It’s been nearly 10 years since Derby last visited Villa Park, and you have to look to 10 years before that to find a Derby success at VP. But derbies are derbies – particularly against Derby! – and we, in our current spate of defeats and fall from grace, cannot assume that we just have to turn up at VP to see Villa win yet again against them. In fact, Derby haven’t had a bad season: at least they’re in the top half of the table.

One of Derby’s team will be our old friend Darren, of course, who I am sure will pose a threat and cause us to ask the question “How on earth did we pay so much for him and then let him go so easily?” In our current plight, he would surely have been an asset to retain. But the Villa’s books-based bosses thought better, and so here we are facing someone who knows well what it’s like to play at VP and will give our centre-backs a real test. Bent’s departure was all the more useless as his near-namesake and replacement – Benteke – threw in the towel and went elsewhere.

But the dire question is, how many strikers will Villa have available against Derby? That question is made more frustrating with Bent there on display. Well, that’s where we are: another reminder of 7 years of Villa mismanagement playing in front of us. Therefore how much more do we need a Villa that can get a rub of the green and score two freakish goals (a la Newcastle) to get us back on course!

One positive is that it looks as though Bree will be available for selection, and, with Taylor and Hutton doing pretty well at Newcastle, we suddenly seem to be well-blessed in the full-back department.

Then, three days later, we have Bristol City as visitors. The week-end after that we are at Rotherham. So – there we have it – three good opportunities to take away the threat of the sword of Damocles. And to take advantage of those matches by gaining at least 7 points will effectively remove further nervousness and let the team get itself together for next season’s challenge. However, if we get those points with so little strike-power available, then surely we will have done well.

I’m taking Andrew’s team to do the necessary:

Johnstone
Bree Chester Elphick Taylor
Lansbury Jedi Hourihan
Adomah Kodjia Green

With Samba to come on as the match-winning dynamo if we get into trouble!

Comments 226

  1. Thanks JL

    I think Bruce has very much had his rub of the green in the games before December, some very fortuitous results. He has had time to influence players both in a coaching sense and a Morale one and has failed miserably. Bruce’s admission that its going to take him a long time to sort this out means only one thing in Bruce’s world, he will buy even more players in the summer if here.

    Meanwhile there are ex villa players competing in structured sides all above us in this league, they have a role and know the plan, I don’t think Bruce does so our players don’t either.

    As for the game I do not have clue what he will do so……..?

  2. Cheers John

    Don’t see anything but a defeat im afraid. Derby are good in possession and can score a goal. 2-0 rams.

    Its all about finding 3 worse teams than us. Rotherham are gone. Blackburn, Bristol city and burton our are rivals. Thank god Bristol lost last night….they seem to be in trouble too. an unhappy club.

    Simply a must not loose game against them tues.

  3. Mark

    Was listening to Curtis davies talk about silva at hull.

    Says in training, he walks everyplayer through there role. Even on throwins if it aint done right they do it again.

    Come match day he said we all know where are players are going to be on the pitch.

  4. Actually, the reason why I said “7 points” is because I feel we’ll just get a draw vs Derby.

    If we can do that it will settle some nerves and then cash in on the next two matches as wins.

  5. Thanks John.
    If Villa give away silly free kicks and set plays, Bent will score for Derby.
    Someone wrote that we should have hung on to Cissoko and Gollini. I agree with that. Why not develop Gollini? Don’t understand the Italian goalkeeping coach thing, though. What did Cissoko do wrong to get loaned out?
    2-2

  6. Sorry to say but anything less than 6 points from the three games would be difficult to take, don’t expect anything from the Derby game to be honest but hopefully we’ll be singing ‘can we play you every week’ against Bristol and Rotheram.

  7. Andrew
    Yes it’s odd isn’t it, that hardly any of them [except Kirdy] seem to be working out, why I don’t know.
    Toner is a surprise, but it depends on many things not just the player, & the English way seems to be to dumb down far too often, which is a reflection of how things are in the country.

  8. MK
    Whether the players are in any state to cope with that kind of regime is a moot point, because it would be equally likely to send us on a downward spiral rather than improve the play.
    Then again who knows what they’re doing at BH

  9. But Mark, is now the best time? Even if we get someone who is a man manager like him, throwing them now into the job would not be fair. Look what happened with Garde, I feel anyone who takes up the job right now will have the same fate (no matter how skilled they are).

    Having said that, ff we don’t win any of the next three we probably may need to take that gamble anyway.

  10. Great article about Silva, just smacks of everything that is right about the modern manager, a constant student of the game, looks to develop a system or systems and put players into it. Tactics and the application of those tactics are paramount.

    Contrast that with Bruce, ‘I need to mend the club, I wasn’t responsible but its up to me’, just feckin coach (if you can), decide on a defensive/counter-attacking system for the remaining games that is simple for the players to follow until such time as we all (Dr.T) realise the modern game has bypassed Bruce and will bypass us if we don’t change with the times.

    It’s scary that a club like Hull with no history have either the foresight or the luck to hire a manager like Silva, yet our limited thought process extends to checking how many promotions a manager has.

    In addition, here is someone prepared to work within a constricted budget, when Bruce walked away from the club because of budget issues, i.e. he intended to buy his way into premier league survival rather than improve the players that got him promotion.

  11. Gentlemen,

    In the way that Bruce is talking it would appear that there’s something awry within AVFC – and also a something that Tony Morley referred to recently as ‘a cancer’, I believe.

    If that is the case then perhaps Bruce has a bigger job than we imagine. Without being there we are not to know what exactly the issues are. It sounds like an inherent attitude issue that still pervades even though there is a change in ownership.

  12. I don’t doubt that Bruce feels that he is at a big club and within his abilities he is attempting to reverse the club’s fortunes and as he has said it’s his defining moment to manage a club of this size but it does detract from the mess we are in under his 20+ games.

    Look at the approach to the cup game against Spurs, look at how scraped our wins have been before new years, look at the introduction of too many new players at once (from an experienced manager), look at attempted rehabilitation of Gabby when he should extended the hand to RMC, look at the early sale of Gestede despite the RMC situation and Kodija at AFCON, look at the lack of any clear sign that some training ground formation has been introduced but not yet working because there has been no change, just some panic ideas like vs Forest.

    To my mind there is a catalogue of reasons why it’s not working and none to do with previous regimes or managers, so we stick with Bruce and in reality, tactics and formations don’t improve, what improves is the partnerships around the pitch from playing together for a long time that has nothing to do with Bruce.

  13. We’ve had this mysterious element that impairs Villa from a few managers, do they guys train on an ancient burial ground in BMH.

    Reality is the players can’t either handle the pressure of playing for Villa, can’t handle the pressure of the situation i.e. fighting relegation or successive managers have not been supported in their efforts to get rid of the bad eggs that are a destructive influence on the dressing room we still have a few.

  14. I agree DOR

    When he came in the players were talking about the change in atmosphere at VP well that lasted as long as it took for Bruce to start throwing the blame around, plenty of these players came to Villa because it is a big club the biggest they are likely to be at just like Bruce. Yes they are on good money but we went after them not the other way around. Bruce seems to of acted both as cure and new disease.

    IanG/Villalore when exactly is the right time lads? Like DOR I see no method to Bruces teams, re-shuffle and see what happens is it. A manager capable like Silva to remove doubt by instruction would make a difference, if these lot are that soft then we deserve to drop. Bruce lacks conviction for me and players will not follow a ditherer with no answers.

    By the way Wolves were looking at Silva last summer ask yourselves why we were not? 2 managers down so far and nether the answer

  15. thanks for the leader JL

    like most i don’t expect any points from this game but hope we can come out with something

    Was thinking about how poor K.Clark was during most of his villa career and it kind of hits home the point of how important working with a good manager is to what a player can become — he didn’t put a foot wrong vs us and has become a much better player since leaving villa without any doubt

    JL i agree that the problems at villa run deep within the club and remain convinced that these issues will not go away until we have the right manager guiding the players which will then allow the club to recover

  16. Darren: “Reality is the players canโ€™t either handle the pressure of playing for Villa, canโ€™t handle the pressure of the situation i.e. fighting relegation or successive managers have not been supported in their efforts to get rid of the bad eggs that are a destructive influence on the dressing room we still have a few.”

    Now that’s what I was referring to as a likely area to be addressed, particularly the pressure of playing for Villa.

    Hence if there is a weight of responsibility issue then it’s not Bruce’s fault if they don’t do what’s needed out there on the pitch. Once they’re out there the manager has no knobs or switches he can use to modify his robots’ play. All that Bruce can do is try to find methods to change the climate of thought.

    And we think changing a manager is going to get over such issues? No sir.

  17. JL- Sorry I cannot buy he can do nothing? he might as well go then because he is taking a wage for doing zilch. Why do other managers do something? I am not buying this disruptive influence cr*p any more, Bruce has both Gabby and Richards under his wing, to incredibly bad influences and players yet he seems to hold them up as shining Lights to the rest? any sane player would be thinking WTF? If its so contagious then the only answer is a clean sweep if the manager does not have the ability to solve it or inspire the players. enough excuses now.

  18. mark k
    i said same things about new psg manager,giving tapes to his players to watch on future opponent
    bruce might have been good enough 10/5 years ago, even the great master fergie adapted with new players methods, its why wenger is getting stick never moved on in last 20 years

  19. Runtings/Mark,

    Clearly Bruce was rated as the one to go for to get Villa promoted. Are you all saying that you all know better and that Bruce was a nonsense acquisition?

    And to say that the manager controls what goes on the pitch is demonstrably not true. The manager cannot dictate *exactly* how his players will play – very especially if it’s a new squad he’s assembled. He can plan for the tea, and that’s all. Could you predict that Lansbury would slice his clearance, that the ball would then come back off the post and then hit his heel to go into the net?!

    There are so many variables that can occur on the pitch that are impossible to predict or control.

  20. Mark: “I understand physiological issues exist but holy cr*p if we were a factory we would shut.”

    That’s why factories do mechanical things according to machine-like operations. Sport is not such.

  21. JL- so a tennis player playing the same stroke over and over is not a mechanical thing? a sheet metal worker beating a panel is not a learned pattern? if you drill the side in good habits these are taken on by the subconscious at around 10,000th time are implanted, Its why repetition is needed. Now beings the manager instructs the players I have to assume some confusion is happening because these players have gone way past the 10,000 mark. When Bruce says back to basics its an insult to a professional player, if the players doe not know what the other players are going to do then we will continue to look like cr*p.

    Now we can either wait months for the players to work it out themselves or you employ someone to see what the patterns are and correct them, better still instruct the players so they know what is expected and what to expect from others. Its a short cut used by good coaches.

  22. JL Yes i can say can the manager controls or has lack of control over how his team plays

    It comes across like you don’t believe the manager is the main influence for any team be that a good or bad influence

    My post re Clark – the fact Juve are looking at Verotoot and the Fact that good players elsewhere become bad players at villa and good again when they escape in most cases supports the importance of a managers influence

    If you want to dismiss the effect good managers pretty much immediately have on teams thats your call but the evidence is there to support my argument

    yes Bruce was hired because they thought he would get the best out of the team/club but with the game advancing so much it turns out it was a bad call hiring him and he has failed miserably

    Bruce is a dying breed of manager who’s old school methods and lack of tactical skill and know how is clearly being exposed as obsolete

    the excuses being made for Bruce has no grounding whatsoever and any nre age manager would get this group of players firing pretty sharpish — lets not forget they are very good players — and will be again under a good manager

  23. JL- Bruce is known for his promotions less for his demotions and even less for his coaching and tactical skills. Tony Xia said he was surprised that Bruce was so open to new ideas, that to me says he thought as we do he is an old fashion manager. Bruce I suspect is a bit of a charmer and can lay it on when needed.

  24. to put it another way Bruce saw our problems as a lack of attacking options in the midfield and poor fullbacks and no pace up top, he went out and bought those and……..?

  25. Runtings,

    No – I’m saying that there are factors that Bruce and the Doctor recognise that we probably don’t understand too well.

    Mark,

    Certain things are mechanical – that’s why training takes place of course. But you cannot plan for exactly what the opposition is going to do, how your players react to that … and even whether the goal post wants to have a say in that.

    And there’s the psychological aspect in the player himself. Or whether he’s picked up a niggle.

    Factories are not a good analogy. Some similarity, yes, but not a valid parallel.

  26. Runtings: “the Fact that good players elsewhere become bad players at villa and good again when they escape in most cases”

    Have you also noticed that pretty all the players that have come in and/or left have come or gone to smaller clubs? … Perhaps they succeed there because they’re big fish in small pools by comparison?

    And what happened to Benteke and Delph? Barry and Milner have done alright though.

  27. JL- ? skilled workers led by good management make good product ,company prospers ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Maybe we haven’t had that many players the big clubs want? Certainly not to play in their style, how many of Southampton’s have gone to big clubs?

  28. If Xia and Bruce know what the problem is why has it remained the same? why has it got worse even?

    to go back to the factory have we employed 20 sheet-metal workers that have forgotten how to make things properly? or has the management not got the assembly process sorted? worse still is he changing the line around in hope it will work? maybe the workers just need to know what car they are making and who’s making what part? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  29. DOR
    I live on an ancient crossroads at the top of the hill, & the weather goes round in circles over it [clouds etc with often the sun showing through only through a gap over the top of the hill].
    Halfway down the hill it is normal with the direction of the wind.
    I have observed this is the case on other sites, but the element of high energy often makes people react oddly.
    If BH is on top of a burial mound, imaging what’ll happen when they build the High Speed Railway & dig up half of it.
    We could end up with a team of ghosts.
    Mind you they couldn’t do any worse than the current living dead version.

  30. runtings
    Your constant agism is more like tourettes mate.
    I am old, therefore by some definitions old school, & wisdom can come with age, when the method that youth chases is transcended & becomes simple, direct, goes beyond definitions & is not limited by the method.
    So to blame everything on ‘old school’ is taking the proverbial & is like a teenager blaming his dad for all his ills.
    Not that the point you are trying to make escapes me, but it does depend on the innate intelligence of footballers, & maybe they need to go back to school as they seem to have lost the ability to use the brains let alone their feet.
    You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but you can make bacon out of what’s left, or in this case a football team.

  31. MK
    Well that’s a compliment as it takes one to know one.
    In this case at least I’m looking down on you as you seem to be building an entrenched position.
    Method is to support the less blessed players rather than the means to go beyond it with talent & change the game

  32. IanG- Innate intelligence? are you saying Bruce has that but the players don’t? Wenger is old but not old school and he is intelligent. All modern day coaches seem to be quite clever and articulate and able to tell you exactly what has gone on and what they want to see in detail, Bruce? back to basics. I believe the level of teaching and technology has sky rocketed in recent years especially with the influx of foreign managers, do you still use pigeons or have you got a telegraph station near your hill? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  33. Mark: “Maybe we havenโ€™t had that many players the big clubs want? Certainly not to play in their style, how many of Southamptonโ€™s have gone to big clubs?”

    But that wasn’t the point that Runtings introduced. He simply stated that players from/to other clubs had done better at those clubs. I was simply replying that those players seem to excel in a smaller environment.

  34. Ian G
    “Method is to support the less blessed players rather than the means to go beyond it with talent & change the game”

    what does that mean?
    if my positions entrenched it will stay that way until I see evidence of something better, your position seems to switch nearly every post.

  35. jL- or maybe in a lot of case when they are given a chance in a structured environment, some of those players are in teams sat above us right now. How long are we going to hang on to Villa are a big club so nobody from small clubs can play for us without filling their pants? what about Young from watford? platt, benteke from genk. It just does not add up I’m afraid, just another excuse afforded.

  36. MK
    I wasn’t being specific to Bruce, just being lumped with any limitations he might have.
    If Bruce is limited on his abilities it’s not due to age, just his own limitations.
    I also am fed up of the current trend in sport of using extreme technologies to make players go beyond themselves & damage them in the process, rather than getting them to be in their skin & do what they are capable of in a good way.
    It’s more like a ‘Christians v Lions’ video game mentality.

  37. IanG – I think you will find Silva at Hull likes his players to enjoy the game, and Wagner has very definite views on how it should be played, his players look very happy and like each other.Old school is not a reference to age but belonging to an Era, Tom Jones is still considered cool whilst being an old fart.
    Believe it or not pep studies tactics from all eras and used the withdrawn no9 role with messi at barca to great effect, that was first used in the 40′ or 50’s. what I’m trying to say is they are students of the game not just someone who played it.

  38. Ian G ๐Ÿ™‚ i am am an old fool myself no doubt

    All i can do is say things as i see them – if don’t believe Bruce is the man and unless he adapts to the obvious changes in football my view will not change

    Lets hope i am proved wrong and Bruce gets the players firing together as a unit that all know what he wants and how to execute his instruction
    The effects of good management and the signs that a good manager is about is not lost on me and not just in football

  39. MK
    Nowhere in my posts have I ever said that I wanted or rate Bruce.
    There also is a plethora of young farts everywhere, feeding their neuroses like a glutton feeds his stomach
    What I am talking about is the extreme of fitness versus natural skill, the optimum state of body v speed of thought aligned to talent.
    You’d never get Stanley Mathews & many others playing within that culture as it would stifle the skill & he played top level well into his 40s.
    Do you think footballers or others from 50 years ago were inferior to the so called modern game?
    Total drivel to justify someone’s existence & pay packet is more like!
    I think it’s more about justifying the image & therefore earning potential of the modern coach.
    What the modern sports science is based on is not at all new, & is actually timeless [un]common sense, that if married to money tends to create damaging extremes both to the structures of the sports & the sports people/players.
    If we only lazily view it from a punter’s position, then it becomes like gladiators in the arena with the lions getting who’s left.
    If it was all about winning & nothing else there wouldn’t be many survivors.
    Winning is important, & so is keeping grounded in one’s humanity.
    I repeat that I have posted on what I think about Bruce et al many times, & it seems to me it can easily become like a nervous tick, regurgitating day after day our neurotic obsessions under the guise of intelligence.
    That’s why we need a sense of humour, as asking for perspective might be a step too far.
    This is misuse of intelligence..
    Also just because one person has success in a particular environment, if until the next alignment for success all everyone does is try to copy the outer picture without the necessary coming together & using it to do down the competition, then it brings dumbness & is crazy, & is very very boring & repetitive.

    I’d go nearly the same team as Andrew, but with a more stable team selection the bench is more important than ever.
    Maybe Bree should be sub for this one,
    With the lack of strikers 433 seems a much better balance.
    As DOR said, the next 2 or 3 games are very important & may decide Bruce, whether immediate or not would depend on whether the board has a future target in mind.

  40. Mark: “what about Young from watford? platt, benteke from genk. It just does not add up Iโ€™m afraid, just another excuse afforded.”

    The players you mention clearly had a big-club mentality about them and in 2 cases Villa had pride at that time. Therefore they got where they wanted and succeeded to some extent. Nearly all of the players we’ve acquired these last 6 years have been brought in from small clubs in an atmosphere of a so-called big club (Villa) going nowhere. Only Benteke in that 6-year intake has moved to a bigger club – and did not fit in as it happened.

    In my view, the current lot can do it – coming into a club when the culture is being changed for the +ve… they just need that time I’ve been asking for!

  41. runtings
    Don’t do yourself down mate.
    We are mostly in agreement, but the timing is mostly not under our control as there are too many factors we don’t have access to as JL said.
    All we can do is support the club, we don’t have to support Bruce as it might very well make us ill.
    How things pan out over the next few weeks will be definitive I think, so I hope the doc has been looking potential alternatives, & I think he’s far from dumb.

  42. IanG- well I’m 54 mate and I’m sure runtings is not far either way from me and sorry you don’t like my opinion but its not going to change so what I post will remain as it is thanks. what your talking about is physicality and athletic players, I’m with you on that but get a skilful player thats more athletic like bale or ronaldo its pretty devastating. would the players like Matthews be a good today? of course they would they would be in the same system so that would be equal and they were stand outs in their day. Every man and his dog says the game is quicker today particularly the prem. Like anything when records and books are written knowledge is accumulative so I am not surprised to see well educated coaches coming through vs ex-player types with a name. Come to think of it most good managers were not the best footballers in general.

    If your finding my posts boring post more yourself or get a good book ๐Ÿ˜‰

  43. IanG One thing for sure is it doesn’t matter what we think but what matters to villans is the club and it has been run very badly for a long time — we have all witnessed it’s fall from grace but still have some of the best set of fans in the game

    the more you care about the club is the more you will have suffered guess

    I can’t stop hoping for better or speaking of change if i feel it is needed but i have read the calls for fans to just get behind the club on here and various villa people and pundits during the recent awful journey we have been on and always think there is no need for the call because the club is always very well supported

    We have had some good players at villa – i think the team MON put together and the team before that was only a few class players short of challenging and i think we never took advantage of how close we were to really doing something when we had a young barry to when we had laursen and carew

  44. Does make me wonder how lucky he got with his team though, he only had the league to concentrate on and he had great balance mostly the same team playing and that animal Kante in the middle

    he didnt bring any playing philosophy as such and the term old school comes to mind again

  45. Yes he managed the expectation really well though mate, the concentrating on 40 points was a master stroke. The loss of kante and the other teams being familiar with the tactics and players probably didn’t help, the champs league is huge distraction to a team not used to being in it.

  46. my besty put ยฃ20 on them to go down a lot of people said they would struggle this season and like you say champs lge makes things hard inn the prem for teams

    Chelski won’t just walk it next season

  47. Manager Claudio Ranieri has been sacked by Leicester City, nine months after leading them to the Premier League title.
    The Foxes are one point above the relegation zone with 13 matches left.
    “The board reluctantly feels that a change of leadership, while admittedly painful, is necessary in the club’s greatest interest,” read a statement.
    Ranieri, 65, guided the Foxes to the title despite them being rated 5,000-1 shots at the start of the campaign.
    Relive Leicester’s triumphant day at the King Power Stadium
    What has changed at Leicester?
    His departure comes less than 24 hours after a 2-1 defeat at Spanish side Sevilla in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.
    The Foxes took the Premier League title by 10 points but have won just five top-flight games this season, and could become the first defending champions to be relegated since 1938.
    They have lost their past five league matches and are the only side in the top four English divisions without a league goal in 2017.

  48. MK
    As if I wanted you not to have an opinion.
    I’d only have myself to play with.
    But you do repeat some things until the cows come home.
    Knowledge may be cumulative but knowing how to apply it certainly isn’t.
    You’ve only got to look at the thatcher/yuppy generation [& Bruce].
    By the way you do put a lot of words in my mouth when I didn’t say them.
    Yeah the movie clip is a golden oldie all right.
    I noticed Martin o’Neill has been giving his opinion again backing Bruce, probably he left a disabler when he left, like a fart in the room.

  49. runtings
    Don’t misunderstand me, a critique of a point is no more than that, I would want you to post more even if I don’t agree with what you’re saying.
    Also please don’t think you’re old, it’s fatal & you start farting a lot.
    I think the reminders to support the club is to keep us focused & together, because there’s power in that, & the players need it now more than ever.
    It’s not all about Bruce
    Thanks for the conversation

  50. MK
    Sad about Ranieri [& leicester a bit but they did crow a lot when we went down].
    I still think they can stay up now the distraction of europe is gone.
    Maybe they’ll go for Bruce.
    I read it too, along with someone growing weed in a nuclear bunker in Hampshire.
    There be a lot of glowing yokels… which would make a good chant.
    If you start thinking you’re old just remember how much luck you’ve had to be still here.

  51. The funny thing is that certain phrases seem to proliferate from people unconsciously feeling their mortality.
    Serves them right they’ll probably end up in court

  52. Sensible from foxes. Never jumped on the lester babdwagon. Raniere was just in the right place at the right time as a football fluke happend. Was on the coat tails of pearsons team and there great run which spilled over into last season.

    Interesting about he comments above re tactics and drilling olayers over and over. Needs to happen for players to keep shape. They aint the brightest players. Conte with training does everything at walking pace and pulls and pushes them about telling them were to be. He does it during the game too! But you do need in game intelligence. Was talking about he rugby as work…eng v wales. Not into rugby but what an awful kick by the welsh at the end. But apparently was told to do it all game…kick down the middle was the tactic….but needed to realise time and place!!

  53. Andrew
    I think you’re being a little unfair about Ranieri, as with his record in football it can’t always be that he’s cr*p, & he had to actually manage the people & the training & the times when it went wrong, then he actually against all the odds gelled the group [who were not gelling with Pearson so well in the premiership] to the most unlikely scenario of winning the league.
    And he did buy some players, they weren’t all pearson’s.
    It was a great run in the championship [the key word here is championship not Premiership quality], & the run wasn’t to the same standard on promotion as it was showing signs of tailing off slightly.
    It is simplistic to put all this credit to pearson who has done nothing of note since.
    Yes give him credit for starting the process, but Ranieri is the one to credit for the actual doing of it, which was remarkable.
    It is usually impossible after reaching those unlikely heights to stay there, it mostly doesn’t work like that.
    Losing Kante & others was a huge spanner in the works which destroyed the unusual togetherness back to the ordinary, & that was their most important weapon gone leaving an unfillable hole, & Ranieri needed to go for the sake of the team.
    I still think that they could survive.

    Drills are meant to be so they become automatic, & I know how many obstacles can appear negating that happening.
    It has to be just right, as it only takes one part of the whole not to be quite right & it can have a large effect on what as a group you’re trying to achieve.
    I don’t think you can leave it to the dressing room as in days gone by, as you’re dealing with a lot of often self centred, rich, spoilt, childish egotists.
    It would be difficult with so many changes as it will take time for the drills to become automatic as you have to replace the body & group body memory not the concept.
    The problem can’t be just the team managers/coaches, so the cancer as Tony Morely put it, must be somewhere internally in the club which still affects the the rest.

    I played representative rugby when I was young, & along with football, it’s amazing how often a moody or an attitude stops everything working, as it only takes a split second to screw up, & the mind is the main part of how you perform in the game. Along with that, it’s not always high energy & speed [a la current Liverpool] that is the most important, but timing as it causes lack of belief in the opposition & slows them down leaving oportunities, & McGrath was a prime example.
    It’s learning how to be professional, which is primarily an attitude, which is where a significant amount of footballers screw up.
    Someone needs to sort codger out to widen his game potential so he realises he can both score & set someone else up, otherwise it’s same old.
    We’ve all seen the wayward geniuses & what happens time after time [but it can be entertaining when you lose but frustrating & unfulfilling],
    Players change their mindset most profoundly the more often they win, as it channels their focus easily.
    That’s us fu***d then.

  54. IanG: “By the way you do put a lot of words in my mouth when I didnโ€™t say them.”

    Yes, funnily enough I’ve had that issue, but, hey-ho, we learn to live with it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I like your last post … at 1:15 am. I was tucked in and snoring by then (showing my age!) while you seem to have had a booster to keep you going!

  55. Mark,

    https://youtu.be/lLCZZAheNSU

    Cheers, I had a really good laugh at that! Mostly nonsense, but good to lighten up now and again.

    It reminded me of a match way back when ‘Arry ‘Ampton went to charge Fatty Foulkes in goal. He missed Foulkes completely and somehow ended up hanging from the goalnet by his boot studs. “Get me down!” cried ‘Arry, but Fatty said: “Thah got thyself up there, thou can get thyself down!”

  56. IanG/JL well thats me well and truly told off ๐Ÿ™‚ ever consider that what you are saying sometimes isn’t as clear as you think lads? I certainly get called a happy clapper or depressed based on comments. That in my opinion is your take on things and not much to do with any facts contained in the text and its an opinion on a blog not a Dissertation. Sorry lads but if you are hoping to get 100% comprehension your going to be disappointed ๐Ÿ˜‰

    On mortality IanG I am one of those that believes mans true longevity is in the 120 years upwards although some days I do question why I would want to be here that long.

    The reason I may repeat things is its actually what I think at that time, last season I backed Remi Garde against all comers as I could see what he was trying to do, Bruce I cannot see anything from him in that regard. To be fair complaining about others posts while not actually starting a new topic is a bit rich and that happens a lot, I have seen days go by when nothing is said after someone has been chastised, if we all tow the party line then conversation ceases this is about opinions and not entertainment after all. There are varying degrees of intellect and mine varies depending on the day of the week it is, how much sleep I have had and how much wine.

    Now then about that wanker Bruce……..

  57. lads as i am sick of saying the problems at the club all come from the top from charlie chan in charge another guy who knows nothing about football hires a guy like wyness been out of work 7 years and was at everton when moyes was there with round all dionasours they picked spud and calderwank and all gone pear shaped big style unless the doc cleared the lot out changing the manager will make not the slightest bit of diffrence the players round has brought do not fit together as a team all completely over valued and all paid at least 5 times there worth to these second rate players they have now hit the big time and are now all paid 3 to 5 times the wage they had before they have in there eyes hit the big time and now do not have to bother as they are now all millionaires and you can see on the pitch there is no effort from them this is all down to the manager, whois never at training leaves it to calderwank and the plaayers hate him so what chance do we have ,
    doc either sacks the lot and starts again or sell the club on to some one who has a clue as you do not

  58. Well how this blog has changed

    JD totally agree with your post

    Due to the dominance of the stability crew on here and not wanting to be repetitive or come across constant agism coming across more like tourettes ๐Ÿ™‚ i think its time to duck out for a while – of course for people like myself that have been on here from the early days not having steamer about and most of the other regulars hardly posting its not as appealing
    for me
    Plus it seems like any comment that doesn’t blow bubbles from its ars- about the manager or club is always cut down by the following comments which is just a repetitive

    I will keep an eye out in case of another meet up thou

    VITD have fun all

  59. cheers runtings …see you on the flip side! (when we are half decent )!!

    Good news re Hogan, back in 3-5 weeks.

    might work out how best to play with him by then…

  60. Morning Runtingz,sorry to see you going,please reconsider,as I enjoy reading your thoughts.I too,don’t buy into the stability myth.Success brings stability,not the other way around.I am in London until May,so maybe a drink.Dunno when Fulham away is.

  61. runtings
    what was the song please dont go, too many happy clappers, need some meat to debates
    the last time club was stable was under mon ended badly and has been cr*p since,lambert got time but didnt work out because of cr*p buying, we should have cleared decks last summer and seen as we didnt march would be as good time as any to start
    bruce camee in with promotion record , dig deeper 2 over 20 years the other 2 were relegated sides his, his record non to clever 8 players signed taken flabby back bigging up richards and giving trial to samba f**k how many players does he need
    would like to see a style any style formation so at least we could recognise our team only thing left for bruce is try the hokey cokey all in then all out
    sick of my club been joke of media especially with bruce at the helm

  62. Just listened to Steve Bruce presser we are going back to a 433 he said he likes to play 2 up top but we had early success with 433 when he arrived although its not a system he uses.

    Well that throws up a couple of questions, 1` why did he change? and 2 he obviously had a different system in mind and has bought the wrong players in or the players he already had suit the system he likes OMG.

  63. PS. I don’t know about you lot but I have thought we suit 433 all bloody season, we have played 4231 to play are better players but 433 was possible with what we had and looks more solid

  64. runtings
    the tourettes crack was a joke, it must have got you on an off day.
    As they say, pain goes with the territory
    I also always read your posts, some I agree with some not, but please carry on as we are poorer without you.
    I also think the issue of so called stability will be irrelevant very soon as it depends on winning matches.

  65. MK
    With the players we have, I think it’s the only formation to play, & we may win a match.
    There’s always too big a gap between the midfield & the forwards as it is, it’s been creating bad habits ad finitum which is why you can hear my snores.

  66. im ok with either 433 or 4231.

    My ideal side for some one to come in and properly coach them is –

    Johnson
    Bree Chester Baker Taylor
    Lansbury Hourihane
    Adomah Jack Kodjer
    Hogan

  67. IanG- It always looked like the right formation under RDM having so many residue players from Lamberts time, even if he played 4231 to start with, go 1 up change to 433 with one sub. but now we have two goal scoring mid-fielders its a no brainer. Even when Ayew was here we could of tried him in front of adomah on the right and green in front of tish, pace and flair a plenty with kodjia in the middle.

    Funny thing is odd man out was RMC in those formations but Bruce likes two up top but not RMC and loans him out, oh dear. And perseveres with Gabby who doesn’t suit two up top oh dear again. All in my humble of course.

  68. Only problem now is we sold Westwood, the one player that moved the ball quick when played at the base of the mid 3. Jedinak is not that type of player from what I have seen just more solid i wonder if GG could play there? or Tish? oops I did it again.

  69. JD
    You may be right, we’ll be finding out soon what they think they’re doing.
    It’d be nice not to have to read or listen to Bruce’s inane comments though.
    My mates all agree with you apart from holding back judgment on the doc for a while longer [except when we’ve just lost].
    It was just better than the last lot’s fiasco for a while.
    I can’t think of many club’s fans who rate their owners very highly, which either says a lot about fandom or the state of the world, but deadly cured me of trusting any of them.

  70. JL
    No I seem to be on the night shift sleep pattern at the moment.
    I’m glad someone actually read it, as it seems to have been too long for some

  71. Runtings: “Due to the dominance of the stability crew on here and not wanting to be repetitive or come across constant agism coming across more like tourettes”

    What “dominance”? I think there’s me and about 2 or 3 others = 4, except that a couple of those don’t post that often!

    As for “ageism” … well, I think there is an element of that, but, hey, so what?

    Speaking for myself, I find that though some comments go a bit wayward (in my opinion!), the comment on here is generally interesting. So why you want to back off is a mystery to me.

    But if you want a rest then sleep well! ๐Ÿ˜‰ All the best…

  72. GG did ok when he came on, I’d at least like him to be more involved even if not a starter.
    Westwood was a good cog & they’re necessary, he wasn’t a world beater but he was an honest player.
    Is there anyone from the U23s who can play that role, or are they all out on loan or injured?
    All I can think of is maybe Lydon,

  73. Watching blues v wolves build up.

    Interesting looking at zola v rowett stays.
    Zola wants them to play more possession, and under rowett blues were counter attacking, conceding possession and averaging not many passes a game……but winning!

  74. Keith wyness live chat on fb

    Bruce defo staying.

    Summer will be more settled, only a few in and outs.

    Lots of physcological work being done with the players…!

    Rdm was appointed in a rush and kw hinted he was soft on the players.

  75. Wyness:

    โ€œWeโ€™ve been really happy with the way heโ€™s shaking things up at Bodymoor and the way heโ€™s trying to get out of this rut shows the character of the man.โ€

  76. Brazil: “Success brings stability,not the other way around.”

    This is like the chicken or the egg question, I feel.

    Yes, it’s true that when you’re winning everything becomes settled and the stability starts.

    But … the issue is how to get them winning. And that’s where we’re having an argument … I say it’s (1) there were inherent problems at the club after 6 years of misdirection and (2) that Bruce has probably tried to change the squad too quickly this January.

    To my mind both issues have to be got over … then when it starts to gel we get the good feeling…

  77. Mark….bruce is doing a wagner so you will be pleased… Got lots of team bonding trips planned to get new guys settled. New lads are in at 8am cause they hate there hotels! We are fully doing a pre season….in the middle of the season, only at villa!!

  78. Good results for us tonight. Burton and blacburn draw and wolves lost.

    Now wolves for some reason i thought were doing ok… They have lost last 4 home games scoring 1 goal and next 2 games are against 2 from the top 4.

  79. James

    Listening to keith who spoke very well even if we go down bruce staying.

    I must say which gives me a glimmer of hope is that watching bruce on the touchline he goes mental when a player just hoofs it and panics. Last few games on tele i have seen this. He demonstrates to calm down and take a touch and play it.

    I wonder how much the players are effected putting on the villa shirt, weight of expectation too much. Cant handle pressure?

    Or is bruce just s**te?!

  80. Just popped in to Aston Villa Lerwill, sorry Life, to read all the squabbles about who is writing rubbish, who is playing rubbish and how rubbish Bruce is.

    So glad it’s 1330 in Thailand and the Crusaders v Brumbies Rugby Union game is about to start. Time for some honest endeavour

  81. Clive,

    Good one that … I wondered what AVL stood for! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    But I’m only here as a stop-gap. I think Matt will be saying something to all in the not very distant future.

    Yes, it would be good to get a win today to help put people back into a better frame of mind.

    As we’re playing Derby today it’s coincidental that while researching yesterday that I found out that Villa wanted to appoint George Jobey, the then Derby manager, as Villa’s first team manager in 1934. But he refused to move as his remaining term on his contract was quite long.

    http://www.managerstats.co.uk/managers/george-jobey/

    But Jobey was by far Villa’s first choice. The appointment of McMullan came from almost nowhere … and he stayed for just 16 months!

    It’s funny that Billy Walker (who retired as a player at the end of 1933) seems not to have been considered for the Villa team manager post yet he went to Wednesday and had them winning the FA Cup in 1935.

  82. Clive
    The Crusaders had to dig deep for that one. Good on both teams. The Chiefs took their opportunities, but, for me, the Blues were the best team over the last few days.

  83. who will be the lucky 11 today
    bruce will be getting his bingo balls bag out him and calderwood will take turns to see who playing me i would go

    bunn
    bacuna chester baker taylor
    adoamh houirane jedi lansby amavi
    kodja
    433 changing to 451

  84. So Wyness is keeping Bruce, no surprise as it reflects on the board all this making mistakes.

    Honestly, we binned RDM who played better football for being a bit soft, well as Ron Atkinson said on the videos I posted, shouting at people only works so long before they switch off. And a psychologist came in a week before Bruce, why not under RDM? because Round wasn’t there? who Knows.

    I do not think Bruce had the nous to use RDM’s squad and adding too many players at the time he did and his comments on the players we had was his biggest mistake imo. I think its akin to when redundancies come up in a company, Nobody at first knows who’s going then it becomes a them and us situation. Those chastised players being told Gabby is going to save us would not help, these mid-fielders will score goals etc has quite likely lowered the initial love in for bruce and the performance level has dropped and we could be looking at a divided dressing room, Hogan was badly injured and nobody but Hutton gave a s**t. Even under RDM the ayew/Kodjia greedy play and RMC needle was there to be seen, Kodjia scored goals for Bruce though so RMC got sidelined, cr*p management when we needed him in jan.

    All this he will sort it out in time is rubbish for me and I didn’t believe it will be a few players moved in the summer either Bruces player turnover is legendary.

    For me he may well get promotion next season but I am beginning not to care much and I think we are missing a huge opportunity for the club to progress away from the also ran club we have become.

  85. Mark: “I think we are missing a huge opportunity for the club to progress away from the also ran club we have become.”

    I’m not saying you’re wrong but it’s well known things can’t change overnight, as was demonstrated in the end-of-1968 takeover. It took relegation to the old Third and a re-building of everything to lay the foundation of true recovery.

    Now, when the Doctor took over things (structurally) were nowhere near as bad as they were back then, but the club had *already* become an “also ran club”. The big challenge of the Doc has been to transform attitudes (and methods). He has clear ambitions for Villa so obviously is willing to do and spend all he can to achieve those ends and to take it away from the “also ran club” persona that has been developing these last few years.

    The Doctor has only been in his seat for some 8 months and I do not see him putting up with nonsense if that is what proves to be the case – in the team manager and players and all at the club.

    Time has to be allowed. 8 months (the Doctor’s life as a Villa chairman) is nothing.

  86. mark k
    would not have expected wynes to say any different yesterday
    leicster said all same 2 weeks ago
    another couple poor results the pressure will be too much for the doc,

  87. Nice to see villa players dressed in team suits coming into the ground. First time i have seen that? Thats prob physclogist idea. All part of the team etc. Hogan there too

  88. JL- I quite agree on Xia but we all know Bruce has no history of a club resurrection/rebuild with any lasting success. We are taking as much a chance with him as we are with an unknown type like Wagner. You know my history on this John, Garde would of been ideal for this type of project if indeed the two season line is true. I think we grabbed for the nailed on Bruce promotion record, we ignored the wrangling’s at VP that say a Warnock would of suited better if promotion was the aim alone. To me that says promotion is the aim before all else. I do think Xia will learn quickly though in a way Lerner never did.

    JG I’d like to think your right but it appears the board are circling the wagons

  89. Mark,

    I have empathy with your sentiments about the various managers you speak of, but I think that Bruce will have a beady eye kept on him and if there is not sufficient sign of he achieving the Doctor’s immediate goal, then he’ll be out, no doubt. But I don’t expect any ejection begore the autumn, and only ‘if’…

  90. Not worried about bruce now. Just focusing on staying up.

    If bruce is here this time next season means we are doing well, if we are still struggling he will be gone,

  91. Mark: “that for me is reactionary and not a plan”

    Well, it seems we are going round in circles again! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    We’ve already averaged a manager per year since 2010 … we can’t keep on doing that and hope to make progress … *unless* Bruce does fall completely on his nose. He’s not at that point … yet.

  92. Mark,

    I’ve eventually got there Mark (the stream) with many thanks indeed. I don’t know why it gave me difficulties but I’m now in ta.

    “should be manager fits plan not manager creates plan” – perhaps that’s right, but we are where we are … and for my part I feel he’ll get this stupidity sorted enough to get promotion. What happens then … well …

  93. well despite steves best efforts to lose at the end Derby were not good enough to get the goals, no wonder they haven’t won in six, like the clash of the Dwarfs ๐Ÿ™‚

  94. mark k
    next time you get a stream try and delete it lol
    brutal 2nd half yes we won , no thanks to mastermind bruce taking of attacking outlets replacing them with defenders
    why can we not keep the ball,hoofing it forward to no one in particular,kodja back fdefending a throw in christ most shots of match we had no one passed edge centre circle

  95. Well, I reckon Bacuna needs to be investigated for trying to swing games! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    First he’s given a chance on a plate to score and then he gets himself sent off!

  96. JG,

    Bruce himself says he knows the football has not been pretty … all he’s tried to do is to get momentum working and to get points. Style is secondary right now.

    If we can win the next two then maybe we’ll get some confidence up.

  97. JL- he speaks of basics yet surely that means keeping the ball passing and moving not standing in lines? By the time he’d finished Derby could of played one at the back.

  98. mark k
    carson played up front at end for derby no villa players beyond centre circle could see through it if we we re playing barcelona not derby no wins in 5

  99. It’s a win. Fortunately for Villa, Derby were poor for all their possession. Regardless of the win, it doesn’t seem to have imbued the fans with much confidence. Oh well, at least it’s one in the right direction points wise.
    Poor subbing.

  100. ian g
    it would be nice to win a game comfortable, not hiding behind sofa for last 10mins especially after crazy subs, at home to finish with no attackers on field

  101. If you lot saw what happened at VP in the late 1960s you would have become Small Heath supporters! ๐Ÿ™‚

    What you’ve seen today is absolutely nuffin on what happened then!

  102. Mark: “By the time heโ€™d finished Derby could of played one at the back.”

    IanG’s remark sums it up! We won!

    They had one attempt on goal in the second half for all their possession.

    Villa today showed a lot more determination and I think we should talk about that and look out for the better style of play after we’ve won a couple more games.

  103. john l
    did they try spud new formation before
    1 keeper 5/6 defenders 4/5 midfielders and no attackers
    i didn t see 1st half john but heard commentators on about 1 maybe 2 good pen shouts for derby

  104. Yes the last 10 was tough to watch.
    It was frustrating to see us lose all ambition in the second half but to their credit, the players concentrated to the end and kept Derby away from the goal.
    After 67 minutes the Derby fans started an ironic chant after actually having s shot on goal.
    A few things bothered me though:
    1) ffs take some quick throw ins to a Villa player rather than fannying around until the opposition are all in place and then giving the ball to them . This is basic. Effing get it right!!
    2) the goalkeeper. Now I don’t like criticising individual players, especially a goalkeeper, but I can’t help myself. It is clear that the defenders have no faith in him and sadly they are right not to. Oh . . . and why did he not at least kick it long and try and score at the end when He had the ball in his hands and Carson was still in our half? And why did none of our other experienced players tell him to?

  105. Green was unlucky not to score today and we could so easily have had several goals.
    Our bDluck continues but at least this time it didn’t stop us from winning
    When amavi and Gardner came on it injected some urgency and activity which had been sadly lacking for the previous 40 mins.
    It was negative but I won’t criticise Bruce for it as the substitutions did help.
    The criticism is much deeper than that. Are the team told to just hoof it upfield or are they so lacking in confidence that they can’t think about doing anything else?

  106. robbo
    the keeper scares me, evry shot thats not straight at him goes in,even bents header was only standard save down the middle yet commentators nearly wet themselves
    another short corner near the nearly caught us out again ,why o why with all the experience do we make same mistakes week in week out
    subs left us with no outs for the ball we resorted to rugby style just punting it over half way line
    and now bruce discovers kodja cannot play with partner after spending 12 m on hogan, every match for me shows bruce up, green not good enough for even bench monday night yet starts and does ok for me,elphik and baker is not even a close choice yet bruce must flip a coin

  107. As far as I am concerned this is all an improvement on the previous 5 years!

    Hang onto your safety harness as we go through the rapids and you’ll survive! ๐Ÿ™‚

  108. JL ” we won” oh dear, we had 30% possession at home and got a 1-0 win to Derby who cannot buy a result at present, I’ll get he trumpet out ๐Ÿ™

    Surely you have noticed that the style bit will come later is now 4 months in the making and we still look mostly clueless. As I said with the style Bruce plays (park the bus) 433 is our best hope, not that we are great at counter attack but without coaching the players much its our best bet and lends to Adomah and Kodjias style.

  109. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t ………………. that appears to be the case on AVL and other blogs at the moment.
    We win at last and get a well deserved and hard fought and much needed 3 points. Thanks to the stream MK posted, I was able to watch the game instead of watching these ridiculous text “commentaries”.
    My view – we played with fire and committment, Hutton again had an excellent game, Johnstone made a super save reaching up and behind to claw away from Bent, we played more for each other than I had seen for quite a while. It lokked like the game meant something to the players at long last. Bacuna had a solid game and got sent off for disagreeing with whta was a definte mistake by the linesman – yes it was stupid, but it also demonstrated how much it meant to Bacuna – so I stood here in my lounge and clapped him off the pitch lol.
    As I think JL said, another win or two and we might just regain some confidence to take us through to the next stage of the Villa’s major reshuffle …….. ie safety and then preparing for next season.
    I agree that the subs seemed strange in one way – but they worked and we won which after all is what we are all after isn’t it? Or should we welcome prettier football and losing?
    For once I can smile on a match night and for me smiling plus 3 points is good enough. For now.
    oldvilla

  110. I also am very doubtful about this goalkeeper, on another day it would have 1-3.
    JG the first half was reasonable with Green & Adomah playing well, especially Green.
    codger gave up with 10 minutes to go anyway & seemed to not have much energy in the 2nd half, & doesn’t seem to like not being the star, & his timing was off for what service he did get.
    In the 2nd half we stopped defending from the front except on the wings, & dropped back deep & went into depressed mode.
    Bruce was going mental all through with some choice unprintables as they reverted to no confidence.
    Baker mindlessly clearing the decks gave them too many opportunities to come straight back as usual, but otherwise blocked everything in the box.
    Chester led by example & could have scored 2, even Taylor & Hutton were reasonable, especially in the 1st half.
    The Jedi was quietly ok, Lansbury’s dead ball was good mostly today & Bacuna was a tw*t, but the MOM for me was Green.

  111. Oldvilla- the changes worked? I thought at the time we didn’t look in trouble then invited them on without any threat to them. Nobody is damning anyone but haven’t we been here before? one win and now we are going to be all right seems to be the theme.

    IanG- I’m of the opinion an experienced Keeper brought in by either manager would of produced a different season for us, for the life of me I cannot see how you elevate young keepers when we have a completely new team to gel from day one, scandalous. I agree on Green, should not have been dropped after the PNE game.

  112. Green’s form seems to be keeping Jack out, & he’s younger!
    I don’t think we’ve got the same quality subs for the way that team was set up, & I’m sure they’ll be told a few home truths next week, & rightly so as they’re still a bit delicate, butit’s a small improvement.
    But we won, & even MKs enjoying his music!

  113. MK “one win and now we are going to be all right seems to be the theme.”
    Not sure who said that, I certainly didn’t ……………. But I am thankful for 3 points and the way the team played with effort, energy and certainly some committment – which is an improvement I think.
    Yes, as more experienced keeper would have been good, don’t think anyone would disagree with that. But we have got what we’ve got so there is little point in screaming at the lad as he does what he does …….. rightly or wrongly…….
    Green was good you are correct but then he seemed to fade pretty quickly and looked tired so subbing him was – imv – the correct option.
    oldvilla

  114. Mark: “Surely you have noticed that the style bit will come later is now 4 months in the making”

    No it isn’t! It’s ONE month into the making … we now have a different squad.

    C’mon Mark, I’m sure you see SB as a Bluenose – hence all the gripe.

    Well said, OldVilla … I’m in complete agreement with you. (Signed) Old Lerwill

  115. Mark

    You say we should beat derby early in game but spend all week saying how bad we are! How does that compute!? How nice a win feels with other results in our favour. Was never going to be pretty. But onto tues….that’s a big one

  116. Mark
    I agree with you on two things:
    1) we needed an experienced keeper. More than that. I’d rather we’d brought in an Italian coach for Gollini than helped United out by bringing in Johnston
    2) Green shouldn’t have been dropped.

    Where I differ from you is your lack of any confidence in the future.
    We’ve shown almost every game through January that we CAN play good football. The trouble is that we only do it for between 15 and 35 minutes and then revert to Villa type of the last 5 years.
    I hope that Tony Xia doesn’t spend more money in the summer but tells Bruce to bring us promotion with the players we now have. They are good enough for that.

  117. jl- I could not care less if he went to sleep in blues Pyjamas a poor stab at me by a man with more brains than that.
    I haven’t seen the football progressing in four months, he is the manager simple as.

    Andrew- we did beat Derby so I was right no? I wrote that as I was watching the game and derby looked toothless thus we should beat them. As far as a win feels nice today for me it didn’t I can’t lie it just felt like another game scraped by in, I’ll applaud individuals efforts but I’ll save the ticker tape for when we look like team.

  118. Back home in Wales now after the match, and must state that Chester led his team today, by example and commitment, and got them over the line.

    The back four did an excellent job today, and that includes Taylor,who may not be great going forward, but was very solid defensively. The mid field were ok with the Jedi doing ok, when his passes were not going astray.
    Green starting to show excellent promise, and had a great header saved, but needs to defend the ball at his feet better, as JG does. Adomah was very poor, and should have been replaced sooner, but Amavi was not a good choice. Kodjia did his bit but no more, and needs to improve, and Bjarnason still has a long way to go.

    Bacuna frustrated and fooish at the end, but good to see Gardner getting stuck in, and so good to hear that final whistle, and yes Derby (Bent) had a stonewall penalty, we were lucky to get away with.

    Looking forward to the challenge of Bristol City on Tuesday now, as this could be Bruce;s turning point, especially if Chester puts in another captain’s display, and for me, he was man of the match today.

  119. robbo- fair enough but I don’t call what I have seen even in the good patches good football, we have got on the front foot a few times but good movement and passing no, I’m not talking about keeping the ball for ever we just don’t play together, the chances created are individual efforts mostly..

    Night everyone enjoy the new era ๐Ÿ˜‰

  120. pp
    adoamh is showing why boro where glad to sell
    paul its hard to say defence played well our midfield swamp them and after subs we had no outlet for ball at all,it was like watching rugby hit the corners get up the field
    watched blues wolves last night both teams kept ball had decent attacking moves ,only one i seen today ended with green hitting post, we just sit back inviting opposition on to us,if derby had 1 player in right place in last 15mins withball bouncing about our box johnson never claimed 1 cross

  121. r0bb0: “I hope that Tony Xia doesnโ€™t spend more money in the summer but tells Bruce to bring us promotion with the players we now have. They are good enough for that.”

    Hear, hear, sir!

  122. Green was the main attacking outlet for much of the 1st half that I saw.
    Yes he did tire PP but he is only 18 & he was motoring both ways fast, & he does more defensively than Grealish who tends to follow the play more than anticipate it, unlike Green, who also takes players on directly more.
    As I said earlier, was not impressed with a lacklustre codger as he seemed to be going through the motions most of the time, but I suppose a fair bit of the possession stats were Derby playing with themselves at the back for long spells to bore the opposition into a mistake [they’re definitely not barca], & in the 2nd half the general malaise had set in & he basically gave up in the last 15 minutes he was on.

  123. Also, when the team drop deep & stay there, it cancels out some of Green’s value.
    But the replacements are not so good in attack.
    I suppose we’ll see more if any more improvement actually happens.
    But we won!

  124. john l
    i didnt say i didnt want him just he was average player too greedy like codja when a pass might be better option,and yes he is better than most of the rest,but thats not saying much

  125. Mark, anyone who reads blogs know that people can see exactly the same things but interpret them differently.
    Clearly we are seeing different things during our (all too short) good spells. It’s ‘because’ of the movement and passing during those spells that I have some hope for the future.
    Those periods show that this group of players ‘can’ play good football. During those spells the energy levels are high, we’re closing down the opposition, moving and passing sharply.
    Why can’t we keep it going for longer? Is it lack of fitness or is it that they haven’t played together enough so that it isn’t yet coming naturally to them?
    If we’re not seeing it more consistently towards the end of the season then I would question whether Bruce will be able to bring it out of them over the summer break.

  126. JG, I agree that adomah was
    not great today but earlier in the season he had some really good games where he was turning defenders inside out.
    He seems to have suffered more than some others from the general lack of confidence running through the team.

  127. Adomah and Kodjia need to up their game, and Johnstone, just seem to totally lose his confidence second half and fail to come for balls.

    Green I was more than happy with, and he put in a great shift, but Amavi failed as a replacement, would have much preferred to see Ricardo Calder getting a few minutes of game time, as I have been impressed by what I have seen of him, and I think Bruce may need to look at one or two more of our young players to come on for a ten minute cameo .

    Over 30,000 today, so with the win hopefully we will be close to 28,000 again on Tuesday.

  128. Mark
    Yes right on the result, but felt you wrote it knowing/expecting/hoping derby would get a result and use it on bruce? Hope not.

    Atmosphere was good at vp, supporters got us over the line today especially in the last 20. Can play a big role getting the players confidence up

  129. robbo
    adoamh biggest problem is hutton ,adoamh shouldnt have to beso defensive especially in 433 set up,also when you watch every other team they keep the ball for priodsof time wejust lump it forward,bruce wins in december like yesterday v poor teams who still passed the ball better than us

  130. andrew
    itsnot rocket science that all the natural footballers have suffered most under bruce amavi ross jack adoamh its because we are set up not to lose hutton looks good last few matches because we have 8players in own half centre halves starting position is penalty spot should be 20 yards up field
    our full backs now rarely get past halfway line and when do like hutton chance waste it

  131. r0bb0: “Why canโ€™t we keep [the ball] going for longer? “

    Surely it’s simply tactics for the ‘now’ situation?

    Bruce himself admits that the style has not been pretty, so I see it as being his way of approach towards getting to better days when we’ll see a more constructive approach.

    I agree with you, I cannot quite see the logic of the current style, but (there again) I’m not the manager with loads of experience getting teams promoted. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  132. I didn’t get to watch the game so had to rely on Channel 5 at 0500 this morning. That being the case I cannot comment constructively on the team selection or substitutions but rely on the posts here.
    The point about the team all wearing club suits was a positive one.
    The point about needing an experienced keeper I have made several times in the past; defences play better when there is confidence in the man behind them whilst at the same time keepers get nervy when the defenders are weak. I know from personal experience!
    I was interested to hear Neil Warnock attributing the turn round at Cardiff to him picking by and large the same team so they can gel together. Probably a bit late for Villa to try that now.
    Having seen Channel 5 highlights, Tuesday will not be a walkover neither will Rotherham.
    Happy Birthday Matt today (Sunday)

  133. JG I’d had the same thought about our ‘creative’ players suffering. it’s not just under Bruce though, it’s pretty much been the case ever since Mcleish.
    JL believes that this is a necessary phase we are going through and the shackles will come off once we’re safe. I still think (and hope) that there is a chance that this is the case. . . time will tell.
    Mark will justifiably point out that RDM and Garde tried to play a different type of football but both failed (for different reasons). Houllier also tried it but we know how that (sadly ended)
    As I was writing that, It dawned on me that our board ‘have’ tried to bring in progressive managers. The first was given some backing but failed through ill health.
    The second failed through being given insufficient backing or time. (Garde is the one I most regret us losing)
    The third failed through being inflexible and not up for the fight.
    I wonder when we’ll try again and if this time they’ll be given the resources and time to succeed

  134. I’ll just add to that last comment that the fans are also not always as supportive of ‘flair’ players as we might be.
    Our impatience is probably borne out of our lack of success on the pitch, but Villa fans are all too quick to criticise players for making mistakes. We tend to prefer the safe, hardworking types.
    It’s the bit of flair that often opens defences but you sit in Villa Park and hear the grumbles from the crowd when a player tries something clever and it doesn’t come off. It must be tough to persevere with that way of playing when you know that you risk upsetting the crowd in the ground and the blog posters after if it doesn’t come off.

  135. r0bb0,

    Yes, if and when Bruce shows his limitations in not being able to achieve the Doctor’s ambitions then that will be the time we’ll see a new Garde materialise, I guess.

    If Bruce is still with us in 20 months time I’ll be very surprised, but I’m always open to surprises! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  136. I urge anyone who thinks we are playing good football to watch a Huddersfield match. Now Wagner has very definite views on how the game should be played, I doubt very much he came in last season and parked the bus, he was new to the league and the teams and the language yet his philosophy and rebuild 15 in 15 out for ยฃ2.5net plus loans has produced the team sitting third. They have a Man City player called Mooy on loan who is the best I have seen in this league, should be in peps side next seaon if not please buy him.

    To me if we think Villa will suddenly play a different brand of football under Bruce then you will be disappointed. Also if you think Bruce will coach players to be better and not buy again in the summer think again, he has regularly brought in 9 every season at least, sometimes it’s been a massive turnaround of players so stability does make me chuckle.

    Andrew – I said we should beat derby because on the play it did not look likely they would score.

  137. Mark: “To me if we think Villa will suddenly play a different brand of football under Bruce then you will be disappointed. “

    He himself as said that the football we are playing is “not pretty”. Clearly, therefore, he wants Vila to be playing a better style.

    Whether that will occur we have to wait and see. Que sera, sera! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  138. jL- have you ever seen hull under Bruce? pretty similar to us just better at it. Quick player up top and a Huddlestone type playing 50 yard passes on the break. They have had their moments but again its not consistent.

  139. JL- Robbo said we had played good football in his opinion in patches, I said fair enough but if put up against other teams football ( nearly all of them this season under bruce) we look like novices.

  140. Mark,

    I am not going to argue your points as they are pretty well valid.

    But what I am saying is that we don’t know what Bruce is up to in reality and – for all we know – he’s been told what is expected, entertainment-wise as well as results.

    If he doesn’t measure up to all that then he will go the way of all Ranieris, of course. But that won’t happen yet awhile.

  141. JL- I think I’m correct in saying that those managers that make it big stick to there guns no matter what, some managers are capable of getting results when things are bad but rarely reach the heights, Bruce has been waiting 20 years for this chance? could be wrong but is a big old fluttering flag to me.

    As to why do the top teams have foreign managers? well they have foreign teams don’t they?

  142. I know he’s trying to lighten the mood but why not try telling us what he is doing to coach the players to a win instead of visiting Gypsy rose Lee

    โ€œSometimes you get the breaks. We havenโ€™t had many of them over the past few weeks. We needed something to change.

    โ€œI was having a bite to eat with my daughter [on Friday night] and the waiter dropped a pint of blackcurrant and lemonade all over her. She was head to toe in it and I thought โ€˜the luck is still not going our wayโ€™.

    โ€œBut I will pour a pint of blackcurrant and lemonade over her next time! I will tip it right over her head โ€“ whatever it takes, itโ€™s changed the luck!โ€

  143. Mark,

    Forget about other managers – this guy has had plenty of experience in getting promotions.

    That’s his main qualification for Villa. How he does it is surely his own way – we gawpers just watch on and see what happens! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As I keep on saying ad nauseum, we’ve previously had 6 years of non-management from the top at VP (I’m not blaming Garde for what he did), and now we have a chance of moving upwards. Let’s allow the guy to do that I say! Even if it is via a method that we don’t understand fully!

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