Villa cruised  to a 0-6 victory in sometimes chippy seaside visit to Barrow AFC in the second round of the Carabao Cup. It was a fine day for many youngsters, especially Cameron Archer, who notched a classy hat-trick on the night.

Anwar El Ghazi got two, including a naughty Panenka that’s gotten some criticism. While it might not have looked respectful, my guess is that Ghazi didn’t appreciate the young keeper, Farman, in his face trying to play head games and decided to put him in his place. And as a regular penalty taker, it never hurts to change up your tendencies.

Naturally, everyone enjoyed the win, but it was League 2 opposition with four points from four, I believe, having just come up from the National League. If it hadn’t been a bit of a rout, there’d have been questions no matter who Smith put out.

Axel Tuanzebe and Kortney Hause struggled with Barrow’s big men and long balls in the first half. Naturally they’re rusty, there was wind, and we know they’re better. So the moral of that story was that they needed the 90 minutes cup action had to offer. Likewise Matt Targett, who also looked more himself as the game wore on. Frederic Guilbert got a goal and an assist, a decent return.

Thoughts of a cup run featuring the youngsters were quickly dampened by drawing Chelsea in the next round. Bit harsh, but what can you do. Not like we don’t have to play them anyway. The only caveat is that we likely need to field a full-strength squad if we want a result. Just have to see how fitness and fixtures conspire.

It all still felt good, though, and cameos for Caleb Chukwuemeka, Hayden Lindley and Aaron Ramsey were encouraging for everyone.

It all gets more serious today with Brentford at Villa Park. You’d hate to say the third match of a season is important, but given the run of Chelsea, Everton, Manchester United, Spurs, Wolves, Arsenal, and West Ham that follows, Villa are not going to have anything ‘easier’ anytime soon.

Further complicating matters, Tyrone Mings has picked up a knock (perhaps even a cracked rib, according to rumors), and John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey appear to be isolating. So Axel will get his first Premier League start back at Villa paired with Konsa at the back.

Carney Chukwuemeka gets his first Premier League start alongside Douglas Luiz. Matt Targett returns. With Bailey still out, Young will play wide left, I assume, and El Ghazi wide right, with Buendia in the middle. Ings starts again, but Watkins has made the bench along with Philogene-Bidace, Aaron Ramsey, and Cameron Archer.

It wasn’t the easiest of summers, and it’s not been an ideal start in terms of personnel. All I can say is that we’re at home because this is not going to be easy today. Let’s hope the fans stay behind the team and that they’re ready to just get stuck in and give it a go.

Over to you.

Comments 55

  1. When you think about it we are playing without any of our players with pace. Bailey , Traore, Watkins, trez. Got bidace that has a good turn of pace and archer on the bench.

  2. Yeah, it’s a very makeshift side today, and I have to give them credit. Not perfect, obvs, but given the lack of familiarity, etc., it’s not been bad.

    Settled down, got a bit wiser to Brentford’s intentions. The 4-5-1 hasn’t been a bad idea, getting that experience from Young on the pitch to help Chuk out.

  3. Well, not the worst result. The three points were there, Brentford were happy with the draw, in the end.

    Finished on the front foot and showed enough character.

  4. Yeah I agree JC thought we were very decent for a team missing so many, Brentford a decent side but not all that for me. Cannot wait to get Bailey and others back.

  5. Another team with big players. Can’t argue with a draw. 5 first team players out with injury. Brent Ford have a decent team but only as good as Villa’s bench strength. Here’s hoping Konza is just bruised and not injured. A two week break should see most back from injury.

  6. Very good time for a break, Ian.

    Not sure what the situation is for some of the players, like Bailey, traveling, etc. Don’t think Villa should let him go, maybe I’m behind on the latest here. Saw Jamaica begging, and I understand, but with injury and covid restrictions, not the brightest idea for a £30m signing who’s yet to start.

  7. Also good to see Targett looking like himself again. Here’s to Konsa’s knee being okay. Was good to see Axel being more settled after the first half midweek.

  8. MK,

    Yeah, though Brentford looked a bit dodgy at the back. Big strong side, but think they’ll be found out.

    Like you and Ian saying, our patchwork side was good enough and probably should’ve gotten a second.

  9. Not as happy as some today. We had 9 points on offer from the first 3 games and got less than half that. Understand all the reasons, but we’ve missed the chance of a great start.

    Criminal leaving Toney wide open in the area. Everyone ball watching, nobody marking. The response was good. Emi’s goal was top drawer. It certainly got backsides off seats. You know the performance was average when El Gassy looked quite useful.

    Ezri’s injury looks ominous. We’ve currently got more casulaties than Accident and Emergency which means the 2 week break is a good time out for us. And then the really tough games start. League position could look ropey by end of September.

    The only real positive for me was seeing where the Arse are in the table. It means work on Tuesday will be happy days for me. Although to be honest, I think they’ll soon pick up.

  10. Bailey needs to sit out the international games. Villa should stop him from travelling. If he’s not fit enough to be selected, he cannot play for Jamaica.

  11. Plug- worse than that Beundia and Martinez are set to defy the league ban on travel and will have to isolate for 10 days on return, thats them out of the next 2 games then, fucking nuts and a stupid policy.

  12. Villa confirmed on Monday that both Buendia and Martinez have been called up by Argentina for three World Cup qualifiers next month.

    The Premier League then released a statement in regards to clubs not releasing their players to represent their nations in red-list countries.

    Argentina is currently on the UK Government’s red-list regarding travel to England, meaning a 10-day period of hotel isolation would be required if Buendia and Martinez turned out for their country.

    And it seems as if the pair are willing to defy Villa and play for Argentina against Venezuela, Brazil and Bolivia.

  13. Yep, it’s where the integrity of sport is compromised and the organisers lack the foresight and will to plan for such times. I mean, it’s not as though this pandemic has just landed last week.

    Not just us of course. The Rugby Championship down under likewise. The Aussies play 2 games in NZ and then get ready for the return games in Aus, only to be told the opposition has decided to stay at home due to Covid restrictions applied by the NZ Gov’t.

    Why elite sportsmen can’t be treated as special cases beats me. The baby is defo being chucked out with the bath water.

  14. An enjoyable day yesterday, even if we didn’t win. Just good to see two teams going at it and trying to win. The supporters on both sides were great
    and especially good to see the Brentford fans applauding Ollie.

    Enjoyed more beer and food in the Aston Tavern, and they were on their game yesterday, so congratulations to Michelle and Paul. Always difficult getting back on song after such a long gap, and with new staff.

    After watching the United game, we should be buying Traore back from Wolves. They just are not capable of getting the best out of him. He is a beast who would destroy teams alongside Ollie, Emi and Danny!!
    We need a player like him to frighten teams again.

  15. I am still waiting MK, like everyone else. Bailey is still an unknown quantity, and to watch United terrorized yesterday, with all their stars, and hear their manager admit it, he would be my choice everyday. Seeing is believing, and Bailey could turn out to be another Wesley yet!!

    Was only thinking yesterday on the money that Villa have wasted over the years on failed big money forwards. Stan Collymore, Ross McCormack, Ally Samatta, Scott Hogan, Darren Bent, Jordan Rhodes and many others. We just do not seem to ensure their fit into the Villa.
    So far Ollie Watkins is our best buy as a forward, in a very log time.

  16. PP- think you must be coming down from the weekend 🙂

    Yep an unknown but so was Traore and pretty bloody hopeless too. I think that 15 goals and 11 assists in a top league bodes well for Bailey just as Watkins stats did, Beundia also opening his account similar stats, Bailey one half one assist so far.

    Traore 3 games zero Goals and assists. 37 games last season 2 goals and 2 assists? 54 games the season before 6 and 12, whatever is going on he is not a goal machine. I think Bailey will prove a winner.

  17. Conor joins Sheff Utd. The Yam Yams are considering a move for Troy Deeney. Hahahaha. They must be desperate. I’ve seen milk turn faster.

  18. Latest reports about Deeney. It’s not the Yam Yams but small heath instead!! He’s finally found his level at a half boarded off sty.

  19. Just watching an interview with Paul McGrath on virgin media 1. What an unassuming gentle soul as well as an obvious gentleman. We’ll never see his like again.

  20. Freddie gone now too.

    looks like we wont be getting anyone in and from mings comments it sounds like we are focusing on consolidation. Which is fair enough. us and crewe the last 3 years have moved up the most places. its impossible to just keep going up without sometimes dipping or going sideways. we have spent lots and have had covid money effects so maybe owners thinking to chill for a season and take a plus net spend

  21. but the danger is getting sucked in the bottom. It will not be an easy season at all. teams are spending well. and i dont see any walk overs.

    play the youth, dont get sucked into the bottom 6 and have a cup run will be ideal

  22. the biggest thing for me is identity. We have lost jack who we pretty much just gave the ball to.

    Now i want to see deano ball. a clear identity and style of play.

    Aginst brentford i thought it was awful. just banging crosses in to ings who was against 3 cbs. brain dead football. Brenford had proper patterns of play and shape.

    We really need to start seeing and identity now

  23. plug

    deffo not happy with the start! 2 games at vp and 2 against newly promoted sides. 4 points from that with our next run of games isnt good.

    Arsenal get mental abuse from media but they will be top 7. had a tough start.

  24. Has H&V’s soul been taken over and he’s now channeling Frem?

    I do get where you’re coming from H&V and we’d all have hoped for a better start but I don’t think you should ignore the challenges that have been put in front of us. Trying to integrate a number of new players and then being without more than half our favoured starters in the last game. For a team at our stage of development that’s one hell of an ask.

  25. Sanson got a 45 minute run out with the kids at Wycombe tonight (1-3 to the Villa). We fielded a strong team with Archer, Bidace and junior Chuk starting.

  26. Heroes, I would like to know what Freddie has done at BH. Deano’s barge pole must be leaning against his office wall. I thought he had a poor game by his own standards against Barrow but he took his goal very crisply. It seemed to me he wasn’t enthused in the game which is not surprising. It’s Strasbourg’s gain.

  27. Freddie falls into the category of not quite good enough to play regularly but much too good to sell on. He needs to up his game and Smith will reaccess. Same with Wesley as it was with Hourihane. It’s a fine line between making it and playing or not. Perhaps their contract should have conditions where pay is a sliding scale. A lot of players would prefer to sit on big wages than play for less like NZogbia. I wonder how much The agents come into play. It’s a game of survival and the closer to the edge of the herd you get the closer you are to being a pundit.

  28. Freddie was one of Pitarch’s (Suso) buys. Seemed strange at the time to buy him on the last day of the transfer window in Jan-19 and immediately loan him back to Caen for the remainder of that season. Maybe a condition of the sale?

    Purslow soon dismissed Suso since the Board room at VP were not happy with his recruits and seemingly only buying from Club Brugge (Wesley, Nakamba, Engles). Only Nakamba has shown enough to preserve his team selection from that group.

    It seems to me that AVFC is working through a process of offloading Suso’s buys. Hope we are not discarding a useful team member. Villa fans love players who put in a shift and Freddie did that.

  29. robbo

    haha someone has to keep up frems work! Yeah i know we can say injuries etc but for me its been since day one….thought id see more of an identity how we play under smith.

    It may well be the new young lads coming through produce as i think they play better. can keep the ball in the final 3rd and are assured in there touch and recieving the ball in tight areas

  30. H&V I think you will get to see what Deans about pretty soon, I think having Jack was way to tempting, he had the ball about Half the time, how do you coach a team to stand about and watch Jack? Wasn’t the worst ploy if he’d stayed fit we would very likely have gotten into Europe.

    I also think that the club has looked at what we have bought and I include Sanson in that and thought this season we consolidate. Not talking stay where we are, more stay where we are plus. Anywhere 8-10 and the team being well, more a team.

    I also think they have taken a look at some of the Youth and left room in the squad, Ramsey, chuk, Bidace and Archer look ready to make a difference and are growing like weeds, Chuk and Ramsey in midfield, if we bought another then what room is there? Besides if we had Bought Sanson for a lot more money this window we would be wondering what he’s like, it would have been a very good window.

    Lots of very good kids out on loan so next season who knows, some of these kids have been playing together longer than the seniors have.

    Tuenzebe hasn’t come to warm the bench and I wonder if he will see some minutes at DM, he did against Newcastle I think?

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