Four games left, and tonight Leeds come to visit. One more win and we’re in the playoffs. So let’s go get it.

Among supporters, expectations before the season generally had us about where we are. Dr. Xia had hoped for more, and he might still get it, but they’re long odds.

So, right now, there’s safety to play for, and trying to build some momentum. Sounds like Bjarnason might be ready to go, Terry definitely not. Tuanzebe’s out, and so’s Hutton.

Guessing we’ll see Jedinak in the back line rather than Samba, and based on Tuesday’s performance, that would be the right call.

Elsewhere, is anyone getting a rest? Dunno. I’d think we’d put out our strongest side, try to get the win, and try to get the formula right for the playoffs. That’s what it’s all about now.

Can’t really think of a whole lot else to say that hasn’t already been said during the week, so…Over to you and CYOVB.

Comments 57

  1. Thanks JC , I think its reach that time of the season where everyone can’t be bothered to be Negative or Positive just waiting, it will be what it will be. We should beat Leeds they are in the bottom 2 on form I think.

    Can’t disagree that we are were I thought we would be with this manager but its not where I thought we could of been if we had taken a different approach to so many things. Part of me is secretly looking forward to the play offs but only as I think we should make the Final. If we don’t I think thats when the proverbial will hit the fan.

  2. God…the playoffs will be excruciating, I think. Don’t know if I could even stand to watch a one-off final. Have to, of course, but talk about watching it through your fingers.

    Still hoping against hope that Cardiff and Fulham fall flat on their faces and we sneak into second.

  3. Ahhh the play offs. You’ve covered both emotions JC and MK. . . fear and excitement.

    Only last night I was talking to the wife about recent trips to Wembley and the walk to the ground . . . . both sets of fans full of excited anticipation. . . . and then the walk away afterwards with such hugely contrasting emotions amongst the opposing supporters.

    In recent times we’ve gone to Wembley more in hope than expectation but if we get to the final play off this time, then there won’t be a real underdog so the sense of despair from the losers will be all the greater.
    The prize this time however is sooooo big that the feeling of elation for the winners will be immense.
    I hate the thought of the walk away from the ground having lost, and we discussed whether we could bear putting ourselves through that, but on the other hand, can you imagine missing the win, knowing that you ‘could’ have been there?

  4. r0bb0,

    I’ve done that walk several times in my life, often on the losing end. It’s rough…But. I actually think it might be easier to see it live, surrounded by thousands of others sharing your emotions. Misery loves company.

  5. A few changes, Kodjia and Grabban start along with wheelan and onamah

    Aston Villa
    1Johnstone
    27El Mohamady
    5Chester
    15Jedinak
    3Taylor
    6Whelan
    7Snodgrass
    18Onomah
    10Grealish
    22Kodjia
    45Grabban
    Substitutes
    4Samba
    8Lansbury
    9Hogan
    14Hourihane
    16Bree
    31Bunn
    37Adomah

  6. why does snoddy take freekicks?
    i never see him score, conor on the other usually does, although hes not laying today.
    conor should take our free kicks.

    for the rest of today jack should take them

  7. It seems that none of us can understand why Onamah is playing and yet there has to be a reason.
    The best I can come up with is that teams are only going to lend us players if their managers believe that they will get playing time.
    If we stay in the championship then a number of our decent players will have to go and then loan players will become essential to us.
    Anyone got any better ideas?

  8. Robbo- All I can think is he’s taller than any of the youth mid-fielders

    Any way told you Leeds were cr*p, impressed by their young Keeper and left back though and the back four plus keeper had an average age of 10.

  9. R0bb0
    If I recall correctly, Onomah was a last ditch loan signing after Grealish was injured in August, so given Jack is fit then I have no idea why he plays him.

    Next season will be a challenge. We have a lot of EPL failures so I can’t imagine how we would cope given how lacking we seem to be in talented youngsters

  10. Onomah…There’s talent in there, but it’s obvious why he’s not getting a look-in at Spurs. Guessing he’s playing because he’s pretty good size, like MK says.

    Will be challenge next year. Will be lots of ins and outs, and seriously hoping that plan is a good one.

  11. robbo, that seems fair enuf, but, as others have said, play our yoof, they’ve got plenty of potential, and without experience won’t realise it.

    i mean although we won, ( & i always want us to win) , if we do go up will any of the yoof get a chance?
    did grealish only really get his, because we were down here, or was it just his time?

    on one i hand i want us not go up, so something can get built properly, and i ain’t ready yet to face the many glory hunting brummie scousers, mancs, or cocknerknees, & put up with their cr*p.

    on the other i believe the good dr tonix (copyright jl) has has lots of sense, and really has a good sound busiball plan ( or maybe Sir King wills is behind it all?). & the 5/10 yr plan will come in to fruition.

  12. did anyone else see the interview in the tunnel after the game , it was quite a bit of fun, actually, the sky presenters, starsky & hutch,(i can’t remember their names), lee hendrie, (as a good player , very underrated) and of course brucey. it went on for a while , i hope that it goes up on youtube. it was very funny & insightfull, bruce blaming hutch, saying he gave us the kiss of dear after the wolves game , saying we would walk the league, that why we dropped so many points. hilarious.

  13. anyway, automatics gone. unless Cardiff lose a few more games, can’t see it te be fair, fulham could easily draw or lose a game or 2, but realistically, play offs here we come!

    and on that note i’m off to bed.

  14. Another skinny win but we’ll take it. I think SB was right to rest some players. By about 5 minutes after half time it was obvious to me and most people that the team needed help from the touchline before we shipped a leveller. SB failed on that score and made no early substitutions but we got away with it.

    Thought Onomah, Snoddy and Taylor were poor on the day. Codger still not up to speed. But Jedi had another fine game.

    Unlike RDM, Spud is able to routinely close out tight games due to his defensive bench. Personally speaking I’d prefer an attacking approach. With 2 or 3 goals on the scoresheet it doesn’t matter about shipping late on.

  15. Good journey to B6, lovely Guinness and chilli in the Aston Tavern, where I chatted to some more new mates, and I never cease to be amazed where they come from, Devon, Llanelli , Liverpool, just to mention a few.

    The match was not the best, but not much different to Tuesday, although the opposition were a little easier to manage. Lovely header from Grabban for the goal, and Johnstone very solid again.
    I am surprised that people are saying Onomah was poor, as he was involved a lot more than Hourihane usually is and considering it was his first match for a long time, those around me, and myself felt he had a good game, which is why the fans clapped him off when he was substituted.
    TV camera views of games can be deceptive. Agree Jedi had a good game, until SB pushed him forward into mid field and brought Samba on, but we survived. Whelan again did ok with his usual odd hairy moment. Snoddy looked tired and El Mohamady was doing all the running. Kodjia still rusty, and Adomah was the right substitution for him.
    Well, another 3 points on the board, and we go again. Good to see Mick again in the bar, and we agreed that nothing is going to change now in these last few matches.. Bruce will continue with the same players and the same tactics…

  16. PP
    Thanks for that.
    I actually managed to watch the match on an HD stream, & I would concur, with the addition that we seemed a little off the pace from the off.
    Also Onomah was better than he has been, although he still looks like either he is holding himself back or doesn’t seem to have played with his team mates before.
    Agree that Snod looks weary in mind even more than body.
    Also Bree would be better than Taylor to me, as Hutton is better.
    The younger players are doing better for energy, so the next 3 games are a perfect time to re-introduce one or two, but then I remember who the manager is.
    At least there is a week before the Ipswich game, & no more league mid-week games this season, which may help.

  17. Well, Cardiff back in 2nd for a while.
    Looks like Derby are in a slump, & with playing Middlesborough next sat [H] & Cardiff [H] a week next Tuesday, & Villa the game after, it doesn’t look so good for them.
    But the the Boro have Millwall [H] after the Derby game, after Fulham play Millwall [A].Also If we beat Millwall, PNE could sneak into the play offs instead of either Derby or Millwall.

    r0bb0 – interesting times here, & we definitely haven’t got the hardest run in now, thankfully.

  18. So 2nd place has gone. Bruce has failed.

    Looks like it will Boro over two legs in the play offs. Pullis will be desperate to do us and I think they would be favourites

    Can you imagine how ugly those two games will be ? Two of the most anti footballing managers around

  19. Hello folks, its looking more and more like the play offs I think with the Cardiff and Fulham refusing to do a Villa. Something JC said the other day about us and the continual crossing rang true to me. I came across this recently which is the new Stat “XG ” or expected goals. this is similar to what Brentford use in an attempt to create their scoring chances in the best positions, it also shows crosses, Corners and headers are less likely to produce goals or are more difficult. Now considering we don’t have any proficient headers of the ball in the Front line or midfield why the hell is it we continue to play that way?

    https://cartilagefreecaptain.sbnation.com/2017/8/17/16164068/explaining-expected-goals-soccers-newest-star

  20. MK, Interesting link about Expected Goals (xG). Looking at the Championship’s current top 6 teams, the goals per game ratio is:

    Wolves: 1.81
    Cardiff: 1.52
    Fulham: 1.70
    Villa: 1.56
    Boro: 1.42
    Millwall: 1.28

    So we are third highest goal scorers. We needed to have scored an extra 7 goals to make the top 2. Given the xG stats about degree of difficulty in scoring from crosses and corners (low returns) as opposed to through balls into the area (high returns) I can only conclude that we have reached 3rd place in the scoring stakes due to the quality of our attacking players getting better returns than other teams from crosses and corners.

    I can only imagine how many goals these attackers would have scored had we played according to the xG stats. Those who think this squad has under achieved have a good arguement here.

  21. Plug- may be a lot down to the quality of crosses snodgrass/elmo particularly provides generally plus others, we have scored more from crosses than any other team. The dearth of goals scored from one on ones and cut backs etc make me wonder too how many we could of had with a different approach. There have been times when I could understand the reliance but overall no considering the players we have had available that thrive on that type of service.

    wonder if we will reach that 80 goal mark set by wyness? we are on 67 will need 13 in 3 matches

  22. It’ll be interesting to see how SB treats the next couple of games now that Villa have cemented a place in the playoffs. He needs to know the team that will play the crunch games.
    On its day Villa can thrash any team in the comp. If Villa’s attitude is right, they will win promotion. Anything less will be a failed season.

  23. Iana – My guess is SB will pick his strongest team available (as he sees it) against Ipswich just in case Cardiff and Fulham slip up. Think he’ll do the same against Derby if there is still a mathematical chance of P2.

    By the time we play Millwall, we will know if the game is up and then he’ll play a weakened team to protect his key players from injury.

    MK – Can’t see us getting to 80 goals this season even if we get to the play off final. I’m not surprised due to SB’s defensive first approach so Wyness shouldn’t be either.

  24. Reports suggesting Villa will have to pay £12 million for Snoddy if they want to keep him after the loan period.

    Good luck with that one dildo bros. Arf Arf. He’s 31 in September.

  25. All the loaners are just that—loaners. We shouldn’t get attached.
    For the most part escaping the championship loaners play a vital part in promotion. They are not quite good enough to sign but too good to pass up for a 1/2 to 1 season stint.
    At 12 mill, let’s throw Snodgrass a fond farewell and look elsewhere.

    The turn over is going to be huge regardless of where Villa play next year. We will be witness to another tough start to the season as all the new faces get to know one and other. Oh and don’t be surprised if Gabby is still here. 🙂

  26. Ian…

    Indeed. Loanees, no future. £12m for Snodgrass would be ludicrous. £2m-3m, max.

    We’ve got to keep a spine for familiarity’s sake, try to integrate new players.

    Will have some thoughts up post-match a little later. Been some busy days for me.

  27. The thought of signing any of our loanee’s for big money makes me chuckle, they are mostly players that can’t get in at their clubs while we have an entire U23 team that can’t get in at ours.

    As I have always maintained we have missed a very huge boat in the way we have rebuilt and restructured, that goes for the manager too, another huge rebuild awaits whatever the outcome. The only plus I can see in buying a return to the Prem is if the club can’t survive without the funds, that in itself doesn’t say a lot for our new Guardians wealth maybe? and lack of foresight in a footballing sense.

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