Fresh off Villa’s opening win Monday, we’re right back to the League, er Carabao, Cup, traveling to Ashton Gate to take on Bristol City, who sit second in the Championship having won their first two.

So, a good test. The question will be a test for whom. One would assume we’ll see Traore get his first run-out. Could also well be that Hause comes in for Konsa, and Steer for Martinez. Nakamba for Luiz? Anyone for Watkins? Guilbert, Elmo or Taylor? Jack’s been pretty much an ever-present no matter what, as has Mings. Does McGinn need a bit of a rest, or more minutes?

Anyway, lots of questions soon to be answered. Obviously we were happy to go on a cup run last year despite everything, so I don’t believe Smith will consider this a throwaway match or competition. At the same time, given the strange circumstances with Restart, the short offseason, and an important early date with Fulham on Monday, we could see lots of rotation with a strong bench.

On the other hand, given the paucity of preseason matches, Smith might well field a more full-strength side to get Traore bedded in, and continue Watkins’ and Cash’s integration, never mind more game minutes in the legs.

Beyond that, the transfer window lumbers on. Rashica, of course, has become a very annoying story. Barkley and Loftus-Cheek a bit more intriguing and seemingly possible. King has gone quiet, Benrahma seems to have been erased from history, and not quite sure what to make of links popping up around Croatian Ante Budimir. Could be a clever move, could be like many are saying and be another Baston. All I know is that we’ll have done our research, so I’d hope it’s more clever than Baston.

Ismaila Sarr naturally has all the tongues wagging. Would we smash our transfer record yet again? Might explain some of the outgoings, and if this is on, then it would help explain Budimir. But seems to me there are other targets, like King, in the same ballpark as the Croatian. All a bit of negotiating shenanigans? Just as likely.

Regardless, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a new MF, and another winger and striker yet to arrive.

That’s basically what I’ve got. Still happy about the three points Monday, want another three this Monday. Which means I don’t really care about tonight. Until kickoff, that is, and then I will.

Over to you.

Comments 246

  1. It’ll be a funny one, that’s for sure. Given the compressed schedule, I could see taking it less seriously this year.

    But yeah, you’d hope our second 11 would have an edge.

  2. We should win

    Traoré to start. Get some minutes

    Ghaizi needs to show something

    Hope Hourihane doesn’t start

    Please go sign Barkley and a winger. Please. I can’t stand watching hourihane play or Grealish or Ghaiz on the left

    Spurs might loan Sessegon. Get him

    We’ve pissed around all summer with Rashica who doesn’t even want to join. Fuck sake

  3. One thing Smith hasn’t done is given youth players a go in games. We have some veery talented players

    Last 16 we go to if we win. Let’s go win a trophy

  4. If Smith doesn’t sign a winger and keeps grealish wide all season I’ll go nuts

    Wasted there and grealish absolutely hates it. We struggle to break teams down. We need Jack in the CAM role. Sign another dangerous winger to take attention away from grealish

  5. Cheers JC we have to been aiming to come away with the win tonight and enough fringe players to have a hunger to make an impression tonight

    Transfers are intreging for sure possibly a lot of cat and mouse re deals for the likes of Benrahma and Rashica well good things come to those who wait plus it looks like we will get a chelsea fringe player on loan but a young hungry one

    think it may be a case of hang on to your hats but loving what the club are doing in the market

  6. Frem,

    Some decent points, but I don’t think all our attention as been focused on Rashica. You make an offer, let it play out while you pursue other targets.

    I’m sure a lot of the timing, and delay, is about selling teams trying to address financial distress with big fees. Sarr is 22. £36m? I’m sure the thinking is that if buying teams hold their nerve, prices will come down as the window draws to a close. Right now, Villa are generally not playing along, and neither are the other teams we’re being told have an interest. We’ll see what happens as deadlines draw near.

  7. runtings,

    Agreed. Like I said to Frem, Villa have money, selling teams know this, and they’re looking for big paydays to help bad revenue situations.

    So, a loan for RLC, probably a smart move. Barkley would be great, but if Chelsea really want us to take on £120k/week? That’s a lot. And Villa will probably be looking at buy options in the deals.

  8. Steer, Guilbert, Elmohamady, Hause, Taylor, Lansbury, Nakamba, Ramsey, Traore, Davis, El Ghazi.

    subs: Mings, Targett, Hourihane, McGinn, Trezeguet, Watkins, Kalinic

  9. So Guilbert is starting. Elmo is ay centre back.. Not Engles. He’s definitely going

    Ghaizi on the left. Jesus christ. What are we still doing with him. We are a premier league side

    Let’s have a Premier league squad.

    Get Milner. Barkley. A winger.

    We need another centre back.

    Smith alienated Engles and Fred

  10. Frem…

    It’s a manager’s job to make tough decisions. Players either make themselves indispensable or they don’t. We all want to hear about competition for places…well, Guilbert’s got competition. Engels apparently lost out to Konsa, and I don’t see anyone complaining. Neither convinced Smith, apparently. Just like he’s been sitting Ghazi (who always seems to magically find focus after he’s been left out).

    Engels was also hurt, and before Burton we heard he was carrying a knock. Anderlecht were apparently interested in a loan, sounds like we knocked that back, as much as you can believe what you read in the papers. So, he’ll be third or fourth choice. Up to him.

  11. Not bad game from those who Frem thinks should never wear a Villa Shirt again. Really impressed with Ramsay and Davis seems a lot more skill full than before.

  12. Ramsey good, Traore all over the place. Looks right at home already. Nakamba not doing badly.

    Davis definitely trying to find that next gear. Good game, nice shot he had tipped over.

  13. Ok performance.

    Once again Ghazi showing he isn’t good enough. A winger that can’t take his man on and his finishing was embarrassing. Taylor to got done a few times. Not good enough on the ball

    Wd nea better left winger. And left back

    Trez did well.. Nice assist and should have got another if Ramsey scored. Ramsey looks quick to

    We do need another striker though. Can’t rely on just Watkins

    Barkley. King. Rashica. Henry

  14. Couldn’t really fault that, good shape, defended well and countered really quickly too, hate to say it with it being Bristol and all but without Jack it seems to flow better.

  15. Mark.. But the likes of Ghazi and Taylor are only one player away feom an injury to starting for us.

    Elmo was quality at centre back.. Maybe a new position for him.. Guilbert did well

    Monday start Traore and Trezeguet wide

  16. Hope we don’t do the most Villa thing ever and go lose to Fulham. Our record there is awful.

    Go and defend like we have

    Only worry is we have so little attacking threat i can’t see us scoring more than one a gane

  17. We are a left winger, striker and Barkley away from not being in a relegation fight.

    If we go into the season with our squad we will still struggle. We don’t have enough fire power

    I hope we don’t leave ourselves short. Defensively we are sorted.. Tactically I mean

  18. And on foe, I’d start Ramsey over mcginn on Monday.. He deserves it.

    But I know Smith won’t even have him in the squad but Hourihane will be

  19. Nice win, played well by all accounts though didn’t see the game. From previous page, Wes and his injury. My Dad tore his ACL playing for his works team, and despite operations he never played again and it would often pop out out on him especially on the stair case. That was in a previous millennium though. My Son did the same thing, and they took a piece of his ham string and knitted it into his knee. Recovery even for a none professional athlete is longer, and the surgeon that did it has worked on quite a few hockey players and assured us it would be better and stronger given the correct speed of recovery and physio. His knee is brilliant now but he was over a year getting back to normal. I have plenty of hope for Wes as we have come a long way on such injury’s. Have faith my friends he will be back but not this year if he follows similar guidelines my Son was given.

  20. Terry also mentioning Grealish playing as a winger.

    So i don’t think we are going to sign another one

    That’s truly unbelievable and dire.

    Moving a quality centre mid out wide because our other wingers are shit

  21. We always leave our self’s short on the wings. Last season we didn’t have enough. Season before the same.. And before that

    You need 4 wingers. We have 2

  22. El Ghazi, poor touch, attitude and decision making. Also felt we could have exchanged Taylor for a motorway cone at times and we wouldn’t have noticed… The rest did really well..

  23. Frem

    Least we have Watkins now who is great lw too if we don’t sign another. Are rlc and Barkley different types of players.

    Ramsey is surly playing himself into the squad now. Is he better off on our bench this season or loan though?

  24. Frem, buddy. We won 3-0 and you’re still not happy? I don’t know what to say. Remember when we almost went out of business with that crappy Chinese owner?! That was not long ago. Just enjoy what we have.

    I hope Ramsey and Traore start on Monday. DS said last week that he picks his 18 squad based on training. Surely Ramsey has to make it.

    After now seeing him twice I don’t think he needs a year in the championship. He’s good enough to play 20+ games this year.

    UTV. It’s an exciting time for us. Great times ahead.

  25. Would signing either of the chelski players on loan hold back Ramsey’s development? I get loaning a player in time of need to cover an injury but otherwise it just screws up team development. Both our play off sides were better than the one we started with last season but they just weren’t our players so we had to start from scratch 2 seasons running.

    Loan with an option to buy – maybe.

  26. IanG, no worries. It was a challenge but got one.

    JBD – good question on loaner holding Ramsey back. I would say yes. Apparently Barkley on over 100k per week, so very unlikely. Plus he’s playing great at the moment. I’d take Hudson-Odi for the wing though

  27. I don’t think Villa need to loan any players but on the other hand loaning out can be an advantage to a player. Loaning Barkley would upset the Apple cart. £120,000 a week would definitely skew the pay cheque’s and maybe put a few noses out of joint. I remember reading that Man U had that exact problem. I know I would be pissed if someone came in. Especially if they were somewhat uncommitted to the team.
    As players get bought to improve the team yesterday’s hero’s become fodder for the exit door. Kodjia for example. And you can’t overhaul 100% as last year proves. With the £200 mill that has been forked out the last two years Eden and Nasir have shown intent on building a team. We should stick with the program, I’m sure they don’t spend their money for a lark.

  28. I know it’s early days at Villa with our new scouts, but when you looks at Martinez, Cash, Traore and Watkins – you have to think “wow”…is this really my club? Are we really on a 3 year journey to be a top 4 club?

    I have to pinch myself every day. Also looking at our youth setup. Our owners are the real deal – winners.

    I like the BBC5 football phone in show. Last week a Man U fan called in and said even Villa are spending more than Man U….implying that we are a small club compared to Man Ure. Fudge that. We’re a massive club and will be back in Europe soon

  29. So basically juts Davis. Because Ghazi isn’t useless.

    O really hope we don’t plan on playing Grealish wide left all season. Juts go buy a natural winger

  30. I’ve only seen 8 minutes of highlights, and it was only the Robins backup players but our squad players looked streets ahead. Ramsey had an excellent game as did Traore who scored an outrageous goal. Traore also had passes in him weighted just right to players who he knew were there without looking. He’s going to be a big upgrade for us. Our team now has some pace in it. Exciting times ahead.

  31. Good result last night and getting closer to the type of performances that you would expect from a ginger Mourinho type of Aston Villa

    We have interest in the likes of el ghazi apparently as well as Trez though I think the club will hold on to Trez for now at least

    The way things are shaping up there could well be a lot of movement in and out of the club before deadline ….. if we can shuffle the pack further all the players being linked would seriously crank up the quality at the club … its interesting and exciting lets see how creative our backroom get before deadline day


  32. Mark. 90%?

    He played CM under Bruce for 3 years.. He played CM under Smith in the championship.

    The only reason he moved wide was because our wingers are so bad

    Grealish openly admitted he hates playing on the wing

  33. He is a good cm. Like KDB.

    What’s worrying is someone on twitter saying our business is done. If that’s the case we have have hada disaster of a widow.

    Apparently we are struggling because we have 27 players and the likes of Jota, lansbury, kalanic, Guilbert are refusing to leave because of wages

  34. We are still a left winger and Barkley like player away from having a remotely acceptable squad. Even then it’s still positions we need better in

    Winger and CM is the bare minimum. Another striker is needed to

  35. Leeds want Rashica. We’ve pulled out the deal because won’t pay hia wage

    But Leeds will

    So we’d rather play our best player out of position all season, or Ghazi, on the left instead of paying the money to improve us

  36. Frem- Bruce was here for 2 years, Grealish had how many injuries? last season his best returns ever in a better league and same goes for period under Smith. So where is the evidence that he’s better in midfield? we play 433 for a start. He was put back to LW in a free role mainly because he was not effective in midfield and got kicked to shit.

  37. Just watched the highlights in full on the official site and we looked better than I thought even though I thought we were good 🙂

    The more I watch Ramsey the more I think he is a better footballer than Jack. Jacks special because of his dribbling style but Ramsey has a much better grasp of how to play the game, so aware of others.

  38. Mark. He was put wide because Trezeguet and Gahzi were useless.

    Even someone like Harvey Elliot on loan would be better than Ghaizi

    I hope we sre far from done because we are 1 or 2 injures away from being dire.

    We sre one striker injury away from a crisis

  39. We normally have a GK, 3 defenders and a DM on the bench. That’s how little attacking options we have

    So Ramsey should be on tbr bench over a defender

    We don’t need 3 defenders on tbe bench. Its a joke we do

  40. If Watkins gets an injury even for a few games we are fucked

    If a centre mid gets injured we are fucked because it means either hourihane comes in, or gahzi. Neither should be anywhere near this league

    Only 10 days left and 3 players short.. And that’s being nice

    We need a centre back and left back to but might be able to go without

  41. Deffo no need to panic over players like Rashica as we have a good number of options available , we cant be held to ransom and the right characters only should be added to the group .. if he doesnt come to us i get the feeling it may end up being more his loss than the villa
    Jack for me should be part of a midfield 3 also …we are clearly aiming to fill the left hand side first team slot base on who we are linked with so expect to see jack as the attacking 3rd cente mid when we have the balance to do it

    suggestions of Alli coming on loan which would be a real shocker … hold on to your hats

  42. Frem- Go look at jack in AM vs LW last season the difference in goals is there to see. And no he didn’t get put there because of ElHazi and Trez, Smith moved him there because he wanted him in the oppositions half not holding his shins in ours, he also slows down the attacks when in our half. Luis does not need jack there.

    Smith isn’t brave with youngsters? Last season we had and average age of 26, equal 4th youngest with Everton. All the players we have bought are 23-25 this season bar the keeper. What do you want nappies on them?

  43. Mark Jack did play centre mid 3 in the championship and gave away the ball a good few times when we started playing in the prem so in my view was moved further forward as he wasnt up to speed there at prem level

    Also non of our wingers until Traoré have been anywhere as good as jack in the wide attacking positions

    I think Jack could still be the new gazza making runs from deep causing havoc but it can only happen if we continue to up the quality with players like benrahma ,brewster or Rashica filling the left hand side Jack could lead an attacking 4 from the middle …think Villa may shock a few people if we get the final few peices of this season first 11 right

  44. Runtings- The reason I don’t like Jack in midfield is it makes us predictable and a bit slow countering. Last night really hit that home for me and we had Lansbury pulling the strings. For me he seems reluctant to release the ball when he should, with all these new players coming in and especially Traore I think it will stand out like a sore thumb or it hopefully up his game. Either way I don’t want to see him buying free kicks in our half to much, unless we are 1-0 up against Liverpool with ten to go 🙂

  45. Have to agree, MK.

    I think with Watkins and Cash alone, you have proof Smith’s not about age.

    What he is about is a record of performance at a certain level. That will Lange’s and Mackenzie’s MO, as well.

  46. Runtings- Smith explained why he moved Jack forward, it was because he wasn’t getting into dangerous areas enough and it worked. 1st 6 games two assists, rest of the season LW 8 goals 4 assists, I don’t think Smith would of given up on Trez and Elghazi at game 6, lets face it the other option was Jota.

  47. Yes Mark Jack does slow play down quite a lot which can be useful but i think with better quality players around him he will stop trying to do it all himself knowing that he has killers ahead of him waiting for the ammuntion to destroy the opposition 🙂 therefore he will play quicker wit his head up just like he did for England .. he stayed with the teams pace but of course Jack also has his own time zone on a football pitch 🙂

  48. Mark i just think Jack between attack and midfield with an attacking 3 ahead is something we are destined to see just based on what the club are seeking to bring in to the first team

  49. Ramsey is very interesting…he’s been making a strong case.

    What’s against him will be the lack of experience at top level. But right now, I’d have to think that if we do bring in RLC and kept Ramsey up, you’d probably have a significantly better midfield than what we’re putting out with SJM and Conor, atm.

    You’d certainly have a better option than Lansbury off the bench. Conor I think is at his ceiling. Useful squad player, good to have when chasing and trying to cash in off dead balls. SJM, he’s just trying to find his way back, and I have to trust Dean & Co. to know how to handle that.

    On the experience front, it’s more than just talent. You look at Davis, the way we rode him into the ground and injuries, so physical robustness, building up to that level week-in, week-out. There’s also the psychological side of a 38-game PL season, the mental toughness and the player’s confidence.

    Doesn’t seem like Ramsey needs a lot of skill development. It’s more about being looked to as a regular starter. But like I said, he’s certainly making a case.

  50. Runtings- 🙂 I noticed with England the players didn’t give him the ball as much and not when he expected to get it either. I honestly think Jack will have a bit of a learning curve with the quality coming in and I think they will tell him.

    Happened last season to when jack was out, we played Liverpool and Trez and Elgahzi kept hitting them on the break, we really should of been two up. Jack has been the Villa crutch for to long now, these new players won’t have that mindset. It will take some adjusting for all parties I think.

  51. runtings,

    Makes perfect sense. And I think for Jack, and his England career, that might be best for him.

    He’s carried a big burden, as you say. Freeing him up to play like KDB or Foden could take him to a whole new level.

    I think the biggest thing is him having a free role. He does well coming in off the left, and I’m not sure he’s a purely central player. But two truly skillful, fast goal threats on either side of Watkins and Jack roaming about…Look out.

  52. I remember the game and performance Mark and yes we were a much more structued looking side in the game well organized hard working ,,, I also agree Jack has a lot to learn and that he can and will only learn when he has more quality players around him

  53. JC- One thing Ramsey has is awareness, In honesty I think in that aspect he is better than Jack. Also has Watkins ability to know where to be when attacking, Smith must be rubbing his hands.

  54. I keep jumping in, but also agree with you, MK. Which is to say, not either/or.

    I finally got through the Iceland and Denmark games, and obviously Gareth is having them play in a way that doesn’t necessarily suit Grealish’s game. Course, there was lots of crisp, quick passing with little end product.

    I came away thinking that if we were better, as we’ve long thought, he would get a chance to trust and play that way more. I’m sure it’s something he took away from the camp, and I’m guessing, like you say, that the Villa staff will be trying to move him that direction.

  55. Runtings- when you have been the clubs icon for your entire career and a huge crutch fro the team thats what happens, I think he’s 1-2 years behind his potential because we have been so average.

  56. I think Jack has the awareness…He sees the whole pitch. But he’s very reluctant to let go. Given who he’s had to work with, can’t say I blame him. And we know Smith has been looking to him for more goals.

    For example, I saw him trying to initiate quick one-twos to get into the box against Sheffield, but we don’t have many who have the feet for it. Not yet, at least. Traore certainly looks as though he does.

    So, yeah…Long way of saying I think an evolution is on the cards.

  57. So true MK with what the club has gone through during his carrear its amazing for him to be as good as he is now .. he has grown up during some dark days for the club and some truley woeful footy

  58. Runtings- you’ll think I’m nuts but I think jack at some point will be a deep lying playmaker.

    JC- yeah I know what you mean, I see it time and again when a player has made his run but Jack hesitates, In the end I guess a player would just stop making runs so its a two way thing, leads to here you are jack you do it attitudes.

    Traore at one point last night was passing where he expected a player to be at that time, and generally they were, when they were not he pointed to the spot as if to say I want you here 🙂 Jack should watch him, and Ramsey.

  59. Yes football intellegence it comes back to what frem has been driving everyone nuts about .. upping the quality .do that and Jack will come on leaps and bounds

  60. You’re only as good as your team mates. The jump in quality will bring everyone’s level up, especially Jack. This group of players will be playing “telepathically” soon. When that happens watch out. I expect that the players like Trez, ElGazi, Guilbert, will prosper with this windows acquisitions. Be careful not to upset the chemistry that’s forming by bringing people in on a flyer.
    I’m sure it’s not like going to Tesco’s and picking over the orange bin for the best ones. Everyone has their own agenda and aspirations. Rashica wants what’s good for rashica first. As do any on the market. Messi is a good example by falling back to finish his contract at Barca.
    West Brom are going to fail with 2 overaged players if they get them. Big wages and an early drop off in quality will doom them. On that note, does anyone thinkOzil is past it? Do you think he would play for less? I’m guessing he has a point to prove and if he moves on he’ll be one to watch.

    Hello Plug!

  61. Yep Ian, as I keep trying to point out to Frem, they may look shit now but there are so many dynamics like being second fiddle to jack etc that won’t suit all, some need quicker ball etc. I would not be surprised if ElGhazi plays on the left, looks better there anyway and with Watkins and Traore it might suit him.

  62. Mark. Ghaizi has played against Burton and Bristol City on the left. And let’s be honest he was dire in both games. He didn’t stand out in the championship as a player. He didn’t stand out last season. He simply isn’t and won’t ever be good enough

    Newcastle in for wylan cyprien at a cut price. Another type of player we need. A fast dynamic centre mid. Ir are we happy with slow, pass it backwards Hourihane? And having no depth what si ever

    You should be far from done Villa

    So many players and cheap deals would improve us on the left, ans the squad in other positions. Get it done

  63. We looked dynamic last night.

    I understand that we were playing Bristol City.

    Traoré looked sensational. Super stuff.

    Davis was on his game. He looked ace. A real desire to win

    Watkins is a goal machine. He will score loads this season. Brilliant signing.

    Ramsey looked great. What a young talent

    AEG looked good.

    And Lansbury’s passing was superb.

    A couple of more new signings and we will be flying.

    Love this club.


  64. Frem- your not to far wrong in what you want mate its just it is not going to happen all at once and as its been said already players get better with better players to play with, managers can change tactics or their original tactics now work . If we did what you want we would be back to 12 players in 12 players out, it ain’t happening.

  65. Wylan Cyprien bid apparently.

    Please don’t fuck this deal up like Rashica.

    We need another centre mid because we simply haven’t got the depth. Hourihane isn’t good enough
    Wylan Cyprien is very quick.. Mobile. Would be fantastic to compete with Grealish and Mcginn

    Sign a left winger to please

  66. Mark. Did you see his finishing?

    H and V. Smith is absolutely mad if he thinks we don’t need a left winger. The reason grealish was put there was because the others weren’t good enough.
    Grealish absolutely hates playing wide to. I doubt he would have signed a new deal otherwise

    I don’t trust Smith judgement at the best if times but ifbhe thinks we don’t need another left winger then I still don’t. It’s miry balanced with Jack there

    Grealish needs ti playas a number 10. The reason Jack didn’t find much space as a cm was because we were so defensive

  67. So Smith has said one more signing

    I’m sorry but that’s an absolute joke if true

    We haven’t improved the depth of this squad or quality of it what si ever

    Last season webjsd absolutely no fire power, no depth and its no different now

    Awful from the club if its just one more.. Absolutely awful and we will struggle again

  68. Smith on recruitment: “We are always looking; we are probably one short in the squad at the moment. With Ally going, we are looking at the forward line, but also midfield.”

    Ok.. My bad. That’s what Smith has saidy

    So you’d expect at least 2? But we need a winger and striker, and centre mid.

    When he says forward line di you think he means striker or winger?

  69. Ee seem happy with Targett and Taylor which os crazy

    I guess the forward might be someone who can play wide or upfront. Like Orgigi

    But we have to get Barkley. Will score goals

  70. We are Watkins injury away from being fucked.

    So i guess we will get a striker. Ideally someone who can play wing to

    Sarr and Barkley? Would just be enough to make our squad ok. Nothing more. At fhs minute itsy poor

    We need grealish in the middle with 3 good forwards ahead of him

  71. Heroes – Absolutely, there is plenty to be positive about.

    We will certainly be signing two more players and potentially a loan signing from Chelsea. I would take Barkley or RLC. The latter being the more likely.

    They would not have let Sammatta go if they were not confident of replacing him with a new forward.

    It is great to see Ramsey getting the first-team action. It is a frustration of mine that young players do not seem to get their chance.

    We have enough to beat Fulham on Monday.

    A six points start to the season would be a dream.

    I have targetted 15 points from our first 10 games.

    If we win then we will only have to secure 9 points from the next 8 games. Just over a point per game which should be achievable.


  72. Frem- Yes I saw his finishing was unlucky not to get a hat trick same as Watkins was.

    Start of last season we were far from defensive and jack played AM for 6 games got 2 assists. He was moved as Smith said at the time to get him into the final third, Smith didn’t say its because our wingers are shit. Anwar got 4 goals and 4 assists all but 2 of those came in games we got points from so pretty important ones. He pretty much got nothing once Wesley got injured.

  73. I also think we need to and will get a player to play top left and drop Jack back …. some possible amazing loan deals to be had out there Alli and Barkley please 🙂

  74. Runtings- DS saying two to go one to come in, so which will it be? a LW or an AM? I’d like the lad from Nice but that means jacks staying LW you would think, would like to be a fly on Langes wall at the moment 🙂

  75. Hmmmmmmmm I’m with frem. I’d be fuming with just 1 more in. We are minted, ffp relaxed perfect time to flex our muscle and not leave us too short. We need to go the extra mile and make a bit of a statement.

  76. Bit confusing from Deano there, one short in the squad but mid as well as forward. Or a player that does both, rashica?!


    Yeah the most interesting thing this summer for me is our plans for jack. He has signed his deal after talks so would of been told he will go in the middle if he wanted that. We shall see!

  77. H and V. Yes. 1 more player simply isn’t enough. Like last season we won’t have any depth or firepower.

    Loftus cheek not in the sqaud. Barkley is so it’s going to be Loftus cheek if it’s one. He will do. Tall. Athletic. Gets round. That’s what we need. Anyone but Hourihane please.

    But left winger is so vital. And a striker

    Personally hope we get both

  78. Ao Smith saying we sre trying to sign someone who can play forward wnd midfield

    What a joke

    I’m sorry but only getting one more player is criminal from the club

    Ghazi isn’t good enough. Trez isn’t. Grealish isnta winger. We have only have 2 strikersx one who doesn’t score

    If Smith thinks 1 more is enough that’s absolutely dire

  79. Frem- lets get this straight we don’t play with wingers, we play 433 the two forwards either side of the CF which cut inside, Traore plays on the right and is left footed, does that sound like a winger? Grealish has always played there but is not a byline type winger either and gets a free role. Debruyne plays at ten with two DMs in a 433. We don’t have two DM’s unless we play marv.

    Robinson with two goals bless him 3-0 to WBA

  80. Mark. What? City don’t play with two DMs.

    Well teams are scoring for fun this season. But I can’t see us ever scoring 3 in a game. Just haven’t got the firepower.

    How have West brom got better wingers than us?

  81. Hey Frem, I’ve known you for about ten years. Digitally that is and you’ve called out for wingers the whole time. Since 2011, Villa have gone through three owner and I think nine managers. None of of them have brought in that winger(s) you’ve called for. There must be a reason for this and if I was to guess they’ve become an artifact to today’s style of play. Fullbacks are being used on occasion as wingers and I think that is all that’s needed.

    Villa’s pay scale is relatively low for premier standards. Bringing in high salaried players will mess up the order of things in the dressing room. And what is the real reason a team would loan out a player with loads of talent? Drink water for instance. Is it just a case of unloading salary on someone else? I think something else is going on with loaners that we don’t know.

    Would you really want rashica with all the demands and farting around he’s putting up? No me. There’s players out there that would fit nicely but you need two managers, two directors of football, an agent, and a player to agree on everything. Oh I forgot, the players wife/partner and family need to be onboard as well. Then immigration steps in on internationals. So getting a player is a large task. Probably why the team has a good number of English/Scottish/Irish players.

  82. Ian. The last good winger we had was Young.

    I understand now it’s not so much wingers, but what ever you want to call them. Wide players. Inside forwards. What ever. They need to be good. And ours simply aren’t. They weren’t good enough last season, hence we nearly went down

    I don’t think much has changed to be honest from last summer. As jt stands we are still week in a lot of areas. We simply don’t have the quality and depth.

    We have 2 strikers. 2. That’s it. One gets injured we are fucked. We can’t go two up front because we simply don’t have the depth to di it

    We have a left wingerin Ghazi who isn’t even championship level, let alone prem level. We had to move our best player out of position, to try and improve our left wing.

    And so far. We’ve done absolutely nothing to improve the left. Even our left backs aren’t good enough but I understand that’s not a priority yet. January

    But for now. At the minimum, its absolutely vital we sign a centre mid and at least one player like Origi who can play wide left and striker, but ideally we’d get 3

  83. If someone like Loftus Cheek available we have to go get him. A huge upgrade on Hourihane

    We lacked athleticism. Loftus cheek would add that

  84. VillaMD
    Just as well for Chelsea that the Baggies are crap defensively.

    Ian – nice to see you back

    Frem – Young used to defend as well, which is why ELG is often on the bench if you ask me.

  85. Frem- Yes city do or did from the 1st game this season and Debruyne played 10.

    “Gundogan has been increasingly used as more of a partner to Rodri rather than the linking “number eight” between defence and attack.

    But teaming up Rodri and Fernandinho worked like a dream, with the strong pressing of Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling in front of their stylish solidity.

    Wolves struggled to break the City press, and when they did, the Spaniard and the Brazilian mopped everything up.”

    I hope we press more this season from the front , we will see.

  86. Frem- you don’t think continually giving crap goals away and losing from winning positions might of had something to do with it? Both Trez and ElGhazi scored goals or got assists in games we won, we would not be in this league now otherwise. I get they are not Raheem Stirling but they are not as bad as you think, inconsistent is the word.

  87. Dean Smith said

    “Smith was asked about where his best position is and was quizzed on whether he can play on both sides – but the boss reiterated it’ll be right-wing or, rather surprisingly, as a potential No.9.

    “We work on exploiting the space in behind defenders and you need to have good pace and movement to do that. He’s certainly got that,” Smith explained.

    “What he also adds is competition to the likes of Trezeguet, Jack and El Ghazi. He gives us a lot of competition that you need as a manager. He’s got quality that’s for sure, as well as real pace.

    “I see him more playing on the right. That’s where he’s been more productive but he can also play down the middle. He’s played their many times. I’ve got Ghazi and Trezeguet who can play both sides and who have done for both club and country.”

    Smith added: “I’m satisfied with the squad that I’ve got. I feel it’s a higher quality but, more importantly, more athletic this season. This season we’re right at it.”

    Apparently Eduard is up for £30m

  88. Aston Villa have put in a bid for F.C. Copenhagen centre-half Victor Nelsson

    If we’ve bid for a center back, before getting a left back, centre mid, left winger and striker in I’m gunna flip.

    Right back was the last position we needed. Our first signing. We don’t need a centre back ( If Engles is ok) but here we are

    Desperate for a left back, centre mid, wingerand striker and the club are going for another position that isn’t a priority

  89. Mark. If he’s satisfied with trezeguet and ghazi then it’s terrifying to be honest. And they certainly canty play both sides. I haven’t seen one of them play good on one side yet

    We need a left winger. Every fan sees it

    And Grealish isn’t a wide player. He needs to be in the middle with Mcginn and Luiz. And then we need someone like Loftus cheek on the bench

    I seriously don’t get Dean Smiths judgement. Puts ne off him big-time. It will be another struggle with 2 strikers and no left winger in the sqaud

  90. We are still in a situation in the sqaud where we have to play Jack out of position and start Hourihane, who isn’t good enough because we have no other options. Ramsey now but smithy isn’t brave enough to start him even though you can already tell he will add more than Hourihane does

    We can’t go into another season where grealish is lefyyand hourihane starts

    At lest goyand sign Barkley or Loftus cheek ti replace Hourihane. That would improve us but Smith probably happy with Grealish playing somewhere he hates and staring a guy who’s only ok and set plays

    Go sign some quality

  91. I can’t swe we are satisfied with left wing if we’ve been after Rashica all summer

    If we are going to waste 10 million on Victor Nelsson, i hope its to replace Hause and not Engles

  92. Id be amazed if Nelson rumours are true after what Smith said yesterday

    We need other positions

    Id like King still, or Eduard. Both can play left also

  93. Sarr looks like his price is £35m, Cyprien around £10m, Rashica (Sleeping face) £25m, Edouard £35m… so there’s still potentially some big moves on the table.

    That’s the quality we should be after

  94. Did anyone notice Hourihane didn’t celebrate when we scored after he went off?

    He’s an arrogant fucker who thinks he’s a lot better than he is. I really don’t like him. Ramsey is better andyi hope he starts tomorrow, or Trez

    Get Loftus vheekand leave Hourihane ay home

  95. Aston Villa are pushing to sign Ruben Loftus-Cheek on loan from Chelsea.

    Yes get it done. Better than Hourihane

    Sign Rashica and Eduard to

    No fucking around Dean Smith

  96. Frem- Engels has just started training he’s been injured a long time and lets face it if smith doesn’t rate him your sure to it seems.

    Looks like the Mighty Leeds are not rolling over a team that has a good defence in Sheffield which to me makes our effort look decent.

  97. Frem – please stop berating Dean Smith you petulant child

    He has done a brilliant job at Villa

    Achieved promotion

    Reached a cup final

    Secured Premier League survival.

    Convinced Grealish and Mings to stay

    And now he is adding quality to the side

    He used all of his experience during lockdown and did an outstanding job

    He is honest – demonstrates gratitude and empathy.

    And genuinely loves the club.

    A true gentleman

    A Villa fan.

    We are in the middle of a pandemic and economic crisis and Villa are still buying players and supporting the community.

    So shut the fuck up and stop bitching about wingers

    We will add a couple of additional players before the window closes. Smith has confirmed this already

    Let’s all support the club and each other throughout this difficult period.

  98. Sheffield lose 1-0 to a late Bamford goal, thats shocking for wilder no goals in three and Arsenal, Fulham, Liverpool, man city and Chelsea in the next 5 yikes.

  99. Mark. Sheffield will struggle. They just don’t have the attacking quality. Wba will struggle to. West Ham. Fulham

    There are plenty of teams we should finsih above easily, if we add the quality attacking players we need to. If not, we will struggle to.

  100. Richard. Say what you want about Smith. He won’t be manager if the first 10 games go badly.

    Let’s be brutal honest. Grealish got us promoted out the championship, with his return to injury, because befirehe did return we were absolutely shambolic. I think we won onein 12 without him or something awful like that.
    And the season just gone, we stayed up just. 35 points. It wasn’t a good season

    Yes Smith has done ok, but he’s far from convincing

  101. Nice to see you noted that our former youth player bagged two excellent goals for the Baggies MK.
    Disappointed, but not surprised that MOTD hardly mentioned him, or his coolness in making sure he put his chances away. Another one of our lads that I wish him good luck as he gains his experience in the Premiership.
    Some interesting results again yesterday, and now let us hope that we can take full advantage tomorrow and make sure that we remain in the top half of the table. So important that we build confidence and get points in these early games.
    Lange is very keen on signing this Viktor Nelson from his cub FC Copenhagen, apparently to replace Engels who can leave.

  102. Oh and Burnley are in big trouble. They look flat and have poor squad

    This should be a season we look for 10th/11th. If we add the quality l, a centre mid, striker and winger, no reason we can’t. But if Smith keeps it how it is, we will struggle again

  103. Nelsson is a very interesting one which we could survive without it effecting the sqaud too much but he has van dyke type stats and if he is any were near as good as Langs 1st buy it will be another player to start edging us to the next level

    Whatever teams from the chasing pack that can get there sqauds to a truley competive level for the prem has a real chance of top 4 as most of the top sides are all over the place at the moment

  104. Fucking hell, Newcastle gifted a pen in the 95th min and score with their 3rd shot on target this season, the other two were goals too in the 1st game. Thank god we have Smith.

  105. With the crowds missing from the stadiums, home advantage doesn’t exist. Imagine Pep shipping 5 at home with the home support baying. First time it’s ever happened to him. Tough schhittt.

    Wilder could be the first Prem coach/manager to be sacked this season. Sheff U have 2nd season syndrome. Tough schhittt.

    There’s some funny results around. As of the end of Citeh v Leicester, we are in the top half after playing only 1 game. Nobody is doing draws, so let’s get stuck into the Laaandaners tomorrow.

  106. Cantwell of to Leeds for 15 million. Great deal. A player we could do with to replace hourihane

    Buiendia also not in the squad. Another player who’d improve us.

    A lot of players out there who’d improve our squad.

    Cantwell and Buendia for example better than Hourihane, Ghazi And Trezeguet.

    Get things done villa

  107. I don’t get why we haven’t done anything to improve ourselves in midfield yet, or left wing. Both were huge issues

    You don’t finsih on 35 points without big problems. A we’ve sorted some, but still have center mid and left wing a huge huge problem

  108. Frem,

    If you’ll remember, I talked about patience and prices. Celtic softening on Eduoard, Watford softening on Sarr, Frank asking for certainty about Benrahma.

    Meanwhile, Cyprien saying he’d prefer to stay in France, Rashica, it seems to be about wages, now. Like you say, some others still available, loan for RLC.

    Things will happen. We’ve done good business so far, and I don’t think we’re done. None of what seem to be our top targets have signed anywhere else, yet.

  109. Mark
    Do you really bother reading all that?
    The City result is one for the records, & neither Sheffield teams are having much luck, especially Wednesday.
    I hope we play City before they get it together.

  110. Hi IanG

    I’m sure you’ve noticed the lower teams and even Leicester have been setting up 5 at the back against the top teams and it has been successful. How long it takes them to figure it out is anyone’s guess. Even with possession in the low 30’s teams are winning with a swift counter attack.
    If this is the new norm wingers will soon be relegated to the leather ball bin.

    I checked on wingers and their abundance. They’re a shrinking position due to changes in formations. Pace is what is becoming the new player. Check out Alphonso Davies at Bayern Munich. Speed to burn and a very talented player. There are more just like him and I think that’s the future. Davies was changed from a winger to a fullback and he tore the Bundesliga apart. By the way he’s Canadian and only 19. I got to see him play last year when he was with Vancouver whitecaps along with Wayne Rooney. The whole stadium got to see Rooney tell the ref to fuck off on the overhead screens. He was pulled soon after. That’s arrogant Frem.
    By the way Davies runs the 100 metres in the low 10’s. That’s what is needed.

  111. Wolves getting smashed by West Ham.

    It’s a strange season already. We need to look after ourselves this time instead if hoping 3 teams are worse than us.
    . We need more flair abd creativity to do that. As it stands we are way off

    Tomorrow is a game we have to win and no excuses not to

  112. Ryan Sessegon to Brighton

    Again. Exactly the player we need on our left hand side. Would improve us

    Very very frustrating. I can’t believe Smith thinks we are OK with our wide players

  113. Frem there always has to be three teams worse than the others thats how it works, if you get no points your defo one of them, if you get enough not to be your not. The league is won because some teams don’t get as many points imagine that. Try giving some respect for whats been achieved so far eh, its not going to change in five minutes and there will be ups and downs thats life.

    IanG- read all what?

    Wet spam had no manager tonight as Moyes got a positive test for Covid, do ya think the owners will get twitchy? 🙂

  114. Ian. I saw Davies live a couple if years back when I went to Canada

    I remember then the season ticket holders by us saying he’s a special talent and that it was Manchester United he thought he was going to

    I said to my brother then he’s exactly what Villa need

    He was 17 when i saw him and still stood out as the best player on the pitch. He got an assist in the game
    . So i keep an eye for him and his development. He’s an absolute brilliant player

    But yes. That’s the type of pace we need

  115. Mark. I get what Smith has done. But I’m not blinded by the achievement and think he’s God like a lot of fans.
    . I want us to be great. I want us to be as good as we possibly can and I just don’t think Smith is the man for that. He might keep us up and get 15th but I want more, and si do the owners l, by all accounts. Or is just all talk?

    I don’t get why Smith makes his life even harder. We all knew least summer, at the end, we didn’t do enough on the transfer market in terms or quilaity and depth to have a good season, and its the same now

    Wd have a week left and we are 3 players short. It’s not hard ti add better players either than Hourihane and Ghazi is it? In fact a lot of players are a lot better. And we just need a decent 3rd striker.

  116. Tomorrow we need to win. The club have to be more ruthless this season. No excuses now. Not our first season back. We have a settled team

    If we want to avoid a relegation scrap Fulham is a gane we need to win.

    Especially with Liverpool and Leicester soon

  117. Vancouver, Ian.

    One thing I hope is if we get Loftus Cheekz that either lansbury goes ir hourihane, snd not Ramsey on loan. The kid is good enough for this first team

    But i just know tomorrow hourihane will start and Ramsey won’t even be in the sqaud

  118. It’s been a struggle, but I’ve finally found a way to enjoy Frem’s postings:

    Play Frem bingo!

    El ghazi out
    Trezeguet out
    Hourihane out
    Lansbury out
    Get a grip Smith
    Need a new striker
    Need a new left wing
    Need left back
    Need centre mid
    Jack in the centre
    Get Berkeley in
    Get lotus cheek in
    Get Edouard in
    We’ll struggle this season

    I thought that ‘El Ghazi out’ would be the clear winner, but the past three days on this new posting have been quite exciting and at the moment ‘El Ghazi out’ and ‘Hourihane out’ (or sentiments to that effect) are actually level pegging at 21 mentions each! (an average of 7 a day)
    Exciting stuff indeed!

  119. Brilliant post r0bb0! If only Frem could take a hint – just seems the more he’s criticized the more he posts. Over 50% of the comments on here are by him and 45% of them are the same bloody comments! It’s getting quite tiresome.
    When all’s said and done, he does (like all of us) have a few decent points to make, but making them over and over doesn’t make them more effective, quite the opposite in fact. He’s like the pub bore everyone avoids because he says the same damn thing every night.
    Frem: here’s a suggestion. Instead of posting repetitious comments every five minutes, sit down at the start of the day, compose your thoughts on a bit of paper (preferably with spell-check!) and make one long post. Then anyone not wanting to read your usual litany of complaints can just scroll to the next post and never have to read how shit Trez is again! Perhaps JC could talk you into writing a lead article, as you have so much to say?
    In the meantime, I guess it’s just back to Frem Bingo……….. eyes down for a full house!

  120. Great comments R0bb0 and Vivavilla. It’s still nice to see passion of a fan, even if sometimes the comments are repetitive

    Looking forward to match today. Always nervous though. Looks like experts are saying Traore will be on the bench.

    I like the links to Copenhagen CB. 9M for their 21 year old captain and one of highest rated young players in Denmark. I’d take that and let Engels go.

  121. Hourihane hasn’t earned a start tonight. Ramsey has after his two displays against Burton and Bristol City

    So I hope Smith is brave and plays the exciting, mobile Ramsey. Not the slow, predictable Hourihane

  122. Good to see Lansbury not in sqaud. Taylor and Jota to not in. You’d hope we could get those 3 out.

    But our bench isn’t anywhere near prem quality. Need a couple of attacking players in to improve it

  123. With games coming in bunches because of the condensed season due to COVID, the starting 11 and the bench are going to be looked at in 1, 2, maybe three game parcels for tactics. Perhaps Smith and assistants keep their powder dry for a game like Fulham and strengthen for a more difficult game or perhaps the other way round and sacrifice a game that would have low chances for a win or tie.

  124. Gee Frem, you want Ramsay and Traore to start but they are a weak low level bench. Elmohamady is a level head who would be good to see a game off.

  125. JC
    Have to admit that I just scroll through all those Asperger ADHD comments. It’s just that I’m on my second mouse this month.

    Thanks for everything else that you do.

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