Villa’s three-game winning streak was interrupted last Friday night with a draw away to Leeds, and today sees Millwall, currently 17th, coming to Villa Park. With Sheffield United and Bristol playing each other, it would be a good day to pick up three points. Then again, they pretty much all are.

I’d prefer to see Sheffield and Bristol draw, of course, but would also be alright with a United win in that fixture as long as we keep pace. Wolves have Sunderland at Molineaux, so I think we all know how that’s going to go, but it wouldn’t hurt for Wanderers to slip up. Cardiff travel to Reading, and maybe there’s a chance for us to pick up a couple of points on the Bluebirds.

At any rate, the team sheet is out now, and the only change is Lansbury coming in for Hourihane. Many might be surprised that Onomah is in and Grealish isn’t…But perhaps I give Steve Bruce the benefit of the doubt here regarding Jack’s overall fitness.

It also probably doesn’t hurt the side to at least start off with only one change, and seems to fit Bruce’s recent preference to keep the side unchanged barring injuries. Makes it easier for everyone else to keep going the way they have been, and Lansbury will have a stable side around him to make his role clearer and keep the team cohesive.

Of course, you could also say it shows a lack of imagination on Bruce’s part, or an overabundance of caution. And then someone else could say back to you that at least Bruce isn’t chopping and changing now that he’s got more players to choose from. So, take your pick.

One would certainly expect Grealish to make an appearance at some point. There’s also the question of whether Onomah is pretty much guaranteed to start as part of his loan deal. But I would have to think that regardless of such an agreement, if the scoring is still going to fall largely to Adomah, and we don’t see much creativity elsewhere, Jack has to be in the frame.

Interesting also that Hutton continues to nail down a place and Elmohamady stays on the bench. You have to hand it to Alan. He’s a gamer and a survivor, and I don’t know that we’ve missed Elmo much. But he does have a better final ball in his locker, so…

Anyway, doesn’t really matter, because that’s the line-up on the day, and three points is the remit. Derby’s up next, a much sterner test, so once again, it really is a day for the lads to dig deep and make sure they come away with a win. Millwall have only won just one of their last five, and Villa are 3-1-1. You’d like to think it’s on the cards.

As noted on the last thread, if Villa can get going early, it might be a fun day to be a Villan. But it’s just as likely we can expect this to be a scrappy affair and that Villa will rely on having a bit more quality to fashion the telling chance or two.

Over to you, and COYVB. This is a crucial period, so let’s keep playing like it.

Comments 137

  1. Listening to the natch, Hutton seems to be back to his old way a bit, & Onomah seems to be not involved constructively,.
    We seem to miss Hourihane & are ineffective up front.
    Lansbury doesn’t seem up to it.
    Well it’ll be another half an hour or more until Bruce stirs, unless they score of course, & they really should have at least once.
    I don’t think we’ve had a shot on target.

  2. we desperately need someone to beat a player (Grealish) we are also getting p*ssed on on the break
    As I said earlier why is Onamah playing? (possibly in his loan contract) If this is an example of how we will beat the better teams at home then we are stuffed.

    Hope Bruce changes it up early.

  3. Bruce’s reliance of same o same o gives the other teams a big advantage when it comes to setting up their team and game tactics. Regardless of their place in the standing they give Villa a go of it. Might as well send them Bruce’s play book.

  4. Oh well. Looks like SB’s blood pressure will be elevated this week. They had a week off, so fatigue can’t be an excuse. Hourihan was dropped for Lansbury and Jack and Hogan were on the bench, so lack of depth is no excuse. Oh well. The next three weeks will be exciting. Can Villa get motivated enough?

  5. I think we are destined for frustration this season. With the team at hand a different look can be had each week. Just go for it.

  6. Ian- We have a run of games that could see Bruce out by Jan, don’t like saying it now we have reached top 6 but those easy runs of games are drying up.

    Night or morning folks off out for a brewski

  7. Hoping that someone who knows more about it can tell me what the **** went wrong today.
    It’s been a long week with loads of driving. Another 450 mile round trip to see . . . . THAT!!!
    We were dreadful. It was like jumping back two seasons.
    Johnson (who i’ve criticised recently) was fantastic and saved us a point (which we didn’t deserve).
    Ok, Millwall players and fans are detestable and the referee and his officials were (to use an Aussie phrase) a complete bag of wank, but there really are no excuses.
    I’ll post something else when I’ve calmed down and feel rational again.

  8. JC . . . absolutely, they really did, and for the whole game too.
    There seemed to be a lack of leadership and I wondered if Chester was under the weather. Everyon (including the crowd) just seemed subdued.

  9. Agree with everybody’s after match comments. It was another Brentford type showing. The team of journeymen should have beaten us.

    1) We didn’t have the same effort and determination as Millwall.

    2) SB’s team selection and use of subs back to normal after last weeks shining light.

    3) All the teams around us go flat out for the win over the whole game. We don’t and settle for a point.

    4) After the Brentford game Cardiff were 10 points ahead of us. As we approach the half way mark, should they beat Reading tomorrow they will be still 9 points ahead of us despite our “good” run.

    5) I think P2 has gone. Anymore rubbish like yesterday and P6 will be gone as well.

  10. Morning all

    We don’t do packed defences do we, or good defences it seems, anything that is is marginally more organised causes us problems. The way he has us set up relies on the opposition coming to us leaving space for Adomah to exploit, take that away and we are poor. Two wingers that want to go inside with a packed defence. Not one player that can beat a man in the team first half , Players like Grealish and Ohare should be in there causing them problems, getting free kicks, our movement is not good enough or quick enough to play round teams in tight games.

    Good job Johnsons a good shot stopper because they had us for pace every time, Snodgrass was poor as was Onamah in that central position, Hutton was exposed because of Snodgrass and that never ends well. Baffles me how Lansbury ends up as a DM when he was the bloke that scored last week.

    Bruces starting position is to negative for me and I can’t see it changing, maybe in years gone by the level of manager was less technically gifted in the champs? we seem easily out thought and yesterday out fought which is pretty much our forte.

  11. plug
    you are giving bruce too much credit for leeds subs, a blind man listening to radio would have seen subs where needed at half time certainly in ooamh case
    how ooamh started yesterday i dont know but he had another stinker yesterday
    whelan got a lot of praise here last few weeks yet yesterday when we needed our centre mid to take control of game he did NOTHING
    lansby got full game yesterday in centre mid after on 30mins since august strange way of bedding a player back in
    subs elmo for hutton when we needed a goal ,houriane and hogan on bench,would been perfect to try davies and hogan together,even when samba got injured could dropped whelan to play centre half rather than put elphik on who haddened played in weeks
    please dc xia put bruce out of our misery for xmas

  12. Grealish deserves to start in my opinion, let him set the mood not come on to rescue things second half, at one point yesterday he lost the ball and then chased the man down and slide tackled him he even cleared the ball from our box after one counter attack so he wants to play, let him.

  13. mark
    what does snodgrass add to team apart from hard work,
    when you look hutton taylor samba chester whelan snodgrass can only give hard work not much skill or attacking players left

  14. we would been better losing to leeds and winning yesterday,1point better off
    thanks to facebook can watch all games now and we never dominate even home games v milwall sunderland ipswich why ? steve bruce ,football has passed him by there is no smartness in his teams that doesnt work any more hard work only takes to a poor level need a plan even our set pieces twice in second half milwall broke from our corner and probably should have scored at least once,

  15. Lets hope you get it right next game steve.

    “I have to be honest, it was a struggle against a very decent Millwall side who put us under pressure. We’ll take a point.

    “We didn’t have enough control and found it difficult. We have to play better than that.

    “Sam Johnstone was easily our best player and he had to be but I’m really disappointed with how we played today.

    “We gave it away too often and we looked sloppy and lethargic. There’s no excuses for that. Overall I got it wrong with my changes.”

  16. I find this incredible, To me Grealish for Onamah was the obvious swap, lansbury is an attacking player even more so than Hourihane and this just shows how much Wheelan relies on Conor.

    “I was wrong,” Bruce told The Birmingham Mail. “The lads had won three on the bounce (before Leeds). But I just thought with Lansbury scoring last week he was confident. I thought H played well to be fair to him.

    “But overall I got it wrong. It’s my job. I’ve left Hourihane out because I just think he needs freshening up a little bit, but he’ll be raring to next week.

    “I changed the team and I put Lansbury in. I only made one change. I thought we missed the control that he (Hourihane) gives us but I just went for the physicality because of it being Millwall.”

  17. Mark,

    SB: We’ll take a point; Overall I got it wrong with my changes.

    A point gets you nowhere in this division. His changes were poor. So there’s 2 telling admissions.


    you are giving bruce too much credit for leeds subs

    True mate, very true. If this is the best he’s got then we are in for another bout of mass hysteria.

  18. Mark
    Mass hysteria & men in white coats.
    My Gran always said beware of men in white coats.
    She could have been talking about the milkman though with his horse.

  19. Well guys,

    I am so glad that yesterday I got the best deal. Sold my seat, and will get almost a tenner back. Went to a wonderful meal that started at 1pm, and continued through until after 6pm, with 5 amazing courses, provided by my partner’s sister-in-law. I did not at any time attempt to check on Villa until around 9pm, when I discovered the awful truth…
    Cannot believe I avoided the usual 160 mile round trip, usual expenses, and had a great time..!!

    Now I have to look at the next couple of home games, and hope for new inspiration, as I have now booked to stay in Birmingham for both of them !!!

    Steve will either get it right at Derby, or we will be looking at John Terry as interim manager, until a new one is appointed. Dr Tony will not accept anymore failure…!!

    Thank you to all the usual commenters for updating on the awful day I missed yesterday.

  20. lana
    Hiya mate. laid up with a spasming back at the moment.
    Probably caused by frustration at a lack of movement on Saturday [while dreaming of women in white coats]

  21. Hi All , sat through the first half and then joined my mates at the back at the Holte having a few bottles watching it on the screen , jeez that was hard on the eye to watch and for SB to say Johnson was man of the match says it all ,
    John Lerwill were your ears Burning aroud 5-30ish , the bore was coming out with questions on football and l said a certain Mr Lerwill would tie you up for years , at which point Carl Chinn asked how l know you , told him about the AVL blog (he said he dont do blogs ) then proceeded to blow your trumpet for you, he told me to give you his best wishes when l drop round , Hopefully this week , weather permitting , god was he p*ssed when he left us around 9-30pm , you know for all his knowledge he can never get the drinks round right , l had two milds off him !!! but he told everyone in earshot ” if you want to know about the Villa go onto Mr John Lerwills page plus there are other articles he writes about as well , very interesting bloke lads “” at which point the shots came over from the bar ,
    well lm off to Derby for my birthday , today would have been the day me and Steamer would have been in John Lewis shop in town looking for a tv for my birthday and then l got a phone call off my daughter telling me to go to John Lewis and she will meet us there , at which point we didnt know where we was so we asked a security bloke ” how do we get to JLs ?”and the bloke said ” Your in John Lewis’s ” Gary proceeds to call me NOB , its been a hard year without him and l feel guilty sometimes when lm at a game (but in the pub after the game ) enjoying myself , still find it hard that he aint here, , the only good thing to have come out of it was a message on facebook on a Page thats been made called The Dougal Mob , that was the first mob l was in from 1970 , and his funeral got us all back together and in contact again,
    well l hope you all have a great christmas and a happy new year ,

  22. Good to hear from you Steamers75. Happy Birthday. Don’t get too drunk at Derby. God knows what that lot might do to you.
    Yes, Mr Lerwill is a hard act to follow when it comes to Villa history and writing. Steamer is still missed here too. Don’t hear much from SWV either. Hope he is okay. Jenny Poo too.

  23. Happy Birthday Steamer75, have a good one, & as Trinity said you have to watch Derby.
    Me I’m still trying to work out which Bin the bottles go in at home.
    Mr Lerwill, hope you & your wife are OK, & thanks for bringing me the book.

  24. hello Steamer75 all the best for your birthday keep your chin up mate Steamer would only take the p*ss if you didn’t, Did you get the Xmas card with the £20?

  25. Great to see you here Steamer 75,

    Hope you have a great birthday at Derby, where you can catch up with Scot Carson, Curtis Davis, Andi Weimann, and maybe Darren Bent as well as many mates….

    Does it mean you will be Steamer 76 next year????
    Will sink a few beers in celebration, especially if Villa win!

    I am sure we all miss Steamer with his humour here, and I wish I had had the privilege of meeting him.

  26. PP,

    I was on the verge of finding out just how interesting a feller Gary (Steamer) was. Such a shame, and the effect on Deano (S75) speaks volumes.


    Awe, shucks, don’t make me blush! Actually Carl is soon due to write a preface to my new book on a local history topic, so I’ve got to be nice to him now for more reasons than one! 😉

  27. Thought this was interesting but what is this attacking football? 🙂

    Why we should embrace Man City dominance
    There are a few positives given City’s dominance of the Premier League…
    1. It will force United, Chelsea and the chasing pack to focus on winning most of their other games which means attacking football. Honestly, Jose attacks the other teams far more because we have no choice but to win. It forced him to attack Arsenal as compared to being defensive against Liverpool.
    2. City playing swashbuckling football should show future and upcoming coaches that football can be won by dominance, by elegance and by attacking your way out of trouble. That’s better for the game. That’s better than the percentage football that coaches began to adopt explaining means to the end as the reasoning.
    3. Watching attacking football is far more fun than attrition based battles. It is glorious to see that again in the premier league. Arsenal, Liverpool, City attack with far more abandon than the other teams.
    4. Coaches hopefully realize that playing to their strengths is more important than just nullifying opponents.
    5. Teams have to invest to get the best attacking players to come to the Premier League. We see some stars and some glorious skill.
    6. As a trickle down effect of one team dominating the league, we see more teams take the cups and the champions league super seriously. We see more English teams playing better in the champions league resulting in better calibre of talent.
    If a dull defensive team starts to dominate football and a league for a few years then football is in trouble

  28. Mark – Thought this was interesting but what is this attacking football?

    Are you asking on behalf of SB? All the points listed have significance. Point 6 is illustrated by what’s happened to Italian football over the years. All defence. Perhaps they are just beginning to take note because I saw 2 cracking attacking performances from Roma this season in Europe.

    Point 5 is already taken on board by those teams around us in the Championship. They’ve collected players from the lower leagues and drilled attacking set ups into them. Except Wolves who paid big dosh to achieve the same thing. Villa paid big dosh too but SB has taken the defensive route to the detriment of larger gates, exciting footy and a points tally that should be higher given our spend. SB’s win ratio this season is less than 50%.

    In the interim I’ll carry on dreaming of laying siege to some team for a non stop 90 minutes.

  29. Well put Plug!

    Managing to survive the snow reasonably well at the moment. Managed to make it into town and buy supplies, enjoy a pint of Bombadier, before returning home to cook one of my Mum’s great stews, enough to feed a small army…!! So know I can survive on that for a week if I have to..!!

  30. PP
    I’ve just managed to un-bury the car [it was covered in a foot of snow] & do some shopping as the pantry was bare, bit icy out.
    Brum council don’t like spending money on too much salt/grit, just telling us about it.
    Now it’s freezing rain, but the temp will possibly go up tomorrow with the rain.
    It’s bound to be raining in Derby at the weekend, so attacking the mud!

    The point about attacking football is fine with top players, otherwise a lottery.
    Man C seem to have it in the bag barring injuries

  31. PP had to put off going to west wales to visit my daughter because of the snow, as although I am well able to drive in the conditions, I’ve only got the energy if I’m on a mission.
    Could do with some of the players being on a mission to get auto promotion

  32. IanG,

    Probably a very wise decision. I only have made journeys in the last few days, because I have had to.

    Know where you are coming from, and yes let us hope that the whole squad are going to be on a mission to get automatic promotion, or we will start falling away once more.

    At least we are well ahead of where we were last year , which was on 25pts and 15th in the table, having just lost to Leeds, after a seven match unbeaten run, following our loss to PNE…. and we then got 10 points from a possible 15. Which was ok, but then we went on a losing run again, or we may have kept pace with the others, but we dropped a further 5 points behind. Let’s hope we do not do the same this time round..!!

  33. IanG: “Brum council don’t like spending money on too much salt/grit, just telling us about it.”

    It’s exactly the same in north London as it is elsewhere I imagine.

    Councils (particularly councils like Brum) are being starved of cash by you-know-who and don’t want to hike the council tax too much. I’m sure you know that really! 😉

  34. JL
    Absolutely, although up here with B,ham council even when they had the money something else went wrong.
    The black country councils are skint mostly as well.

    North London councils have more money than ours John, & tend to do a lot more things like rubbish collection, cleaning the streets & salting & gritting the sidestreets in the rare occasions they get any snow.

  35. JL,

    That is absolute nonsense. Councils have had very little to spend on gritting and road clearance in the last few years, and the majority have done an amazing job of clearing roads and keeping the main roads clear. Most of the people moaning cannot be bothered to organise themselves to clear the snow on the road outside their homes, which is what people have done in other areas. Some expect the councils to clear the snow right up to their front door. How many workers do you think that would need, and how much would it cost. Councils have never done it in the past, and cannot be expected to do it now.

    At the end of the day the snow is only here for a short while, ans some people just cant cope. I would love to hear comments from our overseas members in Canada…!!

  36. PP
    Your wish will no doubt be granted.
    I went out for the first time yesterday & you’re right that most of the shop fronts are not being cleared by the shops in my area as the culture of doing so is not theirs.
    Nearly came a cropper.
    The main roads were treated, but what was different was that the buses that broke up the snow etc were completely cancelled,
    First time to my knowledge.
    Also the amount of cars parked on the roads nowadays makes it difficult to use any plough attachments anyway.
    Ambulances were having a hard time.

    The strange thing that I noticed was that the NHS had to appeal for 4 wheel drive owners to volunteer to go & fetch nurses & others.
    Then there was the ubiquitous Uber, whose priority app raised the price to the number of people were requiring a journey.
    One Dr trying to get to work was asked £149 instead of the usual £15, one guy was asked £149 from town to Selly Oak,
    The council should withdraw their licence.

  37. IanG: “North London councils have more money than ours John, & tend to do a lot more things like rubbish collection, cleaning the streets & salting & gritting the sidestreets in the rare occasions they get any snow.”</b

    Well I lived in Barnet for 10 years (1998-2008) and didn't see any more than what Brum does, apart from having a better re-cycling system.

    Rubbish-collection wise, things are fine in Hodge Hill! 🙂

  38. And my family in north London have confirmed that Barnet are not doing any salting etc on side-roads nor clearance of paths in shopping areas. People are walking in the main road to avoid the ice on the paths.

  39. PP,

    That’s a reason why I decided to stay off the blog. When being accused of talking nonsense (when I’m not) doesn’t please me too much! 🙁

    It’s OK, I know you’re not really a baddy. You can’t be – you’re a Villa supporter! 😀

  40. PP/IanG
    In Korea, the shopkeepers usually clear the ice from outside their shops. Koreans retire at 60. There seems to be an army of retirees who lay sand on the ice outside apartments and public areas to make walking safer and easier. It’s much appreciated. They’re on to it.

  41. Snow clearance alway’s sucked even when i was on the milk in the 80’s. We had to leave the floats at the bottom of streets and drag crates up on a rope.
    Now here it’s totally different, main roads are kept clear all the time, and once a storm has passed over they get stuck into the side roads . I am lucky, even though i’m in a cul-de-sac there is a walk way to the local Catholic Primary school, so most mornings our street has been cleared when we get up. I have a snow blower for my drive, bugger all that shoveling, too old for that stuff!!
    JL, thanks buddy, spoke to Mom Sunday and she has my book!!!

  42. Iana,

    Thanks a lot for asking … she copes, but it’s a long-term issue that we can’t see a way out of right now.


    Well, I am quite impressed by the postal service these days! 🙂

  43. So, you got a bit of snow. 🙂
    When you don’t get much a little bit really messes up the system. I use an ATV with a plough to clear the snow here. Snow tires help to get around. People expect it and by and large snow doesn’t affect us much unless you get a foot or more in one go.

  44. Ian
    It’s the amount of bad drivers who seem never to have seen snow before that is the problem here.
    The habit of clearing one’s frontage, [humph], has sadly gone in Springfield.
    JL – Barnet isn’t really north London as much as north of London. But seriously I was thinking of N1 & Camden etc, where they take the rubbish away every day & clean the streets properly several times a day.
    They also have more money to spare than us, along with actually enforcing the bye laws [as do the police].
    They salt the pavements too on the main roads.

  45. IanG: “Barnet isn’t really north London as much as north of London”

    You’re speaking of the town area of Barner, my friend! 😉

    Barnet Council stretches right down to Golders Green, including Finchley. It’s quite a big council area.

  46. Hi Folks
    glad everyones survived the snow, I’ve had a busy work week and have basically driven hundreds of miles to work each day in it. People really don’t know how to drive in it or in general, One incident made me laugh, a young mum with two kids in the car who I followed through a council chicane Rammed her brakes on suddenly and preceded to turn into a road that was quite steep, no indications at all, she saw I wasn’t best pleased as she’d entered the chicane at normal speed then rammed the anchors on but I didn’t have a go at her as I thought she looked a bit tentative approaching the hill. She did no less than look over her shoulder and flipped the finger at me while driving up a steep snow covered road 🙂

    Hello Jl are you refreshed? 🙂

  47. JL,

    The blog is supposed to be Aston Villa, and all things related, and I thought we had agreed reasonably non-political, and I do not believe it is for taking cheap shots at blaming the present government for everything that is wrong. Councils, like area health authorities, are in charge of their budgets and what they spend it on. If we need more money…. then we have to pay it by more taxes or more council tax. The government does not have a magic money pot…!!

  48. IanG – Yep, thanks for the link. But I think the guy who wrote it has made some flawed assumptions.

    He’s based his target on obtaining 90 points for P2. In 4 out the last 6 years that would have been enough. But 2 of those years required 93 points to reach it. It’s anybody’s guess what Wolves will end up with come May but Cardiff are on target for 96 points at current returns.

    SB uses an average target of 2 points per game returning 92 points for P2. So does Tony Xia. We are currently -5 on current returns. After 7 games we were -7 and then our better form kicked in. For all that good form we’ve managed to scrape 2 off the target of reaching 0. If Cardiff don’t come back to the chasing pack we will need to reach +4 which is a shift of 9 points from -5. I’m an optimistic bloke, but that ain’t going to happen.

    I can’t even see us pulling back the 5 deficit to reach 0. If it is going to happen, we need to put a string of 5 wins together starting at Derby tomorrow. It’s looking extremely likely that we can only gain promotion via the dog fights that are the play offs.

    The teams around us have the same issues. That’s why they play all out attacking football in a bid to make 92 points. SB prefers the defensive way which has worked for him in the past. He may find the present crop of managers know the real score these days.

  49. big time coming up with games that could define our season. its that big and I cant help thinking we don’t have the goals unless gabby and Hogan can come back and hit the ground running.

    derby, sheff utd, boro, britol city all up over a bust Christmas time.

    im not feeling good about it.

    If we are still in the playoffs after that lot ill be chuffed

  50. Not looking at the moment with the injuries list mounting, according to SB. He has had to rip up all his plans with Hutton, Samba, Lansbury and a few more not available. The only light may be that Gabby could be fit enough to play and Hogan.

    So will this be his line-up for tomorrow:

    Johnstone, Elmohamady Elphick Chester Taylor Snodgrass Whelan Hourihane Adomah Grealish Davis subs: Gabby, de Laet, Bjarnason, Steer, O’Hare, Hogan, Jedinak

    I struggle to see us managing any convincing wins out of our forthcoming games, and if we manage to get over the line in any of them, we will have done well.

  51. PP

    I think you too must have started Xmas early and had too much sherry. Your suggested team only has 1 defender (plus keeper) on the bench. Come on mate, this is SB picking the team. That bench is far too attack minded.

  52. Plug,

    You could be right, but may have been all the London Pride yesterday…!!

    SB has not got much choice, apart from Jedi, de Laet, and Bjarnason, he has no really experienced defenders. I say Bjarnason, because he has played him at left back before. Will he risk untried youngsters??

  53. PP: “The government does not have a magic money pot…!!”

    Firstly, Paul, I don’t know of any such agreement that you mention.

    What has got you so hot under the collar? The “magic money pot” is certainly not available and no right minded person would expect it to be. What I do hope for is that we have a more equal society where everyone pays their dues. And if they did we wouldn’t have the economic problems we have.

    David Cameron asked for a “Big Society”. As time passes we seem to get further and further away from such an ideal.

  54. PP

    Speaking of Bjarnason, I’ve wondered whether he would make a good centre back given his height and physique. A la Laursen. Sadly that idea went tits up when Bamford jumped all over him for Boro’s second goal in our LC defeat. The Viking’s feet never left the ground.

  55. JL,

    I maybe get hot under the collar when you and I have lived the time of the Labour governments that have failed with the country’s finances every time, and has taken a Tory government to put it back on its feet, starting with the days of Nationalisation and the NHS, where Churchill came out of retirement to put the country back on track. It is wonderful to have socialist principles, but they have to be paid for at the end of the day, and Atlee did not have a clue.

    We then ended up with 13 years of progress, when the working man went from renting a two up two down, riding a bike, wearing a cloth cap, to having a home with a bathroom, owning a car, fridge, washing m/c and a tv. and enough money in his pocket.
    Then we have a return of labour once again with industrial unrest, strikes and economic failure again, until the Tories won power back again with Thatcher, once again the economy boomed, only to be destroyed under Brown and Blair again.
    No-one bothers to mention that they halved the hours of doctors, doubled their pay at the same time, and then wonder why the NHS struggled. We will not mention the war they got us involved in, or how they introduced student fees, allowed universities to set their own salaries.
    You then blame the incoming government for austerity, and trying to pay the country’s debt.
    The reason many football clubs have failed in recent years…..income must be more than expenditure or should the government be subsidising them????

  56. PP
    Your experience is obviously different to mine, which also colours your conclusions to suit your preference as to how to view events, which are also coloured by how we are encouraged to take which choice of viewpoint we are given [which incidentally is a form of propaganda to pander to & support certain interest groups.
    At either side of a viewpoint of events, it is how we are manipulated by the power structure of the moment & become reactionary, which incidentally basically means that if something is stated enough times, or a context is given enough times, it becomes a subjective truth which we then take a stance in, irrespective of whether it actually has any substance.
    My experience of the same times based also on being educated in the roots of political terminology & it’s connection to the life experience of different groups, & due to experiencing the same events from different realities & perspectives, lead me to totally disagree with your post, which I find sad & indicative of what the state & it’s extensions can do to the minds of otherwise rational human beings,.
    This form of tribal blindness is sad, & doesn’t bear any relationship to realities & life experience of other people in the moment, & is in itself reactionary & part of the problem, forming as it does a menu of positions to take to suit our own prejudices.
    Then you have the factor of how far we go to support our own interests, which is usually where we take positions to be manipulated & to manipulate others.

    Most of what you wrote shows a marked establishment bias in your points of reference.
    The human cost of all this is now becoming more clearer than ever, & further than ever from dealing with the human cost to such.
    You only have to see the continued pattern in the current government to see the lack of truth & the disconnection from ordinary people in the present, which is causing an underlying surge of suffering & amplification of bias.

    Or to put it into the vernacular, those views are now more than ever part of the problem not the solution.

    Not impressed, & it’s also how to create a plastic club for plastic people

  57. An eloquent speech IanG,

    but not one that contains fact or substance. I have very strong beliefs about how the media has abused the truth over many years, as do politicians. I have an interest in fact, and could easily, if I wished give a totally different point of view, manipulating the facts. What you cannot change are historical facts.
    The finances of this country have been well documented, and how they have occurred. The world we live in today is about constant borrowing and increasing debt, in the hope that something will improve sometime, which is also how many individuals live today.

    I grew up in an era where we lived within our means, and if you wanted something, then you saved your money each week until you could afford it. There was a time when the country was run in a similar fashion, but sadly that disappeared at the end of the nineties.

    We now live in a country where it is cool to just keep borrowing without worrying about whether it can be paid back, hence the huge number of individual bankruptcies . At the end of the someone has to pay for all this debt, and sadly it is the vast majority of ordinary hard working people, in higher prices.

  58. Trinity,

    Spot on. The media has been brainwashing the public for years. Even the BBC has become a very left wing presenter of facts, believing it is what people want to hear.

    The programmes on the blitz on BBC 2 however, have been excellent and shown the true facts with great interviews with people who remember what happened. The one on Clydebank was a great eye opener.

  59. PP
    I too was brought up not to have debts, & I’m still like that.

    I’m glad you have strong beliefs, & I hope they are helpful when all else falls apart.
    The point I was making was about where all these things you describe [true or false] come from, otherwise it’s all mind & no heart, which never ends well.
    It’s like arguing about good v bad, instead of experiencing it.
    Strong views other than naturally arising in the moment either cause pain for you or others or both.
    On the level of reactionary politics I hope it doesn’t bite you.
    You notice I’m not defending anything or attacking what you say, just pointing out the limitations in it.
    I’m also an old codger I’ve been around too many old friends who find they have make sense of their life when their time approaches [if not before], & strong views are usually what is let go first, as they are not very useful at crucial times [in fact the opposite], but the open non judgmental view is, as it connects to our core, & the experience of Truth.
    Then when we look at issues we don’t get led round the Wrekin by our emotional attachments so much.

    Relative politics are not worth fighting over without this understanding as that is the sort of distraction that those who control the bulls**t like us to have.
    It doesn’t help you pay your way or to focus on our humanity in our dealings with others to the benefit of all, but encourages a blindingly rigid sectarian tribal mentality.

    IE: Strong beliefs.

    Lastly the BBC being left wing is laughable as it is the sympathetic face of the establishment, a customer friendly tool of propaganda, which emanates from the corporate wealth, as does the opposite Daily Express et al, it’s all just fodder for people who can’t see the whole picture.

    The media is the tool of the corporate wealthy & was the tool of the previous model when we were young.
    So nothing has really changed, the Tories along with some segments of the establishment’s self interest business class having emptied the coffers & sold all the family silver to keep a myth going that they know what they are doing.
    Then Labour gets in, finds a complete mess that needs fixing, do some things that help those most disadvantaged, then get sabotaged by establishment business [are not allowed to govern], then screw it up on their own anyway.
    Round & round this wasteful cycle it goes.
    Much of the propaganda is also lies & manoeuvring – Trump is a good example.
    If you go back to the age of the great political satirists of the 18th century, there was a clarity response to the propaganda machine, unlike now where it’s got very polarised & muddy in an unhelpful way, & everything seems to be becoming Dogma focused more & more.
    That’s why humour & non political correctness is essential to our sanity & even the survival of the planet.
    I will now revert back to the craic & short posts

  60. IanG
    Thanks for the cartoons, which pretty much reflect the cynicism of the populace.
    HMS Queen Elizabeth looks like a fine ship. I hear they’ve earmarked a couple of RN ships to be laid up so that their crews can help man the two QE class ships. It’ll be 2023 before HMS QE is officially deployed. I hear even one of the modern Type 45s is laid up due to manning shortages.
    I would have loved to have served on a ship like QE, better than the Type 12 and AGOR I served on. The devaluation of the pound following Brexit has increased the cost of the F-35s etc, but it has made British products more competitive overseas. I hope they can balance it out re the defence budget so they can properly train more service personnel.

  61. will 2 poor results, mean the end for bruce, yes we have injuries but so do every club but not many of them have 5th choice rb on 55 thousand a week, a 12m striker sent on loan who according to reports has done his knee in

  62. Iang,

    I am sure if we met, we could have a fascinating discussion about how life has developed since the war, and why. My comments about how left wing the BBC has become, was prompted by a discussion with a friend about Victoria Derbyshire this last week, and her programme is one of t6he main ones. She has previously stood for the Labour Party , apparently.

    We will now return to football, and have some sympathy with JG’s comments, but there is little that the good Dr can do at the moment, or us.

  63. Morning folks,

    interesting stuff on the politics, same old on the villa front with no plan to use the players we still have, when will those U23’s be used I wonder, Bruce did say there will come a time, looks pretty immanent to me.

    On Politics its pretty obvious after years of living in this country that nothing is going to succeed to the point that the top dogs lose money, we will always be seen as cattle, Those in government are pawns in the game. With the development of technology we have moved on a step, Blue light from TV’s, Phones, computers etc are a handy way of changing your hormonal response making you more receptive to Adverts and buying cr*p. German scientists were working on microwave technology during the war for that purpose of population control and 3G 4G and now the even more powerful 5G are coming on line better get your tin foil hats on folks. Facebook Google government all exploit this stuff, ever wonder why you have never seen a dislike button option 🙂

    Diet recommendations have further lowered health producing a whole new raft of permanent customers that are prolonged until their money runs out instead of living a relatively healthy life until they die. Those lovely drugs allow us to buy all those things that are bad for us in copious amounts for longer, no wonder life is expensive.

  64. MK,

    You are on the right tracks, as we have succumbed to technology, we have been sucked into the full control of big brother. No-one has to wonder where you are, or what you are doing, as your mobile phone, sat nav, modern TV’s will give all the information back needed about you. Mobile phones that are switched will still give their location to within a metre, unless the sim and battery are completely removed. Most TV’s have internet connections in order to keep you updated…at the same updating them about you…

    SB will be struggling to raise a team today, so let’s hope it is a fighting one. Hopefully will be able to watch it on the Pride of Lions # live stream.

  65. PP
    Thanks for reminding us about FB.
    If I can work out how to open an account so I’m invisible to the rest of the herd, I may join you.

  66. IanG,

    You just search f/b for the page, click on join, and within the hour, you should be accepted, you just click on the live stream camera then, when the game is on. For other fans, this is a worldwide site.

    All very simple, and a well run site.

    Hope our political chat has not frightened everyone off..!!

  67. Nah, politics is fine, IanG. Seems like everyone’s been polite, and that’s no small trick with that topic.

    Anyway, back in from the wilderness, and a fresh page is up for today’s game.

  68. This is a weird team selection & bench

    Mile Jedinak comes in at centre back and Ahmed Elmohamady at right-back, while Conor Hourihane returns and Jack Grealish starts for the first time this season.

    Sam Johnstone, Elmohamady, James Chester, Jedinak and Neil Taylor make up the the back five.

    Then it’s Robert Snodgrass, Glenn Whelan, Conor Hourihane, Albert Adomah, Josh Onomah and Grealish.

    Jed Steer, Alan Hutton, Ritchie De Laet, Tommy Elphick, Birkir Bjarnason, Gabby Agbonlahor and Scott Hogan make up the substitutes.

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