Following the astonishing 5-5 spectacle at Villa Park midweek, it’s off to the Riverside to take on third-place Middlesbrough. Boro are unbeaten in their last five, and have only lost twice all year, and the obvious statistic of interest is 22 goals scored versus 10 conceded. Villa have netted 36 times, by comparison, and conceded 30.

So it will be, like last year, a contrast in styles when the two sides face off. For Villa, Anwar El Ghazi will get the start in place of Jonathan Kodjia, with Bolasie again starting in place of Albert Adomah. Alan Hutton will be missing for his accumulation of yellows, and Ahmed Elmohamady will get the nod at right back.

For me, given El Ghazi’s obvious talents, I’ll be curious to see a full 90 minutes from him. Or 60-70. With pace and attacking intent on both flanks, this could be Villa’s most dangerous lineup. It might also be our least defensive minded. But if Smith has gotten Kodjia to track back, then one might expect El Ghazi to have been told the same thing.

John McGinn has been judged fit, and James Chester will be back at it. No idea how fit he actually is, but he and Axel Tuanzebe will be looking to do a bit better. Fortunately, Boro will present a different kind of challenge, and that’s really the crux of this one: Does Villa’s attacking prowess win the day?

I know I’d like to think so. Since everyone above us keeps getting results, Villa could use the three points we could well have come away with Wednesday night. They’d see us get back above small heath, yet remain outside the playoff spots. One might expect a draw to be on the cards, but Deano won’t be playing for a point on the road.

In other words, no nuggets of wisdom from me. Just another game I’m looking forward to watching.

Over to you.

Comments 274

  1. Thanks JC
    I have no idea what to expect here either, but am looking forward to KO.

    Team: Nyland; Elmohamady, Tuanzebe, Chester, Taylor; McGinn, Hourihane, Grealish, El Ghazi, Bolasie; Abraham

    Subs: Bunn, Revan, Jedinak, Whelan, Kodjia, O’Hare, Hogan

  2. Having seen the replay, it was a nailed down penalty, & as usual the linemen don’t do their job..
    The refs a bit off as well with some of the challenges.
    Should be 0-2

  3. Hogan did well to create pressure for that 3rd goal. With the players and bench we have, and the confidence we are playing with, we are now a footballing side.

  4. Fabulous result on the back of a great performance. It was men against boys except the boys are supposedly one of the favourites for automatic promotion. I’ve seen everything now after Whelan’s goal.

    JL, if that game didn’t excite you nothing will. We’re on the move and there’s no debate about that.

  5. So . . . . the destruction of Derby wasn’t a flash in the pan after all!

    What an awesome week.

    JC, a good call out for ElGhazi in your write up. He looks a real player doesn’t he. Bolasie coming back to full fitness is a real bonus too.

    Last weekend Hutton scores and today so does Whelan. . . just need one from Nyland now!

  6. Plug: “JL, if that game didn’t excite you nothing will. We’re on the move and there’s no debate about that.”

    Clearly you don’t read my lips! 😀

    As I’ve said I always look forward to Villa’s games, but Villa are getting into better gear now, that’s obviously the case.

    It’s still not perfect. Two of the goals were down to their keeper and we eased off after the first goal. It wasn’t a question of maintaining the energy for that first 20 mins superiority, but if they had just taken more care with passes rather than making Boro think they could get back into it.

    This week’s game vs Albyun could be very interesting indeed. Unfortunately it’s often at points like this that Villa grind to a halt. Well, they did under previous managers … er, including Bruce.

    Every reason, though, to think “upward and onward!”

  7. Awesome result. We know the club has the talent and potential, now they need consistency. Will they “grind to a halt” against Albion. We’ll soon see. It’s good to be around top six again.

  8. Ian,

    In the last half of the first half Boro gave me the impression they were having a go. And they didn’t give up- viz the shot against the bar. Until it was 3-0 the result for me wasn’t totally certain, particularly as we had to take off two key players – both having had knocks.

    It only takes 1 goal to change the complexion of a game, and at 1-2 with 10 minutes to go a draw would have been on the cards. But – as I said – we have their keeper to thank that we didn’t have that problem.

  9. Iana,

    I was talking the other day with another old supporter about that time in November 1959 when Villa scored 21 goals in three matches. It was most peculiar that Villa never got going again for the rest of the season in a repeat of that play, though Villa were fairly impressive winners of the old Division 2 that year.

    Similarly in 1961-62 when we scored 13 in two matches and then went flat.

  10. JL
    I know what you mean.
    We need consistency to grow belief in the club. Whatever was going on a few months ago, apathy seemed to have set in. The club is more exciting now.

  11. Iana
    We as a club are also excited now, from the fans across the board including the players, as there seems to be less separation.
    Even if there is an odd blip, we seem to now have it in us to go beyond it.

  12. That was a superb performance and result. Like may not be bettered.

    To do that at boro and make them look the away teAm is amazing.

    El ghazi is a talent. My motm. Under smith he could be some player

  13. We create chances, 20 shots 7 on goal away from home!! We gave them 1. The team looks organised at last and jack grealish is no longer the focus, barely remembered a dribble today yet he gave everything. Surprising how good players can look with a platform and a system , breeds confidence. We look better than we did under mon for me. Make no mistake that could of been worse for boro. Couldn’t be happier, granted it’s not perfect but what is. Bask in the knowledge we stuck 3 past the best defence in this not so tough league 🙂

  14. … “the best defence” whose keeper suddenly decided to wave the white flag and presented us with two goals!

    Let’s have a bit of reality! I agree that it’s looking pretty good but hang fire another couple of matches.

  15. Further Observations

    Villa’s play (particularly in the first 20 minutes, and in other periods) was compulsive viewing, without doubt. The play was forceful and during that first 20 minutes the home side looked mesmerised.

    Bur Boro’s strength has been their defensive ‘quality’: they have only scored 22 in 20 games and yet are ‘up there’ in the table. And when the defence backstop (the keeper) demolishes the best of Pulis’s plans then Boro didn’t have a lot left to worry Villa – except on two notable occasions.

    The first (when Villa were 1-0 up) was when Downing hit a piledriver that sadly for him hit his own player, who was given offside. That shot would at least have tested Nyland as it was very much on target. The second time was when ‘that’ shot was tipped onto the bar by Nyland at a fairly critical juncture, even though we were 2-0 up at that point. 2-1 at that point and anything might have happened – such is the way in which Pulis works.

    But to feel happy with Villa’s general play is wholly justified. We just know that the defence can buckle from time to time (viz 5 against us vs Forest – but that may have been because of Chester not being 100% fit).

    While we have forwards of the ilk of Abraham, Kodjia, Bolasie, El Ghazi and Albert, ably supported by the midfield, anything appears (now) to be ‘on’. And I do give credit to Smith’s work in such a short space of time.

    But … let’s just see how the upcoming matches vs the likes of Albyun and Leeds pan out before we start believing we going to win the division! 🙂 If we do manage to get into the top 2 it will a tremendous achievement.

  16. John I
    You really don’t like that Smith has turned around villa from the shambles that was Steve Bruce
    Yes Randolph made a howler or 2 last night but funny you never mentioned the stone wall penalty we didn’t get or free kick at edge of the box which the ref gave us advantage( houriane,mcginn free kick specialist)We battered Boro for 20 mins and to be fair to Smith the 2 games he lost we should have got at least a couple of draws
    Hail Dean Smith

  17. The Boro fans are up in arms……..Pulis is a dinosaur……..picks big men to knock the opposition about but with no pace, skill or guile…….a manager with a modern approach is required……the football on offer is too defensive and often dire………lack of attacking flair……old school approach past its sell by date…….we are in the entertainment business.

    Sound familiar? This from fans whose team is 3rd in the table. The natives ain’t happy.

  18. Jl

    There is need to wait any longer. Yes we may loose some games but what what we are seeing is smith ball. In fact it’s only going to get better the longer he is here and when he gets his own men in. Smith is remarkable. I’ve never seen such a quick transformation in such a short time. 8 games!!

  19. I have to keep telling myself it is only 5 months since we were a basket case staring down the barrel of administration and dark times ahead.

    Well done Dr X in pulling a rabbit out of the hat in finding Messrs Sawiris and Edens and doing the correct thing. And thank you Compass for turning the ship around. This is one grateful fan.

  20. What I absolutely loved about yesterday it nearly brought a tear to me eye is how modern we have come and think about different games and how to play. Boro best def, Flint wins everything in the air but ball watches….. Ok every corner or cross we will play short or pull back to the pen spot and not cross aimless balls in the air. How bloody refreshing we have a coach who adapts

  21. Plug

    The boro reminded me exactly of villa under Bruce.


    Agree top 2 will be so hard. We are on a tremendous run, 4 wins in 5 but not getting any closer. If smith had been in charge in the summer though…….

  22. JL –

    “It only takes 1 goal to change the complexion of a game, and at 1-2 with 10 minutes to go a draw would have been on the cards. But – as I said – we have their keeper to thank that we didn’t have that problem.”

    “Until it was 3-0 the result for me wasn’t totally certain”

    “Two of the goals were down to their keeper and we eased off after the first goal. ”

    For someone whose glass is half full and always wishes to take the positives, you seem to have reversed positions and now highlight the negatives. Boro were battered. I’m more optimistic now than since the days of MON.

  23. Plug

    Fact apparently to well sourced people.

    Keith, round and the dr pretty much laughed off smiths application after rdm got the boot as they thought he was not good enough or had a big enough name.

  24. Andrew, with the exception of Forest, all the teams above us have to come to Villa Park. We are going to have a big say in the final shakeout.

  25. Plug
    If we can get a run of maybe a couple defeats in a 20 match run which we are more than capable promotion is there for taking
    Even our dodgy defence has managed is it 4 clean sheets in 8 under Smith and with the quality of our attackers we going to score goals,wonder how McCormack would fit into Smith way of playing

  26. JG – DS has stated that P2 is the aim by end of season. So we are going for it and aiming to avoid the play offs this time. We can definitely do it. Yesterday, the best defence in the division was turned to jelly by our attacking play.

    Can we keep it up? Why not? Brentford did but look a them now that DS is not there. And the team now plays the same system as the U21’s, fluid attacking play. So the youngsters should be able to come on for cameo appearances in a familiar system and not hung out to dry like Spud did with them.

  27. JL- You talked about avaaz a while back and how it is changing things. whats your opinion on this I received today? looks to me like they are doing exactly what they claim the Right wing are supposedly doing, scarey times for the sheeple of the world.

    Populism seems just another label for something the left doesn’t like. How long did the left think they could get away with their own propaganda without those they attack doing likewise? its sad its now come to this, there is no real conversation going on any longer, if you don’t like it deny its day in the sun through the media.

    “Dear friends,

    A terrifying new report just found that we’ve wiped out 60% of animal populations! 60%!

    Yet from the US to Brazil to Italy, we’re electing far-right leaders who promise to make it even worse by tearing up climate agreements and bulldozing the Amazon.

    How are these people rising to power? The answer is chillingly simple: fake news.

    Months ago in Brazil, fascist candidate Jair Bolsonaro had minimal support. Then his networks started spreading fake news over WhatsApp until 89% of his supporters believed highly toxic lies about his opponent.

    He won. And with critical elections coming up in Canada, the EU, India, and beyond we can’t afford to let it happen again — our planet can’t take it.

    So here’s the plan: Avaaz is going all-in to push social media companies to stop the spread of toxic news, lobby our decision-makers to regulate, and build highly-trained teams of specialists to infiltrate disinformation networks and snuff out viral fake news before it takes off.”

  28. on Villa’s play yesterday, I think we saw something slightly different, the use of ElGhazi and Bolasie as proper wingers, both are tricky with pace. Boro couldn’t come out to much because of them and tammy but Villa also dropped back once ahead but not in a backs to the wall kind of way we have seen previously.

    Smith said the 5-5 situation would not happen again and I think that this was his reaction to that, from all out attack to counter attack. A team that goes one down will come at you, even the conservative Pullis, so let them to a point but sow doubt so they cannot come full force.

    I thought it was a very tactical game yesterday by both coaches and looked more like a rest for our team after recent matches, it looked sedate in comparison.

  29. My response to the above

    Terrible, I tell you, terrible! You lot can see nuffin’ other than claret and blue through your c & b spectacles! 😀

    As to charge of “You really don’t like that Smith has turned around villa from the shambles that was Steve Bruce”, that is actually not at all true. If the reader were to read my comments again he’d see that I give Smith credit and I have lauded the style of Villa’s play. What else am I supposed to say? That Smith should be given a knighthood?!!

    Actually I don’t believe that it was a shambles under Bruce, but it is clear that Smith has the better ideas – going by what we’ve seen so far in such a short space of time.

    And: “For someone whose glass is half full and always wishes to take the positives, you seem to have reversed positions and now highlight the negatives. Boro were battered.” Well, the point is that two goals were donated to us. We didn’t test their keeper nearly enough, really, considering the amount of possession we enjoyed.

    All I’m saying is “let’s not get carried away – yet”. But if things continue as they are then it should of course give rise to cheer. Trouble is, footie being footie, you never know what might be around the corner.

  30. MK – about Avaaz.

    Yes, extreme situations often generate extreme responses. I don’t know that their stance is right-wing motivated, though, but it’s not an approach I’d back.

    Avaaz has done a lot of good work though. I hope they don’t undo their achievements.

  31. My OH MY! Who cannot take a lift from that performance? Oh Yes I forgot you John! Let’s, to paraphrase an old song, accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.
    ‘Give him a month’ ? Well it didn’t take that long for DS to sort out the problems with stalemate Villa.
    I love the chnage of direction and momentum and have no intention of comparing it with previous matches. Like the old Buddhist philosphophy -where are we? Here, What time is it? Now
    So no reminiscing about what might have been, let’s look to the future and plan for success. Negative thought produce negative performance.
    Where’s our old perormance trainee Jennie these days.? Is she masquerading as Dean Smith

  32. Jl- it’s very sad and like most things these days generates a them and us attitude forgetting those they stand against are people and usually p*ssed off for a reason.

    Yet another reason why climate needs to be looked at without bias.

  33. Clive,

    I’m sorry – I don’t think you’re writing about what I’ve said at all. You (in common with a couple of others) seem to view what you regard as negativity in what I’ve written.

    All I write about is an effort to show there is a reality to view, not negativity. Reality shouldn’t be read as negativity.

  34. Well if there is ever a statement that shows the difference between dean smith and Steve Bruce’s regime it’s this.

    Dean smith cannot believe how quickly the players are learning and it’s pushing him, Steve Bruce couldn’t understand why his players were not doing what he told them.

    To me Smith’s more intelligent and attack minded and Bruce more pragmatic. Bruce appears to have brought together an impressive array of attacking talent for smith to use that was beyond his talents to deploy effectively.

    Ask yourself why do the players look like the talented bunch they are under smith? The greatest bug bare has been why do our players look half of there former selves at villa? Now they don’t.

    I was happy to see Hogan get on and look lively to give Tammy some competition too.

    I think that despite the eventual results the games under smith have been ours to lose or at least that’s how it’s felt to me.

  35. Jl- I see your experiencing what I have for a while now although you will likely tell me it’s very different as your careful to drop a few compliments to the opposition to appear fair I could never be bothered my posts are long enough as it is 🙂

  36. MK,

    I don’t have any real problem with your assessment of Smith. There’s clearly quite a lot of difference in the thought processes of Bruce vs Smith, and Smith (on events so far) seems to be winning hands down.

    That’s not my issue except that it’s still only a few weeks in and you wonder what might happen next. It might look all rosy but I think I’ll just stick with my game-by-game assessment until I have seen enough to convince me Smith is truly a smithy of footballers and can meet the promotion challenge! 😀

  37. Jl
    What about Randolph save from Tammy,penalty not given,el ghazi turn and shot we where the away team,when in shambles under Bruce 100 plus games did we play like that

  38. JL- I think you will find that Smith takes each game on its merits, no stone is left unturned. Its unlikely that any team will never slip up that would be daft but at least we are beginning to look more Newcastle than Cardiff. That may be down to Smiths attention to emotional control in matches, despite score lines nothing changes the approach. We do seem to dominate games in a very controlled manner.

    Forest was definitely a freak game and 20 shots with 7 on target ain’t bad against the leagues toughest defence at their place. So your assessment of should do better is a bit knit picky imo. Man city had 73% possession and only 16 shots 6 on target won 3-1 at home against Bournemouth.

    Best start worrying that we go up or Smith might get poached, this his his 1st chance with high class players, does not seem daunted at all, that will no t go unnoticed.

    Plus we are on the tele a lot and we are no longer losing, that has to be a good omen 🙂

  39. MK,

    I’m not disagreeing with you on Smith (but neither am I necessarily agreeing with you at this juncture!), but I was not talking of whether he approaches things on a match-by-match basis. I was referring to my own outlook!

    As for my being ‘picky’, well if that’s your view then that’s it – it’s clearly not my view!

    Our “7 shots” produced no worry for Boro except (of course!) for 3 goals (but 2 which they gave us) and one other shot from Abraham which should have been put well clear of the keeper by someone who is supposed to be on red hot form just now.

    No, there were only two decent shots on target from us all game if you discount the 2 goals we were presented with. Another 2 or 3 shots were put wide or over when they really should have been on target. But that’s been happening all season.

  40. James: “…when in shambles under Bruce 100 plus games did we play like that”

    Oh, in beating Bristol City (supposed to be fellow promotion challengers at that point) 5-0 and Wolves 4-1. They’re just two that spring out of my memory!

    However, the football being played now is better – but I’ve already said that. That doesn’t mean to say that the Bruce is worthy of the “shambles” epithet.

  41. Andrew, if true about Xia and Round notbtaking Dean Smith’s application seriously then it seems like a serious indictment of them both.
    On second thoughts though, Steve Bruce was able to attract some very good players to the club and Dean Smith now seems to be managing to get the best out of them so maybe (more by luck than judgement) things happened in the best sequence for us this time!

  42. When the speculation about Bruce’s job really took off I didn’t believe that Dean Smith would abandon Brentford mid season and I was far from enthusiastic about most of the rumoured replacements.

    Sorry though JL, whilst I understand your caution I’m finding it hard not to get excited about our prospects now.

    I was looking at the championship table as it stood at this time last year. We were 5 points better off and only 7 points off 2nd, but the interesting team to watch were Fulham, who at that stage were 9 points off the play offs and a full 17 points off automatic promotion.
    They ended up only falling 2 points short of second place.
    Yes they had an amazing run of games in the second half of the season but
    right now it’s starting to feel as if we just might have what it takes to do something similar.

  43. Mark, you made a posting earlier about Avaaz. I’d not heard of them before but they do look interesting. Their take on social media and fake news chimes with how I feel and the nervousness I feel about the power of fake news to influence people with too little time or background knowledge to dig for true facts.

    Incidentally, you pointed to an article yesterday which seemed to be suggesting that climate change is a hoax. If ever there was an example of fake news that article was it. It was littered with made up nonsense masquerading as science which I guess is the point you were trying to make?

  44. Jl- what does that say about our opponents in this league if you think we should be doubling our scoring and shots on target. It by no means makes us a premier league team just far more talented than those in this league in recent showings. Pressure does tell in the end usually and I hope when the cup comes around we give it a go.

  45. JL. Interesting article about Hawaii. Western societies have arrogantly imposed their value systems and technology on native peoples for far too long in my book.
    Did you read about the Christian missionary who took it on himself to try and convert an isolated Indian island community a week or so ago?
    As far as I know, the authorities have still not managed to recover his arrow peppered body from the beach. It’s a tragic case of a misguided individual believing that his value system is the only ‘right’ one and therefore giving him the right to ignore instructions to stay away. It’s good to see that the authorities are respecting the wishes of the islanders to stay isolated. . . . after all, who else will protect them and their environment better than they will?
    Sadly. . . climate change looks set to overwhelm their way of life in the coming decades as rising sea levels submerge them beneath the waves.

  46. Jl
    On Bristol city match if my memory serves me right we where under cost for 1st 20mins ,yesterday v Boro we dominated them for 1st 30mins with just one goal to show for it,stone wall penalty not given,we avoided humping the ball near flint with Tammy taking a very good save from Randolph, and as quoted on here after last match Smith was never going to let us been to open
    All in all fantastic to see a villa side win 4 out of 5 with goals galore coming from midfielders defenders strikers and better again subs a couple defensive additions in January and no reason why we can’t win this league under Dean Smith

  47. Mark
    You do keep on about left wing a lot in a a negative way, as opposed to right wing.
    Then that explains why you appear to go in circles mate, as the old saying of ‘it takes 2 wings of the bird to fly’. emoji emoji…
    Also something usually appears to set you off with the labels when you do this, & that generally limits our perception & we fly in circles.
    I understand the human tendency for emotional connections to things, which is human & we all do it, but we do need to take care of each other, which generally comes last to righteous indignation, as I know well.
    When we take care of each other, we are less insular, less self centred, more aware & less environmentally dangerous.

    By the way Avaaz is often politically suspect not left wing imo, but is often a pile of s**te, masquerading as good intentions if you look closely.
    There are other more issue based versions that don’t go fishing for the emotions to manipulate.

    Good game wasn’t it.

  48. Mark
    No, they arrested some Indian people who got paid to take him there, which is illegal.

    He was also an american fundamental christian, who was very confused, & the people who were responsible for his death are very rich fundamental christians.
    We had British christian versions 150 years ago, but mostly long gone, which says a lot about the spiritual corruption currently endemic in the states.
    Mind you, in the current time Brexit is a related version [to tele evangelists] in a way, & emotionally reactionary & not solution based, so we’re all at it.

  49. Mark: “haven’t the authority’s arrested 8 of the natives who shot the missionary? Think that’s what I read.”

    I haven’t read that, but I’m reliably informed that missionaries etc are warned not to go to that island. I’m sorry he met that fate however.

  50. IanG, As you suggested, I’ve only read about the arrests of the fishermen who took him to the island too . . . as far as I can see they’re leaving the islanders alone.

    I’ve not read about his background. You reckon he was indoctrinated by rich Christian fundamentalists?

    The problem with Brexit is that even after 2 years there’s still more heat than light. This information vacuum is filled with posturing, lies and exaggerations by both sides of the argument. I’m not convinced that a second vote would be any more edifying than the last one

  51. On Brexit, all I do know is that if there’s ‘No Deal’ my own business will be significantly harmed by it in the short term.

    I only ‘know’ about my own industry sector but I’m inclined to accept that most other industries would suffer short term pain at least.
    There’s little doubt that we will all suffer to a greater or lesser degree from a No deal Brexit and it seems like f**king insanity to me to even consider such self harm.

  52. r0bb0
    Yes, except that the past 8 years [10 if you count the bank crisis], have been very hard for the poor, & especially the disabled, & for many workers, their wages have shrunk in real terms [as have the profits & money available to go forward for small business].
    The wealth has been redistributed, & then the Brexit has been pushed to cement it, & it is likely to get worse unless we do a rethink.
    Nothing politically is as it appears, especially with the people in power for the past 8 years [the Tea Party model].
    In the poorer more rural parts of the country [except for the county set & large farmers], including much of wales, cornwall, herefordshire, lincolnshire & further north, things are still very difficult for normal working people.
    The propaganda has demonised any sort of opposition, leading to what you describe.
    It’s an odd fact that those places with least immigrants are those most rabidly pro brexit & anti immigrant, & pro in the brexit vote, but many see it as an a protest, & an anti urban vote.
    Our print media has a lot to answer for, as do the politician liars involved.
    Business wouldn’t get far without immigration.

  53. r0bb0
    USA was founded by fundamental christians, & the tradition culturally is still alive & well, especially outside of the cities, with whole communities structured for the propaganda.
    Tele evangelism is a hugely wealthy business, & the relatively poor tend to watch a lot of TV.
    One which catches my eye, is the one where the more you donate to the evangelist, the richer you will become, a perversion of the Christian teachings on generosity, which has tremendously enriched the ‘TV pastors’.
    Probably not legal here & in Europe, as it’s nothing new.
    But then Trump & Cap’n Mayhab

  54. IanG. There was some correlation between areas that had seen high recent EU immigration such as Peterborough but generally the leave vote came from areas that saw a lack of opportunities.
    What this shows is that the vote had little if anything to do with individual’s rational analysis of our future economic success inside or outside the EU and everything to do with how they felt at the time of the vote about their own future prospects.
    The leave campaign exploited individual’s dissatisfaction with their lives and created scapegoats of the EU and immigrants.
    The remain campaign was guilty of gross complacency and a lack of empathy or understanding of the concerns of struggling individuals
    The outcome was a vote to leave and the supreme irony is that those who were persuaded to vote ‘leave’ will be the ones who suffer most if/when living standards fall after we leave.

  55. r0bb0
    I don’t know where you live in Devon[?], but having lived in in the old deep country in Cornwall, the depths of the welsh borders & Herefordshire, I’ve always found that socially they tend to have this concept of Britain which is at odds with the reality of urban experience, which tends to encourage extreme views [as well those that counter them].
    I also found that if anything seemingly attacked some of them, they usually reverted to stereotypes, both racist & isolationist, which is a very basic human trait all over the world.
    But cities are constantly changing attitudes, & in some ways Brexit has brought out the samenesses between people from radically different cultures & religions.

    But then I am 70, with the experience of growing up in a very socially rigid time, so when we escaped it [as soon as possible] & saw the world [which is long gone] when it was an enormous place with many differences in cultures, it was a great gift for me.
    But some of my contemporaries are emotionally stuck in colonial mind if they feel threatened, despite experience.

    Otherwise I might also be looking in a fashionably warped mirror.
    The present football culture comes from a time that had a basic cultural difference to today, with only the elders connecting it to the young.
    The underlying cultural difference between 1945 & 1918 or 1930 & 1890 was not so great as 2018 & 2000 even.

  56. JL,

    Misleading the public again, as your references to the 1959 season “We scored 21 goals in three games, but never really got going again..”
    We scored 11 goals against Charlton, 5 more against Bristol City, then another 5 against Scunthorpe Utd, and yes we then lost 2-1 against Rotherham Utd, who were struggling against relegation at the time, but we then went on an unbeaten run of six games, which were 2-0, 3-1, 1-0,1-1,3-1, and 4-1, which is hardly not getting going, if we have that 6 game run now, I am sure we would all be over the moon.

    You also refer to the 1961/2 season, where we beat Leicester City 8-3 and Nottingham Forest 5-1, and say that we dropped off, not mentioning that this was the end of the season, and we lost the return leg 0-2, then 0-2 to Ipswich, who won the league, and drew our final game 2-2 with Cardiff City, not a bad end to our season, finishing 7th, considering we had sold our finest post war centre forward Gerry Hitchens.

    On the wins under Bruce, I will back you over the Bristol 5-0, which heralded a the start of a good run in the league, unfortunately the 4-1 over Wolves was a result of the substitutions made, but he reverted to the same starting line-up thereafter and lost the next two and drew the third, which those eight points would have kept us in second place and automatic promotion..!!

    I have always given Bruce credit when it has been earned and supported him through to the end of the season, but his setup and failure to go for the win in the play off final , ended my support. The new season should have seen a new man in charge, but I am more than happy that Dean, a man of the future, has taken up the reins at Villa.

    I have enjoyed the football he plays, and I enjoy seeing the players enjoying playing to his tactics and attacking formation. Such a brave man that he can fill his bench with players that can win, rather than defenders to just shore up the team.

    This week I was speaking with a guy who is quite involved in the dressing rooms with the players and management, and he was saying that once Hogan becomes part of the team, he will be outstanding, and that Dean sees him having a big future at Villa. He also agreed with me that Bruce is a very nice guy and good at recruiting players, but his time was up at the end of the last season. We thank him for Bolasie, El Gazzi, Tammy and especially Tuanzebe, who grows in stature every week, but cannot for the life understand letting Elphick and De Laet go out on loan.

    Really looking forward to Friday and the challenge of beating the Baggies, and probably our biggest test to date. Win this one, and surely we must become unstoppable…!!

  57. PP. . . It really is a mystery why he released Elphick and Delaet isn’t it.
    The man is far from stupid but those decisions seem so perverse that I still can’t help wondering if there was something else going on that we don’t know about. . . . . . . . . . surely?

  58. Excellent comments from both you r0bb0, and IanG, which pretty much fall in line with my own thoughts, but I will also add that a lot of the voters in Brexit were also politically motivated, especially in Wales, where the commonsense thing would have been to vote remain, as they have gained so much from being in Europe,, but many saw voting for Brexit as an opportunity of voting against Cameron and the Tory government.

    The whole referendum should have been completely non political and mp’s should have been free to support whichever campaign they believed in.

    The government also failed to clearly outline the true effects of leaving..

  59. PP. The Baggies will be well up for it so yes, it will be a big test.
    Before the Derby game I thought if we could win our next 2 home games and draw the 3 away games and get 9 points we’d have done well. Well we’ve got 10 points already with the baggies game still to come . . . . winning or drawing that would be a real bonus

  60. PP, it wasn’t just the government . . . ‘nobody’ of any political persuasion explained the true effects of leaving. You know why? . . . . because they didn’t have a clue themselves.
    I fear that on both extreme left and right, the desire to leave the EU is nothing to do with economics and everything to do with power.
    Being in the EU does place some constraints on the U.K. government and they don’t like that.
    We’ve recently seen the Italian government told that they can’t implement the spending programme that they’d like to because it will break EU limits.
    A Corbyn government has spending plans that would blow a hole in the country’s finances and they wouldn’t want to be constrained from doing this. The right wing of the Conservative party would like to be able to relax protective regulations that constrain certain commercial actions.
    I feel more comfortable keeping those constraints on extremists from both left and right.

  61. r0bb0/PP
    I would comment that r0bb0 you seem to have as fixed an opinion about Corbyn & financial ignorance, as I have about the americanisation of the con party.
    Specifically in financial terms he could have a plan that as things stand [& the cons have made as much as possible impossible to change if it was to their advantage], & of course he would have to change the current positions to do anything else, which is the big problem Labour have always had.
    I remember the way that all the county’s wealth creation was sold off to cronies by Thatcher onwards, restricting what even Blair [an imposter] could do.
    There are always more than one way to change a situation that came about with the unpunished/rewarded actions of a few bankers that created a financial crisis, that Camoron & mayhab have been blaming on the labour party.
    Some countries [& some of the cons] went to extremes, where control became the tool for enrichment & social engineering on a vast scale [Russia for one].
    We went mostly that way, limited by the outcry because of the human casualties that would have happened if we had gone further.
    The lies were that we would get through it & be better off.
    They forgot to mention that they were only talking about their own, as everyone else has been hammered [‘all in it together?’].
    This has resulted in the effective privatisation of the NHS, with it’s wealth shared out to crony companies, american & UK, with the money being syphoned out of the NHS, with the attendant blaming on the staff for most of the ills they created.
    Those of us who are old enough remember, exactly the same trick was used on British Rail, & look at the state that’s in, where it is just a cash cow for so called entrepreneurs.
    It’s even affected the Villa with the High Speed con job.

    This trickle down economics at it’s worst, where only suffering trickles down.

    The other way is to spend on infrastructure & Public Services to invest in business, to create wealth for all [that would be ethical business].
    The countries who have most successfully dealt with the recession have used a mixture of both, but the few don’t get rich enough doing that.
    The Councils are in a state of collapse, the welfare has been brought to a state of collapse [the cons have blamed Labour even for that].
    The majority media [the state propaganda arm], have brainwashed the majority it seems, as they set the agendas, not the government, & this also applies to Brexit].

    Now just to try to turn this imbalance back to where it was in 2008 before the bank collapse[in USA with a worldwide knock on effect], which was definitively not left of centre with Blair & Brown, is considered as left wing [communist in USA].
    r0bb0, this is where I think business has to be a lot more ethical, & stop being the foot soldiers of the corrupt.
    Yes we depend on business for the continued wealth of the country, but Mayhab et al are no friend of general business, especially with Brexit.
    Time for the blinkers to come off, otherwise our children & grandchildren are sentenced to continual difficulty & suffering for at least the next couple of decades if not longer, & remember this is our legacy to them?
    I’m already fed up with the mentally challenged & brainwashed saying that we shouldn’t have our state pension, that we worked for & paid for, as it’s apparently unfair to those who’ve done neither.
    Also consider that the scapegoat game is alive & well.
    Would I give Corbyn & co a go [remembering that he is not Blair or Brown, & he may not be the leader for that long, & that he has to rule by consensus], I would absolutely as he could hardly do much worse, & it may actually lead to the current robber barons getting their comeuppance.
    Except of course someone may be shocked out of their complacency.

    I think I’m turning Greek…

  62. r0bb0
    I do agree that it is to do with power rather than economics, where all the money is power.
    But I don’t agree that you or PP have a clear idea of the reality of power, just yours.
    What you don’t know isn’t factored in to the equation.
    The fact that most of us have no recourse for institutional skullduggery any more, is never mentioned.
    Or the constant misbehaviour of business where we often get ripped off & ignored.
    But constantly being deprived of our constitutional liberty & rights by power mad extremists [hardly the left here], whose explanation is that it costs too much [who are the ones who benefit?], it is irritating that it is so blatant, yet rubber stamped by so many who have been convinced that it is in their interest.
    We all have to take notice of some self interest to survive, but at what cost at the moment?

  63. IanG. I suspect we’d agree that we currently have choices between various imperfect economic systems and forms of government. Each of us makes our own judgement of which is least imperfect.
    I attend various business events and I suspect you’d be surprised at how much of the discussion is around corporate social responsibility. It’s not an exaggeration at all to say that more than 50% of the events I’ve been to have had CSR in one form or another as their main topic.

    I was ready to retire 4 years ago but had an opportunity to try and turn round a business and decided to take it.

    We’ve subsequently given 15% of our profits to date as bonuses to all staff and given a further 5% to charity.

    I’m no lover of banks myself as they recently changed their policy on corporate lending and considerably reduced our overdraft facility just when we needed it. I have had to make personal guarantees that mean if things were to go wrong I would lose my house that I plan to retire in.

    Like you, I’d like to see a more even distribution of wealth and see the disadvantaged protected. It’s our views of how to do it that differ. I know where you’re coming from when you say we need to try something new, but what Corbyn stands for is not new and has been unsuccessfully tried before.
    For all it’s many flaws, capitalism has delivered huge reductions in extreme poverty. Experiments in the sort of socialism that Corbyn espouses has had the opposite effect, most recently in Venezuela.
    I’d like to think that most people want to see improving living standards for all and despise the Phillip Greens of this world.
    I can easily see the attraction of a socialist model and in my heart want it to work, but my head says that it will fail again.
    Every U.K. labour government has led to a rise in unemployment. There isn’t an exception. If we then protect those increasing numbers without work with more generous benefits the money has to come from businesses and individuals. This ‘tends’ to reduce incentives and we enter a vicious circle of decline.
    Right now it seems that we make our choice of which model we judge to be least imperfect and you and I have come to different conclusions on that.

  64. Worth reading Deans smiths after match comments, it appears he’s not worried about the defence.

    “The biggest thing for me tonight was the clean sheet. I insisted Wednesday was a freak result.

    I felt people were throwing a lot of questions at our defending and our goalkeeper after midweek.

    We defend as a team and that’s four clean sheets in eight games now. I can only be pleased with what we’re doing.”

  65. Robbo- No I wasn’t putting it up there as an example of fake news, did you listen to to Australian geologists talk to our government? there is lots of money being made in the global warming arena and scientists are not above making money or falsifying evidence. Even Nasa cannot agree within its own walls, so who is right? scaremongering abounds and its far from known what the cause is for sure. That is the real problem, they should get that nailed down before sending the world off on a trajectory with major expense. Surely the greatest worry is pollution and loss of life mainly through agriculture decimating insect life to loss of forests.

  66. r0bb0
    It’s not that I trust Corbyn, I mean he is a politician, but he has necessarily brought some elements of abuse into focus where working people have been thrown away, disenfranchised & abused.
    In this time it is seen as a right to use & abuse the vulnerable, & blame them for their misfortune, along with making work no longer pay, & if work was worth doing there would not be the human scrapheap, as those who have the least have pride if not food
    I remember the days when there were no unions, when the management of many companies just ran them into the ground, & the workers with them, always reducing the hourly rate for the next employee, along with some terrible conditions.
    The building trade became the next horror story where there was no safety element at all in the 60’s, & I remember a pal of mine who was a site shop steward for UCAT, who was followed about by Special Branch for trying to protect his members, & it was so bent that in the 70’s he was illegally blacklisted for years.
    He ended up a Lawyer who worked in the community law offices.
    I also happened to work at Longbridge at the same time as Red Robbo [not a relative of yours I hope], where the management was diabolical.
    Unfortunately the union was just another power game, sometimes necessary, but often not in the workers interest.
    I stood up in the compulsory meetings & told them, then surprise surprise, I was nefariously accused of sabotage by the other power player, the supervisors, & sacked, & the union did nothing.
    They all did deals together & we came last.
    But sometimes the union was really helpful in other companies for all.
    It all depended on how good or bad the management was, as to how corrupt it all got.
    I’ve seen so many people shafted by the whole process when all they’re trying to do is earn a living for their family, that I’ll never have confidence in management or owners unless I know them, & I have met some good ones.
    But generally unions have been & still are necessary, despite what the sun, telegraph, times, daily mail etc feed the population.
    In rural areas it is still common for the workers to be used & abused.
    I’ve worked in a Foundry as a dye setter, a skilled job as lives are in your hands, in Presteigne, where the wage for 48 & 1/2 hour week was £2 more than being on the dole, & this was the norm
    I don’t agree with a conceptualised free market [a contradiction] as it uses people too much, & have bitter personal experience of what ideology can do to completely screw people up, with the conservative party scapegoating, & Labour trying to rebalance the focus to be people centric, & it’s a lot worse now than Thatcher ever was.
    I find your political arguments simplistic & the repeating of sound bytes of the time, which was never the full picture, & was usually a product of the social level we were brought up in, but I do understand the difficulty in putting it into words.
    It’s easier to blame those at the bottom, which has become so shameful.
    Some of the tales of the workhouses from the 30s & 40s that I heard from the old guys would make your hair stand on end.
    It’s shameful that companies have still no choice down to government policy, but to pay wages that can’t support the worker, so it is topped up by benefits, so the businesses are in fact part of the problem against their wishes due to the skimming off the top higher up the food chain.
    But I support you in your efforts to be a reasonable human being in the process.

  67. Mark
    These issues are all interconnected on a human level, & tend to be used as a weapon, so maybe they also are only chosen parts of a picture rather than reasoned positions.
    It’s much easier to diss something than find something that does work.
    We now have a culture emanating from the greedy, that weaponises everything to order, instead of using intelligence & looking after our immediate & greater environment.
    Education was always weaponised, so we have to be careful not to become a google.
    Scientists are people who are very varied, same as building workers

  68. IanG- No I’m not emotional or hate the left mate. For one who are the left? vegans? transgenderists? communist teachers in Uni? god knows these days, it used to be labour and Conservative but even they are blurred. When the right is spoken about its always with a Nazi slant which is also wrong. All that I see happening is half truths being used to gain and keep power. On top of that there are groups going off half cocked signing petitions if a kitten dies. Emotionally driven propaganda is the way to go, be that a dead kid on a beach or the world will end. Who’s fake news do you want to read it seems?

    It doesn’t appear to matter what group is in favour they will be exploited.

    By the way Bayer who bought out Monsanto are getting sued by hundreds of claimants for causing cancer, happy days.

  69. Mark
    Bloody ‘ell

    Can’t see them asking for him back, & not sure that there is a recall clause.
    I noticed that it came from Chelsea fans, & nowhere else that I could find

  70. Its from talktripe but means nothing

    “The Blues have the option to cut short Abraham’s stay at Villa Park, and talks have already been started between the two clubs.”

  71. PP: “Misleading the public again, as your references to the 1959 season “We scored 21 goals in three games, but never really got going again..”

    Sorry, Paul. perhaps I should have phrased myself a bit differently. But if you were to read the rest of my comment you would see that I stated that Villa had impressed overall and they were worthy champions.

    The point I was making (which you did not try to follow) was that scoring 21 goals in 3 matches is a remarkable thing but then not to be able to reproduce that level of scoring for the rest of the season (apart from a later 4-0 win against Dennis Law’s team) was so very strange.

    Similarly that 13 goals in two games in 1961-62. If you score a high number in one match but then not repeat it the cause put down to something like “the opposing defence was awful” or “it was just a one off when everything clicked”. But when 2 or more consecutive matches produce a lot of scoring then there is clearly something else going on.

    Hence the issue as to how come Villa were beaten (and, as you say, by a lowly team) after scoring 21 goals in 3 matches. Villa were really clicking (obviously!) in that 3 match spell, and that level of achievement was not seen again.

    But that is footie – it’s full of surprises and I suppose we should just accept that.

  72. On The Matter Of Government and Politics

    Some very interesting comments indeed from r0bb0 and IanG and both sets of arguments have something compelling about them.

    But you will probably not be surprised to hear that my views are somewhat different to both!

    Which (if published) will bring cries of “misleading the public again” from PP! 😀

  73. Mark
    Like most of us I was expecting tiredness as that’s how it’s been for 2 years.
    I was pleasantly surprised, but did notice that enthusiasm does help one to run through brick walls as they say.
    DS also mentioned that everyone was running despite pain etc, which seems to be when enjoying what you’re doing

  74. Mark
    Is that so, one clean sheet?
    there’s hope then.
    Collins appears to be back with us, but at least cover for Chester, except I seem to remember him booting everything long ball from the back.
    Can he actually play on the ball?
    maybe he learned it at west ham

  75. Iang- yes I can only presume the enthusiasm last season was at least in part club generated.

    We haven’t got our set piece coach yet but we seem to be improving at a rate of knots anyway. Makes all the sense in the world when you think about it. We apply lots of pressure and win many corners and free kicks why not maximise them. And penalties and possible pens seem to be cropping up regularly after some very sparse times.

  76. Iang- don’t know on Collins he was good in the air and a danger at set pieces but otherwise not very cultured. 5 week contract says he’s insurance and won’t feature unless the world ends

  77. I’m hoping like boro that WBA have been lulled into a false sense of security against the average champs sides. We now appear not to be that. Pace causes us problems but we cause teams problems it’s a trade off.

  78. IanG,
    An interesting piece from you which seems to illustrate a major dissatisfaction with your lot in life, which is understandable, as you wish to make it clear that you are part of left, but at the same time, do believe in fair play to some extent.

    I would argue against your statement of remembering a time when there was no unions, as they have existed since the time of the industrial revolution in the 18th century, and prior to that they were organised into guilds.

    It is also a misconception that management and businesses did/do not like unions, as I was part of the industrial relations teams in the 1970’s in the Rover division of British Leyland , where we worked well in conjunction with them, rarely having problems with them, once proper discussions took place. Often the problems may seem much greater than they really were, and just boiled down to someone listening to what the real problem was….a drafty workshop, poorly maintained toilets, a poor system of operation, and what may have appeared a mountain was really a molehill. The Austin works at Longbridge was a completely different kettle of fish where “Robbo” never did a days work as the works convener, had his own office, and continually had to flex his muscles to make his presence felt, and made sure that his henchmen got enough people to back whenever he wished to cause a problem, and eventually brought British Leyland to it’s knees and final collapse, although it was also partly managements fault for creating a monster company that was too big for them to handle.

    Unfortunately, we British have difficulty in handling huge corporations, which is why after the war, we eventually handed back the Krupp Steelworks to the Germans, because we failed to manage it successfully.

    I also take it that you worked for KL Alloys Ltd in Presteigne, a small engineering company that struggled to stay in business, and was eventually sold and shut down, and is now just a potential housing site, which I know a great deal about, but that is another story.

    Corbyn being swept to power has been a great social media exercise, where much misinformation has helped a man from a wealthy family, failed at university, back on to a path where many see him as a beacon of light swept there on 70’s rhetoric, but who has no substance, and will not give any real answers, or show what his true intentions are, just the usual platitudes about socialism, with no real substance about how it can be achieved.

    Wages are governed by prices, and always have been, and it is unfortunately the very people who are suffering from it, who bring it about. In the 1960’s we had an “I’m backing Britain campaign”, which the workers responded to and our economy grew massively. We have done nothing since, and it is the workers who have driven for lower prices, cheaper goods, cheaper food, accepted shoddier imports and the result is the major rundown of British industries, especially the labour intensive ones .

    We need to find a balance where the country has sufficient income to support the infrastructure, including transport, health and housing, at the same time providing benefits on a level with Germany and France, who manufacture far more of their country’s needs than we do.

    I have little time these days for the majority of our politicians, who should at this time be working together to produce not just a plan for us and our role in Europe, but a plan for our NHS, which is no longer fit for purpose with so many levels of management that it is impossible to make decisions that benefit the whole. It is not the fault of the staff, it is not the fault of this government, but it is failings of all governments since the introduction of regional health boards in the 1970’s, and the management that have built there empires since, which is what happens, not only in central government bodies, but local government bodies too.

    When you have graded salary systems that rely on how much responsibility you have, how many staff you supervise, and how big your budget is, you are not going to be super efficient, trim your staff, save on your budget, or give way on how much responsibility you have. At the end of the day, you want a better grade, which means better pay, and eventually a fat pension….Check the salaries of the CEO’s of your local councils, and the management layers below them, and you will see they are earning more than the Prime Minister, or any of the cabinet…!!!

  79. Paul,

    Interesting points of view from you also, and, again, there’s much to agree with what you say.

    Although being a project leader in the computer systems department (before they called it IT) at Rootes-Chrysler I spent quite a bit of time visiting Linwood (the Imp production centre) and came across substantial belligerence which eventually caused the plant’s closure.

    By the same token, in those days management had their own privies with a key for its use, and when the unions’ strike threats came to head in 1975, all people who wereon management grades were ushered around the country for pep-talks and fed caviar (no chips!) and suchlike to help them toe the board’s line. I was disgusted about that and finally swung my decision to leave the company despite all the perks I got.

    Experienced some good nostalgia a few months back when I was asked by JLR to go for a contract interview at the very same building I used to work when with Rootes-Chrysler more than 40 years before. It had all changed quite a bit though in style.

    Bur, as IanG rightly says, the unions were (and still are) necessary – but they went through some very wonky years when a positive approach would have achieved so much. The trouble was then – as now – they really want a commie-like socialism in place.

  80. Oh, by the way – on Corbyn…

    I’m doing some research into medieval life in Birmingham and have found the Corbyn name occurring quite a bit 600 years ago.

    He’s aged well. 🙂

  81. The Albyun…

    I see that they did a ‘Villa’ and scored 11 goals in two matches in August and then promptly lost the next match – at Boro!

    Consistent play by and large from them with the recent 4-1 win over Leeds probably being the highlight.

  82. Weird how things turn out, didn’t think that I’d end up discussing politics with a load of Villa fans or even putting my thoughts out there to be shot at. I think I have done more writing on here than I ever did at School or tech college 🙂 I think most of the time I’m just exploring ideas rather than giving my opinion.

    All my family were staunch labour supporters but my dad worked at various factories (leyland, press steel etc) He always had a chuckle at the various Union reps and management that took themselves very seriously but were not all that competent sounding, thats life I suppose. Even the Germans f**k up.

  83. Small world MK,

    As my dad worked at Wilmot Breedon originally, before moving to Pressed Steel Fisher at Castle Bromwich. He was a polisher there, but I always remember him showing me a mini that had been built and designed by the apprentices, and was made with a lot of plastics, including the grill and bumpers, but the powers that be never thought that it would catch on, and that the British would still want their chrome . How wrong can you be, as Nissan did exactly that having stolen the engine design, and the rest is history.

    Many of the shop stewards in the 70’s were better qualified than middle management, because the unions put them through college after the passing of the Industrial Relations act in 1971. Senior management had to keep up to speed, but many middle managers did not step up and realise the importance, which is one of the many reasons of the failings in the 1970’s.

  84. PP- my dad was on maintenance mainly an electrician, I remember the xmas parties for the kids and the odd panto. He said people smuggled whole cars out and rebuilt them at home.

  85. MK,

    You are quite right about people stealing car parts, until eventually, they had all they needed to build a complete car. In fact theft of parts just to repair their own, or their mates car was very prevalent at one time.

    This happened in many factories, and I remember at the Rover Company in Solihull one day the security chief instructed his men to remove stolen spark plugs from employees cars on the car park, and there was uproar when they came out from work, and in the end the security were instructed to hand back the plugs, but by the time they had finished, they had handed back almost double the amount they had removed…!!!

  86. MK/PP,

    There was an operation at one time to take out drivable cars simply by remaining hidden the other side of the works bus at the security gate. Security? What security?

  87. Been keeping my opinions to myself of late, I am not one for putting my foot in my mouth. But to be honest, I was really excited when Dean was announced, I much preferred him over Henry and as most of you are aware never was a fan of SB and soul destroying football on display week in week out. Now having said that, SB may make a great director of football given he does have an eye for some decent players, just can’t coach them.
    I was reading in the Express and Star, that dean is from the Gorse Farm Estate which made the hair on the back of neck stand up. I was from there myself, my 86 year old Mom still lives in the same house. Dean likely went to Gorse Farm Primary school and Dartmouth High school, as did most of us from the estate. I wonder if his first pints were in the Red Admiral like me and my mates. Anyway, it gives me pleasure to see a local lad not having had the greatest playing career making a success at his boy hood club, long may this success continue. It surely is a pleasure to watch us play again, I haven’t enjoyed it this much since the last half decent manager we had went, and that was John Gregory, if only deadly Doug had given him the money for Robbie Keene one wonders if we could have broken into that elite group of six around the turn of the millennium. Oh well !!!!! Now to the future at 62 I was only a few months old when we won the cup in 1956, so I know Dean hasn’t seen us win it, only a no show against Arsenal and the last final against Chelski at the old Wembley with that team of Gregory’s which was knocking on the door. I’m even looking at coming over again next year if the footie stays this good!!!

  88. My lads were watching a repeat of 2018 Rock n Roll hall of fame inductions the weekend and were quite took aback at the Moody Blues and “nights in white satin”. We had quite the evening after as I was explaining to them all the great bands from around the midlands. They knew of Zeppelin and Black Sabbath but not much more, no Move, ELO, Duran Duran or even how to Pass the Dutchie lol.
    Anyway, that brought back memory’s with you guys talking about walking car parts, a mate of mine was on the milk, his Son was a roadie with Sabbath that’s why it came to mind, but he ended up burying a brand new stove in the back garden when a bunch of warehouse chaps got arrested selling new appliances from the loading docks at Owen-Owen in Erdington, boy those were the days you get anything off the back off a lorry as they used to say!!!!
    Also had cousins that worked for Leyland, the alway’s said it would go belly up not just with theft, mostly half the cars on the car park were foreign, one shop steward even asked management to ban them from the car park, but they didn’t go for it at the time.

  89. PP
    ‘An interesting piece from you which seems to illustrate a major dissatisfaction with your lot in life, which is understandable, as you wish to make it clear that you are part of left, but at the same time, do believe in fair play to some extent.’

    Well I seem to have pressed a few buttons which is great, as identities are very nebulous & you can’t take them with you.

    Thank you for your arrogance & the personal judgment, which says more about you than me, & your nose is so much in the air it must be feeling the cold.
    I actually have no dissatisfaction with my life as such, & I have had an extremely rich & varied life, & met Kings & Aristocracy in various cultures including ours, as well as a lot of boring managers.

    I was always bored to death with management identity as a guide to success in life, which is no different to left wing identity in essence, just more exclusive, & I have met & worked for some great people who happened to be managers or owners, not corporate .
    I also have been a manager, I even managed the B,ham branch of RH Kitchen, before I went to Iceland in January 1967, with Bob Kitchen’s blessing.
    I’ve run shops & my own small business, before I had to retire hurt due to injury in the mountains in 1990.
    Power or position has never been my aim, but I have seen first hand a lot that others think they know all about from a distance.

    I am not part of left or right but respond with information for balance & to defend those who can’t defend themselves, as I explained in previous posts, which you obviously did not read, & neither do I insist on a strange concept called ‘fair play’, a very outdated crock of s*** that was usually used as a weapon & not put into practice, like in your post.
    Fair play from someone who had been in the war, was something completely different to your version in my experience, as everyone had to depend on each other, & they had real humanity, which you do not show when you’re sneering at people [although I’m sure you must have some redeeming features as you are a Villa supporter.

    I heard this nonsense from a young age, usually from someone with a vested interest.
    Obviously you’ve now shown where your priorities are mate.
    I was actually showing man’s inhumanity to man, which is not acceptable to anyone with a concern about others over oneself.
    My identity is not based on money or position, unlike you, but my imperfect spiritual life.
    By the way there was a vast difference between Rover & BL as you describe,
    & your attack is strange in that I was showing the problems which you mention from your management identity, not having identity politics as a discussion.

    Things fell off the back of lorries often due to someone in the supervisory category turning a blind eye [your responsibility?].
    But as others note, it was endemic at the time.
    But I never took part & I drove a Riley 4/72 at the time, & you couldn’t even push it on your own, let alone nick it, although the key fitted every car that BMC produced.

    I wouldn’t be too proud about being in upper management in the car trade if I were you, as they were as much part of a problem as the other parts of the troika, & were the ones responsible for the collapse of BL, as they failed to manage the place & created the environment for the monster we have described.

    I lived in Willey & worked in Presteigne in 1976/1977, when you were probably in Birmingham reigning supreme, so you possibly don’t know as much as you think.
    I can’t remember the name of the company now, but it was the only injection molding company in Presteigne, & as you say times were in transition.
    I enjoyed it, but not the terrible wage for a skilled job, where if I screwed up I would have killed a few people.
    I actually enjoyed the 5 mile walk through the snow up & down the 1 in 11 hill, which only a tractor could navigate, to get to & from work 6 days a week.

    ‘We need to find a balance where the country has sufficient income to support the infrastructure, including transport, health and housing, at the same time providing benefits on a level with Germany and France, who manufacture far more of their country’s needs than we do.’

    A bit rich coming over 40 years after the event, when this was what we were all saying when people in your position royally screwed it up.
    Your position was undercut in the late 50’s & the first half of the 60’s, when companies were left to rot by the owners lack of interest & investment, not down to the workers, which culminated in red robbo & Thatcher’s vicious policies of social injustice.
    In the ‘Back Britain’ campaign the workers were rewarded well to do so which is why it worked, but by the time the 70’s came round it fell apart due to incompetence, & once you’ve let the rabbit out of the sack, you can’t put it back in.
    If we blame those in the weakest position instead of those with the responsibility for the ills, we will always get conflict, however well managed that process is.

    If I vote it will be for change, as what’s been going on for 8 years is for the benefit of the few.
    Unlike you I don’t ‘believe’ in politics, & I also don’t believe in going back to the 30’s, which is what some of the recent social engineering seems to have as an aim.
    If we blame the fox for getting in the hen house & killing the chickens, instead of making the hen house secure in the first place [manager’s job], then we’re deranged.

  90. PP
    I forgot
    In the early 60’s there were many small factories supplying the car factories, & most had little or no union reps [I worked in some], so thank you for your history lesson of which I was aware having had an education & attending King Edwards Aston for 6 years.
    Also even in the 70’s there were engineering factories such as Prescott Powell who had union representation in name only.
    There was no unions in the building industry in any of the places I worked in school holidays from ’64.
    Also I even worked for the Co-op Dairy in Vauxhall at weekends when I was at school, & there were no unions also.
    So you really seem to have spent some time in an ivory tower.
    Have fun!

  91. Canadian Villan
    Yes great times.
    Jeff Lucas was roady & road manager for either sabbath or purple, I think sabbath, & he was at school with me, & got suspended for having a beatles haircut.
    The soul all nighters at midnight city & the blues trains at the town hall were great as well.
    Only we had to put one inside to open a window to let the rest of us in

  92. JG
    ‘Home to Swansea in cup, we might actually win a cup match’

    Would be nice, & we’ve got a dress rehearsal in swansea on boxing day.

  93. PP: “‘We need to find a balance where the country has sufficient income to support the infrastructure, including transport, health and housing, ..”

    It’s interesting that you lump health and housing with transport – intimating they’re all of the same priority! It reminds me of when Dicky Davis appeared on Question Time and referred ro “those other things” (meaning health and housing) when the economy is buoyant again! What drivel.

    HS2 must be the biggest white elephant in British history and with its costs escalating and delays occurring its cancellation would neatly provide valued funds for matter os human concern. Oh, and they can use some of that money to improve the existing rail network.

    Meanwhile National Express is constantly showing that it can’t cope with getting you there on time. So much for Tory policies on private enterprise.

    That wonderful Labour Government of 1945-50 had almost exactly the right blueprint for sustainability. It’s taken decades of Tory and New Labour misgovernment to realise the sense and vision of the planning of that time, post 1945.

  94. John – ‘Meanwhile National Express is constantly showing that it can’t cope with getting you there on time. So much for Tory policies on private enterprise.’
    My second career ,after research Metallurgy at Kynoch (ICI Metals), was in public transport and I enjoyed senior positions in Walsall Corporation and later West Midlands PTE. In those days the local buses ran under a deficit finance system with profitable routes cross-subsidising weaker ones and the overall deficit made up from local taxation under strict financial control and external audit.
    The decison to deregulate local buses meant the fledgling companies, the major one West Midlands Travel, took over the profitable routes on a commercial basis and then operated the non-viable ones under competitive tendering. The cost to the public purse was thereby increased – not only the subsidy that now included the previously missing element of profit but also the massive cost of the tendering process.
    I remained at the Transport Executive to implement the tendering process over the whole West Midlnds county so I had to manage a process I personally disagreed with.
    Millionaires were made overnight amongst the senior management of WMT and Midland Red companies and you now suffer the fruit of that disastrous Tory policy not only on bus services but on the national railways.

    Meanwhile I saw Dean Smith was at the Hawthorns and he must have noticed that the majority of Albion’s attacks came down their left flank, so hopefully Alan Hutton if he is right back has been warned not to get too far upfield without cover.

  95. Saw my sauna mate last night, Chester is having injections to play at the moment can’t turn properly. He said that villa is a joy to go to work at now but smith doesn’t stand any cr*p, gave them a right roasting after the forest game.

  96. Clive,

    Thanks for that – an interesting potted history, actually, of how bus transport evolved, for want of a better word!

    I was thinking the other day how companies like Midland Red were self-sufficient and built their own buses, as did London Transport. I went on a motorway trip to Golders Green way back in 1960 when the M! had acres of space! What an excellent bus service that was, but the skills that Midland Red employed all went by the board eventually, like everything that smelt of real jobs.

    My wife today regularly travels that very same route these days and most days it’s a shambles. You get the website apology for their tardiness but we’ve found that her particular service is always late, and last week-end got in 1 hour late. My wife has a problem with her legs so it starts to get to be a problem if the journey time increases by much.

    The main reason for the lateness is, of course, the state of the motorways which the government has “improved” (at least the M1) over the last few years, but the M1 is still chocker at certain times – quite often in fact.

    Motorways have never been a ‘solution’ to transportation problems though the ubiquitous use of the motor car means they are (of course) necessary. What’s needed is to take off the ‘heavy stuff’ – much of the coach services and goods – and have a properly developed infrastructure to deal with it. As was planned in the 1940s, so it’s probably a bit late now.

    Goodness knows what’s going to happen when driverless vehicles emerge for real.

  97. Clive: “the majority of Albion’s attacks came down their left flank, so hopefully Alan Hutton if he is right back has been warned not to get too far upfield without cover.”

    Will he do a Brucie and play both Hutton and Elmo, I wonder.

  98. Well, well IanG,

    I seemed to have touched a nerve somewhere, and you have read far more into the piece I wrote than was actually there.

    Perhaps I did read too much into your own statement, and for that I apologise, and it does show that we can be misunderstood.

    I never reached any senior management positions within the motor industry, but was much involved with the workers and industrial relations between 1970 and 1974, before moving to the gas industry and having the job of negotiating the closure of all the gasworks within the West Midlands, following the introduction of natural gas.

    I am not going to claim that you are categorically wrong, but I think you will find that the Birmingham Co-operative Society employees, both in the bakery, milk and shop division have been represented by USDAW, which is the union that has represented all Co-op workers throughout the country since 1947.

    In 1970/71 the building industry had become rife with non-union labour, known as working on the “lump”, where men were signing on the dole on a Wednesday/ Thursday, but the rest of the week they would be picked up by lorries on a daily basis, and driven to non-union building sites, and be paid in cash at well below union rates for their services. This culminated in the National building strike in 1972, which lasted for over six months, resulting in the price of new homes doubling overnight, but building workers getting a fair deal. During this year there were most strikes that the country had ever suffered, and the Tory government of the time had to declare a state of emergency on two occasions.

    I gave up my career in industrial relations in 1977 to move to Wales to set up my own business in Llanidloes, not that far from Presteigne, where I moved to in 1980, as I extended my venture in to the licenced trade, and built another successful venture there, which I operated for the next twenty years before retiring. I did not retire for long, as I love to be busy, and then went to manage other businesses in the convenience sector.

    So sorry, no Ivory towers, just a lot of hard work over many years ,making a living to support my family.

  99. JL,

    Lumping transport and housing together, and why not, as transport is essential to get people to work from the homes we have not got. What comes first, the chicken or the egg???

    I agree with you entirely that HS2 is a complete waste of money, and there are far more important aspects of our transport system that need attention, including bringing back some of the rail infrastructure destroyed by Beeching, which maybe should have been mothballed at the time, but not totally decimated. We need vast improvements to our existing roads, and we totally lack an east -west motorway to connect West Wales, its ports, to the Midlands and on to Harwich and Felixstowe, which would actually be a huge boost to Wales and the Midlands economy, and take it away from the south, which is totally overloaded. Such a motorway could be built using existing secondary roads which run through mainly rural areas, without destroying the countryside, and bringing them to motorway standards. by now the M50 should have been extended to Herefordshire and onward links to Abergavenny.

    There are also plenty of towns which could benefit from an increase in size with affordable housing, better connections, and the creation of jobs which are then less far to travel, which assists with a greener future.

    I see that it has now been ruled that the UK can withdraw article 50.

  100. Security….

    Most companies will tell you that they only put in an affordable level of security, and that to fully secure most businesses, the costs outweigh the theft by so much, as not to be worth the expense.
    That was the case in the 1970’s, but how true today I am not sure….

    Great to see Brentford fight all the way last night and come away with the draw. Apparently there were Swansea representatives sat in front of Dean Smith & co, at last night’s match

  101. PP- article 50 withdrawal oh what a surprise 🙂 can we dissolve parliament and change our votes all the way back to the 60’s as it didn’t turn out so well?

  102. Read an article yesterday about Germany’s assessment of what could happen if the EU collapsed. It’s all pre Brexit stuff and outlines military action in about 10 different scenarios and was leaked by some bod.

    Quite a lot of their predictions are baring fruit as it goes and I wonder if our government had similar plans drawn up? But then again that would be to sensible.

  103. Jl- I would be surprised if we deviated from our last starting line up. I think Hutton’s pace and crossing from the right makes him ideal for the overlap. On the other hand it may not work as well with elghazi.

    It’s great have options that no longer look like down grades.

  104. PP
    Apology accepted.
    As an adjunct, on reflection you are right about the Dairy having union representation, but I never met any, & as part time I wasn’t a member [at 15].
    The things they let kids & young people do in those pre elf & safety days were life transformative.
    If you had an accident it was mainly down to yourself, so no blame game, so we learned to take responsibility.
    I was in the building trade until ’76, but the wages by this time were so bad due to the lump that I did something else, & the lump was the need for unions at the time, but we lost the battle.
    Again I was there at the coal face, not in some office, so saw it first hand.
    I also worked on building Castle Vale estate, where the corruption of Bryants was astounding, but the wages were good.
    But I did work for Otis at a later date installing lifts.

    There were no private pensions for most of us in those days, so wouldn’t you be annoyed if the current conservative government tried to steal or limit what you paid for?

    We all were all just earning a living mate, so there is no need for a dismissive attitude.
    Apart from anything else, I don’t accept that.

    But yes we have more to connect us than divide us.

  105. Mark
    ‘It’s great have options that no longer look like down grades.’

    Very refreshing, I’d almost forgotten what it was like

  106. IanG- you can add lack of favouritism so far, you play well you keep your place it seems barring a tactic switch.

    Good to see Hourihane get MOM could of been so many of them though, he pulled the strings and the keeper is pretty good at distribution and shot stopping if not commanding his area. In short they suit Smiths style even if not perfect.

    As for WBA’s left hand side? what about Villa’s left and right hand side 🙂

  107. PP: “That was the case in the 1970’s, but how true today I am not sure….”

    I would say that CCTV has made a substantial difference? 😉

    “Lumping transport and housing together, and why not, as transport is essential to get people to work from the homes we have not got. What comes first, the chicken or the egg???”

    Simply put you have to occupy a home in order to be recognised as one of society’s non-malingerers, do you not? That determines the priority in my view. Besides which, if a cancelled HS2 could pay for housing and transport improvements, the matter is sorted.

    There’s health to be lumped in as well, of course. Let’s not forget that one of the ways by which Germany succeeded after the War was via their employees’ welfare system. The logic of that is sound – a contented employee is most likely to produce the best results. In Brum, the Villa used to provide the incentive (!!) but that’s a big responsibility for a football team to carry! 😉

    I had a Germany subsidiary as a client over some 20 years, and the constant complaint was how many days the parent company had and that contact could not be made! Yet German industry did not lose any productivity it would seem.

  108. MK: “I wonder if our government had similar plans drawn up? But then again that would be to sensible.”

    I don’t think that’s fair. Any enterprise/organisation worth its salt would have alternative approaches drawn up to provide a solution. HM Government (it’s said) is stockpiling portaloos for the m2!

  109. IanG: “I seem to find myself agreeing with you again.”

    As you put it so well, what is needed is a reversion to a caring society. If you start from that principle then everything else should fall into place, should it not? Hence the agreement.

    This emphasis on motorways being the answer is – I suggest – an idea that comes from an unintelligent former age when sustainability and climate change were not rhought of. Have you thought about the carbon emissions increase?

    If you *care* for your environment (not just your family and your house pet) then you will look for appropriate solutions to the issues at hand.

    Mind you, there were many thinktank reports produced in the early 1970s that provided some warning of what was to come. Few took notice: particularly the money barons.

    I used to love going to talks given by Ernst Schumacher. I sometimes wonder if he was another who’s life came to a premature end. There have been so many who have gone who have threatened to money status quo with their commonsense views. John Denver…? Another who I went to listen to on the subject of ecology back in the 70s, and on caring in general….

  110. I love your sauna mate chats mark. Visions of 2 spies meeting up incognito to exchange info. Great stuff.

    Collymore said before he got the job smith would be great and knows him from way back one but didn’t know he’d fit new owners etc as he does not suffer fools. Takes no s**t

  111. PP
    re: an west -east motorway.
    Ye Gods, my family live in Cardigan, & the last thing anybody in west wales wants is another motorway.
    Is the mess they’ve got already from Carmarthan eastwards not enough?

  112. Mark
    ‘can we dissolve parliament and change our votes all the way back to the 60’s as it didn’t turn out so well?’

    Why not go the whole hog & declare independence for Oxfordshire?
    Mind you, then we’d surround you.

  113. MK: “”

    I frankly am not overly worried. It would seem to be an advisory app and you can make your own judgment, still, on articles written.

    For me, life – as I’m struggling with the Lergy that I passed to IanG and he returned to me – is a question of looking for the +ves and trying to accentuate them, as the song goes.

  114. JL- Well there are plenty of sites that are worried by it such as natural health, alternate health and anti vaccination etc . There is big backing for this and I would not be surprised to see searches tampered with even more.

    We have already seen people banned from youtube and Twitter who don’t tow the line so I suppose an authority telling the unaware whats true and not true will just be a continuation of that.

    Keep on looking for the +ve’s lets hope they don’t go out of vogue and be harder to find.

  115. JL-

    “Well, in doing some digging of our own, aside from internet giants Microsoft9 and Google — one of the largest monopolies in the world — it appears NewsGuard is backed by companies that are presently involved, or have been in the past, in advertising and marketing of pharmaceutical products, cigarettes and unhealthy junk food to kids.

    Are we to believe that the profit preferences of such entities will have no influence on NewsGuard’s ratings of individuals, organizations and companies that criticize the safety or effectiveness of those products?”

  116. Mark
    A little nugget of fact that I noticed last night.
    Apparently the Marlborough tobacco company are trying to buy one of the larger cannabis growing companies, either in the states or Canada.

  117. MK,

    It still comes down to whether you want to be ruled by an app, doesn’t it?

    I would think the big +ve here is that if it becomes clear that healthy living (let’s say) is much more preferable to anything else, then people’s actual practise should rule the day.

    Let’s also remember that much of this is to do with North America (USA) and the nature of things over there. All the more reason i.m.o. why we should not be looking to go Brexit and having trade deals with the US. Whatever the failings of “Europe”, there are quite a few pluses too.

  118. The more I think of it the more I think we should identify ourselves as “European” and get away from the trap we laid for ourselves with the US in adopting many of their attitudes, mainly as a result of having the same language base and falling for Hollywood instead of Elstree.

    Culturally and historically we have far more that *tangibly* links us with Europe. If only the French would not be so keen at pumping their language – as my old Kiwi pal once called it: “le Frogois”. But I actually have a great regard for the French having spent so much time there (and in Italy) in my hitch-hiking days.

    It seems to me that we in the UK lack a culture that might pull us together more and away from commercialism. Perhaps the Eisteddfod should migrate to Oxfordshire, MK? And there you could recite your ode to Dean Smith? 🙂

  119. IanG, JL,

    Both of you leap in without really taking on board the point I was making regarding an east-west motorway. I did say that within the existing road system there was sufficient to not need to destroy much more of the countryside.

    As you say Ian there is already motorway, etc from Pembroke Dock and Fishguard to Carmarthen, but from their it heads south along one of the most expensive corridors to the south-east, and means that it then joins up eventually with the M40, creating an even larger corridor which then joins the country’s largest car park, the M25 and the majority of traffic, or a large part of it then heads north along the A1 , M11, etc., heading for the major ports of Harwich and Felixstowe.

    The connections from Carmarthen have improved with the bypass, but connections to Hereford and Mid-Wales beyond Abergavenny are non -existent, and the Welsh Assembly have no plans to improve road or rail connections, as the area is not a labour stronghold.

    The lack of foresight to connecting Hereford, Carmarthen which once again are developing towns/city and the onward connection to the Midlands where the A14 has not been raised to motorway standards as promised, would tremendously relieve the amount of traffic reaching the M25. Road improvements and dual carriageways have only extended to Merthyr Tydfil to reach the new Assembly offices.

    The amount of brown field sites that could be developed along such a motorway that fully connected all the disjointed bits could provide not only housing, but jobs that we within easy travel of home for people, thereby reducing the carbon footprint.

    We need to reduce the disparity in investment between not only the North and South, but also the investment in Wales and the borders.

  120. Jl- I have never said different as far as trade goes. It’s what comes with it, Germany are too overpowering in the EU and moving entire countries youth around to stave off the inevitable seems like a short term plan.

    Unfortunately we have no government figures with sufficient gravitas or gumption to lead the way in either scenario. Brexit was a shot across the bows but will probably be lost as a chance to reform this country or the EU.

    At one time the world wanted to emulate the west but now?

    Look at this site, full of clever people who have answers maybe but rarely agree.

  121. Paul,

    I’m just against the idea of more mororways, period. The idea does not fit in to the model that we need to apply on environmental requirements (emissions etc).

  122. Hers Dean Smiths WBA presser, in it he mentioned how they are teaching the players how to dominate games without the ball. I talked about this a good while back as I didn’t think we did it much under Bruce. The only player we have that seemed to have an idea was Jedinak. One player doing it can make a player they are facing go where he doesn’t want to but a whole team understanding the concept and channelling the opposition into traps is a great defensive and counter attack ploy.

  123. Just a word on Global climate change, read an article earlier that showed the front cover of time magazine from the late 70’s showing that scientists were all in agreement that the earth is cooling and we were heading for an ice age 🙂

  124. MK – Here’s hoping the yam yams can be corralled into a cul-de-sac whilst we set about dismantling them like we did at Derby and Middlesbrough.

    One thing I am sure about. We will give a good account of ourselves whatever the result but I’m hopeful we’ll take all 3 points again. I have every faith that Deano will select the right personnel.

  125. MK,

    The scientific view on what was going to happen back then has varied, but it all pointed to ‘something’ changing – the climate.

    Aside from which there were major reports produced early 70s by the Club of Rome on sustainability, both of which I still have and contain much indicative data. It wasn’t all correct by any means, but there were many indications back then were that we needed to view the environment quite differently.

  126. “It is increasingly absurd that we are guided by an economic model that was developed in what we have termed “Empty World” — when the world’s population was between one and two billion people.” — Anders Wijkman, co-president, Club of Rome

  127. JL- That is the point, the climate has always changed with or without us its been hotter and colder and we do not have all the answers. The temp has risen 0.7 in 100 years yet they are predicting another 2-6 in the next 100? they are expecting it to continue unabated at the same rate. We have had one decent summer since the 70’s that I can recall 🙂

    I’m all for cleaner fuel and energy but some of the rubbish being put out there like a meat tax due to C02 is just plain wrong. There is to much money involved to get to the truth.

  128. MK: “That is the point, the climate has always changed with or without us …”

    No, that’s not the point and it’s only a half truth. Your words are correct as read but what studies have shown is that the *degree* of change has intensified – which points to man and his effect on environment/climate.

    As for “not knowing all the answers”, if left to man’s own devices he would produce a scrambled egg of a solution.

    But you (and much of the world) ignores divine intervention and the fact that precise methods have been taught as to how to live practically which are not hugely different to the proposals of the Club of Rome. But you have to “seek and thou shalt find”. Once that hirst step is taken Truth will come closer to you. As for the world’s leaders they’re mostly trying to keep the money barons happy to worry about the Creator and implementing unpopular policies.

    I believe in a few years man will on his knees begging the Creator for answers … when they’re already there. As I’ve often said.

  129. PP
    No I didn’t misunderstand.
    Why on earth would you want a motorway through mid wales [or anywhere else, look at cannock chase].
    Your perverse hatred of the Labour party is a blindfold, as it’s very little to do with them, & Ceradigion doesn’t want one, they’d rather the trains were still there.
    I was astonished to see that there was even a bypass around tiny Presteigne, must be all the english conservatives who’ve moved to the area.
    If you want to get to & from Villa Park quicker don’t inflict your problem on what little countryside is left, or you may be responsible for concreting it over completely.
    As it is it keeps the hordes on the motorways where they belong.
    Mind you you wouldn’t be here so what do you care

    You’d be better off pushing for bus & train services to return.

  130. Plug
    The Yam Yams have always been in a cul de sac, & nothing’s changed since I saw Villa there when we were in the Premiership.
    I mean it is west brom, it’s like the pavement between the motorways

  131. Mark, you’ve mentioned a couple of times that the money involved is preventing the facts emerging about climate change.
    There is ‘some’ truth in that but look at where the money is. . . it’s vastly on the side of coal gas and oil.
    Open your curtains tomorrow and look at the cars and the planes. Use any electrical appliance. Worldwide, less than a quarter of our electricity production comes from renewables.
    The misinformation is largely ( not exclusively) coming from the massive energy lobbies trying to protect what they already have.
    Scientists on the other hand are generally seeking the truth. . . it’s what scientists do. They are peer reviewed before they can get papers published, and publishing papers is their currency . . . . it’s what makes them tick. Bad science generally doesn’t get published in reputable magazines.
    Of course scientists get things wrong, but the weight of scientific evidence is ‘hugely’ on the side of man having a hand in current climate change.
    Oh . . . and as JL said, climate always changes, but the current rate of change is unprecedented.

    Even if you’re still dubious about this, ask yourself . . . what if you’re wrong?
    What world might you be leaving for the next generation
    I have children and it genuinely scares me!

  132. Robbo- peer reviewed means another scientist read it. Now you are putting a lot of faith into people with their own bias and agendas to be totally honest. Many drug companies use the same mechanisms yet lie through their teeth.

    Already the computer models used for ocean warming etc have been proven incorrect.

    The unpalatable truth is there are to many people, look at population growth in the last hundred years, modern farming methods and deforestation release more carbon from soil than all the coal etc. Massive demand for energy and heat production by humans might also of added to the rapid rise and regardless of co2. Add nuclear bombs, fracking, unprecedented amounts of large earthquakes lately? Something bigger than co2 is afoot maybe.

    Yes the rise is unprecedented but claims of 6 degrees In next 50 years?

    I’m not calling for more co2 even though it is being demonised at present just more honesty and transparency.

  133. MK,

    As to “honesty and transparency” how many times do I have to mention the Club of Rome reports in the 70s?

    The very points you raise now were part of that.

    The issue’s been talked about for at least 50 years but the everyday Joe (sorry to say) is too plugged in to his-day-to-day condition to realise what’s going on and we still talk about left and right politics as though that was the sum of truth.

    Man has his own intellgience, he shouldn’t need to have it spelt out to him. If you did, in most cases it wouldn’t sink in and would still be wanting “them” to sort it out.

    Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction. (Einstein)

    The matter is not helped by our educational system, of course, which is geared into the Singapore Model from what I can tell. Singapore may have created a good model for itself, but that doesn’t mean to say it’s exportable. But that’s the leading theology of the time we live in.

    When the solution is simple, God is answering. (Einstein)

  134. Jl- the other day you said there is an attempt by someone to prevent us connecting to god? So which is it ? Who’s fault is this? It’s unlikely this is mans 1st stab at gods plan so is it the pupil or teachers fault or nobody’s?
    The natives who shot a man with arrows on an island didn’t get the memo I presume.

    What is the endgame? Do we all transcend and the film ends?

  135. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. (Albert Einstein)

    Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds. (Albert Einstein)

  136. MK: “the other day you said there is an attempt by someone to prevent us connecting to god?”

    I’m not sure that I said quite that, but prevention of thinking purely has been going by many systems and “isms”.

    Connecting to God is purely our individual task. Following some of Einstein’s advices isn’t a bad starting place for anyone so inclined.

  137. MK,

    We’re all provided with the same components. They are used by some at varying levels and in different ways – some don’t try.

    There are some who have been so gifted that they go through life doing what they know they must and achieve miracles on the way, and in many cases we may never know anything about them.

  138. On trusting in scientists, going through something like measles as a kid without vaccines means you are then immune not so if you inoculate. To add to that you will also suffer less chronic disease of all types later in life.

  139. But everything doesn’t have to be achieved in one life. I’m not sure whether it’s correct but I believe it usually takes several hundred lives to become sufficiently conscious to achieve the goal. But there are probably exceptions to that.

  140. Jl- then the chances of everyone getting there appears to be zero. I have to question a god that gives a machine gun to a child and he doesn’t seem to bothered about mass extinctions either.

  141. Dear IanG,

    I am not selfish, and do not have a desire for the motorway for my personal use, as I use public transport far more than most, as I actually love travelling by bus and train, interacting with other people where possible. I always use local bus services, which have improved this year, where possible, and drive to Newtown, so that I can travel by train to Aston, unfortunately Sky often change the times, and then it is impossible.

    The need for a better road systems is to carry the millions of pounds of goods, livestock and food around Wales and onwards, and to provide the young people of Wales the opportunity to live and work in their local areas, instead of being constantly exported like cattle to the rest of the UK

    The tiny town of Presteigne, the former county town of Radnorshire, has a by pass which is built on the former railway line, so no green belt was affected, in order that the huge articulated lorries coming out of the industrial estate, which did not exist when you were there, and the enlarged foundry which trebled in size, as has the town, could do so safely without damaging the buildings, the same was also done in Llanidloes and Welshpool. These by passes, and the new one for Newtown, is at the demand of the local people, who have lived there all their lives, and not by the infiltrators.

    When you have sons, daughters and other family that have been killed on treacherous roads carrying 26 wheel artics, box vans , and many other vehicles, you may understand the need for safer roads. It is not necessarily the fault of the drivers of these vehicles, but the very fact that they are there, on roads which are totally unsuitable.

    I certainly do not have a hatred of Labour politicians, or what many of them stand for, but I do believe in fair play, and an even distribution of the money that the Assembly receives.

    I do interact with my local people, and listen to them, and strangely enough, we all want the same thing. A better future for Wales and our children, exactly the same as my parents and their parents before them, back in Birmingham.

  142. Hi JL

    Quoting you – I’m not sure whether it’s correct but I believe it usually takes several hundred lives to become sufficiently conscious to achieve the goal.

    I’m very worried by that for a number of reasons, if enlightenment is the goal, then this life has been wasted to date because I spent my 20s in pubs or working, two beautiful daughters and marriage arrived in my 30s and my 40s has been spent ensuring my family has all they need. Where does this leave time to educate oneself, to seek truth despite the noise.

    I find keeping my head above water pre-occupying, I’ve no connection to my spiritual side if I have one, I’d describe myself as agnostic, almost atheist so is there a point in my existence beyond being a husband and a father if a future version of me is to be the one that gains the ultimate goal. Why am I to be the failure for someone else’s success?

    The ultimate question is what can be achieved in this life, perhaps the realisation that my achievement is my failure to be enlightened in order for my mistakes to be coded into my future self to learn from. In the meantime, I’ll console myself with fleeting moments of ecstasy when Villa win, celebrate those who went before me who had the foresight to press apples sufficiently to make cider and Volkswagen (my long love affair with all things air-cooled) never forgetting the serendipity of meeting my wife and the fruits of that love, my two girls.

  143. PP
    You’re sounding like a politician.
    I didn’t say I disagreed with all the bypasses, including Brecon [which is well done], I was shocked that it was there in Presteigne, & how much had changed as it had grown as much again since I lived there, when the local policeman used to get about on a bike.
    The reason for accidents on the A44 & A483 etc is down as much to the driving & speed as Lorries, but Farm vehicles create much frustration & slow everything down, & in all similar areas in the UK.
    I disagree with you about making a new road anywhere near the A44, as if one is ever built it should be further north around Newtown, but widening the road there makes more sense than the A44, but the north south ice sculpted hills are a barrier, as are most of the hills/mountains in Wales.
    There is a geographical reason why the roads are where they are.

    Then you have the coast road all the way down to Fishguard which is slowly being improved [watch the speed cameras].
    Leominster already has a horrible bypass North/south, but East west is another problem from there which a further big road would be ecological vandalism.
    The difficulty with getting to work was created by Thatcher’s mob, who exacerbated the problem by privatising the buses, especially the running down of the hourly Birmingham to Ludlow & also Hereford coaches.
    It still takes the same time as 40 years ago, so much faster than London.
    The jobs have not reappeared either.

    So just a Big Road through the borders is pointless below Shropshire.
    Then of course there is the fact that there is little work in Herefordshire either, until you get towards Shrewsbury or Kidder.
    It’s only 60 miles from Presteigne to Birmingham, so I think you are misunderstanding the cause of the age old problem of lack of work in the borders, which hasn’t changed since I lived there, & my son was brought up there, as it is a series of little market towns apart from the county towns with ancient road directions that are limited by the topography.
    Maybe you’ve been spending too much time close to Brown Clee with the chipmonks.

  144. DOR
    There’s a Buddhist saying, “Aspire to inspire”, as you can’t take anything with you when you pop off, including religion, seeking & our conceptual perceptional reality.
    Everything is Karma in the eastern sense, where good & bad are distractions, not definitive positions, & not personal, like the New Age versions, where there is always something to gain or lose.
    Even time is not what it appears to be.

    You sound fine to me.

  145. Mark
    ‘they’re not doing what I told them” ‘

    I caught that, & if that doesn’t say it all when compared to DS & others do it, nothing does

  146. IanG,

    Perhaps if we were talking one to one, there would be more understanding, apart from your continued attack on Thatcher, who actually achieved a great deal in her early years, it was only in the later years that she may have failed.
    I would certainly agree that the need for road improvements are from Newtown to Welshpool, where some of the worst accidents are, and that is why the Newtown bypass is under construction now. The A44 was being improved every year, as was the A483, the A470 and several other roads when they were the responsibility of the old Powys County Council, and Powys had the best condition roads in the border areas. They used to remove roughly 2/3 bends every year from these roads, and they improved considerably, until the Welsh trunk agency took over after the implementation of the Assembly. Since then very little has been done, and Powys trunk roads have fallen almost the level of Herefordshire & Worcestershire.

    I am well aware of the distances from Presteigne and also the other towns, which are spaced 14 miles apart, from the old coaching distances, except where there are intersections like Presteigne, which is 7 miles from Kington and 7 miles from Knighton, making the two K’s 14 miles apart, like Llanidloes to Newtown, Newtown to Welshpool and so on.

  147. Darren: “I’m very worried by that for a number of reasons, if enlightenment is the goal, then this life has been wasted to date…”

    Your story is not a lot different to that of many people, including me.

    I went through a self-blame period too … but eventually I understood that what we experience is what was intended. It’s the process that comes about in your life for multifarious reasons and it’s how we live out our within the scope of our intent that is the important thing.

    There’s no fixed religious path … each person’s path is their own, but there are certain principles that are universal.

  148. MK: “then the chances of everyone getting there [life’s true goal] appears to be zero. “

    I just can’t follow the rationale in that thought. Each life our soul experiences is just a stepping stone for the ultimate purpose.

    “I have to question a god that gives a machine gun to a child and he doesn’t seem to bothered about mass extinctions either.”

    Why do you assume that “god” does all that? Man was created with free will, but also with instructions on how best to go about things. It’s we that have created what we have, but fortunately, there are those that are evolved sufficiently to reduce unnecessary suffering without us knowing.

  149. JL- What I mean is if there is an ultimate point to our creation and our becoming enlightened is toward some end goal then an ever increasing population that appears to be not doing so seems the opposite. So the chances of everyone making it to enlightened is Zero, maybe a few will, its always seemed to be that way.

    I knew you would come back with mans free will 😉

    If you are omnipotent and you set out in your rules for man not to hurt anyone etc why allow that in mans option menu at all if thats what you desire from him? and all the other life on earth that suffers at our hands, where is their free will? just seems uncaring.

  150. PP
    As far as Thatcher is concerned, I find your fulsome praise bewildering.
    We lost a generation of kids in effect in the late 70’s, & her & Keith Joseph’s rigid ideology created the greed generation, along with the yuppies.
    The propaganda went deep Paul.
    Maybe in your business orientated, rarified world she did [& where you went to live was & still is a very controlled conservative place in comparison], but the cost in human suffering was enormous.
    Why do you think that ‘Ding dong the witch is dead’ song all but reached No1 when she died, after all that time, because of all the good work she did [& I’m not saying that I approve, but I do understand the depth of feeling]?
    This was nothing to do with party politics as such but much broader.

    There’s an old working class saying from the small heath ghetto in the mid 60’s, where the Nouveau Riche [newly enriched from within] were the most ruthless enemy of the working people, apart from themselves & their own tendency to look the other way out of fear [when you are going up a ladder, be careful of who you tread on, as you may meet them again on the way down was a common saying of the time].

    Yes we may very well communicate better face to face, as it would have more depth, & I’m not attacking you, but your prejudices.

  151. MK,

    My answer is not what you suggest, but it is simply the case that the future is unknown for those who predicate according to tools that may seem hugely advanced but yet are virtually nothing in the overall scheme of things. That’s almost a cue for coming back to CERN which makes the HS2 white elephant look like chicken-feed.

    All the questions you keep asking seem to require an intellectual answer, and you fall into the trap of assuming that God is this or that or that creation was created already perfect – which it wasn’t. What God may want is based (as it says in multiple scriptures, including the Bible) on his desire to “know himself”. That through creation perfection was to be achieved, but that achievement can only be achieved by struggle of one force against another (Yin and Yang). If everything was perfect we wouldn’t learn anything or evolve, would we? Our nature would be just to fall back and enjoy ourselves and look forward to the next Cup Final.

    A great account of ‘the struggle’ can be found in the Bhagavad Gita, where Arjuna does not want to do his duty (slaying his relatives) in battle because of his emotional connections. But it is a battle of the spirit he has to overcome because, without those relatives being killed, evil (which they had perpetrated) would not be done away with. Krishna is Arjuna’s mentor in the story.

    But that was a story related to happenings a very long time ago. The situation now is that there is so much evil that one isolated group removal would do nothing to alleviate the world’s suffering.

    The primary point to remember is that we are not bodies. I am not really John and you are not who you say you are. In our essence we are part of a continuity and the object is to spiritually evolve.

    Read the Gita. It’s not a thick compendium, and it will give you an idea about what Man is supposed to be about. It is an immense study into the psychology of man, which is what spirituality is all about really. i.e. purposeful suffering.

    It’s also an analogous story to that of Jesus, but expressed differently. And when the two stories are read in conjunction all should become much more clear i.m.o. Well, it did to me. As indeed when I read about Muhammed’s struggle against the Quraysh when M. was forced to go to war to alleviate an evil force. In those days they used to bury their daughters as they were of little use to them, it is said.

    And the Buddha’s struggle to find justice in the world. He also wondered why all the evils and suffering existed, but then found his realisation of the truth.

    To know truth, suffering is necessary. The future will look after itself, but God will not give up on His project, I’m sure. In Hindu tradition there have always been avatars appearing to restore peace and revive understanding.

  152. JL
    Also the wisdom says that light doesn’t fight the dark, as when you switch a light on in a dark room, it’s either one thing or another, dark or light.
    There isn’t a gradual or graduated change when you light a candle or click a light switch, as darkness cannot co-exist with light.
    As in our mind we create our own darkness, it isn’t an external force as such, any more than God is, otherwise God couldn’t be omnipotent.
    It’s us who externalise our own confusion & shoot people, we just spend a lot of energy denying the responsibility.

  153. JL
    In fact you could use football as an analogy.
    We become unbeatable by not being beaten, it’s a state of mind allying to the strength of our joint mind.
    Turn the light off & confusion reigns, & it does take a lot of energy, & we then tend to believe in our confusion & we lose the game.
    I suppose that’s why they say it’s a simple game.

  154. In days of yore, we never used to lose much against the Baggies, & they did have a good team, as did small heath.
    So hating us for it is somewhat petty, & shows how jealous they’ve always been.
    I remember getting on a train in the old days, which just happened to be full of returning albion supporters.
    I was trapped & when they asked me who I supported, & I said the Villa, they got very upset.
    Pathetic really, I mean they only exist these days in the space between the motorways, so I suppose it’s understandable that they keep harping on about when they were a ‘real’ club.

    I just hope it’s a good game, as I still remember Westwood scoring a lovely goal in front of me to get the draw.

  155. Jl- thanks, as you say it’s not perfect and neither are we, we are conflicted just as god seems to be.

    I wonder what will happen if a new Jesus or Mohammed arrives? My guess is more blood shed. It’s no different to Villa being better than the baggies someone isn’t going to react well.

    Dark and light runs through many faiths even paganism so denying the dark exists or is to be shunned is a fools errand as is denying our more animalistic tendencies. We may be more than these bodies but we have the animal kingdoms survival instincts and they are neither good or bad they just are.

    That’s why for all it’s supposed evil the west may be the greatest expression of free thinking yet. We won’t know until it’s destroyed.

  156. MK: “I wonder what will happen if a new Jesus or Mohammed arrives?

    He’s imminent. And this just shows you how we in the west have been blinkered and obsessed in our material success over the past few hundred years (we’be been dis-enlightened ever since ‘The Enlightenment’) not to note that the arrival of great spiritual beings has been occurring regularly in that time. Mainly in India of course. There has been no bloodshed on account of their presence.

    In fact over the late 19th c and early 20th c there were missions from India to the US (by representatives of Sanathana Dharma – ‘Hinduism’ if you will though an inappropriate name) to … wait for it … help restore Christianity! They were not badly received.

  157. JL
    Short & sweet ha ha
    We do what we can
    Free thinking?
    Too much thinking
    Not enough being

    Mystic Prutton says it’s going to be a 2-2 draw.
    As he’s never right any more, I doubt it.

  158. MK: “Dark and light runs through many faiths even paganism”

    What do you mean by “even paganism”? Again, a word used to brainwash people into thinking that anything before Jesus was ‘wrong’.

    For example, anyone who has studied even a little of the Maya or the Hopi will realise they are peoples of ancient tradition which contains great wisdom.

    And what about the Druids? Church of Scotland minister Dr Gordon Strachan made the claim that Jesus visited the west of Britain in a BBC film entitled “And Did Those Feet”, shown in 2009.

    He said: “It is generally suggested that he came to the west of England with his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, who was here for tin,” said the academic. “He needed to go around to learn bits and pieces about ancient wisdom, and the Druids in Britain went back hundreds if not thousands of years. He probably came here to meet the Druids, to share his wisdom and gain theirs.”

    A sign of affinity between the Druids and early Christianity, is ir not?

  159. JL
    ‘A sign of affinity between the Druids and early Christianity, is it not?’

    As he was in Kashmir at the same time apparently, that’s an achievement.
    Mind you, his wife was in the Camargue at the time as well apparently.
    Definitely travellers

  160. Much as I marvel about all this talk about the creator; I am an agnostic. I was brought up in a Catholic family and sent to a Catholic boarding school where the priests were sexually frustrated. Needless to say I did not practice that faith when I cut the apron strings.
    As a scientist I appreciate that there are wonders that make you think about the possibility of creation but if there is a god who wants us to live a good life so we can worship it in ‘heaven’ why, if it is so powerful, did it not create us in heaven and cut out the middle man?
    The ‘big bang’ theory holds no water as there always had to be some matter to bang in the first place and no-one can explain where that came from other than a mystical being.
    So, I practice no faith but I live according to my conscience and, if I am proved wrong, a merciful god will treat me as better than all the hypocrites.
    Meanwhile UTV

  161. IanG: “As he was in Kashmir at the same time apparently, that’s an achievement.”

    Not sure about that. Between the ages of 12 and 29 is quite a long time and the tradition is pretty strong.

  162. Jl- I wish you wouldn’t take everything I refrerence as my beliefs

    Paganism in this instance is what came before Christianity and lent many parts to that and other faiths. Which to me looks like man trying to fathom things out and adding /subtracting to suit. If the son of god was looking for inspiration we’re doomed.

    Mohammed didn’t exactly bring piece either.

    Iang – lets all stop thinking and stand in a field chewing grass, it would soon be over.

  163. Clive: “The ‘big bang’ theory holds no water as there always had to be some matter to bang in the first place”

    Well, science calls it “the Big Bang” while scripture refers to it as “Creation”.

    Yes, Clive, people have always had a number of questions on the topic, but the problem is that we are not the Creator, so … he/she being a considerably greater scientist than any of mankind (his/her creation) … must have thought processes that are way beyond our ken.

    So how can even start to think that we know what his/her thought processes are?

    If that’s your view then so be it, but aside from events in my life that originated my questioning (going back to age 10) it is sufficient for me to observe the prophets and messengers and teachers that have appeared on this Earth to guide mankind, and to follow also the lives of saints.

    In the light of the mad material world we live in, it’s the only sanity I can see.

    I agree conscience is important btw.

  164. John – each to his own eh? It was one of the things that I appreciated in your wife’s country – the way different cultures and religions got on with life in harmony.

  165. MK: Sorry I have to take issue on this. “Pagan” is a most derogatory term and in fact not at all helpful.

    “Paganism” is no such thing as you describe. Origin: Late Middle English: from Latin paganus ‘villager, rustic’, from pagus ‘country district’. Latin paganus also meant ‘civilian’, becoming, in Christian Latin, ‘heathen’ (i.e. one not enrolled in the army of Christ).

    Today it is used as a catch-all term for beliefs *outside* the main religions, and therefore is not used to describe “what came before Christianity”.

    What came before Christianity is a huge subject and cannot just be lumped into such a word.

    Better just to say ‘pre-Christian’ rather than ‘Pagan’, but still it doesn’t cover the topic at all adequately. You cannot lump thousands of years of wisdom evolution in such a way and give it credit.

    “Mohammed didn’t exactly bring piece either.”

    Oh dear, again we’re taken up with what we’ve been conditioned to believe.

    Equally you could have said something about Christianity not bringing peace, but you didn’t.

    I could point you to some of the greatest British men of literature who wrote plenty on the wisdom of Muhammed.

    What *people* have made of his teachings is a big story by itself. It is not Muhammed that didn’t pass and inculcate a true message but that the tribal factions had other ideas for their own benefit. And then down to the present day the extremism increased in such sects.

    But Muhammed’s message lives on in its proper form. As does the message of Jesus. But they don’t go around trumpeting their existence. When the right day comes, they will be seen.

  166. Andrew,

    MK keeps asking questions so, as Villa mates, we try to provide him with answers to help him out!

    Now I agree that this is not the topic to go into in depth on such a forum, but the trouble is in trying to find answers that suffice, some depth is needed. MK should go and look it up for himself, really.

  167. We need to keep Gayle and Murrey shackled. Should be an open game. I fancy Hogan to get one when he comes on. Providing the midfield finds him. He raced into acres of space down the Boro left channel but the ball went out right and a great chance disappeared.

  168. Jl- there you go again, I am on a building site you might want to use that huge intellect to fill in the gaps rather than lecture me on the meaning of one word 😉

    Sorry if it’s gone on folks but spirituality does get dragged into football on this site as do many other topics . The answer would be to post something about football worth talking about, I have tried that and that wasn’t right either 🙂

  169. Mark,

    I’m sorry, but mis-use of a word such as that can easily fire misinformation of the greatest order. And that’s the very thing you complain against – rightly so.

    It’s best we close the discussion for a number of reasons.

  170. Iang,

    This why the Labour party in Wales is unpopular, when their minister overturn the will of the people, and their representatives.’unauthorised’%20Hendy%20wind%20farm%20work

  171. Getting my Murrey’s mixed up with my Phillip’s. It’s Phillips that needs shackling not Murrey (who is dangerous but plays for Brighton). Rodrigues? Gimme Tammy every time.

  172. MK…

    “Funny thing is when the footballs rubbish there seems to more to talk about”.

    Very true. I was going to comment earlier on the thread, something along the lines of, “Villans, in midst of renaissance, find themselves engaging in philosophy and spirituality since there’s nothing to complain about with the football.”

  173. I will get something up for the game, though, yet everyone will likely yawn.

    I’ve always wondered what it would be like if we became an invincible side sitting atop the PL and Champions League. Wonderful bit of fantasy, that, but I don’t think it would be as enjoyable as cycles of despair and triumph.

  174. OV
    I thought you could tell us, as you appear to have been sighted in more than one blog at a time.
    Nice to see you post.
    I’m waiting til I see the team sheet, although it’s no longer like a magical mystery tour without logic.
    I feel strangely optimistic.
    They don’t like it up em at the Hawthorns

  175. Iang- does being a cow count?

    OV- And they say old dogs can’t learn new tricks

    JC- Too much enjoyment is good for nobody it shuts down the moan factor.

  176. Normally I would get a feeling of how this one will go, to be honest I am struggling, earlier in the week I would of said Villa win and it probably should be but I think the nerves are getting to me, to much thinking maybe?
    winky smiley thing.

  177. Mark
    Eh?? No need to swear mate, I’ve got testicles.
    Even the team pick is no longer so contentious.
    Strange after the past few years, hard to get used to.
    Yup agree with JC all I can do is keep grounded, yes I’m much better thanks, almost human.
    But I do have a good feeling about tonight, but we do tend to get a lot of draws at the Hawthorns.

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