Not much to say. Marv’s back and on the bench. Ings is back, too, so guessing we’re doing the 4-4-2 again. Usual suspects starting, make of that what you will.

All I can say is that I hope we show up. We could all use a 90-minute performance.

Comments 202

  1. Probably best half of football for a long time ruined by another individual mistake
    Ings has missed 2 great chances but is much more involved in game compared to Watkins who has also missed a great chance

  2. JC Ha the kid curse 🙂

    To me we are fashioning plenty of if your lucks in your score chances and no really well worked if miss your a cnut chances , Ings 2 chances being two you’d expect to go in though.

  3. Exactly why I and thankfully sg want more experienced leaders in the team to complement. This is how we loose so many matches, just brain dead. Been doing it for 3 years now. But patience the blend will be put right

  4. Little Phil. Just sooo good. Levels above. Watching him trying link with Watkins is embarrassing at times. No offence to Ollie but he just can’t see the 3D picture like Phil.

  5. But massive massive second half. Can we put in a similar 45 and get a 90 min performance to build on.

    Spurs are fit as fiddles and quality on the break so will be interesting.

  6. Fair play

    That’s why there elite. There on fire. Every week they’ll batter teams.

    But was going to say unlucky but it’s not. You can’t give top teams soft goals and you have to take your chances

  7. H+V
    Not a lesson just a poor manager so far out of his depth,
    Konsa horrific again,mcginn can’t pass to a teammate,Watkins sorry completely lost yet picked every game

  8. Villa Twitter is so comical. They are flip flopping like crazy! First half superb, sg got his reaction should be winning….second half we are rubbish! Haha

    It’s not that deep. They have Kane and son and we don’t

  9. Well, don’t really know what to say. Two sucker punches, two very good counters. Should’ve been at least level at the half, weren’t.

    The reaction is going to be brutal.

  10. Good job we are probably safe, Considering the players are auditioning for their Jobs and in reality so is SG I can’t see why the owners would give him huge amounts of money in the summer? The least they would want to see surely is us not getting rolled over as a starting point?

  11. I know we have our debates and I know so has and will make mistakes but tbf that first half was unlucky. Noises players on beach or out the door and they we’re aggressive and played well. More possession, shots, shots on target, corners! Not much you can do tbf. You just can’t give easy goals away and miss chances

  12. H&V apart from Pool and city the rest of the games are winnable really. Everyone is bigging up the 1st half but 14 shots 7 on target and only 1.5 XG says those chances were not the best. Then you look at Spurs and its .98 XG and scored 4 🙂

  13. H&V I sure did and we didn’t apart from Ings chances create good enough chances, Shooting from outside the box through a crowd of players is pot luck same with the free kick, good technique but always unlikely to go in. Conte made a few changes in front of the defence and they pissed all over us. I listened to Conte and wondered how does he get things across he’s not the best English speaker yet the team is set up very very well, we are not.

  14. As much as I didn’t want gerard,I thought he can help mcginn improve,what a laugh mcginn is awful now,so on to to his assistant and former villa coach mc allaistar one of the best set piece expert in his day so surely Luis would improve,he couldn’t beat the first man in the last 6 months he makes me want Westwood back
    Shambolic everywhere now

  15. Didn’t think it was a 4 goal game or anywhere near it. We bossed the first half but the second was more even. Unfortunately, shipping goals drained the team and the crowd.

    We stand or fall as a team and I prefer to avoid scapegoats. However, yesterday’s wreckage was mainly down to Konsa. He had a simple nod to his right where Cash was stationed but screwed up and they had their goal start. His awareness of the situation didn’t exist. I had him complicit in all 4 goals and will be surprised if he makes the starting line up again this season.

    There is definitely a soft centre to our centre backs. Think this is where SG will concentrate on rectifying. Then a new holding midfield player, plus a striker as our strikers seem to struggle scoring. That’s 4 top quality replacements needed in the summer.

  16. It does appear that everyone bar maybe cash and Ramsey have got worse, Mings and konsa were one of the best partnerships in the prem last season, McGinn used to bully players in some games but played much further forward, at one time we were afraid of losing him and Luis to other teams or contract clauses, luis however will probably go as his contracts nearly done. Watkins is lost most of the time and the chances presented are not as iron cast as some think, Ings usually lethal in front of goal couldn’t hit a barn door. so lovely triangles etc but personal regression in skills it seems. Martinez who personally kept clean sheets by the dozen last season can’t buy a save in most games because we are giving up big chances.

  17. Plug if that couts turned up most games then great, if not he puts us down to 10 men. Maybe Marv can save the day, I’m giving up on trying to work out whats what.

  18. MK – yeah, that’s a real quality podcast. Two really smart and honest lads. SG has 7 games to save his job. We play Leicester, Palace, Man C and Liverpool. No points from those games. Then Norwich and Burnley twice. I don’t even feel confident in those games

  19. Villamd I don’t know what to think. Do the club think Smith put together a crap squad and SG needs to rebuild or that we have a decent team that ran Spurs ragged for a half but under performs and SG needs to pull his finger out? Love to know the hierarchy’s thoughts.

  20. It’s straightforward to me.
    We should be bringing in 3 maybe 4 good new players and coach the rest of the squad to play at their best
    We change the manager

    No other options

    Wholesale change means that Gerrard has failed as a manager

  21. Robbo
    It has been plain for a long time midfield was a major problem,we have now as manager one of the best midfielder in last 20 years yet didn’t reinforce it in his first window,sanson has showed in clips he deserves a run yet is it personality problems stopping it,like now no point starting young as left back try out young lad every other club does it,for me Gérard has until end of season to make me change my mind on him

  22. MK, R0bb0, JG,

    You write good stuff. Maybe I like the UTV podcast MK shared because they have the same view as me. Which is:

    SG – you need to change it up. You can’t play the same 11 every week when we’re sh$&t. He’s inviting complaincy and going to push away Buendia and Carney. I’m sure Traore and Bailey are already checked out.

    My opinion, sack SG once season is over. Bring in Sean Dyche

  23. Nothing to add really. Spurs four shots become four goals, something we have not done since we beat Liverpool 7-2.
    We are just not clinical enough, and we do not have a midfield to support the back four, so we are easily overrun.
    There need to be some changes, and we just have not prepared our young players enough to compete for places, or our management does not have enough confidence in them.
    We have no simple games coming up, and for all the teams we will be playing against it will a cup final for them, especially Burnley with six points to play for, and they were unlucky against Norwich, who also are finding form, and the net!

  24. So we just need strikers, midfielders and a defence .

    Something stinks, last season with jack we beat several top sides and heavily. Yes the likes of arsenal and spurs have improved as have West Ham but we have clearly regressed back to a level closer to our 1st prem season.

  25. Logically I can look at the disjointed pre-season that lacked key players for Smith to mould into something. Add the coaching team break up and jacks personality vacating I could see solid reasons for us not being at the races. Not only does SG have a larger number of fit players to choose from than Smith ever had fit at least 5 have either not featured or are playing elsewhere.

  26. Cant believe the stick SG gets on here and how much DS is lorded as the man with plan …funny how we can all watch the same game and come out with such contrasting opinions about what we just witnessed

    I was of course not happy the Spurs result but I was delighted with the style of play we are becoming a side that will now beat your press and pass the ball to another Villa shirt which is something I have not been used to seeing from us
    In truth we outplayed Spurs but the key difference is one SG clearly recognises which is we are no were near clinical enough and will not be unless we upgrade the quality of our playing staff

    loved SG’s post match interview which I though was very telling and the players at the club are in no doubt that they are playing for there villa futures … who was it that said the definition of madness is doing the same things over and over while expecting a different outcome
    World class goal getters will win games we need a couple
    As SG also said in his presser no not ever player can come along on this journey and we wouldn’t have been 16th when he took over if we was a team going places … couldn’t agree agree with him more …. excited for the future

  27. Having watched a fair bit of football recently, we are far the worst set up side our defensive lines r like a dogs piss in snow
    Our back 4 look like they don’t know one another then where is the defensive midfielder dropping back to make a nice straight line,watch city and pool keepers kick it long to set up attacks we pass it over and back and eventually goes back to either mings or martinez to hoof it long when opposition have time to regain position, spurs scored a few like that against us
    Then look at players yesterday panting because they where working so hard we manage maybe one half a game
    And then on to Watkins has he a phobia about passing to ings Saturday again he held on far too long in one attack to give spurs chance to clear it
    A lot of this is basic coaching ,is it above Gérard to set up a team properly or is just the opposition have to sit back and await our errors or lack of fitness

  28. Really interesting discussions taking place at the moment and your comment is timely runtings.

    I, for one, may have given the impression that I want Gerrard out but this couldn’t be further from the truth. . . . .I desperately want him to succeed. Having said that, I do have doubts and if he wanted wholesale player changes then for me, that would signal that he is unquestionably the wrong man for us. I’m not saying there should be ‘no’ changes. I think that he needs to be given the opportunity to make 3, maybe 4 changes in key positions but if he’s looking to do more than that then is is not making the most of what we already have.

    I have to say also that his public criticism of the players at his disposal doesn’t sit well with me. He may as well be saying ‘look guys I’m a shit manager and just can’t get the guys to play for me or do what I want them to do’

    Having said all that, he DID get us playing play some good football against a team that has been doing well lately, and we should have ended up with a better result. Had a couple of those chances been converted then the whole mood of the fans would be different today and we’d see plenty of posts about how good our players are and they just needed that confidence boost.

    Last point, on runting’s comment about Dean Smith. This is a tricky one because Mark is right to point out that Gerrard has far more resources available to him now than Dean Smith had. Gerrard ‘should’ be getting significantly better results than DS but currently isn’t. We’ll never know if DS could have turned things round when more players became available to him again. There is also the perception in some quarters that DS was not given the support to introduce the players he wanted but we’ll probably never know if that is true. We’ll also never know if he could have turned things round. We can all speculate, but it’s a bit futile. the point is that we have Gerrard now and we should all want him to succeed.

  29. runtings, I didn’t catch SG saying that if we were a team going places then we wouldn’t have been 16th, but if he did, then it may prove to have been a rather unwise comment. If we don’t start picking up some results very soon we just could see ourselves back in 16th . . . .it could even happen in just 2 games time!

  30. r0bb0,
    Once again very good comments, which sit well with me. I do feel that Dean did not get the players he wanted, as I am sure that at the time, he wanted Benrahma to play with Watkins, and what a difference that may have made, having two players used to each other, especially with Jack in the mix too.
    You only have to look how Mbweno has formed a great partnership with Toney now, having a great understanding together, and that is what Watkins is missing now.
    Steve has to be a proper manager and look at the tools he has and use them to the best of their abilities, and maybe use a few new tools, but using them badly, then blaming them for failure, as you say does not sit well with me either.
    The danger now is can we maintain our position, or are we in danger of slipping rapidly down the table. We really need to become difficult to beat. Hopefully Nkamba and Hause will be available for the next match.

  31. I think the person who should be feeling the heat most is Purslow. He made the decision to part ways with Deano and I’m guessing it wasn’t done on a whim. He must have had solid reasons. Such as he’s lost the dressing room or he’s taken us as far as he’s capable and we want further progress. Coaching staff left. Why?

    So he paid Deano off and obviously had SG lined up as replacement. If any of the above is true, he may have had no choice and we logically follow his selection of a replacement. Did he get that right? Changing coaches is always fraught with danger. Massive risk. Surely Purslow spoke at length with SG pre appointment to discuss the new man’s modus operandi, the current squad’s suitability for it, positions perceived as inadequate, how much of a rebuild is required and a business plan financed to accommodate the answers.

    If I’m Compass, this is what I would be expecting as a minimum from Purslow and assuming it all took place, we are either on track or we are dog shit or the jury is out depending on your view. The only certainty is that the whole spectrum is covered by fans from 0 to 100. Logic tells me more time is needed before the carpenters are called in to start preparing the gallows. A few pointers will be gained from what happens during the summer transfer window.

  32. Quite bluntly, the SG appointment feels just the same as the Roberto Di Matteo appointment. SG should be getting more out of the players at his disposal. Has Purslow got bored with the idea of continual progression and wants to give revolution a go.
    Dr Fraud got spooked for some reason and jumped too soon. He should have given RDM more time especially as Steve Clarke was part of the package. OR he should have appointed Bruce from the beginning.
    By the same logic, Purslow has to stick by SG now (I’m scared!) so team SG had better be quick and flexible learners. Personally, I think Sean Dyche on his own would piss all over the whole of team SG. I also think BFS would do the same – but that wouldn’t be sexy or feasible.

  33. Runtings- As I just pointed out what ever plan Dean Smith did have never got to see the light of day simple as. When you supposedly buy three Players to replace Jack (which was bullshine) and then don’t even have them available through injury etc along with Traore , trez, Davis, Wesley etc out too how could he demo his plan or even practice it? right now SG’s plan is to keep drilling the players until they do or don’t get it and are either sold or succeed. On to the next part of the plan two lethal strikers Ha, good luck with this bit as the entire league are after those, there are only a handful in the top teams so if Suarez is the answer I give up. The amount of really good chances we create means we need someone on Sons level that scores with half chances, most strikers need 2-3 chances minimum to get a goal or you can create chances hard to miss on a regular basis, last season that’s what we did so even non lethal strikers stand a chance.

    Then there’s being able to stop goals going in the other end, unless these lethal strikers can score 5 each a game its gonna be a struggle or does SG know a couple of cheap unpassable defenders? 😉

  34. For me what really galls me is we sacked Smith because if we got a real manager he would have us top 8 no problem. Look at potter at Brighton, every season for a good while now they go up and down in form, lose for ten games then win for a good few and Brighton I suppose are waiting for the day he finally gets it right and they turn into a super team of passing ninja’s sweeping all before them. Brighton have shown real patience through thick and thin with Potter.

    We on the other hand ditched Smith because we are ambitious and demand progression only to find out that the whole teams shit all along from the new manager, priceless.

  35. Thought I’d take a look at Smiths terrible 2021 end to last season and compare it to now. Game 15 was the 1st game played in Jan and that was when we declined having won 3 and drawn 2 in December. So games 15 through to 38 (24 games) Smith got 29 points having clocked up 26 points in 14 games up till Jan.

    So I have taken the games from 15 onwards this season which was the start of December and so far we have clocked up 20 points in 17 games so far and need 9 from 7 to equal what’s considered an awful run.

  36. Villa are not a top 6 side or regardless of the coach we have been bottom half … only thing that will change that are better players .. may I suggest it would be a little short sighted to think that most of the current squad will take us there .. though we do have a good base of players that have all been tied down on long term deals
    Going around in circles on the SG DS debate but I know who my money is on as to who will have a the greater impact as a manager

  37. Runtings missed your calling as a clairvoyant then 😉

    You might be missing the point, the club’s strategy was not just to buy ready made players but to identify and coach players to become those players while adding the odd quality player. Doesn’t take mystic Meg to know we need better players to get top 6. Today £30m is nothing we are talking £60m a pop unless we find some quality.

    The likes of Brighton have no chance regardless of how nice their football looks either unless they get very lucky.

  38. The club’s strategy was to reach Europe in 5 years. An exciting prospect that will still have 1 season to run after this one. It’s highly unlikely to be achieved by finding and identifying young players that can be improved by good coaching due to the timescales involved, not to mention the building blocks that need putting in place before implementation.

    Compass also stated that AVFC must be sustainable. This is where Europe comes in. It is also where the young players come in. At minimal cost, they can be sold on if not quite good enough for good money. Just my humble opinion.

  39. Is Gérard just another Bruce,needs to sign quantities of players ,mainly old ones at no resale value or is he one that can coach average/good players into good/very good players
    For me he is another potato head

  40. Just my opinion mark which doesn’t fit in with those of 5he current regular posters in here I personally am encouraged by SG but I don’t expect him to be able to do any better than 10th this season due to the fact the current playing staff do not have enough cutting edge and we are maybe a top class centre back short

  41. Runtings I’m well used to my opinions not fitting in, goes in circles. Jurys still out on SG, I hope he does well but he’s even more a rooky than Smith was in management. His game management and man management looks a bit iffy, Beale is the main man on tactics apparently but I’m still waiting to be impressed. On that basis I’m not overawed by him about to get a huge amount of money to spend, Like Smith he’s never had that. Spent plenty at Rangers but mostly low figure older buys. Splashing big money on players requires a really good eye because of the stakes being so high if they flop.

    Behind the scenes we have mr Lange who is similar in that he shopped at the lower end and sold for a bit more, Mckenzie too a talent spotter so I don’t see the people capable or used to spending big.

  42. 5 year plan? I think it was from promotion onwards so we have two seasons left to be challenging for Europe regularly not in it, that is my understanding. Clearly Buying 12 players isn’t optimal to base a team on in the prem, its a really tough ask and likely why we are where we are at this point. Last season quality was added and this season a bit more. I think that the age of Kid being bought meant we were looking for a fair few to work out and supplement the squad/team. Whichever way you look at it its very early days and now about to take step backwards potentially unless SG pulls a rabbit out of the hat. It might be the right move it might not.

  43. Mark my last reply on this
    Smith does not have a better record either on or off the pitch .. its not an opinion just check the facts
    If you haven’t seen anything positive in what SG is doing with our playing style the it shows that either I don’t know much about footy or you don’t or refuse to were SG is concerned … I am very happy to see how we are now playing despite the short comings of the playing staff

    The reason we are so behind on the 5 year plan is due to deano’s lack of modern playing style as we couldn’t transition a football from back to front under him which is pretty basic football principal which has left us worse than other teams with a cheaper and less well paid squads ..If it wasn’t for Jack I very much doubt Deano would have had the success he did , his tactics were simply not good enough without Jack
    Here is my mystic Meg prediction as you put it SG will continue to do better than DS throughout there managerial careers

  44. Runtings- if your going to throw facts around check them 1st last time I looked Smith has the same win ratio in the prem as SG at present and with a poorer squad than SG now has over his time here. Would SG have done a better job? unknown, will he do a better job? unknown at present, Is he doing a better job? on results no, anything else is pointless to access as a predictor of future success at this point because it hasn’t produced results now, it may down the line, if he gets there.

    He clearly does not have the years as a manager that Smith has and even Smith is a fair few behind many of the vet managers at this level. Also the reason we haven’t done better is also unknowable because its very likely would of ended up back in the champs 1st season trying to play like Fulham did for instance. We had two managers before Smith that also failed and many before them in the prem similar, Smith appears to be the only one with some success on his CV with us recently. Smith also didn’t manage Rangers but I’ll bet you he would be just as successful (1 cup) as SG, in fact almost any of the prem managers probably would.

    The only thing the teams doing better than us have is much longer at the top, with more funds over time. Some have managed to start their transformation years and years ago in the champs or lower, Villa have skipped from manager to manager with little thought or plan.

    We are by the owners admission ahead in the plan because we got promoted straight away, that brought its own problems such as no team fit for the prem on entry. I think your over egging what can be done in such a short span of time with next to no base to build on. Maybe Villa wouldn’t of come up without Jack, be thankful maybe that someone that saw how to use him to our advantage came in. If we hadn’t and we had sold Jack then you might have seen a team playing more like Brentford built in the champs, we will never know, I don’t think there is a team out there built in the prem as we were that stayed up and that’s where the problems lie.

  45. runtings,

    You’re right, it’s not a top-six team, talent wise. Wasn’t before, isn’t now.

    Me, I’m neither anti nor pro. Well, I’m guess I’m “pro” because I very much want SG to succeed for the good of everyone concerned.

  46. If SG does ok at Villa (it does look like he will be backed heavily) then I’d bet he will wind up at bigger clubs than Smiths reputation has allowed so far for sure and that should ensure greater success I’ll give you that. Put him in charge of Walsall and I think he might struggle to hit the heights. I have had chats with Spurs fans telling me they would of took Smith at their place would you believe.

  47. JC no its not a top 8 team even, when Jack was here and we were flying there was an outside chance but it would of been a false position. Its also why the reason Smith had to go was not the truth just convenient imo.

  48. Same here I’m not against him as Runtings seems to think just not really impressed so far, he comes back each week and says we did XYZ in training then we flop or don’t and he tells us they will do XYZ this week and bugger all happens to influence games other than we seem to be getting worse in defence. If we follow the logic that we are missing Nakamba a player that couldn’t previously hold a place down doesn’t it say we are just as reliant on one player as ever? maybe even reliant on two now 🙂

  49. Again, a bunch of good, thoughtful comments.

    I don’t have time to do a piece, atm, but I’ll try to briefly convey my thoughts (me and brief, well…).

    • Smith. Was working with what he had, and the team (before the summer) was best suited to counterattacking. Always the case when you’re overcoming a talent gap. Some debate on how much say he had on every transfer. Regardless, he never really had the ‘new’ squad at his disposal. Ultimate placing would probably have been about the same. Would’ve relied on a fit Buendia instead of Phil (because he wouldn’t have had Phil).

    • Gerrard. Has a different idea on how he wants to set up. Doesn’t really have the players for it. Could probably get a higher placing using the 4-2-3-1. But he’s persisting, and that’s his prerogative. Could only be a couple players away, namely that 6 everyone’s been screaming for.

    • Me, I’m not terribly concerned with ‘throwing out the plan’. That’s more NSWE’s concern, their idea of pipeline, etc. I do worry, though, about spending big if the players aren’t the right age. Don’t want to get top-heavy on older players and force out others only to see SG leave. Or to have us fall just short, or get 6-8 and not be able to sustain it.

    • Also a little concerned about how the squad is currently built vs where it seems SG wants to go. If we move on surplus players (like Traoré or Bailey, or maybe Ings or Watkins, McGinn, Sanson) and break even, etc., that’s okay. But it could be a big shake-up, and I’m not convinced about the overall tightness of the group right now.

    • Not convinced by the narrow 4-3-3, either. But, again, we don’t really have the players for it.

    • It all gets very confusing when you think about a squad based on Phil and who goes around him looking at what we’ve got. I love the idea of great depth, and maybe we maintain that, but seems like we have a lot of players playing for the same three spots in that middle bank and maybe one of the front 3.

    So I just have a lot of questions. And like everyone, will have to wait for the answers.

  50. Plug,

    Bit of a conundrum, yes. Don’t think we got Phil in (or Digne) to finish 10th-15/16. Seems like there was supposed to be a push to at least get us top 10.

    Europe solves a lot. Going to be a massive summer. Gotta try to keep hold of the youth pipeline to stay sustainable (wages, staying power, etc) while also at least putting ourselves one year away from Europe with the proper depth and quality. Very tricky balancing act.

    I just don’t want us to hollow out the squad overall to get us over the hump and not be able to stay there.

  51. . Don’t think we got Phil in (or Digne) to finish 10th-15/16

    Agree with this JC
    we were going ok but what has been exposed is the we have short coming defensively and we have not been consistently good upfront

    for me SG has done well to begin the transition of our playing style while and raising us from 16th and a few point of the bottom 3 when he took over

  52. Yes I agree, you don’t splash £25m on a full back and bring in one the worlds most expensive players even on loan to stay midtable. Maybe the owners were just as sucked into Villa’s 1st half last season and thought we are nearly there.

    Also think where we are is no real achievement as it was a pretty false position very early on in the season. Newcastle were bottom 2 at the time Chelsea were top, right now we are 3 points off of 16th, so good job?? if we carry on as we are then I think we will be 14th 15th by season end.

  53. Dean Smith did better last season with a lesser squad than Steven Gerrard has done this season so far.

    However, Steven Gerrard had no pre-season and didn’t know the players so it’s not really a fair comparison and we’ll need to see how SG does next year, when he knows his squad and has a pre-season behind him.

  54. In case you’re interested, DS had:
    a higher win ratio
    a lower loss ratio
    a higher goals scored per game ratio
    a lower goals conceded per game ratio
    and inevitably therefore, a better goal difference per game and points per game ratio

    How did he manage this with a poorer squad than SG now has at his disposal? It’ll be partly because he already knew the players and partly, as JC pointed out above, he was utilising them in a counter attacking style for which they were probably more suited than the style that SG is trying to utilise now.

    It ‘could’ be that DS was just a better manager but to be honest, none of us on here, or anyone elsewhere is really in a position to judge that right now. We really don’t want to go back to the old Villa way of changing managers on average more than once a season which is what we did for the previous decade because we know where that led us.

    Gerrard needs to be given the time to succeed although, like JC and others, my one concern is that he brings in older, high wage players and then leaves us with them. . . . . like the Martin O’neill legacy that set us up for a disastrous decade!

  55. we are 3 points off of 16th, so good job?
    crucially we are now 12 points off relegation we can finish 9th a very best with the current squad , yes SG has got 2 players in but we need a bit more than that , we are not good enough in attack or defence atm though we can beat anyone on our day

  56. Serious question if Smith was still in charge and had done similar to SG ie 12 off of relegation and we ended the season 15th-16th would anyone be saying well done? more like he’s spent all that money etc.

    No SG hasn’t had a pre-season, neither did Smith this season of any worth, Players coming back late from internationals, injured already or in Baileys case both and Beundia injured during the pre-season . No way we would of played 352 with a full complement, we didn’t pre-season. SG has had some of the players that are regular 1st team players now for longer than Smith. Smith didn’t know many in the 1st season either yet his record is better.

    Whatever SG does in the future the present has not been a master class of any kind IMO. After the last losing spree he changed tack and won a few then lost again. Was it because he wants to see who can hack it? maybe, he doesn’t seem like the type who goes out and doesn’t mind losing.

  57. Smith had 1 decent pre-season while here, and posted 55 points. We could easily do similar next season no doubt, this summer will be interesting.

  58. This summer will be interesting agree with that bored of the Smith chat he took a downgrade job sg an upgrade there is a reason we big clubs are running after ds

    Expect the same sort of quality are the last 2 buys but in attacking and defensive positions
    SG for sure has a draw as a manager and has already proven that he can attract top players lets go nothing to be negative about

  59. Oh and we may be 12 points off of relegation spots now but that’s if they pick no more points up or equal us and we have Norwich and Burnley scrapping for their lives, nearly every team we face has something to play for.

  60. runtings, you’re right, we’re not at risk of relegation but I would have thought that our most likely final league position is 15th – 17th.
    You say that on our day ‘we can beat anyone’ and I agree we have a squad that can do that as we showed last season but I don’t believe that Gerrard can beat any team with this squad.
    Gerrard is yet to beat a team above us in the table so it does seem likely that there is something wrong with the way he is using this squad against all but the least capable teams. It’s also worth noting that only one team has had an easier run of games since Gerrard joined us.
    In summary, on the assumption that ultimately, what matters are results, Gerrard has not done very well so far.

    However . . . . . . as you say, he is trying to build something different and it appears that the owners are prepared to back him in doing this. We played some excellent football against Spurs so with just a few extra players of his choice and a bit more time it’s possible that things will really start to click. We shouldn’t forget that Arteta and Gerrard are virtually the same age and this time last year Arteta was coming under a lot of pressure with similar criticisms to those we’re hearing of Gerrard now but they’ve been so much better this year.

    None of us know if he can turn things round but he has to have the opportunity to do so.

  61. Never said I was worried about relegation just that if we continue to lose as we are then its unlikely to be a 12 point gap by the end of the season. With Burnley to play twice and Norwich it wold not be a massive surprise if we lost one or two of those, And I’d be surprised if we get much change out of Palace, Leicester, Liverpool and City. So we could be 16th or even 17th is possible and 3-6 points off the drop. Even you can’t see that as desirable or necessary surely? we have phil courtinho and SG but finished 17th won’t look so good to the likes of Philipps at Leeds will it? Leeds and Everton could finish above us, now there are two teams who have had shocking seasons.

    I can’t see a scenario where we drop but if we can’t buy a point its gonna get hairy. And as a debut for SG not good in the eyes of the owners.

  62. We certainly can’t beat anyone on our day as we’ve just witnessed, Robbo’s right. I used have that feeling but not now, Smith beat many of the top managers and as yet SG hasn’t. As our only point of reference is smith vs SG you can’t ignore that.

    As for trying something different? If the conclusion is we need the equivalent of Man City or Liverpools squad to play a certain way good luck.

    Brighton have been banging the door for years now and potters football is very appealing but ultimately no better on results. Like arsenal they have a very young squad but crucially of a lower standard I’d presume. I had hoped our youth could replicate something like artetas done but SG is as far as I can see is not heading down that route. We could see another two seasons of buying even more costly players , where that leads is anyones guess.

  63. Still don’t see the point being banged out on AVL or should that be DS fan club that Sg is not all that and DS would have taken us into the top half apparently flirting with relegation was due to injuries and of course when the likes of bailey and trez got back we would be flying Not

    By a lot of the comments you would think our board are clueless and are effectively ruining the club by employing SG and outing DS .. I will suggest the board we have will only upgrade on managers and players and are fantastic for this club in every thing they have done and continue to do
    The backing DS had from championship to prem is the kind of backing most managers would be over the moon with and the current state of the squad has a lot to do with the previous manager who did a good job up to a point were it was no longer a good job
    AVL is such a negative place at the moment . it won’t belong before some will be back tracking and conveniently forgetting some very unfair and wide of the mark comments .. no pun intended

  64. Runtings that’s because you have it all wrong nobody is saying we would anywhere but where we are, your putting the words in others mouths and jeep on about loving Smith?? What I am suggesting is as far as results are concerned they have been poor under both certainly no better. Would Smith have won more of or any of the games against the top teams? beat manure and really should of beat Chelski in a game reminiscent of the Spurs game just played. Never got to play the team as he would wanted even you have to admit that’s a huge disadvantage. If SG needs a pre-season and his own players then so did Smith no?

    So what your saying are the owners are infallible and Your proclaiming SG’s greatness before he’s actually done anything. I could sit here and just say it will be fantastic, I trust the owners etc but as JC has said there are too many questions, most will only be answered in time, and for me he’s had little effect.

    So unless you want to sit in an echo chamber me old mate you’ll just have to except that many people are not happy with what they are seeing, just as many were not happy with things under Smith. I wouldn’t let it get to you, you’ll either be right or wrong no prizes 🙂

  65. JG I have wondered about the formation, he used it to play in Europe 1st because they had to defend a lot, then he moved it to the league. It has its problems though as he like us had wingers and mids on the books more suited to attacking, he accumulated a lot of players that could play in that ten role in different ways, about ten I think.

  66. What really puzzles me is we have clearly gone down a build that suits Wingers, we have/had Defensive full backs not Wing backs, we have built an infrastructure that is geared to find gems and kids , mainly because Villa do not have the pull to say buy a £70m striker, mostly because they want Europe and a chance to win the league etc. The only real class other than Martinez was Jack and he didn’t think we were going anywhere fast or at least fast enough.

    The club backed Smith fair enough but it equated to £80m a season from virtually zero squad. It had to be that way due to FFP etc but they were clearly happy to continue down that route expressing what type of team they wanted to see.

    They then sack Smith for not doing well enough (without his new buys mostly and Injuries plus no Jack, which is what is was) then bring in SG who appears to want to play a different way and bingo the teams isn’t suitable.

    That to me says the club are not as smart as I thought. Also could mean we don’t make the money we set out to on these players if sold. Its just seems plain stupid to me. I mean who forces the incoming manager to take on two coaches that look like they were forced onto Smith?? all very amateurish to me from a club with big ambitions.

  67. An example of the level of stupidity is we bought 3 players for £90m, apparently to replace Jack and they never played together. Now in SG’s current set up they literally can’t play on the same pitch and we have loaned in another Jack figure in Phil. Literally £60m on the bench each week in two players including our record signing.

  68. On Smith, Why if the club had their reservations about him after the end of last season did they give him one of the most important summer builds we have had under the new owners? Why were they happy with the style of play if it wasn’t going to take us where they want to go? If there was any forethought prior to the sacking I really can’t see what it was. If they wanted a better quality manager that could utilise the players we have while building then Conte would have been a much better fit, could we have got him? SG is impressed by the ambition so why not Conte?

  69. Still so many unanswered questions MK with regard to the board and their ambitions.
    WE were going to have a style of play that would be replicated throughout the club.
    We were going to have managers and coaches that would be part of the system, which would not be disrupted if they were changed.
    Recruitment was going to be young and hungry, with a huge potential development.

    It would seem that three years on, and aall this has gone out of the window!
    We now have SG who prefers to build a much more experienced and mature team, where he idolises the Suarez and Coutinho players of the distant past.

    I think that Purslow also needs to think again, because the 22,000 fans on Villa’s waiting list will soon disappear if we end up back as a team fighting relegation every year, and that is more likely at the moment. It is points that count and Villa cant buy them at the moment.
    SG does not need the sack, but it may not be very far away if things do not improve.
    Sean Dyche has gone today after being the longest serving manager, and well loved by many Villa fans!!

  70. PP- that’s an insane decision by Burnley with 8 to go, Southampton , Watford and us twice plus Newcastle surely gives them a chance bearing in mind Everton’s run in.

  71. PP and Mark, it really does seem that there’s been a change of direction and of course the club aren’t ‘obliged’ to let the fans know, although bearing in mind how open they were with us at the start, maybe that’s a bit of a change of direction too.
    I was feeling a bit nervous that maybe the ambition had waned but of course the proposed redevelopment of the ground shouts that the ambition is absolutely still there. It seems therefore that although the end destination hasn’t changed, someone has decided that we need to take a different route.
    Maybe there was a feeling that it was going to take too long via the youth development route so we needed a manager who could attract some of the best older players. Gerrard would fit that mould.
    This may not be something you want to shout about if you’re still wanting to keep the best of the youth players believing in a route though to the first team?

  72. It certainly seems that the likes of Gary Shaw, Jack Grealish will no longer be shining through in the near future, unless SG has a change of heart. It would appear that Ramsey is the last for a while to get a real break in the first team.

  73. Maybe it’s just me,but I don’t think we need another rebuild,if Gérard can’t get a tune out of our players it says more about him than the players
    Yes we need a new midfielder probably 2 of them but surely ours haven’t regressed that much,cash konsa mcginn Luis and Watkins have slipped massively is it a blip or have reached their full potential
    Next match our young left back has to start along with cash mings and Chambers,then midfield for me I would go Bailey sanson marv and either Luis or mcginn then coutinho to start behind Watkins a 4 11 formation ,we need to sit tight for first half no need to take lead in attacking play Leicester at their own game,we have good options from the bench ings beundi traore and ramsay from the hour mark

  74. Absolutely with you on the rebuild. If we have to make wholesale changes then we’ve failed.
    Now it could be that the board have failed by choosing the wrong initial strategy and they’ve now decided that we need to change tack. It will be an expensive mistake, but credit to them if they’ve realised it and more credit still to our owners if they’re willing to fund it.
    I tend to think (like you it seems) that the mistake will actually be that Gerrard isn’t able to bring the best out of most existing players or develop youngsters so needs to turn to buying experienced players who’ve been there, done that and will be able to work it out for themselves.

  75. So we are back down where we were when Gérard took over 15th,that’s having splashed out on 3 permanent players and coutinho on loan along with other new summer signings finally fit
    Purslow has to be worried he has sanctioned all of this

  76. We will see where it goes, all very well saying that SG needs his own players etc but he surely has to earn the chance in the now. He’s stated that the teams not much good because we were 15th or whatever when he arrived but its been very disappointing regardless, some good moments but to few.

  77. Shall we be getting in these elite mentality SG approved players before we have to cough up for our at least 10% more expensive season tickets? Will all these superstar players (and unicorn #6) be interested if our league position doesn’t improve? I think SG has pissed off some players so much that they couldn’t care less where the team finish. The team performance against Leicester will be the players’ vote of confidence in team SG.

  78. PS
    I thought a number 6 was just a left footed number 4 and a number 10 was just a left footed number 8. I didn’t realise how specialised players had to be. Suppose I’m just an analogue man without any fifa or football manager qualifications.

  79. Condolences to both Ashley Westwood and Keinan Davis, both with injuries ending their seasons.

    Not sure about the future anymore, and where |||Gerrard is taking us, but we just have to wait and see. Don’t really feel confident about where our next points will come from.

  80. Yes Davis can’t seem to catch a break from injury hope its not a long term one.
    Speaking of long term effects I don’t think it will be long until the effects of the Covid Vaccines surface, surely many people and clubs will be looking for compensation. Didn’t realise Le tissier got the sack for speaking out.

    “U.K. football legend and sports commentator Matt Le Tissier, featured in the video above, is among those who have been speaking out about the large number of athletes who have collapsed or died on the field — and he lost his job as a commentator because of it. In an interview with Red Voice Media, Le Tissier is asked about his thoughts on the surge of cardiac events in the sporting world, to which he responded:

    “I’ve never seen anything like it. I played for 17 years. I don’t think I saw one person in 17 years have to come off the football pitch with breathing difficulties, clutching their heart, heart problems …

    The last year, it’s just been unbelievable how many people, not just footballers but sports people in general, tennis players, cricketers, basketball players, just how many are just keeling over. And at some point, surely you have to say this isn’t right, this needs to be investigated.”

  81. MK,

    I really don’t want this to start up again. But, in letting the post stand for the sake of freedom of speech, I’m compelled to offer countervailing facts deriving from sources other than noted medical and population-health expert Matt LeTissier, on what is currently known about sudden deaths in athletes. Here are some links. Of note, the Reuters articles states that:

    “Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), a British charity that funds medical research and supports families of young people affected by heart conditions, told Reuters: “It’s important to understand that young sudden cardiac death (in both sportspeople and the general population) is tragically not a new phenomenon.”

    It pointed Reuters toward data published in 2008, which showed 12 ‘apparently fit and healthy’ young people (aged 35 and under) die in the United Kingdom every week from previously undiagnosed heart conditions ( and here).” That’s 624 a year.

    In short, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. To date, that evidence is not there. Investigations are being conducted into causes of death, especially as they relate to covid, vaccines, etc. There are too many independent bodies with differing missions/agendas accumulating data to plausibly assume a cover-up.

    It’s also worth noting that most ‘sudden’ deaths in athletes, particularly among non-professionals, receive only local coverage, meaning there have long been sudden deaths in “healthy and fit” individuals, and only now is the scope being brought to light and aggregated within a covid-vaccine context to support certain narratives. I doubt LeTissier has ever reviewed any athlete-mortality data previously, and I doubt he’s actively ‘investigated’ anything ever.

    Additionally, research indicates that even among asymptomatic cases (both pre and post vaccine), neurological and cardiovascular effects have been observed.

    One might argue that pro-vaccine, governmental, and medical-industrial cabals, assisted by compromised mainstream media lackeys, are suppressing information and spinning a rosy narrative.

    To get a sense of whether this is true, one should search for data prior to the introduction of vaccines, and also consider that damage from cardiovascular inflammation, as well as lung and neurological damage, is a common feature of covid infection. A not-insubstantial number of players have been infected.

    To date, though, I’ve not noticed a sudden rash of inexplicable cardiac or pulmonary events in the Premier League. Then again, I don’t watch every match, so I may have missed some.

    But, time will tell.

  82. JC- Oh there are lots and lots of papers out there bud for and against but personally I have never seen so many incidents crop up and in the year after Vaccination began not in the year Covid started maybe its the focus maybe not.

    Not just ex footballers noticing patterns there are plenty of doctors, scientists etc that have seen the patterns and effects, the only reason I mentioned Matt was he was mentioned and is a footballer that people would know not suggesting he’s an expert.

    Giving a vaccine in a pandemic will of course muddy the water as to what did what but the timings seem quite strong and a hell of a lot of young people had the vaccine but didn’t show effects from infection if they had it not to say there couldn’t be. I have met several people in my work that all had similar effects after vaccination including palsy so I am not saying this for a laugh.

    One thing that was found was the injection didn’t always stay in the muscle as was claimed and effects were usually within 1-3 days.

    Had to laugh when I saw the Fact check org article was about a conservative claim about the vaccines when the democrats were refusing to take it when Trump floated the idea. Not a great fan of fact checkers in general.

    If Covid is to blame my friend then maybe we should just shut down sport all together in case. Truth will out I hope whichever way it goes.

  83. Jc – while my previous comment is moderated It just occurred to me that in my 40 odd years of playing football Tewa to three times a week I have personally seen one player who suffered a collapsed lung from which he suffered and a friend died before covid of a blood clot from a dead leg he was in his 60’s otherwise I have never seen a heart attack or collapse in a game so from what I have seen and read it’s quite rare. Of course you can’t really count the average bod as an athlete . The players withdrawing from a professional tennis tournament with various heart lung problems was a very odd one don’t you think? with the only link being full vaccination that I can find which I assume includes the booster.

  84. I’ve unblocked it, MK. I wouldn’t think pubmed articles would generate a block, but.

    Yeah, bottom line, it will simply be a while before there’s a definitive picture, or at least as close to one as we can get. As you say, having a vaccine appear in the middle of the pandemic is going to require teasing out, and it will take time.

    Short term, long term effects from either vaccine or covid. Studies involving asymptomatic and symptomatic cases with vaccine and not, and when. Underlying conditions. False negatives and positives. And now, the general falloff in reporting of cases as everyone’s tired of it and the virus itself appears to have mutated (as one would generally expect) to less severe strains.

    Science takes a while. But if we were to examine any approved drug, we’d find undesirable side effects in some portion of the population. Drug adverts usually carry a long list of possible side effects. There are even warnings about things we don’t give a thought to, like ibuprofen. And, of course, we have different vaccines, with different mechanisms of action, being administered.

    We generally take all that for granted because a) everyone’s health and medical history are different, b) the side effects are usually statistically insignificant, and/or c) depending on the condition and the drug, the good outweighs the bad. Which isn’t to say all drugs are effective or useful. I have plenty of misgivings about Pharma in general, but this wasn’t really a question of Big Pharma just making money.

    Of the hundreds of millions of doses of covid vaccine administered, there will be side effects in some portion that will pale in comparison to the overall uptake. I’ve no doubt that the benefit has far far outweighed any negatives. Just like masking and lack of contact produced an extremely sharp downturn in flu and colds. The transmission models evolved with data and were efficacious. That’s just the way understanding develops.

    In the end, we’ll know a lot more, and if we rely on rigorous, well-constructed studies with suitable sample sizes, we have much better dialogue. There’s a maelstrom of both unintentional and intentional bad takes with a variety of motivations, and a huge amount of stuff circulated that’s been everywhere from wrong to dangerous.

    So, triple- and soon quadruple-dosed without a problem among anyone I know, I’m going back to the football.

  85. It would be nice to argue over Villa again. Got plenty to chew over DS conspiracies and weither or not Purslow has gone off piste with the old 5 year plan or is there a new (1 year) one.

    Even the other lot (Villa Blog) haven’t got so bored that they have resurrected all the old covid arguments.

  86. What I want to see. Sgs style and identity clear. Hopefully with nakamba back will go back to it.

    Because if we are to progress are recruitment has to be 100% better.

    Don’t care if it’s names or not or how much they cost. We need to buy players that fit our style and identity.

    No more 30 mill Ings

    Smith spent just under 400 million pounds in 3 years …..

  87. Christ getting excited. Surly surly you don’t get suited and booted with purslow Lange and sg and go abroad to just scout?! That’s proper talks going on. Purslow is the negotiator he wouldn’t go along for the sake of it? Surly it would be Kamara? Out of contract in summer but was meant to be going athletico or Man U? Christ if we pull Kamara off it would be bonkers

  88. Meanwhile in the real world, Newcastle United are the only team to match Liverpool in points, since Christmas, and now sit 11th in the table, whilst we are now 25th and still falling.
    We really need to step up to the plate in the coming days, or we could be in a very poor position.
    Targett outstanding for the Toons again tonight.
    Really hope the return of Nakamba will make a difference.
    Surely things must start turning soon for SG and this team.

  89. Saturday’s game against Leicester will be their 3rd EPL game in 6 DAYS. If that doesn’t help us, I don’t know what will. We’ve had 2 weeks off to prepare so I’m expecting a result of some sort this weekend.

    Our league position is cause for concern. There are some very average teams above us. Time to deliver.

  90. i dont know why anyone cares about the rest of season. its dead.

    eyes on the prize.

    over 3 years of nswe.

    saved us
    re built the youth team and scouting newtwork from scratch
    building a infrastructure ie the academy next to villa park, new training ground looking at buying feeder club.
    youth team won fa cup
    we are now a settled ish prem team
    we are about to embark on one of the most exciting summer windows we have ever seen

    aston villa are in a very very good place. lets go

  91. Personally I don’t think the 5 year plan has changed one bit it is still in reach but some major changes that SG obviously recognizes need to take place and contrary to popular AVL believe the squad is far from good enough to achieve Europe as it stands
    this is why DS had to go as his squad need major changes as does the playing style … citeh and chelski didn’t get were they are without being ruthless in there upgrading of players or managers and you will have noticed both changed a number of times to allow them to be what they are today
    SG is a winner and can attract players that perhaps would not consider Villa at this time without his influence and the players being linked are upgrades on what we have which is a mid table team at best

  92. Heroes, I still very much care about the rest of the season. We have 4 home games left and as I’ll be in attendance at VP, I don’t wish to watch players going through the motions of dead games. I expect to see effort and passion.

    There’s also the small concern of approx £1.25 million per league place. The difference between 9th and 15th place is about £7.5 million and if I’m the owners, I’d demand maximum effort from everyone to get it. COYVB.

  93. plug

    yeah thats fair man. didnt mean to be to flippant but for me its just getting to the summer and what has to happen for us is sg commit to a style and getting in players to suit the system.

    some of the names weve been linked with is madness. but you never know with sgs name behind it. look at digne and phil!

  94. our teams ok indidually

    but the balance is all wrong. we are far too samey.

    need more steel, experience, physicality, pace

    a new cb, cdm, cm, st is a must. get a sgs own spine in

  95. i saw a table of us being 9th in the whole world for net spend since 2012 or summin! its utter madness.

    recruitment recruitment recruiment has to be the buzz word from now on.

    sg has to have his own clear identity of how to play and fit the right players in the team, dont care if ive ever heard of you or cost 500k or 50mill

  96. paul

    it was only 10 mins ago sg dragged us away from 17th 2 points off relegation to being sat 10th for 3 weeks.

    fact is its a very very conjested table. nothing but a fag paper to seperate 9th to 16th. low and behold we dont play whilst everyone else is and we move down the table!

  97. JC, the most pertinent sentence of your response was “exceptional claims require exceptional evidence” It’s always best to keep an open mind but so far, nothing approaching ‘exceptional; evidence’ exists.

  98. H&V, I agree that now we’ve thrown in our lot with SG, he should be given a chance to make some changes to the squad as you would expect for any new manager. Personally, I’d be nervous of allowing him to spend big, and I’d be especially nervous of allowing him to take on old players on expensive contracts. . . . . . but then again, it’s not my money!

    if you look at results against teams that we’ve played this season under both DS and SG, we haven’t beaten any team under SG that Dean Smith lost to. Under Dean Smith however we did beat United and Newcastle and drew with Brentford, all games that we have lost under SG.

    The teams we lost to under DS were Chelsea, West Ham, Arsenal, Wolves, Spurs and Watford. He had a much tougher run of games to contend with than SG has had since he joined us. In fairness to both management and fans, we couldn’t have known back then that West Ham and Arsenal in particular were tougher opponents this year than they had been last year so the results at the time probably felt worse than they really were.

    I’d wanted DS to be given a few more games but in some ways the management were smart, in that having decided they wanted a new manager they waited till there was a run of games that looked winnable (4 of SG’s first 5 games were against Palace, Brighton. Southampton and Norwich). That gave SG every chance to show a ‘new manager bounce’, but since then results have actually been worse than under DS.

  99. Agree SG’s Villa record is not great but I think Pep would struggle to get our current group into Europe or anywhere near it
    I will judge SG next season when its more an SG team than a DS
    We were linked with players like Rashida under DS we are now linked with and have already attracted players many levels above such players and this is the real key to any genuine progress . tactics is one thing and I like the current tactics but quality is what really wins you things and thankfully it looks nailed on that we will have a lot more of that for next season

  100. I dint take any heed of so and so got results against whoever. The prem is a utter mad house.

    Chelsea dismantle saints 6-0
    Saints beat arsenal 1-0
    Arsenal beat Chelsea 4-2
    Saints currently loosing to Burnley

    It’s madness

    One game as you go

  101. Robbo

    Sg just gave us Phil, chambers and digna in the Jan window! The man can spend what he wants in the summer?!

    And I have no idea why most fans are unwilling to want experience players when it’s what we are crying out for. We need balancing out and more players of stature.

    Were fans like this when we signed Merson, nillis, Laursen, McGrath, bouma, houghton, carbone, Dublin, friedle, Parker, Richardson,

  102. Runtings
    Yeah man take coutinho. You want to be best of the rest and rise above mid table you need to get Phil on board.

    Looking like toon are in for him and willing to pay whatever. It’s a game changer that would put them above us

  103. And I love youth more then anything but if I’m taking charge of this side tomorrow I’m profiling stature, athletism, pace, experience/leadership as a must.

    I just hope sg does.

  104. The commentator summed it up then describing saints. Streaky. Quote that to any of the mid table lot, villa, palace, Brighton, saints, will all loose for a month then win a few.

    Is why wolves and West Ham have become the best of the rest. They’ve grown balls and ground out those draws, clean sheets to be consistent.

  105. runtings and H&V. you’re both right that SG has successfully attracted top class players. The problem is that despite having those 3 top class players, plus having other players available to him that were not available to DS, our results have been worse. If football managers are judged on results, then SG has done a poor job. I’m not saying that we should have stuck with DS, but at this stage SG looks like a lesser manager.

    The one cogent defence is that he is determined to introduce a new style of play and needs a squad full of players suited to that style. If this is the case and he is not prepared to adapt to circumstances in the meantime then maybe that’s a strength and we’ll see the benefit next season.

  106. H&V. You say that if Newcastle get Phil that will put them above us.
    They’re already above us, but that’s only down to the relative performances of their new manager compared with ours.

  107. H&V, you say you don’t take heed of who get’s what results against whom and that the premiership is a mad house. Our problem is that in an unpredictable madhouse you’d surely expect to have been able to beat just one of the teams above us in the table surely?

  108. H&V, a small point but when you say SG dragged us away from 17th, when Dean Smith was sacked we were in 16th. If we’d been 17th then there’s a better chance of course that SG will finish the season with us higher in the table than when he took over. 🙂

  109. toon are just about above us with us with games in hand!

    Trejectuory pretty much the same. both teams in relegation trouble both new managers dragged them to mid table safety.

    sg prob done it too quickly….then started to be a bit more expansive.

  110. its funny how we sat in 10th for a while but not a word said or credit given in a conjested mid table. villa go one week of not playing when everyone else does and predictably move down and toon go above us for the 1st time all season and every stick is used to beat sg with.

    what agenda!

  111. Me if Gérard had been mixing it up trying different players,formations I would give him more leeway,but konsa mcginn Luis ramsay Watkins have played nearly every minute even tho they have been awful,cash had a few decent matches gets a new big contract why,Chambers sanson carney Bailey traore and beundi have got no minutes worth, his tactics and use of subs are worse than Smith with a better squad of players avaiable

  112. james tbf

    sg has gone to narrow 433.

    put luiz as a actual 8 put nakamba as a actual lone 6.

    tried 2 up top.

    tried mcguin as a 6!

    he got us safe then started to experiement a bit. should he kept us a narrow 433 like he started with 2 tens. i think so.

    without any doubt the summer trnsfers have to be clear and concise suited to his style of play else we will fail

  113. H+ v
    Don’t think he got us safe,he got new manager bounce then when it faded he got the coutinho bounce spent 4m on a reserve keeper which wasn’t needed i

  114. Brentford Watford Newcastle and countless other pathetic performances with Gérard calling out players then picking same ones next game konsa last day been perfect example,

  115. Seen different highlights
    of goas in old matches and one thing every team we had had midfielders capable of running with ball scoring goals ,creating goals bar ramsay we have none bar ramsay at the minute ,and why I was surprised that Gérard didn’t get someone in ,instead of blowing almost 30m on a left back and reserve keeper

  116. H&V, it really isn’t the case that no credit was given when we were sitting 10th. I remember distinctly that ‘lots’ of praise was given. There was plenty of talk about a possible push for Europe and optimism was running high.
    It’s inevitable that our views are coloured by recent performances and I know I can be guilty of that too. Back then I was feeling relieved and hopeful that he was turning things round for us. Right now I’m anxious and a bit sceptical as I think every fan should be. . . .but. . . . it still is too soon to tell and he needs to be given next season to being to mould the team that he wants.

  117. robbo

    yeah man just concerned he aint being given enough rope to hang himself yet. need to be fair.

    christ im as fickle as they come, ill be the first calling for his head if i see things go south.

    right now he needs to get the summer window spot on

  118. H&V . . .how far South would things need to go for you to start calling for his head. . . . . I reckon we’re already South of Watford. . . . paddling in the Channel?

  119. I’d like to think the rest of the season isn’t a throwaway. Despite SG’s reputation as a player, I don’t think stumbling and losing ground during the final stretch is going to impress players with potentially better destinations on offer in the short term.

    Hoping the break has led to some progress and a mental reset.

  120. Agreed JC and I actually do think that we’ll have a strong end to the season. I’ve predicted a villa 1-2 win today in a little predictions league I am in and reckon that if we can indeed win this one it will provide that confidence boost that we need to go on a mini run of wins.

  121. JC- I agree RE the the jabs, been a bit busy at work and with my new band to reply sorry. What is very plain is the reluctance to look at the dark side. A chap called Spiro Pantazatos has looked at the data and has seen that in every round of covid Vaccinations the all cause mortality rate goes up for a month then drops down below the following month. This gets worse with every extra shot given, so calling for more boosters??

    The preprint is COVID vaccination and age stratified all-cause mortality risk. He cannot get anyone to print it. This is from the lancets editor in 2015 and it doesn’t bode well for getting the truth out and I do think there is definite conflict of interest. People may see the harm done but assume its for the greater good.

    “Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness,” wrote Richard Horton, the Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet in 2015.

  122. Stevie has his work cut out, that gap is shrinking and you have to hope he decides to close the stable door for a while and take those single points rather than chase the 3. At the very worst we lose both games to Burnley and be fighting for our lives, we have to take points and take them now to stop the rot because city and Pool will give us a shoeing. I think we should of played Liverpool last week but for the cup and that would have been 5 on the trot.

    Saw that Deano said he was surprised at getting the tin tack for 5 losses considering the players out the the loss of Jack etc, he’s not on his own there.

  123. During his 1st 6 games which went well SG didn’t have Phil, has Phil become a side show that rather than get the best from the rest? I think there is a case for that.

  124. Mark, SG was brought in prior to a run of very winnable fixtures and that was surely a large contributory factor to the ‘new manager bounce’. In fact, based on league position when each fixture was played, SG’s first ten fixtures were the second easiest set of fixtures of any club in the premiership. (I think Liverpool had the easiest run of fixtures over that period and it helped propel them back into contention for the title)
    Five of SG’s first 6 fixtures were very winnable so I don’t think it would be fair to ascribe cause and effect to Phil’s arrival and our drop off in form after the first easy 6 fixtures.
    Having said that, his arrival has meant that Buendia has lost his place, just as he was starting to become influential for us. I’m not the first to say it, but sacrificing Buendia for Phil (who’s long term position in the squad is under question) may not be the smartest move for the long term good of the club.

  125. H&V those are some pair of tinted glasses, the other teams catching us up are doing so because they have begun to win games while we are in a 4 game losing streak, so it doesn’t matter a toss what he did at this point, its not a good look.

    I think also no manager says oh we are safe lets lose, he has been a very unhappy bunny over every loss. Yes he’s tried different things every manager does, its not a big surprise.

    Also being in 16th early in the season with our woes at the time was certainly not the death knell you seem to think, Everton were on a winning streak when we beat them, Newcastle flying, Palace? I think Vierra has done a very solid job there.

    Smith spent £400m? minus all the sales, is about £80m a season which is bollock all for a midtable side. The teams worth is about £390m £45m of which is Digne, Olsen and Chambers so we have made money. I presume you think that SG from the same starting point as Smith in the Champs would of spent better?

  126. Robbo- what do you make of this?

    “While vowing to ramp up the effort to get more Americans vaccinated, U.S. Health and Human Services Director Xavier Becerra claimed the “safe and effective” mRNA shots are killing people with dark skin at a much higher rate than those with light skin.

    “By the way, we know that vaccines are killing people of color — blacks, Latinos, indigenous people — at about two times the rate of white Americans,” Becerra explained during a digital “White House Convening on Equity” seminar on April 14.”

  127. H&V I really love it when pundit fans of SG come out and say the prem isn’t easy and he has to be given time. The thoughts when Smith was here were he’s not experienced enough at this level we need better.

    One thing I won’t forgive Deano and Villa for is binning O’hare, The Solihull Messi, lots of teams looking at his performances for Cov including Spurs, irony is Norwich are one.

  128. Going to My Sisters at Daventry to watch the match, She’s Villa and my younger brother will be there with his little’uns who live in Leicester, he’s took to supporting them, probably all be in their colours, deep joy.

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