Stoke vs. Aston Villa match thread.

Comments 90

  1. line up
    Steer, Hutton, Elphick, Mings, Hause, Whelan, Hourihane, El Ghazi, Elmohamady, Kodjia, Abraham.
    Subs: Kalinic, Taylor, Jedinak, Bjarnason, Green, Ramsey, Adomah

  2. The club’s Facebook page is worth a visit for a chuckle. There is serious unrest in a growing number of fans. The call to fire Smith right now is plain daft but it is unfortunately turning into a nightmare of a season…

  3. Paul…

    I can understand people being unhappy, but you’re right, those calls are daft, imo as well. Dean’s not responsible for poor crossing, etc. (I can do AVTV, Paul)

  4. Paul Whiting
    What ho
    Listening on WM.
    It’s a bit better this half, if we can get a goal it may get a bit better.
    At least codger is having a go, along with AG

  5. Stoke are not impressive, by any means. They’re working really hard, but we’ve dealt with the pressure pretty reasonably. Just need one good ball, any kind of break.

  6. Hause is getting better.
    More belief, although we often start so badly & it’ll take time to get rid of that habit.
    Free kick AG on the ball but no result

  7. Get iptv watch it on ifollow, it’s painful stoke are horrendous got early goal and looked comfortable enough to a bit of skill from elgazi broke threw and a decent cross hammered home at back post

  8. JC
    There is also a sense of relief that we’ve remembered how to play without important players.
    Have to agree that it should have been a win with the chances we had.

  9. We were the better team and had the best chances. Butland was the busier keeper by a distance. Symptomatic of how things are running for us at the moment. Mings and Hause look stronger at the back. If we get the midfield sorted things will start to look promising.

  10. looking like the 442 helped? I do wonder why Thor is not involved though apart form his last poor showing, heard he was offered up for sale in Jan but no takers.

  11. At the beginning of the season up to January it was the defence that was a big problem.
    It’s strange that when that’s fixed the rot set into the midfield.
    What’s going to disintegrate next?

    Hause is getting better, I hope it keeps on improving as we’ve got a right to buy.
    It would be good to see Carroll soon, as he may take the main passing responsibility from Jack & free him up.
    I hope we see both of them in the next squad.

  12. Well, after another poor start, Villa eventually settled in, and from comments here and the highlights on YouTube, we did ok, and another good performance from Hause and Mings.

    Let us hope we now have a stronger midfield to choose from on Saturday, and we may surprise Derby, and give Dean Smith and us, the fans, something to smile about.

    Villa blogs usually have streams to follow, but DO NOT share, as then they are tracked and shut down..!!!

  13. very telling from elphick.

    A team of individuals who most know are off in the summer. Cant read anything into anything until next season and then can start to question or judge smith. Just want the season over. its going to be a drag

  14. Heroes-and-Villans – second time Elphick has mentioned this, as soon as promotions impossible I think Smith will ditch a lot of them and play the Youth.

  15. Heroes, MK…

    In context, I’m taking Elphick’s comments slightly differently. I look at Kodjia, for example, and see a guy who keeps trying to do too much on his own. I think that’s what he was getting at. AEG has been guilty at times, but was a better team player Saturday.

    Now, that’s just one or two players, and watching the Stoke game, I couldn’t see anyone who wasn’t playing hard. About the only thing I could point to has been the continued lack of upfield pressure.

    That said, I do think a lot will be off. Whether we somehow get promoted or stay down. We’ll play the youth we have that are ready, and Smith’s signings will definitely be on the younger end of the spectrum.

  16. JC- To be fair the playing as individuals has gone on for a long time, the press worked when Jack and Mcginn led it with Tammy buzzing about. Whatever is going on they don’t seem to be following Smiths plan, now where have we heard that before?

    I was thinking amazing that out of Bruces 1st window when he was supposed to be building the bulk of his new side only Hourihane has given much return, thats out of the players he actually bought that 1st Jan. Hogan, Bree, thor, taylor, Lansbury are the others.

  17. There seems to be a lot of people questioning smiths ability to adapt when he doesn’t have his ideal set up. That’s fair enough but when the club has stated it wants sustainable practices, exciting football and youth progression you can’t have it all in five minutes.

    What does seem clear is that Dr Xia isn’t the only one impatient to get back in the prem. The fan base that ousted Bruce and the approach he brought are now demanding the same of Smith with a less capable and much depleted team than last season.

    The club need to restate their intentions but I can understand them not yet as it would demotivate the club further if that’s possible .

  18. MK,

    It’s an interesting one with Dean. There is a lot of ‘impatience’ on the part of supporters, and I know I’ve certainly thought we had enough to go up. Especially the way Smith had them playing in that good stretch.

    Now I have wondered whether Smith might be showing a bit of inflexibility that’s hurting him and results. Two obvious schools of thought: Push ahead and establish your system, or change it up and adapt to what you have.

    Me, I don’t mind him pushing ahead with his philosophy because I don’t think we’d have done any better doing anything else. It seems like the side is finally learning (somewhat) how to play without Grealish. Whether that’s of any value or not is up to debate because we know there’s going to be a lot of turnover whatever happens.

    Not expecting Grealish to be full speed for a while, but who knows what his curve is. They’ve been careful with him. If we can recapture that previous form, we could nip into the playoffs.

  19. Judging by the length of time that Jack has been out, his injury was much worse than the club have been letting on.

    On the pressing issue, teams with younger players are able to press more and sustain it. Leeds being the best at it. It’s a trait of this division. So many of our midfield and wing players are the wrong side of 28 years old and start blowing a bit after 10 minutes of trying. We need more youth in the team, players who demand the ball and are comfortable with it, preferably in midfield.

  20. I see small heath have escaped their medicine for another month due to a technicality. Obviously the FL are not keen on dishing out the points deduction so they’ve kicked the can down the road for a few more weeks. But we should be following this matter with interest as it could be us in the same boat after next years financials are released by the club.

  21. On their way out of the club this summer? How about Elmo, Uncle Albert, Cafu, the viking, Dick Turpin, Taylor, Chessie, Whelan, Codger, Elf and Jedi? Have I missed anyone? Then the loans go back to their respective clubs so exit Tammy, Axel and perhaps El Gassy. Blimey, that’s an entire team. A few quid there in salaries. What do other Lifers think?

  22. You forgot Richards.
    Jedi, too old
    Whelan, too old
    Turpin, too old
    Chester, almost too old
    Hutton, too old and I’ll miss him
    Codger, too crocked
    The others? No upside they’ve reached their peak.
    No point in talking about the loaners.

    In the NHL as the playoffs get close, players will join a team for the playoff run. A one off that’s finished at the end of the year. They’re euphemistically called rentals.

    How good are Villa’s young players? Can Smith make the better part of a team with them? Should they sell grealish and use the money to bolster the team?

    Whatever happens the Villa faithful will turn on them like a woman spurned.

  23. Plug,

    Good question, and I don’t disagree with yours and Ian’s lists of surpluses.

    I’ve tended to look at it in reverse…Who would we keep if we went up (assuming we could)?

    El Ghazi (as a project)
    Green (as a project)

    If we stay down, then you’ll likely only have McGinn and Green, plus whichever players are out on loan that make the grade. I’d say McGinn’ll be with us as I think he’s been exposed a little bit in Jack’s absence. But he’s got a good engine, a good shot, a good cross, etc., so maybe he’ll expect a higher level and still attract interest. But from the PL? Dunno. SPL could come calling.

    No idea whether Smith would keep Hourihane, but I’m thinking he’d look for someone else. It’ll basically be a new team if we don’t go up. Or should be, anyway.

  24. JC
    I don’t understand the need for projects, but if we are going to have a B Team rather than the under 23s, I can see a large picture emerging, interesting.
    I’d add Hause.
    Then we don’t know how Carroll will do yet.
    Then the kids are coming back, so not so big a gap.
    So many are [thankfully for some] out of contract, that it is changeable times, with potential at least, with some incoming to look forward to.

  25. IanG…

    Does indeed look like Hause may well come good. He seems to be getting better each week, and no way should Taylor come back in. Carroll? Yeah. I think he’ll have a chance in Conor’s spot. Don’t think Dean would’ve gone for him if there’s not some potential.

    I only say projects because I think they can make the grade. AEG has great skill and flair on the ball. Quick, strong…he’s got all the tools. He keeps getting drilled under Smith, could be very useful. Likewise, Green. So, just in the abstract, players I can see on a list that would be worth investing in.

  26. Dudes, keep the da faith Plenty of time. I’ve Just rewatched our 81/82 season. Took time an effort to do it. Deano is following Ron Saunders philosophy.
    It will happen.

  27. We have the problem of having many we don’t want and few we can sell yet again. Most of the ones we can sell we would likely keep if possible the biggy being Jack, McGinn and Chester might fetch some dosh.

    The encouraging side is we have paid fairly decent money for a RB and a Keeper, if this is a sign from the owners then we could see a decent line up even in the Champs. Guessing the team if we go up (if ) is even harder and would be a massive task with our present level of oldies and untried youth. Smith will likely be eyeing Gardner and Tishbola as freebie signings too.

    Team in the Champs based on contracts and chance of buying, a choice from


    Defence..Frederic Guilbert/Bree/Chester/suliman/Revan/Hause/Clarke

    Mids….Jack/Mcginn/ hourihane/ Doyle-Hayes/O’hare/Clarke/Lansbury/thor/ Gardner/ Tishbola/Ramsey

    wingers Blackett Taylor/ Green/corey taylor

    Forwards… Hogan/ RHM/ Mckirdy/ Davis

    Now we still have, Kodjia, Ross and elmo for another year and some I’ve included contracts run out soon but thats Smiths starting point if we don’t sign Mings/Carrol etc. As you can see he has his work cut out, we could all be surprised as the youth come of age or its a year of bedding in.

  28. Mk
    Was at LOI match Monday night,derry under new manager (returning) won 3 2 ,1 ONE player from last season playing there 3rd match of season along with few friendlies, they where drilled to near perfection defence no (Hutton type holes( attackers worked so hard across the line ,midfield 3 worked from 1st min to final whistle everything I haven’t seen at villa since baggies match in November,if Devine can do that with part time players in few weeks what is going on at villa park,by the way try look up Waterford 2nd goal on YouTube what a strike

  29. Derby seem to have a lot of injuries, especially in midfield.
    Currently not sure what to make of this fixture, except that we have a couple of players back but McGinn still banned.
    Have a feeling that the viking may be involved/

  30. Looking back at our time in the champs its worth noting the goings on at the club. Now its likely all clubs have had similar but Villa have had so far

    Season 1 New owners with less ability than imagination, massively unhappy squad and fans plus two managers. To add to the troubles most of the money that could of been spent more wisely went in this season. Not to mention inability to shift players that stunk the place out without giving them away. We also needed leaders and went out and bought them or so we thought.

    Season 2 Club pushing change (villa engine etc ) while not really changing, all this while the Manager goes full on older players he trusts to mount an all or nothing attempt at promotion as the previous get all the best players in the champs in our 1st season failed. Little did we know that behind the scenes was potential bankruptcy. Also we hadn’t bought the right leaders so we added a few more, practically awash with them by now.

    Season 3 Club prepares for mass exodus of players including Jack and a season of hopefully not getting relegated only to be sold at the last minute. This led to a hastily put together and lopsided squad to hopefully play more attacking football (as the owner wanted) and presumably to try and squeeze something out of the season, followed by cabbage gate. By this season we had played 6 different keepers in all competitions, is that a record? its certainly a sobering thought, I’m sort of used to us getting a keeper and seeing him for at least 4 seasons, Barely remember who are reserve keepers were most of the time. Oh and most the leaders all left, some even came back as coaches or in January.

    What I’m coming to is this, it might be the 1st thought out summer transfer window/ team build and proper pre-season since we got relegated. Might even be the biggest turnover which is funny as in the 1st season we were told thats bad. What I’m hoping is the manager gets most of what he requires and we stop the cycle of making do, expensive making do at that. Been a busy three seasons, could of gone under twice and been promoted.

  31. IanG- hello mate, I would presume he will add Jack to what was supposedly the best performance in a long while in the last second half. Likely Jack for Kodjia if its 442 again or if its back to 433 it will probably be Jack Wheelan and hourihane imo. RB is up for grabs but probably Elmo and Carrols fit but can’t see him starting.

  32. MK – Yep looks like Jack is back against the Rams. Dunno whether DS will start him or bench him, but it should provide more options in midfield and given the opposition’s injury status in that area as noted by IanG, we could be in for a win fingers crossed.

  33. The NFL players are given IQ tests. Top of the class goes to the quarterbacks as it reveals spatial awareness, something needed for that position. Sounds a great way to me to determine who forms part of our midfield. I wonder what marks our players would achieve.

    Or judging by MK’s comments, I wonder what level past owners reached. From what I’ve seen so far, I think Compass are high scorers. Was Spud given the test before we appointed him?

  34. JG
    Do you think you could use punctuation mate, as it’s too much like hard work to interpret without it.
    I’m not having a go, but to continue to read them is at stake here on some of them.

    Apart from that, keep up the humour mate, we need humour.

  35. Big Sam told a chap I met that Benteke would never be a good player as he was as thick as, makes all the demands and agents wrangling more understandable, plus the I want to play for Arsenal 🙂

  36. MK – I don’t believe them. A £32 million loss on turnover of £64million? My IQ ain’t brilliant but there’s some creative accountancy in that pile of garbage.

  37. Plug
    Yes, but who’s the one creating?

    Football finance expert Kieran Maguire has suggested a clearer picture of Villa’s finances should emerge when the overdue accounts of parent company Recon Group UK are released.
    Kieran Maguire, lecturer in football finance at the University of Liverpool, comments, ‘Take these figures with extreme caution as exclude player wages and player transfer amortisation, which are in the accounts of parent Recon Group UK whose accounts are overdue.’

  38. Big game today, a win and we still have an outside chance for 6th. Hope Carroll is fit enough to start. I would definitely play Jed in goal and go 4-4-2 with Kodja and Tammy up top.

    Any news on how loan players are doing?

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