Two of the Premier Leagues relegation candidates meet on Saturday at the impressive Stadium of Light.

But who will win what will prove to be an important game for both sides? With Villa’s results recently taking a turn for the better, improved performances and desire on the pitch. Sunderland seem to be bumping by with solid and scrappy performances at home.

Poyet is coming under serious pressure from the Sunderland fans, with many echoing the thoughts Villa fans had about Paul Lambert, negative teams, poor tactics and strange substitutions all capped off with a seeming denial that there is anything wrong. This growing atmosphere at the Stadium of Light can only be an advantage to the away team as fans start booing and start chants aimed at their own club. It’s often taken lightly by fans, the affect they can have on a game, but you look at the atmosphere for those two West Brom games at home, the vibes from the fans clearly gave the players that little bit more. I genuinely believe the players feed off the fans as much as the fans off the players… both sets need to give.

In contrast to Sunderland, Villa go in to this game with a renewed confidence, a renewed vigour… I expect Sherwood to want to set a high tempo but to also draw Sunderland in and counter attack with pace, exposing their lack of legs at the back. Cattermole is a big miss for them having been booked, and thus suspended in their last game.

It’s often games like this Villa haven’t performed, when we’ve come up against teams where we see no real individual danger from players, but ignore the fact they will be well organised.

Its difficult to see how Sherwood will see this one, Benteke may or may not be back depending on what you’re reading. If he’s fit though he’ll play, No question about that. Gabby looks to be working hard again in games, will never be world class but when he’s focused and confident he can do anyone damage.

Senderos, Vlaar, Baker, Richardson seem no closer to regaining fitness so the defence may well pick it’s self.

The midfield is the really interesting one. Sinclair looks to be finding his feet, and if he finds the Swansea form from a few years back there will be more to come from him. N’Zogbia is finding some form too, his directness, his power and ability to score from nothing with be a big factor and again. if he can find the form that we all saw at Wigan, we have a player on our hands there too. Grealish is being given game time, but is obviously ruled out due to the wrong red card he received – have we appealed it? And then the is new crowd favourite, but seemingly not fighting enough for his place Gil, clearly possesses qualities beyond most of our squad and could still have a big say in games.

In the central areas Delph finally showed us some form since coming back from injury. Cleverly has continued to impress me since Lambert has gone. His graft and work rate is second to none in the team. Westwood is my only slight annoyance in the team at the minute, I can appreciate his hard work and the way he reads the game, but something has to give with his dead balls. I bang on about it I know, but they’re just so poor. In tight matches dead ball situations can win games.

Sherwood has a lot of options in that midfield area, now’s not the time to be resting people, we’re in a scrap, we need our best out there fighting to keep us up.

On another note I’m so pleased the Gary Gardner has starting showing some excellent form for Forest, it’s been a long time coming to get back to playing they way we know he can, lets hope this is just the beginning and there’s much more to come from the lad in a Villa shirt. Just for those who have seen his recent goals…

Comments 82

  1. morning all

    st75 ” i’m bored of with winning streak 🙂 — love that 🙂

    gog – it’s another massive game for the club — a couple of weeks ago we surely would have been favoratesto loose the with the new found confiedence and the team get towards there capabilies i am actually expecting us to win — did i just say that 🙂

    Jen i will upload the funk either tonite or tomorrow then email you to let you know its waiting


  2. It was 2 yellows Graham, so the red card can’t be appealed. The referee was abysmal, neither were sending offs.

    I wouldn’t pick Benteke even if he is fit. Nice to have on the bench but the pace and threat of our front three in the last game made us as dangerous as we have looked all season. No need to change it.

    Delph, Westwood and Cleverley seem to be gelling as a midfield three. They pick themselves.

    If Cissokho is fit then he should come back in with Lowton at right back. Vlaar or Okore is a really tough one. I don’t really care which one plays but there will be no dislodging the magnificent Ciaran Clark. If anyone deserves a new deal in the summer, it’s this fellow.

  3. why change winning team,if they all fit go again as lambert would have said
    droyd why even think about playing vlar if he not staying, think ookore offers more in defence and attack don t understand media thinking vlar is a great defender how many good games has he played for villa

  4. Vlaar has had many good games for Villa. Has for most of his 3 year deal looked our best defender by a mile.

    His quality is not in doubt, his fitness is. I think we are now strong in the centre back department.

  5. droyd
    disagree about vlar has only managed about 70 games out of about 120 played with 2 goals his fitness is a joke only played about 200 games in career ,when has he made tackles like clark to give whole team lift ,looked good in rubbish worldcup in dutch side who had van persie and robben up front

  6. The Droyd/James Gill – I think Vlaar has been a good asset up to the point of the WC and his persistent injuries. There is no room for sentiment in professional football and we should be looking to cement the defence that has survived the last onslaught.
    Sunderland will be on the front foot, no mistake, and we need to take control of the midfield and silence the crowd – it’s not as vociferous as the old Roker Roar and is very much like the Villa Park crowd -easily turned into a critical mass.
    I agree with Droyd on the Benteke situation – keep him on survival rations on the bench until the time to unleash him.
    Delph is, in my opinion, a changed man wearing the armband – his assaults are now tempered with caution rather than raw venom.
    I’ll be waiting to see the result and, a longer wait, to see the semi-final opponents

  7. Its a long time since i read anything with so many positives in it, well done.
    I don’t know whats happening in the medical department but Kozac, Senders, Baker seem to have picked up routine injuries yet have been out for weeks/months, same with Cole who’s disappeared again.
    Quite happy to actually let a Villa manager select the team in recent weeks, he’s doing ok imo.

  8. for me a fit Vlarr is still our best centre back but his fitness issues means he isnt getting into any type of rhythem — are two young defenders though are heading towards become real class acts

    I would’nt drop tekkers for any attackers at the club — he along with sinclair and glealish all have genuine class for me and especially against the so called better teams are the guys that could make a real diference

    I think TS will continue to shuffle the pack though which is great and keeps everyone both on there toes and involved

  9. Have to agree with Runtings on Vlaar and Benteke.

    Vlaar is our most experienced CB and after what he did against Stoke and reading his comments after, he will be doubly pumped up to get that Clean sheet whenever he gets back into the side. I like Okore but he has moments of madness as well as brilliance, seems to always have one dodgy half of football – same as the team itself tbh – and when the defence is shaky it transmits onto the rest of the team.

    Benteke is still our best player. First half in the FA cup we looked like we didnt know how to play without the big target man upfront as an out ball. Second half we turned it around and we will have had more time to work on it if he’s not fit this week. But he is always an asset to the team imo. I expect him to play if he is fit.

    I hope a LB is fit, Lowton made a few errors there last match and Bacuna does not fill me with confidence on the other side.

    If Benteke is fit same sorta team as the first baggies match, if not then same as the second.

  10. I been reading up on Sunderland a bit and its strange to hear that Poyet had a go at his own fans for wanting ‘kick and rush football’. He apologised later in a letter but I dont think their fans are too pleased with him. This along with the FA charge and the Johnson thing means theres a lot of pressure on Poyet atm, wouldnt be surprised if he blows a fuse.

    Sunderland not having a good time of it, a lot of draws – the draw specialist in the league – 14/28 games. Only 2 wins out of 14 at home and 1 in the last 10. Lost to QPR 2-0 when QPR had failed to take a single point away from home. Cattermole out. Things dont look great for them, they have a decent run in but they need to turn their form around quick. We can take advantage.

    Wouldnt surprise me if it was a bore draw 0-0 and tbh Id take the point. Leicester vs Hull is a crucial 6 pointer. Cant see Burnley or QPR picking up many points against City at home and Palace away.

    We are more than capable of 3 points though.

  11. Damn, forgot Joe Cole is still a Villa player. Looks like the media has forgotten too, they never mention him in the injured or available list of players.

  12. Going into the game with renewed confidence but that nagging Villa feeling we’ll help a team that’s struggling as we’ve done in the past. The joy of supporting Villa.

    We are playing Sunderland at the best time, our own confidence and their poor form on paper should mean an away win, fixture wise this March shouldn’t see us back in the bottom 3 but how would 3 points be such a boost for us and our next game v Swansea

    I’d much prefer the Okore/Clark partnership to continue. Vlaar will likely leave in the summer so why invest in him now, let’s invest in the future, both are playing well, Okore may make more mistakes but i’d counter that with look at Clark last season.

    Benteke hmmm, clearly our best striker but also not delivering on his role, I think with Zogs and Sinclair supplying, he’d have more opportunity now to score, I don’t see Sunderland central defenders being that mobile and so the threat could be used to allow Sinclair to pop up with another goal.

    Anyway, bring it on, (written nervously)


  13. I think Poyet is losing the Sunderland players and that is good news for us. they need a win so they really should come at us, another plus with our pace. if we get going quickly and put a couple away in the first half I can see us getting a few with them chasing the game.
    The reality I think is they will be wary of our pace and sit deep in which case the crowd will get pissed off.
    In either scenario I believe we will boss the midfield and gil might be crucial to crack a pact defence.
    going for 1-3

  14. Reading the Sutton Observer last week, got to the property supplement and saw the tackiest pile of brickwork in Sutton, today its anounced that it was Lamberts pad, was it 3.8m ? and having Herbert living around the corner would knock a couple of million off.
    I think Slumberland will give us a real test, they have goalscorers but will miss Cattermole who is a very useful player but reckless, im going for 1-2 Villa.
    I’d play Vaar and Benteke definitely, Vlaars experience will be crucial and Okore does continue to make basic errors, maybe all three because Slumberland may well play a front three.
    Poyet has been disappointing with some of his decisions, the fee for Defoe was outrageous but he seems to be under pressure, the clubs owner regarded Lerner as a good example of ownership so maybe thats the problem. I’ve always had a soft spot for AFCS, i hope they survive but the signs aren’t looking good.

  15. Steamer,

    It was £2.8m but I know you are open to a little over exaggeration having said that you sound as if a career in real estate is right up your alley, take a look at Lamberts place up for sale and I give you the price for failure, what the fuck would he be living in if he had actually made a success of the Villa job, I just wished I had taken my jeerman coaching badges.

    So Steamer old fruit put in a offer not too derisory, disadvantages a load of stuck up snotty neighbours, advantage being able to walk round to Herberts gaff every night and do a shit through his letter box, quaint but bijoux.


  16. The fact that he’s got a place like that shows he’s doing alright. He would have got paid off at least 1 yr of his contract too.

    Mark – 3 Goals?!?!

  17. Ree,
    Onwards and upwards 3 Saturday how many at OT ?

    Really hope GG makes it at VP, we’ve lost some major talent to injuries over the years.

  18. Tend to edge towards Vlaar starting if he’s fit. I like Okore but Vlaar is still better at the moment. I wouldn’t drop Lowton either, really like him in our last 3 last games but he should be at right back.

    Who will be dropped for sat? One of the centre mids to go 442 or or one of the strikers to go 433? Benteke will come in but Zoggy and Sinclair shouldn’t be dropped. Gabbys pace will be lethal on counter.

    Decisions decisions

  19. Yep Graham 3 goals I got a whiff of lighter fluid as I was filling the Mrs candle lighter, wont happen again.

    more worried about Lowton at left back he got caught strolling with the ball where he shouldn’t have been, he was being Mr billy big bollocks, set the tone for the half of nervy defensive play. He’s lucky to have Clarke beside him but he adds something going forward.

  20. If Benteke starts Id expect Sinclair to be dropped and system back to 41212 diamond like it was. Thought it suited us well. Would like to see Sinclair get a run as a striker as he seems suited to the role but Gabby deserves his place for the moment. Nzog deserves his too.

  21. Btw I checked… last time we scored 3 it was a pre season friendly in July! And the only time this season!

    Last time we scored 3 in the league was home to Hull last season in the game that kept us up.

    I bet we score plenty in training though…

  22. Hi Steamer,

    Re the Kennedy’s,you are absolutely right and I made a comment on the previous thread. Old Joe was a hoodlum and Jack an incompetent and serial liar, but Ted took lying and cowardice to a completely new level. Nixon did most to end the Vietnam war and opened the door to normalising relations with China, and he and Reagan were the two best presidents in my lifetime.

    Re PL – if the £2.8mn house is the prize for failure, just imagine what Tim can expect! Mark say 3 goals and 3 points on Saturday. I can go along with that. In my view, thanks to TS we have definitely turned the corner and talk of relegation is all in the past now. I believe we can be finalists in the FA Cup and end up at 14th or higher in the league.

  23. Optimism is the way forward!

    Lets not forget things can turn sour real quickly. This time last year we were sitting pretty in 10th having just beaten Chelski at home. Then proceeded to lose 5 and draw 1 before beating Hull to stay up… 4 points from the last 9 games.

    Realistically I think we need 35 to stay up and that means a point a game. Id be more than happy with 4 points out of the next 2 games. We cant afford a slump now.

  24. sorry ree its the lighter fluid 😉 god knows what I was thinking there is rarely more than one goal a game between us and Sunderland but I’m feeling generous

  25. Mark for some reason I have a feeling this will be a dour 0-0. Dont know why. Maybe a goal in it and I pray its us!

    TS wont set us up to contain and defend but I think he will have players aware of their responsibilities. We need to play on Sunderland’s nerves, longer the game goes on goalless better for us. Or we can get that early goal and hit em on the counter.

  26. Ree – we have rarely seemed to have more than one goal threat on the pitch in recent seasons, TS has them all taking a chance,
    there are match winners in our team who have blended into the background during Lamberts time and I think this will carry on getting better. How many wayward shots have we seen this season alone? somehow we seem more clinical with the chances we create now so I think we are due some goals. that said there’s been an awful lot of draws and 1-0’s between us.

  27. Hello AVL!

    Nice write up GOG and very nice goals from GG. Hope he continues to make a difference.
    Two years ago it was 6-1 against Sunderland at home if i remember right?
    Now its time to beat them away 1-6 and fix also our goal difference! I know its a little bit optimistic but there havnt been much optimism lately so let it be!

  28. on Radio 5 live this morning at 5-15am l heard someone named Rico talking on the Business slot , that a person (didnt get his name) is looking to buy a British or Italian football club and he prefers a British as its an easier market . he has a 20/30% stake in Real Madrid , now l reckon our very own ORACLE – Mark could find his name out ( he does look like Johnny Vagas who has been on a very bad piss up ) AND!!!! it would seem he’s worth 24 billion!! . he never stated which British club . we can dream . as long as president ellis does’nt advise learner (( he who advised to leave the Man city buyers alone ,

    have a great weekend , Frem stay safe mate up there tomorrow

    Jenny xxxxxxx

  29. Frem
    l have come across 3 pictures of the villa team from the seasons 1990-91/1991-92/ 1992-93 , l got them from a bloke who produced the team photos and photos for the calenders. he gave them me when he noticed l was a villa fan , l rewired his printing work of place , the backs have all the names and signatures , l will pop them in the post to you over the weekend , some great names on there and all featuring GOD ,and not forgetting Ivo Stas !!!

  30. Ree,

    You are right things can change very quickly in football but you have to be has well prepared as possible, hence I completed the SHERWOOD OUT banners last night, early bird and all that bollox but that was my scout training kicking in.


  31. st-75 cant link any of the board at real linked to the forbes billionaires list mate and if he has that large a stake you would think he was on that board. can listen tomorrow on Iplayer catch up

  32. SWV- couldn’t of got many badges mate otherwise you would of planned ahead and made banners for all the potential managers we could have in the next ten years

  33. Mark,
    Unless its Amancio Ortega who owns Zara and is a Spaniard.
    There’s a Mexican bloke who has an interest in footy too.
    Either would do.

  34. Morning all,
    TS in his pressed yesterday with Pete Colley, was asked about potential punishments by the FA over the pitch invasion etc, straight away he said we are happy to re play the match!!!!! That’s the last thing we need, an extra pressure game, and if we lost it
    he would really struggle to motivate a crest fallen team, let’s hope it’s just a fine.
    Does anyone know which day we are playing ie Apr 18 or 19th or when it will be announced???
    Onto Sunderland and I think we simply have to go for the win, 3 points would be a massive boost, as April is a nightmare fixture list , I think 35/36 pts will do it, I’m not greedy I only want survival and the FA cup, not too much to ask really 😉

  35. Wonder what the odds are for us to win the fa cup Everton to win uefa and bothe get relegated.
    Everton looked so poor last night in the first half it cheered me up

  36. Mark,
    Possibly with the introduction of new methods and proper coaching Everton over achieved last season, i think they are in decline and expect them to be relegated in the next couple of seasons or if not, a period of serious struggle, shame really, they’re another club i have a soft spot for.

  37. steamer- I like Martinez but the chink in his armour is defence, once you work his teams out much like teams did with Lambert losses begin to mount. now players seem to have forgotten how to defend as in the moyes era, last night they were shocking at the back yet they have good players. Fear has begun to creep in much like it did with us and they have a lot of young players too. Like you say its and ageing side that was reaching its end.


    Aston Villa are unbeaten in seven Premier League matches against Sunderland since losing home and away in the 2010-11 season (W3, D4).
    Sunderland’s only goal in the six most recent meetings came from Danny Rose in a 6-1 away defeat in April 2013.
    The Black Cats have won just one of their last eight home games against Villa, losing five times.
    This fixture averages 1.8 goals per game in the Premier League era; more than half of those 27 meetings have only produced two goals or fewer.

    Sunderland have won just one of their 11 league matches since Christmas Day (W1, D4, L6).
    They have only managed two home wins this season, the joint-worst record in the division alongside Leicester.
    Gus Poyet’s side have drawn half of their 28 league fixtures.
    Only Aston Villa have scored fewer than Sunderland’s 23 goals.

    Aston Villa
    Villa’s victory over West Brom in their last league game ended a seven-match losing streak and 12-match run without a win.
    They became the last club in the top four divisions to earn a league victory in 2015.
    Tim Sherwood’s side had eight shots on target in the game, their highest tally of the season.
    Gabby Agbonlahor scored for the first time in 15 league games, while Christian Benteke ended a 10-match goal drought in the Premier League. Benteke scored and set up a goal in the same match for the first time in 14 months.
    Aston Villa have lost six successive away games without scoring a goal – a drought of nine hours and 58 minutes.

    3 goals for us then 😉

  39. Mark – spot on about Martinez, Iv always liked his philosophy and style of play but his teams have never been able to defend. Who forgets the 9-1? If Martinez could find a defensive coach that fits his style they’d be a great partnership. They should be ok though, nothing short of a calamity would see Everton get sucked in the relegation zone.

  40. Its a good time to be playing Sunderland… which makes me more concerned. The odds are in our favour which usually means we dont perform.

    I think the fact that they havent played in 10 days means they will come out a little stiff, we might be a little drained mentally and physically when the game gets into the final stretch. So it really does benefit us if we can get off to a quick start.

    The Benteke will he start question keeps the Poyet guessing. I think Pulis was expecting him to start last weeked and set his teap up with 3 CB’s to deal with the flick ons. Seeing Gabby up there on his own he switched to a 4 at the back.

    The way the team plays is very different with or without Benteke. Im hoping he starts.

  41. “Villa are absolutely shocking regardless of the circumstances surrounding them and they’re unequivocally a team we should be beating.

    “My year 6 school team had more organisation and discipline than Aston Villa. If we can’t beat them, then we are well and truly awful.”

    The above comments are from a Sunderland fanzine editor, timely comments that will hopefully be spit back in his face, I’ve lined up innocent Jonny Evans to do the spitting.

  42. Hi all re the last few comments re martinez ect

    i had a long conversation with my mates last night re forign managers

    for me martinez is flawed and i dont rate him – he took his last side down to boot

    citeh chelski and manure also have managers that i don’t rate anymore and think considering the sqauds and cash available they play boring, stale , negitive football

    Imo english up and coming managers are playing a more traditional way and there are a good few exciting young managers out there that like there teams to attack

    A good example of a brit manager currently in the top flight is brendan rodgers – as much as i dislike pool — but his approach would be more effective at the rugular top 4 teams than the managers they have , considering they nearly won the title with only one top draw player and the players he is working with now wouldnt start games for the top 4 teams , its a very poor return for the forign managers and the way they play aint exactly exciting condering the talent they have

    what do u reckon ?

  43. runtings,

    I agree with everything you say, and they are my feelings too. The traditional English way of playing a team game, rather than a team of individuals is returning. There is also a lot more young talent coming through, and we need to develop it as a Nation.

  44. Runtings,

    Not sure that I agree about Martinez. Haven’t Everton got some financial probs?

    If the side is (broadly) ageing then it rather indicates that they’ve not got the loot to invest in the next generation, apart from their own academy. Isn’t that more the reason? Jagielka (for example) is getting on now and I’ve thought he’s been slipping for a while now.

  45. Mornig Lifers

    I am pretty astonished that Villa fans are to be allowed to attend the game tomorrow.After last Saturday when orphans were slaughtered as satanic sacrifices in the penalty areas,and nuns were crucified in the centre circle.
    However tomorrow we shall win if we score first.Under Lambert I would predict a certain defeat,but now with MF players crossing the halfway line,I expect us to win.Any team with O`shea and Brown as a pairing will concede goals.
    3-1 to Villa.

  46. Brendan’s not British but I get what you are saying, problem is development of coaching/managerial experience for most UK managers is within the lower divisions as too many of the top jobs are given to established managers mostly because the financial risks are too great at this stage.

    Look at Eddie Howe, a name we would have welcomed to VP, do you think he’ll get a chance in a prem league team, as the league is split in 3, those that can win, those that partake and those that fight to avoid relegation, neither group can allow for inexperienced change, only Villa have bucked the trend.

    Catch 22 all over which is a shame

  47. JL- they have spent £60mil in two seasons with a better core of players and youth than us IMO they made a few bob on fellaini and a couple of others but have spent it so they cant be totally brassic with the tv money.

    I think everything makes a come back eventually, like fashions. moyes at manure wasn’t to impressive but should of been given the time. I suppose British managers will be being coached as the foreigners do but not the reverse.

  48. just got in and had a text off my brother , Chris’s fight in April is for the world championship title , in case any of the birmingham based lads/lasses fancy going ,

    mark will go on the pod cast of 5 live later to see if l can hear that blokes name ,

    sww give you a clue ?? you talk like one ))

  49. just finished a “bit of a ” spreadsheet on the premiership , weighting form and run in momentum as well as simple data extrapolation . I reckon that 33 points will be the magic number this year and furthermore if I can find odds somewhere of three teams not breaching 30 points for the first time ever in the EPL , it could be a very tasty little bet .

    best of luck to your nephew mate , please tell me he’s not a mealie!

  50. Villa through “n Through Prox , thought you’d won the lottery and gone , thanks for that mate .
    who’d have thought 33 points to stay in Prem , shows how bad it is , would be a good bet as well ,
    steamer forget about lottery lets go down the bookies .

    also steamer” Im in the mood for dancing by the nolans “came on today on that job and the owner came back early . you can guess the rest , think TC got pictures ((

  51. He’s probably right John, they are scared of leaving themselves open at the back pretty much as we did.
    the acid test for us will be playing a top team, then TS’s tactics might leave us wide open or not we will see.

  52. No , still here , keeping a semi- regular eye on you lot but I’m training for the priesthood so I’m practising my vow of silence .

    AAh the Nolans !! Must be some kind of adolescent conditioning, but the satin jumpsuits and the naff dancing get my attention everytime I see them on the TV . Forget Linda lusardi or sam fox , give me the nolans anyday !

  53. A merry Friday evening to you all.
    Enjoyed reading your article v much Graham and totally agree – the fans at SOL could put the pressure on that struggling Sland team and do them a lot of harm. Added to which – as you have said, Gus really is replicating Bon Jovi’s “the final meltdown” with his erratic behaviourspats with the fans and his embarrassing episode with Steve Bruce, This is not the picture of a great leader – and we will really see whether the players are on his side on Saturday too .

    Contrast this with Tim Sherwood. I had grave reservations on his appointment , but as each week goes by , I am more and more convinced that he is the best choice to lead us up the table and out of the relegation fight. THis has everything to do with his unshakeable self belief and the effect he is having on the players . In my eyes he has done everything right – from giving Nzog a chance and getting him playing to his forthright press conferences.

    Tim shows many traits of an extrovert which can be good provided the egocentric traits are kept in check. His self belief and his willingness to put his neck on the line in support will be fantastic for our players. What better leader than one who is prepared to stand up and be counted. None of this self protecting pre match clichés most managers come out with – the “they’re a very good team” just in case they lose to them. No way- Tim Sherwood talks about their weaknesses and our strengths. How refreshing is that. You will get the tendency to want to be centre of attention that extroverts display, but given that Sherwood was a great team captain at Blackburn, he will have learned to control these for the good of the team.

    I was delighted to read that his response to the “what penalty for the pitch invasion” was” “I am happy to play them again”. Brillliant- he knows whatever he says won’t affect the decision but his “play them again” is sending the most powerful message to the football world and most importantly, our players. That is “we deserved the win and we will beat them again – bring it on” This shows supreme belief in the team and that will send out positive vibes all round that dressing room. They are very lucky to have such a strong leader- one who is prepared to live and die by the sword.

    Interesting comments from the Sland fanzine – but how does he explain our last 2 clean sheets . We weren’t fazed by Berahino or Adeye were we.

    On Martinez – he has appeal as he is very good in interview. I like him but that is probably more influenced by his likeability. But he did set the attractive football style at Swansea – which they have gained from and whilst he did over see the relegated Wigan – he also kept that cheaply assembled team up for a fair few seasons. Look what is happening to them now.

    I think that Sinclair will play tomorrow – he has scored 3 in 5 hasn’t he. With Gus Poyet and Tim of Sherwood on the pitch side it could be an exciting dug out watch.

    The positivity and confidence has rubbed off on me and I am going for1-4. I was at VP for the 6-1 maybe this is influencing me.

    John, thanks for the psychological Martinez link- my pcwon’tload it – I will read later.

    ST75 – enjoy your evening petal x

  54. Good evening

    I’m going tomorrow with a couple of other mates who are massive Villa fans so I can’t wait but at the same time I’m not to confident how we will do, but then again, I didn’t have a good feeling before the WBA game.

    I still have this helping hand Villa in my Mind. If your shit, and need a win, play the Villa. Sunderland are indeed very shit and indeed need a win. I’m hoping this helping hand Villa will Change under TS and like he says, let’s drag other teams in the mire

    Up huge weekend. Hopefully Burnley will lose and QPR. I’m actually hoping Leicester beat Hull( only if we win) so we move above Hull and Sunderland. I’m also hoping Everton lose so we go level with them but the most important thing off course is we win our selfs

  55. I’m with you jenny—4-1

    I’m liking the spot Roberto is in. There is a chance that Everton could implode and end up as relegation fodder. I’ll go as far to say Villa will be above them in the table this season.

    It’s the complete lack of monetary control by the league that causes the table to be all strung out like your great aunties panties. A nice tight competitive league isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

  56. Thanks for the thought provoking article, Graham.
    Me thinks Villa will beat the Cats, and the Cats will end up in the relegation zone fairly soon.

    I think Jenny is right in claiming TS is a bit of an extrovert. His success depends on his ability to motivate the team, so far, so good. He seems realistic about our chances, don’t hear any unrealistic claims based on wishful thinking. Footy being what it is will leave it up to our survival to put a mark on TS’s season. I’m pretty confident now, we’ll stay up if we can deal with teams like the Cats. Next season will be the real teller for TS.

    I expect Gabby to get up for his 300th and have a great match. 1-3.

  57. all strung out like your great aunties panties. ))))
    nice one liner again Ian .lol

    you too Jenny XXX

    one saturday l got thrown out of nearly every pub in the city center because of that Nolans Tune , me, wizza, jb ,, percy, punchy . happy days . and any birthday ect , it still happens .

  58. loved TS’s presser honesty all the way, even said you don’t like to see diving but if you gain an advantage you’d take it if your honest.
    apparently he likes Kosak as a player and he’s about 2 weeks from being fit.

  59. I am convinced that we will win today – you can see the new confidence in the players since the departure of Lambert. What an absolute disaster that man was – broke every record for abject failure and even made Aston Villa the lowest scoring team in Europe. And when i saw his house for sale on the Internet I physically wanted to vomit. Apparently he lives in Scotland and was hardly ever at the training ground – flew back to Scotland after every game. A 3 million town pad – a reward for absolute failure – unbelievable.

    Anyway – good luck to TS and his new attacking style of football. No excuses or bullshit with TS. I loved his comment regarding the fans – we are the only people who are loyal in this game!

    Up the Villa

  60. RichardS,

    Didn’t Lambert also break the heart of every Villa fan in how he (and Lerner) surreptitiously squeezed pride out of the club. If that’s what coaches badges do for you then I’m Steamer’s uncle.

  61. Richard S – I heard the same about our absentee ex manager , which explains a lot. We have yet to see whether TS is going to be the complete package of tactician , man manager , talent spotter and other qualities good managers possess but one this is clear – his enthusiasm and passion is 100%. I’d hazard a guess that he is first at BMH – raring to go every day , and the last to leave . He looks like he’s loving every minute and he’s living every moment for AV. This is fantastic for the players and for the supporters .

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