So, not many changes today following the close of the window, just Tyrone Mings coming in to give James Chester a badly needed rest. We’ll get to the window post-match. In the meantime, here’s a fresh sheet of paper to reduce the scrolling and what have you.
COYVB

Comments 92

  1. morning john, or is it afternoon ?

    we’re looking good for far!

    i’m watchian with the sound off and blasting some metallica, with a snake bite and a whisky chaser,

  2. yes but we need someone else to step up , its obvious tammy out main threat so its too easy for rdg to stop it.

    btw, mings its class, god ptt 2, i’ll call it right now

    reading is a decent night out! whether married or not

    i am on to the best of diamond head now, am i evil, yes i am!

  3. Another disappointing result.

    I am baffled by the January transfer activity. We lost two attacking players – Bolasie and Hogan and did not replace them.

    Fer would have been a good signing. Mings was a good signing. Not sure about Carol

    The absence of Jack has been catastrophic.

    Time for Smith to earn his salary. The team and performances has gone stale

  4. well guys how do u feel about about this result?
    a draw is always better then losing, still only 3/4 points away, and jacks back nx game.
    personally, not Delirious, but we can do it !

    anyone know what happening to mk?
    at least he talked back

  5. roger…

    Tough result. Did enough to win, I liked the effort. Elphick unlucky to hit the bar, Tammy denied by a great save. So, regardless of the rest, the points really were there for the taking.

    It was also scrappy, the referee was poor. And I saw a lot of players making poor decisions.

    Only one game, but Mings was a real plus. Never looked troubled, puts himself about, composed, nice range of passing. For just walking straight into the team, I actually thought he looked better than Tuanzebe. The two of them would make quite a pair.

  6. RichardS,

    Was trying to do a piece on the transfer business, but had the flu, and between that and work, didn’t get it finished. Poor me.

    But as I was thinking about it, I wasn’t as disappointed with the window as I thought I was. Clearly CB has been the biggest hole. Not that FB isn’t a problem, just that the CB situation was basically criminal neglect.

    People being disappointed Mings was not brought in as a LB? Well, it all looked much better in the center today with an imposing, athletic CB out there instead of a crocked Chester. So, right move.

    Hause, we’ll see. Seemingly more one for the future—and depth, if nothing else.

    Smith clearly is committed to playing to Tammy, so letting Hogan go I think was a favor to the player. We were never going to set ourselves up round Hogan enough for him to have any chance to repeat his previous form under Deano.

    “The absence of Jack has been catastrophic.”

    Yes it has. And that’s really been the issue. That’s why we look stale and bereft of ideas.

    This is why I think you didn’t see us going after attacking players (on a presumably limited budget and real uncertainty about going up, etc.). Smith knew Jack is on the verge of coming back, couldn’t replace him, and there wouldn’t be any point. Knows that he’s the key to getting the best out of everyone in midfield, etc. Adomah’s fairly consistently reliable, El Ghazi has the talent. So, get Jack back, and if he gets back in form, then the team should start looking like it did against Derby and Boro.

    Taking a punt on Carroll seems not a bad idea since Fer fell through, Smith likes that swing man back there, and maybe he can fit the bill. Impressed they were at least decisive at the last minute. Whelan’s been a stop-gap, and I think Dean looks at him as less of a wildcard than Bjarnason. Lansbury can’t seem to stay fit.

    So, long story short, he got the middle of the back line sorted, got little depth, and a player that might thrive in a possession side to play in front of them. Kalinic I think will be fine. Not an ‘exciting’ window, but a practical one.

  7. And on Whelan vs. Bjarnason. From where I sit, I’d probably disagree. I think Bjarnason just needs a run of games to settle down.

    But. This is the first time in a while where I would simply defer to the manager. I think he knows what he’s doing. He’s just been missing a player that can’t easily be replaced, and without Axel, and Chester nursing his knee, it’s been too much quality missing.

  8. Hello John C – I see your logic regarding the January transfer. And I agree with most things you say. You do a great job keeping this site going with intelligent observations and well-constructed articles.

    However, I disagree with the loan of Hogan to a team that is above is in the league. Why strengthen Sheffield UTD when we are trying to catch them?

    If Tammy gets injured we have a problem. We should have kept Hogan or replaced him. And we should not have sold him to a rival in the promotion race.

    El Ghazi is inconsistent and Albert has been out of form for a while now. I guess we have Green.

    I would have welcomed the likes of Hayden or Chalobah in midfield – we could do with more quality in that position. The absence of Jack has highlighted that.

  9. Cheers, RichardC.

    Dunno whether Hogan comes back to bite us. In just thinking about your comment, I had a thought, though. Perhaps Deano just knows/believes Hogan isn’t going to make much difference for them.

    But we are thin, yes, and it’s telling he let Hogan go in this circumstance. Like I say, I think maybe as a favor to the player…So fingers crossed, I’m hoping I’m right about Smith’s logic.

  10. john, dude,

    that piece rocked to fook,
    , i read and i am very happy the way u run it but , u need a backup, i voulterer,
    ………….howevver.. ther must be a way we came move/shadow the group to twitter or whatsapp, or something, or …some cunning plan ?

    i’ll copy paste for any that mised it.

    RichardS,

    Was trying to do a piece on the transfer business, but had the flu, and between that and work, didn’t get it finished. Poor me.

    But as I was thinking about it, I wasn’t as disappointed with the window as I thought I was. Clearly CB has been the biggest hole. Not that FB isn’t a problem, just that the CB situation was basically criminal neglect.

    People being disappointed Mings was not brought in as a LB? Well, it all looked much better in the center today with an imposing, athletic CB out there instead of a crocked Chester. So, right move.

    Hause, we’ll see. Seemingly more one for the future—and depth, if nothing else.

    Smith clearly is committed to playing to Tammy, so letting Hogan go I think was a favor to the player. We were never going to set ourselves up round Hogan enough for him to have any chance to repeat his previous form under Deano.

    “The absence of Jack has been catastrophic.”

    Yes it has. And that’s really been the issue. That’s why we look stale and bereft of ideas.

    This is why I think you didn’t see us going after attacking players (on a presumably limited budget and real uncertainty about going up, etc.). Smith knew Jack is on the verge of coming back, couldn’t replace him, and there wouldn’t be any point. Knows that he’s the key to getting the best out of everyone in midfield, etc. Adomah’s fairly consistently reliable, El Ghazi has the talent. So, get Jack back, and if he gets back in form, then the team should start looking like it did against Derby and Boro.

    Taking a punt on Carroll seems not a bad idea since Fer fell through, Smith likes that swing man back there, and maybe he can fit the bill. Impressed they were at least decisive at the last minute. Whelan’s been a stop-gap, and I think Dean looks at him as less of a wildcard than Bjarnason. Lansbury can’t seem to stay fit.

    So, long story short, he got the middle of the back line sorted, got little depth, and a player that might thrive in a possession side to play in front of them. Kalinic I think will be fine. Not an ‘exciting’ window, but a practical one.

    fooking awesone

  11. Oh, and on the window, it seems money and hedged bets were clearly front and center.

    I’m sure I could find out how we’ve danced around FFP, but I just don’t know that there was money to make any impactful moves beyond the business we did. And doubts about promotion probably only compounded that.

  12. Ha! Thank you, roger.

    Drop me a line, always interested in new ideas. If you’d like to write, please do and send along. Love having other voices, and any and all help of any kind is always greatly appreciated!

  13. JC,

    Whilst I agree that MK does write some good stuff, it used to be lots of it and frequently intermingled with misinterpretations of what others say. Well, of what I say at least!!! And I’m sure it’s “not been fun” for him partly because Smith’s train has come off the track a little! (wink, wink). I’m sure it will get rectified though.

    In that situation I’ve found it difficult to have a dialogue, but not for want of trying (though he’d say the same, I’m sure).

    Coming back to Jack, yes, he has been missed, but let’s keep in mind that the team has lost a lot of its rhythm also because of the defensive situation and losing the ability to push up. We’ve been through this discussion before, haven’t we. And the matter of frequent wayward shooting.

    But with Mings apparently doing well (and thanks for that heads up as we didn’t see the match here), and with Carroll perhaps making a difference, I think Jack’s return will now go better than I thought it might, though to expect top form straight away might be expecting too much.

    Anyhow, I’m looking forward to the forthcoming matches, and we have a couple to watch on TV as well.

  14. Guys what chance do we have with the likes of Whelan, Hutton, Taylor and Adomah? Even Hourihane is only useful from set plays

    Form open play, all those players are so slow and have awful technique

  15. Frem…

    I think it comes down to playing in a way that overcomes their limitations. Whelan just shouldn’t be playing, period, and won’t when Jack comes back.

    I’m hoping that Hutton’s and Taylor’s deficiencies are lessened by a bigger, stronger pair of CBs (better at defending crosses, ability to cover more ground, etc). It was all looking just fine and rather quickly when the best players were available.

    So let’s say we regain that form. Could easily see us winning through the playoffs. Then it’s time for a massive rebuild.

    Maybe we could keep Tammy, but it’ll be harder for him at the next level (just like for Jack and the rest). Maybe we could keep Axel and Mings. Hutton, Taylor, Elmo, Whelan, Jedi…they’d all be gone. Albert, too. AEG might be kept around the squad, might even stay in, but he’s got 17 games to really find a consistent groove.

    In short, I’d be keeping (ideally), Tammy, Jack, McGinn, Axel, Mings and Kalinic (who as Croatia’s #1 has to end up being just fine), AEG as one for the future, possibly. Everyone else would have to replaced, and it would all have to come together over the summer and into the first part of the next season to have a shot at staying up.

    This just occurred to me, though: Maybe they want to get up for the cash, figure if we go back down they’ll then have cleared up FFP and will have the time and money to rebuild and get up to stay.

  16. JC: “Don’t want to get into discussing your and Mark’s differences or what he’s thinking. Not a public matter.”

    I didn’t suggest that there was any discussion due as to our differences.

    In fact what I said was not entirely related to that.

  17. Interesting how you also misinterpret, JC. Or maybe consciously trying to re-direct the issue.

    I’ve clearly made a mistake coming back on here. I must make a greater effort in staying away.

    Clearly waffle wins.

  18. Come on girls!
    Try not to wreck the furniture.

    Frustrating match yesterday from the radio commentary.
    The defence seemed more stable as expected,
    It was a bit like Reading’s cup final

  19. rogermuffin
    The performance seemed better from the radio commentary.
    If the turnover in the summer when some of the ageing & unwanted players are replaced happens, then we might just smash it next season.

    Frem
    No one seems to want to let many players leave in the January window, except for those they don’t want.
    Hopefully it’ll be better in the summer.
    I also was hoping for at least a left back

  20. JC
    ‘I’m hoping that Hutton’s and Taylor’s deficiencies are lessened by a bigger, stronger pair of CBs’

    It seemed to be the case yesterday, but Taylor has still a f**k up in him.
    I agree with you & Frem & rogermuffin that the playoffs are a distinct possibility.
    But I am in 2 minds about promotion before the rebuild has gone far enough.
    The cash aspect of promotion has its importance, but I’d ideally rather we did it the way wolves did last season.
    But money & opportunity are not a given.
    Smith doesn’t seem afraid to back himself in the transfer market, & in making important decisions.

  21. Thanks for the script JC. You and the other lifers have covered most of the issues. DS will be in a much better position to pull in more replacements in the summer when a combined 365 years leave. The wage bill will also reduce by a few million.

    I expect DS to continue to find young and mobile players and look forward to a promising season next year. But it’s not a lost cause reaching the top 6 this season. Clearly Jack’s injury is worse than they are letting on but when he gets back up to speed we could hit the straps.

    We could do with some goals from elsewhere other than Tammy. How did he miss that header?

  22. John L – don’t take criticism so seriously to the point where you feel you have to leave us. If people misinterpret your remarks ignore them; not everybody misinterprets what you post.
    I am sure there are quite a few here who appreciate the value that you add to this excellent site, your historical knowledge of all things Villa is second to none.
    Don’t declare AVLexit 🙂

  23. Well said Clive,

    JL, like everyone else here, can be annoying at times, but adds a valuable opinion, along with his vast historical knowledge. There is a need for understanding that blogging is not just about facts, opinions, and love (in this case, Aston Villa), but also about banter and humour. How much we all still miss Steamers great humour.

    On the business of transfers, I believe that Smith is happy, having gained Courtney Hause and Mings on loan for less than he would have paid for Cahill. Both are left footed, and able to play lb or cb.

    Carrol is still young enough to fulfil his original potential, as a Luka Modric (so Sherwood believed), and I am sure that Dean will do his utmost to bring out the best in him.

    Guilbert, the young right back from Caen, seems a very astute signing in time for pre season training, whether we are still in the Championship, or the Premiership.

    The transfer out on loan of Hogan is a more complex matter, as to whether he is going to achieve game time, and recover his original form, which may make him a much more saleable asset, or make him the player that Dean will need next season, especially if we are still in the Championship.

    After the team selection, and subsequent substitutions on Saturday, I am not sure what Dean really has planned, as it would not appear that he set out to win the game, but rather not to lose it(has he morphed into Steve Bruce?).

    I have seen the highlights, but not the match, so I am not going to make any great comments, other than Whelan did not appear to have any great part, and surely, as has been said already, Davis should have come on to find what would have been a winning goal…!!!

    The main thing on blogs and in the media today, is about the awful damage done by Mings, when he stamped on Nelson Oliveira, and as to whether it was accidental. He has been guilty of a similar incident in the last eighteen months, when at Bournemouth, where he received a 5 match ban. If found guilty this time, it could be a ten match ban. Is this perhaps one of the reasons he did not get so much game time at Bournemouth, as I am sure Eddie Howe would be very upset by this type of behaviour. Let us hope for Dean and Villa’s sake that this is not the case.

    Looking forward to the Sheffield United game on Friday now, to see how the new boys gel with the team on their home debuts, and how far Smith will be willing to go to win a crucial game.

  24. Plug,

    I’m thinking Jack either has a stress fracture or deep bone bruise. Something along those lines. All that kicking has added up, and the only thing to be done is stay off it.

  25. Great news to hear that there will be no further action against Mings for Saturday’s incident.

    I have seen the short video clip and it would be difficult to call, but the ref and the linesman had a clear view of the incident and saw it as completely accidental, as did fans who were close to the incident. I am sure having the previous ban the lad would be very careful in the future.

  26. You know Carroll will improve us no end. I hope he starts over hourhaine. He’s a really poor player.

    I wonder what will happen when Jack is back? Will we have Hourihane and Carroll on the bench? Or will one of them drop to DM and Whelan or Jedi out the squad?

  27. To All,

    I appreciate comments from you Clive, IanG and Paul.

    No, Clive, it’s not criticism I cannot stand but something else which I will not say anything more about.

    As to being “annoying” and “irritating”, well, that’s just me I’m afraid.

    And, Paul, as to Steamer … Yes, he was great on this blog but I was beginning to know him quite well through personal contact and appreciated he was getting fed up about certain things just as much as I. He just dealt with it differently and in a remarkable way. My character is to be more direct and that’s been me all my life.

    However, my comment about “staying away” was not quite a statement of another exit, but more to do with being more detached, or to comment less frequently.

  28. Paul – on Mings…

    I’m afraid I take the view that though I feel sure there was not bad intent, I do not think he took sufficient care, and on that basis a ban of some kind should have applied i.m.o.

    I say that as I’ve seen Chester (for example) being in similar situations but always seeming to ensure that he’s aware of what he’s doing – to play safely. I like Chester a lot for that reason alone.

  29. JL,
    I was not there and have not seen the incident with Mings in slow motion, or anything similar, but he does look down at Mings as he puts his foot on his head, and did he, in a split second forget he was on a football pitch and wearing boots, and see a little red mist. Only he will ever know.

  30. PP
    It’s natural to look down when your footing is uncertain, or to see where you’re going, but it isn’t synonymous with intent to harm.
    It’s also difficult in a split second to actually move much physically when one is in midair.

    I think there has also been an outpouring of personal projection & angst, where the issue has been used for this, with the loudest proclaimers being the worst culprits.

    As has been said, only Mings knows what was in his mind, but I doubt very much that he was aiming at the end result.
    Obviously in a contact sport, giving knocks & bruises are part of the game, & sometimes are intentional [going in hard?], but as Ibramovic said, ‘what happens on the field stays on the field’.

    I think that it is telling that none of the Reading players were bothered with the original tackle at the time until the resulting injury was seen.
    When you’re in the game in the moment, you tend to pick up things like intent, as it transmits to those on the pitch first & foremost.

  31. JL
    Lack of care or concern when going into the tackle to stop the opposition is quite normal with committed players.
    The fact that the ref & linesman weren’t bothered with the tackle at the time is also indicative, especially being in a good position to see.

    I also remember the episode with Ibramovic, & it was not the same at all, but a running argy bargy that got out of hand on both sides.
    There is always an emotive reaction to the sight of blood, but I think the decision is the only one that the EFL/FA could make.

  32. IanG,

    I didn’t say it was not “normal”, although I’d use the word “usual”, I’m merely saying lack of care was at hand. I’ve never before seen such facial injuries. And Chester is hardly not a committed player.

    After all, a player would be aware of the position of the opponent’s head and would even throw himself on one side to avoid that contact. The sport does need some level of humanity.

  33. And the fact that he’s previously had a 5-match booking for very rough play (I assume) does indicate to me something. As I said, not necessarily “intent” but a lack of care.

    JL getting into another “annoying” spasm…!!!!

  34. Thats ok John.
    Lack of care is possible, & I was not saying that it wasn’t, nor was I criticising what you wrote, merely adding to it.
    I’ve miscalculated a distance when hurdling bodies in Rugby a few times, then accidentally treading on someone [fortunately not someone’s face].
    If you’re going for it it is always possible to hurt someone.
    If you worry about it in advance of moving you won’t function well enough to be in the team, you just do your best with what circumstances appear

    So from experience, I can tell you that time slows at such times, but I know no-one who can change direction in midair to any great extent, especially if the person on the ground is moving [even if you’re looking down].
    I’ve tried to miss someone a few times & landed on them, fortunately without too much damage inflicted.
    Also having been the person on the ground a few times, it is also up to that person to try & minimise any possible damage, but sometimes it’s perfect storm.
    I also don’t think footballers have the same survival instincts as rugby players in my day
    So accidents unfortunately can & do happen.

    I also don’t think that you can legislate for non deliberate incidents like this, where the officials didn’t see it as dangerous play at the time.

    Also if I was him & Ibramovic started on me, then we would both get sent off.
    And I was not a dirty or dangerous player.
    I think assuming is the beginning of warping the joint reality.

    ps: don’t worry about the spasms, just be grateful you get them at your age.

  35. IanG,

    Don’t disagree with your points at all. I also agree about the difference of soccer and rugby, and being able to cope with much more physicality.

    I purely stated the facts, and hoped that I made it clear that it was impossible to call, and only Mings will ever know. By his immediate reactions, it would indicate that it was a pure accident, which probably looks far worse than it is. I am surprised that modern boots could do such damage, as it looked more like something that could have been inflicted in the days when I was playing, and the studs were lethal.

  36. IanG: “If you’re going for it it is always possible to hurt someone.”

    I’ve also played enough footie to know what you’re talking about, but I also know it’s possible to be conscious of where you are (in the air or otherwise) to have minimal contact.

    However, not necessarily everyone is aware like that so I’ll concede that Mings might not possess that and that he’s a carthorse (!!).

    The fact that he’s got a record of dangerous play does worry me a tad, though.

  37. Big test tomorrow against Sheff Utd. We will need to be at the coal face and in their faces. If Tammy hits his straps we can do it.

  38. Green is fit for tomorrow, but has only trained for 2-3 days.
    It looks like Chester needs more time, & as we have a CB partnership that seems reasonable at the moment, maybe give him the time.

    The bench should be interesting.
    As Plug says, we need to be properly at it tomorrow.

  39. Just having some lunch before wending my way to Birmingham for the match.

    Thanks for the info IanG. Thought that boots were glorified running pumps these days with fully moulded soles that shouldn’t do any damage! Aluminium studs could do a lot of damage in my day!

    Looking at the team tonight, following Dean Smith’s publicity statement….Villa never show the proper press conference.It is purely a pre match chat with AVTV, and the proper conference follows on.

    Kalinic Hutton Elphick Mings Taylor Whelan Hourihane Adomah Carroll McGinn Abrahams

    He made it clear that he is happy with Whelan and Hourihane in front of the defence.

    We will just have to wait and see. …

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