, chasing the ball then counter attacking takes its toll more than periods of passing which most teams employ, good teams mix it up. exercise is a good cure for depression too, better than prozac in fact

    runtingz- don’t be aiming your chocolate lurve this way i’m taken 😉

  223. how bad are Everton at the moment? if they end up crashing out of Europe they could collapse, or even the extra games could do for them, can’t believe they are 3 points above us!! I think at Christmas they were a point below us

  224. Mark, not sure if it’s just me, but if you aren’t going to VP I can understand people slinking off to the boozer to watch the game, but kitting yourself out head to toe in club shop tat to watch the game at home on TV with your missus. He should be sectioned.

  225. Mark,

    My point about PL was “just who was doing the motivational work on the team?”

    I thought that should be the manager’s job but we didn’t see much of it. Except a commentary of “they were brillian!”

  226. Mark,

    Everton have really (adversely) surprised me. Last season I was extolling them as a club but they seem to have slammed into reverse gear.

    We might even finish above them!

  227. Ree – you’d better ask Runtingz – he knows 🙂

    Mark – there was an article in the Bham mail where PL was interviewed and he said that he left all the training to Ian Culverhouse – who also played a big part in team selection he said – we only started seeing pics of him on the OS site , with the players at BMH when the IC and GC left – all smiling faces – and then came Keane ………..

  228. Runtingz- I might be Jen! have you ever met her? 😉

    Andrew P- what so nobody else wears their villa onesy lucky hat,scarf, coat and villa rabbits foot lucky charm at home? I wouldn’t sit down on my claret and blue settee without them.

    JL Lambert did give motivational sessions, every game for 90 mins to the opposition. I agree we deserved the win on the first half alone, reverted to type a little in the second. Cynic John? I’m just preparing you all for the inevitable 😉

    jen- yes I remember but recently when asked about who coached the mids and forwards he said he did and we didn’t need one ( am I now talking to myself runtingz?)

  229. Jen – Not sure I want to!

    Good to see Stan back. Sherwood is doing a good job with the Villa appointments. So far he has done little wrong.

    Great Video, that moment was just sheer anxiety and release. I locked myself away from the fam and just went nuts by myself. Wifey walked in looked at me like Im a mental case.

    As far as luck goes, I think we’re owed more. The luck we got yesterday made up for not getting that first half penalty, clearance off the line and hitting the post. Im feeling like now we got one piece of luck, others will follow.

  230. Runtingz,
    Always enjoy your views mate, funny too.
    You had that Jaytex on last time i saw you. Seems i was the only one with a made to measure crombie, and the famous sheepskin as well. Snappy dressers weren’t we, even S75 in his bib n’ brace and kajagoogoo streaks.
    Does Mrs Mark know your slagging off Everton ?

    I would expect a lot more disclosures about Lamberts reign to come out, an unfit professional EPL team is unforgivable but not, in our case, unbelievable. Just what did he bring to the table and how could anyone so useless survive so long ?

    Thought Petrov was already coaching at VP watching all the square and backward passes from Clevs and Westwood. I know i’m gonna get some welly but i thought he was an absolutely dire player and to be inducted into the AVFC is obviously ridiculous, there must be at least a couple of thousand more deserving Villans.

  231. sww you numpty he’s the first picture , there’s 2 sikh lads in front of him , boyish looks my arse and the sheep must have had skirvy the state of that sheepskin you had , remember Rosco 2-tone suit , think it was yolk and ketchup !!! and steamers cardi , was on about 82 today on the dual carriageway and him in his grey pringle , and the one-legged bloke , lol . and my ticket in the jeerman end ,
    B6B l did tell steamer that the blue rinses were for the women with Grey hair not blokes , its growing out though

    Andrew P , l like my cider )))

  232. Steamer
    my thoughts as well about Petrov , l can still remember lads in the social slagging him off and saying go back to celtic , l did pull a few up about it after the cancer thing raised its ugly head and it all changed about how good he was , lm with you on this one mate ,

    Blue rinse was for B62 not B6B , cant get used to this bloody tablet thing ,
    lm off for some more rice n peas , ladywood here l come ,

  233. Steamer,

    Anyone who can score from 40 yards (at Derby 2008) has a trick or two to relay to others in my book! 😉

    Not the greatest player, but he had his moments in my view. He was certainly a trier.

  234. Cant agree with you guys about Stan. I remember his debut for the club, think it was against West Ham away, he had an outstanding game. Things didnt work out well for him after that and he got dropped, MON was playing him out of position at RM and it didnt work. He copped a lot of stick from the fans, so did Barry at one point. Next season he came back stronger and had to reinvent himself as a deep lying playmaker instead of the box to box type he was at Celtic. He stepped up his game and was even better the next season, he was given player of the season iirc. By the time MON left and Houllier came in he was our most influential player in MF, then he was diagnosed and his career was over.

    I always rated him as a player, even during his shaky start. He was clever on the ball, could see a pass and dictate play. I only wish we had seen more of him in his prime.

  235. steamer- no but her brothers do and she’s a secret red even they don’t know.
    christ alight the indignity those opposition fans must of gone through! beaten up by a gang of del trotter lookalikes. if you had to hide quick you could of all huddled together in a field 😉 my mum had a sheepskin, don’t go there.
    I dont get the Petrov thing wasn’t at his best for us and I don’t agree that a villa connection is all you need to be a coach. I’d rather someone more qualified, fair play if he proves himself but we’ve done this before.

  236. I had ST for the last two years under MON and believe me when SP got the ball the crowd groaned, i’d say 80% thought he wasn’t worthy of a place in the team. Regarding the Hall of Fame spot, that really drags down its relevance, even in my lifetime there’s been numerous more worthy of a place. I have every sympathy with him and his family for his illness but lets not make him out to be some sort of demigog because of it, he was just another moderate player.

  237. Evening All,
    good reading the comments on here the last few months – always sums up the feelings of the fans very well. I have noticed a serious lack of good food references and cant think when S75 last posted a cocktail recipe, how times change.
    Nice video Mark if you freeze it on 23 seconds and go to the fourth row back you can just see my morris hat.
    Quite a bizarre feeling this week but the bags i know are still giving dogs abuse about the match, keeping my powder dry until this whole week is over, the signs are good but how many times have we seen that the last four years?
    My last thoughts on PL came from attending the Celtic Milan match the other week on a bit of corporate sleaze. Some of the lads were on the coaching staff and had played with PL. In their words PL was not clever enough to manage and obsessed with just copying everything that MON did. Well they could’ve told me three and a half years ago – fookin sweaties!!!
    Good luck to our new cockerney manager lets hope he is as good as the last cockerney we had lead us.

  238. Steamer – not often i agree with your football views aside from those on the dirties. You’re right about Petrov – he did not deliver for us, i was one of those you would’ve heard groaning about him.
    To be fair one of the other things the celtic coaches (and fans) were all agreed on was that Petrov was a real talent and that they could never understand how he did not do so well for us as he did for them.

  239. Steamer – I had a ST then too and I do remember it being like that his first couple seasons, I dont remember it being like that for the rest. He didnt get Fans player of the season and Players player of the season for nothing. I believe that was the second last season under MON. I dont think he’s worthy of a Hall of Fame place, thats possibly more an emotional thing cos of his illness, but theres no denying that he gave his all and had a special feeling for the club even before his illness. I remember a comment I heard somewhere that Stan was one of the few players who was visibly upset after we had lost, most didnt give a damn. He was our club captain for a good few seasons. He wasnt the best player but for me he was a good solid player, capable of playing with much better players than we had, capable of playing a much more expansive game than MON played. Comparable to Arteta, he wouldnt have looked out of place in an Arsenal team. So all in all Im happy he’s back in a coaching capacity.

  240. All this comes from an age old thing with the Villa Park faithful – if a player doesnt look like he’s putting in effort then he’s a lazy player, when in actual fact they aren’t lazy its just their way of playing, they use their brain more to think tactically and that’s perceived as being ‘lazy’. Only when they’re gone do you realise how much they’re missed. Barry got huge amounts of stick at times, so did Petrov. Westwood is getting the same stick these days. Look at the stats and it will show that they ran more than thought or expected. Petrov was a very good – not great – player for us.

  241. Very good post Ree, possibly, as you say,the Hall of Fame thing is bugging me, IMO recipients should be outstanding your Blanchflowers, McParlands, Hitchens, Riochs etc. Hope that wasn’t a nomination for Westwood though arf arf.

  242. as for Stan good luck to him but i have to say that steamer is right he could not lace the boots of the likes of sid ,rioch mormiter even merson

  243. Blimey Bib, thats three people who have agreed with me since AVL began.
    St75 was telling me about this Akkee and Saltfish dish today, must get Brendan to put it on the menu at the caff.

  244. JD,
    Happy birthday for last week, if i’d known i’d have got St75 to buy you a pint. Saw Basil over the town centre yesterday, reckons Chang lives up by the Swan Yardley, Bump intp crap Martin now and then at the garage and Johnson in Soihull, Blower lives in Varna, Bulgaria, saw him in Coleshill a couple of years back.Blimey, thats half a very good team there, a very dangerous one too

  245. Nah i wasnt nominating Westwood haha. I was just saying some people are under appreciated. Funny that the cancer made him appreciated more. I couldnt comment on the others gents before my time!

  246. never one to shy away from sticking my neck out Steamer, lets face it i sit with Andrew P every home game.
    Akkee and Saltfish? do go on……..
    Do you know what i think i may just go and get some beers in to watch the MOTD i taped last night, cant remember the last one i watched – oh yes early December 2014.

  247. Petrov turned into a decent DM not the role he played for Celtic. he had a decent shot on him and scored plenty in the jock league I guess the prem is harder and he had to adapt. I see westwood as being very similar just half the size and less sweat.

  248. Steamer saw Basil about 18 months ago as for chang aint seen him for over 12 years why dont you come down for the festival one day next week in cheltnham great night out with the paddys

  249. I think Petrov is a great role model and mentor for our players – particularly the young ones – and I am talking about his desire and commitment to play football over here – serving hot dogs in a Van to get by and learn the language. I think the fans will love to see him on the coaches bench at VP (if that’s where he will be) and I’m sure he is an inspirational figure to the players .
    Steamer – he was involved in the coaching fir a shirt term but then left to concentrate on his charity work .

  250. Bibulus
    l dont know really how to describe the Ackee , its feel could be described as like mozzarella , (what is the point of that cheese) but the saltfish holds it all together , another fav of mine was something my mom made which was white cabbage and saltfish (mouth watering) we need Runtins experience here , the chef/shopkeeper in that shop is an old Rastafarian and because of the lenth of his beard he wears one of them blue net caps on it , great bloke though , the portion is massive , they also hd something like a homemade pickle , onions ,toms and l think peppers , going there again sunday , he asked if id moved here tonight , lol, , cider blackcurrant and a big splash of Knobs creek bourbon , fucking lovely ,

    Jenny have you been on the vanilla vodka ?? xxxxx

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