Bit late from me, obviously, but we’re down 0-1 at the half. Real sucker punch, that one. So, we’ve got it all to do in the second.

Comments 52

  1. well,

    We just have to face facts that we are not good enough to make it. Maybe we will be lucky and do a Huddersfield, but we certainly are not going to shoot ourselves to the top….!!!

  2. JG,

    For me, when you’re playing Elmo and Taylor, you’re definitely trading defensive strength for more offensive push. When I’ve said this is Villa’s best side, I wasn’t necessarily including either of them. Much more a case of midfield up.

    It can work, as we’ve seen. But…

  3. Correct Mr Pears. Not good enough…too many defeats to mid-table teams. I actually think Villa’s position flatters them. The play is slow and ponderous with little troubling of the opposition. No squad depth and too many under-performing players not dropped..Adomah
    Anyway, they’ll be lucky to beat a half decent side over 2 legs

  4. PP,

    I think we’re largely “good enough”…On the day, really just seemed a case of being undone by the Murphy goal, which basically came out of nowhere, and then the second, where Terry got a bit too cute and moved up for the offside instead of sticking with the man and contesting the ball.

  5. Paul Whiting,

    I wouldn’t disagree, it’s the form against those sides that has cost us. QPR, Bolton, Norwich (one win in 10, I think). Those were the games we needed to be winning at this point (rather obvious, I know).

  6. Not interested in any more excuses. We don’t show any urgency or intensity in our play. They had nothing to play for, we had everything to play for. Result – Norwich ran their socks off and we strolled. On the shitness scale our guys all rated pretty high but Taylor rang the bell at 10.

    Matters are closing in on this team and manager. Spud needs to win the play offs but playing like today won’t do it.

  7. Plug…agreed, the urgency was lacking. And there did look to be hesitancy on the part of many, which, you’d think was down to being more concerned with not losing rather than playing to win.

    I think r0bb0 said on the previous thread that it looked like Villa were trying to hold something in reserve, and that may well have been right. Then when they needed to find another gear, it wasn’t there. Dunno what effect having Cardiff on Tuesday played into their minds.

    All losses bother me to some extent, and this one does of course because of the missed opportunity.

  8. john clark
    when you look at taylor remember we are in championship playing poor players,yet some on here thought that the 3 swansea managers didnt know what they were doing by not playing him,bree played decent enough there v bolton yet was dropped next match,enough is enough spud out get some one in who can motivate these lads should not to big an ask

  9. “nor Good Enough”

    While I agree the overall Villa starting 11 today has a pleasing look about their style, there’s only one expression for me that sums up my view: *Lack of Punch”!!*

    I’m not going to throw all my toys at Hogan, but I do think the other two are better, but *none* are really what we need, apart from Kodjia if he could really get back on song.

    The best striker we’ve had this season is Davis i.m.o., despite his lack of goals.

  10. JL
    Davis… Yes Bruce doesn’t seem to want to play or even put him on the bench any more.
    Whether we go up or not, I think it’s time to look at someone else

  11. IanG,

    Well, what does a manager do … he’s spent a lot of money on Hogan and therefore feels he has to play him. He was also concerned that Davis was suffering burn-out, hence why we don’t see him on the bench.

    In these circumstances I do seriously think that Hogan should play 45 minutes and then he and a.n.other be replaced by Codger and Grabban if the match is not going our way.

    But I’m not the manager.

  12. JL
    I wasn’t talking about Hogan.
    Bruce seems to have no idea as to why the same thing happens again & again, & yet again he said so today.
    This makes him unsuitable for more of the same in my view.
    Without going histrionic, he seems to have lost the plot.
    Also yet again he blames the players but not himself, as usual when we lose, & in addition he always praises the supporters at the same time as deflecting blame with the same pattern of uselessness.
    Slimey in my eyes, & the manifestation of the ineffectuality of his ability to man manage.
    Apart from anything else it’s downright dishonest.
    We can do better when the season ends, whatever league we are in.
    He’s half sorted the problems out that he inherited, & I thank him for that, but for the football he might as well be a weathercock.

  13. JL
    As for ‘burn out’ etc, he doesn’t play any of the kids unless he has no choice, & then he makes snide comments about how unreliable they are.
    Unless of course they pull his fat out of the fire.

  14. For those who have a fit if Bruce is criticised, I support the team whatever, & hope it all clicks for him for the remaining games of the season.

  15. What a mess we are in, I cannot see us beating any for sure other than Leeds at Villa park, if it truly goes Pete tong Millwall could take our top 6 place in the last game, they haven’t lost in the last 15 league games. I can’t put my finger on whats gone wrong lately but they don’t seem as together.

    The lower teams appear to be out thinking us and our vaunted defence seems shot to pieces never mind the forwards.

    I think we have the most unburnt out youths in the league while other teams beat us with theirs.

    IanG I agree Bruce cannot stay regardless of the final result of his tenure, thanks but no thanks for me.

  16. Ian
    It’s only another 4 weeks for him to promote us & leave.
    Leaving it a bit late isn’t he?
    As for your final 6, it’s getting too close to call as they say over the pond.

  17. MK – Can’t really argue with what’s written on your link. Our promotion chances are not yet dead but they are looking fragile.

    For me, Spud has not created a team with pace, especially at the back. If we want to gain promotion a strong and dynamic midfield is mandatory. Spud has not built one. Up front? Villa have scored more goals than most other teams but not the teams that count.

    His bench selection, team selection and substitutions have left me scratching my head towards the end of last season through to real anger of late. And his style of play is defensive rather than attacking which riles me but others may think is OK.

    I also believe he wasted our pre season. He used it to get everyone fit but didn’t use it to find a team method capable of hitting the ground running. Unlike Warnock for instance. The result was 7 points from the first 7 games. That plus the latest downturn has cost us dearly.

  18. Really hope Warnock is moaning like hell after the game on Tues. I’ll be well pi$$ed off if he’s got a grin from ear to ear.

  19. Just sitting there minding my own business watching Soton and Arsenal, thinking as I watched him getting involved, that I would have loved Shane Long to become a Villa player in the last coupe of seasons, as I feel he is a Villa type of player, and lo and behold, he goes and scores a cracking goal….!!!

  20. I find it strange (in more than one way) that it’s not long ago that we were celebrating 7 straight wins scoring 16 goals, soon after followed by another 3 straight wins scoring 11 goals – including the demolition of Wolves – and then we’re back to griping against the manager!!!

    You couldn’t credit it how football supporters think! Einstein would be very puzzled. Freud more! 😉

    Why not get at the players? Perhaps they have something to do with it? Maybe they don’t like travelling these days?

  21. Pro sports is all about “what have you done lately”. It matters nothing that they had a 7 game run and I was excited about their prospects with it. It’s about now and the team’s fortunes are being bottled. If we expect the teams around us or the teams that are running away from us at the moment are going to turn turtle you have another think coming. None of the others right now except Derby have had a bad streak. It’s down to brass tacks.
    We aren’t in the dressing room or on the training pitch and don’t you wonder what is being said to the players? We have seen what they can do, why on earth do they all of a sudden turn to poo and not just once but off and on through the season. It just can’t be a positive atmosphere. I wonder if the players don’t question what’s being laid out for the upcoming game(s) and think WTF. Why on earth did it take over a year for some to finally shine and some only show bits and pieces? How is it possible for one in particular to be such a good influence at bodymoor and never get a sniff? Why do some players go in the dog house never to be seen again regardless of the talent that got them to Villa? Why does youth have such a hard time getting game time, even a couple of minutes at the end of a game. And, why do we read that players would go through brick walls for him then turn up invisible on game day?

  22. JL- Bruce has either something to do with our play/performances or nothing, he can’t be held responsible when we win but not when we lose. Its the reverse argument of those that don’t rate Bruce. We could of course just keep the manager and sack all the players, how dare they be bought by him and not win.

  23. My guess is we prepare the exact same for every match only to find the opposition have adjusted to suit, some teams tactics suit ours some don’t, and some adjust in real time, the players then look to Bruce for guidance as to whats the big picture from the sideline, how should we adjust? it appears as if he doesn’t really Know.

  24. It is very clear from every manager that has been interviewed, that they have prepared for the game, and take in to account Villa’s formation, and that they change their tactics, if they are not working.

    All Bruce ever says is it is going to be a tough game, and we go again….

    There are no proper press conferences given on the official site, they are just the interview with AVTV, and the full conference with the press is not shown.

    Most sites seem to be turning on Bruce now, along with rumours that he is going anyway, because of his mother’s illness and family commitments, which may not be surprising.

  25. My own feelings are that he is really struggling this time, and his previous formula’s are not working, as football has moved on in the Championship.

  26. 😀 😀

    What fabulous get-outs you all come up with!

    The same team (virtually) that won 3 on the trot and scored 11 is what you see now. And now the manager is causing them all to look like sluggards?

    Well, if you like your own logic I’ll leave you all to screw yourself into the floorboards! 😀

  27. JL- so your version that the players are not trying sometimes is 100% correct? 🙂 we win their trying?we don’t their not? solid logic there, Bruce might as well bring along a deck chair to matches.

    Its well known that Pepe at City likes to play a certain way but adjusts his team and formations according to his opposition. He is quite likely the best tactician out there but sometimes he comes off worst like this week, style and tactics two different things.

  28. JL
    A small correction: the players won the games & scored the goals, not the manager.
    He has a tendency to take some of the credit, but when the players lose, he almost always blames the players or situations such as illness, injury.

  29. PP- Yes it may be he has lost his own will and thats filtering down, wouldn’t be a surprise but surely he would want to go out with a bang and make his old man proud?

    As for the team and our inability to beat the lower teams I think its about tactics. They are used to parking the bus mainly this season and most have a bit of pace. If they stop Grealish by any means foul or fair they can then hurt us, stop Snodgrass cutting inside and to some extent Albert, then we are well and truly Knackered, I wish Green was fit so we could go to orthodox wingers sometimes. We could also play jack on the left albert on the right bring on Lansbury? The Tactic of putting on 4 forwards in hope a cross finds them is flawed, we then lose the midfield and even a team with a modicum of pace can get at our very slow defence.

    The team is the right one to start with but not persist with if its not working but you have to recognise the oppositions tactics and by pass them, sometimes individual skill is not enough.

    Its quite possibly the emotional high of the wolves game took a lot from the team too, whatever the reason they are Bruces to remedy, he’s changed the team when he shouldn’t but then hasn’t by his own admission when he should have, like after the wolves game.

  30. I’m glad Villa are still in contention for promotion, but I’ve seen most of the televised games this season and I rarely got the feeling that Villa we’re dominating teams. Most games I see them giving the ball away cheaply playing with a slow tempo. They look one dimensional. The fact that it’s the same team who won 6 or 7 on the trot cuts no ice when the same team fails to win 5 of the next 6. Promoted teams don’t play so inconsistently. It is what it is but I don’t really understand why people like JL are surprised when the forum members express their frustration; I’d like to know how much Cardiff and Fulham havev invested on players in the past 2 seasons compared to Villa. I want Xia to come out and explain his strategy and progress against it. Regarding the idea that people are fickle with Bruce; even if Villa had won 46 matches I would still tell you that Bruce is an old-fashioned manager of dour, boring teams…Hull, Blues, Wigan etc; if we get promoted, we will get nowhere with him.

  31. MK, PW,

    Have to agree with your comments, as they are on the money. Villa play to such a simple plan with little variation, that it is easy as you say mark to snuff out Villa’s threat.

    Some people have given a lot of praise to Bjarnason for his play on Saturday, but, personally, I felt he was not anywhere near his usual impact, not moving the ball forward very much, and tending to play back on many occasions. I do feel he could have done a lot more with jack, and also that Adomah and Snodgrass could achieve a lot more with much more interchanging and drawing defenders.

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