For all the reasons that everyone near and far has pointed to in the blog, the press, the pub…Yes, today’s match is a big one. In summing things up, I can’t really do any better than all the comments on the previous thread, so if you’re just now joining in, I’ll refer you back to that.

For now, what we know is that Smith’s put Reina straight in, and Matt Targett returns. While it might seem unfair to Nyland, who has done well since Heaton went down, I’m sure it’s Reina’s experience, presence, and, one hopes, distribution that see him come into the side. Danny Drinkwater also retains his place and will line up with Marvelous Nakamba. Frederic Guilbert is back on the right side.

What I hope this means is that we’ve got the right attacking elements in place with Guilbert and Targett to maximize the 3-4-3 and give us a chances without a recognized striker. I’m sure we’ll see quite a bit of shifting round between Jack, Ghazi, and Trez up front. It’s a shame Mbwana Samatta can’t be out there, but if all goes right, at least he’ll give us a different look against Watford.

So. Massive game for us, Brighton, too, really. Have the side galvanized themselves after watching City take them apart? Are they ready to fight? All soon to be answered. And to say I’ll be on the edge of my seat would be an understatement. All I can say is Come on You Villa Boys. Just win.

Over  to you.



Comments 129

  1. Underwhelming, to say the least. Still not reacting/closing down fast enough, giving them too much space and time in the center of the park.

    Hope Dean gets into them at the half.

  2. AEG shoulf have scored

    Jack should have hit the target before Brighton scored.

    Konsa and Hause look shaky

    Drinkwater looks scared to run with the ball.

    AEG is not a forward.

    Our midfield is being dominated.

    Time to face the facts – we are not very good.

    We only have 4 decent players and 2 of them are injured.

    I would not be surprised to see Jack leave in this window.

  3. And yes…Konsa and Hause are shaky and nervous. Not putting themselves about, coming out, and panicked when trying to clear.

    In front, neither Nakamba or Drinkwater are doing much to contest the ball or make life hard.

    If anything, that’s probably been the biggest weakness. It’s a big ask coming in, but neither Nakamba or Luiz have ever looked comfortable, and they don’t seem to be growing into it fast enough.

  4. I am worried about Jack. MAN UTD will pay him big money – £250K a week plus all of the commercial incentives he would receive – and he os clearly better than Fred and Co.

    Let’s face the facts – Villa are not very good. No shots on target again. That is 2.5 games with no shots on target.

  5. RichardS,

    They’re certainly not looking good. What they don’t seem to be taking on board, and don’t seem to be confident in trying, is to just force the issue. I think we’d look better and create more if we were more combative. We sort of commit, but don’t, and just can’t see enough of the ball to get things going.

    They definitely look afraid of losing, instead of playing like they’ve got nothing to lose.

  6. Superb thanks jack, its my birthday today and he just made it. Few more games/second halves like that with a the new striker/strikers should see some wins

    JC- think I have just developed a man crush on Reina

  7. Of course we all hoped for a win but I guess we should be reasonably satisfied with a draw against fellow strugglers away from home. Seems that Reina may be an astute addition and with us having scored more goals than any other team in the bottom half of the table, if we can just be a bit tighter at the back in the second half of the season it really could make all the difference.

    I’d be absolutely astonished if Jack was to leave us at this point. . . . .I really can’t see it happening. The owners don’t seem to be the types to give up on the season and Jack would never be able to live with himself if he moved on now.

  8. JC. I don’t believe it would have been season over if we’d lost but it certainly would have given our confidence another kick in the nuts.
    Anyone heard anything about McGinn recently. . . . . .is he still due back before the end of the season?
    I can imagine him giving us the boost that Jack did when he came back last season and we went on that 10 match winning run

  9. Got to be pleased with a point. It keeps us alive.

    Jack is something else. Compass have already reportedly knocked back an enquiry for Jack this month. They know his value and commitment to the cause. Too much at stake over the next few months.


  10. Happy birthday MK,

    Decent point, especially after last week. Reina is unreal at passing, both from hands and feet. He’s so alert and fast at looking to release the ball for a counter attack.

    Mings and Jack, no need to write how great and important they are. Trezeguet was very good in 1st half, El Ghazi runs his socks off. Hause had his worst Villa game, and Drinkwater….I really hope it’s just match fitness he needs. Even his yellow card was a joke, totally reckless and no need for it.

  11. My friend is a season ticket holder at Liverpool and he said Reina’s distribution is excellent – rates him highly – his experience could be vital

    Mings is back to his best.

    Jack Grealish is a phenomenal footballer – it is an absolute joy to watch him play. He really is a superstar. If Man UTD paid £80M for Mcguire they will pay £100M for Jack.

    We desperately need a striker.

    And I would take Nzonzi and 1 more striker. If that is achievable.

    Let’s hope the new guy is good.

  12. RichardS, agreed on all ur comments.

    Nzonzi experience would be welcome, and he has played all season in Turkey. It will also benefit Luiz and Nakamba. Let lansbury go. Im a bit shocked that Kodger was allowed to leave. Surely we should have got rid of him in the summer if Dean didn’t fancy him.

    Dean said Villa will have to take some risks in the transfer market. I wonder what that means – maybe experienced players coming in on loan. We’re playing again on Tuesday! Massive 3 pointer

  13. Happy birthday MK!!!

    Haven’t the mention of a Mackeson for many years, and was only ever in bottles. Minnie Caldwell comes to mind with her milk stout!
    Pork scratchings still a very popular savoury.
    Thought at least you would be enjoying Steamer’s curry goat, rice n’peas washed down with some strong ales!!!

    Didn’t find anywhere to see the game, so will wait to see the highlights, but feel more positive about Tuesday now, and looking forward to the game, and hopefully p**sing off Troy Deeney for once!!!

  14. blessed earth strong Mark
    the boys did well in the end in a very difficult period while await a striker still think we will stay up and that deano and the board are the best thing to happen to villa in many a year


  15. Thx VillaMD.

    I loved watching Mings and Grealish today.

    Mings was a warrior at the back. Guiding Konsa and Hause.

    Grealish is class.

    I think we will sign another striker.

  16. Good to read such positive reactions. I’m no happy clapper, but at this stage there’s nothing for it but to get behind them and will them over the line. Just like the away support, singing loud down one, and trying to pick them up.

  17. Well we finished on the up. so they know how to do it.
    Tuesday is intriguing, because W seem only to play one way, & never mind mucking about with the ball in defence, their Goalie always does long balls aimed at the wretch Deeney [may he pull a muscle after 2 minutes]. while they flood up the pitch.
    This is classic Pearson & it never lasts.

  18. Smith needs to start with the right team on Tuesday.

    Hopefully we will have our new forward.

    Play Grealish in the middle.

    AEG and Trez wide.

    Bring back Luiz + Nakamba in the middle.

    Reina in goal – he looks like an astute signing.

    Target and Gilbert wing backs

    We have to win.

    Let Mings deal with Deaney.

  19. This tweet caught my eye:

    “Everyone remember the noise inside Villa Park against Everton back in August? The crowd that night sent a message to their players, we are Aston Villa and we won’t lie down. That support, without doubt, inspired our team. Need the same on Tuesday. Massive noise from all 4 stands.”

  20. Morning folks, confession I haven’t had a Mackeson in years it used to be my Grans tipple that my Gramp brought back from the pub. Very nice though a chocolate stout as I remember on the odd occasion. Had a Mexican stout at a local micro pub the other day 8% and it had chocolate and a chile bight to it, that was lovely, they had an Irish stout due in brewed in whisky barrels and coming in at 13%, that I will be trying 🙂

    Hello Runtings mate great to see you on here.

    Don’t know why but I feel it is all coming together.

  21. ROBBO – Could point. The team need the support of the fans. It will make a huge difference. The 12th man. Lets get behind the team on Tuesday night.

    This season was never going to be easy and our injury crisis to key players has made it incredibly difficult.

    However – we should all take time to saviour the performances of Jack Grealish. It is like watching George Best. I believe he will rise to Super Star status in the game.

    He poise – control – skill – strength – passion – he beats players for fun – had two great feet – he is different class – he is ready made for International football. I think one of the European Giants will come in for him in the summer after he has secured our Premier League Status.
    All hail.
    Super Jack.

  22. I’ve accepted going down. Hope for the best and plan for the worse. I just don’t see anyone but the current bottom 3 going down. And the cluster f**k that is our striker position. But… And it’s a big but. Super jack is giving me a reason to cling on….magic can happen!

  23. Heroes – we ain’t down yet. 3 points on Tuesday night and we can climb out of the bottom 3.

    We can get out of this situation but we need 2 strikers and they need to hit the ground running.

  24. Richards

    Exactly…we have to pluck 2 strikers out the desperate Jan window. Adapt to the prem and score goals to keep us up. We deffo need a miracle!! Samatta hasn’t played since Boxing Day, cost 8 mill and never played in prem. It’s asking a lot!!

  25. What is there…15 games left. Need 5 or 6 wins. Will Watford dip again? West Ham go down? I know saints and burnley have pulled away a bit but think there capable of losing runs. Just really tough to see us get the wins where I can see other teams pull a win out the bag. We will have to beat some of the so called bigger teams. For me the wes and Heaton acl injuries and not getting a striker in yet has put us close to having the final nail in the coffin. Watford is simply must win

  26. So Jimmy Danger has gone for £2.5M – I thought we would get more than that for him.

    So we don’t have any fit strikers at the club apart from young Indiana.

    Looks like we are selling Kalinic to help fund our striker acquisition.

    Surely we cannot go into the Watford and Bournemouth game without a new forward? What are Suso and Purslow doing? This is incompetence on their behalf – they are making life extremely difficult for Dean Smith.

    Let’s make Villa Park a fortress on Tuesday night – I hope the atmosphere is Electric and get’s us the 3 points that we need.

  27. Today’s latest is that we are trying to get a deal for Giroud over the line, and interested in buying a young 23yr old Frenchman, Guirassy, a hold-up player who scores very occasionally, and the fans are now demanding we sign Joe Lolly, after his brace on Saturday.

    Samattra is still on the table, and Spurs are trying to steal our deal for Louie Barry.

  28. Did not realise that it was Tim Sherwood who was instrumental in bringing Adama Traore to Villa. He was instrumental in doing the 5 year deal, which had a buy back clause for the first three years. Cost us £7.1milllion, which would rise to £12million (which is why we never developed him properly).

  29. I think Samatta is done. These work permit holdups are really frustrating.

    I can see Giroud happening, somewhat improbably, given the scenario where nothing gets done elsewhere and he needs the minutes.

    It’s going to be a gamble, whoever comes in. The upside is that if they’re a true striker, you’d like to think they’d cause a lot more problems and convert more than Ghazi or Trez.

    And I think Nzonzi could be exactly the sort we need in midfield. He’s got the experience, been playing regularly, and brings the physicality we’re lacking.

    It’s easy to get wound up waiting for these to happen, but we all know the January window is a seller’s market. I’m sure Purslow and Suso are sweating it just as much as we are. No one wants to go back down. Not what they were hired for. Simply the case that you can’t force deals through unless you can throw silly cash at the problem, which we can’t with FFP, and we are not a prime destination for players. They and their clubs are all looking for the best deals they can get right up to the deadline, and unless the selling/loaning club really needs to move someone on to make another deal happen, they’re under no pressure to act quickly.

    Kodjia, Lansbury, Kalinic…There’s obviously a lot happening, and Villa are trying to free up cash and wages.

  30. I don’t believe Samatta was first choice.

    That is why we didn’t make and effort on Jan 1st to sign him.

    They were after Giroud and Batshuyi

    It is still gross incompetence by the board not to have a striker sorted given our predicament.

    It could be the difference between relegation and survival.

    1 point could decide our fate

    They are not giving Smith the tools he needs to do his job

  31. Richard’s
    To start the season with only wes up front was shocking work,if samatta was on our list why was he not done over xmas ,what is it 5 th match now with no recognised strikers

  32. Honestly lads you would think theres a supermarket somewhere that you can get off the shelf strikers from eh? I mean why would you enquire about a player (or probably 4 or 5 in one go) go through dozens of talks, offers, paperwork, players contract etc when you can just take one to the Till? Stupid old Villa board dithering about when its clearly easier than choosing the right colour for your front room from the paint section at wickes.

  33. JG- I think that going on the departure of Green and Hogan, then Smith saying we missed two players late on in the summer window (final hour turnarounds), that we were not looking to go with what we had. But when those deals didn’t happen we were caught short. Smith as usual refused to make a fuss about it.

  34. Mk
    That’s all well and good but if 2 transfer fell down at last min in summer,we should had targets lined up in time ,they recalled sarkic and signed renia fairly quick when nylan hadn’t done much wrong in any game he played plus steer should soon be fit again

  35. Mark

    If villa were well stocked up top and they all got injured then fair enough. But I bloody knew when the summer window shut not signing another winger and striker would damage us. Surly Suso and smith knew another striker was needed or indeed close to signing so it’s fair to say as soon as Jan came we would know straight away who to target. And to be in a relegation fight with 3 massive games coming up that will more then likely decide our fate you’d think they’d be urgency! Sammata had a buy out clause and is a straight forward deal, should of been done first week of Jan.

  36. Smith will be absolutely fuming make no mistake about it. And whilst I’m mad where the hell is Davis and Engels?! Not even a mention of them. Thought Davis was close back at Christmas!

  37. JG- Don’t know what to tell you mate It clearly is not that easy and especially in this window, you make inquiries and sometimes they don’t happen. If it was pepe or Klopp on the phone I would expect them to get things done easier than we can, “Hey there fancy a relegation battle” doesn’t have the same ring to it as “we are going to win the league fancy a medal?”

  38. I felt sick in my stomach when we didn’t sign a striker and winger end of window, the world was saying look at how much we have spent not going into the reality of we had no squad. And it’s obvious smith doesn’t rate kodger so we was basically ok going into the season with wes and Davis. It will be our downfall.

  39. JG- as far as the keepers go then having Reina is heaton on steroids as far as experience and presence goes, tough on the other but this is do or die, could end up to be Smiths equivalent of the JT signing.

  40. Nothing very concrete happening any where again, Samatta deal is still rolling on.

    Villa will keep everything tight until they are certain that any deal is over the line. Let’s hope that Giroud or Nzoni will be done, or at least one of them.

  41. H&V- there is no way of knowing, unfortunate but could of ended up with another like wes and another Trez, who knows. To be fair if McGinn had maintained his form and we hadn’t lost wes and Heaton I think we would be ok now.

  42. Jt didnt exactly work out,as for players signing doest really matter who manager is,its mainly about bottom line,really thought suso had connections to players,wolves are looking to get 2 over the line today

  43. JG- Really? thought he at least settled the defence, at least it was better than without him. Don’t agree on the manager, it matters as does the clubs home town , position etc. How many times have we seen players angle for a move when a top team comes calling?

  44. Jt came in on big money for bruce along with a few others we lost play off final so he failed a 3m outlay when maybe a centre half could have bought instead p*ssed into wind

  45. Yes Codger did what Codger does, just not EPL quality.
    He doesn’t appear too bothered, & who knows what he’s being paid in Qatar.
    I wish him well, & hope he keeps his savoire faire

  46. Easah Sulliman, our former Youth team captain gone on a free to Portugal on a four and a half year deal, but we probably have a sell on clause. Could be good for all as he is still only 21yrs old.

    Kalinic should be gone by the end of the week, so we are trying to get the numbers down to make room for one or two more.

    Samatta is apparently making his debut in the Leicester game next week, and Vassilev could make his debut tonight. earlier kick off at 7.30pm.

  47. Checked out Samatta on you tube and while I know it only contains his very best clips, I was impressed with his technique. He’s fast , pretty clinical with both feet but most importantly, he’s surprisingly good at scoring with his head. A lot of the clips involve him scoring from the type of position that jack scored from on Saturday. He looks better on YouTube than Wesley , Luiz or Nakamba did but hopefully that’s more than just good editing.
    Welcome to Villa and good hunting.

  48. Watched the clip again. 7 goals with the right , 7 goals with the left and 8 headed goals. All kinds as well , poaching, creating and finishing. I like this fella.

  49. frem I hear you. I was livid yesterday but we must remember suso did one hell of a job with Valencia and the start of athletico madrid.

    And our 2 windows have been mental! still think samssa deal could of been done straight away though

  50. RichardS- If you have no idea what I’m talking about then how do you know its ridiculous? In simple terms its not easy buying players that suit just Like that in ten minutes, and in January no less.

    In fact I’m pig sick of hearing how badly we have done in the market when we are 7 points off tenth and by no means cut off from the likely teams that could drop. Where did people think we were going to be safe by Xmas? We have more points than we went down with in a whole season. Could things have been done better? who the hell knows, One things for certain they are not tip toeing about in this window because they are not aware of our predicament.

  51. Just been thinking about this transfer window, We were told that we would be getting a couple of loans in and that was it for Jan.

    Then we played Burnley on the 1st of Jan and lost Wesley and Heaton. If at that point we were only getting two loan signings is it any surprise that we didn’t just Buy a striker? in fact less than three weeks later we now have a CM, Striker and Keeper, not just any keeper either. I’m sure the club has targets and players they are watching, maybe even ones they have made approaches for and sounded out for a future purchase.

    So all in all I can’t complain about the timing or the fact we are spending.

  52. I don’t think so, Mark. Haven’t checked, but last game I watched, I think the commentators were saying we’re the only team in the PL that hasn’t scored a headed goal.

Leave a Reply