Villa return to league action at Portman Road, facing an Ipswich Town side who were shown the League Cup door by Exeter, and have not exactly gotten off to a flyer in the league.

Though Villa fared better in terms of their cup tie result, it was hardly vintage stuff, and Villa were rather lucky to keep a clean sheet, never mind advance. As one would expect, there were a number of changes, so the cohesiveness that has eluded the side in the first two league outings was probably never going to materialize. But among the changes were a lot of senior players, and it was only Grealish’s introduction that saw Villa actually pose much of a threat. Perhaps the most encouraging sight on the night was Kodjia’s nifty turn to get free and then set up Conor Hourihane for the match winner. And Andre Green once again looked lively as he continues his comeback from a lengthy layoff.

In short, both Paul Hurst and Steve Bruce were left angry and frustrated midweek. And both are still looking for their so-called settled side. But Bruce’s unsettled side have some away with six points in two, while Ipswich have only managed a draw and a loss to Rotherham.

For Villa, no real surprises: Nyland, Tuanzebe, Chester (C), Jedinak, Hutton, Elmohamady, Bjarnason, McGinn, Adomah, Grealish, Kodjia.

Subs: Moreira, Taylor, Elphick, Whelan, Hourihane, Green, Hepburn-Murphy

History tells us that were Villa to nab the away win today it would be the first time the club have won their first three league matches since 1962-63. That’s pretty remarkable.

A win should be on the cards, although Ipswich will be stinging from the cup exit and looking to redeem themselves in front of the home hans. You can expect them to put in a showing, for a while, at least. You’d think we simply have too much quality and likewise will be looking to show rather more than we did midweek.

So, fingers crossed. Villa have managed to stay in touch with the top so far, and depending on results could end the day top of the table. Which isn’t really that important, obviously. It’s just about keeping pace, finding an XI, and starting to play better.

Over to you.

Comments 157

  1. The only problem I have with that team is that I feel Elphick would be a much better choice with Chester, rather than Jedinak, who cost us last time with his back passing again.

  2. Ref missed a couple there after the sending off.

    Shame about Nyland. But great to see Kodjia finally get one.

    We’ll see how much Ipswich pack it in now. I can see them being quite happy to come away with a point.

  3. Can anyone see Jedinak get back into the middle? He’s a bit out of place at the back and just maybe has turned into a square peg. I don’t think he has the quickness that’s needed.

  4. Ian,

    No, I can’t see a place for him. I think right now, he’s only in for the fact he’s decent at winning the ball in the air. But his distribution at anything over 10 yards is pretty haphazard.

  5. Poo.
    Bruce just doesn’t play to win. On the bright side kodjia scored, Adomah was decent and the pairing of jack and John is going to be fun this year.

  6. It comes down to Bruces championship plan, Stay tight and don’t concede and hit on the break, snatch a goal by having a couple of better than average forwards and either go direct to them or lump in crosses, its a percentage game.

    Hate to say it but he doesn’t know any other way and he’s right he doesn’t have the players to play his way nor the know how to play to the squads strengths. He’s not a bad manager as such just limited.

  7. another poor performance aided by another masterclass by bruce in how to put square pegs into round holes
    bruce seems to pick hutton elmo exel and jedi no matter what formation he is putting out
    delaet best full back at club cant get a look in,and sorry jedi is no centre half,elmo is an average full back in this league never a winger just another defender higher up the field as for axel it if he is not a partner for chester why sign him we have 3/4 rb and had bid 6m plus for a lb when he signed
    albert who hadnt great spell is picked ahead of green who had good pre season?
    another rant but if we lose out by 2 points at end of season after 50mins playing a 10 man side will be hard to forget

  8. ian
    just in hadnt read all posts above,browned off another season with bruce in charge ,could be worse[not much]could have that other dinosaur the wally with the brolly
    of course seen some of aresnal chelsea mathc a million miles away under bruce yet radio had spurs fulham match on and nothing but praise for fulham even tho they lost

  9. Two of our young rejects doing the business again for PNE, Callum Robinson and Graham Burke. Lovely combination for the second goal just on half time.

    I am not now looking forward to the Brentford game on Wednesday, unless Bruce completely changes his style of play.

  10. JG,

    Agree with a lot of that. With Green, my guess is that Bruce is trying to ease him back in as it was a long layoff, and may have his caution further sharpened by Davis’ lingering injury.

    Hutton is fine on the left, imo, given what we’ve got. I think you do let Chester and Tuanzebe form a partnership, and I think you give De Laet an extended run on the right. Course I keep saying that.

    Obviously Bruce has a very hard time sitting the older players, and I get the pros and cons.

  11. jc
    why does bruce see it different from most fans,should run a competion during week see if anyone can pick same side as bruce
    watching pl game all out attack even subs from both sides are attackers bruce would choke on his kebab if agnew suggested that

  12. A pedestrian result, a pedestrian outing from Villa and SB, who setup not to lose, even against 10. As we know, draws don’t cut it in this division.
    Good to see Kodjia score.

  13. JG,

    I think with Bruce it’s a case of getting to the simplest things. I think he trusts the veterans to play his way and, on average, make fewer errors. He knows what he’s going to get and wants to grind out the percentages.

    I know for me and all of us, it’s obviously easier to pick a side when you’re not under pressure. Bruce obviously wants to deliver, wants to avoid ups and downs. Today would’ve been a perfect Bruce game had Nyland not erred.

  14. Hey, Iana…

    Yeah, just not enough on the day and too conservative until the end. How much of that is the players versus instructions….the eternal question. Thankfully McGinn complements Grealish in the middle so there’s plenty of impetus there, but we’ve got to find a way to stop relying on crossing it in and get more play down on the ground. We just can’t/don’t play through-balls as well as a number of other teams.

  15. JC- Bruce said this week that the mistake he made last season was having to many old players, I agree as considering the way he likes to play on the counter whats the point of having no pace to do it with? also I think he went for experience over relative youth as he couldn’t afford to repeat the 1st Jan window failure. Really wishing we had gone for someone that would of made use of our attacking players rather than supposed safety at the back we thought Bruce would bring.

    Feels like we are in one big Bruce experiment while he learns some new tactics or brings in yet more players to suit him, he seems to change tack with each set back. So far his eye for what he needs hasn’t been exactly stellar either.

  16. mk
    as my old nan said ,bruces eyes are to big for his belly,as for spotting a player no he is hopeless,getting a decent player turning him to cr*p bruce is the jose of that world

  17. SB is hell bent on getting in wide players(what is Green,a flippin mirage?)because he can’t show them how to play it through the thirds.This is one of the resons Hogan doesn’t fit in.We are obsessed with get it wide and cross,or a set piece.With every foray into the market it becomes a further slap in the face for Green etc.If he isn’t good enough for the 1st team,in SB’s opinion, he should be out on loan or sold.
    The youth at Villa?We will never know if they are good enough because he won’t play them unless it is the cup.It’s the same fiasco as last year,all our eggs in one basket,but with younger loans,with I fear the same result.
    Also we move the ball so slowly,Leeds looks frightening they move the ball and therefore the opposition around,so quickly.
    Early days yet,and I wish Bruce well as long as he is the boss,but we can’t be promoted playing this way imo.

  18. The half full glass guys will be happy with 7 points from 3 games. On Spud’s scale we are still +1 in positive territory.

    Hmmm, then again we could match it up against last seasons results. Wigan (as the best promoted team) would match up against Barnsley (best relegated team). So these 3 fixtures last season produced a 3-1; 0-0 and 0-4. Which is 7 points also but with a goal diff of 6 against 7 points with a goal diff of 3 this season.

  19. Brasil- nice to hear from you mate your right its like Groundhog day with a horror theme, 3rd season and still the 30 odd players he has are not the ones he needs apparently to apply long ball and crosses, and the defence?I wouldn’t mind if we had a benteke but we don’t have one prolific header of the ball to target either. I will always want the team and manager on match day to do well but its getting so I can’t be bothered to watch or listen.

    The Kids have been with him for 2 seasons + and nothing has happened to further their play. Watched Robinson at PNE yesterday what a cracking little player he is for this level. RDM let him go he is only 23 now! its about time we got a Smith in that has a better idea of players strengths and potential beyond hoofball.

  20. Plug- this is the easy run, we can’t expect to see 3 points every game I know but some semblance of progression? that would be good. Other than we have supposedly learnt to come back from being down against lesser teams and keep going to the end what have we done? We can’t shut out games even when we are trying to do so for 90 mins and the chance creation?

    That said we should of had a pen and Jack should of scored or even shot so its not all Bruce. I do think you create your own luck in this game, the more chances you have the more likely you’ll score. Yes he has lost a few key players but we are really only talking about Snodgrass and JT, Grabban at a pinch. So why haven’t we gone out and got replacements? He may still be trying to get Snodgrass is one answer but why not play Tuanzebe at CB? he wants 4-5 younger players because his squad has expired.

  21. HI Mark,my main gripe is because we are chasing the holy grail of £££££££
    The Prem. again all that seems to matter is the next 40 plus games.Always short term planning, chasing short term goals.The true cost of this is the Academy boys,some of whom are at the stage where u23 football is no good to them,I applaud both Sulliman and the club for the Dutch loan,lets see othe lads out on loan,playing commpetitive games against seasoned pros.

  22. Mark
    Reminds me of the expired parrot!
    Haven’t seen the game due to no internet yesterday
    Not inspired to bother.
    Seems to be last season Mk 2
    Thanks for the comments everyone.
    JG – its positively flowing from your keyboard

  23. Brasil- Exactly mate, sick of banging on about a plan/style and looking at Bruce on the sideline, he’s the ultimate sticking plaster manager, I wouldn’t mind if he’d succeeded but Warnock has done it better and cheaper.

    IanG- lovely plumage the Norwegian Blue

    I listened on the Villa site couldn’t find a stream, I was talking to a mate about going to a match with his lad soon but I think I’ll wait.

  24. Brasil- I remember Bruce talking about his frustrations last season with loaning out our youth players and them not getting played, I can sympathise with that but can’t understand how it doesn’t work like that at Villa where the likes of Onamah, Johnson and Tuanzebe are nailed on starters. Seems like those negotiating the contracts are useless

  25. JG- I think when the keeper came out there was no call from anyone, he took it off of Jedinaks head, was a strange one to come for I must say.

    McGinn looks the best midfielder we have had in a long time.

  26. My thoughts on Sat.

    As soon as they went down to 10 men I’d have pulled Jedi immediately and replaced him with Green. Change to 3 at the back (Cafu, Tuanzebe, Chester) and play Green up front with Codger. We’ll never know if it worked but a tactical switch was the obvious move to me.

  27. I don’t hold out much hope of a win on Weds night. I think Brentford are far too fluid in their play for Spud to cope with. Hope to hell I’m wrong.

  28. Back from a brief sojourn in southern Spain, where we get two wins, then I return to see Villa scrape past Yeovil and achieve a draw against 10 man Ipswich (albeit with the added frustration of limited highlights).

    No comment on the game but interesting to read the above comments, I’ve Mr. Lerwill’s seasonal comments ringing in my ear that it is early days, the potential for further loans to come in and boost the team and then an established first eleven to kick on.

    On the face of it, it smacks of typical over cautious Bruce but I’ll do my damndest to avoid falling into my usual opinion of Bruce out and we could do so much better as an attacking force if the manager knew how to attack, I’m forming an opinion that an ex-defender as a manager in general focuses on what they know best firstly (only natural) and in terms of attacking it’s based on what they didn’t like to defend as opposed to looking at player strengths and modern thinking on how football should be played.

    Anyway back on the tellybox Wednesday so at least i’ll get to see the bit of the game the tv cameras show.

    All the best to my fellow lifers

  29. saw a stat that shows we struggle under bruce against 10 men.

    He doesn’t know how to change it (clueless)!

    Just want him gone. Id be so happy if dean smith was manager.

    as it is have little interest

  30. Hello Lads. Hope you are all ok. Meant to comment a few times but the new login password as been a right pain in the jacksy. Having come up with over a twelve digit password including numeral capital and specials, it kept not letting me login. Tried the-registering but wouldn’t let me with my email address. Not sure if anyone is aware but if you have a Smart TV you can get the App Smart IPTV. It costs €6 to register and you can either get a 12 month pass on eBay for about £25 or if your technical enough you can try and set up yourself. It gives you all Sky channels including box office and 3pm kick off for both EFL and EPL. Still not worked it out fully myself as only get the Villa after 20min past kick off (Sky ok).

  31. DOR- Been thinking today about Bruces buys and loans and it seems strange to me that after taking over a team thought deficient in defence/mid he chose to buy half the leagues goals and assists in his first window. I get needing a left back (still do) because of Amavi injury and He dumped the Gollinis Italian trainer so loaned in Johnson but my point is surely buying a CB like Flint from Bristol would have been a better use of the money? We had an attacking side to which he added more attack minded players. Why has he not bought a quality CB? its baffling.

    His style of play is based on a strong defence that will serve the average champs team well if promotion is gained, There is no way you can go into the Prem all guns blazing without one. And his previous teams all played defensively or counter attack. Yet here we are still dodgy at the back and toothless as his attack is basically umpteen crosses and long balls into the box.

  32. Mark I know what you mean. Hiding behind the sofa while dodgy looking characters in Latex try their best to scare you. It was because of my awful moods after going down the Villa a few years ago that I promised the missus i’d Stop going down. My daughter now 17 is obsessed with Villa and goes down quite a bit and wants me to get us both a season ticket but I can’t put myself through that again. At least it’s not the grave yard it was a few years back.

  33. Haggis- know what you mean mate haven’t been since season before the drop. Can’t bring myself to watch this rubbish live, always preferred playing to watching anyway, it would just wind me up.

  34. I have to agree with MK, as I’ll be over for a few weeks in September, but just cant be arsed to try and get a ticket to watch rubbish, have better things to do with my few weeks over there. Did catch a couple of games the weekend, Wolves at Cardiff, and the Burnley game. Seems a shame we need a decent left back as Cardiff have this guy Joe Bennett looked the real thing going forward and defending, also Lowton didn’t look bad at all either in the Burnley game. Seems weird to me every one we let go seem to go on and revive their careers once away, it can’t be a coincidence. Why is it we find some gems, don’t play them for a season or two, let them leave at a loss, then their value sky rockets as they make a go of it somewhere else?

  35. Mark. King. I hate to think I was a Glory Hunter but got my first season ticket in 80/81 when we won the league. With my all time best game at Villa was when we beat Barcelona in extra time. (Showed it my daughter it in YouTube). When I met my wife I would work away in the week and go to the Villa when they played at home which was too much for those last few season before few seasons before we got relegated. It’s was too much especially coming back p*ssed and feeling rough the rest of the weekend. If I’m about I would like to watch the match. I only watched the sky games last year but at my mates with a few games of Fifa either side of the match.

  36. IanV
    I’m very happy with Smart IPTV. Just watching Brighton best ManU 3-2 on Man U channel. It’s just like Sky but everything with the bonus that you control it on your Tv remote. Loads of V.O.D’s as well.

  37. Are Villa under Bruce really a ‘long ball’ side?
    Do the statistics back that up?
    Is our playing style still
    Really THAT awful? I saw one report describing it as ‘eye gougingly bad’

    It’s certainly not consistently ‘great’ but, although it doesn’t seem fashionable to say it on here these days, last season was, to my mind, not that bad at all.
    Only Wolves created more clearcut chances on goal than us and that doesn’t seem like the hallmark of a defensively minded team.
    Don’t take this as an enthusiastic, whole hearted endorsement of Steve Bruce, but I just don’t recognise some of the descriptions of my team from the comments and sentiment on here.
    Over 34,000 turned up last week to a game against Wigan, in our third season in the premiership . . . . . it doesn’t seem that if can be THAT bad after all. . . . can it?

  38. DOR, Haggis, Canadian Villan, r0bb0,

    Good to see you all…To r0bb0’s question, it’s a bit of a quandry. I’ll have to go look at the stats on a couple sites (which I’m sure MK will beat me to ;)), but it does seem we play a lot of crosses in.

    There are a number of obvious exceptions, though, so I think we’d have to do some slight and not-too-strenuous digging to come up with an answer as to our predominant style.

    And yes, r0bb0, I agree that the season on the whole, last year, wasn’t “bad.” There are plenty of qualifications in that agreement, but I did write before the final that it had been an entertaining campaign. Perhaps not in terms of the football in all games, but a good ride.

    I’m always at a bit of a loss because I do understand the arguments from both sides. My opinion leans toward Bruce not being the answer. But, there have been a number of key injuries, etc., that either showed him his best side or robbed him of what he would’ve thought was his best side.

    Should he have done better regardless? That’s what will always divide opinion. The stretch after the Wolves win comes to mind.

  39. And once again, I’ve been derelict in my duties regarding a match review. Working on a book (still) that’s killing me. And I’m not even writing it.

  40. Robbo- We appear to play a style that happens on that day mostly, sometimes its possession, sometimes lump it, but never a identifiable formula other than the crosses that JC mentioned. Johnson was second in long balls last season when I looked I think a Cardiff player was 1st. Theres a lot of difference between a 40 yard accurate pass out to your winger and passing it back to the keeper to lump up-field.

    Without Jack we have no way of getting the ball forward but on the odd occasion when teams were going at us like Wolves and Bristol did we put together some quick attacks and thrashed them. Our problems start when teams are in our face and we can’t keep possession or counter quickly imo.

    Bruce documented style is to stay tight, and put in crosses and long balls to a decent forward. I can see that its what he is attempting but does not have the players, amazing after 4 windows. Doesn’t mean the players are not good enough they are just not Bruce types. When Agnew turned up we had a format for a while and it worked and even looked good but that was dismantled due to injuries and the derision to Drop Hogan for Grabban.

    Last season wasn’t all bad until you remember we blew 2nd and lost the final with a very expensive squad assembled in the champs and the promotion specialist on board. His 4 promotions are a good record but he’s never won it and has never looked convincing in those promotions, he certainly has never had the pressure of being the Big dog in the league either. Each season seems to have its own set of fresh excuses, we plug one hole and find another, it just can’t be that hard can it?

    Canadian- Totally agree mate what do we do with players?

  41. mark.
    They were great times with hero’s like Morley, Withe, Sid etc. The Holte end was a marvellous place to be. It seems to be picking up again now but when I stopped going the atmosphere was toxic. Although I still watch as many matches as I can. It just seems to me that the opposition always seem more talented, skilful and have more fight. I completely understand why we kept Bruce after the take over with only two weeks left to the start of the season. But for such a talented side to play such negative football is soul destroying. Both the goal keepers remind me of calamity James when he played for us. Just waiting to see who Bruce brings in on loan.

  42. Haggis- For all their hazards the old terraces were just more exciting weren’t they, I think football lost a lot when they went, we are talking about a standing Area now but that just seems a bit manufactured.

    Last time I went to a match was Reading away, my brother lived there and got two Tickets in the reading end next to our away support deep joy 🙂

  43. Haggis- I know what you mean about the opposition usually looking better, maybe its our expectations? I can’t help but look at the likes of Leeds and think Eh? when a manager like Bielsa comes in and they look transformed its hard to ignore the comparison.

  44. After all the euphoria of nearly getting promoted to the desperation of losing to a better team and now in the doldrums of a potential mid-table season, the comments on here reflect that stark truth.
    SB and Xia thought we would get back and then we could rebuild whereas the financial situation that arose means we stagnate.
    I know it is too early to say Villa is in a coma not a sleeping giant but seriously what is the solution? We will soon see the frailty of our team when it comes up against the Leeds, Cardiff, Boro sides that are hitting the ground running.
    I am not convinced that SB is now the right man for the job and the sooner we get a fresh approach the better – but definitely not the likes of Thierry Henri more a clone of Warnock who I said we should have engaged last season.
    Guess we will know more about the situation tomorrow night. Highlights on Quest if you cannot get Sky etc

  45. Clive- I don’t think either of the managers employed so far were up to an immediate return. Neither are up to a long term rebuild either imo or at least don’t have history for it.

    I think it would of taken a Benitez level manager to have come in at short notice and done something. I would of preferred someone who could of cast a better eye over what we had and worked toward last or this season. As mentioned earlier we got rid of players like Lowton, Bennett, Robinson, Johnson, baker, over recent years for very little but haven’t really improved on them long term. Meanwhile they come into their prime under better coaches.

    Can Bruce make us competitive this seaso season? He seems doubtful himself at the moment.

    Brentford showed up well against Watford and spurs pre-season a stern test so will be just like us to beat them .

  46. Haggis
    Jolly good, glad you’re happy with IPTV [as are some of my mates], I wasn’t attacking you, merely adding something.
    I posted the url for those who haven’t got sky/a tv, etc, & only have dodgy internet currently [like me].
    If you don’t need ignore.
    I used to be put on guys shoulders on the terraces with 60-70,000 attendances in 1956 onwards.
    I don’t see glory in that, just working class solidarity, which was very welcome.
    Agree that it went a little toxic in the 80’s.
    If I was fit enough to go this season I probably wouldn’t go either, as canadian & others said.
    I hope something livens us all up

  47. Looking forward to seeing McGinn tomorrow and to see how Brentford play too. Ollie Watkins who we tried to sign will Probably play, he picked them over us and Leeds as he knew he’d get game time and I’m surprised he’s still there, very decent player. I think delaet will start.

  48. r0bb0,

    I just re-read your comments to see how much I agreed with them, and then realised that you had your rose tinted spectacles on, 34,000 last week to watch Wigan in our third season in the Premiership………..Have I missed something???

    I do agree with what you were trying to say, as I was part of that crowd, and still enjoy going to Villa Park, and would love to be able to do away matches too, for many reasons. Yes, there are still frustrations, but Villa did appear a more confident side.

    I am more than disappointed with Bruce after Saturday, as I feel McGinn should have had at least 20 minutes against Yeovil, and on Saturday Mcginn was not able to shine, as he did on his debut, as once again, Grealish is now king, taking free kicks, corners etc. Mcginn in that first game was superb with his dead ball deliveries, and now I get the old familiar feeling that Villa are back to becoming a one man team dependant on Grealish. I hope this is not the case, and that McGinn, Bjarnason and Grealish can work together better.

  49. I have no idea what team Spud will pick for tomorrow. It’s anyones guess. The only thing I’m certain about is that Brentford will give us a footballing lesson. I anticipate Dean Smith will win the tactical battle and his team will have too much pace and movement for us. I’m fearful.

  50. PP, The away matches are just a great atmosphere. Barnsley away last season when news filtered through during the game that small heath had sacked ‘Arry. It was special.

  51. Plug- There are things you just can’t get from watching online/tv and thats the atmosphere and thrill of being with a big crowd all wanting your team to win. I also think you can see other things while at the match but also its hard to concentrate on the game/tactics as a whole as you are emotionally involved more imo.

    Leeds 2-1 up looking good at Swansea , they don’t look a very tall side to me though. They have an 18 year old on the RW looks quick. In fact every thing they do seems to be done quickly.

  52. Archie- If I knew what it was I would, lets hopes so mate, leeds 2-2 now and Derby 2-0 up against Ipswich this season looking to be a tough one, Most of the favs are looking good.

  53. Superb game between Swansea and Leeds, with both playing good football. Neither will be losing many games on this form. Lampard has got his first win, and Bristol City hammered 3 past QPR. Hull good away win against Rotherham.
    Let’s hope that Bruce picks an attacking team and goes all out to win.

    Amazing how many good young players are coming to the fore in the Championship already at 18/19 years old.

  54. Well, not going to get a Match Day post up as I’ve just finished up a book and am traveling for work tomorrow.

    I’m sure you’ll do just fine without me, though wish I could’ve gotten a fresh page up.


  55. Anybody who still believes Spud is the answer at VP only needed to watch Swansea v Leeds last night. Two teams set up to attack with pace. Exciting footie, result in doubt right upto the final whistle with neither team time wasting by a corner flag. Passes were forward and not along the back line or backwards to the keeper. In fact just how Newcastle and Brighton got promoted two seasons ago and Wolves and Fulham last season.

  56. Leeds played an 18 year old kid at right wing back last night. Shackleton went at his full back Olsson at pace and flew past him. And Olsson was a World Cup quarter finalist. It created an impressive equalizer. Both teams played 3 at the back and attacked. Are you watching SB?

  57. You all echoed my thoughts as I watched Swans v Leeds this morning. I think my previous comment held an element of truth – mid-table unless there is some positivity in our selection and tactics. Oh I forgot we have SB.

  58. Mark
    Indescribable I’d call it.
    Never thought about the bar etc, as I was only 7.
    Everyone had iron bladders in those days anyway.
    Can’t get enough internet to get continuity, can’t pick up Dab radio for the talktalk commentary, saaad.
    So’s Trump today!!!

  59. Looks like we’ve beaten a number of clubs to both Bolasie and El Ghazi. Hopefully they sign before we get schooled by Brentford this evening or we may see another Joe Bryan episode.

    As pleased as I am at both signings this will not change Bruce’s tactics – keep it tight and hope for a bit of magic from someone.

    Thoroughly enjoyed the Swansea/Leeds game last night. Quality football by both teams!

  60. Like the look of ElGhazi over Bolasie, Plays RW, LW and CF. Bolasie? last thing we need is another sick note but should rip this league up. Looks very much like the owners want promotion this season.

    Interesting article on Brentford this is a quote from there genius scout and coach of the Brentford owners Danish club

    “Ankersen’s take on promoting youth is an interesting one – and sometimes in adversity, exciting patterns can emerge.

    “You never know with a young player,” he said.

    “You never know if he’s going to make it before you’ve given him 35 games.

    “But do you have the guts to give him those 35 games?

    “It’s easier if you don’t have a choice.

    “At Chelsea, Man United or Man City, there’s so much at stake.

    “Is the risk of bringing a young player on worth it?”

    Well having missed out two seasons running I wish we had

    watch the Ollie watkins goal on this link, 13 passes and 9 players involved.

  61. Mark

    What frustrates me the most is WE CAN play good stuff. Some of the goals we scored last season were beautiful team goals.

    Signing these 2 wingers, Abraham god wiling and grealish mchin…let them off the leash and play.
    That lot should tear the leaughue apart

  62. Andrew – I agree, I truly think that on the odd occasion the players say sod it, if that wasn’t the case then Bruce would surely be up in arms most games and his not. It could be that sometimes things just fall right.

  63. the kit man is going to be busy from now on,
    bruce has a habit of pulling a result out of the bag when under pressure which i think he is at the minute so hopefully will be an attacking side tonight,with all these new men how is he going to fit in all his pals ,would like to see tonight
    nylan,delaet hutton chester elphik houriane mcginn birr grealish kodja and adoamh /green a kind of back 4 ,3 in middle of field with grealish playing between them and front 2 ,,no point firing in crosses at will if we have no centre forward who wants to head it

  64. WTF……!!!!!

    Same team as Saturday, except Bruce has dropped Bjarnason, playing Whelan in his place, and retaining Jedinak as a centre back. Dean Smith must be delighted….!!!

  65. Been at hospital until a couple of hours ago, and was really upset that I would not be able to make the match, but now I feel that I may well be better off watching it on Sky at home….at least I can change and watch another match if it gets too abysmal……. I do hope I am wrong and Bruce surprises us all, but certainly do not have that feeling. Bruce will be going for the one goal and hoping to nick it…!!!!

  66. Centre backs need sorting, Jedinak or Chester should have been on Maupay. Jedinak really is poor at marking properly and recovering. Tuanzebe is looking good at right back going forward.

  67. Another failure by Jedinak to mark that man Maupay, but fortunately, another great last minute equaliser from Kodija. Looks like he is going to be back to being the man this season, and could be difference in us getting promotion, if this poor defence gets sorted.

  68. You can’t fix stupid. Bruce got a playbook for Xmas 20 years ago and hasn’t strayed from it once
    Villa could just as easily be 0-4 this season. Just as missing out on promotion is a blessing in disguise perhaps losing the first 4 would have been a blessing in disguise. The man has all the guile as you would get from a game of pong.

  69. An exciting game of football and some excellent play from Villa
    Attacking intent and some positive new signings to come in
    Feeling a bit more optimistic after that showing

  70. It was a huge improvement Basically because we pressed them high up the pitch, Brentford play out from the back and we stopped them mostly.

    Marking from set pieces and crosses is abysmal so we either give Jedinak time to adjust or find another. Jedinak did step into midfield and make the extra man at times though. Can we maintain that pace? looked late on that we had tired to me, and we have to sort out the aimless crosses, most crosses by any team in the league but the goal return isn’t great.

    We are so lucky to have Jack , fouled 22+ times in 3 games so far and Jimmy Danger is back at last, we are going to need them if we continue to play as we are because we are relying on a bit of magic to get goals way to often.

  71. r0bb0,

    Villa did look good for much of the match, but defensively, the mistakes were elementary from Jedinak’s marking of Maupay, who had all the room in the world to score both goals. He had a few good headers, but he is much better playing in front of the defence.
    The same was true against Ipswich, and his awful back pass in the first game.

  72. Codger back to his best. Jack and Mac the heartbeat of the team. Adomah gave his first performance of the season. Desperate lack of pace in the centre of defence still not addressed Mr Spud.

    We owned the game for the first 50 minutes or so. Then the older players visibly tired and Brentford’s young team got a grip. Spud just cannot get his head around the art of substitutions. Two were needed on 55 minutes to provide fresh legs. When Green eventually came on I was disappointed with him. He had no impact. Then 2 were thrown on after Brentford scored on 82 mins. If there’s any logic, I can’t follow it. The previous night Bielsa made a change in the first half when he didn’t like what he saw and then another one at half time. Even Dean Smith made one at half time. Other managers see a problem and react. Not SB.

  73. At the risk of upsetting roBbo the game against Reading is must win if we are going to maintain momentum. After the great win against Wolves last season Spud made no changes for the next game and we gave a lame performance. Hope he doesn’t repeat that mistake.

  74. Huge improvement in performance but let’s hope we don’t need Whelan to protect the back four for the next 30 games, much prefer either an Elphick/Chester partnership to develop or get a CB in on loan, Jedinak isn’t the player we need filling in as a CB, i’m sure he’s glad to be playing and giving all his effort but this is the problem with Bruce’s jigsaw.

    Given what we know and knew about Brentford and the trepidation before the game, this was a very satisfying draw against a strong/consistent side, there are more positives than negatives at last, credit where it is due to Bruce and the performance.


  75. Plug – Looks like moved to Lille in 16-17. Not a lot of goals scored when he was with them, probably why he is out on loan. I hope he’s a team player that can create chances, don’t want another Tonev who shoots it into the stands.

  76. Fully agree with your comments Plug.

    Last night’s performance was a good performance, and great to see the team on the front foot, including a much better performance from Nyland, who made some excellent saves, and stamped his authority on his box,

    The only thing that marred the performance was Bruce’s continuance with Jedinak as a centre back, when he has Elphick on the bench, who has performed well with Chester. Bree also would be a better choice, or play De Laet, and move Tuanzebe to centre back.

    Good to see Kodija back to his best.

    Wont comment on Bruce and his substitutions, as Plug has already made the points clearly.

  77. Plug “At the risk of upsetting roBbo the game against Reading is must win if we are going to maintain momentum”

    As you spotted, I’m not a fan of declaring ‘must win’ games 🙂

    However. . . I’m tempted to agree with you this time.
    It’s not that 3 points against Reading are necessarily essential in the context of a whole season but as Mark pointed out last night and you’ve commented on, having shown that we ‘can’ perform well against good teams we have a horrible tendency to revert to complacency against lesser teams that we really ‘ought’ to beat.

    Last season it cost us a place in the premiership and sooner rather than later this season, we need to see that the lesson is learned that ‘every’ game needs concentration and effort.

  78. we need to see elmo at rb and a new lb.

    They are a massive part of the game and hutton just offers nothing going forwards.

    Matey did well tbf at rb but needs to go cb instead of jedi!

    no excuses

  79. It looks as if we’re all agreed that we’re a bit light at the back, particularly in the centre of defence.
    The additions up front look to be good ones and are perhaps indicative of a different, more attack minded approach this year.
    Last year we were third highest scorers in the division, can we expect to see that surpassed this year. . . . but . . . . maybe at the expense of more goals conceded.
    It’s probably unrealistic to assume that we can have our cake and eat it with more goals scored AND fewer goals conceded.
    Steve Bruce has indicated that we are going to press higher and be more attack minded at home but would it be wrong to use the same tactic away from home too . . . particularly against the lower teams?
    If we do that then it really will be essential for him to use the full resources of the squad, and as someone else pointed out, rest some players a bit earlier in the game.

    Will we all be prepared to see more opposition goals ‘against the run of play’ if we do take this approach, because that surely will be a bi-product, although the games should be even more exciting as a result!

  80. I think SB’s approach is to basically to overwhelm teams with individual Brilliance looking at his loans, Having Kodjia back to his best is fantastic but also presents a problem, that problem is it will mask our lack of game plan, thats why we are conceding and ending up with a cavalry charge each game to Win/draw, the team is disjointed but talented.

    Very happy with a high press if we can mix it with possession or we will run out of steam a lot. The biggest problem we have is in the final third, we cross the ball whether theres a target there or not and rarely is there more than one, you would have to be dead eye dick to hit him constantly. Yes we are conceding but boy should we be scoring more.

    Robbo- looks to all the world we are now back to the way we played under RDM but with less shots .

  81. My other observation is certain players looked like they had a fire lit up their arris, Kodjia, Adomah couldn’t be worried about the impending loanees could they? although to be fair Kodjia has improved bit by bit.

  82. I wish Bruce wouldn’t talk sometimes it shatters the illusion he knows what he’s at it does tickle me though 🙂

    “We played very, very well. Sometimes you just have to look past the result and say ‘that’s the way we want to go about it, that’s the way we want to play’. I asked for that bit more energy and zip about us, and I got it. The way we moved the ball and got after it was much better. In all aspects, it’s just what we’re looking for.”

    Can you imagine addressing 11 professional footballers and asking for that? Might as well said I want you to run faster , wonder where that is in the coaching manual 🙂

  83. cant really see where bruce deserves any praise for last night,
    back 4 all at sea
    6 defensive players picked at home
    subs left to late,green getting stick for not doing more,me sub was 15 mins to late,we where under the cosh maybe our old players legs had gone
    sounds the same for nearly 2 years,something has to change and cant see bruce changing his ways

  84. You have a point James, funny how after Lerner got us we were compared the Cleveland Browns, i think their coach and Spud went to the same school. You have to Google “Cleveland Browns Coach rants about stretching”, its so Bruce and so funny too. For some reason i cant pin the URL for you guys, could be as its a restricted site by my place of employment.

  85. I had to eat my words about lack of inventive attacking, at least for the first 30 minutes. Villa actually looked as though they knew what they were on the pitch for. However, Jedinak is not a centre back and he should not be humiliated by being asked to play there when there are other professional defenders on the bench.
    We needed Bjarneyrubble to sort out Maupay in midfield before the defence lost sight of him.
    He should have been off the pitch after 41 minutes anyway were it not for a sh£t ref.
    Bolassie looks good going forward but he lacks the defensive assistance Adomah provides – prefers lurking up-field.
    Defence needs strengthening and I am not yet convinced that the new keeper is comfortable – hence uncertainty from those in front of him. We have keeper cover – use it.

  86. Plug
    No we don’t want to do that, do we?

    Yes, there was some pretty exciting football, but not gonna win the league with these tactics and pedestrian draws.

  87. If the baggage that comes with Bolasie is too heavy then I’d drop our interest in him. Sounds like he’s only interested in £££.

    RHM would make an alternative flying wing back with some defensive nous instilled in him.

  88. Plug – you’ve been listening to Bruce to much if you think RHM is a wing back 🙂

    I think playing players in there proper positions would be a wise move and it wasn’t only the oldies that faded Jack and mcginn were out on their feet. If Jedinak is to be our CB then he will need time and coaching, Chester is not very vocal either so that won’t help. The keeper made some good saves so hopefully he will pick up, if not the other lad looks capable.

    It does seem an odd thing to bring in two keepers when the one you had is half decent?

  89. Plug
    ‘RHM would make an alternative flying wing back with some defensive nous instilled in him’

    Well everybody else seems to be going that way, one at a time.

    Thanks for the link, I’ll peruse it.

    Couldn’t get the game where I am, so grateful for the insights.
    Is it my internet connection, or are the highlights utter tripe quality?

  90. IanG- RHM would make fine Keeper if we put him on a rack

    The clubs video hasn’t been great I’m told, might be the camera man getting over excited.

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