Well, we know it’s a big game tonight as Gary Monk’s Middlesbrough come calling. We’ve heard calls for unity, and despite our individual opinions, I agree that a home crowd fully behind the team is essential. Even if Ladbrokes are publishing a list of potential successors to Steve Bruce.

Will we see the best of Villa? The commitment and energy Bruce has asked for? Will we see a referendum on Bruce from the players, either good or bad? Stay tuned.

Not too many surprises in the lineup as I’ve seen it reported, but Elmo apparently moves to right back to make room for Snodgrass. Dunno how Bree and De Laet will get a game outside cup ties or through injury, but that’s for another day. Keinan Davis seems to have passed a late fitness test, and Bjarnason comes in for Green.

Elmohamady, Chester, Terry, Taylor
Lansbury, Jedinak
Snodgrass, Hourihane, Bjarnason

So, there it is, another variant on the 4-2-3-1. Let’s hope Snodgrass is up to snuff, Jedinak’s well and truly fit, and Lansbury can put himself about a little bit.


Comments 71

  1. Johnstone, Elmohamady, Taylor, Chester, Terry, Snodgrass Jedinak, Hourihane, Lansbury, Bjarnason, Davis

    Bench..Steer, Hutton, Samba, Whelan, Adomah, Kodjia, Hogan,

  2. I just don’t like red cards. They ruin the game, affect teams around the two teams playing on the table. It turns the results into a mini lottery. The player should be ejected and given a three game suspension but the team shouldn’t be penalized and be able to sub a player in.

  3. 2 home games in 4 days no goals ,need someone who the players can relate to,chopping changing team bruce way is not working,adoamh not invovled saturday star man 2nd half

  4. Loved Bruce’s post match comment (not verbatim) that we are close to doing teams over, I spat out some cereal this morning hearing that.

    Positive substitutions brought on by Boro being down to 10 men (and Kodija was earmarked to come on since the weekend anyway) but unable to kill off a game there for the taking. Moved on from being disappointed by Villa’s results to ungraciously accepting them. I’ve grown even more tired of Villa then I ever was while circling the relegation plughole.

    I figure if I come to enjoy drawing at home, then when a win comes along it will be all the more sweeter. Perhaps Bruce is closer to his starting 11 now and perhaps consistent selection will allow a greater understanding within the players but perhaps is no certainty. God I hate that I love Villa sometimes.

    There is nothing to get excited about under Bruce, the football is ineffective, even the smallest bit of cavalier play a la Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle would be welcome.

    Nonplussed Dublin Villan

  5. JL- Prevents? you mean it hits the bloke in the back of the leg while he attempts to get out of the way 😉

    I would say out of our 20 chances maybe 3 were of Note with two being off the line and Thors header looked a sitter. Boro started by getting two corners with 11 men in the first couple of minutes so god knows what would of been if they had kept all 11, on the back foot at home from the start, it then took us an entire half to register a shot on goal and second half Bruce decides its time to put more attackers on. He actually kept a DM on against ten men ( I suspect because he wanted to give him minutes), might as well put him up front and put the ball in the box. Johnson saved our bacon again, he’s turning out ok.

    Two sendings off, Adama’s was late but not cynical, Lansburys was cynical and a professional foul, the ref probably should not have awarded the first so early and then he would not have given the second, both were straight reds.

    Dor- yep massively disappointed, would actually have preferred to have seen how we faired with two sides of 11. Last season we raised our game against the top sides (are Borough even that good?) and we hit the woodwork 8 times in 11 games at the start of the season too, nothing has changed.

  6. Worth reading, it shows we can still get auto promotion two others did from this position, Reading and Bournemouth. Reading scored 69 goals and Bournemouth 98. I agree with the author that Bruce is not showing us enough to keep him, half a decent performances abound and lucky/unlucky wins and draws appear to be the staple. I do think we have the players but not the manager, these next few games are against two of the worst teams pluss some average ones at home, Bruce has to win and at the very least we need to look convincing, we just don’t at the moment and theres only so long we can wait.


  7. If we want to score then why not increase our chances of doing so?By that,I mean play 2 up front at home,and stop playing Hogan wide.Negative,reactive,cautious.SB ismaking it up as he goes along,doesn’t know his best 11 or best set up.
    I heard a lot of blather from the manager about “how close we are to having a good side”mmmm,shame we don’t have a manager to mould them.
    The only cconsolation is we have “stability”,that really warms my heart.

  8. one of the conversations l had with steamer a few years ago was about how lucky “our lot ” ( The Steamers) were to have gone through that season in 81 and through to 82 and what we witnessed as villa fans and how we thought we would rule the league for years . only for that bluenose doug to come in and put a stop to that , and he did , up till them days we had gone everywhere supporting our club , in the third taking over towns and then their grounds , having fisticuffs on the way with no knives or whatever , (that was a law with the Steamers) fists and boots only , first blade l saw was a sword held by a millwall fan coming towards us at the Den , oh hum ,
    and the other thing we talked about was how the likes of Frem were never ever going to see those days again (l know leicester will come up , but thats a one in a million chance and l cant ever see that happening again )
    l look at our lot who had kids and their first romper suit would have been a villa one and the kids have grown up supporting the villa and stay because their dads still alive at the moment , but l have saw some have left and their dads saying he/her are just bored and fed up of wasting their money , think about it !! Frem has been a season ticket holder for how long?? and what has he saw ,( yes ok one fa cup final where we capitulated ) but as he has stated on here and on the villablog the other years were dreadful and l really felt for him and the other kids going at the time and l remember some having a go at him , but he paid his money and went to the games and sat freezing watching s**te week in week out ,
    l think the villa have a big job on their hands to convince a lot of the kids to go back , yes we have a great following away and l go to the away more than home , will l do it if we go up , l doubt it , lm having a laff at the moment with the old steamers and l can tell you that some actually stay in the pub at the away game . Cardiff being one , actually shrewsbury and bristol too , and at half time l was surprised how many dont even go back to their seats but stay drinking under the stadium,
    l really cant see us competing with the top six ever , and unless the Dr has a big backer l think we will struggle and it hurts me to say it but l think we could become a up and downer team in premiership (which l hate) ,
    l look around the ground and l see loads of the old supporters still there ,and they are there in massive numbers and l see small pockets of youths , so what lm getting at here is will there ever be the big gates of youths again , l dont know , but me and steamer were never convinced , as with Frem and the likes they have only ever saw the villa in the premiership and at the time that was the “Be all and end all” the media blew it up out of proportion and hasbeen players who got paid by sky had to make it sound brilliant , Best league in the world , l dont think so ,
    we also could become a team that does well in the championship and die at the end of the season like a few teams do and get bogged down there, l dont think sb is the answer as last night showed l think he’s shot and he knows it , this was a bigger club and job he’s struggled to handle , l dont really know where we go from here , my thoughts would be finding a good up and coming YOUNG manager , but where are they ?? lv heard some names bounced around but would they come , l dont think so as the club and fans want it instantly and l cant see that ever happening soon, so imo were in limbo and l think its for a while ,
    but l really hope something happens soon for the likes of Frem and the youth ,
    and lm just enjoying the company of the old steamers at some of the away games as we just dont know whats around the corner , too me the footie is now behind the cider, the lads, the crack,and the family, and lm at barnsley saturday and have a ticket for Burton (yes they aint on sale yet , but its who you know now ) lol
    well enjoy the rest of your week and weekend and l hope l have’nt bored anybody zzzzz
    maybe a meet up soon to drink to Gary The steamer ,
    Jenny xxxxxx

  9. Great post ST75,

    Which about sums it up. I was a season ticket holder up until 77/78, when I moved to Wales, and eventually semi-retired in 2010 and took up a season ticket again, which I have renewed every year until now. I have enjoyed much of the time due to an occasional good result, the friendship, and seeing Brum again, but after the pathetic display on Saturday, I wondered whether it was all worthwhile, especially coming into the winter. It really is sad for our young Villa fans that we see so much cr*p.

    Bruce definitely is not the man for me, but nor are some of the crazy suggestions coming up from the media. Villa need a Pep, an Arsne Wegner or Pocchitino, not some old failure.

    I do not see an amazing turn round coming, but maybe Bruce will be allowed to trundle on with his boring and defensive ways and we will gradually creep up into the top half of the table now that Kodjia is fit, but Villa’s fortunes were really summed last night with Hogan’s goal line clearance for the opposition….!!!!

  10. ST75- well put mate, the only thing that will bring some pride and crowds back is something worth watching, forget winning anything at this point, it needs to be about style for me. I’m up for a drink if we can take turns at buying them. I would go get Smith at this point, he may not be the answer but he’d die trying and knows the people.

  11. I accept that there is no quick fix and that we might be in this division for many years.However I wish we had a manager with a direction,a strategy,àn idea re tactics and that went out to win games,not one that first and foremost tries to stifle the opposition.One up front at home?How about some entertainment?
    Injuries?Yes all teams get them,we have a huge squad use it.
    SB is a lovely fella,but negative,dull football will not attract the young fans that S75 writes about.They would rather be at home in the warm with their PSG shirt on,or in the pub watching Chelsea.

  12. I mooted the idea of getting together at the beginning of the season, so lets start to put some meet on the bones, all you local boys can easily pick a spot before/after a game to meet up, just give travellers like myself enough notice to book cheap flights and accom.

  13. MK: “Prevents? you mean it hits the bloke in the back of the leg while he attempts to get out of the way”

    Did say “purposely prevented”? No, I didn’t. So please refrain from trying to find meanings that aren’t there. Thanks.

    In fact I thought he was trying to deflect the ball into the net, but I could be wrong.

  14. B6: “SB is a lovely fella,but negative,dull football will not attract the young fans that S75 writes about.”

    The fans *will* be attracted if Villa start stringing some good results together

    I think it’s possible Bruce’s lot can do that. By October we’ll know I’d say.

  15. JL,

    I know that no matter what, that as Bruce’s right hand man here, you will defend his pathetic management to the end. The abysmal team selection, tactics and then the follow up of lame excuses as to why we did not succeed and defence of Lansbury, beggars belief.

    What would the result have been last night if Traore, had not misjudged his tackle, and stayed on the pitch, a Villa win of course, as Bruce claimed it was harder playing against ten men.

    I did not say that last night was boring, but the result was, and almost a given, with the set up Villa had, with no real creative mid field, meanwhile , of course, the under twenty-threes managed to destroy Southampton the day before with a 4-0 victory, using some of the players many on here would love to see playing for the first team, whether we lose or not, at least we would see some creativity. Why play Davies last night, with no support, and let him only give an average performance. Gary Monk played his tactics absolutely right, the same as Dean Smith did on Saturday.

  16. Even Stevie Wonder could make a better job of managing Villa, and he knows nothing about football, but with the squad we have got, we should be top of the league.

  17. dor
    more chance meeting at the aviva if ireland scrape play offs.
    maguire has 2 goals for preston oneil cant leave him out for moldova now
    nearly given up on the villa 1 striker up front on his own at home to boro with no change even when boro went goal down, and i think all reports on taylor last few matches are backing up what i wrote when we signed him in january on big wage for 3/4 years bruce wouldnt know a good player if he fell over inn front of one

  18. JL
    Thanks for the link. Couldn’t open it here, not available in my area. The OS has extended highlights though. It wasn’t boring, was it? I wasn’t there, but Villa kind of looked unlucky. Landsbury was skinned and can’t moan about the red but should have been awarded a penalty. I’d play Snodgrass at 10 and return Adomah to his wing.

  19. JL- Mate it wasn’t a dig just a little frivolity after your recent assessments of Hogan and just because of the miserable time we are enduring, perhaps I should of said why did Hourihane aim at Hogan? 😉

    Iana- First half was pretty lame until the last ten but then I was only listening and the presenter wasn’t saying much, second half Bruce went for it at least. Whole lot of shoulda coulda woulda’s , we might of been unlucky but then we were probably handed the initiative with the sending off rather than attained it. As I said shame we didn’t see what the team could do in a more open match even if we’d lost.

  20. Had a good old look through with the pause button, Both penalty shouts definitely weren’t IMO lansbury and Kodj both take a dive when they felt a touch. There is only one goal line clearance as well Snodders hits the bar and the ball comes out and hits the standing borough player on the head and bounces up in the air. Hourihanes shot is rifled straight at Hogan who trys to twist out the way, was not an attempt to put it in himself just sods law.

    Adomah and Kodjia have to play and we have to play with that kind of adventure they eventually showed.

  21. PP: “with the squad we have got, we should be top of the league.”

    I’d agree on that, but why not talk to the players and ask *them* why they’re not putting the ball into the net.

    Though we’ve just seen 2 goal-less matches we have had about 8 or 10 situations where we should have scored but the chances usually went wide … or Hogan-blocked! 😀

    That’s within the control of the players, not Bruce.

  22. Jl,

    If I felt it was just failings by the players, I would agree, but Bruce has failed to bond a set of players together, with a formation that would produce the goals needed, which is what happened in the two games where we managed to score eight goals….,.!!!

    The problem, as I see it , is the immense pressure not to concede, over the desire to score goals. Bruce is always on about “nicking a goal to see us over the line”…..Nicking never has paid long term, being brave and going for a result, is the only answer!

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