RIP Ron Saunders. Your Villa brought me a lot of joy in my youth.

Let’s go get some points for you today.



Comments 92

  1. Yeah, MK. Ghazi has to take that one, obviously. Need to keep him at it. Apart from that, not sure where I see goals or threat coming from.

    Luiz had a chance to get it into Wesley near-post, went behind him for some reason.

  2. Well so so far it could of been 1-0 to us 4-0 to them or 2-2 take your pick. Midfield doesn’t, seem to work with luis and marv together, McGinn just plain not the same player, Mings probably better not on the pitch maybe he’s missing Taylor and Wes appears to not be in the team most of the time.

  3. Wow.
    I hope these last few games don’t harm the team mentally. It’s s**t like this that can ruin a team.
    I think Leicester are going to catch liverpool and that would be nice.

  4. Mk
    I am serious about smith,nearly halfway through season,we are not fit,our set play both attacking and defending is shocking,all basic training ground work
    Target is better than taylor but still a woeful signing,kota hause why bother
    Smith team choices have pretty poor never mind his subs,
    McGinn has really lost his way yet continues to play every minute
    Everyone saying easy matches coming up but we have lost 6 from 8 3 pretty bad today wolves and chelsea so how do we macigally turn up again

  5. We are in trouble of going down, that’s for sure.

    We don’t have a plan b. We are to predictable. Always 433. Nothing else. Smith needs to up our game

    We move ball so slowly.. Always want extra few touches

    Wesley is shocking.. Needs dropping. We need January transfer window.. Front 3 are very poor

  6. Smith should be queried heavily. People streaming out of Doug Ellis with 20 minutes to go

    Smith lacks imagination. Any other player cannot be worse than Wesley, so why not try Grealish and the two wide players for 45 minutes… can’t be worse. Kodjia must be legless to be behind bambi when it comes to selection.

    Schmeichal made no saves. The team lacks pace in midfield. Movement is almost non-existent. Can’t convert easy chances and the defending from Luiz in midfield is shocking. He caused 2 of the goals today.

    Targett is so slow and ball watches constantly.

    We move the ball slowly due to no movement and the ball control is terrible

    Utterly woeful display. If I was Grealish I’d leave in January. Everton sack Silva so why aren’t we sacking Smith?

  7. PW- we are not sacking Smith because we have arrived in the prem with a young side that have been together for 16 games and have never been in a prem game for the most except on a playstation. £130m does not a prem team make in 5 mins. So far we haven’t beat a top ten side and are fairly unlikely to do so often if ever yet. Has Smith failed? nope we are still in the prem, mind you if we win a few over the next few games we can extend his contract again.

    All our points have come from the bottom sides bar one point from Manure, it tells a story.

  8. Buy the way the worst decision Smith made today was bringing on Guilbert cost me 10 points on fantasy football.

    I’m wondering what manager those who are itching to pull the trigger on Smith would bring in?

  9. The idea that Man City would want Luiz back is a joke…he’s utter krap.

    Targett can’t defend at all.

    The wingers are slow and can’t run with the ball. El Ghazi was nothing more than an average Championship player. They carry little to no threat.

    Wesley, worst player to pull a shirt on. Who the Fuk thought he would be a success in the EPL. He’s worse than Joelinton, which is no mean feat.

  10. Check out the player ratings in the Mail. Scores are mostly 4-5 and the description of why is absolutely spot on. Not the politely put view that McGinn is fukked.

    Smith’s interview is bollax…he claims we had as many chances as Leicester. He must have watched a different game to me. He glosses over the outrageous defensive errors where the ball is not cleared in favour of stupid attempts to pass across our own box. See, I reckon we might find a manager and defensive coach that stops that.

    The other pattern that is developing, which is a signature of a very poor team, is the constant chopping and changing of the starting 11.

  11. Our insistence to play 433 and nothing else might well be the down fall for us

    Why not try a diamond like lcfc did today? Go two up top

    Our inability to retain possession is awful as well. We must have the worst possession stats.
    A lack of technical quality in the front 3 is the main reason for this. Poor players

    Need a left back in January to. Target is injury prone and awful defending

  12. PW- I just listened to Smiths interview and he states we can’t defend like that particularly as a team, what more should he be adding? As for chopping and changing I think he’s been pretty patient and brought players in slowly on the whole to slowly for most fans who wanted Taylor and elmo out from day one. The only changes lately have been through injury or an attempt at being solid in the middle.

    JG- how long should Smith get? having just completely overhauled the squad longer than you want I suspect. If he and the team are good enough they will work it out, its not like last season where we were atrocious against the also ran teams for 10-12 games and Bruce got the shove, its the exact opposite, its proved just by looking at the table that we have played all the better sides. If we don’t get anything in the next 5 games you might see some twitching but the new contract and the reluctance to spend in Jan says they are playing the long game.

    So again who would you bring in? Our owners went for an unfancied manager last time.

  13. PW- Its so obvious Wesleys finding it tough its painful but with zero options I’m betting Smith is kicking the cat. said a while back that I’d give ElGhazi a run with Trez and jack either side.

  14. oh dear the melt down. after losing to the best team ive seen in the league this season!

    It is what it is. a young team finding there way in the prem have played pool, city, Chelsea, utd, wolves, foxes on he bounce! any experienced prem team wouldn’t cope with that let alone us.

  15. Its funny though how we are all of a sudden wanting to tighten up and be pragmatic. Under Bruce it was dull but now we have a young team playing open attacking footy! Its ok but against the top teams they will just love playing against us

  16. MK…agree with Grealish plus 2 wide men as an option that can’t be any less effective than what’s happening now. But, Smith is unimaginative and persists with the same players.

    There was zero logic for playing Elmo yesterday. If FG hadn’t been suspended then he would have kept his place so what was FG doing wrong while he was suspended. Elmo was competent but nothing special. Didn’t cover himself in Glory for Evans’ goal.

    The continual changing of midfield personnel reflects the fact that Smith has no faith in any of them

  17. PW- I assume that as Elmo had an assist and played ok the policy is to keep the shirt. Beginning to wonder if Targett is effecting Mings form. cloning jack is our only option.

  18. Well what a disaster!!

    Have taken time to cool down and see all the various responses, but it seems that things are just not working, and we do not have a plan B or C, let alone a D.

    Brendan Rogers planned our defeat yesterday and did it with precision. Dean Smith has to wake up and look at what he is doing. All the flack for Wesley is his fault, as Wesley cannot do two jobs, and he needs someone to play alongside him, either a Maupay, who is already on 25 goals, or a Grabban, both of which were affordable back in the summer.

    The money spent on Targett, Wesley and Luiz, amounted to £48 million and could have been spent on far better players, like Maupay, Jarrod Bowen (on 22 goals already), and I am sure we could have sourced a much better full back, like Justin.

    McGinn has just played too many games, and not had a chance to recover, and yet Lansbury has been on fine form, but Smith seems loathe to play him. El Ghazi has about one good game in three. The squad is almost bare, and like many do not understand why we didn’t give a little longer to Whelan, who has been an inspiration for Ireland, and Bjarnason.

    We have done exactly what we did the last time we were in the Premiership, and bought a lot of untried players, without sufficient time to develop them. I hope we don’t repeat the mistake of then, by starting their development, and then letting the next club reap the rewards. We so need a James Milner in the team to steady the ship. Jack is a great lad and gives inspiration, but needs that older head alongside him.

    I am not ready to say that Smith’s time is up, but I am surprised that he has just been given a new four year contract, surely not a wise move at the moment, or do the board feel he could be stolen by one of the lesser clubs around. He really needs to take a minimum of 10 points from the next five league games, anything less, and Villa are in real trouble, and somewhat different to his original “We are going to win every game” boast at the start of the season.

  19. PP
    ‘his original “We are going to win every game” boast at the start of the season.’
    I seem to remember that Smith said that we would be trying to win every game, there was no boast involved.

    Ian – yes nearly as good as as the Trump soap

  20. Blimey PP isn’t hindsight brilliant, I’m sure there are a million and one reasons we didn’t buy xyz like teams didn’t want to sell, offered them at to high a price, in Maupays case to sell him cheaper later. Lets not forget the two players that did not happen on the last day.

    If we have done what we did last time where are the pictures of players at partys etc? the bust ups? and why have we got 15 points when we only got 17 all season. I think this seasons team would beat that one even now.

    Dean Smith will know that these next few games are our bread and butter games, I should think we all do.

  21. Just seen this on AVB

    Wes after 16 games –4 goals
    Savo after 16 games –5 goals
    Angel after 16 games –5 goals
    Bentike after 16 games–5 goals
    Carew after 16 games –3goals

  22. IanG,

    The reference to the boast was a touch of humour which Dean has a lot of I am sure.

    Not all hindsight, as like several, felt that Maupay was worth going the extra mile for, and I am sure if Dean had really wanted him, he would have got him. We went out of way to really nail down the Luiz deal, and never gave up. Targett I was never keen on, and felt there were better options, as many did when we bought Taylor. I was solidly behind getting MIngs, and am still pleased that we managed to secure Trezeguet, Guilbert, El Ghazi and Jota for the prices we paid for them.

    We are lacking in depth squad wise and need to secure some solid players. I also felt that we needed to clear some players out, but players like Whelan and Bjarnason were worth retaining a little longer. There was just too much to learn in a very short period of time for so many new players. A little experience in the squad could have made the difference.

  23. Mk
    How long is a piece of string
    Smith I blame for fitness levels,setpieces attacking defending, choice of teams subs set up
    Smith I don’t blame for size of squad and quality of players he inherited, bar target yes he is better than taylor but fcuk that wouldn’t be hard
    Something’s got to change and if it’s not the result fast he has got to go

  24. PP
    I agree with most of your points but getting jitters just thinking about whelan seen close at a few weeks ago and all he did was take ball of keeper pass to full backs then get it back all inside our 18 yard box

  25. The league table looks ugly today. The lesson from yesterday is to set up in a more compact system when we are up against the very best. We should deploy 4-3-3 against the lowest half of the table. Against the others, we need to flood midfield. It appears the team is not ready yet to go 4-3-3 against the likes of Man City and Leicester so they need some help.

    We do need more fire power up front. But I’ll stay patient. The object at the start of the season was to survive. We are far from dead right now.

  26. Genuinely really surprised to see some people questioning Dean Smith’s suitability for the job. . . . . Really? Just behave.

    Yesterday however was the first game I a really haven’t enjoyed watching. Not so much because we were exposed by a smaller club, but a stronger team but because of the attitude of too many of our players.
    it really stank, and they need to take a good look at themselves.
    The petulance on display was embarrassing and Jack was probably the worst culprit.
    Hopefully, after a good night’s sleep, they’ll have realised that their attitude just wasn’t good enough yesterday and will knuckle down, focus, and prepare hard for the games that really matter.
    If after the next 3 games we’re on 20 points or more then we’re right back on track for survival this year and with the team gelling and possibly a couple of additions we can look forward to the second half of the season.

  27. Mark K…those goal stats of the strikers don’t tell the real picture. Wesley could have zero goals if was good at link up play and just holding the ball.

    He is one of those players who comes along every now and again who lacks basic coordination and athletic ability. He is slow and clumsy in everything he does. He runs and moves like bambi. I’m not the authority on him but most watchers agree with me.

    I wonder if Benteke was scoring 4 in the Mail after 16 games. I can’t believe you have the balls to compare him to the strikers that you listed.

  28. R0bb0, agree with your comments on the behaviour at 1-3. It was actually total lack of discipline and composure…that is Smith’s job to stamp out.

    Anyway, it was an abject performance, as was the defeat at Chelsea; we’re lucky to have only shipped 6 goals in those two games.

    It doesn’t follow that we’ll take 9 points over Xmas, but I hope I’m wrong

  29. R0bb0,

    It is not just the attitude of the players, but complete lack of discipline….Villa are top of the Premier league, unfortunately for conceded the most goals from set pieces, which is hardly surprising, when they fail to close players down, and they have room to dance and pirotte before the take a shot!!! Otherwise make sure you have men on the post. Half the goals we have conceded at least would have been avoided if the posts were covered. It has to be one or the other, but not a lack of both.

    Smith is the manager, and it is his call as to how we defend. Also in attack, we seem to be back to lobbing balls in the box, and passing has disappeared again, as has taking serious shots at the keeper.

    We will improve, but it needs to be now when we take on Sheffield United, not in two or three games time, and they are on great form. Robinson and Stevens will be wanting to show what they have, and Chris Wilder will have a proper plan to defeat us.

  30. JG
    It’s also easy to forget that half the players are young [seen from here], & we seem to be getting dips in their performances, & it’s catching.

  31. PP- just because we think it’s a good idea doesn’t mean it is especially when we don’t have any facts to go on.

    PW- ball size like memory recall goes up and down and as Wes is being battered for not scoring it’s worth comparing, Angel for one looked lost when he arrived. He had plenty of goals and assists for Brugge the top team in an easier league and if you watch him in vids had loads of time. Compare that to this league and team. When given the ball in the right place he has mostly produced but by no means am I saying he’s the D’B’s but someone saw something in him.

  32. MK,

    I am sure soeone saw something in Wesley, but to expect him to produce straight away, with no support up front, is hardly going to improve him. This seems to be what the lower Premier league sides do with foreign players, and then wonder why they do not come up to the mark. It is not until they move to a team that can provide that type of support that they come good.

    These days, the more successful young players come from the English leagues which are much harder now. The top clubs also farm out their young players to the German leagues for better experience, and then introduce them gradually.

    We are using players in their twenties, when they should be near their best, while other clubs youngsters being blooded now are in the 18-20 age group. We don’t have a single player available in that age group at present.

  33. We will go down if we don’t add a winger of two in January, and a striker or two

    I can’t quite believe how bad Wesley is. He has absolutely no ability. s**t in the air. Slow. Can’t control a ball. Truly dire

    Need Davis back

  34. IanG
    Yep we have a lot of young inexperienced players,maybe that’s what’s wrong with smith,seen numerous calls for mcginn to get a rest give lainsbury a go,

  35. PP- We have to start somewhere, Players in there prime that can produce in a team that is basically 4 months old would cost a bomb or not exist, Players like Tammy also cost a bomb. Maupay is playing for a team that have been together for a while, I’m sure he would have been fine for us but I don’t think the loan striker is his thing. To me Davis and Wes are similar, not prolific but team players, that is the only reason I can find to why we went for him, thats the plan. Might not be the bets one but financial limits had a hand. Not just in fees but in Wages paid Our wage bill has been slashed massively. We are set up so that if we drop we don’t have to sell is my guess. Fits in with Smiths new contract too.

    Lets be honest the whole team has struggled including jack when he was in midfield. McGinn who looked a born prem player is now in need of dropping. At time we have seen some brilliant stuff but its not consistent nor is it likely to be yet.

    Has the clubs strategy of buying young and coaching them been to ambitious? possibly but most of the players Have seasons under their belt in some of the top leagues in Europe, Striking a balance for £130m?
    Thats a tough ask. Big money strikers for other clubs look poor buys too and have fared no better than Wesley in more settled sides.

    What is the best blend when buying a new team? certainly Fulham ballsed it up, QPR did with old players I think all considered we are doing as well as expected.

  36. History doesn’t bode well for Villa. We finished 5th with a weak squad, full of loanees, the best of which left. There is no platform of quality upon which to build a sustained period in the EPL. We haven’t improved on Grealish being our standout player for quite a few years. No serious quality coming through the youth/reserves; if there was we wouldn’t keep sending out the same rubbish that we bought in the summer.

  37. PW- Can’t disagree with that, this season more than last season is a whole new beginning. Some of our Buys in the Champs are our highest paid like Lansbury, Hourihane and Kodjia on £30,000 a week, the squads entire wages is now being Reported as £26m!? looks low to me but Sheffield’s and Norwich’s are about £13m. When you consider it was Close to £90m you have to say we have come long way quickly but with no base whatsoever. Thats why I think the owners are unlikely to panic.

  38. Couple thoughts…

    Wes will take some time, but I do think it’s also hard for him to come back deep, press, and then be expected to turn and get into the box to be on the end of things as the play is going past him. If he’s going to play hold up, great. I read they’re doing a lot of work in training on getting the ball into him. But basically I think he needs more support up the middle…not exactly another forward to play off, but a 10 or some such.

    Which Smith was trying when he moved Jack to the middle in the 2nd half against Leicester.

    Midfield has been disappointing of late…McGinn, Luiz, Nakamba. All good players, but steep learning curve for Luiz and Marvelous (everyone, really), uneven performances, and McGinn’s just been off. One hopes a full week schedule recharges the batteries.

    I don’t necessarily think we have fitness issues. There’s no way Dean came in pointing out the fitness and then have them not being fit. That said, three in a week is always tough, and it’s tougher if you’re chasing. It might simply be the case that against better teams we pack it in a bit more. This is the idea with the 4-2-3-1, with Luiz and Nakamba staying at home and being a bit more defensive, and, as I’ve said, maybe keeping Jack more central to help out West. We saw it against Leicester, and there McGinn has to be the link if Jack isn’t central. Doesn’t mean we have to do this against the teams around and below us, but when facing teams higher up, we have to remember they’ve all, except the Blades, been there longer than us.

    An extra couple windows with PL money can make a big difference.

  39. JC- Absolutely, I think its hard to temper expectations but we have to. How many times have we sold off good players having decided they were duff. We will face Stevens on Saturday, faced Albrighton last weekend. Our whole infrastructure is in its infancy and as such we have to be patient no matter what we think we are seeing play out.

    Take last season, Smith had 23 games before we went on that 10 game run of wins, I estimate about 14-15 of those were without Mings, Jack for along while or any of Elphick, Steer, etc. Touenzabe injured and we brought in Carrol and a keeper both useless.

    We are 16 games in to a harder league with an inexperienced manager and Squad with miles less game time together than the team he inherited, thats the reality.

  40. One other thing, Mings is out until the new year apparently so You would think Hause comes in and Engels moves across. I’m not knocking Mings but this might give us a more solid base and I’m willing to bet we can deal with set pieces and crosses better, both are pretty good in the air.

  41. PP- Maybe it will but as he hasn’t even graced the bench yet I would assume Hause as Mings understudy on the left would get a chance, if not he will be mightily p*ssed off I’d think.

  42. It’s quiet on here. Is everyone still recovering from the Foxes defeat?

    We do need to get something from today’s visit to Sheffield. They will run their nuts off, we need to match their commitment and impose our game on them. COYVB.

  43. Team:
    Heaton, Guilbert, Engels, Hause, Targett, Lansbury, Nakamba, McGinn, El Ghazi, Grealish, Wesley

    Subs: Nyland, Taylor, Luiz, Konsa, Trezeguet, Kodjia, Elmohamady

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