Somewhat strangely, Villa find themselves on the cusp of a cup final this evening. All that stands in their way is Leicester, the two sides having drawn 1-1 in the first leg at the King Power. It was a good result, obviously.

In recent years, I’ve dismissed cup competitions for Villa because we’ve been up against it, and the extra games don’t seem to help survival or promotion. They’re a distraction: fatigue, injury, possible demoralization. The only value has seemed to be in getting minutes in match conditions for players and combinations that don’t start regularly.

But tonight’s game is a little different. Villa are on an upswing, growing into a new system, and playing high-quality opposition. There’s the ghost of the 6-1 thrashing by Manchester City to exorcise. Which, we may have done already. But I don’t think it’ll really be out of the players’ minds until we beat a quality side and show we can get results.

This is not a small thing, given we’ll likely need to take a point or four off the some of the stumbling ‘giants’ to see us safe. And to do that, we’ve got to embrace the most basic element: Fight. Get in their faces, refuse to let them play freely. Making them earn everything they get, and either gain some periods of control, or keep things at a stalemate further up the pitch.

There’s no shame in losing to a better team as long as you play well. And whether Villa progress to face Manchester City for a third time is something to worry about later. Beating Leicester at home could be what we need to really kick on to the real prize, which is just staying up. I’ve no idea whether the prospect of facing City again will hinder the performance, but I’m thinking the players will also choose to worry about that later.

Of course, the other thing on everyone’s mind is whether and when we see Samatta. Keinan Davis has returned to training, but one wonders if it might be too early for him to actually start. Dean’s been cagey, talking about what’s worked so far, and that he has to consider sticking with that. My feeling is that given Drinkwater’s instant inclusion, it would only make sense for Smith to give Ally a start and get the minutes with the team under his belt in advance of the vital weekend fixture at Bournemouth. Smith did say the intensity in training was a bit more than Samatta seemed to be used to at Genk. He should be fit enough, so I’m guessing he gets the nod if Dean feels it doesn’t undermine the system too much.

My guess is that we see Jack, Ally, and Ghazi leading the front line. What gets interesting is that with Luiz coming off the bench to spectacular effect the last two matches, has he forced his way into the side? Would be hard on Marvelous, who’s also raised his game. Drinkwater…well, if he’s going to do anything, he still needs minutes. Hourihane seems to be the permanent odd man out. For now, anyway. And I think Ghazi is just more ‘dangerous’ overall to defenses that Trezeguet. There’s rotation and all the rest to consider, but after more than a week off, you’d like to think we’re ready for this one and the weekend.

So. Nothing brilliant. All I can say is here’s to a strong, battling performance and perhaps a brilliant debut goal for our new striker.

Over to you.

Comments 172

  1. Thanks JC- First thing isn’t DD a leicester player and so can’t play against them? I think so 🙂
    So it should be luis and marv I think.

    RichardS- Slimani would be good and is in great form so I’m told.

    Will Samatta start? I watched his training vid on AVFC and he looked like the new kid at school with no mates, did have great technique though.

  2. Mark
    I’ve been saving myself for tonight.
    The team seems more & more to pick itself, which is a little odd considering the lack of players, & it seems to be leaving some behind.

  3. MK, you’re sort of right! Drinkwater is Chelsea’s player but he’s cup-tied (from an earlier round playing for Burnley) and is ineligible for tonight.
    What do people make of the ‘Chester to Stoke’ rumour? Would be a shame, I think.

  4. You won’t hear any moaning from me, yes Maddy could have had a hat trick by now, but we could have a couple too. Matt on Target from that angle again, seems to have a knack from there, and even if it’s not on target, great chance of an in off!!!

  5. yes great to beat a top side proves we have it in us to get some points on the board, so far I like 2020, maybe by the final we will actually have a chance to win.

  6. Delighted. So nice to have good things happen! Beating foxes over 2 legs! Made up for Deano and jack. More fairytale stuff. Can we please put some respect to targets name. Been saying how much I love him for ages. Left peg deadly and creates so much. Lovely technique.

  7. Ally did alright, prox…Didn’t see a lot of the ball, but seems smart and worked hard. Fluffed his lines on one chance, was a whisker away from connecting on another. He might end up being very useful.

  8. H&V,

    The set-up really does bring out the best sides of Targett’s game. He’s a big asset on the attacking end, seems to have a lot of confidence up there, and he’s intelligent about it. He was doing that before, but this takes some pressure off him.

  9. They’re growing into things, H&V. Need to be stronger on the ball, but they’re adapting to the pace, anticipating better, and Luiz is doing some nice work providing an outlet in the middle.

  10. Don’t know who got man of the match, thought One of Nyland, luis, Nakamba, Konsa, Targett all in there with the inevitable Jack who’s tackling and anticipation has come on leaps and bounds.

  11. Nyland did officially but for me marvellous and target close!

    John I saw some crazy stat about crosses directly leading to shots on goal… They have a stat about everything….and target was top!! What I like is his passing or crossing is rarely wasted. Puts it in a position that’s always awkward. Reminds me of Staunton. His link up with jack was superb and was annoyed when jack switched to the left. But I guess trez scored the winner from there so what do I know!

  12. There was 20 25 min spell where we was all over them in the second half and I thought Christ we ain’t bad! So desperate for us to pull away from trouble! A few signings up top would take the pressure right off.

  13. Great result against a team who have grown together, have plenty of experience and some real top talent. The Villa lads are, little by little, becoming a decent unit – still areas of weakness, obviously, but showing flashes of real promise. I can’t say I’m optimistic about the final, but I’m certainly optimistic about staying up!
    Thought Nyland was a shoe-in for MoM, but they all played their part. Delighted for Trez to hit the winner too, he’s got real enthusiasm whenever he comes on and seems a great character. Now for Bournemouth – and another Luiz worldie?

  14. Be good to hear from those that went on the night. New signings are beginning to show their worth and Dean making some telling subs lately, who’d of thought it? actually looking forward to facing Spurs etc.

  15. What a night! Joy and ecstasy unconstrained. VP at its best for the world to see. It was a team effort but Nyland had a great game. He was the man.

    Rodgers moaning about hand balls and penalties again. Naka instinctively protects his face and Rodgers wants a gift. On yer bike.

    Another trip to Wembley is happening. Results like this build much confidence. I have to say that since we ditched 4-3-3, things are looking up.

  16. A word on Sam. As has already been mentioned, I think there is more to come from this guy. A goal from him at Bournemouth would do nicely.

  17. The awesome game last night.

    Nyland was off the charts – a truly remarkable performance in goal.

    Targett and Jack combined great.

    Nakamba and Dougie worked hard in midfield.

    How good is Jack Grealish? He truly is a phenomenal footballer – we should all feel incredibly fortunate to have him at Villa Park. It is like watching George Best/ Gasgoine at his peak. He could walk into any Premier League side.

    And nice to see we now have two fit Centre forwards at Villa.

    And after watching Sammatta last night, let’s definitely start with Davies on Saturday.

    UPV.

  18. what we need to improve is our final ball from back to mid up top. Even when clearing the ball last night form the foxes it went to there man. We need to be more composed and less aimless. losig possession.

    Think we can do it as the back 3 are ball type players. must improve

  19. We need to sign a quality striker who is composed and has Premier League Experience.

    I understand that it is Slimani who Smith wants because he is in-form and has PL experience.

    Sturridge would also be an astute signing – although he does carry baggage.

    No more of these Belgium League punts. It looks like Susso only has contacts in the Belgium League.
    You can see the inconsistency in the performances of these players – Wesley – Nakamaba and Sammatta. Consistency in performance is the true measure of a top player. I welcome Sammatta and hope he does well, however after seeing him fluff his lines twice last night he needs to improve dramatically and quickly.

  20. Samatta’s two chances, one came to his standing leg and the other a foot away, given he has been inactive its understandable. Very quickly adjusted his runs to our main areas of threat rather than us adjust to him. He is also very precise when he gets the ball with head or feet, I’m impressed.

    Equally I’m impressed with Davis’s work rate and ability, just hasn’t got the goal threat historically.

    As for the 343 improving things? as I said against city it did nothing as we stood off, and at times we allowed Leicester to play around us to easily and fortunately make Nyland man of the match.

    I’m more impressed with the attacking side it brings than the defencive which I feel is more down to Mings marshalling the others and their subsequent improvement through game time together.

    As well as Luis and marv played in some aspects in others we were wide open.

    Still whichever way you look at it the results and performances are improving and are enough to win against some decent sides. Leicester one of the tightest defences around.

  21. Regarding Samatta – He should have scored the second chance. End of. You don’t need to be superfit and bang inform to score a chance 2 yards from goal. It was a howler. Even the Villa players warming up Trez and Elmo started laughing when he missed. And I thought it was the intention to sign forwards who could hit the ground running. We have signed two players who are clearly not fit.

    I don’t like to be openly critical of the Villa players. But I do wish moving forward we would try and invest in quality – rather than cheaper players with potential. We have enough of these type of players.

    I would rather purchase one quality player than two cheaper options. If Piatek is available for £25M go and by him on a loan to purchase deal if we can get him and if he would leave AC Milan for Villa. This would give Grealish another quality striker to work with. We would shoot up the league if Grealish had a quality forward to play in

    We can supplement the squad numbers with some of the kids

  22. RichardS- He’s not played for three weeks, most of Europe haven’t played for 3 weeks, and the prem is about to have one for about two weeks. As for splashing the money we have got rid of Kodjia , Jota and maybe Chester going to follow, I don’t think we can.

    There was an angle shown from the left that showed he was not quite quick enough to get on to the ball and it also bounces, it happens. Its not like he totally effed it up he couldn’t connect.

  23. Also Players don’t just turn up and play well because they are expensive, Last season I put Mahrez in my fantasy team thinking he was great at Leicester should be amazing at City, he was cr*p.

  24. Mark. Is that the same Mahrez who is currently ranked as the best winger in the Premier League?

    My point is buying quality players – the guy Piatek has an outstanding goal scoring record in tough leagues.

    That is what we need at Villa to help is kick on. There is a reason why Samatta is cheap and has not played in a better league until now.

  25. RichardS- yes the same Mahrez that took a season to settle. You might be right about samatta you might not, I think he is a quick learner and will be good for us. As for there’s a reason there always is , otherwise Ian Wright and vardy would of been spotted sooner in their careers . We are after another striker probably a loan with prem experience so I would not get to bothered about samatta.

  26. Well a mad house on the M6 getting to Aston Tavern/Villa Park, with just time to drink some “Mad Goose” and refresh the palate before the game!

    What a night again!! You would not think that Villa could repeat the same excitement, tension and final result just a week later.

    Nyland was absolutely outstanding, and deserved to be there, but the only reason he was, was because Reina was injured. He more than deserved MoM, and should be still there for the Bournemouth game, as well as the final.

    Totally impressed with Samatta’s debut, who made him self very busy, was a total nuisance to the Leicester defence, making life easier for Jack, and worked well with El Ghazi. He deserved the applause he went off to, and should be a great asset in the future.

    So glad that Dean got it the right way round this time playing El Ghazi first, and then bringing trezeguet on as the sub, which several of us have felt would be the better option, as he is a real terrier to bring on when teams are tiring.

    Targett, Luiz and Nkamaba, all had their best performances so far, fighting much more for the ball, winning it back and being a nuisance, getting in people’s faces.

    A great game to be at. No one leaving early, so when I slipped away after the final whistle, I made my fastest get away ever, and was downing celebratory “San Miguel” pints in West Bromwich just after 10pm!!!

    Time to start planning for my fifth Wembley trip in five years, not bad for me and Villa.

    Not sure about Slimani, but Chester is off to Stoke on loan, Jota is off to Fulham on loan, and looks like Sturridge is coming in, maybe Gaston Pereiro from PSV, but we will soon know in the next 48 hours.

  27. The thing I think I liked about samatta is his positioning. One thing aimed at wes was not a natural finisher more link up. But yes he missed those 2 chances but he was there. Great runs. Just needs to sharpen up.

  28. Mark for me the 343 is no surprise in our up turn in form. We was crying out for it. Perfect full backs to play it and we was absolutely wide open down the sides. The 3 at the back has made us more compact and narrow.

  29. Waaaaay to early for anyone to have a pop at Samatta. He was literally a whisker away from being an instant hero. We then would have being waxing lyrical about his positional sense etc. etc. He strikes me as someone who knows his job ,like Carew did. I don’t think we’ll be waiting long for his name on the score sheet

  30. Heroes – we need another striker.

    Slimani is definitely the preferred option. Although the deal will be difficult and after beating Leicester mid-week I cannot see them wanting to play ball with us.

  31. H&V,

    yeah, was refreshing to hear (if maybe a bit too honest). But, hey…week in, week out, the opponent’s remit is Foul Jack. And throughout the match I kept saying, “Good foul.” Nice to see us finally breaking things up ourselves and getting a bit more physical.

  32. Mark King – you should stop eating junk food. I have been on a health kick in January – no junk food and I have lost a stone.

    Slimani is currently at Monaco and would have to cancel that loan agreement and then go back to Leicester. You cannot sub-lease a player. from Monaco. Not sure how Leicester profit is he has already loaned out. And Rodgers has said already it is complex. But I know for a fact that Slimani is the one they want as my friend has been working with one of the Villa coaches this week.

    Heroes- I am really glad to see Davies back – I would rather play him than Samatta. But I would take Giroud. He does score goals in the Premier League.

  33. greetings lifers

    good to see a much more positive outlook on here after some encouraging performances from our boys and now we have strikers i think the time spent with non available will actually make us a better side as we go forwards

    It was never going to be easy to stay up to go along with deano’s miracle of sorting out what was a shambles of a club and coming straight up

    I stand to make a fare bit of cash from my hater mates who where very sure that we will go down

    I have and remain ultra confident in our manager who for those who don’t already realize yet is one of the best young managers around and our owners who are serial winners in all that they do

    I was horrified a few weeks ago reading smith out and suggested replacements like moyes and big sam who are not in the same class as smith and have achieved far less with far more

    big up to all hope monti the lovely jenny ,st75 and the likes are still casting an eye over AVL as i always do

    stay blessed VTID

  34. Hiya Runtings,
    Is 49 young?
    I suppose compared to some ancient ones, but not really young, more middle aged.
    Anyway how would I know, I forgot to grow up, thankfully.
    I reckon you’ll win your bet.

  35. hey IanG
    yes guess its all relative 49 is young when you are my age big sam 65 moyes 56 rafe 59 so not the youngest but younger than most established managers who’s names get banded about when people / press start speculating about change of managers

    my bet is deffo safe

  36. RichardS – congrats on the weight loss mate, I don’t eat junk just animals, if your weight loss stalls try the Carnivore diet, never hungry. I think if Slimani is being mentioned its because someone wants it to happen, might mean we pay all or more of his wage.

    I am so confident in Samatta he’ going in my Fanatsy league team pronto.

  37. It’s fair enough to wonder whether Samatta will be a success or not as none of us know yet. It’s far too soon to make a judgement though.

    Villa fans aren’t unusual in picking out players to criticise and believing that they’re better than their club’s management in judging player’s qualities.

    Time and again though there are examples where fan’s hate figures turn out not to have been the useless lumps of lard that they’ve been described as.

    As an example, I always thought that the criticism of Ashley Westwood was way overblown for a player who was consistent without being showy, and always gave his all.

    It was good to see today that this season, only 6 premiership midfielders have created more opportunities from open play than him and that he’s ahead of players like Alli, Lingard and Mount.

  38. Just watched the goals again. It’s been glossed over a bit I feel….but trez finish was absolute class! First time volley wrong foot guided perfect in the corner!! I feel he will be a million times better in his second year.

  39. PP- Apparently they are not letting Bowen go to palace for £16m he’s off to West Ham for £22m. Can’t see us paying that for anyone this window with the number of players we are sending out on loan clearly the books matter.

    Robbo- Agreed mate so many are battered into hiding by the fans of all clubs you would think they’d twig on that its not a wise move, nor the coliseum.

  40. Mark – after 3 weeks my weight is stalling – I will give it one more week and then look at your carnivore diet – if it includes meat it is my kinda eating. I do feel totally energised after dropping a stone.

    I truly do hope that we sign another forward today – Davis has suffered from injury problems, I do like the look of Davis, and Samatta is new to the league and untested.

    It does appear that every team in the Premier League is looking for a striker – I understand we want Slamani although I think it is going to be Benteke, if anyone after Dean Smith’s comments yesterday.

    We shall see.

  41. Thx Mark. I pretty much follow the low carb diet with Intermittent Fasting.

    I have been on dry January and the diabetes diet for 3 weeks – which is pretty much protein shakes only. The weight drops off you for the first 2 weeks – over a stone. The body is now reacting to this and the weight loss has slowed. Not sure how sustainable it is. And it is hard to weight train without real food as I am in a constant calorie deficit situation.

    I will check out the Carnivore diet to maintain the weight loss.

  42. H&V – it is not looking good.

    What the hell has Susso been doing? Total Incompetence.

    We are in a relegation battle and are desperate for another striker.

  43. Could be a Chester U-turn, and we are still in with a shout on Bowen, Sturridge and now the one goal wonder from Germany. Davie Selke.

    RHM is off to Derby for the remainder of the season, when he is out of contract….???

  44. Susso has a lot of questions to answer if we don’t sign anyone.

    If he thinks signing sub-standard players from the Belgium league is doing his job then he can seek employment elsewhere.

    There is a difference in signing players the coaches actually want and signing players that Susso can actually negotiate to come. The coaches didn’t want Samatta – they wanted a striker with Premier League experience that could hit the ground running. That is what Dean Smith has said since December.

  45. RichardS- Good you will find it easier to do then as the adjustment to low carb is hard for some. I eat twice a day in general so probably go 10-12 hours during the day without eating, don’t even notice it and my jobs physical.

    My strength in the Gym is about the same without trying and I’m about 7kg lighter at 84kg so better at body-weight exercises . Bodyfat at its lowest ever at 57 years young and I’ve trained since my teens.

  46. As for the transfer window it was never supposed to be this active. All in all I think if Drinkwater gets back to near his best then its been ok.

    Reina is potentially and improvement certainly in experience and calmness. Samatta will suit our mobile front three which has brought recent success.

    The fact we have let squad players leave says one of two things, either we are confident we don’t need them or we had to shift wages etc to bring in better cover, I’d wager its the latter. So if we are going to criticise Suso for not getting in some expensive players it might be based on false info.

    I think we are walking a tightrope financially , its possible that if we drop while coming foul of FFP we will get hammered and have to sell many more players. If we stay up then could be a big fine which instantly cuts our budget for next summer and an embargo on players.

    Can’t imagine that the line is long with players of top quality wanting to join us for a relegation scrap although the cup final might appeal. It doesn’t look like we had much competition for the players we got does it.

  47. Yeah, have to echo MK’s comments on Suso and recruitment.

    If we could’ve spent the money, we would have, I think. We’ve been hearing all along that we’re skirting the fine lines of FFP. The stadium sale still hasn’t been approved, last I saw.

    All in all, I think hands were very much tied all round. And what can be done, loans and the like…Well, seems as though (if ‘reports’ are to be believed) too many hands in the pie are overcomplicating things. Brendan’s saying that about Slimani. And you’d think he’d much rather go to Leicester than us.

    What probably would’ve happened if Wes hadn’t been injured is maybe we’d have brought in a Samatta to complement him, and that’s about it. Drinkwater? Maybe still even if McGinn weren’t injured, but just as possible a no. Reina? No way if Heaton’s healthy.

    So, we had a crisis at three positions, all forced on us. I think they’ve done what they can. And, as noted, everyone seems to be in the market for a striker. Changes the fee, player’s options, personal terms. All the leverage. Makes deals drag out while everyone on all sides angles for the most money.

  48. And I know that letting Kodjia and Jota go leaves us thin, but obviously Smith did not like Kodjia’s attitude or workrate. He’s lazy, and we saw that even before the injuries. If we were going to play without a striker when he was still here…that’s a pretty damning assessment.

    Jota just didn’t seem to have the speed. Maybe he never did, maybe it was the groin. Smith knows him, he’s good on the ball, so a bit of a head-scratcher. But he was cheap and added depth. Smith will play Elmo on the wing if he has to.

    Chester? Probably fair to the player, probably wages. We still have Engels hiding somewhere I think, so that’ll be our cover.

    Enough? We can only cross our fingers.

    But all of this points to very little maneuvering room on Villa’s part.

  49. Reina was a great signing – Agreed

    Drinkwater – I have been astonished how unfit he is, Burnley were glad to see the back of him

    Samatta – no comment.

    Dean Smith desperately wanted a striker with Premier League experience -he has said that on multiple occasions. Suso has let him down.

    We are not signing the players Dean Smith wants – we are signing who Suso can get. The guy is useless.

    This could be the difference between staying up and relegation

  50. ffp has killed us and the transfer window!

    But is it worth a bit of a gamble because if we do go down then we have the money from jack and prob mings and mcguinn anyway coming in.

    Bowen for west ham could be the difference keeping them up and sending us down! eeeek

  51. IanG,

    Sorry. I was not very clear. I know that these players are out of contract in the summer, but what are Villa doing about it. I feel that a player like RHM, is good enough to keep on the books, even if it is only to sell on. I have been amazed over the years, the payers that have gone on free transfers that could have been sold for a reasonable fee, or with sell on clauses in their contracts.

    I have to agree with MK and JC, that it would seem that no matter how rich our owners are, we are working with our hands tied because of FFP, and the ridiculous money we have paid out on players, especially forwards, in the championship. WE wasted every penny we got for Benteke!! It would have been cheaper to keep him, and pay him ridiculous wages.

  52. H&V,

    I agree with you, Jarrod Bowen going to Wet Spam, could well be the difference. He would be a huge asset to Villa, and not just for this season, but going forward too.

  53. Jarrod Bowen could be the difference? Well yes , But so too could a rash of injuries, or a dip in key player form or even the corona virus! Why are you catastraphising so much ? It’s a championship striker going to West Ham ,it’s not like they’re brilliant in every other dept. After tomorrow they have a tough run and only have negative momentum even after a new manager appointment. Tomorrow has some serious crunch games to look forward to , if West ham were to lose tomorrow they could be very well cut adrift by March.

  54. Heroes, I don’t think we are going down. Tyro, SJM and possibly even Jack will remain for next season providing we make a couple of astute midfield signings.

    Since moving from 4-3-3 the results have improved. There’s 14 games left plus a final. I’m hoping SJM will return in March to join the fray. Plus Luiz and Naka are getting up to speed.

    I think the future looks promising. FFP is a grossly unfair regulation because it ensures those at the top stay there. Much better would be a standard salary cap like rugby. Cheaters would be relegated like Saracens.

  55. PP, we defo need sell on clauses for players we sell. How much would we have got from Everton from their sale of Gana? It’s plain incompetence by the previous owners.

  56. I do think though 22 mill for Bowen is mental. 6 month left on his contract. Ericsson went for 17! This villa regime would never stump that much, we are very much about value. Even Deano who loves Maupay wouldn’t spend over odds

  57. RichardS,

    Bowen could well be the difference. But we have to remember Compass are no fools, and they’ve gone all-in, right up to the limit.

    The links, we never know, but if half are/were true, we’ve been scouring high and low, England, the continent…We simply did not have £22m available to spend on anyone, I don’t think. Spam have now put in some £50m on him and Joelinton.

    Going back to the summer, should we have signed him or Maupay? I can certainly see the argument. But we’ve still scored more goals than anyone else in the bottom half of the table. One less than Arsenal, and it’s up to 7th and Wolves til you see a side that’s scored more.

    Everyone talks about lining up deals before the window, but that’s not how it works. You can identify targets, but it’s almost always a seller’s market, January. Parent clubs simply aren’t going to commit themselves to sales before they get to auction. And then players do or don’t become available during the wheeling and dealing, and other clubs end up having their own needs.

  58. PP
    Yes that’s the question that’s been occupying me also.
    What decisions made on the older loanees probably all depends on what division we are in.
    Ramsey has gone to Doncaster [with a new contract until 2023], & RHM to Derby today til the end of the season, which should be a good move.

  59. What we had to do with the transfer window has been done considering all the issues at hand.
    Aside from emotive issues, the facts appear pretty definitive.
    With the difficulties in this particular window, particularly the lack of options & available quality players & our league position, it was always going to be difficult.

    Having said that I agree that it could be worse, but emotive criticism & scapegoating isn’t much help, as the results are negative, & even if people get some relief from the frustration, it won’t last long & more frustration appears to the detriment of the team.
    Without humour it’s tends to be a psychological issue.

  60. With the exception of Reina it had been a ridiculously underwhelming window. Dean Smith will be extremely disappointed. We have signed Borja because he was at Athletico when Suso was their? Really? This is asinine.

    Anyway – huge game tomorrow. 3 points against Bournemouth will be HUGE and it will be step towards safety

    With the form of Jack – Dougie and Targett this could be enough to guide us to win.

    Come on you Villa boys

  61. Ian – you wanted humour – I have just read on one of the Swansea sites that our proposed new striker is pound for pound the worst signing that Swansea has ever made and they are astonished a Premier League team is bidding to sign him. However they are delighted to remove his astronomical wages from their payroll.

    Hahahah

  62. Richard

    Yet another Swansea fan has said he is an excellent striker and said none of there managers could get the best out of him consistently. He is under whelming but swans got him for 15 mill 3 year ago and he is a free for us. Probably never kick a ball for us! He got 22 goals in 38 for Zaragoza

  63. It is a very strange market. Richest league in the world and supposedly the best and you have Utd, Spurs and Chelsea scrabbling around for strikers mainly looking at loans! Utd getting igaloah on loan! Ffp is a killer

  64. Well the Swansea lad looks very decent in his pre-swansea goals and assist compo. He was the championships highest scorer by sept with 5 in 5 and has a 1 in 3 career goal recordAnd stands at 6’3” and if he was at Swansea is good with the ball you would think,also played at athletics Madrid, no mugs . I think it’s a decent punt for the money, far from letting smith down I think we have busted a bollock to find him what we have for Next to jack s**t. Let this sink in, Swansea paid £15m at age 24 and then changed style, he then got sent out on loan in Spain twice. We paid similar for kodjia and managed to rape a Qatari team for £3m,so getting him for nought will do me.

    Paul whiting -I’m presuming you have lumped your house on villa to drop? With fortune telling skills like yours you must be loaded. Even with the new players is a bold statement considering we have turned it around at present with or without them.

  65. Wow another amazing signing for our head of recruitment Suso…….this guy needs to be removed immediately ….yet another individual stealing a living off our beloved club

  66. Pw- aren’t I just mate

    Poor old suso is getting it from all quarters never mind that nearly the whole world and his dog wants a striker, we wanted two with no money or pull at present and get them, yet with 60 mins between them they’re not good enough. Have a look at the players bought this window in the prem, it’s nothing special

    Welcome Chris have you met paul w 😉

  67. Guilbert targett luiz nakamba konsa mings trez Wesley jota samatta house Barry reina Heaton drinky

    All built on the hoof ( no choice) cup final and out the relegation zone. Don’t think Suso has done too bad at all! The key is to stay up then being able to go again spending but less players and more quality.

  68. According to ‘Arry (he who emptied the last few coins from small heath’s cracked and chipped piggy bank and replaced them with IOU’s) the January window is controlled entirely by the players. No one else. Now the window is closed, we run with what we have.

    Three points at Bournemouth today please lads. COYVB.

  69. I think social media has a huge part to play on judgement of teams and players. It’s usually extreme highs or the lowest of lows. One thing I’ve learnt from following villa 30 years is to not judge a player until he has been playing in our shirt. I’ve been absolutely ecstatic seeing the likes of collymore signed and being a flop and being non plussed when signing Ian Taylor who I’ve never heard of and turning into a legend.

  70. That was an atrocious transfer window

    Everyone said our Premier League status was dependent on the signings we made this month and with the except of Reina it was seriously underwhelming.

    Drinks is clearly unfit – 110k per week for our guy who had a disaster against Man City and lasted 50 minutes against Watford. We paid 220k for the pleasure. I would rather play Callum O’Hare

    And two third rate forward players who are supposed to fire us to safety. We bring in a guy who cannot get a game for Swansea and loan out a guy to Blues

    I spoke with someone close to the first team employed by the club and they are deeply frustrated with the dealings of Suso.

    Oh well – I supposed we had better give them a chance!!!

  71. Ah, the January window…It’s something to behold.

    Good thoughts from all, as per usual, pretty fairly summing up what I’m seeing and hearing one way or another. Now we find out whether what we’ve got will be good enough.

    Welcome Chris Heaven.

    I’ll get a fresh sheet up for the game here in a little bit.

  72. Ian G – I mentioned the match in my earlier Post. If you scroll up you will see my enthusiasm for the Bournemouth game.

    I fully support the team and will be watching the game at 3pm.

  73. Well the window has closed and the scouring of blogs, news scraps and people in the know has ended with a very stringent spend by Villa. In fact with all the loans going out, Villa have probably just about broken even, excluding the purchase of Samatta.

    Yes I am disappointed we did not get Bowen, and would have preferred us to spend £22million on him rather than Wesley back in the summer, but I am not the person making decisions, or the manager. I was a little surprised listening to Dean Smith not being able to get his head round the price of players, and that he still has to adjust to being a Premiership coach buying players rather than a championship manager.

    Looking forward to the game and how the boys perform, but having seen the new recruits in the flesh playing against Leicester and Watford, I am hopeful for the future.

    Reina will be a huge bonus, just hope is able to match Nyland’s display against Leicester, when he plays today. Drinkwater, I am sure will again be more up to speed today, and if Samatta gets up and among it up front with Jack and Anwar, we can hopefully come away with the points.

  74. Pathetic excuses from the feeble Smith as he blames ball-boys and referees.

    He seems to have forgotten that Bournemouth shouldn’t have had a player sent off, or that his team is full of incompetent players like Horse, Luiz and Nakamba

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