You wouldn’t normally think Norwich at home is a big game, but with Deano returning to Villa Park for the first time in charge of another club, it is a big day. Never mind that Villa could help seal the Canaries’ relegation and put to rest any such concerns of their own.

Which is also an odd thing to be writing. Villa should be nowhere close to relegation worries, and maybe they’re not, overall. But with a Burnley double coming up, and Liverpool, Palace, and City, as well, it’s still a possibility, even though at eight points above the drop zone with six to go, you’d like to think we’re over the line.

So that’s what makes this one more than interesting: Villa really haven’t climbed to any greater heights than when Smith was sacked, and here they are needing a win against Smith’s long-doomed Norwich side to breathe easy.

Funny old game, isn’t it?

Far as the squad goes, no idea what’s going on in the camp. I’m seeing Sanson is out yet again, and that Traoré is just now available. Which makes no odds in terms of who will start. One has to assume Sanson is done at Villa, and perhaps Bert, too.

One thing I will say, though, is that I thought Gerrard was taking the piss a bit talking about how Emi Buendia needs to make an impression. Largely sidelined by Coutinho regardless of form and now getting minimal game time as a sub, it’s laughable to say Emi’s fate is on his own shoulders.

Although I get taking a look for the future, and the differences in what they bring, Bailey has done sweet FA with his starts. Not saying he won’t come good, but if I’m Emi, well…I’m not thinking I’m getting a fair shake, exactly. It’s basically him or Phil, and Gerrard is going to go with Phil every time. The system doesn’t suit two actual 10s, however it’s touted. It doesn’t even suit Phil.

I’m not going to say SG’s crazy. But Buendia offers at least 85-90% of Phil’s creative quality, with more running and bite. He’s younger and cheaper, and won’t want to be relegated to a sub in Gerrard’s system. Me, I think Gerrard’s walking a fine line here. Even if Phil stays, is it really value if Buendia goes?

That’s why Gerrard gets the big bucks.

End of the day, I want two things Saturday: A Villa win, and an extremely warm reception for Dean Smith. And I’ll be honest: If he does come away with points, well…

Over to you.

Comments 91

  1. Heading off to VP shortly. I’m sure Deano will get a good reception JC, I’ll certainly give him one. BUT, nothing short of Sweet Caroline at the end will do!! Let’s go Villa.

  2. John, I’m sure you’ve said what a lot of us are thinking. . . . . but have felt guilty about saying out loud. Of course we want a good performance and a good win this afternoon, but if we were to lose. . . . . well we wouldn’t begrudge Dean Smith his victory.

    You’ve also picked up on the Buendia comments from Gerrard which is what I came on here to comment about. I really felt that the comments would have been best left unsaid and when I read them they got right under my skin. Basically he was trying to justify not playing him by publicly criticising him.

  3. Great leader JC. Have to agree with all you wrote.

    Phil has no assists in 8 games. SG – well, the opposition was tough. He’ll come good against Norwich and Burnley X2. If we brought Phil in to only help win those type games, then I’m lost.

    I love Buendia energy and skill. Plus he’s always posting on Twitter UTV

  4. Pardon

    Wouldn’t begrudge Deano a win?! Whaaaat!

    Nearly 400 mill spent, no wins without jack and looking lost close to relegation.

    The chap wasn’t hard done by!

    Any ways 3 points a must

  5. Sgs patience with Bailey. Love it. I will play you into form!

    Chambers in for konsa too!

    Sgs faith in the youth. Ramsey a definite starter since sg walked in and now Tim over luiz and nakamba.

    Again the youth will get a chance under sg

  6. Luiz is off apparently. Not in sg plans.

    Lots of chatter from same sources how good Tim is. The best of all academy prospects inc Ramsey.

    He could save us a fortune.

    Sorry Tim no pressure on your home debut

  7. Should be safe but really what a miserable season all round,how many matches have been enjoyable to, compared to bad ones,what players have stood out,Bailey v Everton, Phil v utd and ramsay goals

  8. Watching Leeds really putting it up to city makes me wonder why are our players so poor on the ball,Leeds and most of other sides seem to pass at ease us not so,possession stats today again we were in mid 40s at home To bottom side Norwich, that has to change and quick

  9. Get in. Deano got a really warm welcome from the fans.

    There was plenty not to admire though from Villa. We were static far too many times. And yep, we hit the woodwork twice and had they gone in it would have been a battering.

    Tim received a standing ovation when subbed around the 76 minute mark. Frem, he could save us a shed load of money on the DM position. He’s big, quick and mobile. He impressed me.

    We managed another clean sheet. More down to Naarwich being ineffective. Ollie ran his nuts off as usual and scored a great goal. Think we need to find space in the team for Buendia. He injected some energy when he came on.

  10. A word about Bailey. He took a tackle on 12 minutes and it killed his contribution. Sure he hit the crossbar, but was otherwise very poor.

    Also a word about the ref. He was garbage. Kept giving Naarwich free kicks and ignoring their fouling. Time and again. John Brooks. Awful game. Enough there to appraise his performance on neutrality.

  11. blimey the DS massive must be hurting after yesterdays result
    our actual match stats
    52.2 Norwich 48.8 Villa with them getting 7 shots on target to our 17 but again it is no surprise SG gets little support and next to no credit
    Fab 60 mins from young Tim superstar in the making again at villa
    The front 3 looked good when Ings replaced courts but courts looked much better through the middle as suggested by some on here should happen
    I think the defender in danger for next season is Konsa dropped after multiple mistakes in recent games
    Lovely treatment and lots of love transmitted from villa park to our DS which was lovely

  12. Well JC, you got your wish. A Villa win, which was never really in question, and Dean got an amazing reception, before the game, and after as well. Fair play to Buendia, who also went to the Norwich fans at the end of the game and applauded them.
    It was a fairly comfortable game, with no real surprises, and as has been said already, Tim had a good full debut, Ollie and Danny scored two good goals, and MIngs and His defence never really looked troubled.
    Perhaps, now everyone will get on board and be more positive, giving SG a bit more breathing space, and hopefully we will have a reasonable end to the season.

  13. Yep nice getting back to winning ways. 2 clean sheets on the Bounce will be pleasing.

    Imagine being a toffee fan now eeeek

    We know the feeling!

    Lots of comparisons with our position when we stayed up.

    I have no idea how we did it tbh!

  14. Runtings, I’ll only speak for myself, but I was delighted and relieved with yesterday’s result.
    I also felt a little sorry for DS, being relegated by his old team.
    Based on results, SG has still done a worse job than DS but I still fervently hope he comes good for us and come match day will continue to support him all the way.

  15. If we beat Burnley twice plus Crystal Palace then it will have been a reasonable end to the season and take us into next year with a little more optimism

  16. I think we needed the win to stay clear of the relegation fight raging below us. We were getting a bit close to it.

    Who’s going down with Watford and the Canaries? Suddenly Leeds look in big trouble. Arsenal and Chelsea up next for them. We watch with interest.

    Back to Villa. I hope Tim gets a run in the starting line up between now and the season’s end. It’ll help his development and our assessment of him.

  17. What’s everyone’s thoughts in new players
    Keepers no need for change
    Defenders would like a centre half ,hope 2 young lads fill in as back up to full backs
    Sell hause, freddy
    Midfield major surgery required at least 2 centre mids needed along with keeping Phil
    Sell Luis sanson carney and if we get right players in mcginn
    Attackers need a striker,want to give Bailey beundi another season
    Sell ings maybe some kind of deal for bissomu,trez elgastly davies and even tho I like ttaore think he has to go
    For ne 4 incoming and around 9 /10 outgoings with chrisnee Kate iron bru and archer added to squad

  18. Plug, who wins the league and who is relegated, probably lies in our hands.

    If we beat Burnley in both of our games against them then they’ll ‘probably’ go down. If we lose one or both then there’s every chance it’ll be Everton or Leeds instead.

    And then of course we play Liverpool. . . . . how ironic if SG was to destroy their chances of an historic quadruple.

    But the one to really look forward to is Coutinho scoring in the last minute of added time in the last game of the season to snatch a draw, take the title from City and hand it to Liverpool!

  19. Runtings haha I bet you were shitting yourself in case Norwich won bit of a release for you eh 🙂

    Thought the game was pretty drab and boring myself I hope that improves next season or I won’t be busting a gut to watch the games.

    Beundia must be thinking what do I have to do to get a fair crack?

    Tim looks a decent player, I think there are plenty more to come through if they get the chance.

    DS got a warm welcome from the crowd if not from Runtings . Saw his comments about surviving with a team that cost £125m so stuff all the he spent £400m rubbish it’s totally out of context. Also reiterated his remit was on player development throughout the club something SG will profit from.

  20. been a bit drunk all weekend.

    not sure i imagined it but saw comments from smith saying about mcguinns role.

    he needs to be free and roam but until a specialist 6 comes in he aint allowed?!

    yeah poor game but not all going to be like the leeds games or spurs 1st half.

    thats the massive issue we need to fix next season.

    win ugly and draw matches ugly!

  21. james

    sell ings, sanson, luiz, freddie, targett, troare, trez, el ghazi, hause, chuck will go unfortunatly

    sign cb, cdm, cm, st, maybe a winger type.

    sign suarez! suarzez, archer and watkins as our 2 strikers. will bet money on it

  22. man city and pool is 2 defeats….imagine we loose twice to burnley! or we could win our game in hand and go 9th!

    please god we should be safe now. bloodt toffees and burnely keep winning

  23. only pool, city, spurs, arsenal, chelsea have kept more clean sheets this season than us. 11 in total with 8 of them coming under sg.

    feels like when we win we usually keep a lean sheet.

    something to work with going forward.

  24. We’ve seriously got to get stuck into Burnley. No taking any shithousery from Tarkowski. Match them for effort and our quality will win it. Turn up and go through the motions and we’ll lose. It ain’t rocket science.

  25. James, I reckon your assessment of the playing staff isn’t far off the mark. I’d definitely keep Buendia and try and sign Couts. Additionally, I still think we need a CB, DM, midfield dynamo and striker. Over to you Mr Lange.

  26. Mark you can’t be serious fella lol
    I always want Villa to win and would have reminding e begrudged deano the win but you painting a picture that I do not like the man is way off the mark .. you are reminding me of when RDM left and you sent the next year slating the club for feeling that is was not good enough for us … the club was correct then and are correct now


  27. Plug, the only problem with keeping both Buendia and Coutinho is shoe-horning them both into the same side. . . . . or maybe you’re looking ahead to the time when we can have that sort of quality sitting on the bench?

  28. Plug and JG, I’m pretty much with you on your assessment of players to leave. My only issue would be that I’d hang on to Luiz rather than gnash the teeth when we see him turning into a star elsewhere. If we can’t get Ings scoring goals then maybe we should let him go, but it will be down to the shortcomings of the manager or the system he prefers to use at least, rather than the player.
    It’s been said that players we recruit in future will be expected to be first team players rather than back up, so assuming we’re looking for a CB, DM, midfield dynamo and striker, who will warm the bench? Konsa, Nakamba, McGinn, Watkins? How many of them will want to stay and does it mean that Iroegbunam (my Nigerian friend says that the ‘g’ is not silent) and Archer will be there as third choices?

  29. my feeling is that SG may still not have made up his mind on certain players .. thought ings and ollie played well together for the first time this season with Emi starting to finally look the the player we hoped for
    IMO a CB possibly a centre mid but with the emergence of young Tim it would mean that Marv would possibly have to go if we bring in an upgrade DM
    I think we will improve wherever we genuinely can but as SG recently said a good number of players are showing signs that they are capable of coming on the next phase of the villa journey

  30. Runtings there is no way you can say the club was right, RDM had a rough start and the crowd turned but other than conceding the odd late goal we were not that bad, massive knee jerk. Certainly Mr Bruce didn’t work his promotion magic and we nearly went bust so Right? yeah. Again with Smith there is no saying, one of his recent comments was that he felt that with his players back and fit a top half finish was still on, and in truth it really aught to have been achieved by SG as he has had Phil and Digne plus a full squad.

  31. Coutinho, I’m not impressed that a player that has so much talent needs to feel loved? I think that’s a massive cop out from SG, the other players have to put up or shut up and phil gets a hug? I don’t think we need him, certainly if the team can’t perform without him against the poorer teams and he didn’t turn up for the better sides what use is he? he should be getting us those unexpected points to add some gravy not match winning performances against Leeds.

  32. Hey Mark…….I think that’s a massive cop out from SG, the other players have to put up or shut up and phil gets a hug?

    You know as well as anyone that not all players respond in the same way if treated the same. Some types need a hug, other types need a kick up the arse and some need to be told they are the best in the world to get the best out of them. I’d expect nothing less from SG.

    Fair enough if you think Couts is a no no. But if we are going to contend the top four places which is the aim of Compass, we need this standard of player.

  33. For me beating Norwich with them having more possession doesn’t bode well,,and I don’t think different coaching can make our squad of players top 6 ,hoping we get new players that r physically strong ,physically big not midgets like we have been doing

  34. I’m with Plug on the Coutinho man management question. It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do, some people are arrogant and may need to be shown their limitations sometimes whereas others, no matter how good they are, sometimes need reassurance and encouragement.

  35. JG. . . .I get your point about Villareal, but reaching a Champion’s league semi final would be a decent step on the way to greatness.
    I would much prefer to see Liverpool win the Champions league than it be won by City’s £1.5 billion spending spree.

  36. JG, I agree that our current squad are probably not top 6 material, but they really should be top 10 and probably top 8.
    From there it should only require comparatively small changes to take us to top 6.
    Top 4 would need some more quality on top, particularly to bolster the squad to cope with the demands of the extra high quality games.

  37. yeah

    im a phil is a must now. thats the standard now to surround him with.

    imagine him next to class.

    its painful somtimes watching him try and link with others! hes playing a different game.

  38. reading that sg is alot more hands on in the transfer dept than smith was.

    said when he joined after reading about his rangers he loves a transfer and is more a manager ie fergie than a modern coach

  39. Mark is this the same RDM that hasn’t managed another club since … not exactly a ringing endorsement of his abilities is it ? and Fergie himself will tell you man management is not a one size fits all skill

  40. H&V. . . .when you say “this squad is nowhere near top 8-10” . . . do you really want us to take that comment seriously?

    I’m going to assume it was tongue in cheek

  41. Season ticket renewal time. My gas/lec has just been increased by £80 per month. That’s about the price of 3.5 games at the old scrote rate. Maybe 2 games at the semi whippersnapper rate? Yes I agree that we are still cheaper than most but it’s still a crap time to start monetizing us all.

    My Villa died when Lerner disembowelled the club in the post mon years. We nearly got it back during the DS years but lost it again when we decided we needed a Liverpool legend to show us how it’s done instead of working it out for our selves. I had lost interest in the premier league product when Chelsky were born followed by Manshitty using oil money to leapfrog us by repeatedly being able to buy our best players. The only thing that kept me connected was my bitter Villa addiction.

    I feel we are starting a downward slide into repaying our corporate owners. 1981 was so long ago and won’t come back. That good feeling has almost gone.

  42. Yep, the season ticket renewal prices are going to hurt. My addiction to Villa means I’ll have to find the cost of living savings elsewhere. I’ve already turned the boiler off and the lights too. When the laws of supply and demand bite, it focuses me on my priorities. I could do with losing a few pounds in weight so the food shop is going to shrink as well. All outgoings are under scrutiny.

    Nice to see the UAE Sovereign Wealth Fund implode last night. Guess Jack is used to the drama though.

  43. Runtings- I never claimed he was the messiah mate just that he had very little time in a very hostile environment, I’d have given it to Steve Clarke. Not only that the owner caved into fan pressure so right decision? forced change. RDM does have similarities to SG, a bit of a celeb choice.

    You seem assured he will sort it out and maybe he will given time and money, took three years in a two horse race with a large turnover of players and spend for that league to do it, You would think he has a better starting point here maybe not. Now with the greatest optimism in the world I cannot see SG catapulting us into the top 6.

    The reason I am pissed off with the Smith sacking is at the 1st real set back they binned him so far SG has had been worse in losing runs (also blamed om Smith by some, needs his own team etc) . Last season with or without Jack and covid it would have been nigh on impossible to match the seasons start, with those factors much worse. For once I wanted to see us keep a manager for more than 2-3 seasons and really build a team and integrate the youth. You may not think Smith was capable but for me it didn’t matter, next season Beundia, Ings Bailey plus maybe Archer, Tim and few others kids plus a couple of buys could see a very decent team emerge. This was likely whether SG came or not after Jacks exit and the crap preseason and coach merry go round.

    For me if Smith had to go then get someone that suited the team and what was being built. Instead we have Steve who with 2 good years could be off, probably will be off and likes to spend. We will see how much of a drawer he is I suppose this summer, certainly can’t convince One of our best kids to stay by the looks.

    Villa won’t be in Europe in Two years and the owners know we don’t have the capacity or draw at present nor income we are miles behind the likes of Spurs etc. there was a chance with Jack but now? gonna take a while if at all. Oh I think they are serious but it takes more than that, We are a big club but have no real pull.

    As Ian said to me recently the tops teams will take our players and bench them if we look like upsetting their income.

  44. H&V, your optimism and support for SG is admirable but is leading you into going a bit too far.
    Very recently you said: “Like I say above sg has mentioned it a lot now. Got to grind the draws out and keep those clean sheets. We could easily be 5 points better off.”
    If we had those extra 5 points that you believed we should have, plus 3 from our game in hand, we’d now be just 1 point behind Wolves in 8th place.
    Wolves have Chelsea, City and Liverpool in their last 4 games. . . . . .we really ought to gain more points from our run in than them.
    In other words, based on your own expectations of a few days ago we should be more than capable of getting into 8th place.
    Sadly I don’t drink tea so you can keep all the tea in ~China for yourself.

    Just 24 hours ago you said that this squad is “nowhere near top 8-10”
    That’s what led me to ask if you were being serious.
    All we have to do is win our game in hand and we’ll be in the top half. Is the problem that you don’t think Gerrard is good enough to get us there?

  45. Mark, Despite being excited when RDM arrived I’m with runtings in this debate I’m afraid. This is with the benefit of hindsight though because at the time I thought the club were being hasty and we needed a period of stability. Looking back on it though, his heart really didn’t seem to be in it and he didn’t even seem to believe in himself.

  46. Struggling to see why there is so much negative energy being placed on SG on here .. the Rangers that he took from the doldrums and left top of there league are in a European final but its been suggested here that this is no big deal and no sort of an achievement as its only Scotland .. these views are bot very well thought out imo
    No one is saying SG is the messiah however he can and has already started to attract better players
    expecting him to get villa firing with a few months and 2 buys is miles from reality .. if he gets it right a few people will be forced to climb back in there prams re his ability to manage a football club …. its funny reading comments of people slating him but clearly haven’t bothered to listen to the interview heroes posted of his in depth interview with Gary Neville which was very revealing but are quick to shoot the guy down at every half opportunity
    hopefully avl is not a good reflection of the overall villa fans view and the guy will be backed by the majority … realistically we are no better than 9th even under pep this season … the squad has no identity due to the lose of jack .. this is not a good way to build a team as pep is showing a player moulds himself into the team not the team moulded around the player for sustainable success

  47. robbo

    haha youve picked me apart there! i feel im on tial worse than johhny depp!

    Im onlydebating really man. League is very tight and the consistent teams come out on top. thats why i have little faith in the squad as the last few years we loose so much and go months without a win!

    dont get me wrong on sg man…i will be judging him massively next season. completly neautral to him.

    i just want to be fair to him as theres a lot of villa fans quick to unfairly judge him as he has come after deano is all.

    summer has to be very good recruitment
    and a clear identity in playing
    then i judge

  48. H&V. . . . funny thing is, I suspect our thinking on Villa and SG are pretty much identical. . . . we just have different ways of showing it!

    Just in case we’re not thinking similar things though, this is what I think and you can then tell me where we differ. 🙂

    I desperately want SG to succeed.
    I think that he ‘may’ take us up to the next level.
    Right now I really can’t judge whether he’s going to succeed or not.
    I think the squad has improved and is capable of achieving top half of the table but probably not quite good enough for Europe.
    His background and ‘aura’ gives him a better chance of attracting good players than DS could have done (Mark. . . . I suspect the same applied to RDM but he didn’t really get a chance too show it for reasons several of us have discussed)
    He seems to have left a half-decent squad at Rangers which is encouraging
    I am very uncomfortable at the thought of wholesale changes to the squad but think that we’d be best served by recruiting 3 (possibly 4) quality players although there are probably more than half a dozen we should let go.
    I’m uncomfortable with his public criticism of players which smacks of lack of self confidence to me.
    I do admire his ambition and the standards he wants to set

    I could add extra but that’s probably more than enough for now!

  49. runtings. . . I think you’re right that SG has come in for more scrutiny, early in his tenure than other managers. That’s probably down to the sadness of many fans at DS going and also the feeling that he ultimately may not have had a fair crack of the whip.
    SG seems to have understood right from the start that this was likely to be the case and you’d hope he’s capable of rising above it.
    I know I’ve been critical of some of the things SG has done, but that doesn’t mean I’m against the guy or don’t believe he’s capable of bringing success. At this stage though I’m still a sceptic. . . but. . . . I’ll still be supporting him and the team all the way (even if it might not look that way sometimes!!)

  50. Robbo – the RDM thing, is just runtings having a dig at me, painting me as someone that has a history etc. has sod all to do with the situation at the club now but hey.

    I have some sympathy with runtings because he has wanted a passing side at villa since I’ve known so anything that threatens that’s got him growling like a dog over a bone.

    For myself I wanted a manager to get at least 5 seasons and let the club settle while the team matured and youth side begins to produce regularly. SG going on his record is a results now manager and will buy and play older players, a step away from the path we were/are on.

    I have also yet to see anyone win in the positive/ negative argument that always crops up, it’s a bit childish in itself and maybe a way to avoid things like we very likely haven’t done any better than we would have with Smith this season all considered.

    That’s batted away with the in the future and with his own players shtick and look at who he’s attracted. For me anyone that thinks he wasn’t brought in because the owners thought he’d improve us now and put us where they thought we would be this season needs to have a word with themselves, reality’s a bitch and you don’t sack someone with your eyes on the future imo.

  51. Rangers in the cup final, it’s a big thing really as they are in such a poor league that beating good European teams is a better test. Nothing to do with the very good manager they brought in who plays attacking vs containment football it’s all down to Steve, and next season when this Villa team improves as it should having bedded in then it will all be down to Dean Smiths team building no? 🙂

  52. Oh and the criticism for building a side around jack? What the hell else was he supposed to do? Ignore a golden opportunity? Did Utd tell Ronaldo to stop scoring? This season was to be about taking the load off of jack , that’s exactly what the club claimed to be doing in June and they bought Beundia, a clear sign if there ever was one. Jack also was the clubs media darling so the club milked it. Smith also had to have a big influence on jack and his eventual worth. This season was always about finding their feet after Jack whomever was in charge, if Smith was seen as a problem why give him the chance in such a crucial build? Makes zero sense.

  53. So after another brilliant entertaining week of football, with added bonus of city failing,we ha e villa v Burnley tomorrow, point drying comes to mind,what side will Gérard pick ,keeper back 4 should be no change,word ramsay struggling so I would start marv ,Luis tackling is usually shocking,then would it be a bad time to rest coutinho and start beundi (yet to econvinced by beundi sure a lot of running but always in wrong place along with his passes)then no brained start ings one of his old clubs I think and finally Watkins so for me it’s
    Martinez cash mings Chambers digne Tim marv mcginn beundi ings and watkins

  54. Mark thankfully its not about what me or you want but we can discuss what we think is best for the club
    Giving deano 5 seasons when the club was sinking I would suggest is a very poor move but that’s me on that one
    So SG has nothing to do with rangers success though he built the team and left them healthy and progressing while he joined a side free falling but that has nothing to do with deano hmmm
    please don’t compare Jack to Ronaldo seriously …

  55. watched a bit of rangers and the commentators words struck me. a team that never knows when its beaten.

    said before every decent side will be a mirror of there manager.

    its what he will want to build at villa.


  56. runtings, The discussions about SG are everywhere, not just on avl. Take a look on TheVillaBlog and there’s plenty of the same there. It happens, on and off with pretty much every manager in every club it seems to me.
    I’ve seen City fans saying they’ll never win the CL with Pep and it’s time to try someone else. I have some sympathy with that view. He does seem to have a way of playing which requires 11 precision made cogs all working in unison. The club’s £1.6 billion spending has brought them the finest cogs but a few of them (like Jack) have been made to fit a different machine so he requires them to be taken back to the workshop and adjusted. This lack of adaptability is fine when he’s playing nearly all teams in the Premier league but for him not to have won the CL after 5 years, having had access to more funds than any manager has previously seen in the history of the game, really doesn’t seem good enough.

  57. runtings, you said “we’re no better than 9th even under Pep” and I think you’re right. Not because the players aren’t capable of doing better than 9th, but because I don’t see them fitting Pep’s way of playing. It seems he may only be able to win with a certain type of (very expensive) player so wouldn’t get the best out of our squad.
    As it stands, and despite some disappointing results, if we win our game in hand we’ll only be 6 points off 8th. If you think that DS was part of the problem then presumably you think that he should have at least won 2 more games with the squad he had at his disposal (if not, then why would we have got rid of him?) Those extra 6 points would have us sitting in 8th. . . . .with this squad.

  58. r0bb0 in reply to your last post

    this is deano’s prem record

    Matches 110
    Wins 32
    Draws 21
    Losses 58
    Goals For 127
    Goals Against 178

    This is the reason I believe the club acted and the reason they took a punt on SG is his short but impressive record along with the pull and footballing style that he brings
    Deano had injuries yes but bert and bailey still are not fit and unlikely to shoot us into Europe and trez and anwar have been moved on with non of them getting games at prem level ….
    changes are needed in staff and style
    fair enough if you think deano was on his way to bringing the glory days to villa but all the evidence points to a different conclusion for me

    saying that he did a great job up until a point but like any progressive club that is serious about moving forward you will upgrade until you reach the required level players and staff wise

  59. runtings, those stats don’t look great, but they include our first season in the premiership with a squad that was quickly patched together following an unexpectedly quick return to the Premiership. We didn’t excel but in fairness we probably did do pretty well to stay up that year. The second season was: played 38, won 16, drawn 7, lost 15, goals for 55, goals against 46 which paints a very different picture.
    The question is whether, with a fully fit squad he could have matched, or improved on that this year. I personally think he could, whereas you presumably think he couldn’t. We’ll never know now and that’s probably why we still talk about it!
    Despite my misgivings, I did understand at the time why the club wanted a new manager although I was surprised they went for Gerrard. That’s not to say that I think they were wrong. . . . .I honestly don’t know yet!

  60. Never happy to see a manager sacked even spud or .cleish because it means they have failed,Smith done brilliant for us after mess he lnheirted ,but his time was up,feel sorry that he jumped into Norwich job can see him sacked before Xmas with them,as for Gérard really not sure on him,calling out players in public (potato head mark 2)letting club assists devalue (pptato head again)poor side selections keeping his player starting even when he is out of form
    Yes he needs some new players a midfield general will help,for me he has to world Cup, no excuses then

  61. r0bb0,
    Having updated myself on the comments, I am still in the same ball park as you, as many do not take into account the losses DS suffered with Mee putting Wesley out for a season, and then Trent Alexander-Arnold doing the same with our beloved Trezeguet, and not even a foul awarded! A big loss to the squad during Dean’s time.
    I truly want to see SG succeed, and |I am sure he will, but he is in a better place than DS, with the squad he has.
    Just watched Luton Town v Reading with ex-Villans, Lansbury, Bree, Snodgrass and Nyland involved in the game, with Cameron Jerome ( Blue-Nose) getting MOTM. These are the players that Villa had in the Championship. Very different to where we are recruiting today.
    New line-up today, looking like SG means business.

  62. Team:
    Martinez, Chambers Konsa Mings Cash Luiz McGinn Digne Ings Watkins Buendia
    Subs: Olsen, Feeney, Nakamba, Sanson, Chukweumaka, Iroegbunam, Young, Couthino, Traore.

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