Short from me as I’m traveling and very hung over. The whiskeys (ryes, if we’re being specific) were outstanding, but they ganged up on me. Was never a fair fight.

So, we say hello again to Jordan Ayew and a certain Christian Benteke, who it seems played for us a million years ago. We wonder about Palace’s formation. We see Guilbert has retained his place, and will have his hands full. I also saw Jota’s full name, and it reminded me of something from the Princess Bride. At least I think it was Jota.

Anyway. Early days, but I’d very much like to see a result. We need a bit of traction.

Comments 61

  1. What a ridiculous decision from the ref who was biased the whole game. Why didn’t he send it for VAR, would have if it was one of the top 6. W@nker.

  2. The ‘goal’…should have been a penalty.

    All of the discussion around that masks the fact that Villa were extremely poor. I saw most of the game and we were over-run. Smith should be very worried across the 4 games regarding our inability to keep the ball and create chances

  3. It’s hard work refereeing and he pace of the game is as high as it’s ever been. Is it too much to ask for referees to still be at the top of their game after 96 minutes?
    If a player is tired they get substituted. . . maybe we need a change of ref at half time

  4. I’ve left it for 24 hours to calm down. Except I haven’t and I’m still raging. Friend has an agenda with AVFC. Palace commit 15 fouls and get 2 yellow cards. Villa commit 16 fouls and get 6 yellows plus a red. The man is a cheat and nowhere near even handed enough as events have shown. The least that the PL can do now is ensure that Friend is never allocated to AVFC again as we will remember this.

    He couldn’t get his red card out fast enough for Trez and he couldn’t get his whistle in his gob fast enough when it looked like an equalizer.

    Taking a wider view, we got overrun in midfield so Deano may need to change formation away from home and load midfield. We have the players. But I’ sure Deano will do the right thing. But I’m not holding my breath for the PL to take action against the cheat.

  5. He’s a wank. Grealish was fouled twice and still managed to pass. Even after Grealish passed and was tripped, he got up straight away. He was not looking for a penalty. I don’t get it. Why does it have to happen to us.

    I thought we conceded a very soft goal, shocking defending. Hopefully the England call up has not gone to Mings head. Plug – Trez was definitely a sending off. Will be interesting to see how well El Ghazi plays in the next 2 matches.

    Good to see o’hare score for Coventry. Hopefully him, Doyle-Hayes and RHM stay fit and get full seasons under their belts. Did Suliman go out on loan?

  6. well what a rubbish start. 1 win 3 defeats, 2 against palace and Bournemouth.

    Not seeing the football I expected from a dean smith team and we are desperately short up top after stupidly not getting another winger or striker. Long season ahead and im struggling to see 3 teams worse than us.

  7. the decision was awful but it just annoys me. im more angry and upset about the performance we deserved to loose.

    Frem I agree.

    Nakamaba and luiz in cdm and ideal time with trez out to put grealish on the left.

  8. Not looking good….Perhaps Trezeguet missed having Elmo to guide him, it seemed a little ridiculous to put him against Zaha, with Taylor. Surely would have been better with Elmo on the pitch, rather than Guilbert. Especially when he and Taylor have been so good at the back.

    Must be time to give Lansbury his chance in mid field, not sure about all these demands for marvellous and Luis, who stil have a lot to prove. Maybe mid field of Hourhane, McGinn and Lansbury, with Jack and Wesley up front.

  9. We knew this was not going to be easy folks, lets face it we will get better over time, but so will every other team most of which have had much less personal changes.

    It appears that Jack is still looked at as a diver by some idiots (refs) the sooner he gets in the England side and becomes untouchable the better.

    I guess the only thing we can do is squirm and give Dean Smith and the team time and backing. Different matches will throw up different challenges, bogey teams if you like but if every time we lose there are calls to change XYZ it won’t get us far. The Guilbert and Jota combo looked like the answer but not this week, they have to play together and learn its the only way other than continually changing in the hope it works.

    One things for sure I can see why Smith has kept faith in elmo and Taylor on the defensive front despite it being obvious to the fans the new men are better?

  10. Maybe going up has come a bit too early for us as a club? Maybe the case we do a brighton. go up go down and then get back up and stabilise?

    Mark its a bad show when we cant improve on elmo and taylor as full backs! Such a vital role and just don’t offer anything near enough to be a good team.

  11. While the overall performance wasn’t up to scratch, the fact that we were still trying to find an equaliser at the death gives my heart solace for the future. We’re absolutely still bedding down in the prem and it doesn’t give you much time to iron out the mistakes and those mistakes are very quickly punished as we’ve seen in our four games to date.

    BUT, fear not, it will be an ugly season all the way through to the final game and as the team gels further and Smith determines his preferred personnel and who he can trust to perform at this level then we’ll get the benefit, our starting point is miles behind every other club given the number of signings required and still feeling light upfront and in my personal opinion we are light on being able to win the ball back in midfield which is leading to our defence being under extra pressure, we’ll get there. And while it doesn’t help to have officials work against us when every point is precious, we’ll get decisions that will go for us as well that we won’t deserve.

    Intl break will buy us some time to regroup and I’ve got Irish Women’s qualifier tonight, Ireland v Swiss on Thursday and Irish U21 on Friday so loads of live football this week.

  12. H & V
    ‘Maybe going up has come a bit too early for us as a club? Maybe the case we do a brighton. go up go down and then get back up and stabilise?’

    No, you’re just depressed mate.

  13. Prefer a drop of Wisers if I’m having a Rye John, how about you?
    I was surprised to see Trez come back out after half time to be honest, thought he looked like losing it a couple of time in that first half, think that one is on Deano TBF. How ever, we may have not played our best by a long chalk, but that decision by Friend was truly unbelievable. Not saying we deserved anything from the game, but we deserved that goal whether it be a consolation, for a point or the win should have no barring on a ref’s decision making. Who was it complaining last season about the reffing in the Championship, at least they were consistently incompetent, up here nothing has changed about how bias the calls are, if your from London or Manchester you’ll get the rub of the green so to speak. Alas, we are from the midlands and get the worse of all ref’s treatment, you can have your shorts pulled down and get nowt if your a Villa player. Still another lesson learned we hope for players and management alike. As long as we keep learning from these fiasco’s we’ll be ok. Still prefer one in three wins to three draws to get on three points, and a point a game average if we can manage it should be enough.

  14. H&V- As Darren pointed out the Midfield is struggling and likely has more to do with using less forward looking FB’s, If we had had £300m to spend I’m sure we could of sorted it 🙂

    Lets face it last season Dean Smith set records played the best football we have seen in years and got us up, defiantly to early for where we were but I’d say that if we had stayed down then it would of been 2-3 years off once we’d been stripped bare.

    IanG- yeah I’ve noticed the disappearance of the Youth teams from Youtube, maybe its to reduce expectancy or appearance money 🙂

  15. The problem with Jack is his attitude displayed when he is fouled, or believes he has been fouled. He needs to just get on with it, and not keep throwing his arms up in the air, as if a major crime has been committed. The ref sees what happens and will respond, but with Jack doing what he does, when there is a doubt, he will not get the ref to give him the benefit, as they see it, as he is always looking for it.

    I watched the extended 30 minute highlights on Sky, and was very disappointed with us, and could see why Trezeguet deserved his cards, as did Taylor, Guilbert was probly less deserving, but could see why it was given. Palace really took the game to us, and Ayew had an excellent game.

  16. PP
    Yes, but the point about the cards was that they were all one sided for most of the match, but especially the first half.
    Also the fact that similar offences by CP were ignored by the ref.
    He acted as of he had a prepared agenda, & fair play wasn’t it.
    Also Trez’s first yellow was soft, as if the ref had to put a line in the sand to control the match.
    That didn’t work until he came off his anti villa campaign, or came to his senses.
    On second thoughts, not the latter, after reflecting on it during half time equaliser

  17. Iang,

    on the surface it did appear one-sided, maybe our tackles were just that more clumsy, and were the more desperate team. Palace were the team to be stopped. We need to take back control in games, slowing the pace, and dictating play.

    We are not back in the Lambert day of rabbits in the headlights yet, but we need to find some assertion in mid field.

    Are the players that we have bought much different to the Sherwood days, when we bought Carles Gil,Jordan Amavi, Jordan Ayew, Jordan Veretout, Adama Traore, Heleniaus, Idrissa Gueye and Carlos Sanchez.

    Jota, Guilbert, Wesley, Marvellous, Trezeguet, Luiz and El Ghazi, are not much different in many ways, and Amavi, Veretout, Gueye and Ayew have made the grade, and I also think that there is not a lot wrong with Traore now. The question is, will it take as long to develop these players to their best, and how many will fall along the way. Certainly not much difference between Gil and Jota. Luiz could become an Idrissa quite quickly, Marvellous a Veretout, but Wesley needs to become an Ayew very quickly. Guilbert could be an Amavi, while El Gazhi is a much better controlled Traore!

    The biggest difference between these two sets of players, is the manager wanted them, and will work to make them succeed, makes you wonder what sort of team we would have had if Dean Smith had become coach at the time!!!

    Hopefully, we will come through the international break unscathed, and we will have had sufficient time to improve the understanding between players.

    Looking forward to the the West Ham game, as it will be areal test of how far we have progressed since our start back in the Premiership.

  18. IanG

    2 nil win against European minnows Montenegro, however me and my buddy were constantly distracted by the gorgeous Portugese lineswoman so I can’t give you a full report on the game 🙂

  19. Was away for a long weekend, and didn’t really get a chance to jump in.

    Obviously an outrageous sequence there at the end. I also was watching with many people around, so was a bit distracted. But all the fallout cleared things up as far as what actually happened.

    As to the game, I’ll get to that, and probably some thoughts on VAR in general.

  20. PP,

    I think there’s truth to what you say about Jack’s reactions not helping him. I don’t think it’s a case of him ‘selling’ fouls, more a sense of frustration that he can’t just play without being constantly fouled. He’s not getting the respect/protection from officials, and is, in effect, having his style of play dictated by opponents who are clearly instructed to bring him down if they can’t get a clean tackle/dispossession.

    Obviously, there are situations where he knows he will get fouled, and he’s happy enough to take those…generally when he sees a player coming in and knows that just moving to take the ball beyond will create contact.

    But having seen so much of him (which outsiders won’t), I really don’t believe he’s a diver. And when you see players all over playing for fouls (breathe on someone’s back and they go over), it’s a bit galling for there to be that association.

    If anything, his play there at the end proves he’s not a diver. Kept going, got the pass off, and was right back up on his feet with no appeal to follow-on in the play. And he’s not lightweight.

    Basically, if you can’t stop a player without bringing him down, you should be accumulating fouls, getting yellows and the like until defenders are forced to back off and acknowledge they can’t generally stop him without fouling him.

  21. JC- totally agree, you would think being out last season from umpteen kicks to the shin might have given a few people a clue thats he’s not faking it.

    I’m thinking that it might be better for him to be put further forward and bring in Marv . Whether that looks like 433 4141 4231 I don’t care, it won’t effect his ability to effect a game imo.

  22. JC/MK,

    My point was not about him diving at all, but his showing his frustration, which we all feel, and perhaps the need to get on with it. He does at times try to draw the foul, rather than making the pass, and again complete;y legitimate, but probably gets less sympathy.
    I am also getting the feeling this season, that refs are more keen to let play continue, unless there is a serious foul, rather than a heavy tackle.
    Certainly, I think he ought to be playing further forward, and I think that is what Dean Smith wants from him, whern we can get the rest of the defence and mid field playing to his strengths.

  23. PP- I am not surprised he’s frustrated, the reason he was kicked so much in the championship was because it was a rougher league supposedly or thats the thought. He seemed to get a reprieve from refs after injury and the assault yet here we are in the Prem and he’s back to square one, surprised he hasn’t lumped someone himself yet 😉

  24. PP/MK

    Both right…Jack deserves to be frustrated, and would probably do himself a favor not letting it show the way he does. I could see Dean putting an arm round his shoulder.

  25. Agree JC,

    Have watched a lot of games this season on Sky, and it is getting much tougher, and the pace of the game moves so fast. Players go down and the ref just allows play to go own, unless it is a serious clash of heads, etc. Most times the player who goes down is just left to get on with it, unless the ref is convinced that it is a foul, and there is no real advantage.

  26. PP……..this season refs are more keen to let play continue….

    Not Kevin Fraud. That cheat was razor sharp when it looked like Lansbury was in. Anybody heard whether Jack’s yellow card has been rescinded?

  27. PP,

    I’ve been a little surprised at the level of contact and, as you say, a number of what look like fouls being disregarded. Especially the sort where CBs are really coming up into forwards with their backs to goal. But I guess Benteke didn’t get the calls any more than Wes.

    Also a bit surprised at how many players are left lying on the ground. I applaud it in many ways, since it’s so often a ploy, but sure seems like some fouls are being missed.

  28. Villa Women have made a great start to the season with three wins on the trot. They are looking for promotion to the Premier League top division. Won 2-1 on Sunday at Villa Park against Blackburn Ladies.

    Villa are determined that all their teams will be competing at the highest level.

    Thanks for the George Boteng video, which all indicates that we are a club aiming for the top.

  29. PP
    Yes, maybe it’s their year for promotion.
    It’s the strongest women’s team that I can remember, with some upgrades in the transfer window.

  30. Hi guys, can’t believe we have to wait until Monday.

    I’ve no Villa news, but I watched Sweden vs Ireland U21’s and Jake Doyle Hayes was a sub. I know most folks on here don’t give s cr*p about U21 and especially if it’s not England. Fair.

    I just wanted to bring my experience of watching young lads play away from home and be 1-0 down at 1/2 time against the run of play. Ireland played high posession in the 2nd half, total attacking football from the Irish against a more powerful nation, we missed a penalty, at least 2 sitters, and for the first in my lifetime beat Sweden 1-3 in Sweden and I was disappointed by the final score.

    So what’s my point. In “my view” we are quality. Maybe we’re not expected to win every game, but we have quality and a great manager and attitude.

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