Not a lot of fun watching Villa fall to Leeds. What will the side have to say about themselves against Southampton?

Only change is a full debut for Bertrand Traoré. Let’s see what he has over 90 minutes.

Comments 223

  1. Oh my days talk about bubble bursting. Brain dead thick footy from villa. Zero reaction.

    2 home defeats on the trot. This is the villa I know!!

    Thank god we had a good start and have a cushion!!

  2. We look last seasons Villa, again

    It was an utter fluke our first 4 games

    I mean when Trezeguet is the only option you have as a winger your f**ked

  3. JG – you said you could see other teams game plan mate? Nothing to do with defending smith , I certainly can’t tell what it is other than us giving them umpteen free kicks in poor positions

  4. How Southampton pass us of the ball I don’t know l. Smith has Grealish, mcginn, Barkley and Luiz. Wd should be dominating the ball

    I know people don’t like it but Smith isn’t good enough

  5. Same old problems, and Traore looking like another failed buy, like Jota, Samatta, Borasson.
    Konsa and Cash struggling, McGinn first note when he fails to cut out the header, from a plyer that Mings should be marking.
    This team is awful, and still think they are playing the under 23’s in training, rather than a serious Premier league side.
    Barkley, Grealish and Watkins all playing in a little triangle on the left hand side. Serious review of the team strategy, or we are just going to tumble down the table. I see us struggling against everyone, unless we sort things out. Martinez seems to have lost the confidence of the defence, and he fails to collect the ball and distribute it, and just keeps booting it up the field back to the opposition.
    Heaton may be back in goal very soon, as his distribution makes all the difference.

  6. It’s a strange one…Judging from the play, you might expect to be down one. JWP has made it look much worse than just having a bad half.

    Now, you can put the fouls down to being out of sorts and reacting poorly, etc., but you wouldn’t expect to be punished by that level of execution.

  7. Someone please tell me how Southampton only have 2 centre mids, we have 3, but they are still dominating?

    Pathetic from Smith

    Get Davis on

    He needs to start next game to. Watkins looks lost again

  8. runtings said a few weeks back Ralph Hasenhüttl is quality

    He is. He’s certainly a level better than Smith

    And I’m pretty sure we could get him og we wanted to

    We want to improve our team, so let’s improve our manager

  9. Frem trez has put three shots on target but for good blocks from Southampton. We are playing poorly no doubt but it ain’t all down to trez and Smith is it? Same as when we won 4 on the trot it wasn’t all down to them either.

  10. But you know trezeguet won’t take these chances. Or he needs 10 before he will get one

    It’s another pre lock down display

    The manager is at fault

  11. Pp- yeah Watkins hardly mentioned, if there is any comfort Southampton got whalloped 9-0 a year ago same team same manager. Reality asserting itself as teams reach match fitness and new players etc settle. Hard to believe this is only game 6 for us, you would think it was February 🙂

  12. James. We don’t have good sib. That’s the problem

    Hourihane and Marvelous aren’t Premier league quality. Trezeguet isn’t. Davis isn’t. None of our bench are

    We didn’t do enough in the summer

  13. Barkley’s definitely off the pace.

    But good to see the side keep playing. That was much more what you expect to see, and they’ll feel better about themselves having won the open-play portion of the game.

  14. Fair play Jack has never given up, but we needed Elmo and Trezeguet to help steady the ship and then we were able to push on.
    If one of those earlier chances had become a goal after the break, we may have got he draw, or even sneaked a win.
    However, I am very pleased that we managed to finish the game with a respectable score line, and now we have to face Arsenal!

  15. JG lol yeah mate good idea 🙂 got reprieve for half an hour. Lost the stream and we score two, at least jack and watkins plundered some fantasy league points for me 🙂 Should be the start of a resurgence.

  16. Good second half and their keeper was probably MOM over WardP. 19 shots with 10 on target against 4 of theirs (which all went in).

    Those cheap free kicks we give outside of our box were really punished today, this has been a constant issue with us. Dont understand the lack of pressing in the first half, really seemed like two different teams today.

    Cloud 9 is over, back to earth.

  17. To concede 7 goals in two games to Leeds and Southampton though is frankly embarrassing.

    It’s awful preparation and tactics from Smith, like we saw week in week out before Lock down.

    I’ve said bed, he’s got us where we have, but let’s improve on him now. Like Ralph would be a huge upgrade. Southampton are a club that will only get so far. Wd have a budget that could attract better managers so let’s get them

    It will be another relegation scrap under Dean. I can’t believe he thought the bench wd have had is acceptable for a premier league outfit. Nobody on our bench is any good

  18. And to br a 433 side, playing against a 442 side. First half Southampton absolutely dominated which is again, dire. We should be dominating the ball at home in a 433 with the players we have

    We’ve said before, Smith ball is a myth. Ws don’t play possession football. It’s not even attacking. Who knows what it is

    Southampton have a clear style.. Leeds do and they both hammer us

    Smith is a myth

  19. We saw the team playing the way Smith wants in the second, Frem.

    We want to invite teams on, get the space, and play quickly behind. As improbably as it would’ve seemed, we could’ve easily scored 5-6 there in the second.

    One of the strangest games I’ve seen. Like I said earlier, first time in PL history a player has scored two direct free kicks in the 1st half of a match. We were down 0-3, and while we did give away the fouls, the odds against those three all being converted were very very long.

  20. And no, it’s not really a possession style, but that depends on the opponent, as well.

    As has been pointed out time and again, possession doesn’t really mean anything, so it’s not a style that bothers me. When we’re playing well, it’s exciting to watch, and you know there are goals in the side.

  21. Well getting up at 3:45 wasn’t going to happen with me. First thing i checked was the stats. All I can say is back to earth. I think we all knew 4 in a row was more than remarkable and now it appears that the middle teams of the Prem are just as capable of beating anyone in the league. There is no normal this year and January might see things as god intended but I Doubt it. If there is one worry for me is the 7 shipped goals in 2 games.

  22. I’m not sure the midfield balance is working is it

    To easy to play through against.

    They aren’t good enough off the ball. Snf on it we aren’t good enough

    How our midfield can’t retain possession i don’t know

    Dean Smith saying it wasn’t a 3-0 at half time

    What’s he on about

  23. Frem, I have to agree with Smith on that. Writing up a review now, but the odds against the three dead-ball conversions were very long. Normally you’d expect at least one of those free kicks to hit the wall, go over, or go wide.

    Were we outplayed in the first? Yes. But not badly enough that Saints would’ve scored three from open play.

  24. Also said trezeguet could have had a hat trick. But he didn’t. Because he’s cr*p

    Also said there first goal wasn’t a free kick ( the headed goal) But it was. And you had John Mcginn marking a centre back

    Also said nothing in the game apart from 4 great finishes

    Also said the game would have drew if we had 5 more minutes. But we didn’t

    He does talk a lot of cr*p

    We were awful. Just say it

  25. John. But Prose is unbelievably good at free kicks and we give away stupid fouls

    Smith has no plan B, and plan A is always so predictable

  26. He is, and the free kicks, well, we were punished, certainly.

    As far as Smith’s plan, wherever Southampton’s heads were after the 4th, you all of a sudden saw Villa creating all kinds of chances and forcing good saves. We could easily have drawn that, as improbable as it sounds, could’ve had five or six.

    What if it had been Traoré those chances were falling to instead of Trez? Regardless, the chances were there.

  27. My biggest gripe with today:

    We just came off a 0-3, 2nd half spanking to Leeds. You would think that we come out motivated by our management, all guns blazing and go at Southampton from the start. We didn’t even start until the 2nd half when it was too late

  28. VillaMD – it was a weird first half, didn’t keep possession, didn’t use the channels, no pressing. That lack of intensity and confidence was very strange, sure this wasn’t what they trained for. Why blame Trez who did what he can when he came on when Barkley and McGinn were so flat in the first half. But i guess if you are blinded against one player…

  29. runtings I think it was after Leeds saying we don’t have a style of play.

    And he’s so right

    What are we? We don’t press. We don’t sit back. We don’t retain possession. We are to slow to counter

    Smith has been here 2 years and we still have no identity. We just make it up as we go along

    Potch in the studio later for sky

    Go get him Villa. We have the money. We need a big name, like Leeds, wolves l, Everton Smith isn’t a big name

  30. The games that were won started from a more conservative, defensive formation. Smith started the team too high up the pitch today and against Leeds. Villa are not technically good enough to keep the ball and so need to play a counter attacking formation to protect the defence when not in possession. Smith does not learn.

  31. How did Smith win those 4 on the trot without a plan? I mean no plan either to avoid getting relegated other than completely changing the teams style after lockdown. I don’t know why he didn’t get on the pitch and go in goal and stopped those free kicks going in while simultaneously organising every other aspect of the game which Southampton had no hand in effecting at all.

    When things go well there is not much to change, when they don’t the hard work starts. Back to not conceding shots (although Southampton only had 4 on target all worldies) this is football folks no freebies and we have to work hard, today we didn’t and every single mistake was punished, and our talisman Martinez for once could not do a thing.

    In fact 7 goals have gone in in two games that pretty much nobody would save.

  32. Mark. It’s still 7 goals conceded so something is wrong. Ee aren’t getting out quick enough. It’s to easy for players to get shots off. Making stupid fouls

  33. To go 3-0 down at home, twice, is absolutely shameful. So we obviously weren’t good enough.

    Unfortunately Belisa and Ralph are just better managers than Dean Smith

    Our owners won’t watch this again. They want success. Not another relegation dog fight

    Grealish didn’t stay for this

  34. And Smith mentioned trezeguet could have had a hat trick

    All his efforts never really tested Mccarthy. He gave the keeper a chance to save them all. If they fell to say Ings or Walcott they probably score all his chances

    Why we left our self’s with poor wingers again I really don’t know. Ghaiz has vanished. Trezeguet isn’t good enough. Grealish isn’t a wide forward, really. He said him self he hates it

  35. Our midfield are so easy to by pass. So so easy. Luiz os good on the ball, but as a DM when it comes to defending I’m not convinced. Teams switch play so easily against us to. They create overloads so easy to

    Something is wrong. The system. The type of players.

  36. The reasons we conceded the free kicks were the worry

    Cash was flapping because they had an overload after switching play. Of he didn’t get it Southampton are through.

    Luiz fouled Walcot because again Southampton walked through us and got on the edge in a dangerous place so had to foul

    It wasn’t just free kicks. It’s why we gave them away. Because we were flapping it

  37. And mcginn marking there centre back. Someone explain that?

    He peeled off to the far post l.. Our center backs were near post.

    So easy for Southampton

  38. Ah, Mr King, the man who claims the manager isn’t accountable or responsible for anything his players do. When they win you say he’s great and when they lose it’s nothing to do with him. Mind you, you lost yourself today and started criticising the players…

  39. A month or so ago I said that I didn’t want us to buy any more players. I know it sounded weird, or just plain perverse to some people, but I had two reasons. Firstly, I didn’t want to see us struggle to integrate too many players as we had last season, and secondly I want to see us build slowly and steadily. . . .to steadily improve and climb back to the pinnacle of English and European football. I know we’ve all believed or hoped for this in the past, but the current set up does feel the most professional and sustainable that we’ve had for some time.
    There are some followers of Aston Villa who demand instant success and enjoy hitting out at each and every setback. I find it hard to relate to that sort of destructive attitude.
    I’m not suggesting we should be uncritical, but criticism that arises from emotion rather than informed analysis is in my experience rarely helpful.

  40. Ah, Mr Whiting the man that only comes on to criticise the team the manager and the people that post on here. I criticise when its warranted not as a matter of habit. You nearly forgot yourself earlier and made a sensible observation, should of known it was only a set up to criticise Smith though as per.

  41. I think there needs to be a more ruthless side to Villa as a club, and with supporters.

    Wolves didn’t struggle in there first season promoted. They ended up getting European football.
    Sheffield nearly did last season.
    Leeds will most likely get a European spot.

    All in their first seasons. So it’s not impossible, or even that hard. It just takes a good manager. Wolves, Leeds and Sheffield on paper don’t have better players than most sides l. Leeds ans Sheffield on paper have championship players.

    We were to soft last season. It was a shocking season. Why didn’t we do what wolves achieved? Or what Sheffield did? After a lot of money soent

  42. I think as a club ans fans we need to be a lot more ruthless

    Look what wolves achieved when they got promoted in the first season. European football. Sheffield almost did. Leeds probably will this season

    So what was our excuse? On paper wolves aren’t exceptionally good. Sheffield and Leeds have championship players.

    So why couldn’t we achieve what they achieved? With more money?

    And this season. What’s the excuse not to go and get 6th or 7th? If Leeds can. If wolves can. If Sheffield could last season?

    The club and fans can’t just accept rubbish because Dean Smith is a Villa fan and got us promoted and kept us up. Ws should always look to improve as a club.and Dean Smith won’t take us where we want to

    There is certainly no excuse or reason why this season we shouldn’t be finishing top 10, but with smith i just can’t see it

    And if we finsih 16th/15th I don’t want Villa fans wanting to keep Smith. We need to move on quickly and get up to date with clubs like Wolves, Leicester and Everton and appoint a top manager

  43. The 1st goal we conceded was poor. Not sure why Mings or Konsa were not marking their joint CB. I hate zonal marking.

    Douglas Luiz free kick was very soft. Cash didn’t have a choice.

    Villalore- I wasn’t critical of Trez today. I thought he was very good and unlucky not to score a couple. Southampton goalie made good saves.

    I work for a French company and none of the lads rate Traore. I thought he looked good against Fulham, but did little today.

    PW – not sure what gives you the right to have digs at other bloggers. It would be better if you kept your comments to football. That’s why we’re all on here, to give different views on our club.

  44. Frem, I can understand where your last comment is coming from, but it’s so easy to demand more when it’s not your money.
    If you ever have to put your family house, your pension and your family’s future on the line for a business, believe me, you’ll start to see things differently.
    It seems to me that our club is on the right path at the moment and whereas for the last decade it’s felt as if we’ve consistently taken 1 step forward o my to quickly take 2 back, right now it feels quite the opposite. . . . . we will sometimes take a step back but the two steps forward will follow on.
    From 16th in the championship to starting to properly compete in the premiership in less than 3 seasons has included a lot of steps forward.

  45. Frem mate, the money we have spent is basically about enough for an average prem squad considering we had nothing much to start with. The owners want the club to be self sustainable so will not be pumping billions in. We are already at least one year ahead of plan. By season end we might of had a half decent season or a very good season. If we have a bad one Smith will very likely be replaced and we will roll on. All the clubs you want to emulate have had one -two years in the champs together before coming up. We have done it more from luck and determination and jack grealish. At the moment we are learning to box by having weekly fights with Mike Tyson rather than earning our stripes before facing him, it will be up and down. A win or draw next game will be great and more than a good start. Right now I think wilder would take our start over his.

  46. I have both McCarthy and Martinez in my fantasy team. Yesterday both shipped 3-4 goals yet McCarthy got three points because he made 7 saves to Martinez’s 0. That tells you Southampton’s 4 shots on target were unstoppable. That my friends does not happen often.

  47. aaaah ive calmed down a tiny bit now!

    I think looking at the highlights it was a bit mad saints scored 4 crackers from 4 but coming off the back of a 3-0 it just looks and is bad. anyhow we have 4 wins out of 6 which we would of all taken at the start and a run of pool, foxes, leeds, saints is pretty tough.

  48. bit interesting/worrying ht the players said the shape was wrong and deano said no but changed it anyhow?!

    And more worrying it seems we went mcguinn up along barkely or barkley back a bit? 2nd half barkley went 10.

    Its not complicated. 4231 and bloody leave mcguinn as a 6 alongside luiz and barkely 10

  49. I know very few people actually read or note my comments, but I do try to put some logical thoughts here from time to time.
    As has already been said, this blog is for criticism of the play, the manager, the players, etc.
    It also used to contain a great deal of humour and fun, but we seem to have lost most of that.
    Yesterday became a disaster because of our failure to deal with set pieces, and the relentless pressure from the opposition once again, until we finally got a grip of the game, when Southampton started to run out of steam.
    The warnings were there before the game about the combination of Ings and Adams, Ward-Prowse ability in dead ball situations, and so on. What did we do in preparation to deal with that?
    The free kicks were outstanding, but were Villa’s preparation at the same level to deal with them?
    We have so many free kicks and dead ball opportunities, but how often do we make anything of them. Ward-Prowse was totally clinical, as are some other players. We have lost that somewhere along the way. When Douglas Luiz first came to Villa, he took some amazing free kicks, and scored, and so did McGinn. Is it because everything seems to need Jack’s approval? We have stopped cutting into the box again, or taking shots on when close to the area.
    We seem to fall into the same fault of many teams of keep pushing it out to the wings and then making easy balls for centre backs and keepers to cut out. When we thrashed Liverpool, we scored of deflections in the box and the keeper then stands no chance.
    We are just not clinical enough.
    We did redeem ourselves eventually in the second half, and scoring twice after 90 minutes shows that if we stick at it, we can still win games. I do agree with Dean, that five minutes more could have given Villa at least a draw, if not a win.
    However what we need to do is to start with a winning mentality, determination and make sure the opposition have a game on their hands.
    Everton have suffered as much, losing two on the trot, but both teams have made their best start in a long time. Now is the time to consolidate, and make sure we do not sip further down the table.
    I am sorry that Traore doesn’t look a good buy, another player who we will have to carry. I wonder who decided on his purchase over Benrahma or King.

  50. Stats don’t tell the whole story but they are pretty damning in this case.

    I mentioned earlier about the keepers and 7 saves to 0. Well Villa had 19 shots 10 on goal and Saints had 9 and 4. What was even more telling was the expected goals which tells you the quality of the chance and the likelihood of scoring from it.

    Wait for it…………….Expected goals from Infogol

    Villa 2.52 – 0.88 Soton

    2.52 is a big score 0.88 not so good which meant saints put away some low quality chances and we created some very good ones and didn’t convert them all.

    Certainly we gave away stupid free kicks in bad places but on any other day Saints might of netted 1-2 not 4 out of 4. like the Leeds game we were second best in some departments, mainly pressing but like the Leeds game we were done by some very well taken goals.

  51. hey paul always read your posts. if only we could wheel hourihan out at set pieces! Think it’s very early to judge troare. I like the look of him!

    But I still think overall like frem we needed another lw and st. Proper quality coming off the bench is a must next

  52. Just read this, Ward-prowse has converted 8 out of 100 free kick attempts at goal. Getting two in the 1st half is a premier league record as it is and a 1/4 of his successes so far in his career.

  53. Talking of stats they think we could have 4000-6000 covid deaths a day if we do nothing?? WTF. Thats more than the states had (2500) at its peak. They then tell us that its a scenario?? no explanation of how they reached those figures mind. Its now flu season and they seem to presume that nobody alive has had Covid even though they keep throwing up cases at 20,000 a day of people who might of had it or could have it. The ICU’s are full? yes they are with people with cancer. The only other explanation is its an estimate of people dying from boredom by Xmas.

  54. Stats where would we be without them
    Soton had a goal ruled out for a crazy rule,2nd had gave up at that stage don’t know how close it was but never less it was far too easy
    Smith preferred 433 gives us no proper width with jack on left leaving it all too easy to attack our fullbacks,why does Smith not change to a 442 and play jack free behind Watkins,
    Then the elephant in the room subs mcginn and barkley have had 2 shockers yet played full matches both times smacks of last season
    As for JC heading reaction that didn’t come to soton decided they had scored enough
    Yes it’s a great start but it’s going downhill rapidly with the gunners up next on the back of great performance and result can Smith rightify the good ship villa

  55. Reflections on the last 2 performances. Bamford scored his best 2 goals of the season within a few minutes of each other. He won’t better those this season, if ever. Just our luck that he managed to find the top bins twice out of nothing.

    The Saints scored 3 goals from the top drawer. However, I will point a finger at Martinez’s positioning for the 2nd Ward-Prowse free kick. He left far too much space to his right and WP didn’t need to put any pace on the shot, just get it over the wall.

    That said, we are in the EPL and these types of goals happen. It feels tough when they go in against us. But I hate zonal marking. Tyro is chief at the back and for corners and set pieces I would prefer he shouted at the players organizing each one who to mark, matching them up for size. Not doing this cost us the first goal yesterday.

  56. Paul Pears,

    I love your comments. Great insight, especially for us abroad. Keep it up mate.

    I’m pretty shocked WBA are 2 down. I expected them to win

  57. Time to consolidate in my book. We need to tighten up and hit teams on the break. Whether Deano will do this remains to be seen. As has been mentioned above, Traore has some work to do to convince me.

    I noticed Maupay wasn’t even selected in the Brighton squad yesterday as his form has vanished. It happens elsewhere too.

  58. For me there is something not right about Our midfield set up, I don’t think being deep suits Barkley. It helped when DS changed in one game but for me he needs to link with jack and McGinn can then make his runs from deep. When all three are back there it seems Luis doesn’t do the defensive job he was previously.

    Traore needs time on the pitch but Trez brings energy to the team, sometimes it takes someone to lead the others in the press, he does that.

  59. Leeds v Leicester should be a cracking tactical game

    Plug. We’ve always been more a counter team under Smtih, especially in the prem. Our possession stats are always worse than the opposition. We always sit in and deep

    But then again Smith hasn’t really implemented a style on us. I don’t know what we do

  60. we lost to the twr o sides that have philosphy over check book maneger senerio … i will say it again progress football philosphy is powerful in football but it seems most clubs dont go dont that route

    I like ginger mourinho he has over achieved so in the game and he is learning as he goes along even if he doesnt have a clear style of play

    not going to lie my wish for aston villa for many years now is to have amazing owners the excell at doing the right things for the clubfrom top to bottom and a manager that brings a clear style of attacking football simular to southampton leeds and brighton which not only makes half decent players look great but will make very good players amazing ,,,, also for developing young players .. we seems to be upping the level of youth talent they need to be developed in a clear forward thinking stlyle of play

    sorry for the long post .. one the board side who could ask for better

  61. Looks like Bielsa’s style and tactics don’t work eh, or at least not today. Oh well even Bruce’s non football wins games some of the time.

    Funny thing I heard the other day from a Leeds fan, he said if they had jack they would play through him and so play differently. He even said they played through Hernandez last season in a similar way.

    Do all styles and managers suit all sets and types of players? Not from what I have observed over the years or managers would never get sacked.

    Rodgers way of dealing with jack when we played them was to kick him, as tactics go it’s a bit basic.

  62. Rodgers blueprint to beat Leeds, deny them space and take your chances.

    Well we didn’t do the 1st part as well as we have against others that’s for sure but most telling was we didn’t take our gilt edged chances when they came.

    For me last two games both had those elements where as the opposition had golden finishing days that normally would not of happened.

    I’m confident we will get it right and soon, arsenal we have turned over a few times recently so roll on Sunday.

  63. im more optimistic about playing gunners away then saints at home! They really do have the hoodo over us the buggers. Over history we can do bits away to arsenal.

    I would like to see us progress as in last season we can win a game of footy fair enough but we would loose too. We didn’t draw hardly any. We need to turn some defeats into draws this season to up our points tally

  64. H&V I think the bit of niggle from the champs fed into the Leeds game, mings reactions showed that. Gabbys comments didn’t help either.

    If changing tactics was a sure fire way of winning we would see it 10 times a match as it went backwards and forwards.

    Reality is if a team scores 1st at home they win 86% of the time if the away side scores 1st its 76% likely they will win.

  65. I think people have lost perspective, we bought 5 players not to struggle not to achieve top 6. Of course we will try but I doubt it is a demand of the owners.

    Winning 4 games and thrashing Liverpool was unexpected n the 1st 6 games in this very weird season. This has prompted people to believe we can compete at the top and its smith that’s holding us back after two losses which were also not expected at least in their manner.

    Be nice to hit top 6-8 but the reality is 5 players won’t make this team a top 4 team , Watford beat Liverpool last season so it’s not much of a marker.

  66. Almost forgot, plenty was said about having someone like Ancellotti, how we could attract better players and play good football. Well after a bright start they have in the words of a work colleague gone back to looking like the Everton of last year, I’ll leave you to chew on that.

  67. mark

    toffees have richarlison and rodriguez out a bit like us if you loose 2 key men we would be stuffed.

    The start has been great but i’m still thinking 13th would be amazing. If we can keep away from that bottom 5 and not get sucked in it would be a good season.

    But no ones going to be happy with back to back home defeats and conceding 7!

  68. I’m not happy with losing bud I just don’t see it as the end of the world or think we will only lose 1-0 if we do lose, s**t happens.

    Everton have spent massively at least twice what we have probably more. That’s why I find it daft that fans are now demanding perfection from Smith because he’s spent £250m, it is not seen in context at all.

  69. Back to footy and the lack of plan B, we haven’t got one.

    Look on the Bench and what would you do to change things? Davis up top with Watkins is one, Davis up top Watkins left another, Traore straight swap with Trez but he’s another free styler, Conor on an option but only if we get dead ball situes or let him get forward to shoot, Marv to tighten it up?

    You have to say that there is not a fat lot to really change the side without changing how we play. Jack, McGinn and Barkley are very individual in the way they play the game, maybe we should label the Subs Plan B,C,D,E ……….

    Leeds, Saints etc don’t have that problem as they play one system with hard working samey players, Villa’s strong points are also our weakness as far as tweaking or injury go as a large chunk of the players are the style. I do wonder if you could bring another manager in and have him teach this lot to play like Leeds or Saints. I have my doubts because we have three players that like to run the game.

  70. Mark Ancellotti is another cheque book manager and not a new age philosphy manager .. imo the new age managers currently in the prem are ar brighton , southampton , liverpool and Leeds .

    Leeds manager is changes things around a bit at times but the others have a definate philosphy that they stick too …. liverpool is an example of phylosophy and a bit of cash and were that can take you

    not calling for anyones head by any means just saying i want this to be villa someday

  71. Running’s- I know mate I just think at this point the clubs growing and unless an obvious genius turns up that can take us onward we need to let Smith develop along with our style

  72. Totally agree Mark
    Smith doesn’t bring what I am asking for in terms of philosophy but we has brought more value to the club than any manager in a long time .. tactically he seems to learn from things that go badly wrong and work on improving those areas

    Potch is another one will philosophy I reckon he will end up at man u as Ollie is another one with no philosophy but also no real background as a manager at this level

    I wouldn’t swap Smith for to many managers .. was thinking about what it is that proves someone is a top manager as Pep is one of the most celebrated managers in the world but could he do what Woy Hodgson does at palace and do as good or better ? I doubt that very much

  73. Alan Hutton calling Trezeguet a headless chicken is absolutely true

    But it’s ironic coming from Hutton, who was the biggest headless chicken I’ve ever seen on a football pitch

    An absolutely clueless defender who never knew where is man was, never knew what danger was around him

  74. On Smith, nothing should happen to him now

    But we should have half an eye on Potch

    Why shouldn’t we?

    If things don’t look like they are going where it should.

    Our owners should always be looking to improve the football club

  75. Running’s it’s very much horses for courses, smith fits what the owners are try to do. Whether he can maintain that it is outgrown we will see. Whomever we get will either have to buy into what’s happening or bring something better. Remember when round was tasked with the villa engine? I wonder if he’s left the blueprints 🙂

  76. Brilliant. Traore is injured.

    So now we are back to a winger on the wing who isn’t a winger, and Trezeguet.

    We should have done so much more in terms of forwards this summer.

    Ghaizi will probably be on the bench.

    Fanatic quality in depth

  77. The irony ,hutton calling trez a headless chicken,
    Trez has been excellent since return since lockdown and probably didn’t deserve to be dropped last game

  78. I wouldn’t say Trezeguet has been excellent. As a forward player his goal and assist record is very poor. He doesn’t ever look like creating anything and he had 3 chances against Southampton and missed them all. January we need to upgrade on gahzi and Trezeguet, again.

    Still p*ssed about the Leeds and Southampton games. We were so poor in those games.

    I don’t like Smith saying it wasn’t a 3-0 game at halftime and we were only 3 down because we gave away free kicks. Well, we shouldn’t have. Anf the reason we gave them away was because qe were open and flapping and had to foul

  79. The latest 20m quid tranche put in by Compass shows just what is necessary when there’s no cash coming in from gate receipts and season tickets and we’re completely reliant on TV cash at the moment. So relieved we stayed up.

  80. Southampton top

    They have a fantastic manager. A different level to Smith.

    Southampton should not have a better manager than us. Ot Wolverhampton

    We are a huge club. Bigger than wolvesz Everton and wolves.

    We need to prove it

  81. They have a clear style. 442. Narrow. Move the ball quick. Press

    I still don’t know what our style is. It’s nothing.

    We had 3 centre mids against 2 centre mids, and we still couldn’t dominate possession

    With good ball players like Luiz, grealish, Barkley snd mcginn. And we couldn’t retain possession

  82. Christ Frem have you been saving all that s**t up, you sound like a kid that can’t have a sweetie 🙂

    So 12 points from a possible 21? right now Chelsea and Arsenal have 12 from 7 games, man city 11, Newcastle 11 from 8, Leeds 10 from 7, we haven’t played our seventh yet, we have also played the current top three within our six games Beating two of them.

    As far as Trez missing 3 chances do defenders and keepers have to jump out of the way? He has the 5th highest stats rating in our team go figure why he plays.

  83. I wouldn’t mind but Bielsa and his system have played 4 of the teams we have and lost to Leicester and Liverpool, plus played an extra game and are at 0 goal difference to our +6 and we have 12 points to their 10 from less games.

  84. Oh and while we are at it.

    Accusations of DS not changing systems during the game

    “Asked to elaborate on his midfield system, Smith confirmed he’s been tweaking the positioning of Douglas Luiz, John McGinn and Ross Barkley ever since filing his team sheet prior to the Liverpool game.

    “We’ve mixed it in all games,” he said, “sometimes we play a flat three, other times we played one No.6 and two No.8s and, other times, we’ve played two No.6s and a No.10 (4-2-3-1)”

  85. Grealish has goals and and assists like a winger should. He’s actually good and useful

    Trezeguet has 0 goals. 1 assist

    That’s s**t

  86. Frem- Bad starts eh? well that must mean we have a had a good one? which means Smith has had good one and yes Trez has had a good one. Some players contributions cannot be counted in goals and assists, sometimes they are the reason other get the chance to score etc. Trez should of been put in for tap ins on at least three occasions and wasn’t.

  87. Smith made Leeds look like prime pep barcelona

    And Southampton going 4-0 up against us. Not good l. Pre lock down typical Villa

    And yes. Grealish has good stats. He has goals and assists. That’s what attacking players should be judged on.

    Trezeguet last season goals and assists were awful. Same this season. We need better

  88. Frem- trez’s goals kept us up in the end and he is playing well this season whether you choose to accept it or not , he’s been picked above our other choices and his overall stats are decent.

  89. Look. . . . .I like what Bielsa has done for that team too, (although he did take longer than Smith to gain promotion) but I wonder if his high energy tactics will survive a whole season in the Premiership without a really deep squad.

  90. Frem . . . . . . do you know that you’ve criticised Trezeguet 17 times on this thread alone (yes . . . .I now I’m sad for counting them up)
    We know what you think about him honestly, there’s no need to keep saying it.
    It just occurred to me though that maybe you keep talking about him because you can’t get him out of your mind . . . . . maybe you have bit of a soft spot for him?
    Hey look. . . .it’s nothing to be ashamed of. . . .he’s not bad looking guy.
    When you go travelling, have you considered Egypt?
    Just be wary of the guys round the pyramids though. . . . .they do anything to get you on the back of their camels and then its so difficult to get away without paying a ridiculous price!

  91. I’ve often wondered what really happens in the dressing room at half time and thought this article gave some interesting insights:
    When I first read it I was quite surprised because I’d imagined that the manager and his team go into the dressing room and just tell the players what’s expected of them. I hadn’t imagined that there’s a discussion between management and players and my first reaction was that it was a sign of weakness.
    I then thought. . . .no. . . . with the right relationship between manager and players it has to be a good thing. If a manager has the right characters in the dressing room and they all respect each other then the manager absolutely SHOULD listen to the views of his players. There has to be meeting of minds between manager and players and a willingness to listen to other views. . . .it’s actually a sign of strength not weakness.

  92. Robbo- that article tells me two things, tactically Smith and his coaches are always thinking.

    The second is they recognised that by tweaking the system it gave the Players the belief they can now go out a play as it wasn’t their fault but the system. Even though the change probably did nothing psychologically it nearly got us a draw from an impossible position, genius 🙂

  93. Mark, the same thought occurred to me. He has the self confidence, and belief in his players to let them feel in control of their own destiny. He was also right to point out that there actually wasn’t too much wrong with the system . . . . as with us against Liverpool, all their shots just went in (actually. . . . .its not quite the same as we could easily have scored 10 or more that day. . . . particularly if Barkley had passed to Trezeguet when he should have done. ((oh dear. . . . .am I obsessed with Trezeguet too? . . . . have you noticed. . . . .he does have a particularly engaging smile!)) 🙂

  94. ahhhh. There should have been a third closing bracket at the end of that last comment. Was Watcyn Thomas still an English teacher at Aston when you were there IanG? (I think you said you went there?). He was hot on brackets and clauses . . . . sadly his efforts were wasted on me :-/

  95. r0bb0
    Yes mate he was, but he never taught me.
    I did play rugby against him when we played a staff team, & left him on the floor with a perfect one on one dummy.
    He seemed alright in that environment

  96. We need 3 points today to bounce back from our last two embarrassing displays.

    Playing well doing what Mark? As a forward player what is he doing well? Compared to Grealish?

    What does it say about Smith is a Hodgson side scored 4 against Leeds and we made them look like prime Barca?

  97. Hope Spurs smash west brom

    We are sliding down the table getting closer to clubs we don’t want to be near, or shouldn’t be anywhere near

  98. Frem- ok mate how do you think his rating stats wise have gone up this season? if he was scoring and assisting as he did in the Turkish league he would up there with Jack. As it is thats yet to come but he could easily of had 5-6 goals this season.

    ” during his last two seasons in Turkey. His last season at Kasımpaşa saw him score nine goals and generate 10 assists in 38 outings. The season before, the winger scored 16 goals and created seven for his teammates.”

    He successfully completed 112 dribbles for his side in the Turkish Super League last season, 31 more than any other player – he was only behind Allan Saint-Maximin and Lionel Messi in all of Europe.

    According to WhoScored, Trezeguet also made more key passes (78) than any other player in the Super Lig last season.

    The 24-year-old isn’t scared of doing the ugly side of the game either, as he has a high work rate, determination, anticipation, stamina and natural fitness, which makes him more than capable of tracking back and helping his defensive team. ”

    This is why we bought him, has he hit those heights yet? no but has improved from last season and I think there is a lot to come from him.


  99. Frem- What does it say about Smith that we smashed Liverpool and beat Leicester at their place? What does it say about Bielsa that he got hammered by Hodgson and Leicester? and that Fulham put three past them while we won 3-0. If your gonna continually throw s**t at Smith at least be less biased, your Southampton manager no matter how good he is got hammered by Leicester 9-0.

  100. Mark. But he hasn’t scored 5 or 6 has he. He’s been involved in one goal

    Would like to see Ramsey on the bench again. Better to bring on than Hourihane.

    Interesting to see if Ghaizi is on the bench. Or he’s just given up and isn’t fighting for his place

    I’d rather have Barry on the bench. Smith has to be braver introducing youngsters. Why not have Barry and Ramsey on the bench over hourihane

  101. All the pundits picking Arsenal. I think we’re better as the underdog. Hopefully it will fire up the players.

    Need a big display from Barkley and SJM

  102. VillaMD. I think you’re right that it will be good for us to go in as underdogs. . . . . not so much for the players, who I’m sure do go into each game at the moment believing they can win, but for some of the less stable fans who will imagine the club is imploding if we lose 3 in a row. If we do lose, then maybe we can at least draw a little comfort from the fact that we will have played 4 of the top 6 clubs in our first 7 games, so a tally of 12 points at this stage is still a good return.
    Having said that, unlike previous seasons I do have some belief that we ‘can’ win each game we start. . . . . and apart from the latter stages of our 10 game unbeaten run, I hadn’t felt that for some time now.

  103. IanG, you missed out in not being taught by Watcyn Thomas. I’m not sure how good a teacher he was, but he did tell some good stories. I remember him telling how he rode in the cavalry in the Boer war with a sabre so sharp he could chop the heads of flies in flight. It was only years later that I found out that he hadn’t even been born at the time of the Boer war!
    I then wondered if ALL his stories were made up but was pleased to see that he had indeed captained the Welsh rugby team to victory against England at Twickenham. Selling him a dummy is definitely worth a mention!

  104. Mark, hats off to you trying to engage Frem with facts rather than ill founded prejudice but I fear that as stated in the parable of Matthew 13:20-22 . . . . .some seed fell on stony ground.

  105. Mark. No he just won’t have the ability to do what I want.

    He’s done his job. Got us up. Kept us up. Thank you. But soon we need a next level manager

  106. Hope we play a clear way tonight. Press. Play with a tempo. Run at pace. Close down with pace. Move the ball quick

    Because our last 2 games have been so poor. Moved the ball slow. Pressed slow l, or just didn’t what so ever. Didn’t retain possession. There is no excuse for our side not to retain possession and have energy and pace and oress. So sort it out Smith

  107. And round and round we’ve been going, which is to be expected.

    I’ve got a fresh sheet up now for the game, along with some thoughts on our last two outings.


Leave a Reply