Off the heels of Villa’s dramatic, injury-time victory over a dogged Wolves side, it’s time for Burnley. Which is never really a game anyone wants to play. But, they’re in the league, so you have to.

I didn’t end up writing anything on the Wolves victory…Was one of those games where there didn’t seem to be much that couldn’t have been seen and wasn’t already covered in the comments. Part smash-and-grab, part winning ugly, part resilience with a dash of luck. Part make-up for some of the decisions that have gone against us: the great “balancing out” we so often hear about.

In short, you could take almost anything you wanted from that one. And I’ll take the three points, thank you very much. Wolves are no mugs.

Was good to see Jacob Ramsey get his league debut, and seeing McGinn in some spots we don’t usually…like streaking up the left flank. Bertrand Traoré continues to be the one transfer who’s taking a while to get to grips with the league. Undoubtedly talented, some lovely one-touch passing, but still lacking on the physical side, and not quite taking on the terrorizing attacking role we’d hoped for. But, early days. Ezri Konsa continues to grow and impress, Emi Martinez was exactly what you want between the sticks, Targett held up well against that other Traore (with some help from Jack), and Mike Dean was doling out cards like it was Christmas.

Main thing I saw was that the two-week layoff didn’t really help. While Villa played some good stuff at times and largely held Wolves at arm’s length, we did get a let-off when Silva hit the post. Absent Jiménez, Wolves got most of their attacking threat from Podence and Dendoncker. And Semeda, apart from giving away the fatal penalty, had a pretty good game against Grealish. Silva looks to be one for the future, just has some learning to do.

Anyway, ancient history. Captain Jack made a captain’s move giving the spot-kick to El Ghazi, who convincingly converted, and we saw a very unified side. It looks like a good dressing room right now, and I thought Mings coming to Anwar’s defense was a great gesture and sign of that.

Following our early match Saturday, results were interesting throughout the week. While I think the final spots will level out fairly predictably, the season continues to hold surprises. Like Villa. I really do think the lack of supporters has a lot to do with it, and I wonder whether what the players are learning will carry over.

Without the intimidation factor, a number are finding that the gulf in talent suggested by price tags and international appearances isn’t as great as might have seemed the case. Without the crowd cheering you on, there’s not the lift from a home crowd you’d expect. Right now, ‘home’ and ‘away’ are virtually meaningless. When full houses return, will the normal order of things return? Or will newly encouraged players be able to fall back on what they’ve experienced without that element and continue ‘punching above their weight’? Anyone’s guess.

So, Burnley. Two wins, two draws, one loss in their last five after going winless in their first seven. Never an easy side, and they’re finding their mid-table feet again. We know they’ll be physical and well organized, and Villa won’t forget the tackle that ended Wes’s season.

It’s only the top sides, apart from the barcodes, who’ve put more than one past them. The Everton draw and Arsenal win will encourage them, but the gooners are a bit toothless and soft, and Everton, you never know. Regardless, it’ll likely be a grind. No surprise there.

If we get the flying Villa and a quick start, well, that would make a difference. Always does. Sean Dyche’s men haven’t exactly been prolific.

We’ll basically see Burnley looking to stop Villa playing and nick a goal. We’ll want to be quicker than we were against Wolves.

Trez is out for a while, which might cheer some, but it’s a loss for the side overall. Ross Barkley is in contention tonight, and one wonders whether he might be better off being withheld for the Baggies and new-man Allardyce. But if he’s fit, he’s fit.

So, we’ll know in a few minutes whether it’s Ramsey and Traoré again, or if Dean will dial something else up. Not sure Ghazi has played his way back in the side, but who knows whether he’s learned to put himself about a bit more after not getting a start for so long. If he’s more combative than Traoré and desperate to prove himself, maybe he does get the look-in.

I’m assuming we’ll see Nakamba deputize for Luiz, and that could be a bit dodgy. He won’t have the same assurance, and that’ll put pressure on Konsa and Mings. At right back with Cash out, lots of supporters are asking for Guilbert, but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see Deano go with the veteran Elmo given the changes elsewhere.

In short, Villa won’t be quite the same. McGinn clearly needs to have a good game, and it could well be that he hangs further back to steady Marvelous a bit. It’d be nice to see Ollie back on the scoresheet. The goals have come in bunches for him, and he came close against Wolves. Not an easy night to find the net again, but all it takes is one good ball in. I thought I saw that Davis is said to be fit again, so if he makes the bench, I could see him coming on to lend a physical presence up front, even more so if the game is level late or Villa are chasing it.

Over to you.

Comments 211

  1. Thanks JC- I just read Burnley have only Scored 6 goals this season. They have 9 points so just shows you how tight they keep it, they have played 11 games and at that stage last season had scored 14 , 7 less than we have now.

  2. No Konsa. That’s a worry

    Is Barkley injury worse than club making out or just ready for Sunday?

    Glad hourihane isn’t starting. Definitely off in Jan.

    4231 tonight. Good

    Good to see Davis on the bench

  3. Might mean Jack, Traore or Elghazi play at 10, or all three. Hause gives us heading ability and Elmo next best to Konsa in the heading and crossing department . Nakamba gets his chance alongside Mcginn probably.

    The moaners have started already about weak midfield etc elsewhere on the net, never changes, I think they would like Smith to clone players.

  4. 3 defenders plus a goalkeeper on the bench is just absolutely dire and pointless

    Hourihane is just invisible so it leaves Davis as the only attacking player

    Christ put some youngsters on the bench

  5. At the end of the day a much weaker Villa took 4 points off of these last season. The only problem is changes and consistency, hope a few take the opportunity to make a mark.

  6. We have to win this. We can’t go 4 home games without a win against 4 teams we should be doing better against.

    Plus we won’t beat West Brom now

  7. We did ok, had a few scrambles that nearly went in

    But you know how it goes. Villa play a poor side, look better, come close to scoring but don’t

    And the opposition go and grab a winner

  8. Frem- You can’t help yourself, Trez not even on the bench and your bad mouthing him, Traore is a good player that has no right foot, if he had he would of scored and if you were in my front room you would of heard me shouting go on Traore as he set off before making that interception, 1st time we have seen the pace the lads got. Try not to talk any more crap, ElGhazi playing on the left which is Trez’s preferred position and doing well.

    I think all the Squad players have come in and done well Nakamba and Hause and others look sharp despite not starting since October can you believe.

  9. Frem- just read your latest comments? jesus mate what game are you watching. And for the last time we don’t have wingers they both cut in a interchange as a front three.

  10. Well, not a bad half by any means, unlucky not to have a goal to show for it.

    But Ghazi, Nakamba, Elmo, Traore all doing well stepping in.

    Burnley just have 15 men in the box most of the time.

  11. 1 point from Leeds, Brighton, Southampton and Burnley, at home

    That’s awful and very concerning. That’s relegation dog fight all over.

  12. Well. To go 4 home games without a win against teams we should be beating is absolutely disgusting. I’m so angry. We have a chance to get European football this season and here ww are not taking advantage. We won’t beat West Brom because of Big Sam.

    27 shots.

    Go sign some wingers and a striker in January for christ sake

  13. Aaaaargh. So frustrating. Yet another game in which we’ve been dominant . . . . I suppose we should be grateful for that when compared with last season but it still hurts

  14. I’d have liked to see Keenan Davis have a little more time to settle in and influence things but it’s hard to be too critical when we have 27 shots and hit the woodwork twice.

  15. We need to be beating absolute rubbish like Burnley at home

    We should of gone and won tonight, and Sunday push at the top but we’ve fucked it.

    Janis massive because this sqaud quality and depth is dire

  16. From, calm down. We got a couple of late winners at Leicester and Wolves, today luck went the other way. Wingers aren’t going to do shite against a resolute defense and a day where nothing went in. You were yelling for Davis and ElGhazi, you can’t have another fit when you get what you want and it didnt work out. Stop the tantrum, please.

  17. Frem- I’m worried about your mental health mate, Half a team changed and we still should of nailed Burnleys 1st 11. Lots of questions answered and decent enough performance considering.

    Bet your feeling more than a little embarrassed as your better than Trez wingers both missed umpteen chances 27, 7 on target and hit the woodwork. Of those chances 21 were ElGahzi’s 🙂

  18. Yeah, look. Villa did everything right. It just didn’t go in. And when chances were in the box, Burnley were there in numbers.

    That’s the way they play. I think it’s crap, but it’s what they’ve got, so it’s what they do. Another day, it’s 6-0.

  19. If you can’t beat an awful side like Burnley at home with 27 shots your going to probably struggle.. Of you can’t go 4 games without a win at home

  20. But it’s another game we didn’t score from open play.. Wolves we weren’t ever to score, unti we got a penalty.

    You can’t defend going 4 home games without a win.

    It’s just poor and worrying from everyone involved

    We need to upgrade on January. We need another striker. Watkins needs competition and he needs to come of in games.. He looked out his depth again today

    We need wingers. We aren’t getting anywhere with our current ones

    West brom on Sunday. I’d say a draw at best. We will slowly be edging towards the drop

  21. Really liking how much toure came on tonight got better defensivly and he has some real majic feet i am sure he will become a real asset

    Hause was sick tonight great in the air read the game and a show of real strength brushing off 2 at once

    I only counted 1 shocking pass from marvelous which is also a first , he didnt do too badly

  22. Cheer up. With what?

    We can’t score from open play. We have a shambolic sqaud. A manger fans refuse to criticise, even after 4 home games without a win.
    We haven’t taken advantage of the league table. Our games in hand will be over soon and before you know it we’ll be a few points of the drop zone. We wjll slowly start edging down

    O can’t get how this club thought Watkins was all we needed up front in January.

  23. So Burnley have 4 out of 5 clean sheets away from home. It shows how they set up to play those games.
    Apart from hitting the woodwork twice we also had that ball cleared off the line too.
    Last season we were struggling to compete with teams like Burnley to try and stay up. This season, teams like Burnley feel that holding villa to a draw is something to be celebrated

  24. Yes Traore was better. He just looks so much a more natural footballer than Trezeguet. He glides.. Quick feet. Close control. He will get his goals and assists soon

  25. I suppose the main positive from tonight is that we change nearly half the team and ‘still’ absolutely dominate the game.
    It’s reassuring to know that our bench is actually not bad at all and as everyone knows their place, you’d hardly know the usual starters were missing.

  26. yes cheer up enjoy your football club playing the best footy that the club has in a very long while in the top flight we have one of the youngest squads in the lge and we are a couple years into building something great with what i would only discribe as dream custodians … whats not to love

  27. Elmo mentioning we need luck

    That’s more worrying than getting 1 point from 4 home games.

    Luck has nothing to do with it.. It’s about ability and if Smith is telling them we need luck that’s awful management

    The pattern is becoming we dominate possession and shots on target but don’t win games.. West ham, tonight, Southampton, Brighton. We had more possession and shots. That’s down to quality. Snd finishing why we didn’t win. That’s just poor ability

    Its becoming a worrying pattern

    January is huge

  28. Also interesting to hear dean Smith’s analysis of Burnley that indicates to him hatchere would be space for Jack to play ‘in between the lines’ so he brought him into the no10 role.
    In other games Jack would get crowded out in that position and be less able to influence the game

  29. Runtings. The fact we can’t beat Burnleyx west ham, Brighton, Southampton or Leeds. 4 of those at home

    That’s not enjoyable.. That’s painful

    I want us to win things.. Not just piss around

    Yes ww are ok, probably safe. But I want more

  30. I’m actually so annoyed. I’m sick of hearing “we played well, next time it’ll happen” because it’s clear that it won’t, or if it does, it’s more an anomaly than normality.

    Three of those games at home as well.

    Extra focus on shooting in training. Please.

  31. Frem. Look at the table please . . . . but notice the number of games played
    Look at where we were this time last season
    Look at our goal difference
    Look at our goals scored
    Take a little time to take on board some facts
    Paraphrasing Aldous Huxley; facts don’t cease to exist just because Frem chooses to ignore them.

  32. Only the second time this season we’ve failed to score . . . . no wonder Jack was so pissed off at the end of the game
    Let’s hope they take it out on the baggies this weekend

  33. I think we all want villa to win titles, champs lge but i am the type of supporter that is happy when we are playing good football as our foundation … the fact that in my view are owners are running this club impeccably makes me even happier .. i will back our team .club and the manager as i see real progession and proper building of a club so i am far from depressed about villa right now that was the previous 7-8 years

  34. We still have championship wingers. Wd need massive upgrade. Grealish is quality but he’s a number 10

    Watkins looks out of his depth to much to often. Davis needs to be used more in games now till January. I’d actually start him against West Brom

  35. And robbo. Ye. We are better than last season but let’s be honest we couldn’t get any worse.. Last season we were shambolic.

    Just because we are better off it doesn’t make taking 1 point from 4 home games acceptable. That’s absolutely awful return from Smith and the players

  36. Once again we dominate but don’t win

    It shows they lack of quality in the finaly3rd. The finishing from our wingers isn’t good enough for this level, and they dont create enough for Watkins

  37. Frem, I think Jack was pissed off with himself too . . . . it wasn’t just his team mates who failed to score tonight.
    I’m sure we all thought he was going to put that chance away towards the end of the game.

  38. That was madly frustrating. Missed a great chance to get ourselves top 8. But if we made 5 changes last season we would loose. But we played well and dominated Burnley. We have come a hell of a long way. Still progress to be made but we are heading in the right direction.

  39. But I think we should be ok. Need to know about Barkley ASAP. Was said he was in for tonight or west brom. He is sorely missed in the attacking 3rd. Proper quality which we can see the difference in with el ghazi. No disrespect as he ain’t that bad, but need proper quality to go forward. I’d still go for rashica.

  40. Baggies could be a mad house with big Sam there. He does know how to keep teams up! Blades are surly gone. Fulham are OK on there day. Burnley are just dreadful but do know how to survive. Brighton just draw but can grab a win. Think we are on for 13th

  41. Frem- what more would you like Smith to do kick the fucking ball in the net for them?

    This period of games is pretty much close to the best I have witnessed in over 40 years of watching us, nearly every game this season bar Leeds we should of won, that I have never seen, and we have barely began to build. Beginning to think you’ve bet the family home on us winning the league.

    If I were Smith I would drill Traore with his right foot for an hour a day at least, if he had even 1 and a half feet he’d be fantastic going forward, still shite and clumsy at tackling etc and still makes some dodgy passes back there but with time he’ll hopefully get there or Villa will improve so he doesn’t have to always get back, this is the modern game though.

  42. I couldn’t believe troure squared it when shooting was obv and the worse one was when jack near the end broke away and hit it hard just over. You’d back him to score evertime. We seemed cursed at vp! But what’s making up for it is our away wins. Hopefully next 2 games we can get at least 4 points. After that the fixtures get tricky

  43. I really am surprised , having watched the match and seen a team create so many chances, but the failure to score was more about failing to give any service whatsoever to Watkins. Time and again he was in the right place at the right time, with the ball just needing to be pushed on to him, and he was virtually unmarked, a foot off the six yard line, ready to put it past the keeper, but instead time and again, Grealish and El ghazi thought it was better to go for a glory shot which failed.
    Watkins must be getting so frustrated because this is happening every week now, but if he received the service, his goals would be in double figures now, and Villa would be much higher up the table.
    I am happy that we are doing well enough, but I really would like to see more of the play we started with, and beat Liverpool with.
    I also was impressed with the defensive work of Traore , Hause and Nakamba. Not a great result, but a very solid performance.

  44. PP,

    Yeah I also noticed Watkins free a few times and the obvious pass didn’t come. Hopefully the players watch it back. If one went in, then I think we’d have scored 3 or 4.

    Martinez solid as always. Elmo very good, Hause best game for Villa. Even Mings looked better beside him, and Konsa is my favorite player!

    I read Barkley is training, but need to be extra careful with hamstring. Good to see Davis finally get some minutes. Traore looked decent, but as MK wrote I can’t believe a professional footballer can have only one foot. Seems like he’s afraid to do anything with his right foot.

    Big Sam had first training session today, so hopefully Sunday will come too soon to see his magic

  45. Oh well. When you’re missing three it’s going to be tough. Lots of shots but no one really had a really solid go except for a few.

  46. PP- definitely still not servicing the no9, I’d like to say its a feature of how Smith plays it but when we had Tammy he filled his boots so I am baffled why they continue to miss his runs.

    El Ghazi has had several games like that, on one hand you can’t blame him for shooting but on the other you just know thats what he’s going to do. Its strange because a while back Jack said he was by far the best finisher in the squad. On match day that seems to desert him. its not even unlucky like Trez has been with blocks etc its either soft shots or misses with the odd one on target.

    So far Traore has had opportunities on his right foot he refuses to take.

    I know its easy to say but I have seen enough of Trez’z goals from the left to know he would of taken the keepers hands off with a few of those chances Elghazi had.

    Doesn’t look like we will be playing catch up anytime soon which is good, 1st double game week will be game week 19, which we are not playing two games in, which in my mind puts us further behind in games played.

    Elmo by the way took all three bonus points in a game we had 27 shots in!!

  47. All the players tweeting saying ” we deserved more” from yesterday, Smith as well

    Well. We didn’t get it did we. Deserving doesn’t mean you will achieve anything.

    It’s a lack off quality, that’s why we couldn’t score. We have championship wingers, so we get championship finishing snd stats.

    If we had a good forward line we win last night.

    January needs sorting. Need a striker desperately, plus two wingers so Jack can be number 10 role

  48. Ghazi was a positive. At least he was involved in attacks and created things him self and ran at defenders. You don’t get that from trezeguet

  49. Saw the line up. Feared the worst. But the game didn’t turn out like that. We should have won by a boat load. Dyche was delighted to escape with a point.

  50. PP……your comments on Watkins ring true. I wonder if it’s because Deano decided to play El Gassy down the left and Traore down the right. As one doesn’t have a left foot and the other doesn’t have a right foot, service into Watkins was always going to be limited or non existent from these two.

    Presume Deano deliberately set them up to cut inside and shoot. El Gassy was profligate with his chances but his free kick deserved a goal.

  51. Thought Burnley are a dirty little side. Every time we got past one of their players, they just brought him down. Cynical indeed and they got away with it. Pawson seemed quicker to card Watkins for sneaking back on the pitch after injury attention than punish the cheating.

  52. So we got the luck previous game points wise but not last night. However, overall the performance was good and next up is the yam yams. Three points please Villa.

  53. Plug

    Burnley Are such shit houses. They foul, time waste it’s so frustrating! But it was our duty to up the tempo and be crisper and quicker with our play. But it works for Burnley, last 5 they have drawn with villa and Everton, and beat arsenal and palace!

  54. I’m wondering if Watkins would get more chances playing in one of the wide positions. Most of the chances seem to fall to grealish on left or whoever is right! Might well be better having more a target man like Davis or wes and having Watkins run off in behind.

    One thing I have noticed though is target although improved defensively isn’t getting his crosses in enough. Maybe sacrificed that part to be more defensive? Certainly last season he was creating lots of chances with his great crossing. Watkins could do with that now!

  55. good shouts re Watkins lads

    I really like this player he gives us so much pace and movement and works his socks off for the team and never stops making runs .. as pointed out not found making these runs enough

    I think when Wesley is fit again they may well end up working really well together I look forward to seeing them running out together.

  56. I didn’t think we saw so much of Ollie last night which was a shame because we needed a natural finisher on the end of more of the chances. As Plug mentioned, having Traore and El Ghazi on the wings cutting in onto their shooting legs rather than crossing will have been part of the reason for this, but also, Burnley were ‘very’ good at shutting down and blocking crosses. We’d normally manage to push a ball through to an overlapping player who would then put the ball across the goal for a central attacker to knock in, but I don’t remember a ball being delivered that way last night. Let’s face it, Burnley are very well drilled for preventing shots getting near the goal and then hoping for a bit of luck at the other end. To their credit, they closed us down very well. . . .to our credit we minimised opportunities at the other end.

  57. El Ghazi looked really up for it last night and was so unlucky not to get the free-kick goal. It was a real shame because he seems to be a confidence player and last night his confidence seemed high (although maybe ebbing a little as the game went on). He didn’t track back quite as much as Trezeguet, but like Trezeguet, did get himself into the right places to create opportunities. Shame that he had also borrowed Trezeguet’s shooting boots. When one of those two gets an open play goal you feel that it may just give them the confidence to go on and score more

  58. Yeah the more I think about it the more I want Watkins on the right. I’d very seriously think about Conor playing in the 10 role too. Doesn’t have to Mind the mid so much so can focus on what he does best, finish. If he had some of those chances last night he’d of scored

  59. H&V not bad.

    Trez easily gets as many chances as ElGhazi and usually puts them on target to produce a save or a block, Frem said if Trez had run back and made that interception like Traore did I’d be all over it, well if Trez had put as many shots in the stands as ElGhazi did guess what Frem would be saying?

  60. H&V,
    Your comment on Targett is spot on , as now, rather than putting crosses in, he is playing in little triangles with Jack, and whoever else is on the the left side. We are missing Barkley’s balls into the box, which Watkins would love. Watkins is more a player who wants balls to feet, although he is also a great header of the ball.
    We really need to get back to the start of the season, and decisive balls into the box, but not so many lobs into the box. Also could not believe the number of dead ball situations that were wasted, apart from El Ghazi’s screamer which almost brought a goal.
    If we get someone in January, I would love it to be the other Traore, who would make a huge difference in this team now.

  61. PP- You have to wonder why Hourihane didn’t get a look in, the amount of free kicks and chances being tee’d up on the edge of the area you would think he would have to have put one in. He’s a better finisher than pretty much all the attacking and midfield players bar Watkins. Sure he’s not an all singing all dancing midfielder but , he can finish or provide incredible set piece chances.

    I can understand that DS would be thinking we have to get one soon but for me Davis was not in my thoughts for Traore. Could of moved Jack back out left El Ghazi Right and conor ten.

    That said Ross Barkley will be back on Sunday

  62. H&V the full backs are basically a work in progress, the amount of assists this season from them is minimum. Its clear that when we go that route we get caught out as we catch others out in turn including Liverpool. Most of our clean sheets have happened with the FB’s tucked in on the whole. How we go from that to crosses raining in I don’t know. I think we need Barkley to thread balls through fro Watkins or to get behind and tee him up.

  63. I think El Ghazi put too much pressure on himself to score. It was like he felt “this may be my only chance for a while if I don’t score, and if U score then I can’t be dropped “. If he was a bit more calm he would have got one, ideally his tame shot.

    Missed chances for me – Jack in the last minute, Hause header and Traore in 1st half when he should have walloped it at far post instead of trying to take it down

  64. We all know we ‘should’ have won. Jack clearly thought so . . . . which is why we saw him saying “flipping rank” as he left the pitch

  65. Mings header was worse than Hauses at least he was close, poor old Mings got it all wrong. I sort of agree about ElGhazi trying to hard but he has done this a few times, I think he has a bit of arrogance about himself and maybe thinks he should be playing (not the worst thing) but that manifests in him being slightly less team oriented than he should be, same for Traore to a lesser extent, pressures on to impress.

    I would like to see Dean Smith bring in the kicking coach they had at Brentford. But I’d also like to see Watkins get better chances, that said these are tighter defences than we perceive and the margins are small, just putting the player off is an effective ploy.

  66. It must be frustrating for Grealish, playing with players that aren’t even close to his ability. He wants to get assists to his name l, but unfortunately he will get a loss less because the likes of Gahzi snd trezeguet just can’t finsih. Our wingers are a huge problem.

    I hope Davis starts tomorrow.. Watkins was invisible , again and isn’t getting service. He needs a rest. He looks sloppy and tierd. His hold up play last 2 games has been very very poor.

    What do we do with Grealish? He’s our best wide player and centre player. So do we play him CAM tomorrow? It’s where he wants to play

  67. We need to win tomorrow. We can’t be taking less than 4 points from Burnley and West brom. We will drop down the table today.. All. Of a sudden it doesn’t look good, especially if teams at the bottom start winning.

    If wd don’t win tomorrow, nobody can defend taking 1 point from our last 4 home games and, and not beating West brom. I know people love Smith but you can’t defend that.

  68. I forgot to mention Marvelous.. For someone who played his first game I thought hr was very good. He seems to have got better on the ball snd not panic so much

    For how good Luiz is, i think Marvelous is actually better of the ball and winning it back and making interceptions. He’s a lot quicker and mobile than Luiz is.

    I think marvelous could be a good DM at a good side because his ability to win it back.

    He’s unlucky Luiz has become a very good player

  69. Frem- It won’t matter a bit if we drop down the table tomorrow, that might come as a surprise to you but Smith won’t be judged on not getting top 8, granted if we collapse and end up in a relegation fight he probably would. Heres the rub we are not going to end up in one unless half the 1st team end up with long term injuries.

    As for Jack being fed up? I doubt it , I think he understands we are building something good, sold that to Barkley himself. As far as the finishing? yeah its been good and bad in equal amounts this season or we wouldn’t be one of the top scoring teams.

    Jack himself missed a good chance he normally wouldn’t of probably as it came late and he looked knackered, thats the problem with having him at Cam, as part of that midfield he’ll run more.

  70. Marv is a confidence player and a team player and more than decent, could even allow us to play him with Luis and put Mcginn on the bench occasionally. This season is going to ultimately be about managing the squad well. This last game gave Smith a valuable look into what he has and how much it changes the dynamic.

    To me it bodes well and gives us way more leeway than most fans think we have. This Jan depends a lot on where Wesley is on his comeback as to where we can focus strengthening. I think we will buy one quality player, as to in what position? wesley is key.

  71. Oh and Leicester have lost at home to us, west ham, fulham, Everton, still top 4, this season talking about whats not good enough is not straight forward, lets talk about 4 clean sheets away from home and two at home along with 6 wins 1 draw and just 4 losses eh.

  72. Oh and the losses? creating loads of chances and not taking them and being unlucky not to have won two or three more games is not a problem at this stage its massive progress over looking inept and getting spanked.

  73. Liverpool have had 14 shots, and scored 7 goals just against Palace

    We had 27 and scored none.

    If that doesn’t show how desperate we need quality attackers in January, nothing will solve the wide problem in January. Sign wingers and a striker

  74. Mark. Wesley isn’t key. We should sign another striker. He wasn’t very good, so no reason to say he’s going to be any better

    Wed be stupid not to sign another striker in January. Someone who is fit and ready to go.

  75. Frem,
    Looking at our position in a different way, if we were to win tomorrow and be in 7th place with 1 or 2 games in hand over the teams above us would you think that we were actually doing pretty well?
    If not. . . . . .why not?

    So far this season we’ve done better against the top sides but not gained as many points against the ‘lesser’ sides as our quality has warranted. Tomorrow gives us a chance to start redressing the balance and taking us closer to the safety mark where, despite the general optimism, we’d all start to feel a little better.

  76. Plenty of stats above. Good discussion points. Great reading.

    For me, Frem has nailed it. Liverpool with 14 shots score 7 goals. Villa with 27 shots score 0. You can’t ignore it or dismiss it. It’s costing us.

  77. Which are the teams that really ‘should’ be worried this season?
    The big underperformers of course are Sheffield Utd and if you were a blades supporter you’d be feeling that the writing is on the wall as there are unlikely to be sufficient funds in January to make a real difference, and even if there were, what owner would be prepared to invest them right now?
    The next 4 in the table would have to be worried although Burnley fans will probably feel that their recent form and the experience of Sean Dyche will be enough to pull them clear.
    Although Arsenal fans must be hating their fall from grace they must also feel that they have enough quality to start climbing the table again at some point.
    Newcastle fans will always worry about whether Steve Bruce has what it takes and Leeds fans, although feeling happy with the football their team have played, must have some concerns that it’s not brought them the points they might have expected and won’t quite be feeling safe yet.
    Crystal Palace fans will be hurting just now. They’ve played more games than nearly everyone and just taken a hammering so they won’t be feeling totally safe yet.
    We probably only need the same number of points from our next 27 games as we’ve gathered from our first 11 in order to be safe which which is only 0.70 points per game compared with last season’s 0.92 points per game so we’d have to do ‘exceptionally’ badly from now on if we were to be at risk of relegation this year.

    Wow . . . . .that was a long winded way of saying. . . . . .relax a bit Frem and try looking up instead of down. As someone who used to suffer with a really bad fear of heights, looking down is never a good plan!

  78. Plug . . . . . and in our game against Liverpool we had 18 shots and scored 7. It was one of those days when everything went in whereas Thursday’s game was just the opposite.
    You could therefore just put it down to bad luck on Thursday, but I think we all know that our finishing has not been as good as it should have been though and its fair to ask why.
    Confidence is such an important part of any sport. In front of goal, a natural striker when on form expects to score and in that instant before hitting the ball you need to believe that you’re going to score. As Michael Jordan once said, “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them”
    On Thursday, the Burnley players expected to keep the ball out of the net. Martinez and our back 4 seem to have the same belief at the moment. We could do with our front players regaining the belief that they’re going to score with every shot . . . . . tomorrow would be a good time to start! 🙂

  79. No doult we can improve on our squad but we also have a lot of developing players that will and mostly are already getting better

    We need to be better infront of goal and a bit more incisive in our attaking play as we outplay teams but don’t make the most out of the attacking situations
    There won;t be any mass buying or selling this window but i am guessing if we can get an attacker in that would definatly make a big difference we will go for it

    Frems pets hates will be given the season to prove the doulters wrong and come good ..
    All this within a club moving forwards rapidly i am enjoying watch us play its definatly more positives than negitives

  80. rObB0, I can’t see Sheff U getting out of this. Between now and the end of the season, they need to gather points at the rate of a top 6 side. Not possible with their squad. They’re treading water and sinking.

    Then it’s 2 from Fulham, Olbyon and Burnley. This might just be the year that Burnley get caught. They have a team of organized journeymen around Pope, Mee and Tarkowski. If injuries hit them, they’re in trouble like they were before Mee returned to the team. Same applies to Fulham except they don’t have the same experience as Burnley. As for the yam yams, can Big Sam really get a bunch of Championship players safe? All 3 are close on points so it’s all to play for between them.

  81. It would be sad if we were to sign up lost of senior players and shut off the avenues to first team football for the up and coming stars from our youth set up.
    Jacob Ramsey is looking as if he is capable of making the step up, Louie Barry is another forward who surely can’t be too far away and earlier in the year, Christian Purslow described Carney Chukuemeka as ‘probably the best 16 year in England right now’.

    In the past we have recruited older, more experienced players in the belief that they will be more reliable. This is not a great business strategy as they tend to cost over the odds and will have lower or no future re-sale value. This is what took us into deep financial trouble and a decade of depression after Martin O’Neill’s tenure.

    We have in the past tried the ‘moneyball’ approach of finding up and coming players, remember Amavi, Veretout, Gueye and Ayew. Some of the players at that time have gone on and done well but widened the existing fractures in the club at the time and created a new French clique.

    Our current strategy seems to be bringing in a limited number of younger players to our first team squad with the potential for further growth in quality and re-sale value and also build a ‘best in class’ youth development programme, bringing in some of the best young players.

    Given the right individuals in our management team this feels like a strong strategy so I doubt we’ll be splashing the cash on a new striker, two new wingers etc etc in January and I’d be sincerely disappointed if we did.

  82. Robbo. Yes. Win tomorrow and its a very ok start. It would make up for the poor results against Burnley, Southampton, Brighton, West ham and Leeds, I guess.

    That’s a really bad run of games to get 1 point from so really l, we actually need the win tomorrow ot I’m going to start looking down the table and being caught. We start to play top 6 teams soon so we could really start to edge towards 18th if we aren’t careful. We need the 3 points tomorrow.

    Runtings. Who’s going to come good? I can promise you trezeguet doesn’t have the ability to come good. He’s so bad. His stats are absolutely shameful. Over 50 games, 6 goals, 2 assists

    Ghaizi has scored more goals than him this season. Traore has as many assists as him this season.. How many minutes have they played this season compared to him?

    Ghaizi could come ok. At least he was involved in the game and causing problems. Trezeguet just is invisible apart from his standard open net misses

    Don’t let him of the Brighton and west ham misses that cost us 2 points. The west ham miss especially, he was dropped for that.

  83. But fail to win tomorrow

    That’s a maximum of two points from Leeds, West ham, Brighton, Southampton, Burnley and West brom. 12 games in.

    That’s bad

    And as I said, we’ve been lucky with our run of games but they are only going to get harder

    So we could easily start to drop

  84. Just been watching the Wai Ayes labouring against Fulham. Lucky VAR penalty decision saved a point for them.

    Spud reverted to type. Enforced sub at half time but first tactical switch at 75 minutes. Almiron down the left wing must be a leper. His team mates played down the right every time. When the substitution happened on 75 minutes, he was switched to the right wing and his team mates immediately started raiding down the left flank. Think Spud has got some fire fighting to do up there.

  85. Nervous about tonight
    The crap result on Thursday has put more pressure on tonight. We can’t not win one game against Burnley or West brom in the space of 4 days. That’s relegation sign.

    Big Sam will play for a point in his first game. And we can’t hit a barn door so it’s concerning.

    Watkins needs a rest. Start Davis, bring Watkins on.

    I hope Grealish plays number 10 role tonight, not wide

  86. Or play Watkins wide as our wide men get all the chances.

    Can’t wait till January to sign some forwards.

    The club can’t be happy with the dire bench. Having Taylor and Hourihane on the bench at this level plus 2 other defenders is just pathetic and hinders us

  87. We play on the 26th anf the 28th. That’s a joke

    Unfortunately we need to rotate the sqaud or else we will get injurys.

    And the games against Palace and Chelsea, then united a few days after so we might not pick up many points

    We need the 3 points tonight desperately or we will be in trouble in a few weeks

  88. FREM – You are hysterical.

    Relegation sign??? Are you being serious?

    We are actually a very good Premier League side.

    Nobody enjoys playing against us

    We play great, possession-based attacking football

    We have the best player in the PremierLeague – Jack Grealish is SENSATIONAL

    We have been unlucky not to be sitting higher in the league

    When Barkley returns we will start to flourish

    We have some incredibly good players at the club -Jack – Dougie -Mcginn – Konsa – Mings – Watkins – Martinez -Cash

    And we are going to be buying new players in January

    A top-six finish is certainly within our capabilities.

    Talk of relegation is asinine

    You sound more like chicken-lickin every day.

    Up the Villa

  89. Richard.

    We have a great chance pf getting top 6 this season but with Smith we won’t. We are to inconsistent with him. I’m just not a big fan of his. We did the bare minimum last season and just about survived. We should have been better than that.

    This is the year for a non big 6 team to break top 6 but we just won’t do it

    Losing to Leeds, Brighton, Southampton at home, not beating Burnley l, probably won’t tonight.

    That’s not exactly good snd top form. That’s worrying

  90. Tonight will prove a lot

    We should win.

    But we should be beating Burnley and Brighton at home and we didn’t.. At some point the club have to swe that as not good enough and can do better

  91. Frem- So Wes isn’t key? Lets look at that. We have two Forwards and have gambled on getting to Jan so either Wesley is fit to return or we then make a decision on either a loan or purchase dependent on how the seasons going. If we have £22m of forward coming Back I doubt we are going to splash £30m on another CF, we have three. So yes he is key as to where we strengthen.

    As for he’s no good? he was a young player in a new league in a struggling team that got 6 goals and was improving when he got injured. Nobody knows what he might do in this team.

    You would do well to remember that its not that long ago Jack wasn’t scoring and assisting regularly other than getting fouls for free kicks. If you want evidence that players can improve there it is. Add Konsa, Luis,Targett etc to that.

    Trez didn’t start regularly last season either played in 34 games and and Got 6 goals and an assist, 7 and 2 in all comps, not terrible for someone who was bench warming a lot. This season he has been integral to the team that has beaten many of the top sides, not just beaten, thrashed in some instances. Why you fear us playing the top Six I don’t know.

    I repeat we really should of won every game except the Leeds game. Any idiot can point to Liverpool winning seven Nil and proclaim they are the kings of finishing, they have had games when their shots have been in the twenties and they haven’t scored 7, yesterday 8 of 7 on target went in. You can’t use that as a stick to beat Villa.

    So we rest Watkins eh? or instead we put him on the wing where he has to race up and down the line defending as well, does he need the rest or not? or are you losing the plot?

  92. Frem- You do know that on the day any team can win? they are all in this league because they are in the best 20 teams in this country, any team can have an off day , any team can get lucky or have a really good day.

    If the world was as you see it Liverpool would win 38 matches.

  93. Mark. No we should forget about Wesley until next summer. He wasn’t good enough when fit, so he won’t be good enough now. We need to sign a striker.

    Watkins. Either play Davis up front and Watkins bench l, or play Watkins wide where all our chances fall.

    And Trezeguet.. Did you just say playing 34 games wasn’t much? In a 38 game season?

    2assist last season.. 1 this. A forward.

    Gahzi snd Traore have one assist and one goal and played about one tenth the amount of minutes Trezeguet had

    Look what Grealish has this season.. More assists all ready than Trezeguet managed all last season and this season. He’s also scored 5 goals already. That’s stats a forward should be getting. Not tone assist after 10 games

  94. Frem- playing in 34 games is vastly different to playing from the start in 34 games yes, if you are subbed on for the Last 30 mins in each that is two thirds of the playing time.

    You really are a lemon mate jack is bettered only by KDB and Kane the likes of Fernadez has 4, McGinn the only villa player with that number. Trent Alexander only has two ffs. Goals and assists are not the only stats, if a player contributes to the team that enables jack to get goals and assists alls good.

    Watkins is on 6 same as Ings, asking Trez to be better than some of the top players in the league for goals and assists to show his worth is just plain stupid mate.

  95. And why would Wesley not be better in a better team? Already you have seen Nakamba, Elmo and hause improve and you’ve been pulling your plums over Elghazi and Traore who have Zero anything much bar a pen to their names so far. Going by Your standards Tarore has the same number of appearances and has one assist same as Trez.

  96. Frem mate, you actually have just claimed that Elghazi and traore have done better with less minutes while trying to nail Trez who last season didn’t get many minutes either and got six and 1 in 34 games, can you smell the bias.

  97. Yes frem imo every villa player has the scope to get better ,no garentees but i fancy that most will and trez is included in that

    How you can find so much negitives in such a positive moment for the club is a skill in itself

    we will see who is right but if you have to backtack it wont be the first time
    You are right in that the depth could be stronger players like conor and lansbury are possibly in there last season with us ..

    you dont like dean smith and i have heard sugestions from you in the past for big sam and the likes to come in …imo that is backwards thinkin football wise

  98. Nice to see video of Wesley sprinting and doing ball work on Villa website.

    Still no news on Barkley fitness for today. Trez has hamstring injury so Frem will be able to enjoy Christmas

  99. I’ll tell you what is backwards, the Government shutting down Xmas (or at all) and the claim of a new variant, It turns out they have known about this strain since at least September and Hancocks being challenged on it. These arseholes will use any lie, that is as plain as plain can be, to what end is the question we really should be asking, its not about lives.

  100. Frem – Smith is a great manager.

    He has taken players and made them better. For example- Konsa- Dougie – Mcginn and even Jack.

    You have no clue about football. No understanding of what he is doing at the club.

    Get out of your negative head.

    Look at the turnaround this season.

    We have nobody to fear in this league.

    We are buying 3/4 quality players in January.

    Watch us compete at the top of the table.

  101. Mark
    Governments and research institutions have known about a series of Covid variants but it takes time to gather and analyse the data to see if human populations (or vaccines) will respond any differently to the virus as a result of the mutations.

  102. MK,

    I just hope the vaccines work. Apparently they should also handle variants. It feels like this virus will never end.

    Spurs got a good spanking today from Leicester. Oh yeah, didn’t we beat Leicester?

    Bielsa 3 down after 20mins

  103. With United 3-0 up against Leeds, how long before Frem is telling us that we should have secured Solskjaer when we had the chance a few years ago?

  104. Oops 4-0.
    Man United now up to third in the table with a game in hand. It looks as if the patience of the owners and their willingness to give Solkjaer time to work with the players and develop his playing style may pay off.
    This has been against a background of impatient fans who have been unable to see the bigger picture.

  105. Villamd- so do I mate as the Mrs had the 1st jab last Sunday, several from her care home were off for the week afterwards. The second jab is supposed to be worse.

    Robbo- there were at least 18 versions involved in feb. Right now hospitals are at levels lower than dec 2019 and that winter was a low flu one. So what are they playing at? Flu goes in seasons this is the 2020/21 not 19/20 now so as such nothing unusual is happening bar mass testing.

  106. Mark

    The virus is running riot in certain parts of the county.

    My sister in law work in Lincolnshire NHS and they are full. Over 1000 NHS staff have been off work across 4 hospitals.

    She works in IT and she is helping out the nurses at the weekend dealing with dead people.

    They are fucked.

    The virus is running riot through the schools and universities and this is spreading into households.

    This has just happened in my house and I have been self isolating for the last 14 days

    My son tested positive and he had zero symptoms.

    And for the record I absolutely loath lockdown and this corrupt government.

    I am almost bankrupt by COVID and have received zero support from the Government.

    I feel desperately sorry for all of the business that have been forced to close

    This government have lost control of the situation.

    His cabinet is totally inept and the corruption is scandalous.

    These latest measures are all down to politically trying to save face.

    There is going to be a tsunami of deaths and a devastating amount of job loses in 2021.

  107. No Barkley or Konsa.. Definitely Barkley injury worse than making out

    Our bench has Taylor, elmo, Guilbert and Engles on It’s embarrassing. Shocking.

    Get the youngsters on instead of that shit.

    Christ January is so important

  108. MK – it’s really hard on front line workers. Good luck to all and your wife. My niece is an ER nurse, but she’s only 23 years and is a big strong girl.

    UTV today. I’m sure Big Sam will park the bus

  109. Surely we can put Barry on they bench over one if the 4 defenders?

    We have one attacker on the bench.

    How the club let this sqaud get this poor in don’t know

  110. Seriously need to go sign two or three forwards in January.

    Sarr should be one for the wings.

    Our sqaud and attacking depth is desperate

  111. Remember when grealish was injured, the club never told us how long he was going to be and it just got longer and longer with no word
    Same with Barkley

  112. Leeds are in interesting side this year. Much praised for their attacking style but games can be won at both ends of the pitch and the higher quality of the premiership is exposing their defence time and again. With the leakiest defence in the division (30 goals conceded to our 13) it seems they may have to either adapt their style or start looking over their shoulders.
    Does Bielsa know any other way?

  113. Frem,

    Hamstring injury is a tricky one. If there’s any risk then you can’t risk the player. I would expect that Barkley will be fine by Boxing Day.

    Also disappointed that an U23 player not included in subs

  114. For subs I don’t think we need both Freddie (who’ll probably be off in Jan) and Elmo. Would have been great to have Louie Barry and throw him on for last 10mins if we’re 2 up

  115. If any other team had played like Leeds tonight sky would have destroyed them saying how naive and open a team were

    But some reason when it’s Leeds its refreshing and brilliant

  116. VullaM. It’s mad that bench. Wd don’t need so many defenders

    When Smith looks to the bench when we need a goal l, who would you rather come on? NIEL Taylor or Louie Barry?

    Dean Smith just does some really strange things that just make me not his biggest fan. Things like this don’t help the team

  117. I predict that we will NOT be signing 2 or 3 forwards in January.
    Latest suggestions are that if Wesley is fit then Davies may be going out on loan, and bearing in mind that Dean Smith holds Davies in high regard that doesn’t sound to me as if there’ll be a lot of incoming to the forward line.

Leave a Reply