Here we are, off to Hillsborough, and I’ve no idea who’s playing. Well, maybe it’s not such a big mystery, but the main point of interest will be whether Callum O’Hare starts, or whether we go with Keinan Davis, Assuming Davis is fit.

Obviously, this has a lot to do with how we’ll set up and play. So I won’t belabor that. I will say, though, that I’m a bit concerned about the pressure we’ve put on O’Hare. He’s a good player, I’ve no doubt of that, but if he’s been reading his press clippings….Let’s just say I don’t want him taking the weight of the world on his shoulders. I have no idea whether he wants that. He is a gamer, though.

With Rushian Hepburn-Murphy and James Bree also being withheld from U23 action this week, one might expect they’ll all make the team. I would also expect Hogan to start. Can’t say I know where Elmo’s at, but if Bree isn’t getting the nod, then Hutton can obviously switch back over with Taylor slotting back in on the left. Taylor is fit, isn’t he? I’ve truly lost track.

Anyway, we’ll see where Bjarnason and Hourihane play, whether Jedinak starts. I’m pretty sure Grabban has put himself in the frame, so I’ll be curious about that, as well. Maybe Hogan doesn’t start. Maybe Grabban plays wide.

All soon to be revealed. Main thing is that it would do us a world of favors if we could bag a win with all the injuries. A point’s better than nothing, but I do want to see the most energetic and committed side deployed. I don’t like Villa looking tired and jaded.

For some reason, I think we nick it 1-0.

Over to you.

 

Comments 148

  1. this was in reply from last post but new post op so putting a copy here.
    r0bb0
    You can treat every game as one to win [with the subtleties], & still use it being a 6 pointer as another additional means of motivation, as every day is not the same, so this would be natural.
    SB seems to forget these subtleties in his approach to picking teams sometimes.
    Again fear led caution.

  2. Thanks John.

    I’d say Elmo is playing as he wasn’t mentioned in the presser but came on late last Tuesday. With Axel out I’d think that Bruce will be putting out anyone at r-b who has less than a broken leg!

    Can’t help chuckle about all these comments about Bruce forgetting subtleties and treating the presser as though it’s something important!

  3. JL- As the presser is a bit of a window into Bruce himself then yes its important he comes across as competent at least imo and to the press, he does come across as very cautious. Bruce could play an actual RB Bree? the one he bought last Jan? quite Ironic the man brought in as CB cover gets crocked playing RB. Maybe we should play Ohare against some under 24’s and work him in can’t be to cautious 😉

  4. The comment in this presser about not playing O’ hare as we have been playing so well was a poor one IMO if it truly is how he thinks. When is the optimum time to give them minutes? when your playing well and winning in the last 10-20? not when your desperate or expect them to win the game for you in the last 10-20.But you have to have them on the bench not fill it with defensive players.

    Right lets get some points UTV

  5. Bruce as a communicator

    It’s very few football managers that are trained in effective communications and that’s why we should take the presser lightly i.m.o. Especially as he’s in a grief period. I’m sure he’s not talking at pressers 100% focused on that.

    What’s the most important is how he communicates to the coaches and to the players and steers towards results … if not getting a 7-win run going again then a 4-match run which fairly regularly comes about.

    Anyhow, we’re in the position (of 3rd) that Bruce would prefer to have us in I think at this stage, rather than being in second and looking over your neck all the time and feeling the pressure.

  6. Jl – he’s been the same all season same type of comment very jumpers for goalposts stuff.

    Going on previous after match pressers where he has said they are not doing what I ask maybe he isn’t much of a communicator?

    I think it’s 10 points difference from 9th or 10th all in contention for top six , the motivation should be to catch wolves anyway it certainly is warnocks

  7. This idea of catching wolves is almost in the realms of la-la land as far as Villa are concerned! 😀

    Cardiff are at least 4 points closer to Wolves so if that’s their hope they at least have a possibility of doing it.

    At the same time I see that the “catch Wolves” ambition a bit like going over the top in WW1 – suicidal.

  8. Just been chatting to a lovely old chap in my local cafe he’s a Liverpool fan but used go to villa when he couldn’t get to see Liverpool. Sixpence to get in behind the goal in the 50’s he said and he’s hoping we Will get back. He’s off to Poole in Dorset later as he’s a season ticket holder at their speedway team, how much is that pension again?

  9. Because one of the law’s of life is that you can only properly successfully deal with what’s in the present! What you do now determines the future. Focusing on ambition is mostly counter-productive.

    “Suicidal” is an exaggerated term, but I was alluding to the wasted life in chasing illusion.

  10. The way I see it is promotion is not the aim winning is. Set your sights on play offs and you’ll likely to get play offs no more. So aim to win the league, prevents you from patting yourself on the back to early which is why Bruce didn’t like us being 2nd this early on, well he got his wish.

  11. So Jl you try and win in the present as your next goal but if that was your entire focus? Set your ultimate aim it gives you the reason why then take the steps each game to win, by no means do you have to focus on the future to that extent but it sets the mood imo. If you don’t step on the field with a burning desire to win then you have no business being there.

  12. Well Bruce better win this one, wheelan in onamah, grabban playing jedinak on the bench Thor on the bench no ohare anywhere. Rhm the only change player wise

  13. Mark
    Morning…
    ‘If you don’t step on the field with a burning desire to win then you have no business being there.’
    Doesn’t seem to happen too much.
    your last post has woke me up, the team??
    Better have a look

  14. VILLA: Johnstone; Elmohamady, Chester, Terry, Hutton; Snodgrass, Whelan, Hourihane, Onomah; Grabban, Hogan. Subs: Bunn, Taylor, Bjarnason, Lansbury, Jedinak, Davis, Hepburn-Murphy.

    Hard to see the logic here, unless we are giving them a head start because we feel sorry for them

  15. MK: “So Jl you try and win in the present as your next goal but if that was your entire focus? Set your ultimate aim it gives you the reason why then take the steps each game to win”

    I didn’t say – or even suggest – such as in your first para.

  16. Brilliant selection…!

    Keeps some semblance of continuity and includes Grabban. With RHM there waiting in the wings … er, not quite ‘wings’, but you know what I mean! 😉

  17. JL- yes you did? you said its better to concentrate on the present to effect the future I’m just saying you need to set out what future you want to know what steps to take now but hey you and your mystical writing who Knows.

    Brilliant selection? wheelan who hasn’t played for two months? he must be well fit

  18. What terrible defending, Terry’s legs are gone. Hutton lost his man on both goals. Whelan is invisible. No marking, it’s like they’re playing for the first time with each other. Bl@@dy shambles.

  19. We’re now 4th as it stands
    Need to give SB some leave as he seems to be in bits by his decisions for this match
    You can get Radio WM fm on computer if you’re not in wm.
    Gary Thompson said it all.
    What was that JL was saying about a settled team?

  20. Villa Lore
    They ran out of steam a bit & we kept going with Hourihane & Snodgrass smelling goals.
    Taylor seems to have improved since his rest in the attacking dept
    Whelan woke up as well

  21. That was great. I wasn’t keen on the line-up but hey it worked out just fine. I was Happy Whelan scored. He needed that.
    The management at BCFC should have their nuts cut off for canning Rowett. bottom three looks good on them for being too smart.

  22. IanG – Yes they did run out and the defence was scrappy on both ends. The ball came off the Villa post twice, would be a different score if one of them went in.
    I’ll take the 3 points anyday

  23. Well,

    Bruce’s old boys have defied the critics and won by some amazing and magical formula that he had up his sleeve. Perhaps it was conning the opposition into thinking he would use his youngsters..!!

    Well been busy moving my partner from Bristol today, and not long taken the hire van back, but will catch up properly soon….and Whelan scored….that’s usually a 200-1 shot with the bookies…!!

  24. Paul

    Its almost like bruce knows what it takes to get out the championship and win promotion!

    Brilliant thing on twitter re villa fans. Remember when we got snoddy in on loan pretty much all villans underwelmed. Another bruce old boy, his legs have gone etc etc and kent from pool was the prefered loan option….wherever he has gone…lets stick to supporting and let the people who know whst there doing manage.

    And bruce does like youth…..been over this 12 cup finals they wont be chucked in now.

    Feck me if hare has a bad 45 we would destroy the lad.

    Davis has been getting abuse allready.

  25. Talking about snoddy he is challenging chester for poy.

    Absoultely superb at this level and such a threat. His left peg is deadly. What a ball for welen.

    His passion for a loan player is amazing, was going nuts atvthe final whistle.

    Apparently he was having a go at onomah when hevwent off. Not sure we will see much of him again.

  26. So…Could only watch the first half, had a commitment. Thought it was absolutely shocking at 2-1 down. Could’ve been 4-1.

    Then I saw the final. I have no idea how that happened. Through the entire half I couldn’t believe Bruce had put Whelan in. And then I’m looking in after, and see Whelan goes and scores.

    I’ll be looking forward to the match replay to see what exactly transpired. Whatever it was, I’ll take it.

  27. Andrew
    Whelan was sh*te for the first half & as a DM he’s too slow & limited most of the time, but he did score a very rare goal just when we needed it.
    It doesn’t mean he’s no longer sh*te most of the time, just that if he hadn’t scored he may have been lynched [possibly].
    It certainly doesn’t prove that SB is a genius, as the team won despite him.

  28. Andrew: “His passion for a loan player is amazing, was going nuts atvthe final whistle.”

    My understanding from the time when he came in is that Snoddy has come on loan just for this season and then is expected to sign on permanently. Whether he’ll do so well in the Prem is a question though.

  29. JL
    ‘Whether he’ll do so well in the Prem is a question though’
    I think many of us have this doubt/question also.
    But then he seems to be a confidence player that when he feels wanted his skill comes to the fore along with a high energy that is rare.
    So as it stands we will see what David Moyes will do with him, unless of course the porn ego kings do their usual disgusting nasty act & undermine & sabotage him.

  30. Last season we could all see that we struggled to score goals and that we were heavily reliant upon kodjia’s creativity, with him scoring. Early half our goals.
    This season we’ve already scored 6 more goals than last year, only two teams have scored more and we seem to have goal threats all through the team . . . . even Whelan now!
    There are a number of reasons, but it’s hugely welcome, makes us better to watch, and also makes us more resilient when injury strikes.

  31. Great result. I think we were lucky just like against PNE. Dismayed at Whelan’s inclusion but his goal was most welcome.

    Believe SB had settled for the draw with Jedi coming on for Hogan with 7 mins left. But if you attack, this is what often happens.

    Can’t share Andrew’s enthusiasm for SB’s selections. If we hadn’t beaten an injury ravaged team with only 16 fit players, he’d be copping some flak this morning. He was only a few minutes away from it. We won’t keep getting lucky.

  32. Robbo – 20 since jan in two months, and 33 in 5 months previous, thats what attacking can do. Bruce said we went for it and were very open first half and he didn’t like that but we kept at it second half as we had no choice, even when Jedinak came on to seal the draw the team kept attacking and long may it continue despite Bruce.

  33. Mark, yes, we do seem to be more attacking since Bruce brought Agnew in, although it does also coincide with Grealish being available for much of that time.

    It’s been said before that not having Kodjia available may have opened up opportunities for others to score and based on his goals to assists ratio last year does show that he was an out and out goal scorer who didn’t create opportunities for others. We’ve bemoaned the fact that we’ve not managed to get the most out of Hogan as a goal scorer but his ratio of goals to assists for Brentford was just about identical to that of Kodjia.
    When Hogan joined us, the goals for Brentford didn’t dry up, others stepped up and scored them instead.
    Maybe we’re better off ‘without’ an out and out goal scorer?

  34. And the Lord Bruce Almighty did lead his disciples into a darkened dressing room at the half time interval and spoke unto them saying, “We are approaching the time of the crucifixion, and we must not fall before, or we shall be slain and thrown to the dogs, being replaced by younger men who may be of greater fitness and purpose, therefore I command of you to go out and slay the enemy. Brother Whelan you must surprise the world and score a goal which have not done for over 6years. Brother Hourihane you must drive into enemy territory with all your power and score another, and finally Brother Snodgrass you must become entangled in the hallowed box in order to receive a penalty, which you will convert.

    Do this all of you and we can yet be saved from the Callum O’Hare and his New Life Church and disciples, and the Bruce Almighty will continue his reign in the Championship.

    And so it came to pass that the disciples listened, and once again the great Bruce was saved from the ravages of youth.

  35. Robbo- I agree grealish is an important part but prior to jan even he couldn’t effect games without a platform and other players allowed to show attacking intent. Hogans goals were not served up by grealish either he just gets us up the pitch and on the front foot as he rarely loses the ball.

    PP- the seventeen year old sessignon at Fulham is something else why we won’t give ohare even a bench place I don’t know and rhm is quite similar to the sess

  36. Paul,

    Yes … quite good! 😀

    It reminds me that I was listening to WM phone-in the other morning (I don’t do that very often) and they were talking about Billy Graham.

    One person who knew him well recalled the time he came to Villa Park in 1984. The platform was to be at the centre of the pitch, but of course the groundsman was not too happy with that idea so the platform was instead placed to the left.

    When Billy Graham arrived he asked why the platform was not centred. He was told: “The fans regard this as hallowe’ed ground…!” Graham smiled.

  37. I think every one of us on here has been calling for O’Hare, but here’s a thought (that won’t be popular). . . maybe he just isn’t ready yet.

    I know we can point to young players that have immediately made a mark but every player is different.

    We all called for Grealish years ago but it’s only now (3 years older than O’Hare) that he’s finally delivering on all that youthful promise.

    It’s not just Bruce who will be making the decision, he has a team he trusts around him and I’ll sure he’ll be discussing it with them and they will be in a better position to judge than us.

    There will also be serious pressure from above to make the most of the academy so there must have been discussions about when to bring in various players.

    Andre green has attracted attention from the likes of Spurs and is ready and would probably be playing regularly now if he hadn’t been so unlucky with injuries.

    Anyway . . . . just a thought.

  38. Plug: “…They are keeping clean sheets.”

    I have to say I’m not too fussed about keeping a clean sheet so long as we win! 😉

    A 1-0 win (particularly if you get several such results) can be pretty boring.

  39. r0bb0,

    Well, I think I’ve been hinting along these lines for some time … you’re just being more modest! 🙂

    I’ve no doubt he’s pretty good at the u-23 level but in the physicality of the Championship it’s a different world. I think that’s what Bruce is concerned about. That’s why (as I think I’ve said before) Green and Davis (and Axel) have contributed well – they’re able to stand up to the punishment better I suspect.

  40. The only reason I asked about O’Hare was he and RHM were pulled from Thursday’s U23 game but SB has not mentioned O’Hare when he discussed the injury situation. Why pull him from the U23 game if he’s not injured and not going to be used on Saturday?

  41. Until someone writes an autobiography or similar, we will probably never know what went on in the last few days, except that , in the end, Bruce decided to stay with his trusty servants.

    On the day, his servants were below par, especially Onomah. Sheffield Wednesday must be wondering what happened and how they failed to score at least 3/4 goals in that first half. Bruce must have used up half a season’s good luck in those first 45 minutes, including a penalty that should have been. Somehow we survived, running out winners in the end.

    No-one can ever say what would have happened, had the team that everyone hoped would play, had actually graced the pitch. Will Bruce be lucky again, and as my acquaintance Mick has said, Bruce will carry on and get the results in the final ten games. We can but hope, but days like Saturday cannot happen all the time. Next week we should have Jack and Albert back, and they may start creating magic again, with Bjarnason back in the DM role and the Jedi rested in readiness for a dour struggle against Wolves..???

  42. Tongue and cheek about welen and bruce….welen used aparingly is ok though.

    BUT the big picture we overlook is why bruce has brought terry , welen snod in. Those with better connections than me will tell you its because the changing room has been divided and poisonous.

    What welen gives us is huge off the pitch. No nonsense honest pro who takes no s**t.

    Do not look over whst he does in the changing room and its no coinicidence our team are a team with an amazing spirit now.

  43. Andrew, I don’t think there is any doubt that the team spirit is the best since the days of MON. If Whelan, JT, Snoddy, Elmo have contributed to this then that’s excellent.

    But bear in mind….with 12 games to go we are 4 points behind Cardiff. And this fan would like that gap removed.

  44. I am sure that you are close to the truth Andrew, as those are the impressions that I get. Terry has turned the dressing room round with the help of Snoddy, Whelan and Elmo.
    The likes of gabby will not be involved again, as I understand it, which is why, even though he is fit, he has not been included.

  45. Plug: “The only reason I asked about O’Hare was he and RHM were pulled from Thursday’s U23 game but SB has not mentioned O’Hare when he discussed the injury situation. Why pull him from the U23 game if he’s not injured and not going to be used on Saturday?”

    Yes, I can see why you asked the question, but maybe Bruce had not finally decided on his approach until the last minute and that O’Hare was one option he was playing with in his rhinking? Then he decides to not go that way. He obviously had to have O’Hare fit and able in case he did go that route.

    In fact I think both Davis and Grabban were not declared fit until Friday, so maybe the O’Hare route was a last option if they were not fit.

  46. Paul,

    I think you and I both know that you make your own luck, so what we think is “lucky” comes about as a result of how Bruce goes about things. And we don’t know about that as we’re not flies on the wall! 🙂

  47. I like to use my eyeballs when making suggestions about whats going on and Ohare is about as ready as any player I have ever seen. Not once has he let us down physically on the pitch and its not like he plays midgets at u23 level quite often he has faced premiership level players, more than the first teamers have in some instances. The mystique that the champs is somehow more Physical? not for me and from what I have seen it just has poorer refs, not likely to find good ones at u23 level are we?

    Why didn’t he play and why was RHM on the bench? again you have to watch the match and how Bruce has reverted to lumping the ball past the midfield on the whole, 5 goals in the last 3 games and all from set pieces tells a story, we have created virtually zero chances in open play, Ohare was not on the bench or in the side just like Thor wasn’t playing, we have changed style. RHM can offer pace and directness and that is why he’s on the bench full stop, I am amazed gabby has not had a sniff for that reason he must of done something really bad because every time I see him in training he’s scoring a goal, some quite good ones too.

    As for the morale, experience angle? thats been done now hasn’t it? why players that are showing there age now get auto spots I don’t know, JT has had a few dodgy games now wheelan loads despite the Goal, Jedinak same. We truly could of been buried and nothing Bruce did other than haul off the ineffectual Onamah made much difference as Sheff wed could of scored another 2-3 second half too they just didn’t and we suckered punched them. What we did do was get our better quality players forward second half and the ball forward quicker via the sky as we went for broke and that told in the end, could easily been a whooping, it was at least more attacking.

  48. Totally disagree, but c’est la vie! 🙂

    I’ve watched several u-23 matches this season and have not seen the degree of physical commitment as in the championship. And when O’Hare has played in the first team he’s not *yet* shown (to me at least) anything more than anyone else.

    Not one to play in this run-in unless they’re all on the sickbed i.m.o.

  49. Well JL,

    The sick bed is getting fuller, as Hutton is now out for at least two weeks with a hamstring, so we are now down to just Elmo and Taylor for full backs, so looks like Bree and probably Clark will be on the bench against QPR.
    Bruce says that he wanted three up front against Wednesday, and that Grabban is versatile enough to play 9, 10 or out on the wings, which confirms your thoughts MK.

  50. Player ratings from Birmingham Live which seem about right:

    Johnstone 7 Elmo 6 Terry 6 Chester 6 Hutton 6 Snoddy 7.5 Whelan 7 Hourihane 6.5 Onomah 4 (disgraceful) Davis 6 Grabban 6.5
    Hogan 5.5 (poor) Taylor 6.

    Apparently we now have “Dancing with Xia” to look forward to, if Villa win promotion!!! He has promised to join Hourihane in his challenge from Jack Grealish to do Irish dancing !! Jack feels Hourihane should have a jig to celebrate his goals….!!

  51. Paul,

    Yes, the sick list has been added to by one, but at least Elmo, Grabban and Davis were fit to play at Sheffield, and Jack (hopefully) will be back this week-end.

    Perhaps Axel may soon be back as well so that helps the defensive spots. And Albert.

  52. JL,

    You have more confidence in Axel than I do. I would be much happier if we still had De Laet and Elphick for the final push, with Terry possibly struggling, as he has in the last two games, and Hutton now injured.

    Mid field and up front we have plenty to chose from, even without the under 23’s, who after tonight, will all be available, as their season is finished now.

    Lansbury and Gabby are both definitely fit, but seem to be unlikely to play again, although Lansbury is in the squad more often than not lately. McCormack and Richards are both unlikely to play, and what has happened to Samba, perhaps he is still injured. Richards is a strange, because he has been helping with some of the young players, so he is not totally out of things.

  53. PP- Not surprised Hogan scored low even though he worked his arris off, we have averaged 9.3 key passes this season a match and of those 0.4 are through balls 3 are crosses 0.8 are free kicks 0.9 are corners and 5.5 are other or unspecified. Assists from through balls 0.1 shots per game average 12 and shots on goal average 4.3 and long passes 70 a game out of 433 average. Without Grealish the way we play just does not suit him.

    How did wheelan get 7 he must have been incredible for 30 mins second half 🙂 and Grabban 6.5??

  54. PP – the U23’s season is still alive and fixtures run upto the end of April. We are currently 2nd in the table just behind Blackburn who have a game in hand.

  55. MK – correct about Hogan. He did not get the type of service he thrives on for the best part of a year.

    Compare that with what Mitrovic has just said about his loan move to Fulham. He reveals the coaching team have been working the team hard on getting the types of service to him he wants and causes most damage with. He is now seeing the balls coming to him exactly as he requires and yep, he scored the weekend. It’s taken them all of 3 weeks to do that.

  56. Plug
    Precisely the point about Hogan.
    It was him being first to the rebound that enabled Grabben to score, & he is always there.
    Can you imagine what would have happened to Jimmy Greaves if he hadn’t got the service that suited him.
    We haven’t got enough players that create.

  57. JL- Achieve more than Hogan? well I’m sure if his shot hadn’t been blocked on the line for Grabban to tap in his score would be at least 7 eh? those are the breaks as a Forward. But giving him 5 when all the defence got 6 for a pretty shocking display seems a tad harsh. As for Forwards being able to conjure goals out of nothing I think you will find all the other goals bar the pen came about because of someones deadball expertise so what makes all the other players so different, Its a team game.

    Time will tell when Grealish and adomah return whether the manager who bought Hogan returns to playing the way that suits him (at least better suits him) or dumps him for Grabban, I think he will dump him, Bruce wanted Rhodes and couldn’t get him as I recall and Hogan was his next best with little thought to how he’d play him it seems.

    Plug- yes mate we are the only club that doesn’t believe in Coaching or at least some of its fans don’t. Its ok to build the team around Grealish but Hogans got to sort himself out 🙂

  58. MK,

    I’d ask why Hogan didn’t put it away himself and suggest that it’s just as well Grabban played otherwise it would have been *another* Gogan attempt wasted.

    I’m sorry I don’t see Hogan being anywhere near worth the 12m – he must have been signed for his reputation and Villa not taking note of the degree to which a team has to play to his skills.

    He does have skills … nuit is just not suited at VP i.m.o.

    IanG,

    I also thought of Jimmy Geaves but then immediately thought that 90% of the attempts that Hogan has put wide would have been scored by Greaves.

    Greaves was a player from a completely different class and who I saw twice dribble through half the pitch to score. They say he scored a few more like that.

  59. IanG: “We haven’t got enough players that create.”

    Well for a team that has scored 5 in a match and three times has scored 4 in a match this season – average 1.6 goals per match – there must be some creation going on somewhere! 🙂

    More to the point, we have a lot of players that have scored this season. It’s spread across the team so the opposition don’t know who to mark closely. Even Hutton looked as though he might score lately.

    I much prefer that situation rather than be reliant on one player – as we were on Codger last season.;

  60. What In your opinion is suited at Villa park JL? We have a line of failed forwards lately at Villa I’m sure you’d agree and Kodjia although good wouldn’t suit this team either imo.

    Hogan is on a 4.5 year contract so someone rated him although I don’t think he is a Bruce type player even if Bruce claimed he was watching him before he went to Brentford.

    I do however think he suits the Villa engine from what I have heard so far of it and the players we have coming through from the U23’s. It is all relative to the team your in and he does have a 55% accuracy rate, some go in some don’t, even the best miss them. His shots per game are only 1.4 that tells a story as to the rate of chances he gets in this side. He has started 15 games scoring five and an assist, while he has scored 0 and 1 assist in 12 games from the bench. Someone like Kane gets 5-6 shots a game and has a shot accuracy of 57%

    This is from earlier in the season.

    Shot conversion
    In the Premier League, Aguero’s shot conversion rate is 21.7%, while Kane’s is just 12.4%.

    In terms of shot accuracy, the Argentinian is once again higher, hitting the target with 43% of his 46 shots, while 37% of Kane’s 97 attempts have been goalbound.

    The England international, however, has averaged a shot on target 2.3 times per 90 minutes he has played, with Aguero recording 1.9.

    According to Opta, the City striker has missed nine “big chances” so far this season, whereas Kane has missed seven.

  61. MK,

    Spot on with Kane, who missed around four good attempts, before he got the winner in the closing minutes against Palace.

    Hope the Villa fans that want Benteke back saw his stats and how the pundits pointed out about players that hide, or just pass on the ball as quickly as possible.

  62. JL- In terms of creativity we score mostly from dead ball situations and crosses and the odd corner. Its not really very creative in open play, the real work is done by the likes of Grealish and Snodgrass who have been accused of going over easily buying free kicks. This creates a lot of our chances, Albert is one of the few that scores from open play.

    Didn’t realise it but the ref gave us 16 free kicks to 1 for sheff weds, That tells you a couple of things, we look for free kicks and that we got nowhere near enough to their players on Saturday to foul them 🙂

  63. And the point is?

    You are defining how we make chances, which is fine. But the point is that they’re still chances no matter how you want to sub-define it! 😀

    This is typical scientific thinking – break open and look at the detail without relating back to the bigger picture. No wonder the thinking in this world is somewhat wonky! 😀

  64. JL
    He does, just not to suit you apparently.
    He also assists & provides from wide.
    He also makes a lot of runs that no one picks up to pass to him.
    If no one passes to you then you can’t score.
    I would say you are trying to argue to support a point of view rather than let the point of view talk for itself.
    ie: you do dig your heels in a bit when it’s not necessarily on firm ground.
    But no doubt you will attack me for my opinion.

  65. JL
    In other words Hogan contributes as the 1 up top, & Grabben doesn’t play in that position so far, & Davis is a different player who scores even less.
    IT would be nice to see Hogan play as one of two up top with the service & see how he does, as he has not had that opportunity, & currently makes a right nuisance of himself regardless.

  66. IanG,

    Hmmmm …. aggression creeping in.

    There are no attacks from me at all .. all I’ve done is written how I see it – just as you and others do.

    In fact I provide (I suggest) some balance as you all (three of you) seem to be in a clique supporting one another’s viewpoint.

    Ian – I have said that Hogan has skills … as you have listed. So in that respect we’re not very different. However I don’t think he’s quite as good as you make him out to be. But that’s just my p.o.v.

    The point of argument – if any – is about Hogan’s raison d’etre as a striker and the business of scoring goals, aa talent that he’s not showing much of as we clearly don’t play to his want. Though I accept that as the situation, I still see him missing chances, some of which have not been difficult to convert.

  67. By the way you say “He does, just not to suit you apparently.” (i.e,.scoring) but he actually does not.

    He’s only scored 1 in the last 6 matches and that was an absolutely unmissable tap-in.

    Yes, he had a scoring flurry before that, but in a couple of matches afterwards he seemed to be over-confident and was trying things he perhaps shouldn’t be doing.

    I am only stating what I see. Maybe I see through a different type of goggles to you lot! 🙂

  68. Mark
    You say we score mostly from set pieces and crosses. Where do you find those stats? I can find set piece statistics and we have scored 18 from 53 (Cardiff 19 from 50). We do score quite a few from crosses but I’ve felt that we were scoring more from creative play this season, and particularly recently.
    Yes we do gain quite a few fouls which may indicate that we go looking for fouls but another way of looking at it is that we are genuinely a clean side.
    We’ve only conceded 40 yellow cards this year. The lowest in the championship . . . 10 fewer than the next most honest side, Derby.
    That’s how it feels to me when I watch us and it’s backed up by facts. I don’t know if it’s how they’re coached or if they’re just an honest bunch of players but . . . I guess I’m pleased to see it.

  69. JL
    I’m not being aggressive, that’s just a get out clause that I see often when manipulation creeps in with an insistence on balance, & a tendency to provocation which doesn’t really bother me.
    Neither is anyone ganging up on you & I don’t do cliques, why would anyone bother?
    Or as Grouch Marx said, ‘if a club wants me to join, I don’t want to be a member’, or some such more accurate quote, not much fun in it.
    As you agree about Hogan why the disagreement?
    I don’t think he’s in the same league as aguero or greaves either, but he is playing for us, & he is an honest skilful player who puts himself on the line with energy, makes runs which create space for others, & would be a lot better with better service.
    All our strikers have different attributes.
    As far as scoring, since Grealish & adomah have been injured he hasn’t had the service, but he is a team player & helps others such as Grabben score, which is great.
    All strikers miss chances, but the main point is at least to be in the right place & time to attempt to hopefully score.
    He also scored a lot more than you say when he was getting the service fairly recently.
    I don’t actually care who is the mythical £12 million player etc, as it’s a pointless discussion for me.
    Grabben is an experienced & older player, & seems to know how to function in a team, & may it all flower.

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