And we’re back in action at an empty Craven Cottage in a just a few minutes. Three points, please.

While I’ve been waiting for this evening, I’ve been trying to watch as many games as I can and trying to keep up with the rumor mill. Nothing much to report other than if you worry about our pace of play, etc., Wolves showed us yesterday that you can in fact play more slowly with less cutting edge. It was really sort of baffling to observe. Credit to the Hammers, they were all over them. But Wolves looked completely lost.

What does that have to do with Villa? Not much, really.

What do I have for this game? Not much, really. Traoré is on the bench, but don’t expect that to last long. Ramsey, too, which is a good sign. I’m also told we haven’t won our two opening fixtures since John Gregory was in charge. Rather hard to believe, but somehow not. I also keep getting this insistent thought, and it seems to be saying maybe we should sign another winger.

How’s that for insight?


Over to you


Comments 132

  1. Mark. Still yes. Get a quality left winger, and jack in the middle we will be even better

    Our ball retention needs to be so much better than this.

  2. Isn’t our midfield a bit siftand easy to get through?

    Hourihane is no good off the ball. To slow. Luiz is great on the ball but defensively? Same as mcginn.

    I thought we would have got someone like Billing

  3. Nice to see us looking a cut above Fulham agree that the two players that wont be starting 11 after the window closes are trez and conor but the will be valuable to the squad this season …target has been off the pace defensivly and attacking since he came back from his inquiy hope he can regain some of that edge he was showing

    Luiz is going to be one of the best holders in the prem not too long from now . i fear he will be off to citeh end of this season

  4. Early days nobody’s even match fit yet, we all know the weaker members of the squad it’s not really worth pointing it out they are squad players. And look at that another assist for Conor.

  5. Great win. Great clean sheet

    Still lack depth abd quality in this side that hopefully we wull sort out

    Hourihane and Trezeguet should not be starting. Hopefully Loftus Cheek and Rashica get done. Would improve us so much

  6. Nice easy win, Fulham have big problems.

    For me the reason trez starts is he works his nuts off and defends pretty well. Not sure traore is that kind of player and in our team he’ll need to be.

    Trez also getting in behind now on that right wing

  7. Great win. Konsa and Mings unreal. Cash improvement. SJM much better. Jack great. Watkins looks like he’s a super talent.

    I though Trez was good. Helped Targett a lot. As mentioned above, Conor is good squad player.

    Stoke on Thursday, so definitely need 20 players this year

  8. i think trez will be a valuable squad member that will get lots of game time traore is a proper baller though and once he settles he will be difficult to shift

  9. A win is a win is awin
    Trezuguet might not have touched the ball much but he was always in the way of Fulham players.
    McGinn is definitely good but his movement off the ball tends to draw attention while Houlihan is quiet off the ball and gets slagged. Houlihan has a spot on the team but never a whole game and probably a sub in the near future.
    Things are looking up. 5 at the back for liverpool?

  10. Runtings. Sqaud player, ye. Starter. Hell no. He just not got the ability. Tonight and Sheffield, he created nothing and was just not a threat. You could see Traore is just such a better football player

    Hourihane and Trezeguet should be nothing more than Squad players. Targett to. We need a left back

    We are still 3 or 4 players short

    Another striker needed to. Dvaisand Watkins isn’t enough.

  11. We should have scored a couple more really to

    Nice for us for once ri win the game without really being in a high gear

    We need to keep the ball better because second Fulham were pushing us back

  12. Gosh! What a great result, and if I had not been watching the game, I would be over the moon, but Steamer would have said that we were shi****!!
    If we had concentrated and been more clinical, we should have won at least 6-0, as I cannot believe just how bad Fulham were. Still, we are only two games in, with no proper pre-season, so we really should be over the moon.
    It is great to see that Dean, his management team and the players, have made such a good start, and that he is making sure that the players are getting used to each other, and not chopping and changing. It is a little soon for us to turn into Man City ( the previous seasons’ teams), and start winning by a hatful of goals, but I will keep taking the clean sheets.

    Well done the boys for a bright start to the season, now let us see what we can do in the cup on Thursday before we take on the mighty Bindippers!!!

  13. Yeah, funny game. Fulham play nice football, they just can’t defend to save their lives.

    Going 2-0 up in the first 15 mins obviously changed what the players would’ve been expecting, and I’m not sure we really knew what to do. Attention seemed to come and go. And a lot of fouls from Fulham. Bit surprised no one picked up a second yellow for accumulation.

    Anyway, that’s what happens when we take the early chances we usually create. Started brightly a lot last year, just never got the returns.

  14. Funny what a few years does, Fulham got promoted before us, went straight down. We managed to stay up and now look more assured as a PL team. Fulham didn’t have a plan B apart from crossing it to Mitrovic.

    Luiz may be in trouble for that kick, will be a big miss under Liverpool if he’s penalised. Watkins needs to relax, goals will come. Agree on the positive Trez comments, his work rate and defensive duties will be important especially against the bigger teams.

    6 points in the bag, will take it any day. Bring on Stoke.

  15. Hourihane is definitely a dilemma. He’s not busy enough to be CM but he has sharper goal instincts than anyone else on the team.He’s a cat doing a dogs job! I wonder would he feed off Watkins or Davis in a more advanced position?

  16. Let’s not forget Trez is a winger. He should be judged on his attacking ability, not his work rate. And he just doesn’t do anywhere near enough going forwards. We need better. Hopefully Rashica. Or Sarr. But we have to do something

    Prox. Not sure he’s a dilemma. He’s a bench player. We want Loftus cheek for a reason, to start games.

  17. I agree Paul. You could see the intent but the execution wasn’t quite there. The timing will come as you alluded. Good to have another cup game before liverpool to sharpen up some more.
    Target isn’t consistent yet. Good games then a so so one. Konsa was poor at first but has sharpened up. Give players time. You could see the miscue with Mings and Martinez. They need some time.

  18. Dean Smith revealing Jacob Ramsey got a big round of applause by the Villa dressing room afterwards after making his Premier League debut. A proud moment for the kid from Great Barr. Well done

  19. Yes , that is a nice touch for one of our own. Ye see Frem , Smith bleeds claret & blue, that’s why we don’t call for his head when he’s trying to work out a problem .

  20. Prox- I agree about Conor, he gets goals and assists despite being nowhere near his natural position since he came here.

    Frem Trez pressed like a maniac and actually is beginning to get some understanding with Ollie. Totally wrong to say he produced nothing.

  21. Hey Gibbo,
    How’s tricks ? Keeping out of trouble I hope!
    Yeah , that’s what I was thinking about Hourihane. Within 20 yards of goal he’s the most consistently dangerous player we have . He’s a sniper .

  22. Dean Smith was asked the big Loftus-Cheek / Ross Barkley question in his post-match by Sky, and said of any interest: “We will be talking to a lot of football clubs about players all the time because it’s something we have to monitor because we want to improve our squad.”

  23. In the days before our big budgets and when Scott Hogan was failing, I always fancied Hourihane as an advanced midfielder playing off Keinan Davies. Could have done a job after Wesley got assaulted by Mee. Might have saved on Samatta.

  24. Hopefully still 3 or 4, to come in. Very least need Loftus cheek and a winger.

    Mark. On the ball, trezeguet did near to nothing. As a creative position he should be whipping crosses in. Look at Trent right now

  25. We will add more firepower that’s for sure. Probably someone who can play wide and striker.

    But O think we could find ourselves getting a left back and DM to

  26. Well no one on here know what Smith told Trezuguet to do in the game. What he did do was a good job clogging up Fulham.
    What’s Hourihane’s natural position Mark?

  27. Saw a guy today loading the shelf in the service station with prepacked sandwiches who was a dead ringer for Conor Hourihane, even had the agressive Cork Stare
    Was going to say it to him but thought better of it.

  28. Trez was immense today. A great super sub. No el ghazi on the bench hmmmm.
    Jack and Watkins were trying too hard! Needed to be more calm but both great. Watkins has changed us up top completely. See frem that’s why we all wanted Watkins!!

  29. Another good win plus bonus clean sheet,konsa has really improved,wonder is target so poor because Conor is playing in front of him,nice to taking on pool when we are in form,couple more players would be nice

  30. Targett will cost us a lot of points with his defensive inability. And his injuries, because Taylor will cost us then to.

    Hourihane is OK against the lesser teams. But against the better sides you can’t have him starting games. Not mobile enough. Not good enough at getting the ball back.

    Hope to see RLC in, or Ross.

  31. conor is ok if you have 2 holding behind him. He really is a quandry because in that final 3rd and set pieces he is deadly…the post man!

    i dont get the hate for targett at all. i like him lots! And we cant be that bad as we have conceded only 3 in 8!! which is insane

  32. id be surpised if it was rlc as cheslea will only loan him by the sounds of it. And barkely is more a number 8 or 10 so that jack deffo on the wing.

    Id be happy with rashica lw jack back in mid. keep ramsey

  33. H&V,

    I think Targett is ok, but if you look at RB we have Cash, Fredrick and Elmo. All 3 are better at RB than Targett is a LB. I’d play Taylor against Liverpool to tighten us up a bit.

    DS said no striker coming in. Looks like it will be a winger or CM. Hopefully we can get Kalinic off the wage bill

  34. villamd

    yeah we need another summer window to tidy our squad right up and get well and truly settled.

    nyland, kalinic, taylor, elmo, lansbury, jota, el ghazi maybe conor wont be here by the end of next summer window

  35. H&V,

    100% agree, and that is unreal progress. Plus we may have a couple of U23’s come through for cup games.

    I was really impressed with Watkins yesterday. His running and passing is quality, and he’s also not afraid in the air. I’m so glad we signed him vs a Callum Wilson.

    Can’t wait for Stoke game. When is the last time we’ve been this excited for Villa? Even the pundits are now doing research and checking into our academy setup. Glad we’re finally moving past the “favorites to go down” label

  36. yeah it’s unreal. developing a squad thats young too. all around 24 -25.

    looking at grealish stats yesterday. he has to go and play 8 or 10. really its a waste of a position at the mo as he is everywhere anywhere. Play him instead of conor and get rashica lw. would be immese.

    how good was it to see mcguinn back as himself yesterday. i was getting worried!

  37. When things are bad, there’s always someone worse off. When things are good, there’s always someone better off. But I did enjoy dismantling Fulham last night.

    They were a one trick pony. Lump the crosses in for Mitrovic who couldn’t do anything with them. My only concern was our inability to stop so many crosses coming in.

  38. Most satisfying of all was that we did owe the Laandaners one and Villa delivered. On the other hand, perhaps they should be thanked for ensuring Dr Skint was offloaded and replaced by Compass. Since they took over, we’ve moved in one direction.

  39. If we are in for Barkley or RLC then I would rather RLC if he’s replacing Conor, Barkley gets nowhere near Conors attacking stats, RLC isn’t as good in that regard either and is injury prone. Both are better defensively but I think it would serve to light a fire under Conors arse as he has not competition for his place at present.

  40. MK,

    Seems like Barkley and RLC need to wrap their heads around where they are in the pecking order.

    I’d go with RLC, too, mainly because of the wages. Barkley would add a lot of experience and steel, but not sure about the wages, etc. Then there’s whether RLC would be with us for more than just the season.

    We defo need the competition and other things either would bring. Time for JT to have a word.

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