Today it was Charlton as we head into the last two weeks of preseason, which is still hard to believe. With all the incomings, the summer has flown by given no shortage of links and announcements to keep us occupied. And if anyone’s to be believed, we can expect at least one or two more arrivals.

Villa’s outing at Millwall provided another useful 90 and five goals. As well as our first conceded. It also provided a bit of insight into Smith’s thinking as he named an XI that one starts to think resembles a fair chunk of who we might see lining up against Spurs.

Against Charlton, we got to see Elmo and Taylor return to the side, McGinn back playing with Grealish, and El Ghazi reappear. Also got to see Trezeguet’s debut, but no Wesley, as Davis started in his place after the Brazilian picked up a slight knock against Kuwait.

Now of course Luiz comes into the mix, never mind Marvelous, potentially. The odd man out right now looks to Bjarnason, as Lansbury’s featured more and made a halfway decent case for himself. Don’t know that I see a future for him regardless, since Hourihane just signed a new deal and will be pressed to win a regular spot himself. But who knows. We’ve got deep pockets, and maybe the wages aren’t a big deal. Certainly haven’t seen much talk about Henri and Birkir joining up with anyone else. If they’re going to be part of our depth, we’re not in bad shape.

Anyway, with Elmo and Taylor coming back in and Davis deputizing for Wesley, Villa still played the same football at The Valley as they did at  Waters Meadow. In the last three warm-ups we’ve not really been challenged by the lesser sides, but have been pressurized by clubs with nothing to lose and plenty of grit and decent organization. As far as getting everyone on the same page and match ready, they’ve provided good levels of energy to work against. What they haven’t provided is much threat, and it’s fair to say Villa haven’t been punished for any shortcomings. Sure, Konsa gave up the penalty and Sinclair nicked a nice goal while Villa looked to be napping after going up 3-0, but otherwise, anything’s that’s gone awry for us has come to nothing for our opponents.

Since the matches themselves don’t really tell us a whole lot, some general thoughts on the body of work we’ve seen up to now. It’s a bit long, so feel free to have a sandwich, grab a pint, catch up with kids…whatever suits.

Depth
Smith seems keen to get two players at every spot. Which obviously accounts for the spread of spending. It’s common sense, creating competition,  depth, and perhaps a slight bit of insurance what with the overall youth and lack of PL experience. If someone’s struggling, you’ve got another to turn to and they all come from different backgrounds, have different attributes. I wasn’t necessarily expecting us to sign both Luiz and Marvelous, for example (and who knows if Marvelous really is happening, although it seems to be advanced), but that’s the way things are shaping up and it fits Smith’s apparent two-deep approach.

Formation
We all know how fluid things are anymore, so sometimes it’s a bit meaningless to throw out labels. But we’ve been seeing a continuation of Smith’s familiar 4-3-3, and Villa play it pretty well. Which is to say, it’s effectively a kind of 4-1-2-3 in attack. Except that it’s a 4-3-3, and sometimes a 4-6, for all intents and purposes. You know what I mean—players are moving around nicely, taking turns, covering each other, with midfielders attacking the box, and wingers drifting around acting like strikers. Jota adds a goalscoring dimension Adomah had lost (and perhaps never really had outside his miracle run two seasons ago). El Ghazi, we know, will take it inside and look to score as well.

Wesley has been playing very much the same sort of role Abraham did, though he’s looking a better hold-up man, which fits the book on him coming in. He comes deep, is quick and strong, and seems to have better feet and vision. He’s also a willing runner. Obviously the PL is going to present quite the learning curve for him, and he’s not going to find it easy. But in terms of raw attributes, we’ve not lost anything other than perhaps Abraham’s poaching instincts. With so many players looking to get forward, I’d say it’s pretty clear a strong, fast DM is going to be invaluable. Call it a 4-1-5.

Style
Again, not much has changed in terms of the basic philosophy we’ve seen from Smith. What’s different is the overall comfort on the ball and the athleticism. With El Ghazi out, most of the attacking focus in the last two games had come from the right until today, with Guilbert and Jota taking advantage of their early arrivals to establish an understanding. This stands in contrast to Villa’s propensity to shade left last season. Jack still prefers to drift left, leaving the right channel to McGinn, but they make space for each other nicely when Jack glides back inside.

El Ghazi’s presence changed that up a bit as we saw, but Targett also looks to be a bit more of a stay-at-home fullback than Guilbert. Having a more impactful player ahead of him should free up his game, though, since Green still struggles putting together all the pieces in the role. Targett looks comfortable and calm, can get forward, fights well for the ball, and has a decent range of passing. He’s a bit more physical than Taylor, to boot, and seems to dally less.

In the middle, Grealish has looked very fit, and eager to lead by example. He’s showing up all over the pitch, seems quicker, is carrying the ball nicely, and keeps providing that outlet that maintains possession and draws players. He’s been wriggling free to switch things to the resulting open space, as his is wont, and getting assists and goals. In short, this part of Villa’s play hasn’t changed, except that he seems fresher. Lansbury isn’t the same sort of industrious box-to-box terrier as McGinn, but he’s also been composed, gets involved high up the pitch, and has shown a nice range of passing.

But with McGinn back in alongside Jack at The Valley, we saw what we love about him. His goals on the day summed him up perfectly. He and Jack complement each other very well, and not having to do what Jack does allows McGinn to do what he does best. That second goal was a gem, all individual brilliance, tenacity, and composure. As everyone’s said, no less than he deserved on the day.

With Trezeguet able to play on either side and in the middle, and given what we’ve seen from Jota and know about El Ghazi, what looks to be different heading into this campaign is that Villa will be much more balanced up front, with true goal-scoring threats from all three advanced attackers as well as the midfielders supporting them. It seems Deano will be looking for his wide men to share the scoring burden with Wesley, which should ease his transition.

And indeed, we’ve seen Jota, and now Trezeguet, drifting all over. I really do like Jota’s workrate, and I’ve read Trezeguet has a good motor and work ethic, as well. He didn’t seem out of place, even though he’s just arrived. Jota really has tracked back and worked hard. We’ll see how he does when the curtain comes up, but he looks a real bargain at the moment.

Lineup
Still a bit of a guess, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Engels partnering Mings on opening day. And honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Guilbert and Targett out there, but I’m still wondering whether Dean will start the campaign with the more experienced Elmohamady–Taylor combination. If either seems likely to lose his spot from the off, it would probably be Taylor.

Likewise, given that Trezeguet has only just arrived, I can see Jota and El Ghazi getting the nod out wide. But of course you never know. This one’s going to be really interesting to watch as the season goes on. Green will be very much on the outside looking in.

In the second bank of three, I’d say the odds of seeing Jack, John, and Conor reunited are pretty good. I doubt it will remain that way as Luiz and perhaps Marvelous join up and get settled in. If Hourihane took a back seat to Whelan, I can’t see him keeping more athletic DMs on the bench, especially as any CB pairing besides Mings and Hause will be new, and we could use the extra bite to not only give them cover but make life a little easier on McGinn.

We keep hearing about another keeper, which is fine, though you’d really like to think Kalinic would be serviceable enough if Jed’s not. What I really think we need is another striker. Hogan still proves elusive to service, and I don’t think Kodjia is going to consistently trouble a top-flight defense. We need someone small and good on the ball who can really cause problems for CBs to hang with.

And are we really in for Harry Wilson? Nothing would surprise me at this point. So maybe another ‘striker’ is superfluous.

Verdict So Far
The football’s looking good, and much more coherent than might be expected. There’ve been some lovely moves and passages of play. But that’s what you get when you have a philosophy, good scouting, great coaching, and only recruit players who fit. The opposition haven’t been world class and haven’t provided much threat. But they’ve at least made Villa work quickly in tight spaces. We’ve obviously got teams coming up, like Spurs, that will be able to carve us apart and finish. They’ll also be much harder to break down. In short, it’s not going to look this easy.

Which isn’t a negative. If you’re any good, it should look easy against the teams we’ve been playing, and the side right now looks like it has the potential to walk away with the Championship. But it’s not the Championship anymore. And everyone knows that.

The schedule’s been decent in that the players have had games coming quickly, forcing them to dig deep. But they’ve been rotated as they’ve been assessed, and the minutes are building. They’ve been in a number of different combinations, and will now have a proper week of preparation followed by a real opponent. Then there’s another week in preparation for Spurs, who’ve had a far more star-studded summer slate. They might be rampant, they might look tired and jaded.

If I’m worried about anything besides how much harder it will be to score, it’s how the central defense will hold up at first. We’ve had some scrambled moments at the back, switched off occasionally, and will be punished for that by top teams. I think all the players are good athletes with a lot of upside, and they’re all working hard, but they haven’t been tested anywhere near to the extent they will be starting in two weeks. Given the four to choose from, and John Terry’s tutelage, I think we’ll be okay over the long term. But it could be a bit dodgy until we get the first-team pairing sorted out and used to each other.

Anyway, that’s two weeks away. Leipzig ought to give us a much better gauge of who, and how well, we’ll play in the opening weeks.

Over to you.

Comments 72

  1. thanks JC- So far its a delight to see us play with none of the who can we play where of many pre-seasons. Kids have had a go whilst knowing they are unlikely to burst through in this season which has to be gotten right.

    Guilbert looks far better attacking than defending to me, bit surprising as I was expecting the opposite. I agree Engels and Mings look nailed on and targett more than a bit likely to start. I was really hoping Luis could get a start as he appears key and we need to see how he fits with the likely Jack and McGinn combo. Wesley nailed on and so far ElGhazi and Jota his partners in crime.

    That said i think there are many iterations that could turn out to be our best 11 and with further in-comings I’m sure we will have a fair few surprises.

    Noticed Benrahma and Maupay not even in the squad in Brentfords final game and Liverpool have bought a winger from Fulham so the Wilson rumour rumbles on. Would really like Maupay but with the need for 8 homegrown players in the squad of 25 max Wilson might be a better bet than Benrahma but thats being picky would love either.

  2. Oh and although we appear to be playing inverted wingers mostly we now have 4 that are Right footed if I’m right in thinking, Wilson is a lefty.

  3. MK,

    Agreed, it’s going to change round as the season goes on. Having had to buy a new team, some of these players are more projects than others, especially Hause and Konsa. And although we’ve all been drooling at the thought of Luiz, it might be that Nakamba is more ready to start, given the level Luiz has been at. But like you say, can’t know anything until we see him.

    So many unknowns…The reason I liked the Phillips links is that we saw he’s got a nasty streak, which is something I think we’re going to need.

    Think Jota’s left-footed. But funny, I haven’t really paid attention. So if we get Wilson, that’s two lefties and two righties.

  4. we are going to be very potent down the right. Guilbert bombing on overlapping jota to cut in. Could be very exciting but just can’t relax until a st gk and if we are dreaming a winger get signed. That’s the difference Imo of just avoiding relegation and pushing top 12.

  5. Superb, well thought leader JC,

    I think you have really grasped what Dean has been doing in pre season, and how things are developing. I was truly impressed with McGinn’s performance yesterday, with him showing his form from last season. Things are really starting to gel. I get the feeling that the competition for places is going to be fierce, and Bjarnason and Lansbury will be doing their best to stake a claim, along with the new boys.

    We now seem to have real strength and depth in every position. I do not underestimate what Davies, Kodija or Hogan may bring to the table yet. Many fans seem to think we should be getting rid of a lot of these players, but I feel that the management do not see the need, and that building a really good strong squad is what it is all about.

  6. MK,

    “You won’t see him attempting to cross with his Right, its one of his weaknesses, he always comes inside.”

    Very definitely seems the case. If memory serves, it’s usually been Guilbert doing the ‘crossing’ on the overlap.

  7. H&V,

    I don’t know if it’s the persistence of links, his previous stint under Dean, the stats or what. But like you, I seem to think Maupay’s the right fit.

  8. Cheers, PP.

    Agreed. It’s getting to be a deep squad, especially in midfield. And given what we’ve seen injuries do to us down in the Champs, it’s clearly needed.

    What I like about Davis, besides his strength, is that he seems to have a better football brain than Green. Knows what he’s supposed to be doing.

    It’s a shame about Green because he has the all the physical tools. But he either loses focus or tries to do too much on his own. Then you see moments like the inch-perfect cross in the Minnesota game, I think it was, and the really strong effort that came off the crossbar. Dean’s giving him every chance. And he doesn’t seem to want to write Hogan off. They’ve both been a bit maddening.

  9. Thanks for the links, MK. Don’t know why I don’t go to YouTube more often.

    From those, I can see needing both. Some crunching challenges from Marvelous there, can see him getting sent off, and looks like he does have that mean streak in him, plenty of strength and power.

    Luiz looks the silkier player, no surprise, being Brazilian. Nakamba looks like he could terrify people. Seems a decent complement to have on hand for the role.

  10. Could Etheridge be coming to Villa after all. It seems that Neil Warnock is now more than happy to sell him to us, as he has good cover, and the money would help in Cardiff’s rebuilding.

    He certainly would be just the right sort of keeper for Villa, and maybe we have players to offer Cardiff.

    Maupay could still be a great capture for Villa, and again maybe we have players to interest Brentford, who knows, but Etheridge and Maupay would just about wrap up a great transfer window for Villa.

  11. JC, you’ve given a well balanced analysis of where Villa currently are. My thoughts are now zeroing in on the up coming season. One thing is certain. Come 5pm on the opening day we’ll have one of our toughest 4 fixtures out of the way.

    Between then and now I watch with interest to see if we’ve finished spending or still looking for a couple of items to buy.

  12. JC
    Thanks for the writeup.
    It’s the possible starting permutations that are intriguing for me, rather than the the what transfers left to dribble in.

    Mark/PP – I have to agree about Maupay, but they don’t seem to have had much luck with goalies for a while.

  13. The way we want depth I am sure another winger will come and send green on loan. Like mark says he just don’t have the brain. But he is still young and that could improve? He has everything else to frighten a defence.

  14. Heroes
    If you can remember when you were young, everything changed fast, so training with the first team, & with Green now getting personal coaching from DS plus invaluable experience in the EPL, it could go both ways.
    But at this distance I trust DS to make the right decisions.

  15. yeah I guess but with the awareness and football brain you have got it or haven’t?

    Its early but just looking at Wesley who is 22 you can see by his touch and awreness he seems to have that….hopefully!

  16. I think its going to be interesting to see whether Jack is the player I think he is capable of being in the right surroundings. He got a fair amount of stick as a far as his potential over the last few seasons but to me has jumped those hurdles admirably despite the lack of support from fellow team mates in the quality department at times. Now he is combining with Jota and wesley with ease as they have those footballing brains H&V is talking about.

    Green for instance I feel is better when he acts on instinct, Jack is two moves ahead and Jota 3 in comparison. Maybe Green is in awe a little? that happens and players need self belief to do their thing, or it could be he’s struggling to take in what Smith is asking from him and second guessing himself? To the likes of Jota its bread and butter.

  17. Heroes
    Wesley has had a life before football where he had to grow up fast.
    Green is still overawed & so not functioning fully, but has shown the awareness before he stepped up.
    This transition is often a sticking point with academy kids.

  18. Mark
    Interesting isn’t the word, as the the team is built round him.
    Footballing brains? How does the shirt fit?
    But so far so good

  19. IanG- I think the team will/has/is evolve/evolving out of being built with jack in mind. Certainly haven’t seen him chopped down as much with free kicks in mind or him having to do it all. There are certainly plenty there to take the burden now and once we get luis and Marv in then theres less need for him to drop deep too. Trez is another along with mcGinn that can take players on, exciting times.

  20. hey folks. anyone know where to watch the villa game against leipzig on saturday? i know villa youtube don’t have it but is it on the germans youtube channel ?

  21. from the outside it looks like we have missed out on our top targets but I don’t mind really.

    Phillips, Webster, benrhama, butland. maybe mauphay? all taking the Michael £ so we just move on and not be held to ransom.

    Maybe that we have gone for cheaper we have a bit of money extra?

  22. H&V- I think the whole point of identifying 4-5 options is not to get held to ransom over one player. You might of liked one particular player but with there being a time limit on buying a whole team and them gelling you can’t wait for ever. I think that its means Villa have bought well and not been overly robbed .

  23. Marvellous Nkamba has now joined Tom Heaton on the Villa payroll, and so the dream goes on, as Dean Smith and the board build a team to win the league….!!

    Who will the final signings be???

    Matt Phillips, Kelvin Phillips, Maupay, or someone who has not appeared on the radar yet. We are still hoping to get Axel from United on loan… Maybe Dean wants to start with as many of last season’s players as possible, and introduce a lot of the new boys on a drip feed basis, as the squad develop together.

    We have bought so many players, how many will stay the course, how many will we develop and sell on, and how many will not come up to the mark? It is going to be very interesting times, as the season starts, to see how the team develops, and who will emerge as the front runners..!!

  24. PP – I think another striker is a must. Pressure will build on Wes if he doesnt get off to a good start.

    Saw a story that Lansbury is up for sale, thought he had a decent preseason. Lots of midfielders in though.

  25. A warm welcome to Tom and Marvelous. May your time at VP be successful.

    PP, your last paragraph is what everyone is thinking. So I just have to trust in Deano and see how his new recruits shape up. We’re a little over a week away from a real toughie and win, lose or draw I just hope we give a good account of ourselves. It will take a bit longer no doubt before we see the best of this team so patience is a virtue.

  26. From what I’ve seen so far ,DS is fearless in how he wants his team to play football. I think there is enough leadership & character in his team to persist in the way they want to play football. It’s up to us now as fans to support the project which I know most of us are very happy with. If things go a little sideways, we have to grant DS and his team their learning curve and show even greater support in adversity. I have’nt been this happy about villa since the Brian Little days.
    If we give this man , one of our own, a fair chance , he could become our Alex Ferguson, and turn the classiest stadium in England back into a fortress.

  27. Korean
    Probably not much good to you, but you may be able to get a stream.

    How to watch Villa vs Leipzig
    The game is being shown live on Premier Sports 1 from 2.25pm UK time ahead of the 2.30pm KO (3.30pm in Germany).

    Premier Sports 1 is channel 412 on Sky while, on Virgin TV, it’s 551.

    Premier Sports is available through your TV for both Sky and Virgin customers. The channel costs £9.99 a month for new customers (HD version is only available on Sky but you need a Sky HD box). The channel is currently only available for residents in the UK and Northern Ireland.

    According to Virgin TV, customers get Premier Sports at no extra cost. Virgin TV will be giving all of its customers two months’ free access to Premier Sports, which would normally cost £9.99 a month.

    In Germany, the game is also being shown via DAZN from 3.30pm. The match isn’t available on Villa’s YouTube account. Like in Minnesota, a highlights package will be made available.

    Background on Leipzig
    (Image: Bongarts/Getty Images)
    Villa supporters heading to the match will be situated in blocks 40 and 41. There’s still tickets available .

    The impressive Red Bull Arena was built just 14 years ago. It holds 42,959 and is situated just off the Elsterbecken River, a 20-minute walk west from Leipzig city centre.

  28. Green on a season long loan to Preston.
    Doyle Hayes has gone to Cheltenham for the season.
    There’s murmuring about Davis

    Looks like there’s more incomings possible.
    And I’ll be surprised if there’s not more for the exit.

  29. We are behaving like the huge club we are.
    Signings come and go. The Gaffa is getting who he wants…
    It’s exciting. It feels real …
    O’Neil and Learner were playing at it in comparison…
    Very exciting times!!
    Where’s Frem… It’s been a while since I followed obsessively…

  30. Great to see Heaton in. Easily worth an extra 10 points to us. I wonder how far up the league the owners expect us to finish – maybe 10th? I would take mid table. 8th would be great.

    It’s funny, I never really heard of Club Brugge and they sell 2 players to us and one to Bournemouth for close to 50M! Also never heard of the 3 players! New Villa players I never heard of: wesley, luiz, Marvelous, targett, konza, trezeguet, engels….yikes

    I hope o’Hare goes on loan to a decent championship team. Would also be good for RHM, get a full season under his belt and 15+ goals. If I was DS I’d hold on to Davis. Like Heros-and-Villans I love the lad and feel he’s already good enough to be a super sub and play cup games.

  31. we aint done yet. Winger and striker deffo. which I’m delighted about. if we get those 2 in its the perfect window. Very loose murmings of gareth bale…surly not! I reckon Wilson and maupay.

    Talk of back in for Philips which is odd!

    Need a few out the door now.

  32. very good move for green going preston. O hare next would be good and murphy.

    Sell bb, Hogan, kalinic, nyland, kodjer and would also let chester and taylor leave but doubt that would happen this window.

  33. Leipzig will be a good test, read up a bit and they play very narrow, 4222. They swamp the middle, press hard and play on the break. Quick up top and one a bigger lad, will be a test for the defence and whomever gets the DM slot. Its going to test our ability to keep the ball thats for sure.

    We on the other hand have width and use the FB’s while having several players that can beat the press by dribbling. Also have pace and Wes whom we can hit early from Mings and engles. They will not be easy as they are a champs league side and the weather will be hot and sticky.

    Prox- Its almost unbelievable isn’t it, the comparison with whats preceded it ? there is none for me. For sure it puts one thing to bed, the idea that smith was somehow bottom of the pile below the likes of Henry 🙂 just makes me laugh now. Our spend will likely be close to £150m, you don’t give that to just anyone to spend.

  34. Mark,
    It is almost unbelievable. It makes you think though just exactly how much bulls**t we’re all accepting everyday presented to us as professional opinion/commentary. I have to say that I did’nt know much about DS when he first arrived, but I love the blokes Johnny ordinary style..

    Thank f**k we did’t go for that Henri Bollix !

  35. On Henry, it’s a myth that a great player will become a great manager. I think Terry is a good fit as he’s learning from DS, but he’s a good mentor for the back 4. Bryan Robson and Roy Keane are 2 of the best players I’ve ever seen, both s@$te managers.

    I hope Luiz starts tomorrow. He played 29 times for Girona last year vs 17 times the year b4. At 5’9″ he’s an ideal height for an end-to-end box player, even if he’s classified as DM.

    On a side note, if Man Ure are willing to spend 80m on Maguire, then we should raise SJM price tag to 150m.

    Remember Spurs trying to get Jack on the cheap for 20m last year? Hopefully he gets the winner next week

  36. Mark/Prox, yes the difference post Spud is light years.

    I do think we dodged a bullet with Henry. The current coaching team is providing football for the entertainment industry and I expect VP to be rammed for most games. Meanwhile, up at the Wai Ayes, Spud has reverted to type and signed a FB. Can never have enough FB’s eh Steve? Think you need a couple more to be honest.

  37. VillaMD – For me there is a huge difference between a manager that can take a strong team and get some results but doesn’t have the vision in the transfer market and one that can build a team from scratch seemingly without missing a beat. We have had a few and they are usually Villa’s best times, Saunders being the obvious one. Without cursing Smith he makes it look like a Breeze 🙂

  38. Winning convincingly in the backyard of one of Germany’s Champions League teams this season is not to be sniffed at. I think we are ahead of Leipzig in the preseason fitness stakes and that showed, but hey we are looking strong.

    So we move from Champions League qualifier away to Champions League Finalist away. These are teams we should be rubbing shoulders with.

  39. Well I put link up yesterday to the game but it appears to have disappeared?

    I thought we looked impressive against a side touted to be worth 500 mil. Heaton looked and is a class keeper, Forget feeling sorry for Steer or thinking Nyland was ok at times this blokes the real deal. In fact if I said he was the best I have seen for Villa since Friedel it would probably be not doing him justice. Bot sides could of had more goals Villa missed their chances while Heaton foiled the opposition.

    What to do about Hourihane? he won’t go away but you just know with two DM’s bought one will play eventually. I would like to see Nakamba, Jack and either McGinn or Hourihane at present. We could bring in Luis when fit for either McGinn/Hourihane or Nakamba the options are many. A midfield with with three players that can pass, Dribble, shoot and tackle is on the cards.

    Jack had his usual share of kicks and was singled out in a pact midfield but I thought he probably gave the best defensive display of all the midfield and made many interceptions, he is clearly been adding muscle and is both tougher and quicker.

    Trez to me is looking a better starting option than ElGhazi at present and Elghazi may be injured having come off in pain from a twisted ankle.

    Wes might need to put himself about more and probably will once the season starts but I have the feeling that just isn’t his game.

    Looking like we will sign Benrahma and you would think a forward but as to who? or if? got till thurs 8th I think.

  40. Plug- Leipzig are playing in the DFB cup the day after our league game, the second most important title in Germany like the FA cup I’d presume so I think they are pretty fit, League starts week later.

  41. Last one, Apparently our second string beat Leipzig second string 1-0 with a kodjia goal today just to rib it in.

    Ahead of the Spurs game, they have Son and Ali out and Erickson agitating for a move 🙂

  42. Mark
    Yes Heaton mightily impressed me as well.
    Treseguet is more subtle than AEG, & faster, but we will have to see which is most productive.
    I’ll be glad to see next Friday so we can put this window to bed.
    Leipzig were getting a bit intense with the physicality, the score serves them right.
    Somehow I think 82 still niggles.

  43. Have to agree with Lee Hendrie, that Tom Heaton is our most important signing of the summer, adding the most important part of the spine of the club.

    Still two more signings to come, one of which should Benramah, but the striker could still be a mistery.

  44. Reading between the lines of Deano’s comments on the AVFC website, I think the spending is over for this window and we’re going to run with what we have.

    Thanking Compass is in order. They’ve done so much to protect their investment which in 1 year has soared in value. They’ve also given us fans some special moments. Each lifer has his own favourite. Mine was Jack’s winner at the sty. But SJM’s missile against Sheff Weds lives in the memory. Other missiles were Jack’s against Derby and Hourihane’s against the yam yams. But the real fight starts now. Villa fans will not be found wanting. We’re up for it.

    A year ago small heath were laughing at us. Not to mention the yam yams. Now we are back amongst the big boys and it feels great. I’m sure that Deano will get the necessary points on the board. Bring it on!

  45. Could still see an incoming or two. I think it simply comes down to prices, and can we move anyone, like Hogan, to help things balance out a little.

    So Benrahma, for example, as one of four wingers is worth £20m, and can we get that lowered. That’s what I read into things needing to “line up.”

    Still seeing links, which could all be rubbish of course, but we’ve seen the story pop up today that Galatasaray’s director is in England to negotiate with Villa over Mbaye Diagne.

  46. JC
    Work permit for Luiz came through yesterday,
    As for Diagne, we do need that kind of player, other than Davis or Hogan [if he’s still here].

  47. Ian g. Spurs could have countinho and dybala sat!

    It’s been a necessary transfer window as we had no players! We can not leave ourselves short though. A winger and st a must else it will be a long season

  48. Yeah, Davis, for sure…But I do worry about goals a little bit. Had thought we’d get some sort of true striker in besides Wes.

    Putting up a new piece now that touches on that, among other things.

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