After six months’ waiting, Villa finally notched a competitive victory, beating Rotherham 3-0 in what seemed a fairly comprehensive fashion. I never thought I’d be elated by Villa beating Rotherham. But I am. This is where we are and what we have to do. And Villa responded to the occasion, turning the home opener into a possibly season-saving win.

It won’t be the points that make such an early game so important. It will be the players finally getting the weight off their shoulders at Villa Park and perhaps starting to believe that the Championship may indeed be just a one-season tour. It will be the fact that the targets we’re still pursuing might be convinced that following Elphick and Chester isn’t career suicide. They’ll not only get games…they could also be part of a starting 11 that’s going somewhere and might even win something.

Villa had all sorts of needs coming into this season, not least of which were confidence, character, and fresh faces. As we’ve seen, and always known, it’s the team mentality that had to change. While the rebuild has perhaps taken a bit longer than some of us might have hoped, back-to-back losses seem to have served as the wake-up call needed for management. And the players at Villa may have just clocked to the fact that complacency won’t be enough for a paycheck.

The first few games were always going to be a feeling-out process as Di Matteo and Tony got to grips with what they had and what they lacked. What’s encouraging is that it took Tony no time to put his foot down, declare a performance not good enough and put the onus squarely on the players. Given his willingness to speak out, set a bar, and do what it takes to move on players who aren’t contributing and get in players who can, Villa might just have the owner they need.

As for the game itself, we saw Rudy do what Rudy does best, and the team playing to his strengths. Ayew and Grealish are finding their feet, McCormack and Tshibola, as well. It might turn out to be a front line that isn’t dependent on one man and one way of scoring. If any of the other transfer rumors are true, Villa could become a potent attacking force.

Moreover, a clean sheet is always welcome. Di Matteo understands that it all starts by being hard to beat. Shape, hard work, and defending as a team…RDM’s words after the Luton debacle found their mark. With Elphick and Chester, he’s made a pair of savvy acquisitions. Jedinak and de Laet would be welcome additions.

Today’s scenes at Villa Park, from Dr. Tony’s exuberance to Grealish’s celebration, are the flicker of life the club had to have. Some tidy and purposeful football, never mind goals, won’t hurt either. Long-suffering fans got something to celebrate, and for a day, at least, being at Villa Park wasn’t like a visit to the morgue.

I’ve found Dr. Tony refreshing in almost every respect, but have had my doubts about whether he was up to meeting such lofty ambitions, whether he really knew how much he was taking on. I’m starting to think he might have a shot. If he demands nothing less than success maybe he’ll get it.

We’ve all been down this path before, and one swallow does not a summer make. But whereas midweek I was contemplating a long purgatory in the second tier, today I’ve got the slightest of bounces in my step and just might succumb to the temptation to hope.

All I’m asking is that the side don’t revert to form, and instead take another forward step against Huddersfield to put a little bit of solid ground underneath our aspirations. The club’s mentality won’t change overnight. Winning is a habit that’s acquired. But today Villa won, and that’s the first step. Game on.

Comments 86

  1. Boom!!!

    Good display. Tshib was good. Powerful, solid and confident. Bacuna I wanted gone but did well at right back. Hopefully never see Hutton again. Jack is a class act, so is McCormack. Lovely asisit for Rudy. How did he score 2? Sissy looked decent also. Shows how much worse the champ is really. Ayew I think lol,s fed up and will end up asking to leave. Good player though

    Elphick will become a villa legend. Proper captain. Chester was solid to

    Talk that Jedinak and Bamford will be our next signings. Jedinak would be great, Bamford I’m not sure on.

  2. Good display today, looked a lot better and the confidence was visible especially at 2-0, get some more in and we could challenge the play offs. I like the look of Jedinak, De Laet would be an upgrade at RB and a striker. I’m not sure on Bamford, I think ings maybe a better shout. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Huddersfield turned over the Geordies and will be full of confidence, but a second win will really give us a platform to build on, we have to use this win as a springboard , there are some very decent teams in this league.

  3. Good heavens, what a relief!!

    How long has it been, my friends? With not just a win, but a thoroughly comprehensive victory, having played the opponents off the pitch? And with a clean sheet to boot?

    I know it was just Rotherham, but I don’t care … after the suffering we suporters have endured, we’re entitled to afternoon of hearty joy!

  4. I don’t care that it’s the championship a wins a win. I started following the Villa in the 60’s with two free tickets from the players that were sent around the local schools, of course was too young to go on our own so Dad to buy a ticket to take us, that’s how you get large crowds in the third division. The good times will come back and it’ll be a fun ride just like it was back then.

  5. Great to see you writing again, JC. Good write up.
    I wanted to watch the game (2am LT) but the internet failed here. Now, it’s working again.
    Since it’s my birthday, I’m extra happy Villa won something, a good b-day present. Yay!!!
    UTV

  6. Just back from the game, nightmare journey.

    1st half was garbage, mid non existint. And we stood off them. How we were 2 up i dont know.

    Second half i thought we were a different team…..absoulty incredible you could see the confidence surging back through the team, eveyone wanting the ball and playong some great stuff at times. All we have to do is pressure the lesser sides and play high tempo….they crack easy. We are fitter faster than most. Jack could be the next god for us. Has it all, his goal was a thing of beauty to watch live. Awesome. Still have no idea what westy does, tish done evetything. Not saying his is ever going to be as good dut reminds me of viera, could be special. At long last we have a cb pairing. They are solid as rocks. Elphicks laursen mark 11. Awesome. Bacuna will be ok squad player and ayew done his role well tracked back and covered and going forward can go past people at will. Adama came on for him and didnt do any of the tracking back ayew done but christ going forward he will batter anyone. Id be scared stiff of him. Brilliant super sub to have. Im going bed. Westwood is s**t

  7. JC: Many thanks for that rewarding article. I’ve just come back from a day down souf, and missed all the excitement of a win! 🙂 It sounds to me that Rudi’s second was very timely, setting the to0ne for the second half.

    Andrew: “What does Westy do?”. He does things like spraying 38 accurate passes out of an attempted 42. And his stats are often much bigger and better than that even. In short, he keeps things moving. He’s not the big creative talent, but (like Des Bremner – remember him?) keeps things rolling to enable others to capitalise. Every side needs a motor.

  8. Hello John, hope your well.
    Still on the ball mate, you always read the situation accurately.
    Happy birthday Trin.
    Canadian villa,
    You were lucky, my old man was a ‘effin nose.
    DrX has rejuvinated the whole place, what a character.
    Thought Rudi’s first header was excellent and Jack should get double figures this season. Tish looked more than useful and Elph and Chester complemented each other perfectly.
    Tough game on Tues but hopefully we’ve turned the corner,
    PS,
    Well done fans, its been tough but this team is worth supporting now.

  9. JL,
    Des Bremner must be the most underrated Villan of all time, he carried Cowans and Mortmer the year we won the league and again the following season. Cowans had a poor two seasons and Mortimer was just plain crepe.

  10. Thanks Steamer.
    Today was a good day, especially if Villa have found their mojo and turned the corner on to Serious Football Club Street. Huddersfield will be a good test on Tuesday. If Villa win that will be good grounds for optimism.

  11. Steamer/Trin,

    Yes, this upcoming match (v Huddersfield) will clearly be more of a test, they having beaten the Barcodes on their own turf, but at least we won this one (Rotherham)! – and won it by a good margin. Puts everyone in a better mood for Tuesday.

  12. Just watching the crowd reaction when JG went into the jungle after his goal, the absolute joy on the faces of all ages was priceless, if more players recognised the effect that they have on peoples lives they may just be worthwhile to society and garner the respect that they think comes automatically with their outrageous wages. Grealish, i think, has taken on board last seasons off field misbehaviour and the world is now his lobster.

  13. Great article JC.

    What a great day to be at Villa Park with a lot of mates from Mid-Wales Lions Club, and share a very rare victory. Perhaps starting in the Holte Hotel started as a good omen, from the days when we used to drink in the underneath bar (where the shop is now)and see some great Villa teams make sure that Villa Park was a fortress..!!

    Must agree with you JL, as Westy worked his socks off yesterday, and did his job. Agree with most of the comments about other players, and the first half, but felt if we could just nick one before half time, it would settle the team, and give it the confidence it needed. God must have been listening, as that is exactly what happened, and the second half really opened up, as confidence grew, culminating in Jack topping off his best display in a Villa shirt, and scoring such an important goal for him, and the club.

    Really looking forward now to Tuesday, hoping that we can now build on this display.

    I really like the idea of Bamford joining us, as he is an old fashioned centre forward, in the mold of one of our greatest ever centre forwards, Gerry Hitchens, and if he is half as good, he will be great, and a great target for Jack to play in.
    Great to see Adama come on as a sub, as he will also frighten defences, as a second half sub.

  14. at last Steamer, there are signs of life, and Dr Tony is like a breathe of fresh air as an owner, willing to do 20hr round trips to watch his team in future, and a real passion for the club and the fans. As with all the Chinese, there is no room for losers, brings it home just watching them in the Olympics, and the many other fields they have now become part of.

    I really hope that it will continue with crowds of 33,000 plus turning out to show their support for the team. The atmosphere on the Holte was great, and will hopefully build, as the team grows in stature.

  15. Afternoon, all…

    Doing well, Steamer, thanks. Had a too-brief bit of vacation, although I managed, thanks to Clive’s link, to see the Wednesday game on my phone (much to the annoyance of everyone wanting to go do holiday-type things). Generally still just knackered from work most of the time.

    Been catching some good concerts, though. LCD Soundsystem at Red Rocks bordered on the epic, likewise the Flaming Lips playing there with the symphony. Brian Jonestown Massacre, Joy Formidable, Wolf Alice….good year for shows.

    Forest friend of mine still has satellite, so we’ll do bloodies and catch that one at his place, assuming it’s televised. Hadn’t been following, but sounds like they’re in an even bigger mess than we were/are.

  16. JL et al,

    On Westwood. He is one who keeps things ticking over. I can’t really fault him for doing what he does in the way he does it. Someone has to. I’ve generally been in his corner. And he’s been a fixture for the various managers, indicating there’s no one else available who can do what he does. Which is perhaps damning with faint praise.

    However, I also understand those who want more incision and impact from the position. He doesn’t lose games, but neither does he change them.

    He’s steady, reliable. Seems to be a good character. With all the flame-outs we’ve had, it’s hard for a manager not to pick someone who helps you keep the ball and isn’t going to screw things up.

    If we can upgrade the position, great. If you get Westwood’s attributes in a more dynamic player, you couldn’t say no. And we should be trying to find that player. How hard he is to come by, I can’t say.

    In the meantime, I’m guessing other needs likely have precluded fixing something that doesn’t seem to be all that broken.

  17. JC: “However, I also understand those who want more incision and impact from the position. He doesn’t lose games, but neither does he change them.”

    Mmmmm … I think if you look at yesterday’s match again, you’ll see he played the through ball that resulted in the second goal.

    I think we have lacked other players that can score, that’s why he gets a lashing from some, as they watch him without recognising it’s the players in front of him that have not been doing *their* job.

    Goodness me, how long is it since we’ve scored 3 goals in a league match? I think that if there is a continued improvement up front we’ll soon see that Westy has been doing his bit to create the situations. I suspect he’s very under-ated.

  18. Hello folks and great to see you back on board JC 🙂

    Westwood played the part of springboard for Lamberk, get the ball forward to delph etc on the counter. These days and last season we are more sedate in our attacks which negate his main asset a bit. Tim tried to reinvent him as a attacking midfielder as he did with little success with Gana. In the right team with the players around him an asset when nobody is running off him to receive he keeps the ball moving whether he needs to or not hence the crab label IMO. If we get Jedinak it might be the subs bench for him or the door I think, I would rather keep him as back up.

    Tony Xia is fast becoming a ledge in my book watch this on facebook as he greets the crowd fantastic 😉

    https://www.facebook.com/avfcofficial/

  19. JL,

    Westwood would’ve been making my team. Maybe he does put more players in if they’re different/better players. Perhaps, as Mark points out, it’s down to the ‘system’ (which I put that way since it’s been hard to tell whether we in fact have had a system).

    For me, playing devil’s advocate, I can say that when I imagine a stalled Villa attack, I get three or four archetypal passages stuck in my head, and one features an ambitious Westwood through-ball that is easily sussed out and the counter’s on.

    The question got me curious, so I went looking for stats. His first season, Ashley had six assists. In the four full seasons prior to this (including the first one) he had 11, or slightly less than three per season. In two seasons he averaged 0.1 through-balls per game, but it averages down to 0 over four seasons.

    That said, he is primarily playing deeper, and his responsibility isn’t to be the creative one. I think the criticism centers around whether he’s a driving force. Again, that will come down to what he’s being asked to do. But for a deeper/defensive midfielder, he’s not much of a defensive presence.

    If he stays, with a new team taking shape around him, we’ll see if he’s asked to do anything different and whether he can. Likewise if he ends up going somewhere else. Same goes for the others who are still here.

    I’ve often felt for him, given that I do think he’s been asked to do the simple things, provide an outlet, keep the ball. And he’s done this well. This can give the impression, right or wrong, that he doesn’t offer much else. Which seems unfair since we’ve not had many who can even do that.

  20. JL if its Jedinek then its our third captain on the pitch, elphick a huge captain for bournemouth, McCormack for luton and Jedinek captain of palace and australia. we will finally have a spine with leadership a massive step and RDM and co have to be applauded for taking the time to find character first

  21. JC,

    Good comment.

    Yes, precisely, Westy is a deep-playing player so that logistical fact rather leaves him out of the assists stats. But (as I’ve said before) I feel he’s become sharper since about March time and his influence greater as a result.

    Mark,

    Yes, having as many captains on the pitch as is reasonably possible makes a lot of sense … and seeing we hardly had anyone at all who you could call a captain last season, a definite benefit for Villa!

  22. Considering westy is mr beige its amazing how much he splits opinion amongst us villans. Even on the travels sat from devon to brum he took a good hour of debate! Complete crepe for me, the standard basic trait of a mid is to pass the ball 5 yards and keep possession, he does that well but trouble is thats it! Watched him sat and granted he runs about but never anywhere with purpose, when theres an obvious run into space he bloody ignores it. Id rather he did less running and make the runs he did mean something.

    Anyhow he will be benched or sold soon. Steve round to be tech director. Shrewd.

  23. Well my fellow Villans, one game doesn’t make a season but you can be sure RDM is making sure the lads remember that feeling on the training ground as it’s been a while for a lot of them and for the players who are either on the fringes due to youth or part of the dross we need to move on. He’ll hammer home the need to keep that feeling and what it takes.

    Have to say, post match coverage of EFL is desperate, added Channel 5 to watch the highlights and it was no more than what I got on Facebook showing the three goals. Thankfully, my laptop has been repaired and i’ll be able to watch the non-televised games.

    Great point about having captains in the side in every part of the pitch given Jedi’s arrival and still linked with more players but also the likes of Amavi to get full fitness and be fully switched on to his defensive duties, Traore getting a run out, he deserves a run of games to prove he’s got what it takes or not and Grealish putting in a good shift, lots of positives.

    Can’t wait to get to VP this season, but first trip is away to Leeds (again behind enemy lines).

  24. Lots of favourable comments on twitter from RUFC fans about Saturdays atmosphere and VP in general.
    Apparently the Doc went doolally at Luton and had to be held back in the changing room.
    Diwarra, according to Juventus fans is a great player, Lazio is said to be his 1st choice and then Juventus.
    Bamford was the Championship POY two years ago, if he can get back to that form then he’s welcome.

  25. Always thought that Margaret Beckett was a thick cow, now she’s complaining that the new Labour members only joined because of Corbyn, of course they did Mags because the top echelon of the LP are twisted and are completely out of touch and corrupt. It isn’t a fan club its a protest in favour of honesty and integrity, something the LP hasn’t seen for 20 odd years. just gather the crew of Kinnock, Blair, Brown, Mandy, Blunkett et al and disappear, the real socialists don’t want you anywhere near the LP.

  26. DOR
    saddest day when John Smith Died …… IMO. Heart attack My Arse ,
    l was in Canada when the labour party won the Election and l said to my wife then ,” l dont like the look of that Blair ,looks to much like a f**king Tory ” and l will admit l hate tories , a tory lite in my eyes , and lm with steamer on some of them labour mps . filling their own boots .

    villa looked good saturday , good to see jack back showing the skill he has , its shut some of the f**kers up , being handed a big wage and in the limelight at such a young age , he had a blip , my nephew said at the time its who he was hanging with , had a wobble , we have all done it .
    IMO he made a wrong choice and should have gone with the Irish internationally ,

    well enjoy the sun all . lm going shopping with Steamer .

    Frem did you get my Text mate ???

  27. yeh despite having no vote in England, it felt like there was a chance for renewed politics that meant something under Smith. Agree completely, Blair took the approach of being all things to all people including ditching socialist policy and becoming more tory than the tories. He may in his own mind have thought he was continuing on the Smith legacy but that was wide of the mark.

    While it’s too late now, does the rules allow Grealish to switch back to Ireland given he hasn’t played for England.

  28. I’ve asked Matt to put something in the In The Sky section. My favourite memory of him was stopping off at the Spread Eagle on the A5 having left Tranmere early to find he had scored what in effect was the goal that took us to the Final. RIP Dalian – we have yet to find out the circumstances whereby the Police tasered him but I guess there are a couple of Policemen wishing they had waited.

    On a more positive not -news from VP is encouraging

  29. Dalian Atkinson

    This is a great shock … and this taser thing is getting to be a horrific tool.

    He didn’t just “pass away” – he was tasered and that’s awful. Why on earth did they have to do that?

    I was fortunate to spend an hour or two with him in the Villa archives in 2009. Nice feller and great to talk with him.

  30. RIP Dalian Atkinson, one of our great heroes, and a gentle giant.

    Seems from the neighbours that he had had a drop of pop, but was not threatening, just did not stand still when ordered to.

    Italian teenager appears to be a done deal according to sports blogs, etc and could be the deal being publicised after the game on Tuesday, by which time Jedinak could be ours too. If he comes with Hernandez and Bamford, Villa will be able to field a Saturday team, and a Tuesday night side…..

  31. Devastated about Dalian, make no mistake he was a mega talent and by all accounts a decent bloke, i hope AVFC do something to assist his family.
    DOR,
    John Smith i thought was someone with less intellect than Michael Foot but wore a nice suit rather than a donkey jacket so was more acceptable to what is now considered ‘the hierarchy.’ Like St75 i think he went the same way as Robin Cook and others who where a threat to the establishment.

  32. Hello Steamer,yes he is a big leggy lad.Similar to Vierra,tackles well reads the game.Wins it and gives it,long, or short a good passer,moves the game on QUICKLY.
    Westwood,who gets some undeserved stick on here,slows the game down too much IMO.I think there are far worse players than Westie ar VP,that said,if we got good £££ for him then I wish him well.Hope you are keeping well.

  33. The issue with Westwood is that he is never going to being the kind of player that can take a team by the scruff of the neck and make it better by imposing his will upon it; however, what he can do is make good players better.

    Take last year for example: critics complain of his sideways, crab -like passing style but, honestly — even when he did complete a pass to his midfield mates, what were they going to be able to do with it? Give it to Sanchez and he’d turn the ball over in 15 seconds; give it to Gana and he’d drive the ball manfully into … well, nowhere in particular; give it to the Jack of last season and God only knows what oddball choice he’d make with it. And even when he did manage to put the ball in the box, did any of our strikers have enough craft to do anything particularly wonderful with it?

    The Ashley of the spring of two seasons ago, when paired with midfield mates Fabian Delph and Tom Cleverley, was a completely different player. When Westie passed them the ball, Fabian and Tom not only knew what to do with it but were much more adept at accomplishing something useful with it. Additionally, when Westwood put a ball in the box for Benteke, everyone knows what he could do with it!

    I hold that Westwood has that particular sort of skill set which is useful for helping make good players better, but cannot help in turning poor players into decent ones. While he always seems to conduct himself professionally both on and off the pitch, he isn’t a notably strong and vocal leader — so he needs to be paired with players who possess stronger, more charismatic personalities.

    Sean Dyche, a very highly respected manager around these parts (in fact, some of you wanted him in instead of our current gaffer), apparently thinks enough of Westwood to want to buy him from us. He’s a smart enough manager to see the value of Westwood’s skill set and work ethic. Ashley is exactly the sort of man that can be an extraordinarily poor fit for one squad, while being remarkably useful in another one.

  34. Westy so good no one wants him but maybe burnley! So kevin richardson on the dalian goal clips, theres a man similar to westy but richardson, could lead, talk and tackle. Im not having it….westy does nothing!!!

    Great opinions though. Be boring if we thought the same. Signing to be announced after husdersfild game

  35. Fair play, Andrew.

    I’m not saying that we MUST keep Westwood, and I’m not even saying that he’s a great fit for our squad. Perhaps alongside a Jedinak who’s tackles break up play better, a Tshibola that goes box-to-box without giving the ball away, and a newly rededicated Grealish to utilize a Westie pass in spearheading an attack, then Ashley might be a fantastic fit.

    But then again maybe he’s not, and there’s a better and/or cheaper player out there to fill his role.

    If he does leave, however, don’t be surprised to find him excelling in a couple of seasons — if he’s planted in a better, more vibrant garden than ours.

  36. Very good arguments both for and against Wastewood, personally i look for more than he offers a Villa team, someone who gets the game by the scruff of the neck.
    Kevin Richardson was a great player for Villa and it was disappointing to see him abused when he returned to VP.
    Hope and expect Villans will pay their respects to Dalian as only Villans can, VP can be a really emotional place at times and we all love our heroes.

  37. Hey Texas,you must be an attorney,and a very good one.The problen AW has or had is that he came into a poor team constantly struggling.Look at Gabby in his good years,he had the likes of Carew,Barry,and Ashley Young around him.If Westie has players like this around him he might shine,but IMO he isn’t up to the job in the PL.That said I think he could shine in the division that we find ourselves in.He was always a 6 out of ten a week,never an 8.I like the fella as a pro,but a bit uninspiring lacks dynamism.There are many I would like to see out of the door before him.Whatever happens I wish him well,at AVFC or elsewhere.

  38. Steamer
    Justin Rose isn’t a villa fan, he supports Chelsea and was supposed to to at Stamford Bridge last night with his gold medal.
    I’m hoping for a great send off for DA tonight and another good performance and win. Hopefully a few more additions arriving soon, so for tonight I would stick with a winning side as they have a touch of confidence with positive options on the bench.
    RIP Dalian UTV

  39. B62 nice to see you with a bit of positivity at last, I think we are building a very decent side, hopefully one with more grit and attacking options than Toon 🙂

  40. For me bacuna, cissoko, westy, can go but not before, hutton, gabby, lescott, Richards. All just part of a losing mentality and at the end of the day just not that good! The first 3 could do a job in the championship though.

    Still a bit of work to do in the rest of the transfer window. Think it will be jedink, de laet, and bamford but would love one more stella signing, we would lift right off then. But if its just those 3 it will still be a very very good window.

  41. My team tonight

    Goalini
    Bacuna Elphick Chester Amavi
    Tsiba Westwood
    Ayew McCormack Grealish
    Gestede

    Amavi in for cissoko….offers a lot more going forward and good crosser.

    Tough test tonight

  42. so need to win tonight, it will put us a proper 3 points up on Newcastle given Hudders beat them, going to be a tough test but imagine the confidence boost of a ‘winning streak’.

    Wish it was on TV

    UTV

  43. It really is a massive game tonight. If we have any hope of going up VP has to be a fortress. Need to be winning pretty much every home game in this league. Id love us to get in those play off places and stay there! away to derby sat so 4 points out of 6 will be very decent.

    Atmosphere will be special tonight. Holte sold out and cues likely. could be 36k I reckon.

  44. Just hope the lads put in a performance to show respect to one of our former players who died far too young.
    Still cannot understand why they had to taser him, the sort of kit the old bill carry now extendable batons hurt like hell trust me on that one, they also carry gas canisters which can stop most men in their tracks, or was it a case of we have a new toy we need to try it out.

    SWV

  45. SWV- or god forbid they detain him forcefully like they are supposed to be trained for, to many weedy types in the police now that don’t want to get a bruise.

  46. Frustrating….cant afford to chuck 3 points away at home like that. Feels like a defeat. Its going to take ages till i trust the villa again! Jedinak will be in against derby and hope to get bamford in. Would love a goalscoring cam to put pressure on ayew.

  47. when are we going to get rub of green a fluke goal, save,someone ass getting in road of ball
    we need more players in a rb ,is amavi fit ,a winger where is adama,another cm tish is young and striker
    look at bench tonight 2fb,2 ch gardner and inexperienced young lad

  48. Jedi, De Laet and Bamford all to come in, it’s almost a different team and therefore the mental pressure of losing and being relegated is replaced by the mental desire to win and get out of the division while actually having respect and pride for the club you play for.

    Dr.T can do no wrong in my eyes at this stage.

    I must reduce the number of AVFC facebook groups I’m a member of, if I’ve to read about Gollini costing us the game from one more kid, facebook won’t know half the expletives I’d use.

    With the massive change in team, it will take a bit to gel, we’ve another 43 games and now are two games unbeaten and that’s against a Huddersfield side that beat Newcastle, we need to be more efficient in front of goal and we need to gel at the back, plenty of time to get it right and aim for play-offs/auto promotion

    Fabulous mark of respect for Dalian, even through a tv screen, the emotion was there to see and feel.

    UTV

  49. First of all a great show of respect to Dalian last night there is one thing you can never take away from our fans and that is class.
    On the game well every two points dropped will take us further from the top six I know it is early but they will start to tally up, Gollini has played three games and made two errors that have cost us points, if that had been Guzan in goal last night we would be hanging him from the nearest tree, yes he is young but he is in the first team and gets judged the same as everyone else, perhaps we need to sign a more experienced keeper until Gollini learns his trade.
    We are building a new team and it will take time but unfortunately it is a commodity we don”t have if promotion is our goal, I think McCormack will be a massive player for us if we can keep him fit he could be the big difference drawing games and winning them.

    SWV

  50. Disagree SWV, it wasn’t Gollini’s fault it was Elphick, for not taking responsibility 25+ yards out from goal and if given a shout by an on rushing keeper then it’s just a pure fluke the one place he kicked it meant it rebounded into the goal, Gollini can’t be blamed for this and it’s a shame he’s been picked on in the media and by fans.

    He made several saves to keep us in it and this was against a team that comfortably beat Newcastle, happy with the draw due to an unfortunate fluke, we equally should have been more efficient in front of goal

  51. Darren,

    That’s fine we can agree to disagree if you like but I thought Elphick did everything right, he was facing his own goal with a player closing him down he was actually calling Gollini to come and deal with it which was the right thing to do, if his starting position was better he would have got to the ball a lot earlier and the danger would have been averted.
    Not saying he is a bad keeper but the game has changed (ask Joe Hart) whereas todays keepers must act as sweepers and be more than capable of dealing with the ball at their feet.
    But I agree with you if we would have taken our chances that goal would have just been a consolation.

    SWV

  52. It’s all about opinion, in Elphick’s request for Gollini to deal with it, he did just that and put his foot through the ball but it’s bad luck that it rebounded into the goal as opposed to Gollini passing it to a Huddersfield player and gifting a goal, then fine to blame him for lost points.

    If Elphick in seeing Gollini’s starting position wasn’t better per your point then it’s again Elphick’s fault for putting Gollini under undue pressure.

    If you think Gollini should have aimed for row Z, then equally Elphick could have wrapped his foot around the ball, facing his own goal and done the same.

    We’ll know at the end of the season how critical the Sheff W and Hudders games are but there’s still 129 points to play for. early days

  53. It seems to me that there is improvement in Villa’s ranks and that our play has been sharpened up since that debacle at Luton, which was only last week.

    The fact is we are building a very new team under a new manager and a new owner, and I think the combination is showing good signs of working. But it will take a bit more time, particularly as more new players appear to be near the entrance hall.

    If anything it’s the casualness and prodigal nature of the forward play that’s more annoying than anything just now. Ayew needs a firework lit under his pants in my view: he and Grealish have the talent but they need more iron tablets too.

    But at least I am beginning to feel that the rot has been stopped. And, as DO’R so rightly states, we have plenty of points still to play for and to turnaround the club’s status.

  54. We are def getting better. And agree with you John about Ayew…has the talent to wipe the floor in this league but you feel you want to shake him to life! Grealish has been superb though…working like a Trojan. Maybe more effective in the middle though? But playing 4231 hard for him to get in.

    To be fair after a summer of mental changes to the the whole club a start of won 1 lost 1 drew 1 is the right set of results.

  55. l dont get whats wrong with players these days , as to putting the ball in the stand , we all go on about how great God was , watch his games and if he thought he was going to be under pressure , it was bollocked into row Z and the team regrouped , thats all lm saying about last night other than how many goals are we going to see like that again this season , answers on a postage stamp please .
    l never saw it but a few posts on one of the pages on facebook , a lad has set up a stream for the villa games and he’s going to set it up on a face book page , (he needs to be careful here) if l or DOR see anything about it l will post the page name , by all accounts from people who watched it last night he done a grand job, he does sit in the ground and links it through his phone ,
    steamer/sww dont even try to think/guess how he does it , you’ll give yourself a migrain ,
    you know when you have dropped a massive bollock and you cant get out of it . well l have , (((

    have a good week all ,

  56. yeh I watched two sections of the stream on FB, can’t complain about phone shake as it was my one way of seeing the game. Thankfully it’s big screen tv on saturday.

    Aston Villa Worldwide was live yesterday on FB from VP

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