Aston Villa vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers

Six-pointers. Looking like training cones. Win streaks. Devastating injuries. Tactics. Strikers and half-chances. Portuguese players in an English winter. This is why I love football. Yes, it’s a beautiful game, but what makes it beautiful isn’t just what it looks like when it’s done well. What makes it beautiful is all the grey in between the black and white. It’s fluid. It’s anything but a science. It’s magic that always leaves room for the ineffable.

I’m not sure that even makes sense, but I sort of like the way it sounds, so I’ll leave it. I’ve also had a bevy or two on a Friday night before I leave for the first full week away from the office in two years. So you’ll forgive me a little self-indulgence.

Wolves. It’s all pretty much been said. This year’s sensation. A team that made us look silly early on. Some perhaps dodgy business on their end, but obviously good business in terms of putting a new team together on the fly.

Villa. It’s all pretty much been said. The big, historic club with a new foreign owner who spent big and is trying to get us back up at the second time of asking—and all on the back of a tried-and-true old-school manager who’s made a career out of getting out of the second tier.

How big is this game? Potentially season defining, potentially relatively meaningless. Eleven games to go, and Villa sit third after a fairly tumultuous season, four points off automatic promotion. And I will say, it’s been season that’s given us more to anticipate and enjoy than we’ve had in years.

And now we have a true six-pointer at the pointy end of the season. We’ll end up 13 points off the pace, or seven off the pace. Or still 10 down.

But catching Wolves doesn’t really matter beyond motivation, because coming in second is the realistic goal. Not that I wouldn’t mind taking home some silverware when it’s all over…I just want to see Villa restored to the top flight, and making up four points is a lot more realistic than 10.

So. Is damage control and a draw the order of the day? Is damage control and a narrow win the idea? Or is it the Charge of the Light Brigade? I’m guessing it’s not the latter.

I’m okay with that. Lovely poem, doesn’t end well. Steve Bruce always talks about boxing smart, and he’ll try to this evening. Despite the fact it’s at Villa Park, I think the usual expectation of taking the game to the visitor is out the window. Three points would obviously would be great, and it can happen, no doubt. With Grealish, Adomah, Snodgrass, and Hourihane on the pitch, we have every chance of getting goals.

But I would think it’s one up front and making sure we don’t overcommit and get overrun. Don’t play into their hands. Hogan or Grabban? I have a sneaky feeling it might be Grabban up top. So Hogan it is.

The big choice would seem to be whether Jedinak is in for size, or Bjarnason is in for speed and energy. I would go with Bjarnason. But then, I might not be sleeping well tonight thinking about corners.

Easy answer? Don’t concede many corners.

As I said, I’m off on a bit of holiday starting this morning. I’ll be trying to keep things moving as best I can through my phone (no laptop this time).

In the meantime, let’s just play tough and match Wolves for energy, intensity and will to win. After that, let the chips fall where they may. And then roll on QPR and Bolton. This could be the biggest week of the season.

COYVB and over to you.

Comments 132

  1. thanks JC enjoy your break mate and don’t stress about the blog it might be a joyous week or a depressing one but either way I am looking forward to seeing us play a decent team, which is why the prem is where we need to be, for me anyway.

    I agree I think Bruce will play Grabban, can’t see thor getting in as Bruce said he’s watched 5 minutes of the wolves game and they scored from a corner.

    We could go 433/451

    midfield of Thor, jedinak albert with Grealish Grabban and Snodgrass up front. The more players we get back the harder the choices. If we had Kodjia available it would be experiment city, not a good thing at this point imo.

    Likelihood is 4141 again though.

    Heart says win head says loss, draw is feeling not the worst but it all depends on the approach and I fear it won’t be adventurous enough until we are losing. The trend tends to be if we put more shots on goal and in general than the opposition we win or draw, there are some games we have defied the odds but when teams get lots of shots away we tend to lose. that doesn’t really give much hope for the park the bus scenario.

  2. Thanks, JC. My goodness, how do you get time to write for AVL?
    I feel the same as Mark, head says loss, heart says win. Probably be a draw then.
    I thought Brucie had a pretty good presser.

  3. It’s a huge game, obviously. I’m more interested to see if Bruce can for once tactically compete with a good team. We didn’t at Wolves, we didn’t at Fulham.

    I just hope we aren’t the usual defensive cr*p. Let’s play a bit. Don’t make Grealish track back

    And I hope the Scum draw v Cardiff. Don’t want them winning

  4. John,

    The first half of your piece is delightful i.m.o. The second half is trying to make mental sense of the situation.

    But I prefer the first half because this game is so unpredictable at times, despite a lot of people trying to see science in it.

    I just want to see Villa playing a game worth remembering today. I hope for a win of course, but even if they don’t, not to have played your best might be a downer for the rest of the season. And with another home game coming up on Tuesday we’ll need to get re-focused pretty quickly.

  5. Know what you mean JL but I think you overstate peoples Scientific bias by a long way.Its just a way of making some sense of things.

    For me cups are less predictable usually as the teams don’t meet often and for many reasons like team selection, leagues tend to be more so. Thats why having a go usually trumps defending to much for me . If a team plays predictable stuff then they can be worked out if your clever enough, so If your predictable be very good at it.

    We have a very predictable manager on the whole but we have 2 unpredictable players in Grealish and Kodjia that have saved our bacon. But then Snodgrass is predictable but very good at what he’s predictable at mostly, same goes for Chester, JT, Elmo, Wheelan, Mr Bruce likes a bit of predictable.

    If you could predict who will make the most mistakes you would probably be a rich man, probability plays a huge part in Gambling and those bookies don’t get to many wrong. vive la balls up. Football has three outcomes, not good mathematically, if it was 2 your 50/50 much better, Football is a variable nightmare.

    I predicted Cardiff would be the surprise package this season and they are but then so is wolves dominance. Fulham always start slow and get stronger and now finally Boro are back to where they were predicted to be.

  6. JL,

    Thanks…I guess the thing is, there is a lot of planning, training, thinking, but it’s hard to legislate for the woodwork, brilliant saves, individual moments of magic, or fluffed lines.

  7. JC- These days money is a great predictor in football generally, richer the club better the skill of the team and manager. Generally a more skilful team will win, put two equally skilful teams on a pitch and you might require some luck to go your way to win. Freak accidents and total gaffs are quite rare except in our relegation season when we excelled in them

    let me guess? tequila based?

  8. John/MK,

    Method (science) of course has its place, but the execution may differ of course! 🙂

    In my view the game’s more about the players’ state of mind when they’re out there.

    And in my view that theme applies to everything. Bad science (i.e. without fully taking account psychology and values) can be, and is, frequently disastrous. Whereas if the values and the psychology are themselves right then everything from that base should be successful.

  9. Everything is a factor JL but good players are stronger mentally so any advantage gained may be nullified if the opposition don’t want you to win either. I favour saying sod it and go for them today rather than being determined to execute some defensive plan, a lot will depend on winning the ball back turning the ball over quickly to get at them, they use their wing backs a lot and if we can get the ball out wide we can hurt them there.

  10. The line-up is pretty well as the Mail forecasted a couple of days ago:

    Johnstone; Elmohamady, Chester, Terry, Taylor; Snodgrass, Jedinak, Hourihane, Adomah; Grealish; Grabban.

    I see Cardiff scraped home in the end v Small heath after being 3-0 up at h-t.

  11. got to an internet screen for the last 15 minutes of the first half, the lads are giving it a right go, & wolves are fouling deliberately which may come back & bite them.
    Enjoyable, especially Grealish & adomah

  12. Mark. I like Hogan too, but we looked well balanced in the first half and Grabban has to play so which midfielder would you have left out?

  13. Ian g
    As I was saying before so rudely interrupted by that goal. . . Wolves really are using fouls as a deliberate tactic to. Real up at so many times

  14. What a great goal all round
    Good pick up, run and pass from Jack
    Fantastic run and cross from Albert and wonderful strikers goal

  15. guys! apparently this ref was in charge for the corresonding fixture last season, i think he likes us should have given wolves 2 pens today, 1 last year.

  16. Hogan would have scored a hat trick if he’d played ……………….. or pulled players out of position …… whooooooops, what have I said?!!! 😉

    Great performance, Bruce got it right and the players wanted it badly.
    Well done you Villa boys 🙂


  17. OV let the truth wash over you 😉

    what do you reckon peeps is the top spot on or is that to greedy? only one team in it second half and we actually went for it, do that 10 more times and the other top teams do us a few favours 🙂

    well done mr Bruce hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

  18. MK – “what do you reckon peeps is the top spot on or is that to greedy?”

    We aim for automatic promotion and that means – at the moment – overtaking Cardiff. End of. After that we’ll see.

    Absolutely bursting over here in Switzerland, so pleased and proud of both team and fans who were at VP.

  19. Good to see everyone so happy here, especially after a historic win against Wolves.

    I started the day in a very bad mood, as I realised with having an injured leg, I was not going to make Villa Park for what should be the match of the season……and it was, but in the end I was very grateful for the wonderful Sky deal I have, and was able to watch the game, and enjoy the atmosphere!

    I take my hat off to Steve Bruce and the team for doing the business, and I will definitely be there on Tuesday night.

    One of the biggest moments for me, was to see the Icelander cut through their defence, score a goal, showing just how good he is, and what he has to offer us, in the same way as Grabban did for the third. Was also pleased to see Lansbury get his chance to play. All round Steve gave us a great performance from a manager too…!!!

  20. Cardiff’s upcoming matches…

    (a) Brentford Mar 13 2018
    (a) Derby County Mar 18 2018
    (h) Burton Albion Mar 30 2018
    (a) Sheffield United Mon Apr 02 2018
    (h) Wolverhampton Wanderers Apr 06 2018
    (a) Aston Villa Apr 10 2018

  21. The Irish lad in the studio said that villa this season have always had someone do something special in games and it’s not always the same player which to me sounds about right

  22. mark , that sounds about right, yes we could be a bit nicer to watch, generally , (although today we kicked the proverbial ass), but games are won and lost in the middle of the park, and that is were the “something special” comes from i reckon.

  23. Massive, massive, massive result. Had them resorting to fouling us all over the park in the second half. It’s out of this world when VP is rocking like this evening and against small heath.

  24. Stop Press. Headlines in tomorrow’s newspapers.

    Wolves defence gets Bolyking from Villa.

    I’m off for a few large ones.

  25. watching the the claret and blue team at them moment they’re 2-0 up against malaga. hoe long b4 we get the highlights of the wolf slaughter! lol
    aha, its time for c5 highlights soon , colin murrays going to cream his pants,

  26. our remaining games

    Mar 13, 2018 7.45pm Aston Villa vs.QPR
    Mar 17, 2018 5.30pm Bolton vs.Aston Villa on sty
    Mar 31, 2018 5.30pm Hull City vs.Aston Villa on sty
    Apr 3, 2018 7.45pm Aston Villa vs.Reading
    Apr 7, 2018 3pm Norwich vs Aston Villa
    Apr 10, 2018 7.45pm Aston Villa vs.Cardiff on sty
    Apr 13, 2018 7.45pm Aston Villa vs.Leeds on sty
    Apr 21, 2018 3pm Ipswich vs Aston Villa
    Apr 28, 2018 3pm Aston Villa vs Derby
    May 6, 2018 12.30pm Millwall vs Aston Villa

    10 games 10 wins 30 points we finish on 99 points. that should get us 2nd!

  27. We ve got our villa back 🙂

    Snoddy at this level is silly good. Every cross set piece is on the money.

    Chester class. Grealish best player in the league.

    Conor doesnt impress me greatly but will come out with a worldy and runs beyond the striker. I liked the look of grabon a great deal.

    But seeing as istill have nightmares about watching guzan, lescott etc pissabout i just love seein a villa side with passion, working hard and caring. You wouldnt think its the world to ask for but the team spirit is up there with the best ive seen.

    To go into the game with the pressure of knowing we really have to beat a great wolves team and playing like that is the best ive seen for years and years. Cant believe it

  28. Yes they should have had a penalty (only one mind you, didn’t think at all that the Albert one was a penalty) and 3.2 would have changed he complexion of the game, but despite that, we deserved that win.
    First half pretty even although we had the better chances and then we were the better team for most of the second half.
    It’s so good to see us playing like a real football team. Purpose, confidence, physical effort and even a bit of guile.
    Just . . . wow

  29. It’s still most likely that Wolves will be promoted as they have such good players. Let’s hope that they don’t though because it seems increasingly likely that they are twisting the FFP rules (to put it kindly) and it would be better that they fail on the pitch rather than in a football court room.

  30. Yeah wolves will still win the league and annoyingky have to take your hats off to cardiff. I dont think they are getting any kind of recognition they deserve. Its a miracle what they are doing. We have won 10 out of 12 scored 11 goals in last 3 and still they hold that 4 point advantage.

    Fair play

  31. Andrew,

    Well, Cardiff’s results against Wolves and then us in a few weeks will be telling.

    They only just scraped through against Small Heath yesterday, but they have indeed had a good run themselves.

    They last lost on January 1 and after a poor December.

    Their last 12 matches W 9 D 3 L 0
    Ours W 10 D 1 L 1

  32. Andrew: “Snoddy at this level is silly good. Every cross set piece is on the money. Chester class. Grealish best player in the league.”

    And where would we be without Albert?

    I know what MK will say “But Bruce wanted to sell him!” 😉

  33. A little later today, JC will recline into his deckchair with a tequilla cocktail and gaze at the Pacific Ocean. He will also be thinking that 10 games ago Villa were 17 points behind Wolves. We’ve taken 10 points off them during that period. Not to mention what’s happened to the goal difference stakes. So things are looking promising as we wind up for the grand finale.

    If we can muller Wolves then we can beat anyone in this division. Thought they all played well and Elmo looked composed. Cavaleiro gave our LB a roasting and as the game moved on he swapped wings but didn’t get much change out of Elmo. I was pleased to see him subbed because he does look dangerous with his pace. And a shout to the viking who had the ball and the Wolves players stood off him so he went past 3 of them and buried it in the onion bag. Superb. Jack as usual was better than Neves.

    Can’t dwell on this result beyond today though. There’s another 3 points up for grabs on Tuesday and we need to collect them.

  34. Morning all, well that was a joy to watch yesterday and we won the tactical battle,or to put it another way Jack grealish can make a mockery of tactics.

    I said before the game that wolves wing backs were the key along with Jack, stop them and you have a chance, don’t and they muller you. Well our wingers and full backs stopped theirs and Jack made wolves tactic of funnelling teams into the middle null and void because they couldn’t tackle him fairly to launch their counters and we got in behind their wing backs.

    Wasn’t sure what Grabbans role was as he doesn’t press like hogan does and wolves 3 CB’s had loads of time in the 1st half. Grabban kept dropping deep and sometimes getting in the way of the midfield, second half we pushed up which helped him. Grabbans forte appears to be arriving late not playing on the shoulder and he drifts away from the CB’s into midfield, great if we can get midfield runners in or down the wings but he doesn’t make runs that take players away as CB’s will rarely follow a forward into midfield. So whether he’s the answer or yet another way of playing for us I don’t know but he’s hard to drop if he keeps scoring. If we chose to we could be much more fluid with him up top but thats at odds with Bruces style of sitting back imo.

    JL- This has been a weird season, Adomah by his own admission doesn’t score goals he assists, and yes we tried to sell him yet he’s our top scorer would not be surprised if he gets that magic 20.

  35. From Twitter, Is this why are seasons weird? 🙂

    Mark Hamill – @Hamillhimself – you have chosen the wrong team. Ask your mate Tom Hanks for a real recommendation. i-no-longer-like-star-wars-the-last-jedi?

    Mark Hamill

    Would it help if you knew I’ve never seen a soccer match in my whole life? I thought they meant the animal when asked if I liked the wolves. Does Aston Villa have an mascot? If so, I’m sending it Force-vibes even as I type this message. – mh#WhoCares

    8:28 PM – Mar 10, 2018

  36. MK,

    Funny, I actually liked your comments in your post at 11:24, though I think that Grabban was far more dangerous than you seem to suggest.

    Nice to see no anti-Bruce comments from anyone. I should n’t think so after the record of the last 12 matches and scoring 27 goals in the process!

  37. Plug- yes mate thats why Hogan even if he doesn’t score (even though he was with this line up and in 4141) effects the game more or at least differently. We went 442 without jack which suits Grabban.

  38. JL- Its not a case of not seeing what Grabban does or brings, he’s a far more selfish player than Hogan and shot when a pass was on yesterday, this team has got away from that mentality and I don’t want it back. He has a bit of the Kodjia’s about him, the Sunderland fans said he did little off the ball for them too. I like him just wish we could field 12 players 😉

  39. Mark, I have a lot of sympathy with your wish to find a place for Hogan in the team. I too, like his industry and his ability to draw opposing defenders out of position. He had also begun to show an eye for goal too.
    We all know that strikers need a touch of arrogance (a lot of self-belief if you prefer) and I sense that Grabban has more of that than Hogan. Unfortunately, arrogance is a virtue in that position.
    Right now Grabban Is undropable simply because he is scoring goals and that is the football holy grail.
    There will be games where we can go 2 up front, either from the start or when we need to press for a goal but yesterday didn’t feel like one of those occasions. Wolves are so gifted in midfield that I fear they would have overrun us if we’d gone two up front.
    We now have options in quite a few positions and with Kodjia perhaps coming into the frame in a few games’ time, and Davis also able to provide a different option up front we may soon have a surfeit of riches in the striker role, What a great position to be in

  40. Robbo- I can see why he played Grabban as he probably thought we would be under the cosh and as you say he has the arrogance and probably quicker but as it turned out I don’t think he brought that much more to the team than hogan would of as a solo striker, and he’s not very likely to pass if there half a chance on for him.

    I think having little choice in all but Grealish has helped Bruce this season not hindered, when given multiple choices he’s not quick to settle on a team imo. If our squad is fit he has some 35 1st and youth to choose from. Its great but also leaves you prone to tampering.

  41. MK: “[Grabban’s] a far more selfish player than Hogan and shot when a pass was on yesterday, this team has got away from that mentality and I don’t want it back. He has a bit of the Kodjia’s about him, the Sunderland fans said he did little off the ball for them too.”

    Yes, I thought that Grabban mimicked Codger too in the selfish bit, but he has the talent to be there and score, which is what strikers are supposed to do. And we scored 4 goals without being reliant on Grabban.

    As for what Sunderland supporters may have said, that’s all sour grapes as far as I am concerned. To me he does a lot in the outfield, not as you say.

    I totally concur with r0bbo’s remarks.

  42. MK,

    You’re entitled to your views, but to date this season you’ve been off-beam with about every significant thing that’s developed. You’re good at waffling though! 😉

    Seems you need some glucose or summat! 😀

  43. To add, We have Kodjia, Gabby, Hogan, Grabban, Davis, RHM. None of those are at all similar in how they play and all are supposedly no9’s (although Grabban suits 10 better imo) We suit 4141 it seems so really its down to which one brings the greater return for the team in that system otherwise we are back to swapping the system about. Wolves have played the same system all season it helps.

  44. JL- “To me he does a lot in the outfield, not as you say.”

    not as a solo striker he doesn’t, he needs other players around him or he just strolls about like in the first half, and has given the ball away in awkward places a few times in recent matches. He’s a good player but has his foibles. You appear to be berating me for pointing things out that have actually happened.

  45. Mark

    You said the other post about how the irish fella was on about someone chipping in when others dont. Got me thinking how footy can change so quick and what a great job bruce has done.

    Last season we couldnt win without jedi or score a goal without kodjer.

    The turn around now with goals and assists flying in from everywhere is amazing.

    Im kind of thinking what the season may of been like with grealish not getting injured prevseason 🙁

  46. MK: “[Grabban] needs other players around him or he just strolls about like in the first half,”

    Well, all I can say is that you see things in a certain kind of way and I see it in another. I saw little as you describe it.

    Never the twain shall meet it seems. Unfortunately.

  47. Andrew- Yes mate given the option of a players to have all season the new and improved Grealish is it. Unfortunately he wasn’t that player prior to his Kidney injury and rehab strength training etc. Have you noticed he’s got a mean slide tackle on him now 🙂

    JL- Whatever mate, 1st half Grabban was pretty isolated, second he showed what he’s good at when we went for it, hold up play, playing with his back to goal and linking with the midfield, all things he does better than Hogan.

  48. Re grabbon

    Thought he was great all game. Really like him. Think he can do it all. Shirts his to loose.

    Re grealish

    Not sure about that mark

    Jack was worked on all summer and was given the number 10 shirt and was going to be built around.

    Impossible to say he wouldnt of started like he is now as his injury was in pre season.

  49. Andrew, re Grabbon – “Thought he was great all game. Really like him. Think he can do it all.”

    Agree completely – he held the ball up, controlled it well, made runs, chased and tackled back, won headers …………….. and if you noticed, for Thor’s goal he pulled the defender away from Thor’s run to allow him to get his shot in and score. A very good and astute acquisition ……..


  50. Surprised to hear Nuno coming in for a heap of moaning from the yam yams. Seems Plastic Batth is being made the scapegoat. He’s copping more flak than Whelan gets at Villa.

  51. Well that was a terrific end to a shitty week for me. Doing my best with Physio on the knee and i must have burst a stitch or some thing as I now have weeping in a couple of places . It’s a bummer when you want to hurry up and get back out in the world. Any way, more of that Tuesday against that numb nuts Holloway and it’ll make up for it.
    Nice to read all positives for a change keep it up lads.

  52. OV: “Agree completely – he held the ball up, controlled it well, made runs, chased and tackled back, won headers”

    Funny, I read somewhere that Grabban just sauntered around… 😉

  53. JL – “Funny, I read somewhere that Grabban just sauntered around… ”

    Must have been from Wolves fan or maybe a Nose then? The other blogs I’ve seen tell the same story that I did ……..
    Rate him and think he could be the difference between going up and not going up ….. after that who knows ………


  54. Andrew- How could jack be worked on all summer when he was with England mate? then two weeks holiday, thats why he was late for pre-season besides I know the lads father who trains him and heard all about it . That type of strength takes months not weeks to acquire and its impossible in pre-season conditioning. He first went to Ollie to stop the hamstring injuries he kept getting not to build core and upper body strength.

    Nice to see all you funny old chaps flapping your gums 😉

    Compared to Hogan Grabbans work rate without the ball is low and yes he walks about and only livens up when we attack, its not the worst thing as he conserves energy but its what I saw yesterday so make of that what you will, Doesn’t make him not worth playing its just an observation. Personally I couldn’t give tinkers toss who plays up front as long as he serves the team.

    This from a Sunderland fan last November

    Replying to @Parkersafc
    Whilst Grabban’s goals per game record is phenomenal he doesn’t help the team at all move up the pitch and doesn’t even try to win things and hold the ball up for our talented players. Lost count of how many balls we put into the box yesterday #safc

    12:51 PM – Nov 19, 2017


    “However, Grabban’s inability to connect with those in the stands was rooted in something much simpler. To many, despite his goals and undoubted ability, Grabban was a mirror image of too many who have plied their trade on Wearside in recent years. In the eyes of plenty, he was a striker who did little to assist team-mates, be it in tracking back or closing down from the front. If he did not score, so the consensus went, he did not do much of worth.”

    A Bournemouth fans view

  55. Mark, Interesting comments from Bournemouth fans about Grabban. Seems I’m not the only one who’s seen a touch of arrogance in him. That can be a good thing as long as he still sees the team as being what matters most of all . . . and . . . . has a manager who ‘gets him’
    From the comments shown, there seemed to be a fair bit of goodwill towards him and a recognition that he has what it takes as long as he finds a team and manager to bring it out of him.

  56. Robbo- Theres truth in all those comments that I have seen, and good and bad, plenty just see his goals and appreciate that, Bruce has said That he is surprised how good a player he actually is which seems typical of Bruce. I think he’s a Kodjia type who will just do his own thing mostly. My point was he does not chase the ball down or try to retrieve it if tackled, these highlights make that very clear. For wolves goal he could of shut the pass that starts it out but he never breaks into a sprint unless we are attacking.

    OV- yes he makes a run/jog for the last goals by thor of about 3 yards pointing as he does to where he wants it, not a single wolves player goes with him.

  57. MK,

    I note you continue to put up remarks from people who have nothing but sour grapes to say while the facts speak for themselves.

    Though Grabban is not perfect, I prefer him to Hogan as he has more fire in his belly. But you don’t – I know that.

  58. Well with all your excitement, have to say that game was a big let down for me!

    ONLY 4-1, Get In Villa, what a sporting weekend, Villa firstly and then the Irish rugger buggers get another championship and make Paddy’s Day even more special with a grand slam chance.

    What absolute ruthlessness from Villa, finally the confidence has fully returned to go for the jugular when the opposition is on the ropes (sporting cliche-tastic but you know what I mean), too often we would have sat back and invited pressure

    Still a way to go but what about that for putting the fear in every team we’ll play from now on.

  59. DO’R: “have to say that game was a big let down for me!”

    Jon Fear told a lovely story on his site that his dad – who was sitting behind Bruce’s dug-out – shouted “4-1’s not good enough – we want 5!”. Bruce heard all that of course and turned round to give him a look that caused a lot of laughter!

    Nice to hear that.

  60. JL- once again you seem to have an allergy to anything that you deem not +ve, those comments are far from sour grapes and sometimes I don’t think you know what a fact is.

    On top of that I was looking at the differences between the two players that are most likely to play No9 its fair to say Grabban doesn’t do defensive work with any great urgency. You can take it as you want and you have as usual taken it as an attack, you then get personal with your waffle comment and now seek to show me the error of my ways when you could just stop seeing everything I say as -ve all the time its very tedious.

    And no I don’t prefer Hogan over Grabban I can see the good and bad in both, all I am interested in is how they work in the system we have, if you have nothing other to say to me than “I see it different” and then claim its fact without any detail don’t bother it just causes conflict.

  61. JL – “My comment earlier about Grabban and remarks about his lack of effort were tongue-in-cheek!” ……………………. I did realise that John and my comments back were also tongue-in-cheek!

    MK – you seem to have watched a different game to me re Grabban but lets leave it there shall we – I know that you will not stop going on about it until you wear me down and I give up trying to put my POV across. Whoooops forgot the winking smiley, here you go 😉


  62. DOR- It was a massive statement to the league wasn’t it , it showed we don’t have to sit back and defend, whatever happens next will be interesting I hope we don’t get as c**k sure as wolves were after the leeds game and continue to put the hard miles in.

  63. OV- no problem to me we can’t all see things the same but if we are going to have a giggle at my expense it pays to get your facts right 😉

  64. MK – What happens next also concerns me. I hope tomorrow night does not “turn flat after the Lord Mayor’s Show” and we continue to attack and get the goals required to win in.

    Snoddy says the players will run through a brick wall for SB. Hope I see evidence of that against QPR.

  65. MK,

    No it’s not about “getting facts right”. Let’s just say that comments made here at your expense are a lot to do with what amounts to verbal diarrhoea coming down the tubes from your account, a lot of which is not to the point or even confusing as to what you really think. I prefer to think it’s mainly the latter.

  66. JL- How very arrogant of you, I’m glad you take your point of view as the only one that is really important and not a load of s**t John, very intolerant of you from where I am sitting and it makes this blog very uncomfortable to comment on.

    Plug- Snodgrass and Grealish have been fantastic and this interview by Snoddy gives a glimpse of what Bruce is about.

  67. I don’t really remember ever watching grabdon play but going by what I see at villa he is perfect for that lone striker position.

    quick, strong, hold it up, knows where the goal is. sign him up!

    There was a journo giving us praise for getting him as he is on a fair wack in wages. Bournemouth tried touting him about early but villa waited till the death to get him on loan.

    getting more savvy off the pitch as well as on it!

  68. Mark re grealish

    He was away with England but as soon as he was back was told he was going to be built around.

    the final pre season home game which is always pretty much how we are going to set up he was the number 10 playing in the role now.

    how he would of been physically is tough to call. no idea as like you say he was away with England and we didn’t see him statrt the season

  69. Mark,

    Take a deep breath and think again, please. I’ve not said you’re not entitled to your opinion – quite the reverse in fact. But do you ever give credit to your opposers? Never as I recall.

    Having said what I have, at the same time many of your posts are extremely interesting and I am sure the blog is richer for it.

    However, particularly with regard to the Villa, you frequently go down routes that leave me wondering “why?”. And a big ‘why’ at that. Most lately in quoting spurious comments from fans at Grabbans’ previous clubs.

  70. And further, MK…

    I really do think that an article is way overdue from you so that you can put your thoughts into context in order that we can all properly understand what you really think.

    I actually have been looking forward to seeing an article from you. It’s way overdue.

  71. best bit ive seen today when the 4th goals hit, bruce and all the coaches going mad in a hug. great to see.

    John terry got so many pelters when he signed in the summer……but wow what an impact. has been incredible.

  72. John,

    Don’t worry about us … we’re arranging to have the fight decided at the arena where you’re having your holiday! Look out for it! 😀

    ***A new post is up ***

  73. JL
    You’re turning into a teenager again, so I hope you enjoy it.
    There’s nothing wrong with criticism, but where’s the craic?

  74. IanG,

    Really? OK, taking your theme, the old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones…” comes to mind.

    As to “where’s the craic?”, then please ask your friend that. There’s no point in writing anything unless it’s either enjoyable or meaningful, and after the win on Saturday and the return of pride to the club it’s a time to be happy I would have thought rather than finding useless gumph to use as criticism of the club or players. “Where’s the craic” in that?

    Have a very good day.

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