So here we are, beginning of Day Six on the will-he-or-won’t-he watch. I’ll admit I’ve spent far more time tracking this on Twitter than I should’ve, along with thousands of other Villans. But it’s been compelling, and a refreshing break from reloading NewsNow and seeing all the truly regurgitated click-bait bollocks on there. Even if constantly refreshing Twitter and reading through comments has been rather all-consuming.

Naturally, everyone thought the crunch talks would be Monday and that we’d all wake up Tuesday knowing the result, particularly after the now-famous footage from Josh Hoare (aka A View From the Stands) had fans buoyant and hopeful because Jack was there,  training, and looked happy enough.

Turned out no announcement was on the cards, and security on Tuesday was a bit more robust, so the Grealish Show was cut a bit short, and with nothing else to fall back on, the lack of any announcements saw most everyone turning pessimistic.

It’s been an interesting ride, the life of a Villan in a nutshell.

What I gathered is that Jack did look tired, if nothing else, when posing for photos, not the usual megawatt smile we’re used to seeing. He took time with fans, though, and patiently endured some pleas to stay. I can also report that, unsurprisingly, a huge chunk of the support will be gutted if and when he does go.

Over the last two days of obsessive anticipation, though, I’ve only learned just about as much as anyone who hasn’t been glued to this nonstop. Which is not much.

Very little light has been shed on why nothing’s been announced by either club. There’ve been no real ITKs anywhere saying much of anything. Fabrizio Romano, who many have taken as a fairly reliable source, has basically said the offer is there, Jack’s considering, and will sign Villa’s new contract if the deal doesn’t happen.

“Manchester City are still in talks with Aston Villa for Jack Grealish. Negotiations ongoing with all parties involved, not done yet. This week will be key to reach an agreement – or Jack will consider Aston Villa new contract proposal with increased salary.”

He seems to be having it all ways, but if Jack has decided to say, I’d imagine there’d be an announcement and the usual photos already.

Me, I generally go with “no news is good news,” but at this point, it seems as if the “good news” will be something beyond Villa’s control.

Based on the extended silence, speculation has turned to whether it’s a technical holdup along the lines of how the payments are structured. Me, I’d love it if Villa have said, “Medical, paperwork, and deal done with £100m transferred to our account by Friday end of business or no deal.” Because as we know, City are still under investigation, and however farcical, the FFP powers-that-be aren’t exactly enamored of the club’s shenanigans. If there’s a holdup on technicalities, this seems as likely a scenario as any. And Villa would have kept up their side of any gentleman’s agreements or clauses, but also told the Super League club they’re not interested in helping them finance their swoop for our top star.

There’s also the Kane angle to consider. Did City ramp up the pressure to make Kane show his cards? Did Kane skipping his return to training change the game? Anyone’s guess, but you have to figure they probably need him more than Jack at the moment.

It’s also worth nothing that as all this has gone down so very slowly, supporters from Leeds and Everton, among others, have come to Villa’s side. In the almost instant-amnesia world we live in, it’s basically been forgotten how recently the Super Six have twice been ready to blow up the Premier League and whatever remains of competitiveness in football.

That won’t be lost on Compass. So what I’m taking from all this is that Compass and Grealish must have the sort of gentleman’s agreement Kane is claiming he had, that Jack is listening to City and Villa but waiting on City, and Compass are keeping their word.

The upside? Unlike Kane, Jack has been professional and loyal to the club. He isn’t burning bridges, isn’t forcing a move. Which means, unsurprisingly, that Compass are likely more honorable than Levy and Spurs.

The downside? Whether Villa lose their greatest player in at least a generation, it’s hanging by a thread.

Oh, and welcome Leon Bailey. That was the strangest signing I’ve ever seen. We’ll get to that later.

Over to you.

Comments 111

  1. I was confident he was going to stay. Now I’m not at all sure. After everything the greedy bastards did with their super league treachery, I’m astonished anyone would wish to join any of them. But then you wake up and see the £££$$$ plus the set up designed to keep these clubs in the elite section and mind sets of players change.

    Like you John, I hope Compass tell them we won’t be financing their treachery so pay everything up front or Foxtrot Oscar. I’m still sore about their actions and that’s turning to outright hatred when they start picking the cherries from their own league to weaken the opposition.

  2. And don’t tell me that we also pick cherries from our league. When it does happen, the clubs concerned need the conkers.

  3. Gutted. Inconsolable. He was our talisman, our captain, our soul and he’s left less than 2 weeks before the season kicks off. Not the way to do it Jack.

    And joining that band of traitors.

  4. plug

    i feel alot better now it’s done! I’ll forget about him easily. if your not with us your against us. sod him.

    The more worrying/crucial thing is who we buy next. is a pivotal moment this for villa. Just have to make the right signings now else martinez, watkins will be easily out the door.

  5. Yeah, tough one to take, lads.

    I’d clung to my optimism, but if I’m being honest, and hindsight is always 20/20 vision, there were troubling signs in his ego during the Euros.

    Was easy to look past at the time, but it said something. As did his expression and reactions in the video from camp this week.

  6. H&V,

    They are, and given this was apparently based on an agreement (as opposed to an actual clause), Compass have known all along this was a possibility.

  7. Tough to take for sure John. Another good article. We have to move on now. Dean Smith will be tested as a manager this season. Without Terry in the dugout to assist him and now Grealish gone. For me he should be the man in the spotlight this season.

  8. i do like cantwell you know. think he has just the right personailty to try and fill jacks boots. bit of a shithouse which i love to see. He does move like jack too. needs to bulk up though

  9. I think we have enough wingers in our side. No need to sign Cantwell as i think it will signal panic buying on our side. We have already bought two wingers and we have Traore and El Ghazi plus Bidace who is an excellent prospect. I see Tuanzebe is coming which is ok as i think he is a better CB than Mings.

  10. Tyrone Mings for me would not be the wise choice to be captain. However, we have no real leaders in the side especially the first eleven so maybe he could be chosen. Emi Martinez is the sensible option after what i saw in the Copa America.

  11. Jackvilla,

    Cheers. Was always going to be a big season for Deano, and now even more so.

    But I do think we’ll spend the money well, and that Compass have known there was every chance of this happening. So, I’m guessing we’ve done our homework, and now it’s time for us to go do to someone else what City just did to us.

  12. Christ has he gone yet? to be honest not happy with how he’s done it and the timing, defo stinks of England’s stench, got the feeling he won’t be getting a warm welcome at Villa Park either if it happens and maybe even if he stays.

  13. Villains need to stop posting negative things about super Jack in the various platforms , he is still a villa player but more than that he deserves to be treated with the utmost respect for what he has done for villa

    Jack is more than a player for us I get that and the thought of him leaving has a grown old man sick to stomach but regardless of what happens Jack has allowed villa to rise again from the ashes , respect is due

    still hopefully he will stay sky sports are desperate for us to think otherwise

  14. MK,

    Technically not gone yet…the medical might be interesting.

    In looking at how it’s played out this week, I think there was a verbal agreement last year. The “one more year” turned out to be last season.

    Not sure how else he could/should have played it. Didn’t want to think so, but you could see in his eyes in those videos that he was gone. But he didn’t “force” a move, NSWE have seen this coming. He’s likely at his highest valuation as far as Villa are concerned, and the injury history may factor into things.

    Naturally the city, club, home stuff will come back to haunt him.

    But I could tell during the Euros he’s desperate to star on a big stage, seemed less ‘humble’ maybe. And maybe he knows something about his shin making him want the move now. So hard to say.

  15. runtings,

    Agreed. I get the disappointment, I surely feel it. And I’m not at all sure it’s the right decision for him.

    But you’re right, he carried us for four seasons that really counted, and while expressing disappointment and sadness seems fair, don’t think he deserves to take abuse. I’m thinking it’s a very bittersweet moment for him.

  16. What a signing Ings is such a cold finisher

    Jack medical according to sky sports who claim there is a plan near the training ground waiting for jack to fly off to citeh ….were do they get this info from ?

  17. This is how the mystic from Magna Bay sees it.
    Compass aren’t dummies. There are several reasons Jack is gone. Firstly a gentleman’s agreement? Not likely, look at Kane. A fragile shin—yes. Won’t be worth any more than he is now?—yes. Want a more versatile team?—yes. He’s good but were our eyes rose tinted?—probably. Have you seen Bailey’s you tube?—If not have a look, impressive. Look who’s come
    in—impressive. Looks who’s been suggested as coming in—impressive. It’s enough to make Jack a footnote a la Delph.
    Yah, I’ll miss him but only for the length of the anthem at the start of the game.
    Jack Who?

  18. Got us up into the prem? Helped us stay in the prem? Wasn’t that his job? Every other player did the same thing.
    You can thank the newspapers for Jack’s notoriety.
    C’est la vie.

  19. Ings in, and Jack gone to City in time to play in the Charity Shield on Saturday.
    No more ifs and buts, or maybe’s.
    He is gone and almost sad that I was right all along….
    but the writing was on the wall a long time ago.

  20. You know what, now we signed Danny Ings out of the Blue I think we’ll be an all round better side this season. I would say Tammy ain’t coming now but we will still see another in 30 million bracket with Jack what’s his name gone. Keep ’em coming compass!!!!

  21. Well my day working from home is now done, I think I’ll have to dig up Kevin Costner’s “Draft Day” as this transfer window seems like a similar dream to me…

  22. Canadian. . . I was thinking exactly the same, the worst outcome now would Jack failing his medical.

    We never did find out what his problem really was last season and why his return kept being put off.

    It’s hard to imagine that he can stay fully fit going forward. . . . Unless he plays fewer games and I guess that is likely to be the case as City have so many good options at their disposal.

  23. Ian is right about the rose tinted glasses. As good as he is , he often ruins breakaways by overplaying the ball ,he’s not a natural finisher and he doesn’t really have the same kind of venom in his shots than even Hourihane. He is not irreplaceable because Smith has done more than that already in his signings.
    I wouldn’t call him a traitor /Judas etc , we got great money for him and that’s just business.
    He just reminds me of the morons on shows like love island . I think he will regret his decision but I wish him no ill will.

  24. Yeah, there are two days that keep coming to mind from my high school days at Dartmouth High School. Both days had baggies fans crying. # 1 Jim Cumbes was coming to sign autographs at lunch time and never showed up, boy did us Villa fans ride them all afternoon, only to get home and find he had signed for the Villa at 2pm. #2 was Asa Hartford at least I think that was his name had signed for Man City. A couple of days later it all fell through when they discovered he had a hart defect, he was still brilliant for the baggies anyway. The fat lady is going through her scales but she ain’t singing quite yet my friends!!!

  25. What a great buy Ings is

    But Smith is now going to stick Watkins left wing to replace Grealish which won’t be good.

    We need to go buy a top left winger, hopefully Saint Maximum now. We still need creativity.

    Bailey is a fantastic buy to

    We need Ward-Prowse now or a proper DM. Luiz isn’t good enough

  26. Ings is a proper natural finisher that we need. Can score all types.

    I just hope Smith isn’t going to stick Watkins wide left.

    Go and sign a natural left winger. Saint Maximum is the only player anything like Grealish so get him

    I don’t want Cantwell. They will ask for 50 million. No thanks.

    Countinio maybe?

    Do we need a number 10 or Buendia playing there with Bailey left wing?

  27. Zebe back is solid as well. But when is he going to play?

    Or we going 532?

    One thing last season we were so predictable with how we played maybe Smith will go 442, 532 and 4231?

  28. So now I want Saint Maximum, Countinio and Ward-Prowse

    A midfield of Mcginn and Luiz/ marvelous isn’t good enough.

    Or go get the Brighton DM

  29. It could be an interesting start to the season. We’ve seen before that it can take a while for a shaken up squad to gell and this squad looks as if its being thoroughly shaken.
    With days rather than weeks to the start of the season we risk effecting too much change, with too many new signings now.

  30. It’s easy to get over-exvited about lots of new quality players but it’s also easy to forget that this is a ‘team’ game.
    Leicester were able to beat teams with significantly higher quality players because they were a tight knit team playing to a rehearsed game plan.
    Dean Smith has a job on his hands trying to assemble all these new parts into a smooth running machine in such a short space of time

  31. On twitter and various blogs I’ve seen several suggestions of how our squad, and match day teams may line up.
    What was missing from every one of them?
    . . . . . Academy players.
    At a time when we’ve invested in youth like never before, fans seem to be forgetting the promising players we already have

  32. I am in full support of Compass. 110%. But unlike Frem, I’m asking have they just made their first mistake in signing Ings. He’s 29, injury prone and will have very little sell on value. He doesn’t fit the mould we have been building. Please Danny, ram those words back down my throat.

    However, like Frem, I am wondering what set up Deano is now going to run with. Yep, 4-4-2 becomes a possibility. If Deano prefers his 4-3-3 then Ollie is going to get shoved wide left in Jack’s old position. It could blow up in his face. Deano is going to come under real pressure this season.

    Reports this morning saying the traitors will now look to ship Bernardo Silva. I’d have taken him if he’d come to Villa.

  33. Plug, I had similar thoughts about Ings and had expected us to go for Tammy instead, particularly as he’s a known quantity and has premier league experience now.
    I imagine they haven’t gone that route because of:
    a) unrealistic price or wage demands
    b) they feel that we need some belligerent ‘older head’ experience in our front line
    It certainly does seem to be ‘off script’ but it’s possible to see a logic to it.

    I’m not as averse as you are to Ollie going left wing sometimes but imagine that our front 3, whoever they are on any particular day (we have many good options now) will have quite interchangeable positions on the pitch during a game.

    I have a huge amount of sympathy for Dean Smith at the moment. I know that if it was me, I’d be waking in the middle of the night, going over how each of the players were performing in training and pondering all sorts of different permutations for match day, but on the basis of far too little information, with so many players having come in so late.

    There must be a big temptation to start with the team from last year and just slot in a couple of the new-comers each week and see how things develop. Wholesale change and trying to incorporate all the new players from the start feels like a recipe for disaster to me.

  34. Plug, just following up on my comments about the reasons for Ings over Abraham and what he may bring to the squad, here are a couple of quotes from people who should know:

    “Danny is always positive, always open-minded and a very positive character for this team.”
    “He became such a positive influence for the Saints with his ability to not only be clinical in front of goal but also for his work-rate in defending from the front.”
    “This is the result of a guy who is working his arse off. This is exactly how it should be and he’s absolutely positive all the time.
    “You can feel and you can see how much he invests to win balls, to work for the team”

    Klopp: “I miss him being with us. He is such an outstanding boy. Honestly, if you could bottle character and spirit, his would sell worldwide. he is so incredibly positive and full of energy.”

    Reading between the lines, the one word of caution I saw from Hassenhuttl was: “Because of the intensity of our training sessions, he is in the best shape since I have been here. This is the Danny Ings we want to see and the one that can really help our game.”

    Maybe there can be two Danny Ings, and let’s hope we see the hard-working, fit one.

  35. Wow ings!! Make no mistake this is unreal. Doesnt dereved to be talked about in same breath as tammy. Ings is so far clear. 1 chance one goal and will work and press.

    All the talk of injuries…..he has missed 11 games in 2 seasons.

    The biggest thing if thats possible is the flip of moral on players and fans. down and out one min and boom out of nowhere positivity. genius signing at all levels.

  36. i was worried about watkins moving as an inside forward as it was tammy i thought would be in the middle. but with ings it changes nothing. he is relentless in work rate, closing down and tracking back. him and watkins is going to be an absollute nightmare for defenders

  37. H&V. . . . . I’ve expressed my concerns about us bringing in too many players but like you, I can’t help myself loving the thought of seeing Ward Prowse and Cantwell in Villa shirts. 🙂

  38. H&V – good stats on Ings games played. I had the perception that he’s injury prone.

    Yeah, ings is unreal signing. Fast, smart and a natural goal scorer. I remember watching him last season and thinking wow. I think he’ll also be a great influence on young Barry. Also we nabbed him from under the noses of Spurs.

    I love Ollie, Ings, Buendia and hopefully Bailey. Bidace looks like a great sub with Traore. Need to sell El Ghazi to Jose – how times have changed!

    Was hoping that Kesler got a League 1 team. Seems like the lower leagues are careful to take a punt on U23 players

    Hopefully loans for Ramsey bros and Carney to championship

  39. H&V, I really don’t like the ‘more the merrier’ concept for several reasons:

    It takes time for a new players to buy into the ethos and playing style of a club and to gell as a team. Early season results in particular can suffer as a consequence

    if you bring in. a lot of new players, its all too easy for cliques of new v old to develop which can be harmful for morale. This has happened at Villa and plenty of other clubs.

    The manager has so many more permutations to work with and although you may think that can only be a good thing, it really doesn’t always work that way. Bearing in mind that the season has almost started, there is no way that the management team can properly assess best playing combinations prior to the season and we’re likely to end up with disruptive tinkering.

    If the manager ‘does’ quickly settle on his preferred match day team then some players probably won’t get a decent look in, and when you’re talking about the quality of players we’re now dealing with, this is almost bound to lead to some discontent. Jack was incredibly professional in the way he handled Southgate’s treatment of him but he still had a face like a smacked arse at times and that was in a short format tournament. . . . .imagine what it would be like in a club environment.

    It’s easy to think that it’s the manager’s job to balance all these things and of course it is, but the very real danger is that the manager ends up expending much time and energy just trying to fight fires and placating emotional players, rather than concentrating on getting the best out of the best squad on match days.

  40. robbo

    yeah i get what your saying but i just think the more good players the better! If your really good you usually find a way to play. I trust our recruimtment 100%. The know what they want and what type of character they want.

    Deano going out his way to say the effecr ings will have on the youth, more barry id imagine as ings is a great pro

  41. Ings a very good bit of business. Any way you slice it, with Davis injured (so not even available for recall), and Wes looking more like a loanee himself, hard to argue with getting in a clinical striker who’s right up in the goals with Kane.

    As noted, he works very hard, is fit, and a great veteran presence.

    So yeah, we can go 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 as needed. Ollie very often is wide anyway up top, so I don’t think it’ll cause much issue.

    But I don’t think we’re done just yet.

  42. Soemone said in this blog that Ings is not a good fit. I agree with him. Yes, he is a natural finisher and has good experience at this level. However, he has no resale value and is fairly injury prone. I would give Wesley another chance or promote Barry from the youth side. We have several players who can play upfront too; like Bailey and Traore.
    I hope Ings proves me wrong and fires us into Euros but i think this signing was made to appease fans after the Grealish departure.

  43. Jackvilla,

    When we were linked earlier, I had some of the same thoughts/misgivings. But after hearing the news, well, my thoughts above, but also a couple others.

    I’m guessing Ings is part of Plan B: Evaluating where Wes would be, and, given we were already sending Davis out on loan, knowing we needed another striker.

    So, I would think contact had been made already, and Villa pulled the trigger. Appeasement? In part, maybe, but we are also coming into the start of the season, and it was a clear need. Also cheaper and more proven than Tammy.

    Don’t think Wes has any chance this year of offering the sort of return Ings has, which has been right at the top of the PL pace. We know Davis certainly wouldn’t, and I doubt Barry or any other young striker would.

    Then you get an experienced veteran who has briefly made the England squad. He’s someone for good for Ollie, Barry, etc., to be around and learn from. Has a very dogged attitude, plays with an edge. Good for confidence in the dressing room.

    NSWE are clearly not concerned about resale value. They had a chance to get a player that offers roughly the same goal return as Kane for 1/5-1/6 the purported price: 31 non-penalty goals over the last two seasons vs. 35 for Kane and 32 for Salah. Sometimes you do buy in that one player at his stage who still has something to offer while you continue to develop who you’ve got.

    He’s held up well over the last couple years, only missing 11 games, so better than Jack in that regard.

  44. Purslow video on the AVFC website explains everything. £100 million release clause, called by Citeh and Jack’s decision to move for Champions League Football. He says, they always believed this day would come and planned to cover his departure with 3 players that we now have. Buendia, Bailey and Ings.

    Sounds like those 3 are Jack’s replacements, leaving just Young on a freebie as our net summer transfer deals this window.

  45. Jack gone on a lifetime 6 year deal.
    Good luck to him. I hope that he manages to achieve his dreams, having already secured the no10 shirt from Aguero!!
    He gave us excellent service, and it has been a pleasure to watch him play and develop at Villa, and now he has provided the money for the club to strengthen the team and move forward.

  46. Plug,

    There’s some discussion about that. Don’t believe our business is over, just that they covered what they thought they were losing with Grealish.

    Could be wrong, and initially heard it like you did, but I’m thinking we’d spend whatever we got on Jack plus the original budget/needs.

    I guess the only thing affecting that math is whether we really need to go spend more than another £30m-£50m on a central midfielder.

  47. The way I am reading this is last season if a champ league spot team would of come for Jack before signing a new deal we would either of had to force him to stay or we would of left then or forced a move. That is a long way from the “my Club, My City” Yadda yadda he spouted at the time.

    Misleading is the word for a player adored for those very reasons by fans at Villa. Jack has been in the lime light for many reasons over the years and some have been not so good, wish him well and maybe being away from friends will help him but I think he may live to regret leaving, he may also not give a shit.

    As for he’s done us a favour I think not, If we have replaced him with Three players then its not a step forward, if we perform better and become a better team then I can just about take that. If he had stayed and we had bought in a couple it would have been like having 5 players.

    We will also drop out of the limelight and city will sell even more shirts. We are not just talking ability here but a face for the club and expansion in the fan base which means money. So he may have set us back years and lost us countless millions in income.

    I’m not going to applaud that based on Jack wanting champs league, also tells us if the wanky six had succeeded he would of been in that league now.

    Sour grapes maybe but I really loved watching him for Villa. Sets a tone for the younger players but also a route to the 1st for some.

  48. As to Robbo’s point of not to many players? what choice do we have with Jacks late exit? already his replacements have had no pitch time together, Some no prem experience, Smith will be utilising the players we have seen early on and now in what would of been a pivotal season for Smith we will be back to square one to some extent. The only bonus is the platform we have built around Jack can hopefully evolve, will they do it as well as with Jack last season? I have my doubts because we need to become something else now. The plus point? we may see more of what made Smiths teams look good elsewhere rather than Jack support unit, I hope so we have some good players here.

  49. Mr Ings? I very much hope he stays fit because he will fill the hole at Villa park that jack has left. Not in ability they are chalk and cheese but in leadership, will to win and from what I have heard bringing the levels up in training and around BMH, that hole is hard to replace, it wasn’t going to be done by a foreign player, martinez is the type required and would cost a hell of a lot.

  50. Have to agree with Mark, Project Villa has been set back and the 5 year plan looks a tough ask now. Let’s not kid ourselves, we are not talking about the lesser European cups but the top 4 and a Champions League place. Teams like Burnley, Leicester and Wolves have made the lesser European cups but the real riches are via a top 4 place. That’s the target.

    The coming season will reveal how far Project Villa has come and how much more remains. And if Bailey wants to pick up a yellow card, I wouldn’t mind him leaving his boot in on those thugs Mee or Tarkowski. Preferably both.

  51. Mark,
    Two red cards and 13 yellow for Bailey over 2 seasons isn’t great but when you bear in mind that Jack had 14 yellows in the last two seasons (despite missing a third of the games) and McGinn had 12 yellows last season alone, maybe it isn’t as awful as it appears at first.
    Plug, yes, based on what Purslow said (classy statement btw) it does seem that Ashley Young is our only new spend so far but they deserve no criticism for that, bearing in mind the hundreds of millions our owners have already put into the club. We can only put 11 players on the pitch at any one time and until we have European football, it really is possible to have too many good players.

  52. Mark, yes it will be interesting to see if Jack’s absence, and another step up in quality of the squad enables Dean Smith to demonstrate a more fluid approach to our football this season. I would like to think that Nakamba can take another step up this season and provide a bit more cover for the back 4.
    Are there any of our youth team that could potentially step up into that defensive role in time?

  53. I can’t find it again but I’m sure I’ve read that Jack Grealish fancies a go at management once his playing career is over. If that is the case, then it makes sense for him to play under different managers and pick up more experience of different tactics and management styles.

  54. If we want our owners to stay engaged with the club in the way they have been to date then they need to see that there is the prospect of profits and capital growth. Recruiting players on large salaries without being able to play them regularly makes no business sense.
    Messi is leaving Barcelona because of FFP but also because Barcelona salaries are 110% of income. . . . . . salaries alone are more than the income of the club. . .this is fucking madness!!!!

  55. with or without jack we have to improve our midfield and keeping the ball.

    I hope to god our business is not done as 2 midfielders required else its going to be tough.

    But what a refreshing change from our owners/management. great from purslow last night. leadership and communication. remeber the learner and dr days!

    I thinkwe arent done yet. Bailey ings and buendia to replace jack. very clever on paper. Buendia will create the chances jack did. ings will get more goals and bailey will bring speed.

  56. Martinez
    Cash Konsa Mings Targett
    JPW Mcguin
    Bailey Ings Watkins

    id argue more signings would be a good thing as theyve never played with jack and would come in all fresh. lift the hangover

  57. Guys with Ings we honestly have one of the best strikers around. He can score left or right foot, any angle.

    Watkins isa decent striker but Ings is a class above him. He’s a lot more clinical that Watkins.

    Remember Ings goal against us at VP last season? Fabulous strike. Watch his goal v spurs to

  58. I worry though that we aren’t going to sign another attacking player.

    We haven’t actually signed a left winger yet or replaced Grealish ability to travel with the ball.

    We need Mcniell maybe. Saint Maximum would be a dream.

    We need another creative player

  59. Really excited about Ings I think he’s fantastic.

    Buendia I worry a bjt about. I have no doubt he’s a fine player but its just he doesn’t have pace

  60. It’s nice to see the club being talked about in positive terms, despite having just lost our best player in a generation:

    Surprised that the Sevilla game has been called off just 24 hours in advance. . . .what has changed in the past week to justify such a decision?

    I imagine they’ll try hard to set up an alternative fixture as we’d really benefit from a semi competitive work out.

  61. I know this is astonvillalife and not mancitylife, but I was just pondering how City will shape up this season. In Foden, Sterling and now Grealish they have 3 super players, but all three like to play around with the ball at their feet rather than a quick incisive pass to a striker. Kane does seem a good fit as he roams around and will even drop back to collect the ball, and certainly knows where the back of the net is, but if he doesn’t end up going there, then I’m not clear just how they will play. . . . . . .but then I guess that’s why Pep is a manager and I’m not.

  62. H&V, I agree that if we were to look for reinforcements anywhere then it would be in central midfield, although as I mentioned before, I do hope that we see Nakamba improving further and most importantly becoming more consistent

  63. DM is a huge worry to

    Luiz offers absolutely no protection.. We are much better with Marvelous in the team but his ability on the ball isn’t good enough.

    We need to add a quality DM.

    Apparently we are looking to sell Wesley thankfully. Hourihane will bw off to. Ghazi as well hopefully

    We are still 3 or 4 players short

  64. Also Sanson has been forgotten about but he’s a good player.

    Question is though where does he play?

    CAM role willbe Buendia

    We also have Ramsey who’s very similar to Sanson.

    We have to many similar players. I can see Ramsey going on loan

    We need a 6ft 2 athletic DM

    Get Brighton guy in

  65. H&V, you mention making more signings to ‘lift the hangover’. Funny thing is, to me, it’s almost a relief that the pantomime is finally over and Jack has gone. We can now concentrate on building a TEAM.
    We used to live in dread of Jack getting injured again resulting in a big drop in quality and creativity and our whole playing style being compromised. It feels as if that won’t be the case now. with the incoming players reportedly all being hardworking, this should also offer a bit more protection to the back 4 (let’s not forget that Southgate pointed out that Jack was not great at tracking back 😉

  66. robbo

    yeah totally agree. personally glad its all over. hope that kills you and its not healthy being a one man team.

    i meant more the players used to playing with him maybe down he has gone and unable to step up. some fresh faces never playing with jack may help

  67. frem

    yeah man ings is a ridiculous signing. Never even entered my head like we could attract him! Thought hed go city or spurs. only kane and salah score more last few seasons.

    its wasnt long ago we were looking at saints thinking cor thats a well run club…weve just finished 4 or 5 places above them and knicked there best player!

  68. Yeah, still the JWP and Cantwell rumors doing the rounds. Sarr back in the mix.

    Since Jack gave us three players for ‘free’, I’d like to think we’ll sign someone influential in CM. The original budget should still be there.

  69. MK,

    Jack really did cock that up: city, club, home. And absolutely, from a boyhood Villan to captain, you say that when signing a deal with an out, well…It’s just not a good look. And that’s exactly what’s fueling the negative reaction/emotions.

    Funny thing is, looking back at the photo from that contract signing, he’s got the same expression on his face as he did in training photos before he left.

  70. Not to belabor, and I’ll have a new piece up shortly, but it has been a gut-punch. And I’m glad Purslow not only addressed the fans (to the admiration of many other clubs’ supporters), but made it clear it was Jack’s decision. Facts are facts.

    Of course, we all know every incoming is an outgoing somewhere else. We’ll be looking to poach, just like City. That’s how it works.

    So, I get all sides of the reaction: He did carry us back up and helped keep us up, he did leave us on the brink of challenging for exactly what he was after.

    Not sure it was so much about not believing in the project…I think he was just impatient to shine on a big stage. He’s gotten a bit less humble, his career is ticking on, lot of factors.

    People are saying Villa were offering as much if not more in salary. Not so sure about that. Somewhere around £18.7m/yr, if reports are to be believed, adding up to £112.3m over the six-year contract. Don’t know that Compass would’ve considered that value for money, would’ve been a huge disparity with the rest of the squad.

    But wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Jack wanted CL now, and since City met the admittedly “hands off” valuation, there was nothing anyone could do to keep him.

  71. Well if management doesn’t work out for him in 15 years he could be a used car salesman instead.
    I’m disappointed but that’s what happens when you invest some time in a player or anything else you might have feelings for. Feelings aside, it’s just business at a level we will never understand. A little bit of schadenfrude regarding Barcelona is nice as will MC getting Messi and relegating Jack to the bench doing cameos.
    I suppose a players career is short and you make hay while the sun shines and you’re off to the abattoir once your team feels your contributions aren’t good enough. I like to think Aston Villa are more benevolent than other teams but in reality you were only as good as your last game. Check out Hourihane.
    It’s a job, a career, money talks, don’t stumble, and don’t forget to wave at the fans…they like that.

  72. well that’s Jack gone to join cheque book peps band of merry men . based on the club statement we were always on borrowed time with Jack … great servant though and the club have been super classy during the whole episode

    does this make Pep the greatest manager in the world ? with everyone’s captains as his squad … the new Fergie I guess

    Massive time for the club now how do we progress at the same pace to the 5 year plan without super Jack ….. The buys so far have been good and there is an opportunity to shuffle the pack further and up our quality and depth … market will be interesting for the Villa

  73. jbd, yes I’d thought that too, although let’s face it, the City players in the England squad would have been briefed beforehand of the things to say to Jack to try and convince him to move and one of those things was bound to be what a good manager Pep is (Pep was probably the one who briefed them to say it!)
    In fairness though, every manager will have a different knowledge set and approach to the game so Jack probably ‘will’ learn more, in the same way that players will have picked up useful knowledge from John Terry’s presence on the training ground.

  74. A slap in the face to his former teammates as well! I’m very proud of the way the club management have conducted themselves. They knew that all Man City had to say was the magic words “100m “ and little boy blue was off but they did everything right for the club and the fans. The Ings TX was absolutely genius and perfectly timed. The whole Messi thing was Perfect karma. He led the news for an hour yesterday evening before Leo pissed on his crisps!

  75. prox,

    Yeah, wonder about the reaction in the camp. They’re pros, know the deal, will say the right things, might even agree, but…

    And the Messi timing was absolutely priceless.

  76. I personally think we’ve signed enough to make us a stronger team than last season. There are some great professionals at Villa now , I’m calling top six finish .

  77. Fresh page up with probably the last mention of Grealish (in passing) you’ll hear from me in a while.

    Unless I’m forced to write his name in a reply.

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