With Aston Villa unveiling the new kit for the coming season, there’s a new beginning albeit one that will kick off in the Championship.
It is easy to become angry about the circumstances upon which the club have found themselves – relegation, dire football for years and a total lack of strategy has left the fans upset and frustrated. That said, what’s done is done and hopefully a new era will be ushered in under the ownership of Jiantong Xia.
Where the club will go this season is ultimately a mystery. On one hand, logic dictates that Villa will be able to bounce back given that the players in the team are not awful on paper.
On the other hand, the club did go down with a whimper and were amongst the bottom Premier League teams of all time in terms of points achieved.
The question is whether wholesale changes – akin to that brought in by Tim Sherwood at this time last year – is really the solution. Villa’s issue is they are stuck in a very difficult position because of a whole host of problems with which they have to contend with.
Sell lots of players and any new acquisitions will need to be bonded into a cohesive unit – the lack of cohesion last season was a primary reason why Villa felt very much like a group of individuals, and very little like an actual team.
Stick with the current group for the most part, and the question is whether Villa can actually do better. Sure, many of the players are clearly going to be better one league down from where they previously plied their trade, but there’s a worry that they won’t be good enough to get back up straight away. For Villa, especially in this time of massive TV revenues in the Premier League, there’s a real need to get back into the elite as each year in the Championship creates dwindling revenues as a result of incrementally reducing parachute payments.
Looking at Villa’s rivals – at least in direct terms of those who were relegated alongside them – Newcastle United seem to have taken the attitude of spending to get back out of trouble. This will mean that they will likely be strong in the Championship, but they are taking the same gamble that they did in the Premier League – a gamble that ultimately didn’t pay off, and which poses a considerable risk to the Magpies’ financial future.
Xia has already talked about a large amount of money being spent – up to £50m – although it hasn’t been clear as to whether this is £50m net or £50m gross, i.e. including any transfer revenue that can be generated.
If it is the latter, then much will hinge on exits. There are players on who Villa can cash in, but the more of the highly saleable talented players that are sold, the weaker the team becomes. Similarly, those who aren’t saleable will invariably stay at the club given there will be few interested parties and little to no motivation for players on high contracts to seek lower deals elsewhere.
If Xia is to offer £50m net, then he will be taking a risk akin to that of Newcastle. It could work spectacularly and yield an instant return to the top flight, but it could further weaken the club’s financial footing if that £50m is not repaid by increased TV revenues as a result of promotion.
So, with a new dawn ahead, there is cause for both optimism and trepidation. Where Villa go from here is unknown but, for many, the fact there is a new dawn as opposed to the previous bleak winter, is enough to be excited about.

Comments 223

  1. Hello Matt hope your well.
    It looks to me as though we’re going cheap and cheerful again, just the play offs to go for if we’re lucky. If that’s the case what about a bid for Adam Armstrong ? knows where the net is and can improve, he’s not going to get a game for Newky.
    Its too quiet on the transfer scene, i hope RdM has got the players lined up ready to finish the deals, i hear a Serb is on his way, hope he’s better than the last two. Possibly RdM is experiencing problems convincing players that the club has, hopefully, regained its pride and ambition after the Lerner years which are hard to live down, we need a couple of marquee players, not the likes of McCormick who can’t even get in an abysmal Scotland team.

  2. Nice piece as always Mr Turvey,
    How is your Irish passport application going , do you need a reference 🙂 ?

    For me the media distorted the view of Villa’s demise to an extent last season, the foreign imports a lot of which where bought last season bore a lot of criticism.

    Ayew & Amavi (when fit) where streets and miles ahead of Bacuna, Gabby, Richards & Lescott.
    Yet a portrait was painted that all the players we signed from abroad last summer relegated us. This may have been influenced by Sherwood’s mates in the media. I know Veretout didn’t hit the ground running but in the grand scheme of things it takes longer than 12 months ala Juan Pablo’s settling in period.

    The confidence of many from last year may be destroyed beyond repair but on the other hand Clark was woeful for Villa at times last year when he got a chance yet when he had an Ireland jersey on in qualifying he played to a high standard.

    The atmosphere around the club needs to change thus some players need to move on. We need some leaders and more importantly some fight. Youth will bring us enthusiasm and applaud Roberto taking a look at the younger lads.

    Xia wants us big in China and he knows the clock is ticking because more English clubs will be bought from China not least to mention now Inter Milan will also be vying for the audience as well. We need promotion first time of asking, the transfer activity of Palace in the last few days is a glimpse at how far we could potentially fall behind.

  3. Do the spineless gobshite Labour MP’s who want Corbyn to resign actually think that the electorate will vote in their numbers for Angela Eagle ? Just leave the party, you have no idea about democracy or socialism, just lining your pockets as professional nobodies.

  4. Liam,
    Possibly RdM will be the first Villa boss in years to not only give the reserves a go but persevere with them. Some of the talent that Lamebert let go was totally destructive, but others were just as culpable. Albri, Graham, Cahill, Davis & Johnson would have formed a more than decent backbone for years.

  5. Totally agree Steamer we seem to give up on players relatively quickly yet sign players who view us either as a stepping stone or a retirement home lol

  6. Steamer,

    It’s a fact – in my view – that there needs to a leader of Labour that can be heard, and (very unfortunately) Mr. Corbyn has lost the plot on reaching the actual electorate, rather kidding himself that it’s the Labour membership that is the *one* matter to be concerned about. or at least that’s how it appears.

    But nearly all of the other Labour MPs also kid themselves that they can do any better than Mr. Corbyn.

    If Jeremy could just correct that one (and maybe only) weakness he has, what a difference that would be … Personally it’s not a weakness but it is in the realm of communication to the doubters.

  7. Matt: “the fact there is a new dawn as opposed to the previous bleak winter, is enough to be excited about.”

    You’ve stated all salient points of where we’re at, Matt, but unfortunately we’re none the wiser just now.

    And, for me at least, I don’t see enough to get excited about *just* yet. Hopefully we’ll see a very different picture on the squad front over the next 3 weeks or so, but by then we’re already into the friendlies and it becomes a bit late to integrate new ones.

  8. I do John I’ve a couple of words in the Angela Merkel tongue 🙂

    Actually been taking French lessons slowly getting there.

    Who do you fancy to win this game ? I find Conte’s tactical astuteness fascinating but I reckon the Italians would have planned for Draxler

  9. Hey Guys

    I’s a really huge job this summer. We have hardly a few worth keeping. Some will stay because they aren’t so bad and we need a squad ( Westy, Rudy etc)

    There a teams getting strong. We need Guzan, Mutton, Sissy, Micah, Lescott, Sinclair, Gabby, Bacuna out. We need amavi, Ayew, Gana to stay

    if not, I worry

  10. Thanks for the leader, Matt.
    I’m not seeing much to get excited about, either. The business of transfers both in and out needs to liven up. Just imagine if they kept most of the troublesome players, and they failed again. Time, as always, is ticking away.

  11. Good on the Welsh. I’m not sure they’re a real underdog going in against Portugal. Good luck to them.
    John
    What’s this about Blair and the EU? What does he want?

  12. Trinity- Blair wants what he always wanted, Power, his name in lights and money.

    I’m sick of the parties tailoring themselves toward winning an election rather than have an unshakable set of core value to stand behind.

    Villa need in my opinion what they needed in jan, 5-6 good pro’s drop the idiots and use the youth to better effect.

  13. Trin,

    Oh, simply that Blair sees himself as the best Brit to lead the negotiations.

    I think he’s trying to get himself a good name, but when the Chilcot thing comes out next week it might be a different story.

    For a man that seems to have done so much to repair the Irish situation in the 90s, his Iraq foray seems out of character, but I suppose he liked the glamour of life at Camp David.

  14. JL- If he doesn’t it will be a long long season for him, the fans have not forgotten, he will have to score 15+ goals IMO to get anywhere near redemption and on recent seasons I don’t see that happening. He thinks we have an` incredibly talented squad by the look of it and if the boss can pull a wand out of his arse something might happen??? so it was all down to the other 4 bosses we had last season? sometimes better to keep your gob shut Gabby.

  15. “We didn’t perform as well as we should have done last season but if this squad under the new manager can perform to high standards I think we’ve got every chance of coming back up.”

    Understatement of the decade, dunno who’s the barmiest Blair or this knob, the fact that Saggy is still at VP makes me sick to the stomach, that he feels no shame should deter thousands from entering the stadium where legends have displayed their talents. For the new regime to welcome him back as though nothing has happened is truly shameful.

  16. Steamer- Or desperate? or no offer s for him? Its blatant he spent most of last season at logger heads with the clubs managers and appeared to not give a s**t, does RDM/Clarke rate him that much? or do they genuinely see a team in what we have? oh dear.

  17. Mark,

    We *are* one division lower. So one or two more signings at this level may all be what’s required.

    Though we surely do need to get rid of 2 or 3 more, I agree.

  18. Hi Lads,
    Thankfully Gabby’s comments ain’t on the official site. I hope Villa ain’t that guy, you know the one in the pub who keeps banging on about some bird who everyone know is taking him for a mug.

    Gabby, Lescott, Richards and Grealish took the club for a ride last year. And these guys are meant to support the club which is the most laughable part, in Grealish’s case one can give him some leeway because of his youth. This season is his make or break for me.

    The other three musketeers spent the season slagging off Villa fans on social media while relegating us at at the same. I would boot them out the door as quick as possible and I have a feeling Steve Clark won’t stand for their nonsense. Gabby must think we have the memory span akin to a goldfish, he pranced around Villa Park after scoring against Norwich as if it vindicated him taking a sabbatical for a season & piling on the weight.

    A club in Turkey or Greece would take him or when Xia buys another club under the Villa umbrella banish him there.

  19. JL- my view is they did not make a team last season and they won’t this even in a lower but potentially tougher league physically. Clueless at the back and clueless going forward I don’t think a couple of players would cut it seeing as Garde was after 5 in Jan, whats changed? worse still is imagine we got back up with Richards and gabby as our backbone, we would be on yet another huge rebuild. Get 5-6 quality pros in like Elphick and our flair players can make difference.

  20. Mark,

    Don’t disagree with you, but “what’s changed” since January is we got relegated! 😉

    No, I agree that putting out the same team as last season wouldn’t make too much sense, but I think we’ll see 2 or 3 youngsters given some scope – and (as Liam says) Grealish’s last chance, plus a couple of signings (either in addition to or including Elphick) will make a lot of difference – that’s half a team’s difference to last season’s, with Amavi also back.

    And this is a lower division, so that with better motivation (hopefully) from the coaches maybe we’ll see a real team playing.

  21. JL- yes we could scrape a first 11 like that but wasn’t that the problem Garde had? as soon as the guzans or Richard’s were returned to the line up the results dipped. Its a longer season and I think we will need more options not similar no matter the league. we have no real steel in midfield and no hitman up top to add to poor keepers and average CB’s at best.

    Heres one thing the EU got right 🙂

    http://www.naturalnews.com/054530_Monsanto_glyphosate_legal_threats.html

  22. PS if you are watching the Iceland build up its obvious how Tight a unit they are and how they are friends above all. Can we risk not being that again because of a few idiots?

  23. JL- Talked to my brother who’s in his early 30’s yesterday, I had seen he had put something on facebook about a second referendum. when I asked him it turned out his mrs got in at 9.30 so they didn’t vote 😉

  24. I hope Gabby goes. If he stays, hope he scores lots of goals, but it’ll be better if he were to go. Been at Villa too long, and the money has probably come too easy. I also doubt he has the stamina for the Championship even if he isn’t being disingenuous.

  25. Mark,

    I – for some reason I’m not sure of! – am a bit more opti that the players who failed so badly last season could actually do a lot better, and maybe the new regime may spark a bit of fear in them to do that. And I think Petrov will play, but maybe as a sub.

    On the EU matter, yes there are some things that clearly the EU does have going for it, and its those things that I thought worth staying in for, despite the problems that do exist.

  26. There’s a psychological element to retaining and using the same squad that got us relegated, there was no cohesion between the players and I don’t expect miracles from RDM in this regard.

    My preference given the suggested kitty is for RDM to find players who want to play for him, the club and the fans and extricating themselves from those contracts that belong to the players RDM doesn’t want.

    The championship will be tougher on what appears to be players either missing mental toughness or give a shitness, there is also a degree of quality required given the type of football played by promoted teams so I don’t fully go along with the idea that it will be battle first, football second.

    UTV

  27. DO’R,

    I don’t for a minute think that the starting line-up will be the same as last season’s – but the best 5 or 6 of that lot may well start, I think.

    If we were to get another right-back, midfielder and attacker that would be more ideal in my view, but I can’t see them all arriving in time for August.

  28. Tahibola from reading coming then for 5 mill. Tall strong DM. Clarke will know him. Better than Sanchez and will replace Gana.

    Hopefully we sign a couple of keepers and Right back next

    Gabby will stay. I find that insulting to the fans

  29. The entire club has a losing mentality imo, if you read the blogs and see the players suggested then you see just how much our standards have dropped. If RdM thinks signing a few unknown foreigners will change things then i’m afraid that Tones made his first blunder, we need signings that shout that the club is returning, similar to Newcastle, not pig in a poke guesses. I hope Rubbertoe is smarter than that, because if he isn’t then he’ll need a thick skin & a flak jacket.

  30. Steamer: “we need signings that shout that the club is returning, similar to Newcastle, not pig in a poke guesses”

    Yeah, but such players have to be persuaded to come. Villa have already had to withdraw from interest in Robbie Brady because he’s being lured by Prem clubs for a big sum.

    In my view the impact players will only come when we get back to the Prem … it’s not like 1972, unfortunately, when we got the likes of Nicholl and Ross in our 3rd division days. And Rioch too, not long before when struggling at the bottom of Div 2.

  31. Steamer,

    Sorry you were comparing us to Newcastle. Yes, a fair point, but my previous response stays the same really. I don’t see why any players of sizeable reputation would want to come to Villa – just yet at least.

    In fact if we think back to 1974/75 time it was through giving some youngsters their head (Little, Gidman, Leonard, McDonald) that made a difference. Perhaps the same may happen now.

  32. John,
    Brady’s coming off a good tournament, but i think there are players with good reputations currently in either EPL squads or the Championship if we offered good wages and showed that we had the intentions of actually making an effort or, as Liam alludes to, the takeover was a little underwhelming.

  33. Steamer,

    Yeah, I hear what you’re saying – but I do not have faith in the money principle at all. It rarely works.

    Hunger is the key-word i.m.o., and that means a few youngsters who want to impress, not players who might come just for the sake of getting a good hand-out.

  34. John,
    I think Xia should really comprehend the weight of some of his promises he made the last few weeks.

    Top 6 in the premiership in less than 5 years
    Top 3 in the world in less than 10 years.
    And the most supported foreign club in China.

    Chinese investment now includes: ADO Den Haag, Atletico Madrid, Espanyol, Socheax, Man City, Slavia Prague, Inter Milan and Wolves are about to become the biggest heavyweight of all Chinese investment according to reports.

    I think a statement of intent is required of some sort after such lofty publicly communicated ambitions.

  35. So Klopp’s personal request allows them to sign Grujic who doesn’t have the requirements needed by the FA, yet, Villa were turned down with the Croatian GK ? seems like a case of corruption to me or don’t the rules apply to everyone ? I remember at the same time Chelsea signed a yank who hadn’t played for the USA.

  36. Wish we would buy some players I could spell 😉

    Wolves bloke He Xiangjian is worth £7bil he’s 73, makes appliances, not personally obviously .

  37. I think ts defiantly twist Matt

    It would be nice to keep Ayew and the French boys if they want to stay but most of the other senior players need to go imo

    Early gays but i like the players linked and reckon it won’t be difficult to =,improve our squad

    Gabby has promised to try — wow….. regardless as to whether he has turned a new page or not . the way he behaved last season is a major factor in is not being a premier side now imo
    I couldn’t ever forget that even if he scored lots of goals —

    see the latest links are a few keepers and a french 21yr old wing back

  38. I hope we start to up our transfer in and outs, only 33 days until the season starts. Others are recruiting well, the reality of where we are is hitting home , with the tickets going on sale for our home league game against Rotherham and some of the players being linked.
    I’m hoping for a couple of players coming in that really catch the imagination and set the fans pulses racing, we have endured some real s**te over the past few years, none more so than last season. We are one of ( if not the most) expensive teams to watch( ST wise) I’m hoping for a lot more VFM for my £500. Whilst I’m not panicking just yet, I am apprehensive about this coming season and its importance, I don’t think it will be our last, there is just too much work required for a quick fix.
    I see Wolves are going to be a big player with their own Chinese takeover, the bloke is worth a staggering £7bn, do we even know if our new bloke has any real funds or just smoke and mirrors? He has made some very bold statements of ambition and targets, only time will tell if they will be fulfilled.

  39. Good moaning,
    Lots of speculation about signing Ravel Morrison what do you think ?

    Also it looks like the fat waster has conned yet another manager, again what do you think ?

    Just poached Southampton’s sports analyst.

  40. Morning avl

    steamer i think ravel is deffo worth a punt – hopefully rdm and his team can motivate him as he definitely has a bit of talent , which is currently going to waste

  41. Steamer
    I guess it’s worth giving Morrison a go. He’s had a few clashes, as you probably know, with the law. Hopefully, he’s not full of himself and has grown up since beating up the ladies.
    As for Gabby, he’d be better elsewhere, been at Villa for ages. It seems funny that a couple of years ago the club were trumping him up as a legend. I used to support Gabby. Lastyear changed that.

  42. Very strong to his left but keeps the ball in play rather than knock it away. doesn’t seem to command his area either, remind you of someone ? Our new GK coach recommends him so he’s the expert and that’s ok with me then. I think we’ll need commanding defenders with this bloke though.

  43. Trin,
    I agree mate, he could have been booted for his pathetic performances but his blatant lack of effort and attitude, i would have thought, deserved the welly and probably would have at any other club. He’s so thick though i doubt if he’s learned, the club isn’t getting any more of my cash while they insult the fans.

  44. Gabby’s hardly a mentor for the likes of Ravel, is he? I’m hoping the new player from Bournemouth will make a big difference in the role model department. Someone has to.

  45. I’d avoid Morrison like the plague, terrible attitude that has caused him to bomb everywhere he has been, we are trying to get rid of this mentality within the squad, not add to it. He is a waste of money and a squad place, talking of which I see the unflushables are still here including fat gabby( they all need to go), to see Gabby, Richards, Lescott and bacuna training is a shot to the solar plexus, I hope they are gone very soon along with Guzan. Looks like the lad from Hellas Veronas, gollini is a done deal and we are still looking for another keeper!! Bunny looks like he will go to Leeds and Adama Traore looks like he is off. I suspect Ayew won’t be far behind nor will gestede. Is Kozak still here??? He can go aswell we need a revamp and some quality brining in, the money Wolves have could be s game changer( £7bn) they could be the new Man City!!!

  46. That’s right, he’s likely changed his mind. Still hope it’s just the media, and he stays. If he wants to go, he should go. Why Galatasaray, though?

  47. To be fair to Ayew, it quotes from his agent or ‘according to his agent’ and nothing from himself, on the other side would you want to stick around knowing the likes of Gabby, Guzan, Lescott, Richards are being kept on (for now).

    Lets hold fire until we see them in another shirt. Agents only make money off the back of player moves so they’ll always be touting their clients.

    UTV

  48. Darren,

    It depends on what you read, perhaps…

    See http://www.footballinsider247.com/aston-villa-transfer-news-ayew-wants-out-of-villa-park/?

    “It is reported that the striker has told his agent to look for another club and that Galatasaray has been informed the player is happy to move to Turkey.”

    In the same breath, though, a loan is being touted as the most likely outcome as the Turkey club can’t afford the £9m Villa paid for Ayew.

    So it may all be hot air, anyway.

  49. Frem,

    I’m not inclined to be so happy to see Westwood go.

    Particularly at this level I’d see him being an asset, and he was improving towards the end of last season – perhaps the only player who was!

  50. I fail to see what Westwood brings to the party, he doesn’t really create, he doesn’t break up play or get stuck in, doesn’t score goals either, that said given the ridiculous fees premier league clubs are paying( with their new found wealth), I think £6m is cheap for a tidy but ineffective footballer in our set up.
    As for Ayew, I think he will be gone, if we get our fee back I’d be happy, if they don’t pay he doesn’t go simple. The team we had last year will struggle in this league, let’s not kid ourselves the only revolution at VP has been at boardroom level. We KO off in 32 days time and have only brought in Elphick, meaning it’s looking more likely the majority of the team that were so woeful last season will be the side this year. If we don’t bring in players with the right ability and mentality, we will be little more than also rans or even relegation strugglers. This is an extremely important season, if we don’t even make a real good go at promotion , the club could end up like so many other fallen Giants ie Leeds, Sheff weds etc. that’s not to say we have to win the league or gain automatic promotion, but have to give it everything we have got.
    Players like Bacuna should have been paid off or sent to the glue factory, absolute wankers who have no interest in anything other than themselves, the longer useless s**ts like this stay around stinking the place out, the less optimistic I am about the upcoming campaign.

  51. Agree B6B, we should have any new signings integrated well before the Austrian tour.
    IMO the current staff are approximately a mid-table Championship team and talking to various Villans they’re losing confidence in Tone and Rubbertoe rapidly. It seems like another bs regime similar to Herbert’s, i remember him saying on tv that Villa are bigger than Untied. That’s one thing Villans can recognise, bs.

  52. On Wastewood, the bloke is so limited its amazing that we might get 6m for him, if any pro can’t play Wastewoods role then he shouldn’t be in the game, what exactly does he do ? i can tell you what he can’t/doesn’t do –
    Score goals
    Create chances
    Take decent dead balls
    Win tackles
    Win headers
    Beat players
    In fact he’s crepe.

  53. 30 Days until kick off and I struggle to see what has changed at VP, we still have the majority of the dross that took our club down and the rebuild is slow to non existent, RDM is starting to find out just how difficult the task ahead is going to be and we are going to find out very quickly if he is up to the job or if he is not getting the backing that he expected, Newcastle seem to be doing all the right things to get out of this division at the first time of asking and we seem to be doing everything that tells me we will be in the championship for years to come.

    Whats the Chinese word for Urgent, we seem to be plodding along as if we have all the time in the world, I know the landscape has changed and we do not have players queuing up to get into VP but for gods sake this is Aston Villa surely we still have some pulling power.

    I tend to agree with Steamer have we been duped by the good doctors bank balance, is the money there to rebuild the squad or are we looking at damage limitation foe next season, the signs so far do not look very good.

    SWV

  54. We were linked to Matty Phillips last week, well he signed for the Albion today. We are always going to lose out to the draw of the Premier League, no matter what the club. Looking at other clubs it is apparantly just how far we have plummeted and how far behind we are. The bottom half clubs in the premier are spending , some like palace spending huge sums. In the championship we are up against a decent Newcastle side , who are spending big and early and have an excellent manager( far too good for this league) and really settled sides who narrowly missed out on promotion. The team that went down last year will struggle in this division, yet I don’t see any great revolution or urgency. Stupidly I renewed my ST early to get the 0% deal, however it already looks like £500 p*ssed up the wall, with fixtures clashing with work and no change in the squad( other than links to the likes of Ayew, Traore, Amavi etc leaving)

  55. very worrying assessments lads

    Clubs like Newcastle were always going to be ahead of us as they already had a decent squad , unlike our squad which clearly has a massive rebuilding programme ahead if we are to become anything like a good side

    not sure if a few weeks is enough time to do the kind of changes required which is possibly more than any other club needs to do in any of the divisions

    If some of the decent players start jumping ship then that would be a sign that they are not convinced of any pending bright future

    staying positive for now though and wont be kicking Tony and the management until there is genuine cause to do so

  56. What a lying, spineless weasel Camoron is, the perfect example of how the elite protect one another.
    Blair Guilty, one way ticket to the Hague or a lifetime with Cherie, i’d take the Hague, unfortunately he’ll continue being paid millions by USA AND British companies, they should remove his bodyguards ( paid for by the British taxpayer ) and drop him in the middle of Alum Rock at 10pm.

  57. Steamer,

    The establishment protects itself, doesn’t it?

    After all, if they would as dare to smack his wrist there would be fear in their circles that it would precipitate a revolution.

    But in his (very) partial defence I think we have to say that the Iraqi deviation was a gang-based operation, not just one person’s responsibility. Hans Blix was just pushed aside to do what they wanted.

  58. Steamer,

    Man for man I’d say that Wales are every bit as competent as their opponents, bar the fact they have a couple out following too many yellow cards.

    If the unthinkable should happen (Wales win) could Wales find the nerve to play up in the final, I wonder!

  59. Steamer he look the business doesn’t he, shoots like Der hammer 🙂 if him and GG can get there scoring boots on we will be a threat from distance at last if nowhere else, Big lad too.

  60. Mark
    Doubt it’s accurate now, but it would have been until recently. It shows how badly managed AVFC has been. They need to get rid of other grossly overpaid and long time under-performers now.
    Two strikers, now I know what the avatar is about:)

  61. Hope Sucic is the goods and signs for Villa. Just hope he isn’t another Tonev, and the video doesn’t show the 60000 shots he missed.

  62. Just listened to Mr Corbyn’s speech in response to the Chilcott report. I was impressed by his clarity and sincerity. I doubt the real perpetrators will be brought to justice. The American ones have proven to be untouchable.
    Today’s refugee problem is directly related to the decision to invade Iraq.

  63. Hi All ………………………….and you swv
    Brasil if you got my email can you send a message or is it still the villajoe one as Ged has lost all his contacts and wants to get in touch mate , hes doing 22 press ups everyday for 22 days for a charity, its on facebook and just watching it bolloxs me , hope all well over there mate .

    waiting to see what we have at the start of the season before commenting ,
    did anyone listen to Radio 4 yeatsterday about the chinese buying clubs up , wolves , 7 billion owner !!! and one has bought milan , and looking at other clubs , lm still to be convinced by Tony Corolli …..
    have a good weekend all
    ps l find the England fans having a go at wales a bit of a joke , they got to the semis , we got where exactly ?? yeah we beat them zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  64. Trinity: “Today’s refugee problem is directly related to the decision to invade Iraq.”

    Yes, and of course it stimulated the Daesh/ISIS thing too, though Blair has tried to play that down.

    Corbyn has always been anti-war, of course, and it’s that stance of his that recovered many Labour Members from those who dropped off as a result of 2003. If he were to be more statesman like he’d be a fantastic party leader i.m.o. But he has qualities that Blair/Camaroon never had – mainly based on sheer integrity.

    I see that Blair’s No. 1 supporter (Cameroon) has been trying to play down the issue of blame on the Iraq matter, partly perhaps because he did almost the same thing with Libya.

  65. Great post about Jezza John. 600,0000 members in the Labour Party now. Corbyn keeps on proving the doubters wrong and i wouldn’t bet against him winning a General election especially with the mugs that the Cons are putting up. I’d love it if Jezza de-selected all these treacherous toerags, most are unemployable. The more he gets slagged the more votes he’ll get.

    Have they strung him up yet ?

  66. The full travelling party for Austria below. Not sure it infers much.

    Mark Bunn
    Jed Steer
    Tommy Elphick
    Nathan Baker
    Joe Bennett
    Micah Richards
    Jores Okore
    Joleon Lescott
    Alan Hutton
    Jordan Amavi
    Aly Cissokho
    Leandro Bacuna
    Idrissa Gueye
    Ashley Westwood
    Jordan Veretout
    Gary Gardner
    Carles Gil
    Jack Grealish
    Scott Sinclair
    Gabriel Agbonlahor
    Jordan Ayew
    Libor Kozák
    Rudy Gestede
    Stiliyan Petrov

  67. Oh, ta Mark, forgot that he was the only Villa player on duty in the Euros!!

    Good to see Aaron Hughes and James Collins play a little part. Very sad for Wales; I think they missed Ramsay.

    Mark – can you send me your latest e-mail address? Your old one has gone funny on me!

  68. JL- will do its still the same though 😉

    That is a great post John, What he is talking about is exactly how I see our future. The stars is one place we have to start moving towards and that will drag everything else along IMO. If we can get people connected again we can solve so many problems, the modern disease of I’m all right Jack has to go. The vote for out may end up being a vote against stagnation and benefit the world, how much longer can the rich sit on their pot of gold and cause not only hardship but a kind of slowed progress?

  69. Mark,

    Yes, Liam is an MP worth listening too – a good brain and he’s a man of integrity too.

    He’s just written a book – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dragons-Ten-Entrepreneurs-Built-Britain-ebook/dp/B00PULYUW8

    The thing is where I would differ is that Liam speaks along conventional logic lines employing positive thoughts. And that’s fine. But I’m not sure that he’s addressing *all* the issues that need to be considered in my view – like sustainability of growth, and also a rejuvenation of ethics in business. And I think it’s those larger – broader – issues that politicians need to incorporate in their forward looking ideas.

  70. JL- There are a lot of Entrepreneurs with the right values who base their business around sustainability etc. There are some incredible ways of feeding the world while looking after the planet and providing Jobs. If done right we could get to the place they thought we would be by now and working a lot less. Technological progress without thought for its impact such as Fracking should be binned thats were I hope our so called isolation may lead, new clean energy sources for self reliance etc. Maybe Blair being exposed as a nut case may help people see what we are dealing with along with macaroon, lackys for the Americans. How we gave the job to a man who made a living from defending criminals I’ll never know. I see the Mayor of London is upping the zone price to £32! to make london cleaner, why don’t they promote petrol cars again then? far cleaner 😉

  71. Mark: “There are a lot of Entrepreneurs with the right values who base their business around sustainability etc. “

    Oh, yes, Mark – I’m aware of all kinds of green shoots popping up.

    But what we don’t want – surely – is those green shoots being swamped by the weeds that have been growing for too long. 😉

    Apart from which the pyramid organisation of society – the many subservient to the 1% – must change.

  72. Steamer
    And he’s not talking bs, either. They’re going to come kicking and screaming. He made a good point about many of those who voted out. Why would they vote remain when they feel they have nothing? They’d prefer uncertainty to nothing.
    A couple of years ago while in Naples, I noticed a very long queue at the post office. An old lady told me they were lining up for their dole payments, which if they’re lucky they’ll get for six months before being cut. She went on to say that officially 25% of 18-25 year olds in Naples were unemployed. She said the real figure of unemployment for that age group was really close to 50%. Because of the culture a lot of young unemployed just live with parents and don’t register.

  73. The recent cases of Oscar Pistorius, Hilary Clinton and Chilwell only confirm that the establishment is above the law. Days before Pistorius escaped with a six year sentence for murder two kids received 15 years for stealing 27$ worth of sweets, the mandatory sentence for murder is 15 years, OP will probably serve 3-4. This inequality is one of the main reasons why the world is embracing anarchy, having seen the shooting of that man in Texas you can understand it.

  74. Has the world gone completely mad £5m for a player who has played 23 times for Hartlepool and 13 times for Reading or has the good doctor got more money than sense.

    SWV

  75. Thanks for posting the videos.
    Good on Robin Cook and Tony Benn for doing the right thing. Sadly what they thought was about to happen happened plus a lot.
    Sounds like Tshibola is coming. Sounds like a cyclone, Cyclone Tshibola.

  76. I’ll leave Brexit to you guys to debate, as i don’t really know what it’s like living over there theses day’s only what i hear from my old Mom, Brother and my nieces and their family’s. I do know with the exit the girls are looking at Canada, having a daft old uncle over here.
    Back to the Villa, i would be happy with promotion be it direct or play offs, we have had our fair share of Wembley trips really. To the younger supporters, hold in there, it’s the downs that make the high’s so much the better, as most on this site can agree. We have all seen the dark and some fantastic days in the old third division and i cant off the top of my head remember a decade with out a promotion or a trip to Wembley, and i was born in 56, John would i be correct? We have been champions of Europe and played in the very last cup final at the old Wembley. We have won the cup with the extra handle a few times and been robbed by the ref against Manure. So our mane is there all through the history books and will be again. My only disappointment being i was only 6 months old when we last won the FA Cup, so the club owes me that and this season would be nice icing on the cake if we were to do it now.

  77. Canada: “i cant off the top of my head remember a decade with out a promotion or a trip to Wembley, and i was born in 56”

    Technically, no, as we didn’t get to Wembley or get promotion in the 60s, unless you include…

    1. 1959-60 Promotion (yeah, OK, that’s 60s I suppose!)
    2. Winning the Football League Cup in 1961 as that wasn’t played at Wembley then.

    You make a good point, though. As fans we’ve complained a lot that we haven’t achieved much these last 20 years, but we’ve had a bit of excitement every decade. But I don’t think we really turned up in the finals of 2000, 2010 and 2015.

  78. The Dutch are pushing for a referendum this chap is against it. Typical of the control politicians like to have over us.

    Advocates of remaining in the union agree. “In my opinion, you don’t ask your people to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when you don’t know where such a vote will lead,” said Alexander Pechtold, parliamentary leader of the pro-E.U. Democrats 66 party. “Look at Britain. It’s too much of a risk.”

    This one has it spot on but someone had to nudge the Barstools and it was us 😉

    Jesse Klaver, the leader of the GroenLinks green party, said the solution to the “very disturbing” increase in Euroskepticism was not leaving the E.U., but doubling down on commitment to it.
    “I understand that people are angry, but it is not the fault of the E.U. or refugees or immigrants. It’s the fault of the sitting political elite,” Klaver said in an interview. European leaders have focused too much on big business and have failed to ensure social and economic equality in their countries, he said.

  79. Pat Murphy reporting we are not in for Bamford or McCormick!! RDM does realise we only scored 27 goals last season and the forwards on our books couldn’t hit a barn door??? I also think Ayew will be off leaving Gabby, Gestede and Kozak as our senior strikers, they will hit 15-20 between them if we are extremely lucky, none are particularly impressive. We also lack creativity and a real spine( although in Elphick and Gollini I hope he is starting to addressing this). With 30 days until kick off we are nowhere near ready for this league and unless things change quickly on the transfer front we will struggle to even get in the top half let alone push for promotion.

  80. B62,

    I don’t think the signings have ended yet (it’ll be 3 once tomorrow is over by the looks of it), and RdeM has already said that another striker is needed.

    I agree that all is not as hunky-dorey as we might have hoped, but on the other hand I think Villa have players that will show up a lot better in the Championship. The new ones now arriving and still to come will make the needed added difference, I’d think.

    There’s also the factor that the new regime has stated it’s not going to tolerate ineptitude nor wrong attitudes, so the squad know where they stand on that score.

  81. RDM has also got 3 strikers from the youth team with him (Green, RHM and Harry Mckirdy), I wager at least one will make the step up maybe 2 as ones a winger (Green) and played last season. Xia has said we will use the youth as well so lets see. Clarke promoted youth at WBA and Reading, coupled with the right players like Elphick and the best of last season we may have a team yet.

    I see Cameroon wants to stay so he can have the G20 summit as his swansong!? bin him now the self serving Tory prat. He’s gibbed out after giving the referendum to the people and not getting what he expected, can we get a reduction on his final salary pension please ??

  82. Mark,
    Was that Dick Advocates in that article ? If Klaver said that what would he say about the Tories ?
    That USA thing is terrible, it’ll get a lot worse, gunlaws needed, Mr Dillon & Chester.
    B62,
    Agree, we’ll still concede, pass endless square balls in MF and struggle to get a shot on target, i don’t see any great improvement in any aspect of the club yet.

  83. steamer no mate it wasn’t him it was Alexander Pechtold, USA have huge problems financially too, Brexit gave them a good excuse to remain at 0% interest rates, must be time for a war.

  84. JL,
    Very good read about Blair, i stopped voting Labour the day he was elected leader, if i could spot he was a bad ‘un why couldn’t more educated folk ?
    Do you remember the Saatchi & Saatchi poster campaign depicting him as evil ? they withdrew the posters but looking at his recent pictures he really has the look of evil. Wonder why Blair and Straw didn’t send their kids to Iraq. ? Straws kid is now a Labour MP as is Kinnock’s sprog, look after each other don’t they ? along with Blunkett, Prescott & Brown New Labour, New vermin, not a principle between them
    Regarding clause 4, i thought John Smith initiated its removal but then tragically died , maybe not.

  85. Judging by all the squad pictures and training pics, it seems the unflushables are going nowhere and yet another manager has either been duped or believes he is the one to get the best out of s**t like Lescott, Richards, Hutton, Gabby etc. Kozak is awful, Gestede bang average and very static, Ayew overstated and prob leaving, we have a midfield that includes absolute tripe like Wastewood, Sanchez, Gil the only silver lining is Nzogbia and Richardson are gone. This is the squad that won 3 league games last season and were so bad were relegated before Xmas breaking many negative records , got humiliated 6-0 by the Scouse scum and finished rock bottom and even if we had DOUBLED our points total would still have been relegated. I don’t see buying a centre half and a very young Italian keeper , whilst being linked with a young lad who has played 13 games at this level as the signs we have a bright new future and will challenge. Xia has made some big boasts now we need him to back them up especially as others are recruiting well.

  86. B62- I know what you mean but RDM needs to access and then find buyers for the dross or pay them off at more expense. RDM has said he won’t rush it and I don’t think things will be finally done until the end of the transfer window. Meanwhile we have games in the league we have to try to win with what we have. Its a massive ask to access and re-model this lot in 6-8 weeks and I don’t think its possible on £30mil in a rush. Plenty may go yet and plenty may come but if we don’t have a team of some sorts in 4 weeks time we will get hammered and another slide in confidence could happen that we won’t get out of. It may not look Ideal but thats the way I see it.

  87. Steamer: “Regarding clause 4, i thought John Smith initiated its removal but then tragically died , maybe not.”

    ‘Not’, I think. JS certainly had reforms moving ahead at the time of his death, but it was TB that took through the Clause 4 issue. But maybe that was an issues that had been discussed within the party in JS’s time.

  88. Mark
    I hope he is right, but we haven’t seen any leadership on the pitch in years, I think a lot of these players might give it the big un on the training paddock, but when it comes to matches they talk the talk but very rarely walk the walk, I’ve lost count of how many teams out fought and wanted it more than us last season never mind out played us with better players inc Wycombe. There is something rotten in that dressing room, as much as I think the Wales celebrations were pathetic yesterday( open top bus parade for an semi) and the fact the players were singing an England fans song and doing the Icelandic Viking clap whilst monkey boy bale saying it’s an achievement as we went further than the English, they do have a unity and spirit that has been severely lacking at VP since MoN left.
    As we aren’t in for McCormack, I’d be very interested who we are tracking, as the current squad lacks the firepower to get out of this league. I’d like to see the

  89. John
    Good take on Blair, though at the end of the day, in a democracy, the generals have to listen to their political masters. You are right in that it’s a shame that many around Blair seemed happy to go along with the war.
    Hopefully the coming week excites us on the transfer front. Can’t wait to see who the new striker(s) will be. Hopefully some of the old strikers leave. They’ll just spend most of the season on the physio’s table getting leg and back massages.

  90. Trin,

    On the “the generals have to listen to their political masters” matter, I actually took my cue from the words of an army officer who was there, in Iraq, and who was on the panel of the Beeb’s Question Time on Thursday. He (now an MP) was pretty critical of the generals, stating that they did not voice the equipment situation to their masters and (in his strong opinion) “should have done”.

    His view was echoed by other ex-service personnel in the audience.

    In other words the poor protection that soldiers suffered was directly due to their commanding officers. I recall that WW1 produced many examples of that and here we are, 100 year later, being made aware of (in certain matters) a similar situation.

    Nothing much changes, does it?

  91. John
    Do you think the generals were too much “yes-men”? I read somewhere once that Colin Powell was very much against the invasion of Iraq, but being the loyal soldier until the bitter end, he was tasked with taking the lie to the UN, which he did. When he was no longer required, he together with the Department of State, were ostracised from the inner circle of decision makers.

  92. Trin,

    Yes, I think you’re right in the sense that the “establishment” is still something of an old boys’ club … that they feel committed to covering one another’s backs.

    Still, when it comes to soldiers’ lives, the commanding officers have a duty to protect their men, and even their political masters would respect that … especially as a wrong decision can affect their political safety.

  93. We are 4-0 up at half time in our friendly in Austria against the the yodelling all start 11, different team second half apparently. Goals from Richards Ayew 2 and kosak

    #AVFC first half team: Gollini, Richards, Elphick, Baker, Cissokho, Gana, Gardner, Gil, Veretout, Ayew, Kozak.

    #AVFC second half team: Bunn, Hutton, Okore, Lescott, Bennett, Westwood, Petrov, Grealish, Agbonlahor, Sinclair, Gestede

    Follow it on AVFC twitter

  94. Mixed feelings as it may give RDM a false impression of what he has! Although I’m sure he will realise they are playing a team of butchers, bakers & postal workers!

  95. I’m sure you’re right Mark! And John you’re also right it can’t do any harm! With any luck Richards’ injury will be very painful but not serious or it may reduce his value. Telford here we come! ⚽

  96. 0-8 is good, eventhough, it is against part-timers. They can go and have a few pints and sausages, now.
    Was Richards playing at right back? He is, as we all know, no central defender. Did Hutton play well?
    Does anyone think Bennett might be a winger since his defensive lapses are expensive, but he can cross and has some sharp attacking skills.
    Good to hear people enjoyed the game.

  97. Looking at Petrov, he needs to lose at least another stone. I don’t know why the club are building up his hopes though. Tone must be loaded to waste all that ticket money on the likes of Saggy, Bennett and Petrov, does anyone know how much excess weight Sags paid.

  98. Steamer- It does seem strange to give Stan game time if he has no chance, he’s inspirational but you don’t want to destroy the Legend thats built up around him. Apparently Bennetts set piece delivery is world class, 2 stunning free kicks, be nice if he could tackle though. Palace beat these 13-1 to put it in perspective.

  99. New lows in the frame for Engurland manager, Jeerman Klinsmann who was almost booted by the USA last season and Harry Redknapp ????????????????????????????????????????????? The media along with Laaanden are destroying our sport.

  100. The folk calling Petrov ‘a legend’ are the same ones who tagged Flabby with the same throw away tribute, if SP is a legend then so are Cammy Fraser, John Inglis, Dave Rudge, John Gavan etc. its the same with music, every song over five years old is ‘a classic.’ I bet its the same folk who slag Wastewood for his square and reverse passing when in fact he plays like Gerson compared to SP.

  101. Possibly Bennett as a left MF with Amavi behind,that would rip up a few championship teams, just don’t put JB in the defence, plus as Mark said, he has a dead ball in him.

  102. Steamer,

    To try to put it into perspective, the “legend” business about Stan has really come about because of his recovery from leukemia, not (surely) as a player.

    Whether Stan makes it back is clearly very much an open question, and I suspect we won’t see him starting any matches – at least until he’s regained full fitness.

  103. Jb is one of those conundrums. Do you sacrifice say grealish? Just to have a set piece on the pitch? I hope he has more in his locker like his goal he scored when he came on in the cup last season. If he can drop the ball on kosak/gestedes bonces ten times a game from corners etc he could be worth it, especially with amavi chipping in too.

    Depends a lot on RDMs chosen style, play his way or to our strengths?as in jan the right editions could make this team tick. Could we see JB emerge as a gary shaw type?

  104. Since leaving on loans JB has failed to make a single appearance for Bournemouth, and couldn’t hold a place down at Brighton or Wednesday, i’m pretty certain that he’s not good enough unless he can score a few goals.
    Doubt if the final will be any cop today, must admit the tournaments are getting worse, this one started off crepe and got worse, possibly 3 decent games at most, 3 or 4 decent players on view and none for Engurland.

  105. How does Angela Eagles think she can ‘heal’ the Labour Party by losing at least 500,000 members ?
    She must believe in Santa, no-one is going to vote for her except the gutless 170 red Tories.
    When its all over the LP should just boot the dissenters, they’ll end up like Williams and Owen, a laughing stock minus credibility and a job.

  106. Back from camping.

    See we have a gk and today a midfielder. Add elphick to that and we have suddenly got a spine to the team…at long blooddy last. We may have people in charge who know what they are bloody doing you know. Now for some exists and some strikers. Love the new kit, looks well smart

  107. Steamer: How does Angela Eagles think she can ‘heal’ the Labour Party by losing at least 500,000 members?

    Interesting article on how she got to be an PM! She clearly thinks as long as she has the part bureaucrats on her side she doesn’t need the rank and file party members! I won’t be surprised if NEC say Corbyn needs MPs nominations to stand. As my old gran used to say “what can you expect from a pig but a grunt”

    https://medium.com/@pitt_bob/how-angela-eagle-got-to-be-mp-for-wallasey-e30d4ad9483#.sv8dq3vt1

  108. Eagles

    With due respect to her as an MP in my eyes she doesn’t improve the status of the Party any more than Corbyn has done, and probably much less so. I’ve not been impressed with her on the Labour front bench as it is.

    And having been pals with Corbyn until now, how on earth is she going to get the support of the Blairites? The mind boggles.

  109. Maggie Mk2??, not close to Tory politics or party because i’m left of centre in my politics but is Theresa May a modern day Maggie Thatcher?

    26 days until we’re back in action, any idea when December games will be announced for TV, down to go with a Leeds fan on Dec 3 but need to book flights and don’t want to be left high and dry if they switch the game.

    Definitely need more additions and a few wasters to be shown the door, can’t wait to see what RDM does selection wise and system wise to get the best out of the squad as it stands, reading nothing in 8 nil wins.

    UTV

  110. villa@herts,
    I think too that there’s a plot to prevent Corbyn being nominated otherwise it would be a pointless exercise, if that’s the case its the end of Labour.
    Thats a revealing article about Eagles, she really is a hypocritical cow.
    It also reinforced my belief that Roy Hattersley was a twat of the highest calibre, the most impressive i ever saw him was when he walked off Buzzcocks and they replaced him with a tub of lard.
    DOR,
    No-one can be that evil.

  111. burnley value jeff hendrick at 3m which seems a bargain for a 24 yo international, it may be worth pursuing him because derby may be tempted at 5m or so.

  112. Ganas off to marseilee. 7 mill bid accepted. Rdm going to concentrate on shipping a few out….. Not fussed who goes really as long as guzan, lescott, bacuna, gabby are def gone.

    Linked to bristol city striker.

    If we can keep ayew he could score 15 plus

  113. I thought that video of the little Portuguese lad consoling the French fan who was in tears was absolutely fantastic, they deserve an award.

  114. Got to laugh at our FA, they tell you they want a quality boss and then interview Steve Bruce with talk of Southgate, Allardyce, and Redknapp, who’s next Lamebert and McKnob ?

  115. Xia on his Chinese Twitter has said we want stickers and creative mids( hopefully wingers ) We need a RB to. Can’t havE Hutton

    Bacuna, Guzan, sissy, Lescott, Richards, Gabby, Sinclair all still here. Can’t stand them

  116. Well done Jezza, now if the 170 spineless traitors sod off we can rebuild the Labour Party with people we can trust, not careerists who are in the pockets of the so-called elite.
    Anyone in doubt about Socialist ideals should read up on Kier Hardie, a great visionary and pacifist who puts the current cowards to shame.

  117. Runtings- sweet, Was hoping to make Saturday until I realised its my brothers wedding 🙂

    JL- Can the twin Towers episode be anything but a fraud? Pilots and engineers alike have pointed out the feasibility of such a thing being pulled off by those labelled with the event. Life is not worth much to them at any level bar their own.

  118. Mark,

    How many documentaries do we have to watch before we’re convinced?

    The simple issues that the planes that went into the towers were *not* passenger airlines aircraft (people described them as “grey” … “without windows” – as can be seen on film close-ups), must by ilself prove it.

    Anyhow, here’s a Must Watch documentary by John Pilger, enttitled “The War You Don’t See”): https://vimeo.com/67739294

    If we’re not convinced that the wool is not being pulled over our eyes, this film will should change the perception.

    Illustrative is the fact the BBC and ITV journalists on this film admitting that they didn’t ask hard enough questions in 2003. Yet – wait for it! – they were recently saying the same thing after the Brexit referendum. In other words, we don’t have journalists on the main channels that we can rely on.

    Why, therefore, take notice of BBC/ITV news if the reporting ain’t good enough I much prefer RT and al Jazeera anyway.

  119. Mark,

    I find myself in agreement with you. Her achievement in inheriting the PM post may well be the best for Britain.

    I wait to see (with baited breath) on her performance (1) in her self-set targets, (2) environment issues and (3) the NHS.

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