#AVL #avfc

Villa face strong opposition again, hosting the Red Devils this afternoon. And once again, Jack Grealish will be absent. He’s returned to light training, though, and the rest of the side will be looking to the Everton match for a bit of a building block. It might be the right time to play them with our weakened squad, given their progression to the Europa Cup final this week, and a slew of games coming in quick succession next week.

For Villa, the big news perhaps is that Carney Chukwuemeka will be on the bench along with Jaden Philogene-Bidace and Jacob Ramsey, taking Neil Taylor’s spot. Don’t know if they’ll get any minutes, him and Jaden, but it’ll be good to see United close up, and we’ll of course also be watching to see whether Ross Barkley can continue his renaissance. The starting XI is unchanged from last week.


Martinez, Mings, Cash, Targett, Konsa, El Ghazi, Traoré, Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Barkley, Watkins

Subs: Ahmed El Mohamady, Davis, Chukwuemeka, Wesley, Nakamba, Philogene-Bidace, Heaton, Hause, Ramsey

Comments 63

  1. Elsewhere, I’ve seen a sweepstake on the minute when manure get a penalty that isn’t a penalty. I say 89th. Best score a few first!

  2. Traore certainly has the skills . . . . wonder if he can be trained, and has the inclination, to completely fulfil his potential

  3. Ends up a great finish for Traore, not sure it was intended as in picked his spot but well done, if he can be proactive rather than reactive in defence it would improve him no end. He is a bit lightweight so that doesn’t help, he just needs to find a way to be in the way even if he doesn’t tackle.

  4. r0bb0,

    I think we can probably expect more from him. He’s been getting better off the ball. Dunno if it would hurt him to spend a little time in the gym, get a little more upper body strength.

    But like you say, comes down to his attitude. There’ll be competition in over the summer, I bet.

  5. The massive difference between us and Utd is everything they do is done with purpose, we are hit and hope at best.

    Harsh on Watkins

  6. Now that we’ve twonked ourselves fair and square, I just wish we have given the two kids their debuts. It would have been a no lose situation.

  7. Disappointing at the end but I was enjoying the spell when we were pressing for the equaliser.
    Really believed we were going to get it too
    You fool robbo!

  8. r0bb0,

    I actually did, too. There were a couple moments. Was a big roll to throw both Davis and Wes on, but it almost worked, and got Wes some more minutes.

    Almost an inevitable script: get ahead, pegged back by a penalty, then a sucker punch a few minutes later.

  9. H&V,

    Ramsey: yeah, he’s yet to convince. Can’t really force himself into a match. I’m supposing he earns it in training, but he seems a bit lost.

  10. Hey John,
    Souness thought that Pogba “went down a bit theatrically but that’s ok”
    So he does just have a vendetta against Jack for some reason?

  11. And yeah, Ross didn’t do enough. I might’ve given Carney a go instead of bringing both Wes and Davis on. A third was as likely as an equalizer getting so top heavy.

  12. Well we did have two academy players on at the end and hopefully we’ll still see glimpses of others . . . . Who’ll lead the line in Ollie’s absence?

  13. r0bb0,

    I think so, yeah. Grealish is going to rub some people the wrong way, and Souness defo has it in for him.

    I thought Pogba drew that one, just managed to get that long leg out when he knew too much of the ball was showing. Smart, but it was really annoying all the same.

    What’s that kid at Wolves…? He goes down on the shirt tug from Dunk, fair enough, but Souness would’ve been raging about that. I don’t think he actually *had* to go down.

  14. It’s an interesting situation for Smith, r0bb0. Ollie does so much with the press. You’d probably say Davis gets the start, but I dunno. He just can’t run that much. Traoré could play in the middle, but maybe that’s too much of a shuffle.

  15. JC,

    I thought Ramsey was decent. I’ve lost faith with Douglas. Play Nakamba or Ramsey.

    For me Luiz doesn’t have the intelligence to be a #6. He just runs around like a headless chicken. Has no football intelligence.

  16. MK,

    Unless there’s police tape involved, you know we’re not getting a call like that against Utd. That really was taking the piss with Ollie. And I’m getting sick of Bruno getting to sink penos against us. Good player, but annoying little git.

  17. VillaMD,

    I’m okay with Luiz, defo think he brings more than Nakamba. Given that McGinn isn’t exactly a speedster, or Barkley either, for that matter, he has a lot to do. Needs to learn from moments like today’s, but I think he will.

    Ramsey’s not a bad player, but I’ve yet to see him really make any impact. So, it’s fine he’s being brought along slowly. He’ll probably look better with a little more around him.

  18. JC- The only bonus was both Ferdy and Greenwood are in my Fantasy team and unfortunately today Watkins.

    Ramsey I have a bit of sympathy for because he played more as an attacking midfielder for the U23’s and for us non of the mids have that luxury.

  19. Calmed down enough to post, but still extremely angry. Not at Villa, but when ManUre come to town it is deja vu. Our nemesis is not their team but the officials including the extra layer that is now VAR. They are right behind them.

    Today’s ref is from Manchester. He’s not a ManUre fan we are told….come on…. A level playing field against this outfit is rarer than rocking horse shit. The sending off of Ollie is beyond scandalous. Fernandes again twisted in the air inside the penalty area and crashed backwards into Konsa. That move got him a penalty last time. The cheating rat tried it again.

    Two mistakes from Dougie and Tyro lost the game. But the real loser was the game’s integrity which has gone forever. RIP.

  20. Separate from the disappointment, well done AVFC Women on avoiding relegation and also finishing above small heath.

  21. Plug you will enjoy this then, pilfered from somewhere else

    “Manchester born ref. Check!
    Refereeing Manchester United? Check!
    Gives penalty to United! Check!
    Ignores handball by Greenwood in the area! Check!
    Ignores Rashford kicking out? Check!
    Ignores keeper brushing attacker in area and doesn’t award penalty even though the game has gone? Check!
    Sends an opposition player off that was brushed in the area for a dive when United have been doing it all game? Check!”

  22. first half wasn’t bad but feel if utd were sharper we wouldn’t of gone in 1 up. we really do stand off teams and give them space in our 3rd.

    second half was poor until the subs were made

  23. don’t see deano changing grealishs or Watkins role and mcguinn is always a starter, so

    Cash Konsa Mings Targett
    ? McGuinn
    ? ? Grealish

    3 big signings then a lb cover and st cover? engels sold then cb cover? could well be 6 new signings

  24. Yeah if Jack plays its likely Davis up top and I think Ross gets another go with Jack on the left. He could piss on Wes and Davis’s bonfire by playing ElGhazi at 9 and either Wes or Ramsey could play at 10. One player out and its a free for all despite having two forwards 🙂

  25. Coming back to the ManUre game, our guys didn’t work half as hard as the opposition outfit. Nor were they as comfortable on the ball. The gap was there for all to see and we will need to bridge it if we are going to compete with them.

    Traore scored a beauty but his tracking back and work rate is less than what’s required. I noticed several occasions the opposition passed and moved around him to collect the return pass and he made no attempt to go with his runner. Then there’s El Gassy who obviously has skills but he leaves his team mates to do the chasing. Not sure we are going to be able to correct these deficiencies in either player.

    The GPS data comparisons between us and ManUre would be very interesting. I would suggest we had no more than 3 or 4 players who were comparable.

  26. Plug- and why would we? if we could go out and buy a team that could match everything good about Man utd it would be close to a billion. They have spent £611m gross on players in 5 years.

    Yes they have sold a few but they also have in United’s first-team squad, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Scott McTominay, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe and Dean Henderson who came through the youth system at Old Trafford. About 33 players have played for the 1st since SAF retired from the youth team.

    We are really only just starting on that journey, next season with a bit more quality and a few youth those players could step up again, we really do not have enough competition yet for places, we can all name the team every week.

  27. Mark, GPS data comparisons I’m referring to are the distances covered during a game and the speed of prints. These are not dependent on players being world class or naturally gifted. They are down to hard work an fitness. After all, it’s 11 humans against 11 humans (until the ref steps in to tilt the playing field in their favour). So we must be able to compete. Leeds managed it against them just 2 weeks ago.

  28. I didn’t think the ‘effort’ was bad, but then I’m so caught up in the game itself.

    Traoré, yes. He’ll lose that spot if he doesn’t do more actual defending. He’s closer to the right places, but doesn’t seem to have much appetite for actually gumming up the works down around the box.

    But we were pressing high, etc., and I wouldn’t have been surprised to see us equalize there toward the end.

    It’s like we’ve been saying…Back 5 are fine. Luiz, if he stays, will have more in his locker next season, but doesn’t mean we won’t necessarily be looking for someone else there, too. So, that’s maybe six. Jack and Ollie nailed on. Room for three starters: CAM, MF, wide forward. I dunno what will happen at striker, but I’m guessing we’ll be looking for a complement/change-up to Ollie and Wes.

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