With Aston Villa succumbing to a 3-1 loss in their final friendly against Middlesbrough, there is the potential for wondering about the future and for overreaction.
On one hand, no team should like losing but, on the other, it still was a pre-season game and therefore not necessarily indicative of how Villa will perform during their opener against Sheffield Wednesday.
Arguably every player who has come in over the summer has been a solid purchase. Tommy Elphick has captained a team out of the Championship before in Bournemouth, Aaron Tshibola was and is highly rated by Reading fans, and Pierluigi Gollini seems an upgrade on the broken shell that is Brad Guzan.
What matters now for Villans is just how things change. We’ve seen already that Roberto di Matteo has espoused a positive footballing philosophy and, hopefully, Tony Xia will give the manager enough time to enact the required changes.
For Villa, there is a lot to transform. Expecting the nightmare of the past half a decade or so to be eradicated is naive at best, but the club do need to make things happen fairly quickly due to the finite nature of the parachute payments money.
For many, the key area that needs augmenting is the forward position where Villa are still fairly lacking. Sure, Rudy Gestede may be able to be deployed in a similar fashion to when he had his amazing season at Blackburn Rovers, but there’s a real feeling that there simply isn’t enough depth up front as well as a paucity of player who will supply the ball.
The obvious candidates for supplier of crosses – assuming Villa are going to use such a method – would be Jack Grealish, Adama Traore and recent first team member Andre Green. The concern with the aforementioned trio is they are all relatively young and whilst they may well have the requisite pace to beat players, they all suffer at present from a lack of a strategic footballing brain – Villa could arguably do with a player who has a bit more experience if they are to develop, although it does seem evident that the youngsters will get a chance in the Championship under di Matteo.
That said, it would be very naive if the assumption is that a swathe of youngsters will be the saving grace for a noble club like Villa. Whilst the youngsters have potential, many often forget that there is a significant gap between playing for the reserves and playing for the first team. In addition, the Championship is a brutal and physical league which punishes players with many of the younger players still lacking in physical presence.
So with Villa having lost their last game of pre-season, the focus will turn to the incoming start of the Championship. With Villa down in the second tier for the first time in almost 30 years, the question is how the club will adapt. Will they find something in them to create an instant return, or will the amount of change required be too much to send the club back up before the parachute payment money starts drying up?
Whatever happens, Villa have a long road ahead of them – the hope will be that, however long it takes, it will be one that leads upwards after years of decline.

Comments 58

  1. Matt,

    Unfortunately, this was the first pre-season game against a team of any substance.

    And Villa – certainly second half – were woefully lacking, and looked (second half) like last season’s team.

    You make many valid points in your article, but one thing caught my eye today and that is Ayew’s tendency to lose the ball and also his lying too deep. Grealish was quite bright first half, but was missing a lot in the second.

    Do we have any players of any real character, I wonder, apart from the defenders who (I thought) played well in the main.

  2. Villa must be the easiest team to play in the entire league, shut up shop and wait for the mistakes to come, that MF wouldn’t scare a league two team and only an idiot would play Gestede in his own up front negating his one asset. Middlesboro’ should be a comfortable mid-table team but we made them look like Barca. Not only was the team outclassed but our so-called top management were also made to look second rate. i have a feeling it will all end in tears.

  3. Have to agree with Steamer and JL.

    Villa were woeful second half, and too much like the team of last season, with no ideas, and no guts.

    I really hope that RDM has a much better team to put out against Sheffield Wednesday, or it wont be long before the fans turn again.

  4. Looking at Boro’s goal scorers, does anyone else remember a couple of seasons ago when we were the ones linked to Fischer? And when it was Rhodes we were supposed to be signing instead of his stablemate Gestede?

    “Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been'” ~ John Greenleaf Whittier

  5. our team remind me of the tin man ,lion in the wizard of oz, no heart,cowards hiding behind what is it now 4 managers
    we have to be able to get 11 players that when they try it will be good enough not like wastewood bacunaand hutton because while night follows day they will always be cr*p
    someone mentioned the keeper,havent seen him yet but irish keeper randolph was available for less money so why the great need to go foreign

  6. We looked like the same team as last season, because in the main these are the same players. Hutton still is a cr*p RB, Cisshoko is still a cr*p LB, Westwood is still dogshite, Gestede is always going to be static and never prolific, especially without any width and crosses, Ayew gives the ball away and was too deep, I honestly don’t think he is as good or will be as prolific as some believe. We are heading into a long hard season with a weak squad devoid of much quality or leadership, it’s crazy to believe theses clown will suddenly become good after a summer holiday and games against weak lower/non league opposition. It’s obvious to everyone what this squad needs, last season shower of s**t seems to be this seasons starting squad. Our defence were shocking for all 3 goals, no marking, no organisation and parted like the Red Sea . It’s infuriating because we knew it would happen, the lack of transfers means besides untested youth we haven’t really changed anything. RDM has a massive task on his hands, forget promotion these shites need to worry about relegation as they can’t master the basics

  7. tactics today were shocking and amateur. playing to your strengths, not to a philosophy you think football should be played. RDM thinks our players are chelsea in disguise, hes mistaken. we don’t have good enough players to get promoted only playing this style of football.
    playing gestede you need to cross decent balls or go long once or twice. hes not the type of player to show the defense a clean pair or heels, or hold the ball up and bring in other players coming onto the play.
    sending both full backs way up field is all very well, if you play 2 holding mids that don’t go wandering to far up field themselves. their 2 nd goal they had 3 players on 1 . this happened a few times 2nd half.

    RDM really needs to wake up. these tactics will not achieve anything but put us in real bother next season.

    rant over p.s STOP fooking about 442 two strikers playing as strikers. two wingers playing as WINGERS and full backs defend first. if one goes the centre mid fills in. stop messing around. good job i never put any money on this lot.

  8. Seems Sanchez’ and Vertout’s wage demands are too high for Marseille. These average players would rather stay at Villa so they can get paid far more than they’re worth.

  9. B62,

    In fact, Cissy played 2 or 3 dangerous low crosses which Gerry Hitchens, Andy Gray or Peter Withe would have put home without difficulty.

    Gestede just does not have a sense of anticipation … he needs just head-height centres to capitalise on any skills he has. Which supports comments about needing to play to players’ strengths.

    Give Tim his due, that was the first thing that he saw was needed – to play to Benteke’s strength. It may prove that Tim had more idea than any other of the last 5 managers.

  10. JL
    I don’t rate Gestede at all, and we aren’t going to play to his one strength, so he becomes redundant. So much so there are rumours we are trying to use him to get Abel Hernandez from Hull. Yesterday is a bit of a wake up call for the owner and possibly the manager/coaching team. Knocking over non teams like Cambridge and Worcester City maybe good for the stats and some fitness, but once we were really tested by an average Boro side who are yet to play a PL game( the villa side had far more PL experience) we folded like a cheap suit and were once again found wanting. Dr X has promised the moon on a stick, he and Wyness have been all over Twitter making bold statements, but as yet we have seen very little of them making good on their promises. I get shifting the s**t isn’t easy, and attracting quality to the car crash that is AVFC could be difficult, but ££££ talks , if Fulham want £12m for McCormack , pay it, if Bristol City want £8m for Kodija pay it, because it’s false economy not to, promotion is worth over £120m in the first season alone. We are going to have Hutton and Cissohko as our starting FB which unless changed will always give the opposition at least 1 goal, in this division we need defenders who can do that, defend properly and shut up shop, assisted by a strong CB pairing. Our midfield is too soft with Westwood and we have already discussed our stunted attacking prowess, and the fact yet another manager is going to give GA a chance, dear god it’s like Groundhog Day ( has last season finished yet??)

  11. B62,

    Well, your suggestion is that money (alone) talks.

    Unfortunately it doesn’t – not by itself.

    In fact, defensively we looked OK yesterday until we were behind and trying to push up to retrieve the situation. In my view it was because of the inadequate midfield and strike play on our part that created the situation for Boro … giving the ball away just gave them the chances once our team was upfield.

    The goal-scoring part of our game is yet to be rectified. Though I like Ayew and Grealish, they seem to lack the power to make the vital difference: just no real punch … and, as you say, Gestede just doesn’t really cut it – unless we had wingers that would supply him with the kind of ammunition we presume he had at Blackburn.

  12. Morning AVL, well it was a nice afternoon yesterday so I went on a scouting mission at Bristol city v pompey a dire pre season game ending 0-0 and if RDM thinks kodija is the answer to all our problems then God help us, yes he scored 20 goals in a struggling side last season which was commendable for his first season in English football but he was shocking yesterday did not do a thing in 85 minutes to suggest he is worth anything like the sort of money being touted about, same amount as the fee for McCormack of Fulham who is ten times the player.
    Watched the boro goals yesterday and the same old defensive frailties are there from last in my view not much has changed and I truly believe we are going to struggle.
    SWV

  13. Hello SWV,
    Think BC may have a decent season this year.
    Well that was a wake up call for us, i hope that was the effect on RdM and the Doc because the impression i get from the fans is that we’re mid-table at best. One fan tweeted Tony X and asked him to refund his st because he felt that the Doc had lied about signings in order to get his money, valid point. Losing is ingrained in AVFC now and the only way forward is to rid ourselves of the losers and wasters that make up our squad, never mind about us “having good players” that is rubbish most are playing in a division where they will struggle, we urgently NEED at least four players just to stabilize the team and probably 8-10 in the squad to eliminate the negative effect of the likes of Agoalayear, Lescott etc.

  14. steamer
    i wonder was the doc duped by hollis books cooked,a bigger mess than even we think,
    going by all blogs,papers and media all are in agreement we need major surgery and have to ship out most of squad how can joe bennet come back from 3 years out on loan not playing and suddenly be good enough he was a lambert buy that was replaced by tony moon and ponytale richardson, baker the glass man who has been about for 5/6 years and never got any betteralways a injury or mistake in him ,and the 3 bought already only papers the cracks,
    2 centre mids that can as old midfielders used to do defend and attack not this i am a holding cm none sense, get back to playing a system either a 352 or 442 players doing a effective role

  15. hi all
    someone mentioned a poll for a blog
    well how about our squad who would we keep
    keepers
    guzan gone agree
    bunn keep
    sarkic keep
    steer release

    defenders
    hutton go
    bacuna go
    baker go
    clark keep
    okore keep

    maybe matt you could do one

  16. Is there anyone at VP who can defend or even pick up an opposing forward, just basics because those three goals yesterday were non-lge.

  17. steamer
    our squad hide at the idea of doing right thing how many times have you seen hutton running 10 yards behind man,lescott marking space not man midfielders going backwards rather than forward

  18. Good idea mate.
    Release – Steer, Cissy, Bennett, Hutton, Lescott, Agoalayear.

    Sell – Okore, Baker, Clark, Wastewood, Gestede, Bacuna.

    Keep – Goalini, Bunn, Elphick, Grealish, Veretout, Armavi, Gardner, Ayew. & any promising academy players, Greene, Toner, Lyden & Russian etc.

    Basically i can see a repeat of the late 60’s decline and a return to the lower leagues, unless Xia really does have a wad of cash.

  19. Steamer: “Is there anyone at VP who can defend or even pick up an opposing forward, just basics because those three goals yesterday were non-lge.”

    Perhaps – but as I have mentioned – those goals were down to lapses in midfield .. Ayew in particular.

    All 3 goals were down to giving the ball away.

  20. Players to retain/keep

    Baker looks mostly fine to me. I think he’ll work out OK. Same Clark.

    Cissy played well yesterday until he gave ’em a pass … and they scored. He’s OK as reserve i.m.o.

    Veretout I haven’t time for. Way over-priced. He’s fallen away after his initial promise.

    In reality I would only see sense in letting go Veretout, Richards and Lescott.

    Gestede is not the answer, I know, but a useful sub perhaps. The important thing is to get a striker who can strike! 🙂 And Villa probably will get someone over the next month.

    It *will* take time to get this mess sorted out … but whether Dr. Tonix and RdiM ar the right answer is still an open question.

  21. When you see the expensive ( not necessarily talented ) players being signed for huge fees by tiny clubs like Swanseee, Watford, Leicester, Naarwich, Stork, Boro etc and we struggle to put together a transfer kitty of any size, despite Xia’s bull, then you realise exactly how far we’ve dropped in the pecking order. We really HAVE to make a statement about our club, are we able to compete with even the lesser lights of the EPL or are we the new Coventry City ? The fans have been fed bs for years and although some still have difficulty recognising it the fact is enough is enough, Xia has shown nothing to suggest that he is the man to take us forward and that seriously puts us in danger of terminal stagnation.

  22. Hello folks back from Ireland, didn’t see the game but at least it allowed RDM to see where we are against a prem team not lower league opposition. Its very important to remember it was a friendly and will also give RDM first hand knowledge of his players little foibles first hand. We are after a CF and a AM which makes sense, I would add a right back and a CB to that.

  23. release
    steer hutton lescott gabby

    sell
    bacuna bennett baker richards westwood sanchez vertout sinclair kozak
    on top of guzan gil and gana a busymonth needed

    mark k
    what part of ireland where you in

  24. My worry at half time was that the game would end in a 1 – 0 win or 1 – 1 draw with the danger that there would be complacency, such as after the win against Bournemouth at the start of last season! If RDM didn’t understand how easily this team caves in, how cr*p Mutton is at defending he can have been left in no doubt after the second half, that we need a striker replacement for Hutton! A worrying thing was Grelish & others looked so tired in the second half, given we were told that the new fitness coach would get them I to shape you would have thought they should have looked fitter. One last point I thought that Gardener looked good and despite what others have said about the lack of MF power, I thought he was the real difference between the first half performance and the second half after he went off!

  25. Herts: “I thought [Gardner] was the real difference between the first half performance and the second half after he went off!”

    I’d agree with that, but Boro did change their game at h-t and that I think would have shown up whether Gardner was on the pitch or (as it happened) not.

    Though Gardner’s positioning was good and his play tidy, I don’t think it was a great game he played.

  26. Mark: “Its very important to remember it was a friendly”

    While that’s true, RdiM was keen before the game to state that he expected fans to note that Villa would be showing passion and commitment.Did they do that? Well first half wasn’t bad but second half mostly did not reach RdiM’s expectations.

    If that’s what’s going to happen in the league then there will be a mountain to climb. But I do expect a couple more signings to arrive, and there’s now talk that Gestede is going.

  27. JL- RDM made changes in the second half after a first half we had largely bossed.Of course Boro changed it up to good effect but RDM will of learnt from this if he doesn’t he’s not much of a manager.

    The fitness is hopefully down to a heavy preseason which will be reigned in this week as we head for Sunday. Nobody can keep intense exercise up for weeks on end without some fatigue, more rest will cure that not more work.

    RDM is saying we don’t have to sell anyone bar guye which is either good or bad depending on your view. I still think we need another 3 and bin some off minimum

  28. In an ideal world there aren’t many players I would keep out of this squad of raggy dolls, however in reality we have to, but we should add to this first 11 if we actually want promotion. We are becoming a bit of a joke on Twitter with the amount of stupid predictions and final table positions stating 2nd spot is pretty much ours. This squad isn’t good enough to make the play offs, the players do not match the style the manager wants or they simply aren’t good enough and the manager doesn’t seem to want to play with wingers or longer balls to accommodate Gestede .
    Without reinforcements this season is a write off. If McCormack goes to Norwich that’s the automatic places sewn up, because Norwich and Newcastle are way ahead of us and pretty much the rest of the league in terms of squad quality, after all they doubled our points tally last year and we haven’t actually really strengthened and are stuck with the dross that got us in this mess

  29. Just read a post from a Teeside site that described Middleborough as “Shinning”! I have to say that if I was a borough fan I would be worried by how they were out played during the first hour and that any half decent premiership team would have been 3 or 4 up by half-time and the game would have been out of sight! I thought about posting g those views on their site but thought it would be seen as sour grapes! The best thoughts I have seen (except your’s Matt!!!) was on the Holt site: http://7500toholte.sbnation.com/2016/7/31/12335508/the-paradox-of-preseason-friendlies which I think put the game into perspective!
    John, re Gardener, as he was taken off at half-time it’s impossible to say if he would have made a difference to the game but from my observation I was pleased with what I saw and much of both out attacking & defending during half he was on went through him! Anyway we will see if RDM is of the same view and if he full fills his promise of so many years!

  30. Hello, all…

    Quiet Sunday morning here, thought I’d catch up.

    Didn’t get to see any of the match, but in general, you do learn more from a loss than a win. As many are saying, one hopes it serves as a wake-up call.

    Obviously, getting a striker in is vital. Ayew can be a very good player, but he’s not going to be someone to carry all the attacking on his shoulders. He needs a better cast around him, other threats that demand attention. Gestede is fine as a sub, but again, isn’t going to lead the line.

    For me, most troubling is Hutton’s continued presence, and again, the lack of a credible left back as well. It may well have been thought that Hutton would be adequate at a lower level. He does work hard and gets forward, can play nasty. However, he’s just not a good defender: doesn’t stop crosses getting in, doesn’t turn well, plays too far off. We’re still three or four players off where we need to be.

    Fingers crossed the result gets things moving on the transfer front.

  31. If we are able to bring in a competent new right back, Amavi comes back healthy, and Elphick stays healthy and plays with the purpose and poise that he showed for the Cherries, then our back line should be much improved.

    Unfortunately, that still leaves us with the issue of the lack of a line-leading number 9, lack of steely organization in the midfield, and lack of cross-producing wide players.

    Of course as the saying goes, “If ‘wishes and buts’ were candies and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas!”

  32. So it seems McCormack will finalise his switch to Norwich in the next couple of days, with a fee rising to £12m agreed. That is a devasting blow to our promotion aspirations, there are precious few strikers who will get you 20 goals in this league and we definately need one, considering we managed a measly 17 last season, with a horrendous -GD. I look at the teams around us with the same aim, and we are miles behind in terms of squad unity and quality in some cases. The owner must be regretting his outbursts on Twitter as he is now being called up on his boasts and some have already turned and the slagging off has started.

  33. Hey JC,
    Good to see you you resurface.Anyone who believes the problems of the last 6 years can be resolved in 5 weeks is insane.I believe in the new regime and RDM.Why? Because they are all we have right now.I predict a mixed season until Feb and a strong finish.If we go up ,being Villa we will do it the hard way,via the play offs .
    We will have a striker in place and some clowns out by the end of the month COYVB.

  34. Good to see a few old faces on here again.
    Can’t say I’m positively stimulated by anything I’ve seen from Villa recently. Sounds like a few of the locals are getting restless. Not surprising given the lack of movement in the transfer market, though there’s no need to panic just yet.
    I wish the cleanout would continue-too many overpaid players for this level.

  35. b6brazil love the positivity but I aint seeing it.

    Agree with b62, Mcormack going Norwich is a massive blow. They are already a great championship team, we wont finish above them.

    Geordies are buying diame from hull today, great signing. We will be lucky to get mid table. Did not think going into the first game of the season under new set up we pretty much have the same worst villa team I have ever seen. Our midfield is the worst thing in the world, they cant protect the fragile back 4 and they don’t score or assist. young tish aint going to do it on his own. We have a lack of pace and the right hand side of the pitch is crepe.

    Pretty much no serious issues have been resolved.

    Sheff wed will smash us on sunday

  36. forester running at hutton on sunday is going to give me nightmares.

    Where is the squad overhaul promised and 50mill to spend

    rdm likes 4231

    Goaline
    Hutton Elphick Baker Cissoko
    Westy Tish
    Bacuna Ayew Grealish
    Gestede

    That will prob be the team sunday. 5 of them id only like to keep and I have no idea whether they will be any good….that’s just hoping! Putting faith into new young goalie and midfielder. I would nt be surprised if that team gets into a relegation fight. Fragile confidence and will not keep a clean sheet

  37. Steve Gough’s article on Vital Villa gives a very good summary of the preseason matches and where Villa are at the moment.

    It seems that we are mainly getting rid of players which are saleable, and perhaps have some potential. i.e. Idris Gana to Everton or West Ham, perhaps now, and as usual, every potential target slipping through our fingers to another club.

    I can really find no confidence in the team we are building at the moment, feeling it will be lucky to survive in the Championship, without some major changes and some real steel being introduced to the side.

    Would love to see Gareth Barry back at Villa Park this season to be captain and lead the team to a respectable position, fighting for promotion.

    Next week’s match against Wednesday will show us where we really are.

    If the sales of Gana and Sinclair are completed this week, it will mean that Villa’s spend in the transfer market will be a negative one, and Dr. Tony will have sufficient money back in the kitty with parachute payments to cover the cost of buying the club….excellent job, which may turn out similar to BHS being sold for a £!. Well that is the pessimism out. Now I can look for positives…

  38. I must be mad….thinking all of the above and feeling upset by it all and just booked my ticket for the roterham game! jesus.

    The only hope is we will pull something out the bag before window shuts.

    A cb, rb, cdm cam and 2 st.

    And 2 of them should be real quality…..15mill signings.

    Getting barry back would be a masterstroke.

  39. I fear a real drubbing at Wednesday live on TV, we are just poor in too many areas to become competetive in this division. I agree a few defeats and last seasons nightmare will return to sap any confidence the players have and we could well be in another relegation battle. Newcastle and Norwich look so strong I’d be amazed if they weren’t the top 2 come may

  40. wheres okore? don’t think he has featured at all pre season….on way out?

    Clarke and baker I wouldn’t trust as far as I could throw them. When I think cb I think reliability. those 2 have serious errors in them constantly.

    haha it could be roterham, Rotherham Liverpool or rome.

    Where is Rotheram in the country? Up North way?

  41. I for one don’t think we are that poor in so many areas.

    For me the main weakness is in the scoring department … a better midfielder and a reliable striker (or two!) are the main requirements for me. Ideally I’d like a quality right-back as well.

  42. The new “Bomb squad” must be chuckling their heads off…..Flabby, Lescott, Richards, Okore and one or two more.

    There does not seem to beany real plan emerging to build a major competitive side, capable of winning the Championship. There was a time you could buy the whole Burnley team for £50 million, and we would have been in a position to compete. On the spending to date, we would have a job to buy Accrington Stanley’s team, and compete in the conference….

  43. Paul,

    It has been said ‘up top’ that nothing is likely to happen overnight.

    The last 5 years (which have nothing to do with the current owner and manager) have left Villa in a tricky situation and it may well take time.

    I would just like to see evidence after the first month of league football that there is something emerging that we can have hope for.

  44. We have gone from one extreme to another nothing from Lerner for years and now a chairman who tweets every day, unfortunately mostly stuff we do not want to read , Tony a bit of advice let your team do the talking for you otherwise you may look like a fool gabbling on about being one of the top three teams in the world, when in reality we look as if staying in the championship may be a bit of a task.

    SWV

  45. Andrew – I think JL is correct as to the whereabouts of Rotherham unless it’s been moved just recently lol. And as the Steamers, SWV et al may remember, in the 70’s it was quite a place to go – yet another of those away games where everyone and his dog would turn out to have a go at the Villa lads ……………….. one game in particular when we stayed up their end and it seemed to be going off all match with many bad injuries from steel toe-capped boots.
    Back to today though ………….. I know I am now living in Switzerland and am therefore a bit remote from things, but it seems like the ‘promises’ we thought had been made when our new owner turned up are not being kept. Or maybe it is more difficult than we thought to lure players into the Villa Park hot spot?
    And I too am not sure that all this twitter stuff is going to help us at all ………
    I am usually quite optimistic as a new season approaches but can’t say I feel that way this year …… and does anyone know how I can watch the game live next Sunday from over here in Switzerland?
    Keep smiling, OldVilla 🙂

  46. oldvilla the game will be streamed as its a live sky game so i am sure you will be able to pick it up

    Dr X really has jumped in with both feet and clearly takes it personal when people criticise the club

    not a bad thing for me – its all about him and his team building a side that will draw the more wanted type of criticism —- long way to go on that so he can expect more of the same until we actually have a good team which clearly we don’t at the moment

  47. Read somewhere that Brighton who finished third won 24 games last season, thats probably more than we’ve won it the last four seasons. Can’t see us getting off to a flyer and the Doc will be under pressure to back up his bull, whatever, i can’t see RdM being manager next season.

  48. I see that RDM will build on the current squad, apart from Sanchez, Lescott and Veretout, who can all leave if someone wants them.

    Interesting, as all three have been useful players, although not set the world alight for Villa, but the likes of Cissokho, Bacuna, Flabby and others are ok???

    He may well be needing them before long, even if Lescott is not the best, he did occasionally perform last season, and might be needed to shore up a cr*p defence.

    Why we are not playing Hutton, Okore, Clark and Bennett as a back four, I am not sure, and Sanchez would be far better than Westwood in midfield. What has happened to Kozack again…no mention of him, or Richards???

  49. good doc either pay up or shut up
    our players as sky commentators said don t care about shirt or money as all are well off their cut for relegation couldn t been too deep
    as steamer said players available to go are better ones,
    rdm said squad is to be built on ,never seen any builders trying to build on s**te heap because thats what majority of villa players are s**t
    we lose a couple games with performances like 2nd half v boro or lastseason non effort where will hutton bennet westwood andco hide
    holloway would have done for me as manager to get us up he knows how to do it,rdm fell lucky with chelsea his record is pretty poor everywhere else
    can anyone really say tish is answer to our pathetic midfield that gives no cover to our inept defence,or add bit off drive to our strikers,lad hull selling is what rdm should be buying ,hendricks from derby another i would like to see along with his mate christie as full back from derby
    we need a joey barton type player some one to grab players by throat and shake only this time gabby wouldnt have lambert holding his hand

  50. So we are building the foundations of a promotion campaign on the back of the likes of , Bacuna, Hutton, Westwood, Cissohko , Gabby etc! well that pretty much nails us on to get out of the championship, straight into lg1…
    The good Dr has taken the prediction of relegation strugglers and 16th personally, GOOD he is the only one who can spend some money and rebuild the club. His out bursts on Twitter are deteriorating into a farce and starting to become embarassing, I’m all for sticking up for the club and communicating with the fans, however calling Holloway a failed player, manger and f*****ed pundit, even if partially true is unprofessional for the owner of AVFC. The prob is Holloways comments hurt, because they are true

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