Well, here we are again. Green shoots of optimism squashed by collapse on the road. One up at the half only to conceded three in a typically shambolic fashion. Seems like the sort of nightmare where you know you’re dreaming, but can’t wake up.

I had to listen on the radio, so can’t really offer the insight of those who were there. What I know is that it once again sounds like we had a side at our mercy for the first half, and couldn’t put them away. Cue the nerves and a home side with nothing to lose playing like they had nothing to lose. Which is how Villa need to be playing. But because of Villa’s remit, the side do have something lose.

So, is the weight of expectations weighing us down again? It seems entirely possible. New owner, new manager, a host of new players. Yet the same result. The pressure of instant promotion may already be rearing its head.

So where are we at? Very good set of observations on here post-match. From what I’ve gleaned, it certainly does sound like Ayew is a problem. I agree he doesn’t want to be here. More troubling is that we’re still counting on him providing something. Which would be fine if he had the character to just get on with it and be a team player. I thought I’d seen him doing more work defensively, but there’s an overarching selfishness that’s costing the team dearly. I’d be okay with a selfish goal-scorer. But he’s not scoring, is he?

Perhaps he’s trying to get himself in the shop window with some goals so that Villa will get an offer they can’t refuse. I can’t say I know. But it sounded for all the world that he passed up an opportunity to put McCormack clean through in favor of a low-percentage shot that he sliced wide. Would 2-0 have been enough? Again, I don’t know. But a two-goal lead is better than one any day. And I know that if I were stuck at a club, I’d be enjoying myself more if I were at least winning and doing something to contribute to those wins.

From there, we’re back to Westwood. I agree with those saying that if he’s worried about losing his spot to Tshibola his aim would have to be to take the opportunity to battle for his place. It doesn’t sound like he did himself any favors in that department.

Then of course we have Bacuna and Kozak. Again, I thought Bacuna was looking more promising at RB. I didn’t think it would be a poor idea to get him further upfield with de Laet behind him. Sounds like it was a poor idea after all.

Kozak just isn’t the answer to any question Villa have. He’s slow and awkward. Tall, but not strong. He has no spring in his legs, barely gets his studs out of the turf when jumping. Very easily handled playing as a target man. Can’t do anything with the ball at his feet. Again, playing with 10 men when he’s out there. Only reason you would put him out is to hope he gets on the end of a corner.

Of course he’s rusty and surely lacking a lot of confidence physically after being injured so long. He seems to be of good character. But he just doesn’t have enough to threaten teams. And of course he’s only playing because Gestede is out.

Now no one is going to say Gestede is world-class, but he is suited to this league and has something to offer. Which is better than nothing. He can jump. He’s strong enough to play with his back to goal. He does get his head on the ball and direct it toward goal.

Grealish is going to need more around him to shine. McCormack is going to need a better partner to work with than Ayew. The midfield still isn’t tough or creative enough. Jedinak I’m sure will be an asset once they all get to know each other. But like Grealish, he’s going to need better around him in the midfield to let him play to his strengths.

Where I find hope, silly me, is in the fact that RDM is still trying to put the pieces together. He’s still learning first-hand what these players can and can’t do. For example, playing Bacuna in the midfield. And Dr. Tony is not done shopping. An attacking midfielder and striker are clear needs, and we apparently remain in the market for both.

The big worry of course is that we’re already ceding too much ground to catch up. But if we have indeed brought in character, leadership and experience, I would like to think that it will show in the team’s reaction to this defeat. I would like to think the break comes at a good time to help the side get more cohesive, rather than killing momentum. Because we now have no momentum to kill.

As ever, I’ll be obsessively checking newsnow for transfer updates. Even after bringing in seven new players, we still have problems with the ones left over from last year. Really does look like, barring Grealish and Gestede, the holdovers have nothing to offer. Meaning we really needed nine new starters (which we might yet get). Of concern is that nine new players still doesn’t address the lack of depth.

Okay. I’ve just managed to depress myself all over again. But sooner or later a person does wake up from a nightmare. And all one can do is hope that dawn is coming soon.

Comments 171

  1. Thanks JC a fair assessment for us radio listeners, having to rely on others at the match to get some idea is hard but with what we have seen from Ayew so far its clear he is both asset and hindrance. A quick watch of toon says there midfield is way better than ours, we sorely need that delph figure back or a playmaker at least. Tshbola can fill that role maybe but we need more than one to step up.

  2. Hello John,
    I think we can be fairly relaxed at the moment about everything except the fitness issue, four successive games with second half hangover must be down to a lack of edge.
    I must say it makes a nice change to have an owner as enthusiastic as Tone and i also think that RdM can be a tough cookie, he’s shown already that slackers have no place at VP anymore. It only takes a deflection or a dodgy penalty and our luck could change, lets hope its soon.

  3. Ok peeps I have calmed down a bit after yesterday’s white flag in the second half, I sat there amazed at the difference from the first half when we dominated and should have put the game to bed.

    Basically Johnson out thought RDM at half time and made changes we could not deal he saw holes his players could fill and RDM could not match him up, Jedinak in the first half was a monster and ran the game but Bristol found the weakness and played through Westwood who to be fair was awful.

    Our defence buckled under the pressure and Amavi although still getting fit could not defend or tackle but I felt Chester let him down in the second half by not offering enough cover, our midfield got run ragged and we had no answer to a very average BC side.

    Now where our problems really lie, I really rate McCormack but yesterday he was dreadful and spent most of the time moaning and continually waving his arms about as if to say what are you idiots playing at, Ayew should go he walks around with his shoulders slumpt and he is showing he does not give a monkeys for the Villa shirt, as for Jack I truly believe we are not good enough to carry any player we need eleven fighting for the cause and JG just goes missing for long periods of the game, there were times yesterday when he was trying to beat three and four players at a time and losing the ball when we needed to keep it.

    RDM has got a lot of work to do I think the players signed so far have been ok but I think tactically at this level he has a lot to learn, with Clarke and Bond to help out you would have thought we would have been ok in that department but yesterday we got beat by a bright young manager who changed things at half time and used his subs and got a result even his own fans thought was not possible.


  4. JC,

    Yes, your is a fair round-up of points on the old players on view. However, half of me says that we should just forget this match as virtually the whole defence has been newly put together and surely needs time to get to know one another.

    Plus next time we’ll have at least 2 new midfielders playing together for the first time. So all that sounds as though we’ll just have to be a bit more patient. Just how much patience, though, is required after 5 years of groaning?!

    But the other half of me says that with more concentration we wouldn’t be complaining much as Mr. Ayew should have got more of his shots on target and also worked out what he was going to do with the ball at the end of one of his runs. In other words, on chances we have made we should be at least 6 places further up the table already and despite the team changes. But we’re not.

    The simple thing that we need to avoid, though, is a string of defeats. If that happens then we’re back to last season’s scenario.

  5. JC,

    On that matter of Westwood, I never did deny that “his aim would have to be to take the opportunity to battle for his place”. All I was observing was that it may have been the case that he was (wrongly) dwelling on his place in the team. I was in fact mainly saying that overall Westy is getting a rough deal from some fans. His play – though not ideal for Villa’s needs at times – has often been at a good level. For some other team he may well do a fine job.

  6. SWV: “as for Jack I truly believe we are not good enough to carry any player we need eleven fighting for the cause and JG just goes missing for long periods of the game”

    Thing is he was the only one to put any shots on target yesterday, and he scored from one of them. Otherwise I totally agree.

  7. SWV-

    Thanks for the insight…”RDM could not match him up.” What do you think…Lack of options or tactical savvy? Or was her perhaps trying to persist with something to see what happened and got caught out?

  8. Steamer…I like the place you’re in. Patience will be required, and should be given. My hope, which I sense you share, is that when it comes together, the side will be more than adequate. Just a question of how much ground there is to make up.

  9. JL,

    “on chances we have made we should be at least 6 places further up the table already and despite the team changes. But we’re not.”

    Indeed. Why I’m not panicking. But I am getting annoyed with Ayew. That bit of luck we lacked against Derby….We could use a little rub of the green to help build that winning feeling. But, we also don’t need a little luck to paper over cracks.

    Gollini’s errors, profligacy in front of goal, no real luck (thought I guess maybe Jack’s shank to McCormack probably counts as one bit of luck)…We should defo have some more points on the board.

  10. I think we suffer from playing all our best players and not our best team, once the opposition weigh us up and usually attack down the left we panic and turn turtle. To many similar players up top and in midfield, without Gestede it does not work. Then when we try to effect change we have no-one to turn to on the bench as all the stars are on the pitch puffing and panting. Maybe with the AM/winger we are after RDM means to go 442 and leave some ammo on the bench. Green on one side, new man out right? jedmak and tshbola in the middle? RM and new forward up top. plenty of ways to cook it .

  11. JL,

    I do agree Westwood is coming in for some harsh words that are probably undeserved. The comment about Westwood’s plight wasn’t directed toward anything you said. Comes more from the question raised when Jedi came in, and who would be making way.

    The value of competition for places, I guess. Westwood can either raise his game, or he can’t. And, of course, he’s not playing in a vacuum. The others can make each other look better or worse than they might be. I honestly can’t assess yesterday since I didn’t see the performance.

  12. Texas,

    I would agree. We were looking reasonably solid at the back until yesterday. As JL says, that’s two of four defenders new to each other, and Jedinak in front as well.

    With Amavi, you know you’re getting an explosive player on the attack, and not a robust defender. With Grealish in front of him (I assume that was the lineup), and Bacuna in front of de Laet, you’re not getting the protection down the flanks you’d like. I would hope Bacuna could do better, having been playing in defense most of the time he’s been with us. Grealish is always going to be a token presence in terms of real physicality. He’s just got to be making a nuisance of himself, slowing things down and making the other side shift their attacks.

    Gestede…I think he makes a big difference. Like I say, not world class, but he can be effective, and helps the other attackers come into play, helps the ball stick up the pitch, and is a truly legitimate scoring threat on any decent ball coming into the box.

  13. Indeed, Mark. No real options to change things, and certain players are not ideally suited to certain roles. Would be nice if the likes of Bacuna and Westwood could be used more tactically. Jack and McCormack, too. Ayew…He’s really got to pull his head out. If the chance with McCormack was as clear-cut as it sounded, I’d be having him in my office if I were RDM, and letting him know no one’s going to come for him if he keeps playing that selfishly. And that he’s not going to be starting for Villa unless he’s helping other players score.

    The attackers we have should have enough between them to create chances for each other. But they may well be too much the same.

  14. As far as fitness goes (to Steamer’s point), I’m having trouble understanding how Villa could once again manage to be less fit than other teams. RDM emphasized this in the pre-season, but of course did not have everyone in at the same time.

    After a few games, I would wonder how the players can’t be running themselves into match-ready shape by now. Is it recovery and the sports science stuff during the week?

  15. Excellent summary JC.

    I cannot add to the comments already made, as I only had the pleasure of listening to Radio Bristol, who found the main Aston Villa player to comment on, was Jack Grealash…..although occasionally corrected to Grealish….

    The first half commentary always expressed a little hope, but mainly was resigned to how many chances Villa could create, but fail to put away, with Ayew seemingly the main culprit, but then a goal in the second half transformed the commentary and the commentators, and they, with the fans began to overrun the Villa, or was it a very up for team, that realised the game was there for the taking.

    Sad that we no longer have the opportunity to view proper highlights, 30 seconds on Channel 5 is just cr*p.

    I really do hope de Matteo can sort it out, and just hope the good and enthusiastic DR is not putting too much pressure on the team..

  16. Paul: I worry a bit as well that perhaps our good Chinese Doctor, whom we’re all legitimately thrilled to have as an owner, might just perhaps be putting a tad too much pressure on a brand new team who’ve barely had time to introduce themselves to each other. Energetic enthusiasm is great, but I’ve wondered a little if maybe it’s interfering with the players’ ability to mesh as well as they otherwise might. I certainly don’t know that to be the case, but I do wonder.

  17. One thing that I would like to address is about our disciplinary woes. It’s one thing to get a yellow card for charging in with what turns out to be an overly aggressive tackle in the referee’s opinion. Although that yellow card should be avoided, at least it is derived from the performance of an action within the match. The yellow card which I absolutely cannot stand — and one which no capable manager should tolerate either — is a yellow card given for dissent. Since the player is never going to change the referee’s mind about the issue at hand, there is absolutely no reason — no reason whatsoever — to risk getting a yellow card by disagreeing with or disrespecting the referee and his decision. Those type of disciplinary cards drive me crazy, and di Matteo should show no tolerance for them either.

  18. Seems like Hull are being sold to the Chinese, everyone wants to leave Florist and Villa have had a bid turned down for their striker with 20 letters in his name. Still think Crouch would do a job but if you need pace then obviously not.

  19. Texas,

    I very much agree with your comment on yellow cards, particularly for dissent. It seems to me that it’s a symptom of the player power that’s been around this last 20 years.

  20. First of all Paul and others who are ‘managing
    ‘ with radio commentary – I repeat the live link I had good reports on from Trinity – http://livetv.sx/en/ – it is a Russian site that shows every sport imaginable and you need to register if you want the times shown in UTC.
    I have watched the League Show on BBC and the last 2 years Channel 5 when the transmission moved.
    Re the team performance – I was not on the straight back up bandwagon having seen the quality of the Championship over the aforementioned years and it is not an easy task regardless of who is the manager. If you watched Channel 5 this weekend you can see several clubs that would have no problem v Villa in its present state of reforming and the problem is how much of a lead will they have before, if ever, Villa reaches a higher level of performance.
    I have always seen this as a 2 to 3 season recovery period and if the venerable Doctor is not on board for that then we will be looking for a new owner again

  21. amazing work by the doc to shift
    guzan bennet okore lescott clarke richardson gana sanchez sinclair zog and vertout thats 9 of most last season matchday squad now shift
    gabby richards hutton kozak wastewood and bacuna

  22. Thanks for the nice write up JC.
    I’ll be watching keenly for the new players too. I couldn’t watch the Bristol match, but obviously there was a lot wrong with the second half.
    Hello Clive. Your Aussie mates wouldn’t have enjoyed the rugby lately. Warriors won’t make the top 8 in the league.
    Be interesting to see what they do with Gabby, won’t it? After last year, he shouldn’t play again, but he might get a reprieve.

  23. To be honest i can’t see anyone signing the fat fraud, his wages are prohibitive to anyone outside of the EPL (Thank you Tom Fox ) and he just isn’t good enough anyway, similar opinion about Championship level too. He obviously doesn’t care about playing football just raking in his 60k per week, the epitome of what is wrong with football.

  24. James,

    This is the full list of exits to date…

    Sanchez, Gil and Veretout (season loans), N’Zogbia, Richardson, Guzan, Gueye, Clark, Sinclair, Bennett, Okore, Lescott.

  25. JL – sorry I had not thought of that! Of course if you use Firefox it has an add-on called Anonymox that gives you a virtual VPN so you can select what country you would like to be in – I use it in Thailand to listen to BBC radio (amongst others like Smooth Radio and Magic radio as if I were in UK)

    Trinity – yes my Aussie mate has not commented too much on the Rugby Championship but is quite willing, being a former Canberra resident, to talk of the Raiders spell of fortune! Hull FC are on line to do the treble in UK.

    Meanwhile I wait in hope for a VIlla win – I saw that the Blues had a first away win since March – would that we were that successful!!!

  26. Ed Balls must be thick if he hasn’t worked out why Ed Milliband only consulted him twice during the General Election, Ed, its because you’re an unprincipled, clueless moron who shouldn’t be anywhere near a Labour front bench, which ironically was the view of your constituents which is why you were booted. Opinion not valid or wanted.

  27. Not long until the window closes, let’s hope we get some reinforcements to get us through until January , when we can add again. Because despite some significant ins and outs we are nowhere near the finished article. I’d get Steer involved to provide some real competition for Gollini as Bunn is awful. RDM needs to find a winning formula and quick, we desperately need to put a run together and salvage the season , and yes I know that sounds ridiculous , but we are getting left behind in the race for promotion and worryingly are dangerously close to the relegation spots( 1 point).
    I’d have expected a better return than 5 points and a cup exit given the opposition we have faced. Most the fans I spoke with after the match Saturday were of the same opinion, that promotion looks way off for this season, a few are even starting to turn on RDM.

  28. Jl,
    Sanchez, Gil and Veretout (season loans), N’Zogbia, Richardson, Guzan, Gueye, Clark, Sinclair, Bennett, Okore, Lescott.

    That Lambert was a good judge of a player wasn’t he ? i make it 7 signed by him and we’ve recouped peanuts.

  29. B6,
    I think its so tight that the likes of Brentford and Barnsley are capable of beating anyone in this division, can’t see anyone breaking away and without being over cautious we have to watch we don’t get drawn into a dogfight at the bottom, it really is a case of getting both your mind and ability to function at the same time rather than automatically thinking it will fall into place because you cost a big fee.

  30. I have to say i am happy with everything except our results since dr x walked though the door

    It is a massive exercise to get rid of the players that are not good enough which is close to the whole squad and replacing them with better players

    So far so good but the next few days are critical as we are shorts of a good 1st 14 by about 6 players , hopefully we can get the main missing ingredient which is some goals and creativity which are always the hardest to acquire

  31. john l
    sanchez is a loan but they have to buy him at the end of it
    plus sendross and cole gone last window

    lambert spent 50m bar benteke we lost big on all of them
    cole sendross free signingshad to be paid to leave early
    bowery lucky dip at half million lost on
    tony moon at 1.5 lost on
    lowton bennet kea 3m lost on
    okore 4.5
    kozak 6
    not a bit wonder he is unemployed

  32. Steamer: You know what’s really pathetic? Even given the deadly litany of Lambert flops which you listed, the fact that he — to be fair — must be given credit for just TWO PLAYERS (Benteke and Vlaar) means that he’s STILL the most “successful” buyer the Villa have had in the last 5-6 years!

    It is just soul-crushingly depressing to contemplate how horribly, horribly, horribly we’ve been managed, both on the pitch and off, in the last 5-6 seasons.

  33. Tex,
    Ellis and Lerner introduced us to new lows, some of the things Lerner and Fox did could easily have finished us.
    Another ‘Sob on The Tyne’ then.

  34. texas
    vlar 3.5m left on free only played 2out of every 3 matches for us,had a good world cup came back injured hoping his mate van gaal would sign him for man u, all this whille lambert let collins go back to west ham for 1.5m still playing
    benteke was his only signing and had mcknob not scouted him for villa

  35. James Gill: As you’ve pointed out so ably, the buying’s been shockingly poor for ages!

    Though Vlaar’s calves were seemingly made of tissue-paper, I was a fan of Concrete Ron. He was easily the best CB we’ve had during our “Dark Years* — at least when he could get on the pitch.

  36. Hows this for a chuckle, Said Berahino supposed to be signing for us for 25m according to John Percy, announcement 2night. The six fingered yam yams will be Moby Dick.

  37. I doubt Berhino will drop to the championship, Stoke are favourites to sign him and have been chasing him for a while. Looks like we are set to miss out on all 3 of our remaining transfer targets, Adomah, assombalonga and Hernandez. Dr Tone has flown back to China to run the recon group, strange timing with 48hrs left in the window, let’s hope Wyness can put the wheels back on.

  38. not looking good on striker hunt,we have got rid most rotten apples but need at least more attacking options, where are all rdm connections ,plus clark and didnt bond work with wheeler dealer redknapp
    come on doc sign them up

  39. To amuse… (sorry if you’ve read this before)

    Once upon a time there was a King who wanted to go

    He called the Royal Weather Forecaster and inquired as
    to the weather forecast for the next few hours. The
    weatherman assured him that there was no chance of rain in
    the coming days.

    So the King went fishing with his wife, the
    Queen. On the way he met a farmer on his donkey. Upon
    seeing the king the farmer said, “Your Majesty, you should
    return to the palace at once because in just a short time I
    expect a huge amount of rain to fall in this area.”

    The King was polite and considerate, he replied: “I
    hold the palace meteorologist in high regard. He is an
    extensively educated and experienced professional. And
    besides, I pay him very high wages. He gave me a very
    different forecast. I trust him and I will continue on my
    way.” So he continued on his way.

    However, a short time later a torrential rain fell from
    the sky. The King and Queen were totally soaked and
    their entourage chuckled upon seeing them in such a shameful

    Furious, the king returned to the palace and gave the
    order to fire the professional. Then he summoned the farmer
    and offered him the prestigious and high paying role of
    Royal Forecaster.

    The farmer said, “Your Majesty, I do not know anything
    about forecasting. I obtain my information from my
    donkey. If I see my donkeys ears drooping, it means with
    certainty that it will rain.”

    So the King hired the donkey.

    And thus began the practice of hiring dumb asses to
    work in the government and occupy its highest and most
    influential positions.

    And the practice is unbroken to this date.

  40. The pressure is mounting as Villa struggle to bring in a striker, we are also short in other key areas, LB( now Bennett has gone) Cissohko injured and pretty cr*p, Amavi not up to speed yet and it shows, midfield we are still light, we are held back by Westwood and lack creativity and width, GK is Gollini the answer? I’m not sure he was brought in to be our No1 straight away hence pantillimon was linked, Bunn is woeful so I’d go with Steer as competition for the young Italian, and a striker because we look blunt up front and aren’t putting chances away or killing teams off. We won’t sort all these problems out by the Windows close, in fact I don’t think we will land any of our targets as time will run out. My fear is that we will be too far off the pace come the January window , we have an international break now, so they should be going all out to get a couple more in before the window shuts, RDM then has to find a winning formula and tactics, because we don’t look like a team that knows what it’s doing yet and it’s costing us dearly.

  41. B62,

    Glad you took my advice and drunk elsewhere on Saturday at least you managed to get a pint trouble free.
    Agree with what you say we do not look like a team that knows what they are doing, I am beginning to worry that RDM is tactically inept but I also wonder what is Clarke doing to help, very worrying signs of how we fell apart on Saturday very much like last season, McCormack,Jedinak and Elphick were supposed to be our leaders but I am also worried that you can have too many voices on the pitch all saying different things.
    Glad to have a break of any sort.


  42. B62/SWV,

    You could well be right in many respects, but the fact is that the defence is totally new, with a new midfielder to boot. And next match it looks like our two latest midfielder signings will be playing together for the first time.

    If that is not a sign of a W.I.P. then what is? I think, however, we will have nailed most of the defensive and midfield issues once they’ve settled. It remains to see what improvement can be got up front.

  43. SWV
    Yeah it was the better option and for next season I’ll have a better idea of where to go from the off, we went down the harbour and had a couple in the hole in the wall, then over to the Lloyds bar and around there before a last one in the ground pre match. Walked bloody miles tho!!! My old man who is 70 enjoyed it as he hasn’t been to an away game for a good few years, despite our capitulation.
    I’ve had a look at the points totals required to go up, over the last 10 years the average points total for 1st = 92.7 2nd = 82.2 and finally 6th = 72.7 meaning we have a serious amount of work to do.

  44. Calmed down a bit but still royally effed off. But overall surly we will be ok…the set up now is so much better. I can def get more excited and get behind this lot. I will be amazed if we don’t get top 6. Lets see what happen today and tomoz. McCormack will surly be a lot better with some pace around him.

  45. From what I’ve read Hull are more than willing to sell Hernandez to us. The sticking point, apparently, is that the striker wants more money in his wage packet then our owner is willing to provide.

  46. Kodija is being bombed out of Bristol City because he refused to play in last Tuesdays cup match at Scunthorpe, the manager Lee Johnson asked him to play out wide but he refused and was disciplined by the club.
    He is not good enough to make those sort of demands and certainly nowhere near good enough to spearhead the Villa attack, plus is that the type of player we want, another who throws his toys out of the pram because he can”t get his own way, worth £6m at best.


  47. Christ on a bike I have just seen the figure being quoted for Kodija — £15m that has got to be a joke if anyone pays that they should be certified mental.
    I would go all out to get Hernandez and pay his wages to secure him far better player in my opinion.


  48. Well, I may rue saying this but despite any shortcomings Kodjia may have character- wise, and despite the fact that we’re overpaying for the lad … do I still want him in?


    I’ve seen the Youtube video of his Bristol City goals last year, and in addition to scoring with a welcome regularity he definitely showed remarkable dribbling and ball control skills as well. If he can replicate that this season and help us gain promotion, then we’d be quite foolish to risk closing the window without his services — IF our first choice Hernandez isn’t going to sign with us anyway.

    IMHO, better Kodjia than no striker at all.

  49. SWV: We need to forget everything we’ve ever learned about how much certain players are worth in certain leagues. The fabulous wealth now pouring into the Prem League teams’ coffers is now trickling down into every league below it; as they utilize their wherewithal to overpay, it’s forcing every other league — including even La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga clubs — to pay far higher prices than they’ve ever been accustomed to paying. Even managers like Wenger have expressed their astonishment.

    You’re completely correct, of course: he actually is, in reality, a £6ml player. Now however, the value of most of the notable “difference-making” players has at least doubled. If a club has any real ambition, they’ll need to just bite the bullet, accept this as the new normal, and simply get on with the task at hand.

    Thankfully, it looks as if Dr. Tony has accepted this new fact, and has his own well-funded war kitty to keep up with the others in this arms race.’

  50. you never know with signings. I was so excited about McCormack but feeling disappointed already! early days I know but point is until they put on the villa shirt and play we don’t know what they will be like despite are early judgment. Ill give kodjia a chance and see what he does.

    He is not gabby so that’s a start.

  51. See I think Kodjia is perfect to lead the line for us. In fact I think he’s better for us than Hernandez

    He’s powerful, tall and quick. All you need. Cool in front of goal to

    What worries me is a lack of winger. We need one so badly. Talk of ayew going. Better not unless we have 2 wingers in bound

  52. Sorry guys if you want a player that downs tools if he doesn’t get his own way then Kodija is your man think we had far too many like that last season, still think Hernandez is a far better option.


  53. John,

    I have to say I am shocked I do not rate this bloke that high and think we have severely overpaid for him, being a Villan I truly hope he works out and scores shed loads of goals, but I hoped for someone slightly better, he has one decent season under his belt in English football so a unknown quantity.


  54. Insane prices,but that’s the nature of the beast as we all know.RDM has my sympathy.Newcastle brought in the fat one,in March so he had 8 or 10 games to asses his pile of carp,a pre season and a clear idea of where to strengten and who to shop out.RDM has had to a few weeks to do both,asses his pile of carp,and work out where to strengthen,so what I’m trying to say is,he’s had time against him.
    My concern is the MF area we seem to get overwhelmed there in the last 30 mins of games.We let teams back in,and unless we intend to win games 4-3 and 3-2,I can’t see us seeing games out to a comfortable 2-0 very often.Presently we have a decent 11,but a weak squad,and we are restricted in how we react when we become tired and the opponents are dominating the ball.Injuries and suspensions,which all sides get,don’t fill me with confidence looking at this group.

    Lets see where we are tomorrow night and I hope we can nick another MF player,one who can take a corner and a FK.Dare I say,a Danny Murphy type,calm in possesion,knows when to speed the game up and when to slow it down.I know they don’t grow on trees,and cost £££££.Always rated Morrisson at the Baggies,is he still there..?
    Enjoy the rest of the window and it’s madness.

  55. 15m is it desperate times, is he that good, are we victims of having money and needing a striker so we were from a seller’s perspective correctly hung out for as much money as possible.

    Hope this works, we’ve enough strikers, think the problem is the link between midfield and forward, Grealish is still learning what the right ball is in every situation, Ayew doesn’t give a flying f**k, Jedinak protects the back four and Tsihbola is also very young.

    A Wes Houlihan type player would have been perfect

  56. never seen kodjia play or even heard of him until last week but watching the video of his goals he seems to score every type, distance, tap ins, headers, both feet etc, what i don’t like is his refusal to conform to the managers orders. having seen the vid i think he should do well at villa.

  57. I wouldn’t worry to much about kodjia wanting to leave Bristol – players want to move for better money and to join a club showing ambition

    the fee we have paid is what it costs to get the player and what dr x is doing in his first window is what citeh and chelsea had to do at first

    if tony x wants to take villa to the top he needs more of the same and if we want to be in the promotion mix at xmas we need to spend a few more quid this window

    welcome kodjia

  58. Runtingz,
    Yes mate, 140m next year in the EPL i think, a 30m spend will be peanuts if we get there and with a base of decent players to build on too for a change.

  59. Runtings,

    Yep … and it’s the Doc’s money anyhow. So long as the new feller fulfills the requirements of his job spec then I’m sure we’ll all be happy!

  60. still like to see 2/3 more players
    centre half
    centre mid
    they can be loans keep some money for january
    as for price of new striker his value only counts if he doesn tscore

  61. Intersting doc tweet when asked about Morrison http://www.footballinsider247.com/xia-responds-on-twitter-to-lazio-playmaker-signing-speculation/?

    Gotta love him eh guys

    I have a funny feeling there will be a few surprise in and outs close to the end of the window — one thing is for sure , I am actually looking forwards to Mr Whites deadline show as apposed to dreading it — recent deadline days have been just as much an embarrassment as everything else about the club

    They did maximum damage and it;s still hard to believe we could have someone like the doc who seems to be doing everything he can to revive the club – with care and attention to detail while drawing the fans back into the arms of the club

  62. Just watched some vids of kodjia and adomah. One think that stands out to me is there character. Smiling and actually celebrating any type of goal like its the last goal they will score. Got a feeling they will add pace, directness and energy in final 3rd. Excited!

    Yeah ba could be coming in…. Laters richards! So that may well be it tomoz. Ba and adomah?

  63. I can say with confidence that this has not been a boring transfer window.

    Kodjia…Did we get mugged? Dunno. These are the prices, and folks know Dr. Tony has money to spend and an intention to spend it. It’s all relative, in the end. (Benteke didn’t produce a whole lot for the scouse at £32m.)

    At least he’s tuned into the needs and is trying to fill them. Along with engaging the fans, answering questions, providing updates. I like the man’s approach.

  64. (I really should just stop and think and post one big rambling summary)

    I’d also be happy to see Ayew leave if it’s for the purported £11m (if I have that right). It won’t be hard for Kodjia to justify a £3m outlay in that scenario.

    And if Ayew stays, he’ll either have to learn how to play with the team or collect splinters. If he pulls his head out, we could have a formidable attack.

    Now, like everyone else, would like to see an AM and/or winger signed. That would be a seriously impressive window.

  65. Here’s a thought in the midst of signing yet another overrated overvalued 2nd tier striker over the odds.

    Invest in two fullbacks who actually know how to defend gasp and a keeper who doesn’t gift the other team goals and results when we’ve been the better team. Worked for Leicester!


  66. Villa have tried to improve the team with players coming in. Some of the players they wanted didn’t sign for various reasons, so Villa have had to move on and sign other players. They might not be first choice or might even prove to be blanks, but we’ll soon see.
    I’m not too worried as long as winning ways start sooner than later. Dr.X has kept his promise. The fans are good. The infrastructure is in place. It’s up to the playing staff now.
    Many good comments coming through.

  67. bit gutted about Toure turning his back on the club – even though working under randy is enough for any decent player to want out – i thought dr x approach might have changed his view of the club – but clearly not — he is miles from a complete player but will be interesting to see what boro can get out of him

    I read somewhere that Ince is available – i think he would be a good buy for our static midfield

  68. Hi Andrew

    And unlike last year when we were waiting for all the new players to bed in with no experience of the premier league, this time we are waiting for all the new players to bed in with bags of prem and champ experience.

    While we’ve been in part woeful, the parts were we dominated were just that, domination but without the required goal return, we’ll be more than fine this season once we bed down but i’m not averse to it taking the planned two seasons.

    My only problem with that is that another season out of the prem and the cr*p teams get more money to spend, looking at you Baggies, sooner we get back, the sooner we can start phase 2 of the build and Dr. T has proved he will support the club

    Back to Newsnow for the updates


  69. southwestvillan – exactly what I thought and Ivory Coast are top of their group for 2017 ACN.

    I agree with some of the other comments that we need a couple of decent midfielders plus replacements for Richards and Lescott. It wasn’t so bad when we had Dion to drop back into defence but I can’t think of anyone in the current squad – definitely not Gestede

  70. Adomah is a very hard working right sided player can beat people but as Steamer says his crossing can be woeful, played in boros side last season who got promoted so we are certainly building a side that knows a thing or two about getting up.


  71. Andrew: “ah clark! too many to remember!”

    You didn’t have to! 😉 … They’re all listed on my website. I’ve been updating the list for weeks, showing which are loans and which are purchases.

  72. Okore, another bugger! Ah nice one John…would of saved me the bother. Hope you can add gabby and michah to it soon!

    good to hear swv! Ayew and adomah are good mates so might cheer ayew up a bit! Think ayew is more suited more down the middle to be fair. tracking back is not his thing! certainly got options now with kodjia and adomah arriving.

  73. departures 2016
    sanchez on loan but have to buy
    vertout on loan
    gill on loan
    plus few young players some list wage bill must be well down

    now hutton flabby richards please

  74. Think adorma was the attacking mid promised. Shows how s**t the squad was when aftervall this theres still plenty to do! Tisch and jedinik main cm but if they injured we are f**ked. Short at cb too.

    Another 2 windows we will be ok!!

  75. James,

    Some of those listed in your departures were last season’s movements.

    In reality surely Hutton is still needed (for cover). I’d say that Gabby comes within that category too, and maybe even Richards.

    We’re not going to have a perfect situation – there are great dangers in trying to do a complete turnaround of players – but at least Dr. Tonix has shown a remarkable ability to make things happen given that his experience of football business was virtually nil (I think).

  76. Agree JL unfortunately

    be sad to see us playing gabs and micah and while hutton can do shocking things at least he is committed

    ideally we would get rid of the to and replace with better but nothing is ideal

    it a moral thing with gabs from last seasons behavior but with application he could have fun in this league

  77. Can’t see Agoalayear playing pro footy again, what fan would want him in their club after the public humiliation he suffered on TV last season. Even managers would be wary signing a mediocre has-been who can’t even be bothered to stay in any sort of shape. Villa are going about ridding him in the correct fashion, without games its even less likely that a club will sign him, OK he’ll be picking up 65k per week but when his contract expires who will sign him ?

  78. So what’s this window’s really meant is that of last year’s regular starters only Grealish remains as a likely regular starter this year (Amavi doesn’t count of course, as he’d only started a handful of games before his season-ending injury).

    Wow, what a complete overhaul! Kudos to RdM and Dr. Xia for pulling it off!

    Now I pose a couple of questions to all the lifelong Villa supporters here: do any of you remember any other single window in our past when an entire Villa team has been completely gutted and rebuilt in a similar fashion? Which season’s window would have come the closest, do you think?

  79. tex – we still have westwood is still a regular and hutton , sissoko and bacuna are not the greatest but will have for now

    It’s even more remarkable as dr x only passed pp about 8 weeks ago and had to bring staff in at all levels before addressing the team

    I think the squad that went down has to be one of the worst pro teams i have ever seen

  80. Tex,
    Probably the one that Sherwood had last pre-season, ironically most blogs hailed it as our best ever, we all know how that one turned out.

  81. Texas: “…any other single window in our past when an entire Villa team has been completely gutted and rebuilt in a similar fashion? Which season’s window would have come the closest, do you think?”

    The last season when anywhere near such a turnaround took place was last season as I recall!

    Prior to that, you have to go back to 1955 when so many stars either left for another club or retired, or in 1919 (just after WW1) when the team was transformed within 4 months following a disastrous start to the season.

    Yes, there have been times when half a team has been changed round in one close season, but nothing quite on this scale.

    This close season has seen a financial investment coupled with numbers of bodies that is unprecedented, I think. Making a team out of so many new signings is a big challenge. The usual practise has been for a manager to spend around 3 seasons on rebuilding a team.

  82. steamer i thought he showed potential at times and he is only on loan — but i would love a tom ince type in the — someone that can run with the ball , drive forward — shoot and create as part of the natural game

  83. In fact, the way that Villa teams have previously been transformed is by a combination of purchases and the promotion of youngsters. We seem to be bypassing that second element here.

  84. Runtings: ” i would love a tom ince type in the — someone that can run with the ball , drive forward — shoot and create as part of the natural game”

    I dunno mate, I think McCormack shows those qualities, but I don’t think he’s settled in yet. Grealish should be another given more development.

  85. John hopefully as the club becomes better there will be more opportunity to bring youngsters in

    not even a talent like toure could really flourish in our previous set

    i do agree bringing through youngsters was something villa always did – until randy rolled up at least

  86. Runtings: the reason that I didn’t include Westwood in my list was that Grealish as a starter is almost a given right now, along with the addition of Jedinak and Tshibola with — to some extent at least — the potential use of Adamoah and even McCormack in midfield, then I don’t see Westwood being nearly the automatic starter that he has been. Surely he’ll make some appearances, but I would think that many of them will be off the bench … unless he improves his game, of course.

    Steamer: I knew that last year’s turnover was really big, but even with those changes Hutton, Given, Westwood and Grealish were almost always starters, plus Gabby and Richardson were given a lot of starts as well. So in my mind this year’s changeover is even more consequential than last year’s.

  87. what i like this transfer window no buying for future, sarkic traore. all players go straight into team ,only problem still think squad abit light plus african cup will leaves us light

  88. Great to see RDM and DR Tony doing such good business in building a new side, while at the same time getting rid of so many , either by selling, or loaning out.

    Good to see Adomah looking forward to teaming up with his best mate from the National team, Ayew, and his previous connections with Bristol City, as well as Middlesboro’.

    Once this team has had the time to bond, it could be the team that we have all been hoping for.

    I see Agoalayear turned down Reading, so obviously not bothered about playing until the African Nations Cup looms up….well he can dream…!!
    See Neil Warnock sees Ross McMormack’s best role as a no.10 playing in the hole behind the striker.

  89. Texas (about 1955)…

    It was the year of disillusionment for Villa’s 2 top players of that time – Blanchflower and Thompson. Both put in transfer requests and left by the end of the 1954-55 season because they did not see Villa having enough ambition. And one of the reasons was that the virtually rest of the Villa squad was mainly at the point of retirement and yet Villa didn’t plan for players to replace them. Several players had reached the age of 35+.

    The 1955-56 season was almost a relegation disaster as Villa put together a team mostly made up largely of upcoming reserves and one supposedly big signing (striker Dave Hickson) who spectacularly failed and left after 12 matches. Villa had to dig deep and make emergency signings from Christmas onwards to avoid relegation.

  90. I remember Roy Keane complaining that Villa had no ambition under Lerner. Seem to have plenty of ambition now, at least at management level. Hope the players feel the same.
    It remains to be seen what becomes of Gabby at Villa. I think he’s going to eventually get games, probably in the African Nations Cup as Paul mentioned. He’ll need to get match fit somehow if he’s staying.
    Not too worried about Hutton staying as a squad player.

  91. I think that the year of our first relegation we spent something like 38k on a rake of new players including Jimmy Allen at 10,500 which i believe was a record fee, as JL mentioned in a previous post, he bombed and we were relegated.

    Talking of transfers 50m doesn’t get you a lot nowadays does it ? the number of dire crepe moving for 40-50m is unbelievable. I see the media darn sarf is perpetuating the Jack Wheelchair myth, over the past couple of days i’ve seen him described as “one of the greatest talents of his generation” and now they expect people to believe that he turned down Juventus and AC Milan to sign for Bournemouth. Without doubt the most overrated player in English football.

  92. Jl you got out of bed at 7-20am , lazy sod )))

    Gibbo , nice one , congrates mate .

    ANC — it seems Tonic has already thought of that and has some loans lined up in January .
    5000 going to Barnsley on a tuesday night and from what lm hearing , NO trains !!only f**king in England , coach it is then ,

    should be some reporters from media at yours soon , seems they have found some of the oldest relics in Greenland , obviously have’nt been around marston green and met you , .

  93. Trin,
    For him to turn down Reading is insane, 2 hours away and a regular game for their reserves is too good to refuse, perhaps they don’t have any KFC’s down there.

  94. How much do I love the Dr! Someone said to him you have not thought about it re African Nations…his reply don’t worry about it…we have a plan. going to sign 1-2 and several on loan! 🙂

    About gabby he said upset as he wanted to get him out on loan and prove himself as a real man! 🙂

  95. Xia strikes me as a keen but incompetent fool. Riley has remained at the club for most of the summer and the quality of the signings reflects his influence. Failing to get Hernandez will prove costly in the long run.

    Spent 50m on utter mediocrity and most positions have no cover of any value i.e. each injury re-inserts a Lambert/Riley signing

  96. Paul,
    Hello mate,
    If we were in the prem i’d agree on most of the signings, Jedi i would say is still a good MF, DeLaet, Chester, Elph can do a job and Tombola is a very good prospect, i have doubts about the others but imo they’re good enough to get us out of this division and then we’ll have 140m to spend on better players to stabilise the team. Lerner and Fox couldn’t have buggered this club up more if they’d tried.

  97. Steamer
    Maybe, he’s seeing reality. I hope someone told Gabby to forget the weights and just do aerobics and flexibility/swimming. He should, in my view, also study part-time to get his brain sharp and prepare for post-football life. Lucky guy, though, 65k a week and turning down employment. The unemployed would have their benefits swiftly cut.

  98. Steamer: “I think that the year of our first relegation we spent something like 38k on a rake of new players”

    You’re dead right, but those signings were spread over the season. I think this summer is the first time so much turnround has happened so quickly.

    S75: “you got out of bed at 7-20am , lazy sod )))”

    You’re right … yesterday morning I was up at 4:30 (no, not p.m.!!!!!)

  99. Paul

    Could not disagree more! If XIa was incompetent he would not of employed robby, Clarke, bond but only on 2 year deal which he wants us up by. Also getting round in shows planning and ambition for long term. Everything he has done from appointents to buying a new team is what I wanted to happen. Chuck in the ties already with the Indian government and future plans to buy clubs in Australia, india, china im not sure what else he could of done! He has only been here 3 months too!!

  100. Most of the signings we have managed to persuade them to drop out the prem and there are 5 players who know what its like to get promoted out of this league! Chuck in McCormack who is the championship leading scorer id say its the stuff of dreams! Not sure what else he can do. Wanted Hernandez and so did the dr..willing to spend 20mill but agent ballsed it up wanting silly money for wages

  101. I agree with the Riley comment god only knows how he is still in a job surely worked very closely with halmstad who got the bullet a while back.
    I also agree not getting Hernandez could bite us on the Aristotle but the good doctor has made it very clear that he will not be held to ransom and will not sell the crown jewels to pay for one player.

    Which brings us back full circle to our No1 striker Agbonlahor who in rejecting a move to Reading and possibly freeing up more money to pay Hernandez he may have scuppered the deal which is probably what the good doctor alluded to in his tweet that showed clear annoyance at Mr.KFC.


  102. Always good to get a different opinion and Paul’s is different to mine, I’ve written previously that the quality of the signings last year absolutely reflect Riley because he was working on the moneyball principle and we know where it got us.

    Buying multiple players without experience of the English league was risky, i did honestly think at the time, we were finding diamonds in the rough but lack of integration and lack of harmony in the dressing room, meant the likes of Veretout, Gana etc could only fail.

    We’ve now bought players who are either proven in this league or proven in the prem and willing to drop down. This tells me that we have a new found competence and not being driven by Riley, further proven by the fact that a TD arrived yesterday which further diminishes Riley’s need to be at the club unless he will report to Round (i.e do Round’s bidding).

    If your intention around implying incompetence is due to recent results, then I’d suggest you relax about Villa and let the team gel and build up a head of steam. Everything is being built to get us back to the prem. It won’t happen today but we’ll turn the corner. Sure we could always have bought more to cover/strengthen certain positions but we’ll have a clear picture in January what we will need to do and as opposed to buying 9 players if we just need one or two, that again is progress.

    If Dr. T is incompetent, i’d love to know what adjectives you use to describe Lerner.


  103. Negative: So the seat left vacant by NZogbia whilst stealing £72k a week from AVFC is now filled by Agbonlahor stealing £65k a week for doing sweet FA, some will probably look on it has saving £7k a week.

    Positives: Just been reading the main site about Steve Round and you cannot be forgiven to be filled with massive optimism and expectation for the future of Aston Villa.
    We have endured a terrible last five to six years since MON left that it would probably kill most peoples enthusiasm for the this club and the game of football in general, but we stuck around because that’s what AVFC does to you, it sucks you in as a boy and wraps its tentacles around you for decades until you get to breaking point and then you come back for some more.

    I watched the collapse against Bristol City and was genuinely annoyed because that passion never goes away, but then you have time to think and analyse and understand all the damage that was done by Lerner,Faulkner,Fox etc and realise it will take more than half a dozen games to repair all that carnage.

    I hate the word transition but it probably defines where we are at this moment in time, yes we will need patience but I truly believe in time with Tony at the helm we will get things right, there will be some rocky moments but the future is looking decidedly Claret and Blue.


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