Football, it seems, never sleeps: weekend matches, weekday fixtures, cup ties, internationals. And so, of course, following the much-needed win at the weekend, Villa are back in action today in the Carabao Cup, hosting Wigan.

You’ve basically got two schools of thought when it comes to cup ties. Keep things going and use the match to reinforce combinations and perhaps winning ways. Or, basically chuck it, and throw in the players not getting regular playing time. You’re balancing recovery, squad development, and the possibility of injury vs. trying to get better. To be honest, I think Villa could use a bit of both.

The younger players, of course, most likely aren’t affected that much by another match three days after putting in a shift on Saturday. And they’d most likely be ready to go again just as soon.

But with just four points and sitting 16th, Villa have to remain firmly focused on the league. Complicating matters is that the Bristol match is on a Friday, meaning one day less to recover.

So do Green, Davis, and Hourihane go again Tuesday? You’d think they might, of course. And I’d have to be closer to them to really have an informed opinion. From a distance, I’d be much more tempted to hold them back. Let O’Hare and Hogan get out there. Give Adomah some time. Lansbury could use a full 90. Let Terry have a sit down and chance to get to London and back, and give Samba a run out. You’d think Whelan could use a rest as well. De Laet or Bree should feature, obviously.

Maybe they’re all champing at the bit, though, and wanting to play. Maybe Bruce will be looking for an excuse to go back to his original, unforced prescription by betting they won’t fare as well. We’ll see soon enough.

I’d also be tempted to go the alternates route in order to preserve confidence from the win instead of introducing doubt in a cup tie, where we all know anything can happen. I’d hate to see a scrappy, lower-league opponent with nothing to lose pulling us into a physical match and getting some kind of result.

Then again, winning is never bad, and you’d like to think that with even with our ‘second’ team we could expect to prevail. I know.

It’s a small quandary, in the grand scheme of things. The much bigger issue is whether Villa will be ready for Bristol on Friday.

As everyone is no doubt well aware, we’re sitting 16th at the moment, eight points adrift of Cardiff and Ipswich—who’ve won all four they’ve played so far—and three off QPR in sixth. It’s already time to just start keeping pace, even if we’re not making up ground. Will the top two falter? At some point, yes, but the marker is already down, and we have to be able to win when they don’t.

Which of course brings up the impossible dream.

Do I think promotion is do or die? No. No one will die if we don’t go up. Well, not because we didn’t go up, anyway. But…as we’ve talked about many times, Villa have a very expensive and perhaps too-old starting XI (depending on what Bruce decides with Green, Davis, et al going forward). If Villa can’t get back up this year, with FFP, our options will be limited. Kodjia would likely want out, and if Hogan or anyone else hits some kind of form, we might well be forced into the multi-year rebuild.

And of course, whether or not the current side could stay up if they do make the jump is another very real question. But I know I’d rather be up than down.

Anyway, food for thought on a Tuesday. Like an olive, or something.

Over to you.

Comments 129

  1. Good day to you, JC.
    These domestic cup games do pose a dilemma, don’t they just? Who to leave out and rest for the bread & butter league games. As long as Bruce doesn’t do a Lambert and fields a team with the attitude that the domestic cups are a waste of time and just an irritant. They’re a chance for fringe players to get a run, get things gelling-look at prospects; build confidence. I’m looking forward to this match.
    Wigan Athletic has had decent wins over us in recent years. It wasn’t long ago they lifted the FA Cup, though they got relegated that year. It’s a club with pride from a rugby league area. They’ve done well.
    If Villa fields an attacking young side, I think a win for Villa, otherwise a draw, or win for Wigan.

  2. Profile photo of Mark King

    Thanks Jc, he will rest a lot of them for sure I imagine he is scared stiff if injuries to his new lifeline since kodjia is still some time off. Bruce claims he nearly started ohare against Norwich but thought it to much youth 🙂 I find it so weird that he thinks that way. Players will or won’t win you the game that’s it.

    Iang- yep hogan played with ohare emo (first game) Doyle Hayes (2assists) and green and we looked exciting and potent hourihane did play but in a more withdrawn role in the Bruce style.

    Jl- perception? Going into jan talking about the play offs coming out talking about stability, next season etc 😉

  3. Profile photo of John Lerwill

    Well, just to put the spanner in the works, I reckon this will be tonight’s starting team…!

    Steer; Hutton, Chester, Samba, Taylor; Adomah, Lansbury, Houlihan; Onamah (if fit), Gabby, Hogan.

    Subs probably to include Bree, Green, Davis.

  4. Profile photo of John Lerwill

    Well, it didn’t take long for me to be proven wrong:

    Steve Bruce has confirmed to the Express and Star that he cannot leave Aston Villa striker Keinan Davis out of his team in the League Cup tonight.

  5. Profile photo of Darren O'Rourke

    A good catch 22 for our tactical supremo.

    To my mind many of the players who beat Colchester including Steer and O’Hare should continue, this despite my previous assertion about don’t break up a winning team but perhaps the footballers mentality can switch between cup and league and therefore the Norwich side bar Bree replacing Hutton should continue v Bristol to ensure league continuity.

    It appear our park the bus approach has been altered to some degree with a view to be more attacking or at least giving teams a game bar Reading and Cardiff and part of the Hull game as such the addition of the rock in defence John Terry was probably brought in to allow this altered approach, thinking we’d have a very clever defender marshalling the back four. Well it’s backfired hugely in my opinion, we can’t afford to play such a high line with Terry in the back four as he doesn’t have the legs, we’ve seen Hutton doesn’t have the legs so Bruce will need to work on defensive solutions alongside getting us scoring more consistently, we can’t play Norwich every week.

    I do love a good Newsnow headline and it appears we are going to miss out on a Premier League striker to our rivals in Small Heath. The striker is Gallagher of Southampton and he’s scored zero goals in the Prem and one goal for them in the FA Cup, rest easy my fellow lifers.

  6. Profile photo of John Clark

    Iana…Well, it looks like Davis at least will be out there. I’d like to think it’s because he impressed so much at the weekend. Could just as likely be that Bruce is giving Hogan and Gabby time.

    Hope the lad has a good game, want him to be in the frame for Bristol, not relegated back to cup ties.

  7. Profile photo of John Clark

    JL,

    Apart from Davis, hope you’re wrong about Hutton unless Bruce is planning to play Bree or De Laet Friday. If Gabby has really done his back, I guess Hogan will either be on the bench or out there in a 4-4-2 with Davis. But, maybe Hourihane and Green are raring to go as well.

  8. Profile photo of John Clark

    Mark,

    Yeah, the high line is a bit too much for us now. We could probably do it if we were looking toward someone like Lyden as a DM, would have the pace to get back if Terry’s caught upfield. Don’t know that Jedi is fast enough to cover like that when he returns. Shame.

    As you pointed out, Hull, for example, were able to really pinch up with everyone, kept us penned in pretty well. In fact, not sure how many teams in this league have this problem. Keep seeing a lot of younger, strapping CBs that move pretty well.

  9. Profile photo of John Lerwill

    Well, after seeing that I’m definitely wrong in my selection in couple of positions, this is my Mark (not King!) Two version…

    Steer; Hutton, Chester, Samba, Taylor; Adomah, Lansbury, Houlihan; O’Hare, Davis, Hogan.

    Subs probably to include Bree, Green, Doyle-Hayes, Clark.

  10. Profile photo of IanG

    Bruce constantly contradicts himself ‘to keep everyone guessing?’, or because he thinks he’ being clever? Or is it cos he’s cr*p at PR?

  11. Profile photo of Mark King

    JC- so surprised toner hasn’t broke through since remi played him looked comfortable at LB too, out on loan at the moment but clarke or suliman needs to get time

  12. Profile photo of proxopera

    Hey Mark ,
    Was the moderation message something to do with your RDM obsession ?

    Doyle-Hayes and O ‘Hare , they’ve got to be one of our lot , right ? Then again , i thought the same about Grealish .

  13. Profile photo of Ian

    Things are good Prox, you?

    Just read about prem teams sniffing around the U-23’s. Time to redo some contracts and open up the cheque books

  14. Profile photo of IanG

    If it is policy please messGe me on Friday, as will still be in same fix with mobile & wifi won’t let sound through from avfc.
    Very frustrating as the avfc chat commentary is useless.
    And I pay for it!

  15. A good win by all accounts. The younger guys and the more experienced evidently complemented each other well. That’s the way it should be. Well done Villa.
    The next match is a cruncher away from home. It will be a true test against a team that I think bettered us last year. With the younger guys putting their hands up, I beleve it will be harder for Bristol to prepare. I hope SB and CC are brave enough to give Davis et al a run again and smart enough to do it the right way.
    IanG
    Hope you are doing well.
    Ian
    Hope you don’t trip up in the bear poo. Catching lots of salmon? Be good heart food territory there if the bears or bobcats don’t get you first.

  16. Well, just home from my second home game of the season. It may be a 7 hour round trip, but every minute was worth it.

    Today I watched a Villa team where every player was proud to wear a claret and blue shirt, and put in an amazing shift, especially our crop of youngsters, Clark at left back, and O’Hare and Doyle-Hayes in mid-field. We could be sitting on some very valuable property.

    For me de Laet was excellent alongside Tommy Elphick and they interchanged well with Bree, and Clark slotted in to the back four perfectly. Bjarnasson had an excellent game, and worked well with Clark, and more than deserved his goal, Hogan played well, and should really have had a hat trick with the chances he had. Adomah, like Thor put in a great shift too, and also deserved his goal.

    Lyden, McCormack and Sulliman also took there bows as substitutes. Steve Bruce now has a great second string for his cup matches, but he now has the headache of who will become his first choice for each position.

    What a turn round from a week ago, and all because he has given the youth it’s head, and let them play football without fear….!!!!

    I feel priveged to have been one of those 18,100 that turned up to see a lesson in how to play the game. Oh! forgot to mention Jed Steer, who had an outstanding game, and stopped at least two certain goals, and Gary Gardner gave his best display since returning from Forest!

  17. Ian
    Nice to see you commenting again. Have you got any beavers or otters round there? I used to enjoy watching otters catching fish on the shores of Mull.
    Watch the bears. It”s the one you don’t see that will get ya. One slip up in that poo and you’re a gonna.

  18. Profile photo of Ian

    It’s the fresh bear poo you have to worry about. Our neighbour had a juvenile grizzly trapped by conservation officers last fall.
    Lots of salmon, beaver, and otter. Check out the Adams River salmon run. On the good year over 25,000,000 show up to spawn. It’s a sobering spectacle.

    I think a big corner has been turned at Villa. Hot to trot youth and a few deemed extra put on a good show. I’m thinking that Gardner and Elphick could be good insurance down the line. McCormack too. These guys aren’t crappy players by any means.

  19. Profile photo of John Lerwill

    Paul,

    Believe me, as a die-hard fan who actually goes to the games you deserved that after putting up with so much rubbish for so long – both games, And many thanks for your comment.

    But … always a but! … last night we were playing a side one division lower who had also changed around their team 100% since Saturday.

    The upside is that it was clearly an excellent opportunity for a run out for the youngsters as well as moving the match time along for people like de Laet, Bree and Hogan. And it’s great that Bruce let ’em off the leash like that.

    Anyhow, it seems we have things to look forward to. It makes this Friday more interesting … but (another but) the match is on Sky!

  20. Profile photo of OldVilla

    May I say GOOD morning? 🙂
    It’s good to see so many of the old names back on this site and somehow there is not only an air of restrained happiness but also some good reasoned views being put forward. Seems more like the site used to be …….
    And are we seeing the long long long awaited green shoots of recovery at VP that may just take us back to where we come from just a couple of seasons ago? But obviously in a much better shape from top to bottom than in those dark years.
    As has been mentioned, Friday’s game will be a real test for the team and selection will be interesting to say the least. I don’t think we can completely throw caution to the wind with youth at the moment, but certainly a balance between youth and experience as per our last two games, may just do the trick and allow us to move onwards and upwards. But with so many apparent options available to SB, what exactly should he do?

    I will be fumbling around to get a link to watch it on Sky from here in sunny Switzerland …… but must say that the new International fans only 🙂 live games are pretty good and worth having. Makes my life much better but not so much for my wife lol 🙁
    Enjoy the rest of the week all ….
    oldvilla

  21. Ce rtainly, compared to the first half, the second half was quieter, and probably more energy conserving, with the older payers making more impact.

    I would love to see the full game over again, and enjoy some very good moments, especially the skills of both de Laet and Clark at full back, the energy of Thor, who never stopped running, the tenacity of Doyle-Hayes and Callum O.hare to win the ball and move it forward.
    The opposition may have been poor, but it does not devaluate the performance put in, and again, I will speak for Gardner, who did not put a foot wrong.
    Jed Steer, as I said earlier, was in great form, and ensured a resounding Villa win with some very crucial saves.
    Adomah and Elphick also gave excellent performances and will be needed as the season progresses.
    I think that Villa need to think seriously, before letting any of the squad go, apart from perhaps McCormack, but who knows what he may do, given the sort of service that Hogan had last night….

  22. Good day, OV.
    Yes, a couple of good wins has been a good tonic. I’m hoping they can get some big scores over our rivals to get the goals for positive.
    Don’t let Villa ruin the marriage, mate:)

  23. We have all been a little suspicious of Calderwood, but perhaps after his statement last night, he is having more influence in using the youth and the style of play, as he was stating that the way they interchange in training now, that the system used is the “Villa way” which all can fit into.

  24. Profile photo of Darren O'Rourke

    Could the real Villa please step forward? 🙂

    Finally being able to use superlatives for the goals and the attempts at goal which is the extent of what I have seen is indeed a blessing. 8 goals in two games will do wonders for morale.

    It’s doing wonders for mine, the forced hand of having to play Davis and the realisation that the kids can play. We may have just witnessed Bruce’s epiphany but it’s a long road so while I’m enjoying this strange winning feeling, I’ll take it one game at a time.

    Can’t wait to see how we do against a better Bristol test, given confidence is so high, there will be bumps in the road but Bristol have something to fear and unknown quantities in terms of player selection. It will be some headache for Bruce in terms of team selection and makes getting and staying in the first 11 harder which has been rather to easy over the last 6/7 years.

    My own team for Friday unless Bristol play 5 across the middle then I’d match like for like and put Lansbury in for Hogan but there are many permutations like starting with De Laet, Adomah. Clark promoted to the bench.

    Johnston

    Bree
    Chester
    Terry
    Taylor

    Hourihane
    Green
    Whelan
    Bjarneson

    Hogan
    Davis

    Bench
    De Laet, Steer, O’Hare, Adomah, Lansbury

    Presumably Snoddy is a done deal but I’d love cover at left full or at least Clark being given a chance to prove we don’t need to buy

    BRUCE OUT!!!

  25. Profile photo of Mark King

    Are we actually seeing how good some players are when not shackled in our half? And the mix of youth and not entirely ancient seems to bear fruit. If this is the villa way then I would there are two, one with Davis bringing the midfield in and the second with the midfield setting the forwards up. I smell some bill shine but so happy we lost the bus. Perhaps that’s what Bruce meant when he said it had broke down 🙂

  26. Profile photo of John Lerwill

    Darren,

    From what I saw pre-season and what happened last night according to other reports, its Doyle-Hayes that sticks out even more than the likes of O’Hare.

    He really does seem to have a force and creative spark that, frankly, I’ve not really seen in Grealish.

    So, will Jake overtake Jack?

  27. Profile photo of Andrew

    not getting carried away.

    Still no idea what our best team/formation is. away form still awful.

    aint doing a thing until that’s sorted.

    we always beat Norwich at home, and last night was like a friendly against a dreadful wigan team.

    beat Bristol 2 or 3 nil Friday I may get interested.

  28. Profile photo of Andrew

    yep love the irish in a villa team.

    grown up with Staunton, McGrath, townsend, Houghton.

    albert adomahs goal last night was exceptional.

    Loved hogans too. great turn and hit.

  29. Profile photo of IanG

    lana- surviving thanks, rural broadband cr*p & cellular iPad won’t pick up sound from villa streams, & that’s when it is not frozzed anyway.
    Sounded like a good match am going green at the gills every match day.
    Gibbo- had a hungry brown bear try & get in the door of the hut in the himalaya, soon woke up. I was constipated for 10 days as my movement was dawn or dusk & didn’t want to meet a hungry, angry bear with my pants down.
    Had to brave it after 10 days & found a sandbar in a creek where I had time to run, & what did I find but a huge bear turd. So I added mine next to it & vanished sharpish.
    We’re spoilt for choice, that’s been a long time coming!

  30. Profile photo of John Clark

    On the links/moderation messages.

    I’m not really sure. Was going through the back-end last night to check out the settings, and as you’ve seen, links to articles don’t seem to generate messages, so I’m guessing it has to do with where the link is pointing.

    Sadly, AVL can’t really been officially promoting certain kinds of streams, if you know what I mean, so I don’t know there’s much can be done about it. I might suggest just explaining to folks how one might find such things.

  31. Profile photo of John Clark

    Some good goals and assists. Should do Hogan a world of good. Wigan may be poor/changed on the night, but all you can ask is that you beat such a side convincingly, which we did. And with several changes of our own. Much better than Colchester.

  32. Profile photo of IanG

    JC
    Also tried to send a message to MArk King using his user name, but it said I couldn’t do it as it wasn’t his user name.
    Please can you clarify???

  33. Profile photo of Mark King

    JC- I couldn’t post anything not even a hail mary, it started with this?

    “JC- so surprised toner hasn’t broke through since remi played him looked comfortable at LB too, out on loan at the moment but clarke or suliman needs to get time”

    then two periscope links later

  34. Profile photo of Mark King

    I don’t agree with the its only Wigan reserves spiel, that team we put out has never played together and never played in that fashion either. Some of the players looked like new signings and we had a 17 year old kid running midfield. Look what Luton did to us last season with a much older team of prem players. Thats not to say we will be all conquering but we certainly are winning games emphatically be they against poor opposition or not.

    OV- what do you mean Balanced views? right up until we won a game they were ready to hang Bruce although JL did think we should offer him a choice like the electric chair. Hope your keeping well mate, now we are all happy is that balanced? 😉

    I would like to watch the two games again because there is a lot of difference between the two sides and there mode of attack, Just think We could see a villa side without a DM soon, what will we do with Jedi and Wheeler 🙂

  35. Profile photo of John Clark

    Hmm. Mark, IanG: Not really sure why you got those messages, tbh. I know there’s a 10-second limit between comments (spam setting), but can only think beyond getting too excited, it might have just been a glitch.

    I’ll do some more digging. The direct messaging function…Have to check into that, too. Try again in the meantime, let me know what happens.

  36. Profile photo of Mark King

    watched the highlights and Ohare did so many good things, his through balls for Hogan are just instinctive, in the every first part of the video Clarke takes a throw in and doyle hayes heads it on to Ohare who swivels and Volleys the ball down the line for hogan, there is not a first teamer with his or hayes talent. special mention for Lyden another great talent being overlooked, on 8 mins in the vid he smashes a shot in from 30 yards like a bullet.

    JL- I don’t think Hayes Doyle will leave Jack behind at all, wish he was back sooner because he would relish playing with the youngsters and this style of play. A team where the onus is not solely on Jack to provide and where players will find him in space easily, lets face it as far as his career has gone so far its been about him saving the team, look at Bruces pre-season plan, a solid defensive base to give Jack the freedom to feed Hogan. Well it doesn’t work like that, a team has to carry multiple threats to give a player like that space to work or he will get battered, When he beats a man now he should have 3-4 options not one. I really see a bright future with this bunch for the Villa if we can hold them together.

    https://www.avfc.co.uk/AVTV/2017/08/23/Aston%20Villa%2041%20Wigan%20Athletic%20Extended%20highlights

  37. Profile photo of Mark King

    sooner rather than later please

    “Aston Villa will consider offering new deals to their talented youngsters after a fine start to the season.

    Callum O’Hare, Jake Doyle-Hayes and Mitch Clark are all out of contract next summer but Villa want to keep hold of the talented trio.

    O’Hare has been at Villa since he was eight years old and will be offered fresh terms while Doyle-Hayes, who moved to Villa from the Republic of Ireland aged 15, is also edging towards a new deal.

    Talks are yet to take place with Clark but after last night’s impressive debut against Wigan Athletic, the full-back could see negotiations brought forward.”

  38. Profile photo of OldVilla

    MK – “OV- what do you mean Balanced views? right up until we won a game they were ready to hang Bruce although JL did think we should offer him a choice like the electric chair. Hope your keeping well mate, now we are all happy is that balanced?”

    Maybe your local Specsavers needs a visit by you mate. I never even mentioned balanced in my last message. But I know you like to read things in your own way 😉
    See – I’m even getting the hang of the winking smillie thingy now ……. 🙂
    I’m well thanks Mark, all is pretty good in the oldvilla universe ……
    oldvilla

  39. Profile photo of Mark King

    OV- oh yep my bad “good reasoned views” 😉 glad your back mate Yodelling is ok for a hobby but can’t beat a good chat, good smiley skills mate 🙂

  40. Profile photo of James Gill

    funny even elphik got decent reviews wonder who was missing,same with attacking side of team 8 goals when have we scored 8 goals in 2 matcheswith gabby in toe
    if bruce can get a run together without them 2 i will love it but if he keeps picking them and results stay hit and miss,he will still have to go
    see no reason for snodgrass at this stage,january might be different

  41. Profile photo of Mark King

    JG on loan until Grealish is fit? thor is coming on now we are attacking too, how many others have we had and sold for similar reasons in recent times?

  42. Profile photo of John Lerwill

    B6

    Ah, yes, good question! 🙂

    Can’t find recent consecutive 4-goal games, but these are better.

    We have to go back 10 seasons … 2007-08 when we had this wonderful sequence in April…

    Bolton (home) 4-0
    Derby (away) 6-0
    Small Heath (h) 5-1

    ….all in the league.

    But 2010-11 had some highlights, but not quite consecutive…

    Nov 7 (League, home) Bolton 5-1
    Dec 1 (League Cup, away) Portsmouth 4-2
    Jan 20 (League Cup, home) Blackburn 6-4
    Feb 21 (League, home) Burnley 5-2
    Mar 7 (FA Cup, away) Reading 4-2

  43. Profile photo of John Lerwill

    Iana:

    Yes, agree that the flow was not always clean was it, but there was some lovely passing by Doyle-Hayes and that one by Gardner that started the first goal.

    I was disappointed, to be frank, with O’Hare, though he did make a couple of good touches. Generally, though, he battled well but his control is lacking i.m.o., from the 2 or 3 matches I’ve now seen him in.

    The other youngsters were pretty good, except that Clark would try to go forward a little over-much, I thought.

    Hogan scored well, but otherwise a tad profligate i.m.o.

  44. Profile photo of Mark King

    I have watched half of it and while its far from perfect (what is?) there is a certain vulnerability to the play an innocence if you like. That however is far out weighed by the tenacity and ability to go forward and a have real go to score. No hesitancy and plenty of movement all around, nobody stuck in their position for fear of attack, enough confidence to think they will cope. In short it looks like a proper football match not a tactic, no robotic ball to the wing every chance and no boot over the top while the rest of the team stays in our half.

    To think that this is our second string and our first if you can call them that now (more equals ) can mix with these and create something exciting and special with even more angles of attack. This ladies and gentlemen is what I have been praying for.

    I Don’t however think that this is what Bruce has been working toward while playing negative defensive turgid rubbish since last Jan with almost a completely different set of players and style.

    There has been no gradual progress just a panic to score goals and bewilderment when we don’t convert that chance in a million each match (now we see 10+ such chances) and the main missing constituents youth and freedom to play for our more attacking inclined players has been missing.

    Bruce may have done a Houdini lets hope fear does not make him revert if we lose by the odd goal on Friday.
    It could all go wrong next match but it has to be fine tuned I hope he has the nuts to see it through and the brain to know how, he could yet earn a place in villa hearts and history.

  45. Profile photo of Mark King

    JL- I would not worry about Ohares 1st touch, gabby has made a career of not having one 😉
    And yes there was some great balls from hayes and Gardner and so many targets to hit. If we are going to knit pick how many times have we watched Gardners passes go astray in the last season? dozens, today he played with confidence and bossed the midfield, its strange how being top dog can change a player, sometimes having to many players you feel you have to defer to around can stilt a players real talent.

  46. Profile photo of Mark King

    JL- Thats rubbish, shame on you, where has the chairman said anything recently? A couple more losses and? if you can refute what I am saying by giving me evidence where Bruce was going in this direction fine but don’t Judge my belief that he is not that good mate, the evidence does not stack up and is very tenuous at best. I have been calling for the youth to be involved as they are good enough and for us to go forward while you have advised caution, so judge away mate 😉

  47. Profile photo of Mark King

    Jl- disagree or have no evidence ? 😉

    I don’t mind if it doesn’t bear fruit immediately john Bruce’s starting 11 was going nowhere without a kodjia, it had not changed one iota from last season other than when we tried to attack the team got strung out and the defence is to slow, still might be.

  48. Profile photo of Mark King

    steve bruce presser, interesting his thoughts on Mcdonald and the toughness of the players he produces, all very true but I have watched the youth for a while and the way we have played the last two games is the way they play, Our problem in bringing players through has always been that we have pretty much been a counter attack/defensive side with brief moments like Houllier and remi where the approach changed.

    http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/aston-villa-transfer-news-live-13521440

  49. Profile photo of Mark King

    Iana 🙂

    Yes its on sky so we can get that monkey off our backs by winning and winning well, I do feel that he will opt for caution and play on the break as he did at Reading, if we do that then I don’t rate our chances of three points.

  50. Profile photo of Mark King

    Jl- you seem more bothered about what I think of Bruce than what we have clearly seen from him for 40+ matches. If leopards can change spots then we will see won’t we. I have talked to fans of teams he has managed to guage how he plays it, that has not changed at villa until the last two games. I think if you took your Bruce tints off and looked at the games prior 40+ and the last two cup and the Norwich game they bear no resemblance to one another in style.

  51. Profile photo of Mark King

    And you could not be more wrong about what I think of Bruce I want him to be what he is clearly not though. A manager like Wagner would of seen the potential in villas youth and taken that onboard to Bruce it’s an inconvenience that’s come back to bite him.

    In his pressed he said we have had a good week and a bad week but praised how much influence Davis had on his debut, bear in mind if gabby was fit he was unlikely to play. Bruce doesn’t seem elated to have won just p*ssed off his team /plans had not worked. Sure things could fall flat but the fans have seen goals and intent and there’s no return from that, I hasten to add the doc will of seen it too.

  52. Profile photo of OldVilla

    MK – “Bruce doesn’t seem elated to have won just p*ssed off his team /plans had not worked.”

    Oh dear Mark, even you surely cannot think this ? That is quite a statement that says SB doesn’t care about the Villa, its players, its fans or anything else to do with the club. And that really cannot be the case can it? He’s not elated that his team has won?!!!!!

    oldvilla

  53. Profile photo of Mark King

    OV- Of course not mate, just a little bit peeved with his treatment but in his presser he makes no mention of the changes in style, dropping players etc just we had a good week after a bad week. The bad week wasn’t his fault it just happened and so neither is the good week, just how it goes in football 😉

    To me the way we played is more like a revelation compared to whats come before it. Of course the side he played against Reading might of beat Norwich but not if they played the same way. If its all down to Bruce I hold my hands up he’s woken up, and of course the away form must be addressed but hopefully not by being negative in our play.

    “It’s a better week. That’s all it is. We can’t get too carried away.”

    “It just shows you how quickly things change in football.

    “If we think we’re out the woods yet, we’re not. We’ve had a good week, that’s it.“The good thing for me is that there was a response from the team, certainly with the performance against Norwich.”

  54. Profile photo of Mark King

    OV- I don’t think you realise that Steve Bruce is about Steve Bruce, its been said by others that he has a bit of an ego to feed and last week is the first time I have seen it rear its head. Plenty of times has he up and left for money or over a disagreement so cares about Villa, fans etc not on your Nellie.

  55. Profile photo of John Lerwill

    And Mark Kind isn’t about Mark King? 😉

    All this accusatory stuff is a bit OTT i.m.o. I don’t know why we have to go down this route … if it all does go pear-shaped then we have something to talk about, but just hypothetical and nebulous thinking doesn’t get anyone anywhere. Does it?

  56. Profile photo of OldVilla

    Mark – I think you are just looking far too deeply into everything …….. you talk to other teams fans just to get the lowdown on our manager (and its all bad), this business about SB wasnt elated when we won, the youth at Villa is just an “inconvenience” to him, analysis of everything he says …….
    Maybe its time to take a step back and just let it all happen eh? There will be good and bad and things that we will all agree to disagree on ……. but lets not get completely hung up on things to the n’th degree.
    We will lose games and we will win games …….. we will attack and we will defend …….. we will score and we will concede ……. players will play well and play badly ……. and we will all have our opinions and views but maybe not in a totally analytical way. We like or we dont like …..

    But we will all support our club and feel the pain and the ecstasy that we have felt …. for the last 56 years in my case …. how about everyone else? How long has everyone suffered or enjoyed following the enigma that is AVFC? But I wouldnt change it for the world …….
    League cups, Champions of England, Champions of Europe, 1st division, 2nd division, 3rd division ……… we have done it all in my lifetime bar the FA Cup ……

    Keep the faith ..
    oldvilla

  57. Profile photo of Mark King

    JL- And Mark Kind isn’t about Mark King?

    eh? I open doors for women children dogs and even stubborn old blokes like you John, I’m kind to animals and find they generally have a better nature than people, I would help anyone at the drop of the hat and even defend someone from bullying at risk to myself. Why I have to be kind to Steve Bruce heavens knows he’s turned watching my team into a bore, you may live the life of mother Theresa, I’m fine as I am thanks 😉

    OV- I have not said others fans have said its all bad only that what we have seen at Villa up until the last few games is typical of how he plays, play it tight and hit on the break, its been the common comment among fans of his ex teams.

    Yes I like to look into things in detail, so what? you don’t so what? 🙂 I’m nearly 55 come from a Villa family and have lived through the same and have never stopped supporting them.

    I comment for fun, sometimes for a laugh and some banter, other times to get others views on what I am thinking, I am not sat at home in my Villa get up screaming hate at the computer, this is a blog about football there will be analysis about everything about Villa, you can’t control it an I can’t control it we just have to say so what and live in harmony for JL or he’ll set god on us 😉

  58. Profile photo of Mark King

    Its hard to Gauge what Tony Xia is thinking he posted this on the 22nd about Snodgrass

    “We’ve been discussing with maybe the last in this window for one week. Hopefully it’ll be right decision.”

    and in the same conversation

    “Honestly I would like give youngsters more opportunities, maybe the same way I ran my business as always like bring young team to grow&gel.”

  59. Profile photo of John Lerwill

    Mark: “I’m nearly 55 come from a Villa family and have lived through the same and have never stopped supporting them.”

    … and I’ve been following Villa for 10 years more than you’ve been alive! ;-D

    That’s all very fine, but hounding Bruce for no good reason is something I can’t get my head around.

    It must be me.

  60. Profile photo of Mark King

    JL- it is you Iana agreed with me 😉

    have a read of this and tell me what you think I am saying nothing I daren’t

    Villa have only won one of their first four league matches at the start of 2017-18 campaign, however, and have conceded eight times, with many criticising Terry for his early-season form.

    Bruce, however, has insisted that Terry, who left Chelsea at the end of last season after helping the Blues to the Premier League title, has brought exactly what he wanted to the club.

    “A couple of bad results don’t paper over the affect he’s had. What I needed is someone who has been there, done it, worn the T-shirt, and show them how it’s done. For the younger lads in the team he’ll have an affect on them big style, because of how he’s done it, how he’s gone about his work, and how he is,” Bruce told Sky Sports News.

    “For example, we went to Colchester away on a horrible night, probably the worst of the year, but he drove to the game himself and turned up in the dressing room, even though he wasn’t involved. He took the young lads and shook them by the hands to wish them luck.

    “He could have sat back and not given a monkey’s, but that’s the reason why I brought him here, to bring that mentality. Before I got here that mentality was losing, but that won’t happen on my watch. I needed somebody alongside me in the dressing room who thinks exactly the same way, and I’ve got that person.”

    Colchester’s only a short drive from his house 🙂

  61. Profile photo of Mark King

    I don’t know when the last time we scored two back to back 4 goals in a game but I loved this season for goals and excitement, along with a 5-1 beating of Liverpool and arsenal and 5-2 against Ipswich and 5-1 at wrexham. loads of 4-0 and 3-0 results had them all in a scrap book (remember those?) won the league cup against Everton (again 🙂 ) which I watched on a black and white portable while sat on the floor in our Kitchen. I miss seeing us play like that.

    http://www.footballsite.co.uk/Statistics/LeagueTables/Season1976-77/ClubResults/1976-77AstonVilla.html

  62. MK,

    Well done to you. Stand your ground, because you are right, and I am disappointed in Bruce, as I thought he may have come on board, and realised that we have young players more than capable of proving themselves, but with all the cr**p he is coming out with, plus his love of Snodgrass, he foes not show himself in a good light. I hate people winging, and that is exactly what he is doing now, because the club has had a couple of good results, which were not down to him and some wonderful eureka moment!

    Bruce got lucky and should just get on with it, which is what most real fans want WHO ACXTUALLY GO TO THE GAMES AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS ON THE PITCH, and not just pick up highlights, or poor streams, etc.

    The majority of fans at Tuesday night’s game were full of praise for O’Hare, Doyle-Hayes, Clark, and Gardner. A group of lads used to playing together, always sensed where each other was, and played great one touch football, which we always used to teach our youngsters in training years ago..!!

    Friday night will start to answer questions about Bruce, and how good he really is as manager. At this moment, many Villa fans feel the jury is still out…!!

    Bruce is not bigger than the club, and does not have a single connection to it, other than his pay packet.

  63. Paul/Mark
    I agree about SB. He better do the right thing by Villa or just go back to retirement. Villa is not a Hull Mk ll. I really hope he has learnt by the break he has just had. Those kind of breaks don’t come to often. Caulderwood said the youngsters have earned the right to play. Let’s see what happens tonight. Playing youngsters ahead of our traditional losers is a win-win for Bruce. If we lose, fans won’t blame Bruce. If we win, he’ll be a star. Bruce needs to keep the customers happy. Yes he does. The customers are Xia, the fans and SKY. You only do that by winning and winning well. The fans who go to the games deserve to see exciting progressive football. Sod the bus. Get it out of Villan vocab.

  64. Profile photo of IanG

    PP
    Real fans?
    Bit OTT?
    People like me can’t physically go any more mostly & we put our money into the club for amateur hour audio that I for one can’t get.
    Lucky you!

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