Tough, quality win at Leicester Sunday followed by a completely different test against Leeds tonight. Adding a bit of froth is the recent history between the two sides and the way the press has handled Marcelo Bielsa compared with Dean Smith.

So, what are we looking at? Leeds are a high-intensity team who like to man-mark. So job one is to match the intensity. And then take a couple days off as John McGinn has suggested.

Job two is to take advantage of the marking, and the gaps Leeds will leave. Phillips is a big loss, as he’d most likely be the one tasked with shutting down Grealish and/or Barkley. Now they’ve got a CB who’ll take that on. On Villa’s side, Luiz will need to have a good match. He’s got the legs, but he’ll have to be tuned in. Ditto for McGinn if he’s tucked in alongside.  Trez? Likewise, he’ll be running all night, and that’ll be significant.

But while everyone expects a wide-open and perhaps high-scoring affair, you never know. Both sides could be cagey and look to the counter. Of the two, I’d expect Villa to be the more “cautious,” look to contain and frustrate, watch the deep runs, and then make Leeds pay. Think Liverpool. But Leeds will be thinking Liverpool, too. They’ll know we can punish them. The question is whether they want to come and trade goals thinking they’ll end up on top.

For me, the x-factor is that Villa have shown they’re less naive now than they were coming up, and with Konsa and Mings really clicking, we have a fast, athletic CB pairing. Cash is fast and tireless, good on the ball, and solid in defending. Targett, less quick, but he has been getting stuck in more and anticipating better. Behind it all, Emi Martinez is inspiring a lot of confidence. If Villa are as disciplined and professional as they were at Leicester, I’m hoping we won’t be caught out too often. So when I say “cautious,” I’m really talking about looking to manage the game. It’s getting Leeds to be more naive that counts, and whether they’ll take the bait.

Aggressive man-marking can make it tough to play, but it’s a double-edged sword, and Grealish finds ways, like he did against Castagne, to wriggle free and adapt. When that happens, there’s space as he starts drawing players to him. Barkley, strong on the ball and showing good distribution, will mean Jack has a solid outlet/partner, and that Leeds have more than one creative avenue to worry about. Ollie’s pace, movement, and work-rate are plusses as well. Traoré might also have something to say against a tiring defense.

Remember: Leeds may have scored 9, but they’ve conceded 9. Not exactly a defensive juggernaut, but they’ve tightened things up in their last three matches, and seemingly at the expense of goals.

Anyway, it’s going to be interesting. Win streaks always end, but I don’t think Villa will be complacent. There’s enough spice to the fixture to prevent that.

No idea how it turns out, but it’s fun being excited and feeling like the team know what they’re doing.

Team news? No surprise, Villa are unchanged. Davis replaces El Ghazi on the bench.

Over to you.

Comments 190

  1. Well that was pretty poor. Should be a goal down probably at least

    Leeds all over us down our right, overloading Cash

    Trezeguet not at it. He’s just to poor on the ball.

    Watkins needs to shoot. He had a chance in the box and tried to pass. We didn’t pay 30 million for that

    Annoying that we have Barkley, Luiz, mcginn and Grealish and still can’t play possession football. We should be dominating the ball, not Leeds

  2. Jc- yes bloody quick on the break , Phillips is normally pinging the ball out to the flanks lucky he’s not playing. Don’t think we have done much wrong, Barkley not quite on it but the pressures constant.

  3. Leeds are very good but we should be having more of the ball with the Players we have

    They will score at some point I think Leeds l, from our right side

  4. We’ll see what the second half brings. We’ll want to play the ball a little quicker, finish moves, leave fewer situations for those breaks.

    Getting caught a bit in possession with the aggressive closing.

  5. Leeds obviously watched the Liverpool game where they overloaded cash all the time

    Sometimes it’s very easy to play through and around Luiz to and Leeds are doing that a fair bit

    We need to keep the ball more or wr will get punishment

  6. It’s funny Frem…I think we want to commit a little less going forward, but we’ve not played anyone yet that’s pressing so hard both ways. So, they’ve got to adjust their playing speed.

  7. Ive had to stop watching for a bit, just one or two players not doing covering runs, it leaves gaping holes, & Leeds are too good to turn it down.
    Jack can’t change it so tends to get a moody on.
    All the cohesion has gone, so have any tactics if you slow down & dob’t press, Smith’s not on the Field.

  8. Getting taught a lesson by a newly promoted team.

    They are showing us how to play the football.

    Games like this are more like the Dean Smith I know

  9. The most worrying thing here is resilience when conceding a goal…how many times did Villa win or draw from a losing position last season.

    This is the guts of a team that should have been relegated so avoiding the same this year is a good achievement when you have such a poor manager

    Trezeguet starting…really?

  10. Frem
    He’s not playing,
    As Mark said, it happens, at least it didn’t happen against Burnley.
    We will come back stronger for this.

  11. We needed another striker and winger in January.

    If we had any good center mids on the bench they would have been on by now but its marvelous and hourihane who will just make us worse

  12. If Smith wants to start the shambolic Trezeguet then why did he pay £17m for Traore to warm the bench.

    Speaking of the bench, recruitment has left the same problem as last year where there are no options to change the game for the better

  13. Paul. And yes

    I said all summer our bench is still going to be to be dire like last season and it is again

    There is a reason hourihane, marvelous and Davis haven’t come on because they aren’t good enough

  14. “Maybe you should support Leeds”

    People on here can’t separate supporting the club from valid criticism of players. You react like your family is being defamed.

  15. Well that unfortunately is the Villa I more expect throughout the season.

    Make no mistake that was absolutely disgusting tonight. Tactically slaughtered. Out run. Out paced.
    . Trezeguet isn’t good enough. The bench isn’t good enough.

    We have to learn from that and not slip to that level again. I do worry about Smith. Look at Belisa. He’s a phenomenal manager who would make us better

  16. Ian. Yea. Because trezeguet didn’t help cash. He was over run and out paced all game

    Everyone was. And we aren’t slow so why was that

  17. Look at Harrison. What he does.. And look what Trezeguet does it games. He never looks a threat ti teams does he. Harrison single handily ripped us a new one

  18. We needed to do more in the summer to improve our wingers.

    Grealish isnt a winger, really, and Trezeguet isn’t good.

    Barkley and mcginn were awful tonight, but we didn’t bring hourihane on or marvelous, because they would only be worse. So what’s the point in a bench if it isn’t good enough to use?

  19. Smith was taught a lesson by Belisa tonight and he has to go and try and emulate how Leeds play

    If they can do it withy there players, wd should be able to.

    Imagine what Belisa could do with Mc, Luiz l, Barkley and grealish? It would be phenomenal

    I’d love him at Villa

  20. Guys…

    Look, Leeds are very quick, very fit. This we know. We weren’t cautious, as I’d expected and written about above. So, we played into their hands. Wolves handled it differently and won.

    Now, maybe that was a bit of arrogance, maybe it was ‘complacency’.

    I also think it goes a little different if Jack’s shot isn’t cleared off the line, etc. Dean just said the side were disillusioned after the first goal, first time they’ve trailed, and they didn’t respond.

    So, reality check.

  21. I just hope this isn’t the start of 4 or 5 game losing run. It could easily be

    Next game will show what this team is really made off

    Will we bounce back, or crumble like the Villa we expect

  22. Frem,

    It’s really because we were too expansive. Not the kind of game we wanted to be playing, tbh. You don’t get the first goal, which we could’ve done, and instead they do, then their tails were up and flying, and we had to stay expansive.

    There in the second part of the first half I thought, “Good, we’ve weathered the wave, coming into playing our way,” but then we got sucked into being too open because they’re not a side we can run with. We’re not “slow,” but we’re not built that way. You just don’t want to play their game.

    Lesson learned, lots for Dean & Co to coach on, and the players will be reminded they have to put in everything week in, week out.

  23. True John

    But guys, look what Harrison did tonight as a winger. Look what a good winger does to the opposition l. Look how quick and dangerous he was

    Then look what Trezeguet does. When does he ever tarea team apart? When does he ever put a full back on they back foot? Time and time and time again? Never.

    Harrison is a winger

  24. And, tbh, we just weren’t adjusting. Players weren’t expecting them to keep coming, ganging up on tackles, etc.

    We set a lot of those breaks up by taking a wee bit too much time on the ball and not upping the pace. Where they were anticipating and rushing to the pass or ball, we weren’t. Too cautious there, but not cautious enough in execution.

    Dean’s fault? Could be. There were chances, didn’t go in, and goals change games. We needed one of those from Jack, Konsa’s miss, etc. to go in, allow us to settle back a bit.

  25. True, Frem, Trez isn’t that kind of player.

    I imagine we’ll see more of Traoré. Wasn’t a good game for a lot of players. And really, Leeds played about as well as they possibly could. All those switches and long passes were spot on.

    I’ll also say I don’t think Gabby helped by calling them a myth. They had something to prove and nothing to lose.

  26. He could’ve, Frem.

    I’m afraid he would’ve been a bit like a deer in the headlights, though. Ross was flat (could well have been the knee), Luiz up and down, Trez working hard, but not providing the cover for Cash.

  27. So what Trezeguet actually contribute as an attacking player?

    It’s absolutely nothing, really. It’s time for Traore.

    January we need to improve wingers and centre mids again.

    Targett again tonight makes you think we need a left back

  28. And it’s not to say Leeds didn’t deserve to win or shouldn’t have put away other opportunities, but the first goal, Mings was slow to react. The second, four players are surrounding Bamford and somehow still giving him the time and space to get off a shot.

    So, like I say, Villa learn something about themselves. I think they were a bit dazed, really.

  29. Well, I think he’s in for workrate, the fact he often pops up with an assist, nicks the odd goal. And Smith wasn’t going to change a winning side.

    Not sure Traoré will work that hard tracking back, but he is much more dangerous going forward, and now that we’ve lost, we may well see more of him.

    No idea what his fitness is, the PL is a step up from France, and he’s the one player to come in who really hasn’t been around the English game. Cash is learning, Ollie, too.

  30. John. But that’s the thing, he rarely gets an assist. I think he got one last season

    We have enough players to defend without playing an attacking player based on his work rate

    I really don’t understand why we didn’t improve our wingers. Trezeguet never has and never will be good enough

  31. He had a nice assist against Liverpool…

    All I can is that right now, Frem, we’ve got Smith, 12 points, recovering from Suso’s recruitment, and should be just fine this year. Then we add more quality and depth.

    The start got everyone very excited, but year two was always about consolidation.

  32. Frem,

    Traore did nothing when he came on.

    Mings at fault for 3rd goal. Seems like he had forgotten how to tackle.

    Overall, seems like Leeds did to Villa what we did to Liverpool. Arrogance and complacency do not win games

  33. Yes Traore did nothing, but trezeguet did nothing in 60 minutes to

    And if you look at trezeguet out put over 5 games, he’s done near to nothing in them. He doesn’t beat his man. I don’t think hes taken on a full back in all 5 games. He isn’t quick. He doesn’t have good feet. He doesn’t have good delivery, ot technical ability

    Look at Harrison. That’s what a winger should be doing to a team over 90 minutes

    We f**ked up in the summer not improving on trezeguet and Gahzi

  34. Just hope next game we don’t become a scared defensive side

    I hope Leeds fans realise how lucky they are to have Belisa. He could take that side to high levels

  35. Ouch. We’ve got to wear that one on the gob. I didn’t think we were compact enough, instead too open. Leeds keep coming so we needed to stay tight and mug them on the break. Like Wolves did. But it never happened and I’ve got no complaints about the result.

    How we respond to this set back against Southampton now assumes huge importance.

  36. This is from another blog…

    Player for player we’re better than Leeds….no doubt. We have the better quality squad of players.

    Here’s the thing: They have a manager who has instilled a style of football which his squad of players have had to adapt to and it’s paying dividends. It doesn’t matter if one of their better players aren’t playing…….the so-called “lesser player” fills his role perfectly because he has that same mind-set in terms of how and what his role is in the team and knows what the manager expects from them. Leeds have an identity to their football. They have a structure. They play as a team and aren’t overly -reliant on their best players. That what seperates them from us. If Jack or Barkley are injured we’re toast. If Leeds have their 2 best players out…….it wouldn’t effect them as bad as it would effect us…….and that’s totally down to their footballing identity.

    As I’ve said many-a-time……their manager has spent far less money than DS and look what he’s done at Leeds with barely above average players? Do you think Kalvin Philips would’ve been an England International if it wasn’t for Bielsa?

    Let’s not kid ourselves here…….the season we got promoted to the EPL…….Leeds were arguably a better team than us then. Bielsa is just too tactically astute for Smith and he has shown this in our previous matches against them. Can anyone imagine what he could do with our squad? Bottom line is that Leeds have a manager who has many game plans, who can adapt on the fly, who’s very tactically astute……..and who’s also very versatile in football play and playing formations. Unfortunately, our manager doesn’t possess any of these attributes. That’s not a knock on DS…….that’s just the reality!!

  37. I think he sums it up perfectly. Belisa is just brilliant, and has Leeds playing a set way everyone in the sqaud knows. They don’t rely on one player, like us. They could have multiple injuries and still play the same way

    If we lose Grealish, Smith is f**ked.

    Imagine what Belisa could do with our players. It would be a site to watch

  38. wow well hats off to the guru of football … we were giving a real tactical lesson and were outrun in the 2nd half so much it could have become an embarressing scoreline

    Thought Matty Cash was our MOTM but he was left to basically defend one side of the pitch by himself

    I am still trying to work out Deano’s football phylosophy as it seems a little random and looks like attacking wise we just give player the feedom to just make it happen themselves … but in Leeds you can see the power of phylosophy albiet from the most tactical man on the planet .. steamer was calling for him to be our manager many years ago
    Trez like all our team had a poor game but that is mainly because he wasnt as effective in our defensive shape as he has been this season and that for me has more to do with the tactics and running of the opposition … we just got scooled by the best driled side in the world ..imagine hi with world class players i dont think we would want to buy to many current Leeds players ..he is one heck of a scary manager

  39. It was poor from Smith. He was schooled yesterday.

    It was a last season display l. Defensively all over the place. Full backs getting over run. Not stopping crosses. Not getting to balls in the box. Not moving the ball quick enough. It was poor

    runt, indeed everyone is trying to work out Smith style. It’s not possession that is for sure. It never has been since he joined. Even in the championship we were poor at retaining possession. Wd aren’t free flowing. We don’t press. Wd don’t counter woth, wd certainly didn’t last season because we had no pace.

    So I’m not really sure what Smith plan is. We don’t have a style like Leeds do. We just kind of turn up don’t we and see what happens

    I’d love our owners to go get Belisa. Pay what he wants. Give him funds. He could win us the league

  40. the post from another blog is spot on Frem but we are talking about the most tactically astute man on the planet barr non that i have seen
    The key thing for me is what our coaches learn from this ..it is an oppertunity to improve on things that were exposed in the game and a real lesson in what work rate within a game plan can do

    I dont think any team does as many sprints as leeds in training this is why the workrate requirements is nothing t them its something they d every day

  41. Ye. The sprints Leeds do and the pace from them is scary

    The difference in case from Belisa to Smith is a different world

    On paper this Leeds side is championship quality

    But Belisa is just amazing

  42. Yes I think next time we play them we will get behind the ball and try to break on them as we played into there hands last night by being open and attacking … we need to give Belisa the respect that the guru of football deserves

  43. There must be some pressure on Smith to perform well with money we’ve spent.

    Rose still a free agent l. Better than Targett. Sturridge better than Davis. Wilshire better than Hourihane..

    Why not get those 3to improve the sqaud? Because its poor at the moment

  44. PW- what does it matter who was good? you don’t slaughter the ones who were not every week, you work on becoming better, they will learn from this. I could sit here and point out every little thing that went wrong and slag the players off, always two sides to a story, I have never seen you talk the team up at all, thats the point.

  45. Runtings- three times a day training and thats why he burns players out often, there passing is unreal though and movement, as you say hats off to them.

  46. Well I have been well and truly pinched,bad points mostly everything,yet we should have been 2 up jack 1 st effort and his great run when he should have laid it off to ollie never mind konsa effort,up to that stage leeds had huffed and puffed without seriously having a decent chance
    Smith fell back to bad habit last night mcginn was awful but played entire match, barkley wasn’t much better ,Davies should have come on for trez to gives us a target,agree with some our bench is really poor especially when you think how much money we have spent with new owners onwards to next Sundayhopefully will come right again otherwise Smith will have a nervy time of it

  47. One thing I wish eas Grealish would have more a free roam

    His run v Fulham and goal is what he needs to do more.
    James our bench is dire. Has to be the worst in the league l. Again

  48. Frem – I think our bench could play in at least half of the teams in this league and probably be 1st choice rather than bench players. It just goes to show the quality of our 1st 11. The top 6 are the only ones with true depth.

  49. JG
    Yes a goal at that time would have affected Leeds.
    I note Bielsa said that Jack got frustrated & went missing for the 2nd half.
    This is something we’ve seen before with Jack, if it’s not going his way he can become ineffective. Mcginn tried to keep going but Barkley was not with it from the off leaving a huge gap with 2 of the goals, which left McGinn isolated & overrun.
    Trez got ganged up on which seemed a plan to me, & poor Luiz needed to clone himself, not a good day.

  50. The reality of last night was that for the first half, Villa were in the game and holding their own, with Trezeguet working his socks off to help Matty Cash stop the constant threat , with McGinn failing to be involved enough in backing them up. For Targett, Barkley was non existent, and probably our weakest link. I do not quite understand Dean in not having proper cover, if he is going to play players, who will need replacing during the game.
    It was obvious that it was going to be a step too far for McGinn, having played ALL Scotland’s games, the Leicester game on Sunday. In fact, we probably should have played Traore on the wing, with Trezeguet for McGinn, and had Ramsey on the bench.
    The game could, and would have been very different if Jack’s best chance had fully crossed the line, or if we had got the penalty, which many refs would possibly have given, and VAR would not have changed, as it would not have been a clear and obvious error.
    We caused a lot of the problem because we always play to the left with Jack, Matt and Ollie being available on that side. If we had attacked down the right side, using Cash, Trezeguet, McGinn and Jack, then Leeds would have been too busy to be able to have the freedom on that side.
    Unfortunately, our tactics are poor and easily read, when everything needs to go through Jack, instead of moving the ball quickly. The main drawbacks last night, were Martinez failure to move the ball on quickly, most of the time booting it up the field, giving it straight back to the opposition, Watkins playing mainly as a winger, no one taking any really serious shots on goal, testing a keeper that did not look that confident.
    After the first goal, we failed to win any balls, and heads just started to drop, and after the second, we were basically out of the game.
    Dean should have replaced McGinn or Barkley with Nkamba just after half time, and possibly both, as I am sure that Hourihane would have had more energy than either of them.
    If he was going to bring Traore on then it should have been at half time, giving him chance to settle into the second half.
    All in all, as everyone has concluded, we were beaten by a master tactician, who realised the importance of keeping Jack quiet, our failure to use our right side of the pitch, which is why Cash is always overworked, as it is a huge open area to be exploited.
    I also realise that Patrick Bamford had a point to prove, with Bielsa having kept the faith in him. I haven’t forgotten when he destroyed Chelsea, when on loan to Bradford City, in the FA Cup. He was reminiscent of our own Gerry Hitchens last night.
    Don’t be afraid to applaud what was a great display of football last night. I am sure that our lads and management team will learn from it. Just a pity it was not that historical moment from Villa winning their fifth game in a row with an Ollie Watkins hat trick, but there are still many games to come!!

  51. Just looked at our results from around 1976 to our league winning season and guess what? We lost some games quite often by 3 goals and we had a good team then 🙂

  52. Smith deffo under pressure with our owners , he will need to reach there objectives and not go on a simular losing streak to last season ..

    Our owners are about the busness so of course there will be no room for centiment if they feel things are not right

    Also there are a few really good managers in the prem atm that have a difinate football phylosophy .I like the guys at Brighton and Southhampton

    Anyway a good coach will learn from the bad days at the office more than the good ones lets hope the boys put on a much better display in there next game

  53. runtings. Yes a big fan of those two managers also. Potter will be good. He’s got Brighton playing nice football.

    Thing with us is you’d think we could be able to attract better managers than Southampton and Brighton, now. If we wanted the Southampton now, you’d think we could get him.

    I not convinced on Smith. This Smith ball is a myth l. In the championship the football wasn’t exactly free flowing and possession based. Last season it certainly wasn’t, either. So far it looks like more a counter set up

    Smith has earnt more time for sure, a few more months. But we can’t be soft and sentimental. Of over the next 3 months we haven’t really got any better than there is no point in being sentimental and keeping him.

    A club always looks to improve players, so why not manager? There are better managers out there than Dean Smith. Look what Everton and wolves have. So why can’t we?

    I’m not saying sack Smith now, but we shouldn’t keep him if it goes wrong

  54. I want a manager who has a clear style. A Belisa, Potter, Nuno, Wilder, a Carlo.

    Smith. We aren’t anything.

    I’d love Potch. Still available. Let’s see how we go till January

  55. I don’t see why we couldn’t attract Potch either

    We have money

    Wr have Grealish

    We have a back 4 who can play Potch way. We have a midfield

    We could get him

  56. Watching Billing.

    I like him. We need someone like that sitting in our midfield.. Just a proper DM. Sometimes Luiz doesn’t have the legs as a DM. I love him but he doesn’t always have a DM instinct. Especially when crosses are coming in between the center backs and him

  57. Iang
    Leeds sub early showed the gap of class in 2 managers,saying that Smith has done very well so far but can he move to next level,next few months will tell

  58. JG – so why wasn’t he sacked at xmas or after 4-0 to Leicester? What your saying clearly hasn’t happened. We have lost on game.

    Bielsa’s take was they have been together 2 1/2 years we haven’t, they looked to shut jack down and he hasn’t changed how Bamford plays they have just started going in 🙂

  59. Spot on MK.
    It is part of what I was saying. Bielsa and his team learned the hard way, and have come back a much better outfit.
    Dean has a long way to go yet, and will ensure that his players improve. We do not need to panic, but we do need to look at the reliance of putting everything through Grealish and failing to use the right hand side of the pitch. We are too one sided in our play.

  60. Yes we are very one sided with Grealish. Take him out and Smith and villa are useless.

    Smith has to show the owners he can take us on at this level. If he doesn’t they will sack him. He’s spent the money, he will spend more in January if he’s still manager. They won’t accept cr*p like last season, and last night if it becomes a regular thing. Smith needs to get better. Learn from Leeds and play like them

  61. Mk
    I said he will be under pressure with more results and performances like last night,suso took the rap last year Smith is on his own now,where you impressed last night with Smith I certainly was not,what did he do to try and stop leeds nothing ,6 subs sitting thinking these lads are having mares and we can’t get on

  62. Frem- Four wins on the bounce? do you reckon the owners might be a little pleased with that? How do you know this team are useless without Jack or that Smiths useless with this team without Jack? never been done.

    What do you think Liverpools owners said to Klopp when we spanked them? pull your socks up or your out? lol.

    I really can’t understand the mentality that can’t except getting beat or that when you get beat you can’t look like you’ve been schooled occasionally. And since when does every game a team plays have all of them getting 10 out of 10 ratings ? never happens.

    Thrashing Liverpool didn’t make Smith a genius and losing to Leeds doesn’t make him a bad manager.

  63. Mark.

    Yes. We had a good little run. But we might go and lose 10 on the bounce.

    You can’t compare klopp to Smith. Klopp won the league. We finished 17th

    All I’m saying is, if it goes bad, we shouldn’t stick with smith

  64. JG- I thought whatever Smith did last night would not of done much, Traore just disappeared, we had to try and score and it played into Leeds hands. As you pointed out if we had scored easily the two best chances of the match different game, whats Smith supposed to do whisper in their ear where to put it as they shoot. All this tells me is those that don’t rate Smith at this point will never rate Smith.

  65. Well said MK.
    Life is just that, ups and downs. Ancelotti has not become a success over night at Everton, nor has Bielsa at Leeds, like many of our top managers. Now is the time to get behind Smith and the boys.
    One poor result is not the season over, although a few may be questioning their recent bets on winning the league..!!!
    I am chilled about the future, and sure that Villa will settle back into being a good side. We have everything to play for still.

  66. PP
    McGinn was busy covering for Barkley who was MIA, especially in the 2nd half, & yes Trez is more effective when he has support, as he was in the first 4 games.
    Luiz was having to cover for the midfield pair & was overrun for 2 of the goals, & as Mark said, it all came together for Bamford. Hourehane is too slow when we are being overrun.
    It was not a cohesive performance from us from the KO, so all our weak points became visible, which I’m sure Bielsa had something to do with.
    On to the next game, & I’m sure Smith will have learnt about himself & his players that he will apply in training.
    Strange really, because even the best team have ups & downs, being made up of human beings, & there’s nothing surprising about a set back.
    Also Bielsa knew he had no more DEF mids & couldn’t afford to lose another one, which is why I think the guy was replaced so early after a yellow card.

  67. Frem- Any team might lose 10 on the bounce, how negative can you get? do you honestly think thats likely?

    Ok what if Liverpool without Van Dycke end up out of the top 4 this season? no champs league, that for them is a disaster, same with Man city.

    As it is we are not at the same level as those teams so why do you think we should have someone like Klopp or pepe at Villa?

    The point all you lot that don’t rate Smith miss is the owners are making the running of the club separate to the coach. They are putting a way of playing in place and buying players and youth to play that way regardless of who is manager/coach.

  68. And I think we will have an eye on improving manager at some point, especially if we just have a meh season. Or another struggle

    One thing i can’t understand is why Manchester United haven’t got a better manager than OGS. Even Smith is better than him. Why haven’t they gone for Potch?

  69. Good comments IanG.
    I think most of us agree in the main about how things went wrong, and tomorrow is another day.
    McGinn did his best and just ran out of steam, I feel, and as you say trying to cover for an injured Barkley, who was perhaps asked too much of, as well.
    Bielsa’s early substitution was a master stroke in the end.

  70. IanG- I thought Barkley looked poor maybe his Knee is worse than thought. I wish we had a voice on the pitch that could pull the team back into shape for 5-10 mins when the going gets tough rather than pressing the everyone run forward button. They are a very young team though.

  71. Frem- Ever considered that the players at the club believe in what Smith is trying to do and that another manager might not suit the group we have? seen it so many times haven’t we?

  72. Klopp has been at Liverpool since 2015 now and even he was questioned at times but he stated it would take him 4 years to deliver trophies. and heres a thing, the American owners favour an approach very much like ours.

    ” Liverpool co-owner John W. Henry did not trust public opinion so he looked for a mathematical method very similar to Moneyball, the approach that Henry used for the Boston Red Sox in guiding them to three World Series wins, which he also owns via Fenway Sports Group. The mathematical model turned out to be that of Cambridge physicist Ian Graham, which was used to select the manager, Klopp, and players essential for Liverpool to win the UEFA Champions League”

    So if you want to run before you can walk carry on sacking managers and making squads redundant or have some patience and faith in the club.

  73. Fulham like us where they actually have been fairly good defensively today, but Palace only created 2 chances really and scored 2.

    So like us last season

  74. One position it doesn’t hurt to always rotate is the wingers. It’s the position you need to change for games, and in games. But wd have no options.

    We should have 4 good wingers. Always rotating

    We have one good winger who isn’t even a winger. Hes onky out there because our other wide forwards were so bad last season

  75. JG- I have no idea what he did but he also made changes in formation in other games that I didn’t see either like moving Barkley deeper and pushing Mcginn up. I would think he did something as after about 20 minutes or so we began to come into the game much more when we should of scored. Changing a game is not a s simple as player off player on.

  76. Frem- Whats a meh season? before the season kicked off it was about mid table, look at the teams that were in those positions last season and ask yourself which ones were fantastic every game.

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