It’s been another difficult week, and Villa “have limped over the line” into the new year, as Dean Smith put it. But his demeanor in the Swansea pre-game presser seemed good. He had his customary wry smile, a sense of humor, and looked at ease. He said we’d perhaps lost a bit of swagger without Jack, but that Taylor’s injury did the side no favors disrupting the balance at the back. All fair.

As one might expect, he’s looking to freshen up the side, and has done. O’Hare has been called up, Kalinic makes his debut, Taylor comes back, and Hogan will get a go (since Abraham’s not being allowed to play in this cup tie…). Keinan Davis makes the bench again and James Chester will finally get a rest. Further, Jack is out of the boot and walking pain free, which is encouraging. Lansbury’s back in training and available, so in combination with the window, Villa might be poised to make a fist of it in the second half of the season.

So, normally I wouldn’t look to much from a cup tie in Villa’s situation. But today, I think it will be interesting to see the will to win and how the new faces perform. Not an easy match, and I won’t necessarily be looking at the result as much as the performance.

Anyway. There we go, and here’s to hoping that O’Hare, in particular, has a good day.

Over to you.

Comments 111

  1. Well . . . . we’ve not been great at holding onto leads lately so I see it as a positive that we’ve gone behind with so much of the game still to be played.

  2. r0bb0
    At least they’re not being overwhelmed, had a couple of chances but vulnerable to counter attacks, as usual at the moment.
    0 – 1

  3. JL,

    Well, not too fussed about this one as far as the stakes. However, I do think the side could use a win whether it means points or not.

    Of much more obvious concern is whether Smith can get Villa playing to Hogan’s strengths. Very much looking like Abraham’s off. So I’d like to see Scott get on the score sheet.

  4. Dear god. That was terrible.

    Hara needs a loan and play men’s footy.

    We are crossing it in to midget hogan not using him properly just like Bruce.

    No jack no party. Clueless. Where is smithball?!?

  5. Trouble is since jacks been injured our performances have been pretty bad. Tammy s goals covering it up. We are in trouble unless smith can bring his own men in and play the way he wants?

  6. Andrew,

    That’s been the big question on my mind, the pressing. I’ve banged on repeatedly about it, and Smith’s downplaying it, but I think Grealish is fundamental to the side’s confidence and its ability to get the ball to stick enough to recover and apply pressure.

    Now, don’t know whether it’s by instruction because Smith has talked about that pressure dropping off, so it doesn’t seem like it’s something he wants. At the same time, he’s had to play three right backs, and hasn’t, until just recently, had another viable option in the middle besides Whelan. And when Jack was fit, he sure wasn’t playing Glenn. I don’t believe at all that Whelan can pull his weight in a high-intensity, high-pressure system.

  7. As an aside on the state of the personnel…A Peruvian friend of mine who knows nothing about Villa bought a new football game. Because of my attachment, he’s decided to make Villa his team.

    His verdict is that the fullbacks are rubbish, Chester needs a partner (and the game did update Tuanzebe being in and then out, as well as Jedinak’s turn at the back), Jedi’s too old…and Grealish and Tammy are quality. Seems like the game is pretty accurate.

  8. JC,

    I think we’re overplaying Jack’s absence. Though he’s pretty useful there’s no reason at all why a team with players such as have been playing since Jack’s absence can’t muster a win – apart from the matter of the defence.

    Someone (can’t remember who) made the point that Axel’s ability to take the ball up was an important ingredient before his injury, and it so happens we lost he and Jack together. I think Axel’s absence is the major calamity. But when Chester returns and plays with Elphick it may well get sorted out.

  9. JL,

    Obviously, I disagree. Axel is a big miss, undoubtedly. But that doesn’t explain what’s happening up the pitch. He’s more than “pretty useful”. As Dean says, arguably the best player in the league.

    We’ve gone round and round about Jack, and I know you don’t think he does much. But most everyone in the game disagrees, as well.

    McGinn can’t control the midfield. Neither can Hourihane. Whelan is Whelan. With Birkir and Henri back, could well get better, because you can’t get worse than Whelan in terms of what he can bring to the game these days.

    Elphick ought to help, and Chester getting healthy certainly won’t hurt.

  10. JC,

    What’s happening up the pitch is simply the team don’t have a good relationship with the defence – which (as all good managers know) is the foundation of a good team.

    This is a basic that’s always been true and will never alter because it’s a fundamental of the game.

  11. JC: “I know you don’t think he does much. “

    You’re doing a MK here!!!

    I have NEVER said that … in fact read what I said above.

    I’m not going to respond here because I think emotions are overtaking realities.

  12. You were also talking about the defense being a team issue. When Andrew points out the lack of the high press lately, that’s what was taking pressure off the defense, keeping us on the front foot, etc. And that certainly coincides with Jack’s absence.

  13. JL,

    Not emotional by any means. You have said more than once that he’s overrated and doesn’t do much. And that’s okay, your opinion.

    As I said, I just happen to strongly disagree.

  14. HC: “You have said more than once that he’s overrated and doesn’t do much. “

    You will note, John, that I have said very little of that since the start of 2018 until earlier this season when he did indeed drop off his performance – and a lot of people notes that.

    You’re not being air. I said above “he’s pretty useful” (when fit/motivated) and I stand by that.

    But he wouldn’t (as things stand) get far in the PL except as being a useful sub – unless his game gets transformed.

  15. The Game

    I’m sure that the near 30,000 Villa fans that turned up today expected to be at least entertained by a string Villa play and with more than a hope that we would progress into the next round.

    Success breeds success and success starts with outplaying the opposition and gaining a win. Even in a cup competition.

    I fear that today’s play and the result could have a negative effect on the outcome of the season and it will be a test of Smith’s motivational skills whether Villa can get themselves up and running again.

    I’d like to think he can do that. But we will wait and see I suppose.

  16. JC: “When Andrew points out the lack of the high press lately, that’s what was taking pressure off the defense, keeping us on the front foot, etc. And that certainly coincides with Jack’s absence.”

    But that’s what I disagreed about earlier when I said someone (and I’m sure it was someone at Villa) said that Axel’s ability in taking the ball up was a strong reason for keeping us on the front foot.

    Those on AVL don’t seem to have spotted that.

    Though Jacks’ return should certainly improve us, the big onus is on the defence to give the whole team confidence that they are solid enough and able to help keep the game on the front foot.

  17. Well I’d hoped we could go on a cup run this year as I think we’re a year away from promotion but hey ho . . . . another time eh?

  18. JL,

    I watch virtually every game every season. I see what Axel does and I’ve praised exactly what you point out, especially as he started gaining confidence. It’s not lost on AVL’s readers.

  19. r0bb0,

    I like the idea of a cup run…I think what’s a little ‘depressing’ is that we just haven’t been in the position for years now to endure the extra games.

    That said, a good run can carry over elsewhere.

    I don’t disagree with JL that today’s result doesn’t help anyone’s confidence, however makeshift the side. Especially don’t like that O’Hare did not seem to have a good outing. Swansea were largely unchanged, so maybe it’s not a surprising result, in the end.

  20. Think your both right. Jacks role Is huge. Takes the ball, it’s going to stick and players make there move.

    Axel was very good at bringing the ball out and allowing us to get up the pitch. 2 big misses.

    But it’s not smiths team and we must give it time. Not a good day today!!

  21. JC
    Thanks for writing a leader for us.
    Regardless of the disappointing score, I’m not too worried. That said, when players get a chance, they need to take it both in players getting promoted and those doing the shooting. Neither happened today. As JL said, our shooting was “profligate.” It was worse than the way I frittered away my Xmas pay cheque. I also agree that at this level and with our players, we shouldn’t have to rely so much on Jack. Transfers will help, but getting a “Villa way” is the way to consistent future success.
    I look forward to the next match.

  22. Cheers, Iana.

    I don’t think any side wants to be overly dependent on one player, no. As I was saying years ago, the best teams are those with the most difference makers. Villa have one that’s nailed on, a couple others that could be. Well, Tammy’s a difference maker, too. But seems like we’ll have to do without him.

    El Ghazi has shown flashes of brilliance. I can see why he’s out on loan, but really very talented. If he can be molded and in the right set-up, there’s a quality player there. Bolasie, too, can do things. Seen a lot of inconsistency from both, sometimes bordering on the clownish.

    But I remember when McGinn came in and everyone was thinking “there’s Jack’s replacement.” And he’s looking nothing like that now without Jack in the side. That said, I’d hate to think what we’d be looking like now without him in there. We’d have no bite anywhere.

    You look at all good sides, though, and there’s a lynch-pin player. Trick usually is having more than one.

    And it goes without saying that the there’s been almost criminal negligence when it comes to the back four. Well, we’ve said it a lot, but.

  23. JC
    That’s right, still remember Solskjaer, the baby faced assassin. Be great if we had that kind of super sub, but yeah like you said, we need more than one lynch-pin player.
    We still don’t have a consistent core of players. That is the real problem. A lot of our current players are still fairly new and haven’t had the support of a strong consistent core.

  24. What a total disgrace today, not just in the players and performance, but in Dean Smith’s team selection and tactics.

    I understand he wanted to blood his new keeper, but how does he explain his back four, surely Hutton, if you play him, should have been right back, with Bree playing centre back with Elphick, where he is comfortable. Why ever did he play McGinn, when he absolutely needed resting, and it showed in his abysmal loss of the ball time and again, and Whelan should not be starting. The Midfield should have been O’Hare, who improved as the game went on, and should not have been substituted, with Bjarnason and Lansbury, who were all fit.

    Hogan and Adomah were both awful, and El Ghazi was not much better. With height of the Swansea team, and the type of balls Villa were playing Davis or Kodija would have been better up front.

    Very disappointed in Dean today. He had an opportunity to put out a side that would have given there all, but he chose to do a “Bruce” and try and mix and match with tired legs on the pitch, a totally unprepared goalkeeper, an a makeshift midfield and defence.

    Maybe he should have put out a team that was fresh enough to compete, but still had some desire and bottle in them. He will need to improve things very quickly to get the fans back onside. A poor result at Wigan next week, and the numbers will start dropping off very quickly.

    His best team today would have been :
    Steer, Revan, Bree, Elphick, Taylor, O’Hare, Bjarnason, Lansbury, El Ghazi, Davis, Kodjia,
    Subs: Kalinic, Hutton, Whelan, McGinn, Adomah, El Mohamady, Hogan.

    I am sticking with O’Hare, because he did show some very good touches and first time passes, but he needs game time, and he will soon grow into his role.


    No Chelsea players are allowed to play in cup competitions when on loan, not just Tammy. This was introduced into their loan contracts after Bradford City beat them with Patrick Bamford…….

  25. IanG
    Happy New Year, mate.
    THat core is the key without a doubt. Without it, a team will crumble as soon as it strikes decent opposition. Players need to trust who they’ve got around them. How can they do that when they don’t really know them? I hope too that Smith can get it right.

  26. PP: “No Chelsea players are allowed to play in cup competitions when on loan, not just Tammy.”

    If that is the case, why did not Smith say that instead of intimating he was keeping him out of the team because of ‘head problems’? That’s the point I was making Paul.

    Is Smith playing ‘head games’ with the Villa supporters?

  27. Iana: “Players need to trust who they’ve got around them. How can they do that when they don’t really know them? I hope too that Smith can get it right.”

    Bloomin right on both counts. But yesterday Villa played with fire with the defence that was selected (though Chester needed a rest). The word ‘makeshift’ was written all over it.

    Seems that Lansbury fired more effort after coming on. Perhaps he could be the missing link if he can stay fit.

  28. Well, that was a real downer. Thirty thousand turned up hoping that we’d take the competition a bit more seriously than in days of Spud. But it seems not. I’m very disappointed like everyone else.

    Good summing up PP. I can’t argue with any of it. And if we don’t get a result at Wigan next week I too can see the numbers dropping substantially. Our form of just a few weeks ago has deserted us. So Jack and Tuanzebe are indeed big misses. Jack for his pressing and Axel for his carrying the ball out of defence.

    ‘Those on AVL don’t seem to have spotted that’

    IanG – ‘Posted on that days ago’. As did others on AVL including JC in his scripts. Leaves me wondering where JL is coming from with that comment.

  29. I am surprised at Dean Smith’s statement, “I didn’t see that one coming”….. referring to the team’s lack of effort and commitment yesterday.

    I really do hope that the Villa job has not become a step too far for him. I am also surprised that John Terry is not really shining at bringing the defence into shape. You would think that he could have made a difference.

    Of course, it may be that Dean is having struggles with the board and Patriarch, in getting the players he wants to improve the team. I cannot believe having seen so many good young English keepers in the FA Cup yesterday, that Dean would have wasted £7million on a new keeper.

    I have the feeling that if it does not work, he can walk straight back into his old job at Brentford, and Villa will be in an even greater pickle than when Bruce was sacked.

  30. Plug: “‘Posted on that days ago’. As did others on AVL including JC in his scripts. Leaves me wondering where JL is coming from with that comment.”

    You make it sound as though I’m a trouble-stirer, Plug. I hope you’re not intending to say that. As I’ve said before, I just state my opinion as everyone else does, but it doesn’t mean that you have to make that comment, does it?

    All I was indicating was that the talk (above) – as it has been before – gravitates to “oh, we miss Jack so much” when the main (not only) issue has been in the weakness of the defence after injuries to Taylor and (particularly) Axel. Where we would have been if Elphick had not been recallable I don’t know.

    Anyhow, the point is that a strong defence is the springboard for Jack and others to play their footie game. So whether Jack is available or not, the weak defence would still have been our downfall i.m.o., and we’re missing Axel’s growing ability in particular.

    What is certainly also true is that shooting profligacy remains a worrying issue as it has been for much of the season, and Jack certainly hasn’t helped in that department.

  31. Paul,

    1. On Tery. Not sure that’s fair given that the defence has been constantly changed these last few games and also that there have been bizarre errors by one or two defenders which surely Terry couldn’t do anything about. On Smith, too, it’s early to judge i.m.o. as Smith has a handful to deal with right now in lack of key players and the Abraham issue not settled yet.

    2. On the keeper, I have to admit I don’t quite understand why Steer has not been given more chance. I’ve always felt that given opportunity he could be as good if not better than anyone we’ve had between the sticks these past few years.

  32. JL.

    I think you miss the point. I understand that we are struggling, but to start playing players out of position, aka Hutton as a centre back, is surely suicide, and I am surprised that Terry would think it a good move. Bree has played there before, and has done so reasonably well. I would have also thought that Terry would have an input into how the team conducts itself defensively, and would be having an input during the game. This does not appear to be so.

    The absence of Axel is huge, as his ability in defence had become so important, especially in taking the ball forward and being involved in the high press that was working well. Without him, a strong defensive midfielder was more necessary in front of a weaker back four, but that has not really been the case, although to an extent Whelan has tried to fulfil that role. The error has been using Hutton and Elmo on the wings too much, neglecting their defensive duties, because El Ghazi, and Bolassie have not given the cover when they should have, and others have also failed to cover when called on.

    I really hope that this is a temporary blip, but cannot understand why Hause, or someone similar was not ready to be signed immediately, more important than any goalkeeper, and yet we are bickering over his price, which is a fair valuation, by all accounts. What do we expect to get for £2million pounds???? Is this why we have not gone back in for Mackenna, who in the summer looked a perfect solution, but we left it too late for them to get a replacement. Surely that deal should have been set up and ready to sign on the 1/2 January!

  33. Dean has to me, condemned himself yesterday, by saying that “I brought Kodija and Lansbury on to make it a proper FA Cup tie”.

    To me that says to make it a proper Cup tie, he should have started with them, which may have put a completely different complexion on the game, and given Lansbury an opportunity to show what he can do. The cup is gone again for another year, and we are left with the league to concentrate on, but I am concerned that we are slipping back into the old Villa ways, bringing in loan players, journeymen, who are no longer top of their game.

    I am sure that most Villa fans would like to see a balance, using the players we have on the books, getting the best out of them, and bringing in some of our youngsters to learn Villa’s way of playing, and at the same time getting the experience they need.

    The players we have put out on loan over the years do not return and show what they have gained elsewhere, but move on, and we sell them on for peanuts. Cahill, Albrighton, Delfouneso, Robinson, Johnson, Burke, Bennett, Baker, Clarke, Bannan and many more have come and gone, and are still playing, putting in a shift which is every bit as good as many that we have loaned in, or purchased.

    I don’t care now if we miss promotion, if we are building a young team for the future, which is going to get better, but not one stuffed with over the hill loanees, who cannot make it with their own team. The only really good loans we have had, have come from United, and it is the top Premiership clubs youngsters we should be looking at, if we want loan players at all.

  34. PP,

    I think you miss the point. I understand that we are struggling, but to start playing players out of position, aka Hutton as a centre back, is surely suicide,

    No, Paul, I don’t miss the point! I said what I said as Smith did not have many options. Chester needed rest for certain and Smith clearly sees Bree as a r-b. So, where was the c-b to put in instead of Hutton? Even the Jedi is still injured.

    If you meant “why not try Suliman”, you could be right, but I’d suspect we’d not be saying he did brilliantly as he’s short of experience in the first team.

    “he should have started with them [Kodjia, Lansbury]”

    Possibly. But clearly e was expecting more out of the others. Smith is damned if he doesn’t and damned if he does!

  35. PP,

    Out of the players you list who have “moved on”, you can say only Cahill and Albrighton have achieved much (and perhaps Clark), but you could also list Lowton and Westwood at Burnley, the latter of whom has done brilliantly in the last couple of weeks by all accounts.

  36. Chap on the radio who’s a youth coach reckons our youth ain’t that good. Few on Twitter who watch say same. No doubt they need loans. Have to go and play proper footy week in week out.

    This u23 offer nothing imo. It’s not realistic. So much time on the ball, lots of touches and mistakes go un punished. Get them playing proper footy. Think smith has said he wants that

  37. New goalie is a disaster. He’s too tall, can’t get down for any shot hit close to him. Jed is much better. Best we can hope for is to 6, if we bring in 3-4 players. We got ripped apart by a Swansea B team, or at least I didn’t know 1/2 their players.

    Agree with PP, McGinn should have been rested. What has happened to Doyle-Hayes? Yesterday would have been perfect for him.

  38. Andrew – it was obvious that o’Hare was 2 yards off the pace. He got robbed of the ball so often. U23 is a fraud, waste of time. Surely Bedeau and RHM should have played yesterday?

  39. When Smith was a Walsall and Brentford, he went bargain hunting in the lower divisions and found good young players that were playing man’s football week in week out, and some could be seen yesterday in the FA Cup, so why isn’t he doing that now, instead of looking at loan players, who offer nothing for the future.
    We need to building now from a permanent base. I am getting the impression that Smith may not be getting the say that he wants over transfers, etc.

  40. Paul

    He has signed 1 keeper. No loans yet. I’m sure the next 2 transfer window will show us.

    Poor bloke must think he has done summin wrong. Axel jack long term out and tammy off! Welcome to villa!!

  41. Paul,

    In fact Smith has already said that he isn’t happy about further loans and only intimated that in special situations would they look in that direction again.

  42. I’m glad to hear, Smith realises that loans aren’t necessarily the way to go, especially in our situation. As already said previously by PP et al, Villa needs to build. Loans won’t really help that and players near the end of their careers won’t either, unless they’re more-or-less brought in as mentor/coach part-time players.
    So, hopefully O’Hare and some of the younger ones get a chance in terms of more game time to cement a place for the future. As the saying goes, “If they’re good enough…”
    There must be some really good young players in the midlands chomping at the bit to have a go.

  43. Since Martin O’Neill left us in 2010:


    Even if you leave out the temporary ones, we’re getting through just about a manager a year.

    A number of youth players who’ve slipped through our fingers have been listed by someone in an earlier posting.

    What do ‘nearly’ all of these managers and players have in common?

    They’ve all come in for serious criticism from Villa fans. We may now regret the fact that players like Albrighton are no longer with us but please don’t try to tell me that he and others were loved by fans when they were with us.

    The fact is that (online at least) Vila fans make sport of getting on the backs of our players and managers.

    It shouldn’t come as a surprise that doubts are already being expressed about Dean Smith but I must admit that I thought it would take longer than this.

    So why does it keep happening time after time after time?

    My personal view . . . . because Villa fans are living in the past . . . the distant past.

    This isn’t me being defeatist, it’s me being a realist. If we don’t accept that it’s going to take time to rebuild and get behind our players and manager, this toxic roundabout is going to keep on turning and we’re never going to get off it.

  44. R0bb0,

    Hear what you are saying, and I am in agreement about the abuse of our players by so called fans. The worst being the abuse of Joe Bennett, when he was forced to close down his twitter and Facebook accounts.

    I am questioning the situation with Dean Smith because of a feeling that he may be struggling with the same old problems at Villa, and does he have the freedom to do things, as he did at Brentford and Walsall. Much could be caused of course by the media, as usual, with their reports on the players we are looking at either to buy, or more so again now, to loan.

    I am sure that Kalinic can become a great goalkeeper, but are we in a position to spend £7million on him, out of a budget of £20million, if we have even that much to spend. Surely £4million would have been more use on Hause from Wolves, rather than failing with a £2million bid.

    Mention has been made of Andre Green, who has now scored several goals for Portsmouth in recent weeks, including two goals which have taken them through the last two rounds, and put them into the hat for tomorrow night. It is a mute point on whether he should be recalled, or allowed to continue his development at Portsmouth. Perhaps the Abraham situation may become a defining point.

    I would not wish to have Dean’s headaches, and hope that over this coming week that he will get the backing to build the team that he needs for the remainder of the season.

    I note that there has been no mention by anyone about other players we still have out on loan, including De Laet, Tishbola and Gardner. I get the feeling that Dean will leave them where they are, with a view to moving them on in the summer.

    Fine display by Newport County today, with an outstanding display from Day their goalkeeper, and their on loan forward from Bristol City, who seem to have the knack of finding good players.

  45. Green only comes off the bench for Pompey. Never starts which says a lot. I don’t know what it is with villa fans thinking our kids are amazing and the answer. Be lucky to get 2 of them come through. Get them playing proper footy either minutes at villa or loan. U23 waste of time.

  46. Robbie your right.

    I am prepared to give smith years to get us sorted.

    For once no quick fixes, chucking money around with no plan. We have owners currently happy to prop us up and a manager proven at finding rough diamonds on the cheap, playing youth and attacking footy.

    Forget about going up. We are a mid table champ side which has been run terribly. Believe in the process now and support the team.

  47. r0bb0: “My personal view . . . . because Villa fans are living in the past . . . the distant past.”

    Perhaps … but more just impatience I suspect having been so long in the doldrums. The last 8 years have been mostly ugh with very little indication of progress. And if you take away the 2006-10 years it’s been more like since the time Gregory left – nearly 20 years ago.

    The issue is that AVFC is the biggest club in the whole of the Midlands and was once (as recently as 1982 and even the 1990s) on a par with the other big clubs north and south.

    The Midlands is currently bereft of success with no Birmingham area club in the PL.

    I think a certain amount of impatience is to be expected really, but since Smith was wanted by a lot of people on AVL it’s a bit premature to swipe him for anything, especially as he’s clearly having difficulties in getting a decent team out because of injuries and transfer disturbance.

  48. Andrew,

    In fairness Green was beginning to look like the real deal i.m.o. until he got injured. He seems to have had difficulty in getting back into that form.

  49. PP,

    Good point about that Newport win – terrific effort on their part.

    I was actually in awe of Albrighton. He really does contribute a lot going forward … but he then committed what he often did for us – a silly foul in the wrong place!

  50. JL,

    Cant disagree with you over Albrighton, but then if you are involved in every minute of the game, the more you are going to make the odd mistake, and the full back had been taken off for Madison to come on and Albrighton was playing full back.

    Jordan Lyden was also very involved in Oldham’s win over Fulham.

    Green has been back in form for over a month and Pompey are over the moon with him. He is looking good when playing, and his tenacity and coolness for their winning goal was impressive.

    The fans have the right to criticise where they see things that do not appear to be right, and the media also lead the way in this a lot of the time. I do not think that the majority of fans have a problem with Dean Smith, but are frustrated by the fall off, and the continued use of some of the poorer players that featured under Steve Bruce. Obviously, the problem is injuries, players out on loan and many other factors.

    We all need to be more patient, but when fans see things happening with regard to player recruitment, which are reminiscent of times in the not too distant past, they will react. Players like Cresswell, Sissoko and others that we would not pay that little bit extra for and now they are regular members of West Ham and Spurs.

    I really do hope that this time the board step up and back Dean in his need for players. Still do not understand that the £7million for the goalkeeper is more important than £4million for a centre back..!!

  51. Abraham

    It’s looking increasingly likely that Tammy is on his way, money chasing (or ‘lucre’ as William McGregor called it) player that he seems to be as the agreement would be only a loan deal for the rest of the season. Though it’s possible that Wolves could buy him in the summer I suppose.

    I am shattered on two counts:

    1. That he clearly had a good thing going at VP and the fans loved his goals. To them it it must be a real slap in the face, I would think. Not only that but it’s rumoured that he would stand to receive a £500k bonus if Villa got promotion.

    2. That the press (the Mail) distinctly played down the chance of his going, according to words from Dean Smith, and that report is what I took comfort from. Now I must say I allowed myself to be taken in and naively thought that the situation was as Smith said it was.

    What a nonsense this makes of choosing to take loan players in key positions in the team, unless it’s guaranteed for the whole season.

    Anyhow, it’s still not final – but it just looks that way.

  52. yeah he has missed trsaining today.

    But he only joined us late (looking for better deals) and we was desperate!

    He acted the part, kissing the badge lots but seems he doesn’t really care. stupid agent driven move imo.

    Wolved play 1 up top and matey there is decent. he will be on the bench too.

    But hey ho he aint our player but its a pretty big hole to fill. massive blow.

  53. Maybe if no-one else reads my comments , Dean and his team do…!!!!

    Kortney Hause is now a Villa player until the end of the season, with an option to purchase.
    Jorden Lyden has been recalled from Oldham Athletic, and Andre Green was spotted in a local MacDonald’s on his way to see Dean Smith at Bodymoor Heath.

    On the rumour front, we have been linked with Anichebe, who had his Chinese contract ripped up, and is willing to sign and play for free….but might just ask for a few thousand a week expenses.

    Maupay, Romain Sawyers, and Yoann Barbet, a French defender, who plays centre and left back for Brentford, are all on Smith’s radar.

    Certainly the news that we have signed Hause is great, and we are no longer interested in Christian Fuchs is good,

    The return of Lyden and Green should also make a big difference, and means that Dean is keen to use our own players first.

    Maupay and Yoann Barbet could both be excellent buys, as they are both still relatively young, and he knows them both.

    If these deals can be done, then I do believe that Dean’s plans will be back on track, and we can move forward.

  54. PP: “The return of Lyden and Green should also make a big difference, and means that Dean is keen to use our own players first.”

    The way I’ve read the detailed reports of these is that one or both of them have simply reported to the boss about their status. In the case of Lyden he seems to want to continue his loan arrangement – don’t know about Green.

    We’ll see what actually happens I suppose.

  55. Great display by Wolves to beat Liverpool, and now a fascinating draw for the fourth round, at least we do not have to slip up to Gillingham now.
    Newport County v Middlesboro’ could be a very interesting one, and will Brentford slip up against Barnet?
    The next round will also get rid of a few more Premiership sides. Could be a fascinating FA Cup competition this year.

  56. JL,
    If you read the article on MOMS, it confirms that Lyden has returned to Villa Park, among all the other useful information in the article on transfers, etc.

    Nice to see our youngsters hammer Man Utd 5-1 tonight, with a second half blitz.

    First on the score sheet was Keinan Davis followed by Hepburn-Murphy, Kelsey Mooney, Jordan Cox and O’Hare.

    Not bad considering United had conceded only six goals all season, before our boys ran riot..!!

  57. PP,

    No big deal – I was only quoting Lyden himself from a Mail article, Paul. MoM isn’t always right.

    But I did say “we’ll see what happens” … which is what we’ll be doing!

    On the slaughter of Man U in the u-23 match, Man U looked quite strong for 55 minutes before Villa took over. But it has to be said that the Man U keeper didn’t help his side and the last goal was a clear own goal I’ll think you’ll see, very near the end.

    Nevertheless a morale-boosting win.

  58. In fact all MOMS says is “Jordan Lyden has returned to Aston Villa following his loan spell with Oldham Athletic” which is a lot less info than in the article I read (the link to which is not to hand, unfortunately).

  59. Hause

    Aston Villa changed their move for Wolves defender Kortney Hause from a permanent to a loan deal after concerns over his medical, Football Insider can reveal.

    Hause was due to join Villa on a permanent deal last week after the Championship side agreed an undisclosed fee with Wolves for the defender.

    However, a well-placed source has told Football Insider that Villa made a U-turn and decided to change the terms of the deal after a medical showed Hause was carrying a foot injury.

    see more:

  60. Deciding to stay, Tammy has made a great decision for Villa and a wise decision for himself. If he stays fit, 30 goals are on the cards this season and his stock will soar. Well chuffed.

  61. Andrew,

    Nah. It’s dead as a do-do, mate. This cannot re-appear by any stretch of the imagination and is not equatable to the Delph fiasco when Delph was a permanent player.

    Unless Villla get promoted and buy him in the summer, Tammy will only now leave at the end of the season and most likely will have increased his value substantially so that Chelsea can maximise his sale in the summer.

  62. The main point of the Hause deal is that we can make it permanent, and this was at the insistence of Christian Purslow. So he will only return to Wolves if we don’t feel he is up to the mark.

    He needs to get up to scratch, and has had virtually no playing time for over 2 years, since he played in the Championship in 2016/17. Since then he has only played a couple of games for Wolves first team.

  63. I hope so John. Some turn around today though!


    Yeah it’s going to take a while for hause to get fit. Typical Deano signing though, likes he challenge to improve someone. A lot of folk say he is a very good footballer. Could have a rough diamond

  64. Idissa Gueye possible £40million move to Paris St. Germain……
    Nice little £32million profit for Everton, after we sold him for £8milion…

    It will be interesting to see the values at the end of the season for Ayew, Amavi, Veretout, Gueye, Sanchez and the other moneyball players, after we failed to develop them.

    Ayew seems to be finding his feet at last with Hodgson at Crystal Palace.

  65. Andrew,

    Yes, his potential seems to be huge from what has been said about him. I am sure that Tammy has taken his time, thought about things, including JT’s influence, and will have reflected on what has happened with players like Benteke, when they move on for big money. He will also have realised that Troare is still only a super sub, and has not become a regular yet.


    Jordan Lyden’s loan to Oldham Athletic expired on 1st January 2019, and that is why he has returned to the club…

  66. Rowett has had the chop from Stoke City…!!!

    and Agnew was really surprised that they all got the sack for a slow start, when they were only two points of the play-offs…..

    Such is life….

  67. PP: “Jordan Lyden’s loan to Oldham Athletic expired on 1st January 2019, and that is why he has returned to the club…”

    I’m just stating to you about him that was in the main press, Paul – that Lyden was talking of returning to Oldham for the rest of the season.

    If that’s not going to happen all well and good but I was only stating what he was quoted as saying.

  68. Andrew,

    If Tammy is going to go then it hs to happen before Jan 14 according to the terms of the loan arrangement with Chelsea. That’s in 5 days time.

    He’s not going to Wolves and now that CP are alleged to have expressed interest is surely not going to make a difference to his decision to stay at Villa this season, especially as Chelsea don’t want to sell until the summer.

  69. On Tuesday I was kindly asked to be interviewed on a Scottish radio sports programme (Rock Sport Radio), ostensibly to talk about George Ramsay as the first Scottish ‘Manager’ to lead an FA-Cup winning team. Before I went on the show I had a good think, and thus I was reminded just how important the Scots were at the Villa, pre-1890. In 1887 (when the Villa became the first Midlands’ club to win the FA Cup), the club’s President, Chairman, Manager/Secretary and Captain were all Scots! I was a little shocked even though sub-consciously I was aware of that fact.

    That situation quickly changed as the President (the industrialist George Kynoch) resigned the following year and subsequently migrated to South Africa, while the Chairman (William McGregor, who almost single-handedly had steered the Villa from bankruptcy during the 1885-86 season, the first season of professionalism in England) also stood down from the Chairmanship to set up and Chair the new Football League. The Captain (Archie Hunter) had a heart attack while playing at Everton in 1890 and never recovered sufficiently to play again. Although Archie subsequently helped in the administration and team management at the Villa, his health worsened and he died at the age of 34, in 1894. Very poignantly, it is said that Archie asked for his sickbed to be moved nearer to the window so that he could see the crowds streaming to the Villa’s ground on a Saturday afternoon.

    Archie Hunter’s grave has a significant memorial that records just how all those connected with him admired him as the great Captain of Aston Villa. He didn’t play for Scotland, but only because at the time he was playing (1878-90) Scotland forbade anyone playing in England from playing in the Scottish team. In the 1990s, he was listed as one of the 100 greatest players to play in the Football League.

    The fourth personality listed in the Villa hierarchy of 1887, the Secretary/Manager George Ramsay, who had transformed the Villa when he arrived as a player in 1876, retained his post at Villa until he retired in 1926, 40 years after being appointed in that post and 50 years since he arrived as a player. In fact, Ramsay’s involvement did not cease in 1926 as he was then made a Vice-President and aided the club in many ways, primarily in public relations, until he died in October, 1935.

    There are two more things to quickly add about Ramsay (though he is worthy of a long chapter to tell about his detailed achievements at Villa) in that when he died it was in the course of the season 1935-36, which saw Villa being relegated for the very first time. The Villa were never relegated while he lived!

    The second piece to narrate is that the headstone on his grave states “Founder of Aston Villa”. That statement is not true, but it illustrates just how much his influence was at the club and the stature he attained, admired by all those connected with the club and many others in the football world. He was a true legend.

    Ramsay actually said: “I planted an acorn and an oak tree grew”.

    Wonderful Scottish players have been influential at the Villa ever since, particularly Jimmy Gibson (a ‘Wembley Wizard’ in 1927), George Cummings (a full-back who invariably kept Stan Matthews and Tom Finney quiet), Alex Massie, Andy Gray, Alex Cropley, Allan Evans and Ken McNaught (centre-backs when Villa won the European Cup in 1982), Alan McInally, Charlie Aitken (who played the most games for the Villa: 660) and now John McGinn.

    There have been a few others too who have played a useful contribution, including Jimmy McEwan (who passed on only a little while ago) and Ron Wylie who spent a total of about 20 years as a player and coach at the Villa. Ron masterminded Villa’s biggest post-war win, an 11-1 beating of Charlton in 1959.

    Few know that George Graham started his career with the Villa but was somehow sold to Chelsea. And there was also Bruce Rioch (whose father was Scottish!) and brother Neil Rioch, who ran the Aston Villa Former Players’ Association for many years.

    Since Ramsay, Scottish managers have not faired well, however, at the Villa. There have been six such since the first Team Manager was appointed at the Villa in 1934, including Tommy Docherty, Alex McLeish and Paul Lambert.

    (c) 2019, John Lerwill

  70. Well, only Jack who’s in Dubai rehabilitating, Tuenzebe & Nyland are injured currently.
    Everyone else is available for Wigan.
    So the defence should be more stable [I hope], & Tammy should be playing.
    Looking forward to the match, even if it is on the radio, & go for a 3 – 1 win.
    Any away support visiting Wigan Pier has my respect.

  71. It’s a Villa win for me on Sat. Could be closer though than what it might have been had Jack and Axel been fit.

    Eight of the nine teams above us are playing each other so a great time time to get 3 points and make up some ground. We are not short of incentives.

  72. It’s all happening.

    The Brum rag:
    ‘Lyden is believed to have suffered a serious injury in training at Bodymoor Heath’.

    Sad as this was his chance to be involved before his contract runs out.
    Maybe PNE will give him a home.

  73. So Leeds win 2-0 but there is an undercurrent of controversy as it was reported that Derby’s training ground was under ‘spy-watch’ – Guardian today
    Earlier in the day Derby announced that police had been called to their training ground on Thursday following reports of a man equipped with binoculars, wire cutters and camouflage clothing hovering suspiciously on its boundaries.
    Bielsa admitted he had sent a member of his backroom staff to spy on Lampard’s preparations, revealing it was a ploy he had deployed ever since his days in charge of Argentina and Chile.
    Unimpressed, Lampard indicated that he believed it was no coincidence that, shortly before his side lost 4-1 to Leeds at home earlier in the season, a man was spotted lurking in the bushes beside their training complex.

  74. Team for today: Kalinic; Bree, Chester, Elphick, Taylor; Bjarnason, Hourihane, McGinn; El Ghazi, Abraham, Bolasie

    Subs: Steer, Whelan, Hogan, Davis, Hutton, Hause, Adomah

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