So we wake up and it’s all Grealish to City like it’s a done deal. And apparently United want Jack, John McGinn, or both, and most definitely can’t afford that.

It winds me up a bit, like it probably does most every other Villan. Click-bait? Certainly. But I’m sort of duty bound to take the bait  and give them traffic so I can see what’s being endlessly recycled. And I feel obligated to sort through it. Again.

So. What are we to make of all this talk?

McGinn’s the easier one to answer. I could see us letting him go and making a very tidy profit. But not until we have at least one new MF terrier lined up. He’s a beloved player in the set-up, no doubt, but as we’ve seen, he’s been very up and down since coming back from injury. I can’t say enough good things about his character and attitude, love him. But I’ve already wondered aloud whether he’s got enough for us going forward. It’s not just losing possession or wayward passes. That’s form, I think. I’m more concerned about his pace and overall athleticism. And if I’m thinking about that through a Villa lens, makes it a little hard to see how he’s going to make United better. But I’m not a continental genius.

When it comes to the much more important question of Jack, I’ve no idea what to make of the “Jack’s friends say…” kind of stories. Could be true, could be utter tripe. As to waiting until after the Euros to make a decision? Kind of hard to see Jack putting the club in that position later in the summer. But, maybe discussions have been had and they’re all preparing for that. Could be that these “leaks” are a way for Jack to let the club know. Or, “subtle” pressure for them to keep adding.

Me, I can’t say what would’ve changed in Jack’s mind since penning the new deal, being committed to the plan and leading Villa forward. Maybe would be Pep’s supposed insistence. Maybe City failing at the final hurdle again, and Jack coming in to get them over line with a CL final undoubtedly on the cards as soon as he arrives. I can’t help but wonder, though, how much joy would be in it for Jack. Yes, it’s the biggest stage and the biggest piece of silverware. All hugely tempting. But it also feels a bit hollow to me. Not my ambition or decision to make, though. He’d be an instant world-class star if everything lined up for him.

I find myself agreeing with Stan Petrov in still thinking Jack stays another year, though, and I don’t know that I see Compass or Smith & Co. wanting Silva as a makeweight. Perhaps it’s a “ready-made” solution, but it doesn’t excite me. Also not sure that Silva, Sterling, or Mahrez would want to come, insofar as being dangled as bait is a “rejection” from City, and, at the moment, an admitted step down off the European stage for them. Mahrez is a silky scorer, but we’re lining up almost as potent an attack.

I’d think if Compass are considering selling, they’d stick to a very high all-cash price to use on players we select. I don’t believe they’re looking to cash in, but £100m—£130m might do it. Maybe Emi is good enough to carry the load as his successor straight away, and the windfall could buy up some outstanding talent to go with him. That windfall would be late in the window, though. Unless, of course, Compass are planning around it.

As it stands right now, Jack is the club. I still think he has to ask for a move for anything to happen. We hear about a purported release clause, but again, it would be up to Jack. Makeweights don’t make sense unless the release is rather high.

Given that Jack is the club, at the moment, I’d think Compass and everyone else would probably like a year for everything to gel before selling. After all, did Buendia come thinking he’d be the man, or because he knew Villa were going places and Jack was a big selling point? If he’s making a step up, how big a step is it if Villa lose their star man? Or is he sold on the idea of being the next Grealish? Was it just the paycheck?

Further, since he can play wide, his addition doesn’t necessarily equate to being Jack’s immediate replacement. And since Jack’s been playing off the left, and even The Special One likes him there, there’s room in the middle for our second Emi. In short, “you can’t play them in the same side,” is silly.

To me, the only way selling makes sense is if Compass see his departure as inevitable, and want to cash in while his stock is maybe the highest it will ever be. Especially if he shines in the Euros.

On the other hand, if you’re wanting Europe, hardly makes sense to sell the best midfielder in the PL besides KDB as you’re making your push. And they are keeping their promise to surround Jack with talent.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if Compass dig in their heels simply for not being ‘bullied’ by City. Also wouldn’t be surprised if they offer Jack a new deal and bump him up to superstar money.

If you’re thinking like the Big Boys and want to move into the penthouse, you don’t let them set you back by poaching your best player unless you have a plan to make them regret it. We can look to the purported Ward-Prowse situation and say that’s the same thing. And it is. But again, JWP is going to have to ask for a move. And maybe he is prepared to do that.

All that said, Compass aren’t stupid, and they will be looking at it through a dispassionate business lens. It all comes down to whether they think selling Jack propels the club forward.

It also depends on whether and how Jack might ask. Compass might say no. Compass might say, “You can go next year if we don’t get Europe.” Given his attachment to the club, I can’t see him being truly disgruntled by giving it one more go. I also wouldn’t begrudge him a move. He deserves to shine, and I believe the world will finally get to see that in the Euros if Southgate doesn’t outsmart himself. I just want him to shine at Villa along with everyone else.

Right now, it looks as though NWSE are addressing the midfield and aiming to assemble a frightening squad going forward. If the business comes off, Villa might stand a very good chance of taking aim at Liverpool, for example. Naturally, there are other contenders looking to do the same thing, and a couple have a slight leg up on us. But Villa will have the advantage of not playing extra midweek games, and have already made a serious addition in quality. We have no reason to believe Compass are done.

So, these are the stories we can expect all summer long and I shouldn’t get wound up. But I hate having that little doubt in my mind as the club are making strides and really looking to challenge. Here’s hoping Jack sees it the same way.

Over to you.

Comments 98

  1. Thanks JC, as Smith has said that we need a player to take the pressure off jack there is no chance he is off. Jacks injury is being Managed as it is. I also think that the excitement of what’s happening at Villa will keep him there.

    Imagine that at season end we manage Europe but just miss out on Champs league? with Villa improving and maybe being talked about in the same vein as the top 4-6 clubs by the media and not as also rans would he want to risk
    missing out on super legend status?

    The team was the youngest in the league last season and could be together if successful for the next 5 seasons, Jack seems to be a friendly chap that enjoys a laugh and his mates company and Smith if has a super power it is creating a happy camp and environment. If we become contenders and jack an England regular, maybe even Captain then that may be enough.

    The Biggy for me is would he fancy playing against us or would he go abroad?

  2. As for the team? Buendia gives us massive flexibility and more robustness.

    Just think, smith can go Jack, Ollie, Bundia up top
    with maybe Chuck, McGinn or Traore at ten dependant on the opposition. He can sub on elgahzi and move Jack to ten or sub on traore and move Buendia to ten. We don’t know what Sanson can bring yet really either but we are building massive flexibility and potential. some of the kids like Bidace will add further options before long.

  3. For me were Jack is concerned actions speak louder than word.
    The press like to think Villa are a stepping stone that could never really amount to anything in comparison with the so called huge clubs of man u , citeh , pool and Chelski

    What they forget it that only pool and man u have been successful over a long period of football history the other have brought there way to success in recent times …. they seem to think it is impossible for little old Villa to do the same

    Jack clearly loves his club and could have jumped ship over and over again during very dark times for the club and apart from when Levy nearly took him which was at a time when the club was being run like a joke Jack has only shown commitment to Aston Villa
    I think by the end of this window the penny may well drop with the press that Jack isn’t leaving and Villa are coming to join the big boys party .. which is were the club belongs in the scheme of things

    IMO anyone leaving Villa from here on in will be on the clubs terms and there terms only
    All of our good players have long contracts
    Warning for the press and the doubters the Villa gonna get ya

  4. Cheers JC. As thought provoking as ever on the issues at large. What to do eh?

    For the issue of Jack, I think it’s down to Compass. Since they arrived, they have said very little other than Europe is the 5 year plan and we must be sustainable. So we watched with great interest as true Brummies, ignoring the talk which is considered cheap in these parts and instead relying on what they did. And their actions have been a revolution.

    The Sawiris family is the richest in Egypt by a distance. Real financial clout. The real deal. In Edens we also have financial clout but also sporting excellence on how the grow the brand. The two together are extremely potent. They only really have two challengers, Sheik Rattle n Roll at Citeh and Abramovich hiring and firing coaches from his yacht in the Med on a whim. Neither of these challengers are as astute as Compass.

    Win the Champions League and great riches will fall on our owners. And Citeh don’t need Jack to win it either. Their current team is good enough but Pep screwed up in the final. It happens. If Chelsea can win it, so can Villa. After all, we beat them the week before in their “must win” game with our current squad.

    So, what will Jack be thinking? I know what I’d be thinking. Hang on to Compass’s coat tails and gorge on the ride.

  5. Just to add even more delusional are gooners I have spoken to how actually believe that they could get Jack and want there club to make signing him there priority lol
    I saw an interview on Arsenal TV were the guy was saying Jack needs to go to them to raise his profile … that did tickle me

  6. Great leader to open the debate properly JC, which is what I was trying to do in my own small way.
    It really is a fascinating one. Many fans are purely seeing things from their own point of view perhaps, rather than trying to see it through Jack’s eyes.
    He has an awful lot going on for him, making the the England squad, playing in the Euro’s, captaining Villa in their most successful season in a decade. He then has Man City wanting him, and now apparently, Abrahmovic has decided he wants Jack. I am not bothered with the speculation from other clubs, because that is all it is.
    Jack will also think maybe that Gerrard stayed at Liverpool all his career, but missed out on winning the Premiership. He may want to go that one better.
    I hope that the dream can come true, and Jack stays, with Villa winning everything in sight, but it is a tall order.
    Maybe, I am more cynical, still waiting for the revival of the great Villa at the turn of the 19th century. We had a brief glimpse in the late 70’s and early eighties, under Ron Saunders, but we could not sustain under Doug, who also fell short in our first season in the Premiership, but we were in the race!!

  7. PP- for a long time I have wanted Villa to be run as it is today, to use the very best methods available be that in training, food, recovery and in picking out good players, I could not be more happy with how its turning out. What I did not foresee was the arrival of such rich owners with the same mindset, I truly think we could be heading back to the top.

    Whats more I think that London will cease to be the powerhouse it once was and the north and midlands will begin to catch up economically.

    Jack is more than a great player for us he is a symbol, I hope he realises what he has riding on his shoulders and has the fortitude to see it through.

  8. Buendia quote:

    “ The main thing is for me to help the team and the club, then the team in general is to reach the goals, some good things – the project and the ambition of the club is amazing.”

    “So hopefully we have a really good season together, with the players and the fans. We are looking to play in the next year in Europe.”

  9. runtings,

    I feel for Arsenal. (That’s actually a lie.) Enjoyed watching them as a kid, loved Liam Brady.

    Now they really are on the verge of being cut adrift, and like you say, delusional about their status and pulling power.

  10. MK,

    Jack is a symbol, absolutely. ‘Talisman’ gets thrown around all over the place, but he’s more than that.

    I think he does have a pretty good sense of his significance to the club, the supporters. Very few footballers ever live this sort of situation, being at their boyhood club, becoming a star and captain, carrying the entire team, aiming for for true legend status and leading the push for a restoration of the crown.

    Naturally, want him to excel at the Euros. For England, yes, but also to shut up the naysayers who don’t see him week-in week-out. Pundits saying he has to play, etc, and they’re only seeing a semi-rusty, 70-75% Jack, atm (as I think you or someone else said a week or two ago).

  11. PP,

    Don’t think you’re being cynical. Just realistic. The CL has changed perspectives about legacy and standing, and the PL has obviously created entrenched “super clubs” that generally share all the big prizes. Unless you’re lucky enough to be in Phil Foden’s shoes, it’s very hard for a player to cement their standing and get all the glory and accolades they deserve being a one-club man.

    Like all of us that predate the PL era, I wouldn’t mind seeing football go back the way it used to be.

  12. JC its not even the premier league its the Champions league that has caused the problem with the extra money it brought tipping the balance for those chosen/lucky few. If that were not enough then the world audience, shirt sales etc for teams deemed successful and worthy of support just cements it. The recent big 6 debacle tells you that the big teams feel the premiership is lucky to have them not the other way around.

    Even under MON there was no talk of winning the league only getting champs football.

  13. That reminds me, I listened to a podcast featuring a chap named Kelly Starrett. He is top in the field for body biomechanics and how to fix and prevent injuries, deeply involved in crossfit.

    I was surprised to hear him say he was asked to take the England players for a session and he was very complementary about the knowledge the new breed of Footballers here have about training and Nutrition.

    If you have any niggles or injuries he’s worth a look

  14. Don’t disagree, MK. It’s a vicious circle.

    Making the European Cup a super league was a double TV and globalisation whammy combined with the PL. Placing in the world’s richest and most competitive league gets you to more money and exposure, and certainly devalues the actual title while entrenching the stranglehold at the top.

  15. Great to see Christian Erikson came around having collapsed on the pitch for Demark vs Finland. Poor poor lad was given CPR on the pitch while the players shielded him from view .

  16. There’s still some risk from dropping out of CL spots I think, MK. Hence the Super League to remove it.

    The Villas of the league are making owners at the top nervous. Couple big transfer missteps, mismanaging the ‘reloading’ process, and teams with financial clout starting to nip at their heels.

    And of course Spurs and Arsenal were jumping at the chance to get permanently elevated to where they probably won’t otherwise be able to stay.

  17. JC that’s what I was angling at ie the top spots becoming irrelevant.

    I thought that Football and the BBC hit a new low by showing the footage of a man dying on the pitch, where has decency gone?

  18. So the leaked England team ahead of its due announcement proved accurate. Trippier at LB instead of Chilwell who was not even on the bench and Sterling instead of Jack. Beaky needs his head feeling. He’s got away with it by luck. And Tyro’s excellent performance at the back.

    Sure, I’m happy we won. Sure, the result is everything. But spending so long passing the ball across the back…. Every time Trippier received the ball from Tyro, he passed it back to him. I’ve never heard Wembley so quiet for such long periods. And it has to be said, Kane has not got any pace. It was a poor effort from him today.

    And in case he’s been in the sun too long, Beaky only produced a couple of changes when 5 are allowed over 3 change periods. I’m ignoring Calvert Lewin as a change, his intro was to waste time at 90+3. It was 27 degrees and the midfield were legless. We needed fresh legs in there much earlier.

    Phillips and Tyro exempt from any criticism in my book. The only two. Maybe Pickford as well. If Beaky persists with this turgid style of play and team selection, it’s going to be a hard, difficult watch like previous tournaments.

  19. Plug mate it was a professional performance played in 27 degree heat? could easily been 3-0 with minimum effort. Sad we didn’t see jack but it was very comfortable.

  20. Livramento from Chelsea U23’s rumoured again. Why would we sign a RB who can play LB. RB is our strongest position.

    Kane looked injured to me. If he wants to leave Spuds he’ll have to up his game.

    It was great reading that Buendia had been texting Emi for weeks and had made up his mind before any bids. Emi is not just a goalie for Villa.

    Let’s dream this year and think of 4th. Maybe a 100/1 shot at this point. 6th – maybe even money. That’s my view of the gulf between top 4 and the rest. I think Leicester will fall off this year with Vardy a year older.

    For leader – Jack, please give us one more year. You’re a legend like Paul McGrath

  21. Poor result for Scotland, and apparently, only an odd glimpse of John McGinn.
    Maybe JG will face JM on Friday!!
    Not sure about latest rumours on Loftus-Cheek and Tammy from Chelski…….

  22. PP- not a great game between the 40th and the 44th ranked teams in the world, England V Croatia the 4th vs the 14th, I think that may be it for the Jocks.

  23. Never underestimate the Jocks when it comes to playing England. They’ll be right up for it so I hope we are too.

    If we work as hard at the coal face as they do, class will tell. Passing the ball across the back continually won’t break them.

  24. Plug- I don’t think it will faze this England as it has in the past. And ironically Scotland resorted to passing it around the back because they ran out of Ideas. Sadly the old image of Scotland as some wild loons from above the border to be afraid of has gone, they are not the same.

  25. Southgate has an agenda against Jack. He’s a crap manager who should never have been appointed the England manager in the first place. He managed one club and was shite, managed the u21s and was shite..

    How did this man get the most sort after job in English football?

    He’s terrified off attacking. He works of defend first. Playing 5 at the back and 2 DMs in front is anti football

  26. Scotland can easily beat us. Croatia had no pace or aggressiveness. Scotland have both

    Grealish won’t play this tournament I don’t think.

    Southgate likes to shows he is the boss l.. He knows fans wanted him on because the game was boring and slow l. They were singing for him and Southgate didn’t like it because it makes him look bad. As soon as we scored he was never going to come on, and as long as we lead against Scotland he also won’t come on. And the same for Czech Republic. He won’t play

  27. went to the bookies to put my villa for top 4 bet on and the best odds have dramatically dropped to 20-1 at best so it wasn’t worth the punt like last season , I asked why the odds are so low and the guy said villa signed a good player with another having a medical ? ?
    Just shows how quickly things can change in football

  28. The fact that Jack did not play the other day has nothing to do about whether Southgate likes him or not. Personalities do not enter into the equation. I think having a team of the 26 best players in England to choose from is far more difficult than choosing players in league games. Man management becomes one of the most important aspects of the game at this level. Keeping the team fresh in this heat and number of games in short order is the #1 problem. Players will, or should, rise to the occasion if they are picked. Grealish will play but I expect not until England are playing a tougher opponent in the near future. Don’t forget he has just come off a 3 month injury. It’s OK for Maguire to be off injury wise but not Grealish? He’s still recovering. Like or dislike Southgate, would you like to be in his shoes?

  29. Spot on Ian.
    Gareth has made it clear that first and foremost, England are managing Jack’s recovery. He cannot train everyday, and he is constantly being assessed.
    He is needed for the later stages of the contest when his skills will be paramount, and no-one wants to risk him being injured inn the early games.
    There are very few players out there who can play 90mins, then 90mins and a further 90 mins, so everything has to be managed carefully, and the amount of time on the pitch will be crucial to fitness in such a short period of time.

  30. Jack has been training away from the team so you have your answer right there.

    Frem- I have put £100 on The czechs to win it you made Scotland sound so good. Scotland have Steve Clarke best result 3rd in the jock prem.

    England like a crap manager. He has however been involved with the process of improving England’s lot from the U16’s up, thats why he is there. Lets face it there are not exactly many English managers worth a go and Big Sam shat in his bed. Squeaky Beaky is a reaction to that too. All in all he may be boring but he’s done ok.

  31. Gareth’s in a tricky spot. As all England managers are.

    With Jack, you could say Gareth’s hiding behind the injury. But, he may well be 100% honest about protecting him. And watching some other matches, I don’t think he’s wrong about the load from a compressed season.

    With Croatia, he took a bit of a gamble, but not a big one. Having seen Jack in the friendlies, he knows he’s game, and I do think he’s managing his fitness and everyone else’s. He’d given extra time to players like Foden and Mount, so it would make sense to get them out there, and there are a number for whom this is their first big tournament with weights on their backs. If England were still looking for a winner later, might well have seen Jack. But given the game situation, he didn’t need to bring him on.

    I also think Gareth’s a very “system-oriented” manager. He’s okay with less individual brilliance (though other players do have it) and more cogs in a system. Is it possible he doesn’t want the side (or his reputation) reliant on one player? Sure. Where that balance is, I couldn’t say.

    He’s also okay with being a bit defensive because there is pace, creativity and goals in the side. And when you see Sweden holding Spain to a 0-0, you have to think about tournament football, group stages, getting through to the knockouts. You also have to think about rotation while keeping players involved. Is he overly cautious? Maybe so. We’ll soon find out.

    So, I’m going to withhold judgment. I was a bit miffed at first, but the more I think about it, especially seeing Jack’s impact training being managed, the more I’m willing to give Southgate the benefit of the doubt for now.

    There are some much bigger games coming up if things go according to plan. And while of course everyone would like to win this one, he’s probably thinking he’s not got a bad chance at the World Cup if he gets this team feeling good about themselves in the Euros, given there’s just a one-year gap.

    There are some veteran teams out there, and you have to think this is as much about building experience and confidence as it is winning it all, while feeling the expectation and desire to go out there and win it all.

    I can’t believe I’ve just defended Southgate.

  32. JC- I picked up on a Rashford comment that Southgate tells him to go out and express Himself. similarly he told Phillips to get forward.

    Lots of teams with a 5 at the back and with our pace its not the worst plan. This is definitely the one before the big one, we have a few injuries which is a shame but there are 10 over 27’s to 31 in the squad which makes the average of 25 years old more startling, the amount of caps in the squad is less than the last semi final reaching side too. Far less than any other top side.

    Despite that there are many that have been in U17-21 tournaments and won which is valuable.

  33. Having seen all the teams in action now, Portugal, France and Spain have impressed me the most. I think the winner will come from them. Italy and Belgium are dark horses.

    Ronaldo is a talent but he’s so conceited. After his goal, he’s scowling at the home fans whilst wearing an armband with “Respect” on it. If he get’s knocked out, I’ll quite enjoy watching his misery.

  34. I am firmly with Gareth at the moment, and you are spot on JC with your interpretation.
    We must remember that he has just won our opening game for the first time in the Euro’s, having failed in the previous1 nine!!!

    I am sure he intends to build slowly, and not let us falter when it comes to the finals.

    Watford away, then Brentford, so plenty to look forward to in the opening matches.

  35. Ashley Young back.

    Yes please.

    We haven’t anyone who can cross a ball since he left.

    Better than Ghazi on the left.

    Played 21 games for Inter last season

    Young down the left, Grealish central and sign a better right winger

  36. Ashly Young at 36 years old is an interesting one, older than Elmo by 3 years! He seems to still have what it takes, but goes against the Compass image of young, hungry and developing. He can certainly bring some experience to Villa.

    Ward-Prowse seems to be the hot potato still, with a determination by Villa to prise him away from Southampton. Although, we probably have not yet made a formal offer!!
    Great interview with Jack on YouTube with Beanysports.

  37. Taking on board all the recent punditry, we could have a nice crop of new signings to give us a nicely balanced team with Ashley Young and Josh King on frees, Pape Sarr and Tuanzebe on reasonable fees, and the big fee for Ward-Prowse, making it a very astute transfer business for Villa.

    Certainly a squad to give us strength and depth for the coming season, and one to build on for the future.

  38. All this talk of Ashley Young bewilders me – he may be on a free, but his wages will be huge, he won’t last more than a season (if that) and he wasn’t much more than a one-trick pony in his prime. I wouldn’t touch him with a barge pole.

  39. Frem,

    Luiz is interesting…Roma seemed to have balked at Xhaka’s price tag, don’t know that they have the money to pay eve more for Luiz. All sounds a bit fishy.

    If Villa can get the £30m + they’ll be looking for, it would help fund a move for a different kind of player. With City passing on him, not sure that’s helped his market value, even though there’s more at play.

    Kante is hardly an imposing figure, though, and he’s rather effective. Phillips, well, that’s maybe the ideal right now in terms of the right physicality and athleticism.

    May well be the case that a more composed midfield with Buendia and maybe JWP, who are both good on the ball and have high work rates, Luiz might be asked to do less and have more outlets who’ll hold onto the ball, beat a man, or make a telling pass.

    I’d say after FB/wingback, it has to be the toughest position. Could end up shining in his third season.

    All that said, if Villa can afford to also carry a different kind of player there to match up better against bigger sides, I wouldn’t say no.

  40. viva,

    Not sure I see the value in Young, either. But, coming to the end of his career, he may not have a lot of bargaining power, and I’m guessing he’d rather be at Villa than Watford or Burnley.

    The only rationale I see is that his experience would be good on the training ground and dressing room, and it would provide depth.

  41. PP,

    That may not be far off the mark on the upcoming business. Reading, fwiw, that Compass are prepared to go big for JWP (which sort of seems obvious, because we’d have to). So, a couple veteran frees to fill out the bench could be just the ticket.

    We also keep seeing that Villa feel they may have made a mistake with Sanson, so maybe we see that spot being opened up if we can move him. Might be the right time since he barely played and we’re bringing in other players, so not necessarily a knock on him and his value.

  42. McGinn

    Someone’s going to have to make way. If we’re sticking with Luiz, and we know Hourihane’s off, I’m thinking it’s maybe both Nakamba and Sanson.

  43. MK,

    Yeah, don’t think playing with wingbacks is a bad idea. Plenty to choose from, lots of pace, tenacity and good delivery.

    The young ones have all played with or against a lot of the opponents’ best players. I really wondered what Havertz was doing for Germany. Didn’t seem to offer much of anything.

    But they know Kante and Pogba, for example. De Bruyne. Don’t think Phillips gives a toss who he’s matched up against. I think he’d jump at the chance to take Ronaldo out. It’s probably just the familiarity and cohesion in the more veteran squads that gives them a leg up.

    Also think that’s where Jack’s willingness to carry, take players on, and pull things out of shape will come into play if Southgate truly doesn’t have a grudge. Mount and Foden offer a lot of threat, quality, and work rate, but neither does what Jack is asked to.

  44. As far as I’m concerned Sanson really hasn’t been a part of the team yet. From the usual “getting to know everyone” to the injury he got we haven’t seen what he can actually do. I think the pre-season will be his time to show what he can do or not. The Premier League is a different kettle of fish for most European players.
    The ability to change the look of a game during a game is necessary. The mid-field is the place where this all happens. I’m happy with the number of players being touted for the mid-field. It’s where it all happens.
    Ashley Young is 36 but how fit is he? A good one to come off the bench and possibly a good one in the locker room and training ground. Lots of experience there that can be a benefit to younger players.

    Too bad Southgate isn’t charismatic, he’d be more wonderful if he was. 🙂

  45. Not bothered about Smith Rowe but I worry its a bid in preparation to sell Grealish?

    I think Young would be a fantastic addition. He wouldn’t come just to sit on the bench.

    He played 21 games last season l. He still has quality. Can deliver the ball which we haven’t had since Young left 10 years ago

    He’s still fit and quick and would be the best crosser of the ball l.. I hope we don’t sit him left back. Play him left wing and Grealish CAM

  46. Excellent video, MK.

    What many have been trying to say, put together nicely in an appropriate format.

    A lot of Villans get it, but the reflexive “sack Dean Smith” crowd, well….They can’t seem to see that they’ve got exactly what they’ve been asking for all these years. Probably for no other real reason than Deano’s humble and from humble coaching roots, and, as we always quip, isn’t foreign.

    But there isn’t anything about tactics, formations, etc., that he can’t learn if he doesn’t know.

    I keep banging on that there’s a method to his “madness.” With committed owners, he’ll get a chance to prove it out.

  47. Frem,

    Obviously I’m not ITK, but like I said in the post, Jack doesn’t leave unless he hands in a request or Compass figure they should cash in and spend even more over the whole side.

    These are the kinds of targets that give us the kind of side that, with Jack, will be able to win the 4 or 5 more games necessary to crash the party. Remember, the idea was convincing Jack to stay, and show him the ambition. That’s what we’re trying to do. Smith Rowe is part of the JWP conversation, I think.

    Sometimes a bid, like Roma talking up Luiz, is about showing intent, or gaining leverage elsewhere. Beating Arsenal to Buendia then bidding for a player they need? Shots across the bows.

  48. Frem,

    Thinking Young would be considered a utility player. Not a starter on the wing or FB, but cover for Targett, and someone to change things up out wide.

    But the big question mark around all the transfers is whether Jack is going central or not. Could be the case that Grealish–Buendia–Traore is the way we line up. Right now, they’re trying to fix the options behind and around. Could have xxx–Grealish–Buendia, then JWP playing with Luiz or McGinn or another midfielder.

  49. Not Villa related, but have enjoyed seeing Queens this week, and the “Jack Grealish” of tennis coming to the fore, in the shape of young Jack Draper. Have we at last got a real English tennis star in the making!

    Just don’t know how Gareth Bale has just failed to give Wales their best chance of making it into the knock out stages of the Euro’s……but then these things happen….

  50. Milan want to keep young, my only worry is the pace of the prem vs Italian football otherwise he seems a no brainer on the experience quotient.

  51. Talking of non food anyone see Ronaldo dissing Coca cola in his presser? if only we could cut this shit out of our lives and diets, imagine adverts that didn’t lie to you and food that didn’t introduce you to the NHS what a concept.

  52. MK,
    Are you suggesting an end to ultra processed brain altering foods and carbonated sugared water!!!
    This could cause a very unfit Western world to actually become somewhere near normal!!

  53. i don’t mind ash young at all.

    Bit of experience, can cover a number of positions. and hopefully we will be saving money to put towards main target.

    although smith rowe and prouse they just said wont be happening

  54. H&V,
    Never tried it, but just don’t trust it. They use fake advertising showing Dragon’s Den involvement, and many other similar adverts. The Amazon share adverts are the same, using fake info.

  55. H&V Bitcoin is about replacing central banks, its worth buying some from a reputable platform and just keeping it. Don’t buy it if you can’t feed your family mind but one day it will be legit. Several countries have said they will accept it for goods and it will get bigger unless the powers that be scupper it.

    Whats happening now is an attempt to lower its price because the very rich want to buy in a t a low price point. There are only ever going to be 21 million bit coins and as such the banks cannot make more of them as they do with Fiat currency. That means they can’t devalue it, cause inflation etc.

    The dollar is being inflated because American goods cost to much at present vs China etc and is pretty much fucked. Fiat currency eventually goes to nothing and these days is based on nothing (not backed by gold) so no different in a way to Bitcoin other than it can be printed until the cows come home and rob your savings and spending power.

    All the Governments are developing their own Bitcoins which will be just as open to printing as the Fiat currency is, not finite. That should tell you that its where we are going. Many of the people in Bitcoin jsut buy and hold if they understand what its about, sure you can make a few bob but its about more than that.

    They call themselves Holdlers and the market (wall st etc) has been flushing out the casual buyers in prep for the Rich to buy it up because like land, buildings etc its a safe place to park your money, a bank isn’t and at6 some point pretty soon they know it will go pop.

    Don’t just buy some read up and watch/listen to what its about 1st. If you take the average persons view it will be luke warm as they are being told a lot of porkies.

  56. Thanks for that info MK.
    WE need someone to become the blog advisor on this kind of stuff. I am no longer a wise owl in investment, or I would try and help.

  57. Came across a tiny little nugget residing in all the clickbait slime. Ashley Young has been signed to cover for Trez while he spends the next year recovering from injury. I personally think this is an eminently sensible signing but I’m overjoyed for all the Trez lovers and can’t wait for the return of our second second favourite Egyptian to his rightful place in the team just as Ash becomes time expired. YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  58. H&V the Alt coins are there because at present Bit coin lacks the speed of say Visa card. It will cope with about 1000 purchases a second vs 40,000 for Visa, so you can imagine that buying a coffee could take a while 🙂 so basically alt coins are mostly about getting over limitations and the groups of people working on them, there are other things but thats the basic reason. You can make money buying and selling them but its a volatile market to say the least at present. In the 12-13 years bitcoins have been about its returned 200% a year.

    Use an app like Binance or Coinbase, its a bit of a faff to get registered with all sorts of security methods to go through and be warned your bank will likely flag it up as fraud until you tell them to f off 🙂

    Have a go with something you don’t mind losing and get your head around it. plenty of books out there.

  59. Ashley Young confirmed as Villa’s second signing, and now it looks like we are very interested in signing Aaron Ramsey from Juventus.

    Not sure how much there is in this, but not a bad call.

  60. You have to love Ashley Young. “My agent said Villa were interested. I just said go make it happen”

    Would love to see him play off Ollie vs LB. come on the Villa

  61. I listened to Ashley Young interview a few times. What a quality person. Thank you for coming back.

    I see Ashley as a 10 with Buendia, Watkins and Jack.

    Wow wow. Get Smith Rowe in as well

  62. Welcome back to VP Ashley. Here’s hoping the coming season will be a success for you and us. It will certainly be our strongest line up at kick off than we’ve had for many a year.

  63. The Arse fans in work have been rabid this week. We are so disrespectful. How dare we try to sign one of their better players? They hope we get relegated in the coming season. Arf, Arf, Arf.

    I’m loving it. Wait until we take their place in Europe. Every now and again, when they are in earshot, I come out with it….Kroenke, Kroenke, Kroenke….Oi…Oi…Oi.

  64. McGinn and Scotland an outstanding performance in the end. England giving a very poor performance, even with Jack, who was introduced too late. Should have been on from the start, or at least half time, No one in the team really passes to him. Pickford had a couple of chances to set him on his way, but refused the opportunity to throw him the ball, even though he was asking for it.

    England will need to be very different, if we are to progress any in the competition, beyond the quarter finals.

  65. Somebody tell me what Kane, Sterling and Mount bring to the table. Sterling just cannot pick a pass. He doesn’t have a football brain. Kane looks so slow. He has zero movement up front. And Levy talks in 160 million terms for him? I wouldn’t pay 160K. Mount managed the sum of zilch.

    Tyro was excellent as usual. But every time he passed the ball to either FB, it came back to him. Neither FB was prepared to put in any effort down the line whatsoever.

    Which therefore brings me back to Beaky. He has devised a flawed system for a flawed team selection. We’re not going anywhere in this tournament guys. Our strength is all out attack. Instead we get this shit. SJM had a great game though.

  66. Abysmal from England and Gareth tonight. Fair play Scotland and SJM.

    Foden and Mount are fine footballers. But they’re system players who’re surrounded by superstars. They don’t carry City or Chelsea. They largely thrive on the threats, space, and play of others.

    When Southgate does bring on Jack, instead of the team getting him the ball at every opportunity, they keep going down the right. England have a world-class midfielder. Start him, or just don’t bother.

    Unless Gareth really is protecting Jack, or wants to finish 2nd in the group, I’m going to back to believing he doesn’t want to be shown up and have any success be credited to Jack. Which is a bit like managing Portugal and saying you don’t want Ronaldo getting all the credit.

  67. I think you are pretty close to the mark JC. Southgate really does not seem to want Jack to stand out and shine. The failure by the team to give Jack the ball when he was demanding it is criminal, on top of the awful sideways and back passing that Villa, also, became guilty of at one time.

    SJM had an outstanding game, and his stock is rising all the time. Mings also had a good game, and spoke well in the end, on behalf of the team.

  68. JC- as usual we are on similar wave lengths.

    For Southgate who’s a systems man and has spent years with the FA’s youth system and players its hard to let go. Its worked in part for England but means he won’t look outside the box.

    We do have good players as you say, they all play in big sides with incredible players around them with the freedom to perform. What they fail to see is Giving Jack the ball and using the space he creates gives them the time they are used to at city and Chelsea etc. Southgate will use them over the likes of Jack, Bellingham, JWP who are big players for their teams regardless. Phillips I am sure is wondering what it takes to light a fire under this lot having played for Bielsa. Mings at the back certainly is beginning to come out of his shell and realise he is not in exulted company.

    Jack (as we have found out at Villa) has to be the focal point, in Southgate’s side nobody is the focal point hence nobody is taking control of games (supposed to be Mount I suspect) just the rinse repeat passing in the hope when they do get a chance its put away. There is a lot of belief that it will happen but when it doesn’t no reaction is possible.

    Jack playing in the England side with other hopefuls
    with no pressure looks way different to Jack in the machine which is the 1st choice players.

    I think if Big Sam hadn’t robbed a bank it would be looking very different today, he at least would be adaptable.

    It does throw up the problem Villa fans have often used to beat Smith with and that’s what’s the plan without Jack? unfortunately using a player like jack is to advantageous but irreplaceable if injured.

  69. Something is wrong with that England team. Is Kane really that poor? Looks like Southgate will be forced to start Jack. Bet he regrets not including Watkins now

  70. Southgate is useless.. Crap manager. Sacred to play Grealish.
    Sack him

    This France Hungary game is brilliant.

    Hungary 1 up 30 minutes left

  71. As the manager I mean. I think it was Afonso Alves who said it

    Playing 2 DMs against Scotland and before against Croatia is a joke

  72. Yeah, he only needs one of Phillips or Rice. And I have to say I’d probably go with Phillips. Really wish we could’ve pulled off that transfer. He’ll be England’s Kante.

  73. And looks like we’re all pretty much in agreement on just about everything. Which means we must be right! And I should also buy a lottery ticket to take advantage of this rare planetary alignment.

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