I’ve got my new sky blue quarter-zip training top on and one helluva hangover. The missus can’t take me seriously with “Cazoo” across my chest, but then she can’t really take me seriously in general. Which is just about all anyone needs to know. But, there is Leicester, etc.
I’ve not really got anything that hasn’t already been said, though I can say I’m enjoying the positive vibes. Today’s trick is how Villa respond to the quick turn and the absence of wingers. Well, we do have Young and El Ghazi healthy, but Young will be playing left back in place of Matt Targett, and El Ghazi will be on the bench.
So, it’s apparently Watkins, Ramsey and Buendia up top, and McGinn, Luiz and Nakamba in the middle. Curious to see how that looks and works.
Main thing is that it seems like a good moment to pick up three points. Leicester are never easy, but they’re only three draws better than Villa right now, and it would be a big boost on the heels of the good second-half showing against City. Liverpool are up after, but then it’s Norwich and Burnley, and Steven Gerrard has to be thinking nine points from these four fixtures would see his side in pretty good shape heading into the holidays.
Martinez, Young, Mings, Konsa, Cash, Nakamba, McGinn, Luiz, Watkins, Ramsey, Buendía
Steer, Tuanzebe, Davis, Sanson, Hause, Philogene-Bidace, El Ghazi, Chukwuemeka, Iroegbunam
Over to you. Please.
I don’t think MK should be allowed to go to any more matches.
Wow. One of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen.
Also one of the worst halves of football I’ve seen us play.
I have no problem with that goal been ruled out ,as long as its the same in every game
Shocking half from us,young is our best outlet ,Luis woeful
VAR is a joke. The VAR ref should also know rules.
Take off Buendia and Luiz for Carney and Sanson. Need big HT team talk from SG. Villa sooo sloppy in position
Konsa gets off scot free from criticism yet today again he should be doing much better for goal conceded
Well done, Ezri.
That’s a shocker from Oliver,Watkins and Evans tusseling
He is not giving us many fouls
Oliver’s been a complete disaster.
Villa fouls 4, leicester 18. And yet we have the yellow card
Evans knew he was beaten and fell over
Has been good to see how we’ve started the second half but can’t afford to relax now Vardy’s on
Yet another foul.they are brilliant at these low level fouls that just break up any villa attack at the earliest opportunity and give Leicester a chance to reorganise
Hope we don’t pay for Watkins and ramsay misses
Super save by martinez
So Oliver doesn’t give a penalty because he sees rhe Leicester player dives
But doesn’t give a yellow card?
As you say JG. . . Hope we don’t pay for those misses
This second half performance has been so encouraging
Cash has worked so hard
Could do with more back up for the full backs.
Gerrard thought so too
That was an impressive second half
One of the strangest games I’ve seen. But much better second half once again.
And MK is allowed to attend another match.
That was a brilliant save from Martinez.
Might sound a funny thing to say, but Gerrard is starting to feel like the Villa manager.
Yes MK is now our lucky mascot.
After the first half hour it felt as if we were going to need something supernatural.
Nice. Plenty of players to choose from next week.
Yes Martinez’s save was extraordinary.
Nakamba seems to be adding consistency to his determination and game awareness.
It did feel like it was going to take a miracle.
Quite like that half back line of Mcginn, Nakamba and Luiz. Seems to make the most of those players. Nakamba my man of ths match.
Much better 2nd halve,
martinet what a save
Cash good effort crossing needs to improve
Konsa 2 goals makes up for Leicester goal
Luis very average at best
Beundi same as Luis
Ramsay missed great chance unlucky with disallowed goal
Watkins worked hard luckily his misses didn’t cost us
Played their part
Ref absolute shocker
Does seem like Gerrard’s brought some confidence. We’ve bent but not buckled.
Carney also showing a lot self-belief.
Left out young who was also awesome, what a free signing
Fair summary JG. Ue dia did make some poor choices but also did some really good things, but needs to build greater understanding with his team mates . . .they just don’t all seem to be on the same wavelength yet. I still feel confident he’ll come good for us.
Thst should have read ‘Buendia’
Agree about Chukwuemeka. He’s getting on the pitch because of what he brings to the team, not because of his contract situation.
Yeah, Chukwuemeka has an awe. Taking on 2 opponents at once multiple times. Wow! Big strong lad as well. I thought Buendia was really good in 2nd half. Some of his skills is Maradonna class. Sanson also quality again. For me Chuk or Sanson should start ahead of Luiz.
Nakamba MoM again with Mings. Shout out for Young. You can see how much he loves Villa with his 200% commitment. I can’t imagine how great it is for our youth to have Young at the club. Real pro.
Great after the game to see players and Stevie G go over to fans. It feels like something exciting is happening:-)
Stevie G interview after the game was quality – we were sloppy and gave away ball far too easily in 1st half. We had a real go at them in the dressing room at HT, heart to heart. Not sure why it takes us twice to perform in 2nd half. A couple of players still not up to speed in how we need to play
Subs from stevie g spot on, easily the 3 worst performers taken off
Took a while to get around to the changing room from the Doug Ellis stand but managed to get my ideas through on a piece of paper to SG and make it back for the second half, good job as it was that or ask for my money back .
I don’t care what anyone says, the improvement since Gerrard has took over is absolutely massive
Marvelous and Mcginn have been fabulous. We are much better on the ball and creating chances and so much more aggressive
Marvelous was fantastic today
We will sign a right back and Left back in January
Watkins needs to become more clinical
Gerrard is fantastic
I can’t wait for Traore to come back
He always liked to play narrow anyway
He will be great playing in the narrow role.
When Bailey and Traore are fit it will be mint behind Watkins
Approaching half time I was thinking we were very fortunate to be level pegging as we stood off them far too much. Then VAR steals a goal from us and I’m thinking Leicester were very lucky to be level pegging.
Second half much better and we might have won by a bigger margin in the end. Things are definitely looking up. Another win. Another Sweet Caroline. Crack open the beers.
Isn’t VP something special when we score? Ended up 3 rows further forward on the floor and hurt my elbow.
You know a 1st half’s bad when the most memorable bit was a minutes silence .
Cash is a huge weakness for me. He has energy, but cannot cross or shoot. His delivery of a ball is soooo poor. Targett is better at LB, but I’d agree with Frem – 2 new full backs in Jan
Yep VillaMD, Cash’s crossing were all over hit. That’s something he needs to work on and be drilled at until it improves. But he does have huge reserves of energy. Some engine.
Cash was done for their goal and his positioning was poor but he got better and made lots of important tackles and headers. Crosses like he has hobnail boots on.
Watkins is still creating his own chances on the whole.
Watching live you can see the formation it’s tight and at times the entire game is crammed into a sixth of the pitch and despite sticking to it in the 1st half it was clear the effort and responsibility was lacking in that it’s no different, effort and the system works no effort it doesn’t.
is cash a vampire cause he hates crosses boom boom
2 full backs will be incoming unless we give kessler game time.
full backs are vital to gerrard ball. he went ballistic at one of cashes crosses.
crazy how luiz was a monster 4 days ago and he doesnt turn up yesterday!
but what an unvelivable win and vital. huge huge 3 points squeezed in between city and pool.
frustarted first half but great second. dont know how we didnt score more. apart from martinez wonder save he wasnt really troubled.
mad decision but having the goal chalked off was exactly what we needed! Got the crowd up and the atmosphere going, seemed flat from the off first half
Ye Cash will be replaced in January I think. His crossing is Hutton level
We will get two new full backs in January and possibly a DM
Maybe another inside forward also
Wow! So glad I was there for that one. Would not have missed it for the world.
What a fantastic atmosphere, in another 41,500 crowd at Villa Park, making a total attendance for the week of nearly 83,000. How is that for support, just twenty days before Xmas!
Very moving to see the unanimous feeling of love and sadness, on the sixth minute , for little Arthur. The terrible truth is that a child is murdered by its carers or parents every two weeks in this country, but rarely does it make the same coverage as little Arthur has. Hats off to those that made sure that it did, so that now the government is taking notice.
Back to the game, and yes a very sloppy goal to give away for Barnes to score, but their lead did not last for more than a couple of minutes, before Buendia got an equaliser!
The game then settled down until almost half time, when Ramsey scored a cracking goal, which should have stood, and would have, but for cheating Scheimchel, feigning injury to his hand for two minutes, making Paul Tienery take a further look at it on VAR. Without that time taken for the injury, the referee’s decision of a goal would have stood, and the kick off taken place.
Second half Villa came out with more determination, and created more chances with Villa very quickly taking the lead through Konsa scoring his second goal. The constant baiting of scheimchel, by the crowd continuing through the second half seem to make him a little unsettled! Villa really continued to press and could have easily had at least two more goals, but we also have to be thankful for Emi Martinez fantastic save from Harvey Barnes again.
Good substitutions by Steve G. So great to be on the top of the world at the end of another Villa home match!
Generally agree with JG’s summary of players, but like r0bb0 give a little more credit to Buendia, and also Luiz, both of whom are becoming the players we need.
Pleased to see Frem happy too. We are becoming a really positive blog now under SG and his staff!
Glad you enjoyed the game MK! We must meet and have a beer next time you are there. I can always be found in the Aston tavern!
The media reporting this morning that Ramsey’s goal was correctly disallowed. They also quote the wording of the relevant Law which, if I understand English, clearly states the ball was not under Schmeichel’s control and should not have been ruled out.
The correct decision was a valid goal plus a yellow card to the keeper for simulation in trying to con the ref that his hand had been kicked.
Once the ref visits the pitch side monitor, you know a decision is going to be reversed as I haven’t seen a ref yet that has stuck by his original call after viewing the monitor. One day, it might happen and if it does, it’ll be Mike Dean.
Agree with your comments on Cash and Watkins. His goal should have stood, and maybe VAR would have looked at it, but of course the referee’s whistle had already blown.
Perhaps, now we are into the top half of the table, and can stay there, we may get better support from the match officials!!
definitely feel that Steve G is our Thomas Tuchel, and building a confident Villa team that will be clinical, and play with effort throughout the game.
Have not seen the media this morning, but as pointed out on MOTD last night , for the goal to be disallowed then the rule is incorrectly written, as there is no punctuation separating the first part from the second, therefore if the ball has rebounded from the keeper, then the first part does not apply!
It’s good seeing us comfortable on the ball again because under Smith for the last 10 months nobody wanted the ball apart from Grealish.
Especially this season nobody wanted it and we just ended up launching.
Watkins has to become more clinical doesn’t he?
He misses a lot of chances
Will be interesting to see if Ings can play in this system. A much much better finisher
Ings makes as many misses as Watkins, if not more, but Ollie has to improve his scoring to help his development. He is on the right track and Gerrard will make sure he improves.
watkins constant running is insane. must be a nightmare for defenders.
lovely move for his chance.
the shoutout of the day has to go to nakamba though. incredible turn around
It’s a funny old game isn’t it. Confidence, and self belief are such under-rated commodities but on any one day are capable of beating much better teams or individuals. If it was purely down to skill, then Leicester would never have won the league, Wigan wouldn’t have lifted themselves to beat Man City in the FA cup final and Greece wouldn’t have won the 2004 Euros. There’s a positive feedback loop between confidence and performance, with confidence feeding into better performances and good performances feeding into higher confidence levels. New managers can often bring an initial bounce in confidence, giving an immediate improvement in performances but once that initial euphoria wanes then results can slip back again which is why, on average, changes in manager have little impact on the longer term performance of teams. The law of averages does mean though that some new managers, over the longer term are worse than their predecessors whilst others are better.
All clubs go through peaks and troughs of performance and inevitably, managers tend to be sacked during one of the cyclical troughs. This means that if the appointment of a new manager gives the team an immediate lift in confidence, performances may ‘revert to the mean’ and fans will see an improvement in performance. It’s also very likely that players will sense any movements behind the scenes to replace a new manager and under those circumstances, it’s hard for either the manager or players to maintain the same levels of performance.
Brendan Rodgers is going through a tough time at Leicester, Bielsa at Leeds and Benitez at Everton. Does this make them bad managers, or is it just a temporary dip in confidence and will they be able to turn things around? If the owners decide ‘no’ to the last question then they’ll bring in a new manager. Assuming one or more of those 3 managers are replaced, are their clubs likely to all bring in better managers. . . . . .They’re all good managers so I’d guess not.
If the new manager is able to maintain the good performances after the initial boost, either through better tactics or, reigniting underperforming players then the owners are (possibly rightly) lauded as having great foresight. Truth is, that despite all the best analytics, it’s hard to be sure that the new manager will be a perfect fit but sometimes of course they will be!
As far as Gerrard goes, it’s ‘so far so good’. I think we all sensed that for quite a while, performances under DS had fallen short of what they perhaps should have been and we’ll all have our own theories of why that might have been and whether things might have changed. Whatever our views on that might be, the owners do seem to have picked a good time to bring in a new manager and so far, do seem to have picked a good one. It’s still a bit soon to tell but as we start to move out of the initial bounce phase, we’ll soon get a better idea. In the meantime, I reckon we’re all enjoying the upswing in results and confidence around the club.
H&V. Luiz is a bit of a mystery still isn’t he? Not sure we can still use the excuse of him being young and therefore inconsistent. Might he have lifted his game against Man City to prove a point to Pep? Yesterday he just looked a bit ‘off’ to me but if ever you wanted proof that football is as much about opinions as facts, player ratings for yesterday’s game are all over the place, with one site giving Luiz an ‘8’.
H&V, You’re right that Nakamba is looking the biz now. I’m not sure if I’d call it a ‘turnaround’ though, I reckon the big change over the last few games has been that he’s been ‘consistently’ good. There’ve been quite a few voices for some time saying that they have seen signs of a really good player but you’re right that lately his confidence seems to be sky high. . . . and it’s certainly showing on the pitch. We probably still need a midfield enforcer. . . .but maybe as back up now!
PP.. . . . . I do envy you and the others who were at the game yesterday. It’s hard to match the euphoria of a rocking Villa park isn’t it.
Plug, I saw that MOTD analysis of the disallowed goal too but I think that the rule is just badly worded. I reckon the wording of the rule was intended to clarify that it wasn’t ‘saved’ if had touched the goalkeeper’s arm or or hand but then rebounded. They just made a poor job of the clarification. There are a few laws which seem open to interpretation and I think that maybe they’ve been taken in by the ‘clear English’ campaign and tried to make the wording simple but have now left the interpretation vague.
Me I have still the same view it was right to disallow ramsay goal,if it was other way how many here would be happy,more annoyed that Watkins challenge on Evans was deemed a foul or mcginns near the end,surely villa should be asking how for the number of fouls Leicester committed it took 90 before madison was finally booked,even then it was a double foul
As for marv turn around, how many full 90 mins did he play under Smith,he was an easy sub where as yesterday Gérard took 2 worst performers of first
Spot on r0bb0 about the atmosphere at Villa Park, having made the choice to miss Wednesday night’s match, then on Sunday morning, making the final decision to go, rather than watch on TV, and I was not wrong! The atmosphere was amazing, and I was proud to be part of the crowd, full of animation, spirit and a few beers from the Tavern!! There is nothing quite like it, and I am still on a high now.
It is on record, the difference the positive football results have on productivity in Birmingham over the years, so Villa must be helping everyone achieve their bonuses!!
The discussion on MOTD is worth watching, but the media and referees today are interpreting it as the right decision. However, they have all avoided discussion over Schmeichel’s behaviour, and then claiming later that he may have to have his hand z-rayed. All a little bit, part of his blaming the officials, for him being beaten by shots he couldn’t stop!
Luiz is interesting in that many saw him as having a really good game, whereas others saw it differently. My own feeling is that he is getting back to the player we first saw,
when he was exciting, and the more regularly he plays, like Nakamba, the better he will become.
This is true of all the team, keeping a consistent side, will build huge confidence.
I am fully in agreement with your comments on the “new manager” bounce and the longer term.
The proof for Steve will be where we are at come 1st Jan, but it is looking really good so far, and has been a good move by the board.
The danger can come when he is able to recruit new players and the effect on those who have helped him push Villa back up the table. We are now tenth, up from seventeenth, wow!!
Trez is back in action tonight
Thanks PP couldn’t hang about though as getting up early so had to hike to new street sharpish hopefully next time. The minutes silence was really moving you have to think what the hell goes through some peoples brains I guess nothing good.
Been a while since I have been and I forgot how many managers there are at VP. Some of the comments make you appreciate Blogs lol. One of the best was Watkins would be world class if he could shoot, amazing the amount of people that know when the player should pass or shoot more than they do. Also thoroughly enjoyed the bloke sat on a cactus in front of me, I must have missed most of the build ups as he was up and down like Zebedee, you don’t get that in your front room. The other stand out was the Moaning, I don’t know if I had sat among a coach trip from the seriously depressed clinic or similar but you’d think we were on a 9 game losing streak.
The absolute best bit was getting the train from New street to the Witton with about 30 Leicester fans and two lads that had clearly been hoovering up all the Charlie in town prior to drinking the town dry. The one was Villa and preceded to try and out sing the Leicester lads, luckily they took it well. I later spotted him near the away fans and I don’t think he stopped barracking them all game, I’d be surprised if he saw any of it. Wasn’t you was it Frem?
Glad you happy Frem but can you send my rose tinted glasses back in the post.
Nakamba a player I’ve always liked but was always one pass from a calamity turned in a 96% success on his passing and I can say he was easily the best player on the pitch, and I mean he looked comfortable in possession too, head and shoulders above every Villa player who I am afraid Frem are not comfortable in Possession, The short passing has improved not surprising when your all within ten foot of each other.
Some great touches from Beundia and some shaky moments ran his legs off though. I though both McGinn’s goal and Watkins should of stood couldn’t see a lot in the contact that wasn’t fair. Both Full backs were a bit off to start with but improved.
Well 9 out 12 points is pretty impressive no matter where it comes in the season let alone after a poor run, Can’t make my mind up whether we totally deserve them or not but SG seems to know how to win at Present and that can’t be bad.
JG and MK, I’d forgotten about that phantom ‘foul’ by McGinn on Evans. The truth was that Evans was knackered and slow and just couldn’t persuade his legs to keep him upright any more. There was no foul by McGinn and it was even more obvious on replays. The goal should have stood.
My language was getting then raised eyebrow treatment from the wife.
PP. that’s an interesting observation about the ‘risk’ of Gerrard bringing in new players. If for example he was to bring in the defensive midfielder that many have been crying out for, would that knock Nakamba’s confidence?
Someone else observed that SG comes to us with no baggage so can just play whoever he wants and wherever he wants. Once a manager starts bringing in his own players, he inevitably will feel some obligation to use them and some of that ‘freedom’ is lost.
One other benefit of a new manager is that every player gets a fresh start and any troublemakers probably feel vindicated and will stop rocking the boat. There have been rumours of some low level discontent in the camp under DS . . . . . there are a couple of players who I can imagine may have been guilty of that.
FA Cup draw: Villa away to Man.U. Another 0-1?
Thanks for the heads up JG on the PL2 game where Trezeguet had an excellent hour, scoring a nice penalty, and showing what an industrious player he is. Much more to come from him, but was disappointed with Davis, although he scored a good goal. He should have terrorized that Birmingham defence with his height and his speed, but , to me, he looked clumsy and laboured at times. The young ones round him were much more impressive with their confidence on the ball.
Well we might as well take the most difficult tie in the third round, and then if we win, it should be a breeze to the final!!!
Should Benitez be sacked? Everton are an established Premier league club who have spent more than us over recent years. Prior to last night’s win (which I stopped watching after half an hour because up till then the football had been so dire) they had gained only 5 points from their previous 10 games. Three of those points were against Norwich who everyone was beating so they only gained 2 points from their other 9 games.
oh. . . .and they’d been knocked out of the Carabao cup by QPR too.
Can Benitez turn things round?
Everton have identified the problem and sacked the guy who bought all the poor players!
The two players identified as Benitez players bought for bargain prices, Andros Townsend and Demari Gray, are the ones who are helping improve the team, as pointed out last night at the end of the game, which was a good game in the end, with VAR ruling out TWO goals by Richarlason, for hairline offsides…….
VAR ruling out TWO goals against the Arse for hairline offside?? Nah, pull the other one.
PP, have the Everton fans been told that the problem was with player recruitment and not the manager? If so, a lot of them don’t seem to have heard it.
Maybe they will know now r0bb0 after Sky showed how much money he had spent over the last few windows on poor players that have not come up to the mark.
Marcel Brand, Director of Football, was sacked by the club on Sunday, having spent £300 million on players. He was not involved in the appointment of the managers though!
Richard Jolly on 442 spells out Everton’s demise, and worth a read.
PP, it seems that the Everton situation is not quite as clear cut as Benitez (manager) good and Brands (sporting director) bad. The Liverpool Echo puts a slightly different spin on things: https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/marcel-brands-everton-exit-breaking-22372584
The relationship between owners/managers/sporting directors is crucial and it’s almost inevitable that there will be some conflicts, or at least disagreements. There have been suggestions that there were similar undercurrents at Villa. It would be interesting to know whether DS was fully behind the players that were brought in. There is a logic in having a sporting director who will ensure that players all fit a mould of how a club wants to play. This should reduce disruption when managers are changed. It must however be intensely frustrating for a manager who is forced to find ways of incorporating players into his first team squad when he doesn’t believe they fit with his ethos or style of play.
It seems that Benitez has now won his battle and can concentrate on the team rather than the back room politics. It will be fascinating to see if the results on the pitch now improve as a result (and. . .take note. . .with the existing squad and before he’s had a chance to bring in his own chosen players).
9 points from foxes, city, palace and brighton is a insane start. all whilst trying to implement his own ways. they tightning up as a unit is just the start.
love him saying about changing mentality, no winning 1 then drawing and loosing is not good enogh
PP, I should have also mentioned the CEO in that previous post. You’d expect him/her to be the day to day mouthpiece of the owners but of course he/she will also have views of their own. It would now be interesting to know where the balance of power lies at Villa Park. Right now, as has been said before, Gerrard has no historical baggage and you’d hope that he can pick exactly the match day team he wants. Will he also have major say over new player recruitment? Will his previous relationship with Purslow give him more of a say than maybe DS had. Purslow will of course say no to that: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/steven-gerrard-already-made-stance-22210362
One last thought. ‘If’ there was some level of conflict between DS and CEO/sporting director then may that have played some part in the drop in form. I personally can’t imagine being able to give my best when I knew that my boss didn’t have faith in me. I must say, I was lucky that I (nearly) always had good relations with my bosses, but even so felt so much better when I finally had nobody else to report to!
It seems pretty clear that Benitez was involved in some level of politics at Everton and he has come out the winner. If their form now improves it’s an indication that a good manager, on a very bad run of form, can turn things round given the right support and autonomy.
H&V, You’re right about it being a great set of starting results. We could hardly have asked for more. He also speaks extremely well and exudes the impression of being the grown up in the room. You imagine (hope) he’ll carry that same personality into all his relationships. He seems to be a man who knows what he wants and will expect to get it. . . . . I do hope so.
We also must not underestimate the importance of Ashley Young, as a fellow team mate of Gerrard, and his influence o the pitch and in the dressing room. I think he is part of the difference, amog many other things.
Interesting, that i the progamme Q and A with Ashley, that he says he feels fitter and stronger than when he was younger.
I for one am not surprised at the wins I thought we had a reasonable chance anyway after that horror run, every team we have played have been on goodish runs (lots of draws) all bar Leicester who are in transition this season, hardly recognised their players on Sunday. With our poor run I think they all thought it would be easy pickings but couldn’t find a way through us, the only surprise was scoring so many in the 1st three games with very low XG. Sundays match was the 1st time we had over 2 XG this season but I always thought Leicester were not all that conceding 10 goals in 5 games before they played us we conceded 12 in 5 for a measure. Be interesting to play a few that don’t attack, right now I don’t think teams know what to make of us. Wolves held Liverpool for a long time but I have an uneasy feeling about this one.
Trez ran the game for 60mins in the u23”s apparently, looked vey sharp to me and SG is a lucky man, I think he is ideal in one of those ten spots
yeah deffo re trez
goes with el ghazi and troare too. there not proper wingers. alot more suited to gerrard ball and being 10s
cant wait to see troare in that role wherever he is! was just getting the hang of work rate!
No doubt in his ability. need him back asap with bailey out. but just as happy trez is coming back.
i miss his emotion!
Make you wonder as SG said Bailey was just getting back some sharpness and sounded like he rates him, ElGhazi can’t seen to get a start maybe because he doesn’t have the work rate to close down the way SG will require and while not lacking in effort Traore isn’t exactly proficient at it, I hope both can be coached into getting the hang of it, down to them to be honest.
I kept my eye on Nakamba and his passing with both feet has improved, I am wondering if that has been worked on for a while now, not easy if your very one footed to relearn, it takes time and a concerted effort to use the offending foot as much as possible in training and 5 aside took me a year or more to get proficient to the point I could take set piece kick with my left without falling on my Arris.
Why would Trezeguet be remotely suited to a number 10 role?
Have you not been listening Frem? SG plays with a narrow front three, the two outside players are inside forwards or tens, there are at least 6-7 players that can play there , sometimes the mids will swap with the front line or the ten drops to cover midfield. Trez can play midfield, out wide or cut inside he’s ideal for that position particularly as he gets stuck in and is pretty quick. So to answer you its not a normal ten role its two tens.
Been digging around more than usual (like all of us) trying to get a sense of what’s changed in practice beyond basic labels, like “narrow 4-3-3”. While I try to watch critically, in real time it’s more likely I get a sense of patterns than a real understanding of why x, y, or z did or didn’t work. Or, why certain things keep happening.
Fortunately, there seems to be no shortage of people who have the time to rewatch and do some video stills, etc.
I think most of us saw Leicester going down our right side incessantly 1st half. Barnes was beating Cash at will, and the underlapping FB runs were dragging McGinn down toward the back line. Leicester had lots of space back into midfield as a result. Same thing on the other side, but less frequently.
Without the benefit of seeing Leicester much or having Rodgers plan to work with, I don’t know if this was more a response to Villa, or just a feature of Leicester’s attacking play. Guessing it’s maybe a bit of both. When Villa build, it generally tends to be more down our left-center, and Cash is expected to take advantage of the opponent being pulled that way.
McGinn and Luiz often ended up in FB positions as Villa looked to play out. Being back so deep, along with the two “inside 10s,” they invite pressure, and the narrowness, while facilitating more short passes, also tends to draw a lot of defenders. It also plugs things up for the other side, but our FBs can be isolated for passing options.
Anyway, those are the kinds of changes the players are having to get used to. Previously, you’d see Traoré or Ghazi running the touchline, linking up with the FB out there, etc., then either cutting in or going to the back line. They would also have the wide responsibility to track back on FBs or wingers, and covering Cash or Targett’s forays when they got caught upfield.
Seems to me the middle three had more central responsibility, less wide, and the forward three had more wide responsibility, less central. It’s kind of an inversion.
Nothing is iron-clad, everything’s fluid, but in general this is some of what takes getting used to.
And I think MK made the point earlier about the shorter passing improving percentages. Smith’s set-up was more expansive.
Also saw that our pressures have gone up in the defensive and middle thirds, but down in the attacking third.
So, I think this has a fair bit to do with the improved defensive side, things are just more clogged up in the middle.
Learning how to get in between the lines and drilling those patterns is probably where improved attacking and possession will come from.
Great debating Lifers, all very interesting. It’s what distinguishes this blog from the rest on a regular basis.
Bindippers tomorrow. Can we get something from the game? Of course we can. COYVB.
Great comments JC. I envy the fans that can go to Villa Park. It’s much harder to understand patterns from watching on TV.
Great to see Trez get 60mins. More competition. Also great that Archer signed a contract
It is hard. You just don’t get to see the full shape a lot of the time and it all moves so fast. Then again, you often don’t live, either, depending on where you’re sat.
Me, I keep saying I’ll go back and watch a replay/recording, break things down, etc, then find myself dragged back into ‘reality’.
Anyway. I’ll have a preview up soon.
And yeah, Archer may well go out on loan for the short term, but the kid is lively and seems to have the finisher’s knack. Glad he’ll be around for a bit longer.
Fresh page is up.