Once again, Villa faced a promoted side on opening day, and once again Villa slumped to an ignominious defeat, going down meekly to Bournemouth. Needless to say, the 0-2 setback triggered a sort of meltdown.

Naturally, it is just one game, and it was a tiring summer with some international matches on the front end, and then the Australian tour. We knew the Cherries would be well up for it. But Villa just weren’t.

And given relatively modest changes to the squad, concern arises because Villa’s form from the second half of last season seems to have carried straight over. Which is to say, on the day nothing seemed to have improved over the summer. You hear all the talk, and then no walk. A team supposedly in the running for a top-half finish and possibly a European place were miles off it and disjointed.

The Form Problem
Here’s a look at Gerrard’s tenure so far:

Overall (28 matches, including Bournemouth): 10W 5D 13L

2022 (20 matches):  6W 5D 9L. (Three of those wins were against Burnley, Norwich and Everton.)

Final 10 games: 2W 3D 5L. (The two wins were against Burnley and Norwich)

Goals for: 38
Goals against: 38
Points per match: 1.21

The previous season (2020-21) Villa finished 11th: 16W 7D 15L
Goals for: 55
Goals against: 46
Points per match: 1.45

When Dean Smith left in 2021, Villa were sat 15th on the heels of 5 straight defeats. Villa ultimately finished 14th.

And so we have the inevitable Gary Neville comparisons, an agitated supporter base, and a team struggling to score with Ollie Watkins, Danny Ings, Philippe Coutinho, Emi Buendia, Jacob Ramsey, John McGinn and now Leon Bailey.

Lots will focus on the players, which is fair. There are very few clubs where you couldn’t make an upgrade at a given position. There are very few clubs who willingly make no moves in the summer window.

But Watkins has a decent non-penalty scoring record (13 in 2020-21; 10 in 2021-22). Danny Ings is certainly a proven scorer. Buendia came in with a very good record of goals and assists. Coutinho? Well, he was a magician once upon a time. McGinn used to pitch in with a worldie now and again.

And Smith of course did have Grealish for large spells of 2020-21.

The point isn’t to start a Smith–Gerrard debate. The point is that Villa aren’t doing any better, but the playing staff has improved, bar Jack. It certainly hasn’t gotten any worse, on paper anyway, and is as fit and healthy as it’s been in recent years.

So, arguably a better squad, and little to no progress in 29 matches. What’s the problem?

In a nutshell, Villa are not playing to their strengths.

The Smith Way
Under Smith, the team were reliant on Grealish. And he delivered. Depending on the data, Smith obviously preferred 4-2-3-1, but often played 4-3-3. Later, of course, we saw the 3-5-2 in an ill-fated attempt to wedge Ings in.

The difference in Smith’s 4-3-3 was that you had Grealish wide left, and it wasn’t as narrow as Gerrard’s. In the 4-2-3-1, Villa were also wider up top in base formation. In both systems, Villa committed to pressing higher up the pitch much more often. The 4-2-3-1 gives you four against 4 or 5 naturally. The 4-3-3 can do it, too, if you have the engine in midfield. Wide forwards engaged wingers or fullbacks further up.

Targett generally played the attacking FB role in order to link up and overlap with Grealish. Because of Grealish, there was often acres of space for Cash, Trez, Traoré, whoever, on the right.

In short, Villa played to their strengths. They weren’t considerable, but that’s what Smith did. When Jack left, Buendia, Bailey, and Ings were brought in to ostensibly combine in replacing what we’d lost. Then Coutinho was added, and Digne, too.

Gerrard’s Turn
When Gerrard arrived, he installed his system, a narrow 4-3-3 with “two 10s”, so more of a 4-3-2-1 in principle. Here, the midfielders have more responsibility to get wide off the ball, covering for fullbacks bombing forward. The front three don’t press as often or effectively. And this is compounded by the personnel. Neither Ings nor Coutinho can really support Ollie in a high press, and neither has the legs to be an end-to-end player. This is even more apparent in a 4-3-1-2, where Coutinho is dropped a little deeper. Either way, teams can get out against us easily and quickly. We don’t force dangerous turnovers when numbers can be in our favor.

Villa also end up being deeper in midfield without as much defensive help from the front three, who, besides being more narrowly positioned (to deny the middle, which they don’t), often leave large spaces between midfield and the forwards when Villa regain the ball in their own half. You play wide, then inside against us, and you’re past the front three, with two of our midfielders trying to get out and cover. As I’ve noted, overloads, one-twos and cutbacks are there for the taking, and the middle is pretty empty. The two wide midfielders are often caught in two minds: Do I deal with the central threat (that inside ball), or get out wide?

I think Kamara will be a good buy and solidify the center (on and off the ball), but part of the secret to Smith’s 15 clean sheets was a central pair, and just conceding the wide ball more readily. Central midfield was more supported and contested. The fullbacks were tucked in to deal with cutbacks and not get sucked into wide overloads without help. Smith was happy to let teams lump in crosses with Mings and Konsa to deal with them. The wide forwards defended wide further up the pitch and tracked their men all the way back (when they were following instructions). Remember us slating Ghazi or Traoré for not tracking back? Remember how Trez fought? We’re not seeing that from Ings or Watkins or Coutinho, depending on how they’re lined up. Bailey will get back, and seems to offer more width (whether or not that’s what Gerrard wants).

Gerrard wants Villa to be a tidy-passing possession side, rather than a countering one, but Villa don’t yet have the nous (or perhaps quality) to open teams up when they’re packed in, never mind how slowly we’re moving it.

Back to Strengths
So to my mind, what Villa are doing simply doesn’t match the players we have. This was exacerbated Saturday with Phil starting wide left and Ings in the middle. Phil has no chance to really influence anything out there, and certainly isn’t showing he’s able to provide the same threat or influence Grealish did. There was no 10 to work off and direct play. Ings cannot run or press like Watkins. Coutinho can’t run like Jack.

And after going ahead so early, Bournemouth were content to sit and counter. Dream scenario for them.

So while Gerrard’s set-up worked in Scotland, it seems naive to me in England. And now it’s seeming stubborn. I have a growing feeling that Gerrard is frustrated with the players for not executing it, rather than considering he just doesn’t have the right kinds of players. We look most dangerous when breaking quickly and getting the fullbacks involved.

In what’s either stubbornness or belief, he’s also sticking with Phil. I’ve no idea what’s bothering his game, but he’s appeared hesitant in distribution, unsure of himself in taking men on. He’s also not got much to play off of unless Digne and Ramsey are up, but then it’s more likely congested, defenders are back, and are Ramsey and Ings really the creative players needed to combine with at his level? Digne is, I think, but Ramsey has largely gone missing.

When Phil drops deeper and more central, he does see more of the ball and has more opportunity to make things happen. But then the two strikers are often more isolated ahead of him.

Buendia, for his part, brings more energy and tenaciousness, seems just as adept playing one-touch ball, and looks to be offering better distribution and opportunity for penetration. He gets it moving forward quicker.

I get that Phil’s a confidence player, and I agree that you often have to let players work through things. I hope it changes for him, and quickly. Maybe it’ll be better at Villa park. But you can’t really hang your hat on the elite player who only plays well at home.

Final Thought(s)
A lot of words to say what I think is obvious to most, certainly in the overall impression of performances. Whether Smith could have taken us to the next level, I’ve no real idea. But I think, given what he had, that he was tactically a bit more astute than Gerrard. (You could also say he had no choice.)

And that’s what worries me going forward. The summer addressed our lack of a 6, and that was a big need. But it didn’t really go anywhere toward addressing other mismatches between players and system. You can point to Liverpool and Klopp’s 4-3-3 to say the system works, but the gulf in quality is pretty telling. When you have Salah, Jota, Luiz and now Nunez supported by the likes of Fabinho, Thiago, Henderson, Keita and even Milner (to see things out), well, yeah. It works. It didn’t happen overnight for Klopp, but there’s no mismatch.

So, one game, but one that looked very much like where we left off. Could just be an opening dud. I’d imagine we’ll get better and produce some of the same moments we did last year. And if Villa can do that consistently, we’ll be alright. There were also a lot of average-to-poor performances and some questionable game management.

But I can’t help but think that our lack of consistency will continue because the system will work in some cases, and leave us really struggling in others.

Bottom line, I think Gerrard needs to be more realistic and show greater tactical flexibility. And I’m guessing he could improve his man management, but leopards and spots. He’s not really the arm-around-your-shoulder type. Anyway.

Over to you.

Comments 146

  1. Good one John. You nailed it with the team.
    Not an arm around the shoulder manager. Hasn’t he seen what kind of results an arm around the shoulder manager gets? Players are different in 2022. None in the Nigel Pearson model. They say that the players don’t need to like me but they do need to respect me. Respect is earned in many different ways not just one. Being a mid field legend ain’t going to do it 100% of the time. Ever wonder what Targett’s true feelings are?

  2. I haven’t been remotely excited about this upcoming season one it, even during the off season.

    And pre season performances just made me even less excited.

    Our shape and lack of pace in pre season has been scary.

    Our ability on the ball and zero creation in pre season was worrying and it was exactly the same against Bournemouth

    I’m sick to death of bang average football players like cash Watkins mcginn Luiz playing so much football for us. I’m sick of Ramsey playing every game even though he’s been useless for the last 10. I’m sick of Countino starting just because it’s 5 him

    I’m sick of our bench having zero quality and zero attacking options

    I’m sick of matt cash trying to cross and still being absolutely shite

    If this club want European football we need to stop being soft and get rid of the shite like cash Watkins mcginn Luiz etc but because they smiths men fans to scared to say they aren’t good enough

    I don’t think Gerrard is remotely happy with our awful transfer window so far

    Lange is shite to

    We need at least 3 top players in. Cm. Forward. Striker

    Otherwise we will be in a scrap to survive

  3. As i said before

    This team is built on to many athletic player, players than can run

    Unfortunately they aren’t good with the football at their feet ( cash, mcginn, Watkins Ramsey to an extent)

    Then you have players like Luiz who can’t move snd plays football like he’s on a 5 aside pitch. He’s crap

    Huge huge problems at the moment

    Lange needs sacking.. I don’t get what he has done that nobody else could scout

  4. Frem,
    I imagine everyone on here is feeling the same frustrations as you just now and looking for reasons why we’re not performing. I really don’t think it’s the players that are the problem. I do believe that Gerrard needs a bit more time to work out how best to use them and if by Christmas he’s shown that he isn’t capable of doing that then he needs to be moved on.
    Many of the players are the same ones that took us to 11th under Dean Smith (with the absence of Mr Grealish of course!). Since then we have added extra quality players. You, along with media commentators thought we’d done fantastic, early business and optimism was high. You and H&V have been calling for a no 8 and a striker for a while although you have also strongly suggested that Archer may be the answer to the number 9 position.
    We’re not Liverpool or Man City yet. We’re not able to attract the very best talent yet. (despite H&V feeling, maybe with some justification, that Gerrard is a big pull for us). We need to firstly make steady progress with the players we have, along with the additional quality players that have been brought into the squad.
    We have players who I strongly believe can do well if managed and organised on match day in the right way. The manager needs to bring their talents out of them
    I remember you as being a strong advocate for Gerrard so it’s not surprising that you’r deflecting the blame towards players rather than him . In a similar way, when we were looking for a new manager, Gerrard wasn’t even in my top 5 let alone my top 3 so it’s not surprising that my instinct is to look to him. Neither of us are totally impartial observers.

  5. i was all for gerrard coming in, name to pull in players but the biggest thing was a clear style and identity.

    well thats not happening. my excitment for sg as manager died 10 fold he made mcguinn captain. a player who should be benched.

    signiing phil has snookered him. he is too stubborn or arraogant to drop him but he cant play wide in a 433 so needs to change to 4231

  6. frem

    yeah 100 agree. if your building a team or squad what the hell are we trying to do. make us the shortest team in the league? and the slowest?

    if i was manager id rip half of that team up. i cant stand the balance/blend of it.

    its awful. too nice, slow, short urrrgghhhhh

  7. damn right we need a 8 and a striker.

    I mean ings….dear god its a ridiculous signing. cant lead the line on his own. best days over. only ever good next to a target man ish. so have to play 2 up top but certainly doesnt pair well with a ollie type st.

    lange needs booting out the door.

    i had the usual pre season optimism but damn thats quickly gone.

  8. few chaps in the know who reported the slack training under ds are saying theres alot of arrogance on the training ground. can belive it, get if from elite players trying to coach people.

    but it aint good

  9. r0bb0,

    It is hard to come from a completely neutral position, yes. Me, I never wanted Gerrard either, but once he was in you look for positives and hope it works.

    It may well…but the lack of any distinct improvement to date is concerning.

    The reality of complex dynamics is generally not binary.

  10. Frem,

    There’s truth to a lot of what you say. And I know I’m repetitive when trying to contextualize.

    Can’t speak for everyone, I just try to look at the players/attributes we have, and why we have them. Players bought at a certain point fit certain criteria: “young and hungry,” say, of necessity, because you’re spreading a lot of money round a lot of needs.

    As you consolidate, you make different kinds of signings. But you can’t overhaul an entire squad at once when going for next-level players.

    When bought, I don’t think Watkins, McGinn, Cash or Luiz were bad deals at all. When you start talking top 6-8, then you are measuring them against an entirely different standard. Which is fair.

    There are a couple things I’m trying to connect, though. Luiz, for example. Seems rated by more than just Smith. Gerrard goes and makes McGinn captain. Ramsey keeps playing.

    No idea whether this is by necessity (ie, can’t move enough players on), or some reluctance on the part of NSWE. I’d thought we’d be spending bigger after last season’s wash with the Grealish money.

    I also don’t know whether Ramsey, for example, keeps playing because he’s an academy product. I don’t know why no one gives Sanson a run. I don’t know a lot of things other than improvement is iterative.

  11. Great in depth article JC. A really good read and with sound analysis.
    I read the comments following, and wonder how many actually read all that you put, as it clearly shows the failings of the system, rather than the fault of players.
    I certainly believe that a fully experienced manager would get far more out of the players on our books.
    The need is to work with the tools you have, and not try to build a Jaguar, when you only have the tools for a Fiat.
    I don’t feel that Gerrard has the ability to adapt his management style to address the situation at Villa.
    Edens and Sawaris have to look at the whole structure that has brought the present situation about. It rests firmly with Purslow, and the sacking of Dean Smith.

  12. Then like everyone else, I don’t understand the Ings signing. Beyond “shit, Jack’s gone, we need a name fast and Danny has scored a lot.”

    Didn’t seem to account for what he was going to be plugged into.

    I also don’t understand slight frames like Bailey and Traoré rather than bigger, stronger players who are mostly just as fast, or fast enough. No idea what the film and scouting on Traoré showed, but he’s never really been a true fit.

    (That £16m–£18m price bracket is interesting. Should be a player with lots of upside if you’ve scouted well. And both Bailey, who obviously cost more, and Traoré are suited to a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3.)

    But with all the boxes we’d been told about, Traoré never seemed like a Smith signing to me.

    Cash, Watkins, Konsa, yeah of course when we were hearing “young, hungry, English league experience,” etc and had to replace a lot of players. Doubt Smith really wanted Ings. I’m pretty certain he wanted Buendia. Luiz? Dunno. By that point, I think Purslow was already looking for a reason to pull the trigger.

    But, I’m with a lot of folks like you who right now don’t think McGinn, Ramsey, and Luiz are what we need in the middle, as a group to progress.

  13. These are the kind of performances we will get used to so long as Steven Gerrard is the manager. The problem is not the players; we have a much better squad than the previous manager had.
    Our current coach got his job purely on his reputation as a player and nothing else. He should have tried managing in the Championship first.
    He is out of his depth in this division.
    Mauricio Pochettino is available.
    John, once again, good write up. The stats in your piece are indeed shocking. Gerrard simply needs to be dismissed. I predicted 16th before the season started and i stick by that opinion so long as he is the manager.

  14. PP,

    Cheers. I know Frem doesn’t read them! 😀

    But you’re right. There’s a chain of events, and it gets trickier over time to keep getting things right.

    When you make a change like sacking Smith after losing a player as important to us as Grealish, you really ought to be thinking how the new guy has shown he’d get more out of the same squad than Smith.

    How was he going to want to change things up? Buy a bunch of new players to fit a system, or make what we had better?

  15. H&V,

    Arrogance from Gerrard toward the players, or arrogance in the players themselves?

    Some of the talk, and I thought his comment on Mings was way out of line, suggest an unhappy camp.

  16. Thanks, Jackvilla.

    I want to be more optimistic, and maybe the window still has a couple surprises that could change things round, but I’m getting the feeling it may well be a bumpy ride.

    As r0bb0 was saying, I’m not excited about the fact we’re all wrapping our heads around the “he has until Christmas” scenario already. And I’m wondering if that’s part of why we haven’t seen more spending.

    Something doesn’t feel right.

  17. Remember when mc allaistair was coaching under houillier the unrest falling out with senior players ,like the song says its all happening again
    Gerard out

  18. First class analysis JC. Like all fans, we can only debate what we see as we’re not privy to what is going on inside Bodymoor. Every club’s training ground must contain a certain amount of stress and/or dissatisfaction when you’re dealing with a large group of players so I’m assuming we’re no worse than elsewhere. But when a significant amount of senior players become disenchanted with events, results suffer. The head coach then becomes the fall guy and those that employ him must also face scrutiny.

    I believe SG doesn’t yet know his best selection or best formation for the players he has. This is where my criticism lies as by now he should be able to deliver better performances from this squad than we’re seeing. We know they have it in them because we’ve seen such performances on occasion in the past. But Bournemouth was truly a crock.

  19. plug

    this is the thing about sg no idea of his best formation or team.

    if you want to be decent now you need a manager who is like right this is my style this is how we are playing

  20. one eye on toffees. talking of spine, a bit of experience.

    theyve got tarkwoski now they have coady. 2 cbs no nonsnse and solid.

    midfield there get guana gueye back along with this 6’4 chap in mid

    not bad at all.

  21. The immediate fear, is that if Gerrard continues in the same vein, we could lose players we should be keeping and playing, whilst buying players that may not be a fit in future.
    The board really needs to sit down with the owners and decide what they really want to achieve, and how they can do that.
    In a short time we could end up with a huge stadium in the Championship, if a realistic view is not addressed sooner, rather than later.
    Offers could easily come in for Mings, Sanson, Nakamba, Luiz, and Chambers before the deadline. I am not surprised that Targett was pleased to escape to a club with a big future.

  22. I must say I am very surprised at the lack of in’s and out’s so far this window as we have a decent foundation to build on and an opportunity to shuffle the pack allowing us to take a major leap forward …… there is still time for this to change of curse

    The biggest shock for me was SG’s selection and also having courts wide left non of this made any sense to me and we are certainly not getting the best out of what we have on the first game

    Also 65% possession and no real chances created in a major worry , I get we can lose set piece goals to such a giant side but our reaction to it was very poor , lacking in ideas and identity

    Big improvements needed or SG’s days will be numbered at the club as Europe is the aim based on the owners 5 year plan

  23. its the perfect storm…a manager who doesnt know his best 11 or formation and a team who has no real leaders or anyone to grab a game by the scruff of the neck.

    there all slow, small and weak mentality.

    i too am surpriced about the lack of ins. would of brought in 4 at least

    this current lot have been loosing football matches left right and centre for years now

  24. H&V, you say: “if your building a team or squad what the hell are we trying to do. make us the shortest team in the league? and the slowest?”

    At the end of last season we were the 12th tallest team in the league. Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City (the shortest) were all shorter than us. I would have thought that the few comings and goings so far have made us slightly taller.

    On Saturday however our shortest player was on the pitch but our tallest was on the bench.

    Ollie Watkins is the 4th fastest player in the Premier league and Matty Cash and Bailey are no slouches either.

    I’m afraid the answer yet again is not who they are or what they can do, but how they are being used.

  25. H&V, if as you say, Gerrard is showing arrogance on the training ground then my guess would be that it stems from lack of confidence, which is not a great sign.

    It would go some way to explaining what’s happening with Mings. As I said in a previous post, he doesn’t seem like a man who would be afraid of “looking a manager in the eye”

  26. JC, I was probably being generous when I said “he has until Christmas” compared with what I’m reading on here and elsewhere

    I was not however being flippant. I hate the manager merry go round and Villa in the past have been more guilty of it than many.

    Part of the reason I was disappointed about Dean Smith being moved on at the first sign of trouble was that he’d shown he could achieve good results when they were needed and had also shown adaptability. I STILL believe that he would have done so again last season if given a chance. As you say, it felt (pure speculation I admit) as if he was being manoeuvred into a corner and the new player choices were probably not all down to him but he was expected to make the most of them. I reckon once injured players had come back and he’d had a chance to assess the new signings, he’d have adapted, and got more out of them than Gerrard did last season.

    The type of players being brought into the club however is where Frem’s argument about looking at the middle management in the club has to at least be considered. Having said that. . . . .weren’t we ALL impressed with how quickly and decisively the club moved to bring in Coutinho, Chambers, Kamara and Carlos and the money we made from a wantaway Chukwuemeka?

    I didn’t want Gerrard; I’ve not been impressed so far; BUT. . . .I do think he needs to be given our support and the clubs support for a minimum of half a season more.

    Some managers take time to settle in. Ferguson is probably the most notable example, but we must surely also all remember the cries of ‘Arteta out’ from many many Arsenal fans. Gerrard is not stupid. He may lack experience, and maybe deep down he also lacks a bit of confidence right now, even if that’s not how he’s projecting himself on the training ground but let’s give him time to see if he can pull things around.

    Just one win and things will all start to look very different.

  27. r0bb0,

    Can’t really disagree with anything you’re saying. And I certainly don’t put recruitment solely on SG’s shoulders any more than I did with Smith. They did get the targets in quickly, and Kamara should have more impact as he adjusts.

    What none of us ever know until the tell-alls is how the process really ends up working (manager input/targets, etc). Obvs Phil had to be SG’s doing, for instance.

    I do hope he succeeds, Gerrard. Could be a bit disastrous if he doesn’t. Deano got stick for being inflexible when in truth he was pretty adaptable. There just weren’t many options. If Trez and Ghazi were the only two wide players fit, you can’t really go selecting anyone else.

    And I agree, think Deano would’ve turned it round.

    So I hope Gerrard can do the business. If we’re not getting more players in, seems like he needs to adjust some things.

    If he’s going to play Phil, he’s got to get him more involved and find ways to make up for being a defensive non-factor. If Phil doesn’t start influencing more, he can’t be afraid to sit him. He can’t have Ings leading the line of three with Phil out left. That was just calamitous, and he won’t do himself any favors with the support if he keeps doing things like that and we don’t get results.

    But, as you rightly say, winning changes everything.

  28. Robbo

    Ollie Watkins the 4th fastest player in the prem. no chance in that what’s so ever.


    Ings, Phil, Bailey, mcguinn, Ramsey making up our attack. It’s tiny…..you think we have enough physical presence with that lot up top?! And top it off all we did was cross it in the box!!

  29. Heroes
    Entire team are small cash digne konsa not imposing Carlos short for centre half kamara then add in subs,as Mrs slocombe used to say weak as water

  30. As for Dean Smith turning it around doesn’t look good for him at Norwich
    Performances in friendlies where polished up by results when in bits I seen it was same as Saturday useless at defending set plays and no rhythm or style

  31. H&V on height and speed. . . I was trying to take some of the rhetoric and hyperbole out of the discussion by quoting facts but I guess that can make a forum a less interesting place?

    Yes we’re lacking a really tall, imposing player up front and it’s therefore nuts to try and throw in high crosses when a Villa head is unlikely to get on the end of it but yet again, the problem is not the players, but how they’re being used.

    Last season, our midfielders were taller than Man City’s and our strikers significantly taller. Yes Man City’s made up for their lack of height with their extra skill, but that’s what you can buy when you’re a top top side with wealthy owners. It’ll be interesting to see if their style of play changes now they have a tall target man. If so, it will show how Pep adapts his coaching to the talents he has before him rather than continuing to play a style that doesn’t suit them.

    It seems you’d prefer us to go back to a target man up front, a Benteke or a Carew and there’s nowt wrong with that but it just doesn’t seem to be the route that the club has been wanting to take up to now.

  32. JG, Konsa is 6 foot, so not huge for that position but Cash is a deceptive 6 ft 1 which is perfectly respectable, particularly compared with a 5ft 10 Kyle Walker or a 5ft 9 Alexander- Arnold. What we were lacking was a 6 foot 5 Mings in the centre.

  33. Robbo
    What we are lacking is a proper manager not a wannabe,I am surprised no else picked on mcallaister previous spell here
    As for konsa he hasn’t looked good for a long time now,as for cash he was looking at cross coming in and never reacted
    Seen heat maps of the positions during game cash was ahead of Ramsey, digne was ore or less level with captain mcginn then you had ings and Phil close enough to hold hands
    On Facebook old matches come up and show goals Townshend Richardson Taylor even Delph all could go forward our midfield is unbelievable that is so poor

  34. JG, I agree with you that the manager is main problem right now but when you listen to him speak you can tell he’s no mug and he certainly has a footballing brain so there has to be a chance that he can adapt and do well given time. My concern, particularly from what we heard recently from H&V could be his character. Is he arrogant, is he stubborn? As JC puts it, he’s not an ‘arm round the shoulder’ manager, but that’s just one management style and there are others that can work. . . . with the right players.

  35. If you’re a manager who believes that ‘I am the boss’ and ‘everyone has to take instructions’ then you’d damn well better be good.
    Another style of management is being open to ideas from others. Ultimately, responsibility lies on the manager’s shoulders and he/she/it/they have to take the final decision when there is any doubt or conflict but I’ve always recognised that ‘I’ don’t have all the answers and surely I’ve employed, or retained the people around me because they’re good at what they do? If they are indeed good at what they do, then in my experience they will have good ideas to throw into the mix. Let’s face it, Gerrard was a player himself not so long ago and I bet he thought he had some ideas worth listening to.
    Of course it could well be that the ‘arrogant’ tag that we’re hearing is a bit of media nonsense with no substance to it and he’s actually consulting with and involving players all the time. . . . .we’ll find out eventually.

  36. robbo

    i just want a st that can hold the bloody ball up and bring are little ballers into play and give the defenders something to think about. be a bit of a bully. i aint asking for fash the bash back!

    ollies second touch is usually a tackle and more often than not looses the ball.

    ings cant do the job, more of a 10 if anything!

  37. H&V, I get all that but my memory is that one of the things we used to praise Ollie for was his hold up play and protecting the ball and bringing others into the game. Is my memory wrong or has he lost that skill. . . . .if the latter. . then why?

  38. I see that “God” has spoken now on Twitter and said that Mings should be in the team…If McGrath thinks that things are wrong…then things are wrong.

    I really don’t understand how Gerrard persuaded the club to change its young and hungry policy to its aging, experiencing policy. It is going back to the days of Woosnam, Ginola, Fashinu and Merson past their best days, although they did give some service to the club.
    We have signed a couple of youngsters in Kamara and Augustinson, but Carlos, Coutinho, Ings, Digne, and Olsen, are not youngsters.
    Agree with you r0bb0, to have the attitude that Gerrard has, you need to be a damn good manager. Our players need someone in the Graham Potter/ Eddie Howe mould.

  39. Just seen details about Konrad Laimer who plays in Germany, in the last year of his contract, and an ideal player for Liverpool, as he is in the Stephen Gerrard mould!
    Well surely if he is in the Gerrard mould and idolises Stevie, he would be perfect for Villa and Gerrard’s systems!!! Lets go get him!!

  40. My thoughts are now turning to the Everton game. Given that everything at Bournemouth was broken, do I think there will be a big improvement next match? In a word, no.

    There was too much wrong and it can’t be fixed in 1 week. If there is an improvement, it’ll be small in my humble opinion. Just not looking forward to the game. If the formation is right and selection issues corrected, we have a chance. But I’m not that optimistic.

  41. robbo

    peps no fool that city team is built with power. diaz, rodri and cancelleo run the show. there not only tall, strong and quick but technically amazing. now theyve added haaland to the mix!

    that rodri as a 6 is insanely good.

    first thing pep said was if you dont win the second balls in this league your dead

  42. Spot on r0bb0,
    Man City looking like a team that is invincible, with the beast that is Haaland, and steal at just over £50million.
    Everton looking like they are building a team with a good solid defence now with Cody joining them. They have done some very astute business, and will be a force to be reckoned with on Saturday!
    I have to agree H&V that this week is going to be a hard one for Gerrard, and if Villa lose on Saturday, the tide will turn so quickly, there may need to be an early board meeting.
    The support for the owners is the best in the league, but the 75% support for Gerrard will quickly evaporate with any more bad results.

    So many people unhappy with his treatment of Mings, and unfortunately, Gerrard is too stubborn to back down.

  43. So God has spoken and nearly all the rest of the media and apart from soueness who was a failure at Liverpool all against Gérard they can’t be all wrong

  44. Everton on sat ,we will either scrape a 1 nil win or get battered,Everton will target our fullbacks and our soft centre,their new giant in midfield won’t have an easier debut

  45. H&V, you mention the tallest players in the City line up but the team overall was the shortest in the whole of the premiership last year. They are not a team built on being tall and strong, they are a team built on being agile, very hard working, and with great feet and footballing nouse. Above all, they are drilled to know where their teammates will be and they’ve almost played the next pass before they’ve received the ball, safe in the knowledge that their team mate will be there to receive it.

  46. I notice that Grealish received some of the lowest ratings yet again at the weekend. He’s such a natural, instinctive player and it seems he’s still finding it a bit difficult to fit into the mindset of being a functioning cog in a well drilled machine of finely engineered cogs.

  47. Lange is awful at his job

    We don’t have a scouting network

    He hasn’t signed anyone hard not to

    We’ve signed obvious targets that everyone knows about

  48. JG, not sure how you come up with “hear hear” to all of Frem’s comment, but maybe you just agree with the overall gist of needing to replace Lange?

    When we signed Kamara, the overwhelming consensus was that it was a signing out of the blue. . . completely unanticipated.

    Had you heard of Kalvin Phillips, Erling Haarland or Julian Alvarez. Now I don’t claim to be that knowledgeable about footballers but I’d heard of all of them. . . . . should Man City scouts be sacked?

    I’m not saying that Lange is doing a good or bad job, to be honest I don’t know enough about the role to judge, but the arguments put forward to say that he isn’t, just don’t make any sense.

    I personally suspect that the Villa fans and commentators who said how well Villa had done to get such good business done early in the transfer window were correct. The question . . .yet again . . .is whether Steven Gerrard and his trainers/coaches are able to get the best out of the very good players he has at his disposal.

  49. robbo

    yeah man totally but my point man city have a blend, we are just full of the little baller types but with no physical spine

    city now have haaland up top. pace power, the number six height pace power and the defender height pace power.

    i dont doubt we have nice individual players but the balance, partnerships and string to our bow just aint there to make a team

  50. Agree with Frems post to a large degree
    Newcastle of shown how you buy to keep moving forward as a club with each purchase made .. they are very likely to finish above us and considering how bad they were this time last year its a very successful transformation
    The buy have improved greatly at Villa under SG but we are not improving all the areas we can and attack it clearly an area we are still falling short in

    Its not all doom and gloom just yet though and just one good goal getter could change the whole mood at the club pretty quickly ,,,, very much hoping our business is not done , however if it is I deffo see trouble ahead

  51. Our business is not all done!
    As above, we look like we could sell Mings to West Ham, and if it is true, then Mings will jump at the chance to play under David Moyes. They are a steady club who have gone from strength to strength under Moyes.
    Cody now at Everton will make a big difference on Saturday, and we will struggle to get a result.

    Deano is feeling loads of love again from Villa fans after Norwich beat Blues on penalties, after a 2-2 draw!

  52. Robbo
    I did a list of lange transfer since he came in other day ,where r our bissomu souk lad chelsea just after buying from Brighton,
    Kamara rumoured to be on massive wages,nothing special about lange,purlsow has to be under pressure

  53. if you zone out and are nswe seeing the money and wages spent….your going to start to get demanding and asking questions.

    its hard not to over react after such a bad perfromace let alone result but sg really needs to start getting it right and quickly. the fanbase seems all onside and the knives are getting sharpended alleady.

    the prem is hard…very hard we really cant afford to be mucking about finding our best 11 and formation else your in massive trouble. there aint much wriggle room to being a mid table team and one that hovering over relegation. as we know can easily happen!

  54. Another bad performance and result on Saturday the demand for tickets will drop off ,does purslow think he will fill a bigger stadium under Gérard,personally I can’t see it,West ham had 65 thousand last week at home how much money more are they taking in that way

  55. Heroes
    What villa player at the minute gets you up off your seat,that can beat a man with a bit of brilliance,maybe coutinho on his odd good moment,maybe Bailey with a burst of speed ,sorry none of the rest

  56. Fully behind SG’s decision to let Traore go . was buzzing with his first season but since then his play has been severely lacking in consistency and quality and I am pretty sure there are many players that could do better for us going forwards

    Raul de Tomas links growing . he is potentially a fabulous addition scored some high quality goals last season

  57. Heroes
    Even if our striker could hold up the ball our midfielders can’t get up the field under Gérard they are usually covering for full backs, the heat maps from defeat to Bournemouth showed it

  58. Good to see people also seeing Lange is absolutely pointless.

    He also takes ages to address positions we are absolutely desperate in.

    We have 5 sub rule and our bench is absolutely horrific.. Absolutely zero attacking quality on it

    Not looking forward to this season one bit

    Everton will beat us

  59. Each Villa fan’s own physician will have their own preferred treatment and the most popular treatment for being a Villa fan would be medication of some sort. Rather more enlightened treatments involve some sort of physicals stimulation, and simply getting out into nature and gardening can be particularly effective in this regard.
    Slightly more controversial but gaining in popularity and with increasing weight of evidence of its effectiveness is the use of psilocybin, most commonly found in magic mushrooms.
    In any event, those who are suffering from being a Villa fan should always find someone to talk to, and astonvillalife.com can be a particularly useful outlet.

  60. It seems to be a popular view that our bench has zero attacking quality on it. I have to disagree. . . .I think that Archer has a really promising future and will be good for us.

  61. I find the suggestion that we have no attacking talent bemusing when you consider that a few months ago the complaint was that we had too much attacking talent and other parts of the team were not being properly considered.
    The problem is not that we don’t have enough attacking talent but that we aren’t finding a way of utilising it.
    Let’s give Steven Gerrard a chance to find a way of using the talent at his disposal and if there are no signs that he’s working it out by Christmas then we should start asking more serious questions of him.

  62. roBB0, Heroes……..magic mushrooms might not be enough at the Everton game. They might need a straight jacket, gag and men in white coats for me.

  63. Heroes
    Traore 13 goals and assists first season for half price
    of beundi who had how many goals and assists
    Coutinho has a few moments of brilliance but far and few between,traore was injured had afcon , think he had covid last season too

  64. Robbo
    The bench v Bournemouth
    Olseon young mings Chambers Swedish left back(4 defenders Bruce like) Luis archer beundi and watkins ,any injuries and its marv and young lads because is not going to use sanson and god help us if davies is the answer to our woes

  65. A further test for us now with Bolton Wanderers away in the Carabao Cup, later in the month.
    r0bb0, it may be Gerrard and the team that may need the magic mushrooms, as they used to have a wonderful affect on the pool team, playing shots you would never expect and winning the game!!

    Villa fans are definitely needing something special, so I hope the “Mad Goose” will be available on draft in the Tavern on Saturday!! Cause I will definitely be in need.

    Never shared the love of Traore, although he did show moments of brilliance at times, but never on a regular basis. He has only gone on loan, so not a total loss, but if sold , he will only fetch a small fee.
    Team on Saturday will probably be:
    Martinez, Cash, Konsa/ Chambers, Carlos, Digne, McGinn, Luiz, Kamara, Bailey, Coutinho, Watkins.
    Subs: Olsen, Young, Kessler-Hayden, Nakamba, Ramsey, Ings, Archer,Iroegbanum, Buendia.
    Will it be good enough to beat Everton, will probably depend if we can get through the first twenty minutes without conceding. If we score in the first twenty minutes, then the roof could come off Villa Park!!

  66. As more rumour comes out of Villa Park, it seems that Gerrard has differences with Watkins, as well as Mings, and that they are both available.
    I get the feeling that Gerrad very much wants to build his own spine to the team, and rid the team of the Smith/Bruce influence. If he can succeed all well and good. I just hope he does not destroy what may have been, and devalue the value of the club .
    He needs to be showing some serious improvement in the coming weeks.

  67. Rewarding players like mcginn and Luiz who have been not good enough since ee got promoted.

    I don’t understand what our ambition is

    Our midfield is dreadful and wr haven’t improved it for 3 years now

    Purslow and Lange do one

  68. Do we really pay Lange to scout Countino, Ings, Bailey, Carlos, Kamara, dinge etc?

    At 12 year-old knows about them football players.

    He hadn’t done anything Nobdody else can do

    I thought we got him because of his ability to find a gem

  69. To be fair the buying under SG for me has been very good indeed Countino Digne Carlos kamara
    we just need to sort the attacking areas with the same sort of quality
    I do take the point re Lange though the Brazilian toon brought in is something else . lets see if lange can find a gem … I think due to the fact we have so much potential in our youth set up maybe that is also stopping us a little bit in the market

  70. maybe JC should life the vaccine debate embargo to bring Mark back. We could move onto Monkeypox, polio and this new disease from asian shrews that’s just arisen in China.

  71. The biggest problem we have as fans is the bull we get spoon fed by the media and pundits. Pundits only give their opinion but couch their words in actuality. The media just out and out deal in tripe. The thing about Mings for instance. You’d think that Mings and Gerrard were having a fistfight everyday but in probability the professionalism from both would prevail. Then it turns out he has a groin issue which was barely given any notice. Of course people have differences of opinion, nothing of any value would get done if you didn’t. Like him, indifferent to, or dislike, being professional should be enough for the team to work together. The only thing happening right now are fans getting riled up. Yep I was ticked at the Bournemouth game but guess what I’m looking forward to the next against Everton.

  72. Well said Ian (about looking forward to the next game rather than the shrew stew.. .)

    I’m not a Gerrard fan but I do still believe that he can turn things round for us and there is every reason to still look forward to the next game. You’d hope that there’ll be no complacency from the players this time and that they realise that they are all fighting for their places. If the attitude is right let’s hope they come out fighting and as someone else said. . . if we can get the first goal then we will see the Villa park crowd erupt and confidence levels should surge. I’m looking forward to it too.

  73. I will be interested to see if the owners are at our season’s opening home game, and maybe William and George will be there too!

    My view on Gerrard’s future will come once the Watkins/Mings situation is sorted, and we get a few points on the scoreboard. He is the manager and if he can sort it so that it benefits the club, then all well and good. I am sure the media and the pundits will still find plenty to say.

    The biggest thing , as I said earlier, is for the boys to make sure they score first, and get the fans and team settled..

  74. Davies away to Watford on loan, looking likely that hause will join them, can lange not sell anyone,another example of his poor work Watford sign Dennis last season for 3.5 m selling now for 20m

  75. We have to still having I incomings how many teams start season with 2 strikers plus a untried archer along with that ailey is only out and out wide man

  76. H&V,
    Looks like Gerrad intends on having a real clear out this week. Hause to Watford will be excellent for them, along with Davis. Guilbert, Sanson and Nakamba should have had more time at Villa to prove themselves. The only concern will be who we are bringing in.
    Strange how MK has not surfaced.
    Gerrard’s press conference could be very interesting today. Maybe a few awkward questions to answer, unless everyone just pussy foots.
    Didn’t realise the bad blood between Ginola and Gregory.
    Dennis will be a tidy capture for Forest. He looked to have potential at Watford, and could be a handful.

  77. We’ve had a shambolic transfer window.

    Every club getting better attakers than we have

    We sticking with Ollie fucking Watkins and Danny inngs who can’t hit a barn door

    Watkins was playing football 5 years ago at non league for christ sake and you can see why with his first touch… And second, and 3rd

    Also ee sending Kelser Hayden on loan

    The guy was brilliant in pre season.. A better football player than cash who can’t attack to save his life, and defending isn’t great

    We really having Ashley Young back up?

    Jesus christ

    Youth still don’t get game time at Villa

  78. Hayden is a much much better football player than matt cash yet we send him on loan

    I see mcginn talking today that our owners have ambition and they’ve put pressure on getting European football

    Ig our owners think our squad is good enough for European football than that’s worrying

    We are a top striker cm and wide player away


  79. Frem
    Doesn’t matter who you put up front our midfield playing behind fullbacks is the stupidest idea ever from a villa manager and when you think that list includes Bruce lambert di matter mcleish Turner and mc Neill

  80. paul

    yeah certainly a bloated squad that needs trimming. like jg says shame we cant sell instead of loan.

    looking forward to the presser.

    frem yeah man there is no way in the world this lot challenge europe.

  81. H&V. I can’t remember, but presumably you felt that it was very wrong for us to get rid of Dean Smith?
    Our squad is improved from the squad he had to work with and yet you still have no faith in it at all.
    I’m not trying to re-open the Dean Smith sacking debate, simply trying to point out the inconsistency of thinking that the (improved) squad is so bad now and yet expecting Dean Smith to deliver with it.
    But. . .as I started out by saying, maybe you were one of those of us who felt it was wrong to sack Dean Smith when we did?

  82. I suppose I should really have started my last comment by asking anyone on here if they think that our current squad is better or worse than the one that was in place when Gerrard took over?

    We can put aside the disrupted pre-season and illness/injuries for now, it’s just a question of whether the recruitment over the past year and a bit has improved the squad or not.

  83. r0bb0,
    The squad has had improvement over the last twelve months, but not a great deal. It has potential, but only with the right blend of players, and the right playing system. At present the squad is worse than before, because of not using the right blend of players, and failing to have a system to suit the players we have on the books.
    It looks like Gerrard’s intention is to have a virtual clear out of the original squad, bringing in his own more experienced players, so that he can achieve the demand for a European place.
    The board have told Purslow that they must sell in order to buy, and he is finding it hard, and so basically Lange has been charged with organising good loan deals to shift more of them.

  84. re: MK

    No idea where he is, likewise hope all is well. Man has a lot of good things to say on football.

    No blockings or secret messages…I may have done it over my Trump comment a thread or two back, as that criminal shitstain is one topic for which there are no mitigating factors.

    Covid? Well, you’ve seen us all try to simply steer us back to football one way or another. I don’t mind the odd digression, same as in the pub, but I can’t in good conscience platform certain things.

  85. And back to football:

    Don’t disagree with the questions about recruitment and the squad, and yes, responsibility certainly lies with Lange and Purslow. We never really know how much the manager is involved.

    However, with SG (and others), bomb squads have a story to tell, players getting targeted (no pun intended) for instant replacement, players just not played and loaned out…Those clearly are on the manager.

    It’s more how we arrive at certain incomings that’s the question. You’d think SG would have an eye for a player. Course, he’s rather busy during the season, but I’d think he’d certainly be able to articulate what he wants, and be able to review tapes to see if he thinks someone’s got the goods.

    If he, Deano, anyone in charge is saying, “This is what I need,” and he’s not getting an appropriate list of players back, then there’s a problem. Or if someone’s saying, “Yeah, we know you want an 8, but we’re gonna sign this winger instead because he looked good in Germany and the price is right,” you know.

  86. JC,
    I don’t think that you would have done anything to push Mark away. I am sure there is a reason, but just hope it is not something that is too devastating, and that he is ok. I have sent him a PM through the site, and hope to get a reply.

    Gerrard’s press conference a bit of a wet lettuce, with no real content. Usual re good training, etc. No real injury worries, and will probably be the same team again!
    Hoping the team will be better, and the fans get behind them.
    Roll on Saturday, we will all be there, roaring them on!!! After a few jars in the Tavern!!

  87. R0bBo, I was in the “change manager” camp last year after our poor start. Basically because I believed our squad was better than some of the teams above us. We had a coach who cut his teeth in the lower divisions and from what I saw on the pitch, thought he was struggling with the players.

    Didn’t want SG at all. Another Purslow selection based on home coaches. Having signed him up, I was behind SG all the way but I currently sit in the “jury is out” camp. Is he another manager with a better squad than what we saw last weekend? It won’t take long to find out although some have already made up their minds.

    If he does come up short, we simply must employ a continental coach of proven ability. Someone like Poch or Mancini. It’s a topic worth its own script, but the UK coaches who obtained their badges here are much the same ilk which suggests the coaching on these shores is well behind the Spanish or German models. Or it could be that our players generally are less intelligent than those overseas. Contentious statement I know, but look at the situation. SG, Pam Lard, Beaky, Spud, Parker anybody? Possibly Potter but that’s it for me.

  88. But, when we point fingers at Lange and Purslow, we have to remember MON’s profligacy. We were up there, but his style of recruitment and spending was never sustainable.

    And it could be NSWE are not terribly keen to go tearing apart a side overnight to bring in a whole new bunch. That can go wrong for any number of reasons, and can also simply be financially impossible at given moments.

    When you’re spending £20m+ on a player, it’s expected he comes in and starts and succeeds, because you’re almost certainly getting rid of one (loan or sale) in the matchday squad to make room for him.

  89. I also hope he isn’t serious about naming the same squad, PP.

    If it works, great, happy to be proven wrong. But on the surface, it doesn’t seem to be the best employment of what we have.

    However it happens, I just want a win, some calming of the waters, and a happy (or near enough) dressing room.

    As we all know, if SG succeeds it’s good for Villa.

  90. Robbo
    The squad if you put alloys and a spoiler on a car it will make it look better but if the engine is knackered it won’t be going better
    Gerards buys so far haven’t fixed our engine,our defence wasn’t that bad yet almost 60m spent on it your alloys and coutinho is the spoiler,we have been linked with numerous very good midfielders and none have come of,add carney who left why do players not want to play for gerard

  91. As for our bloated squad we have
    3 Keepers
    8 defenders
    Kamara mcginn ramsay Luis
    Beudi Bailey coutinho
    Ings Watkins archer
    21 players
    davies hause ltraore look to be gone,sanson marv aeg Fred don’t look to have any future awfully light even if you add couple youth players

  92. r0bb0,

    On paper, it’s probably ‘better’. And it’s certainly healthier at this point. But I also think we’re still seeing just how dynamic Grealish was playing his own game.

    Buendia I think was always intended (in Dean’s mind) to be a partner or balance for him. He still seems to consistently have the best eye for a pass, and looks to play quickly.

    Bailey seemingly was the wide balance to Traoré in a 4-2-3-1. But yeah, he certainly has a place in a 4-3-3.

    Digne, French international, you’d probably be right he’s an upgrade on Targett. Chambers an upgrade on Hause.

    Phil started great, but has tailed off, so that’s not replacing Jack. Jacob’s hit a plateau. He and McGinn still seem a bit lost in this set-up.

    Saw a breakdown showing Kamara often sitting between the CBs, while McGinn and Co. are racing forward. Big gaps in MF. So I don’t know that everyone is on the same page yet.

    That said, I’m sure Kamara (who did nothing wrong) is going to need just a little bit to get truly comfortable.

    Anyway, on paper it seems better. But it’s all how you use them. Me, I don’t think Phil should be wide left. Saw a good graphic (and I’d post these things if I could get the hosting to fix a library problem) showing the average position last week, and it was very heavily slanted to the left, unsurprisingly, with gaps all over everywhere else.

    Phil’s in a bottleneck out there, basically, and isn’t able to drive and create individually like Grealish. So while he’s pulling teams toward him, he’s not yet making them pay. I’m guessing it probably also negates Digne somewhat, undoes natural width.

    We need cutbacks, trailing runners, etc., not endless crosses.

  93. robbo

    yep deano had to be sacked….we won about 3 games in a calender year! and bloody sg is on the same course!

    no ive said a zillion times id rip this squad up. i hate the blend, balance and partnerships of it.

  94. JG,

    “Gerards buys so far haven’t fixed our engine.” Can’t disagree with this. Likewise, I don’t think the back line was an urgent issue. But if he wanted to change it, I believe Carlos is right-footed, he should ultimately be paired with Mings.

    Kamara I think we needed for quality, composure, distribution, etc.

    Club believes in Luiz, apparently, and I can’t see why he’d sign a new deal if he’s going to be a sub. Who’s the odd man out, then?

  95. In his press conference Gerrard was praising the quality of the players and the squad and then followed it up by saying “The players will hopefully back that up tomorrow”.
    Now it’s easy to over-react to one sentence out of a press conference but I did think this one was interesting.
    I’m not saying I’m right, but whenever I have been in charge of a team, a business, whatever, then in a similar circumstance I would have said “I hope we can back that up tomorrow”. The key word being ‘we’. I do think it demonstrates a different frame of mind, where he feels slightly detached from how the players respond tomorrow. In a similar situation I would always have felt that the way they played was a direct reflection of how I had prepared or led them. . . . . I would have felt responsible and I’d have said so. I wouldn’t have had to think about using the word ‘we’ . . .it would just have come naturally and anything else would have felt wrong and uncomfortable.

  96. It’s been interesting reading everyone’s comments today. The general consensus seems to be that we do indeed have a better squad of players now, than at the start of last season but there’s concern that they’re not yet playing at the level of which they’re capable. In other words, the whole is smaller than the sum of the parts. . . . the team is currently underperforming.
    Just one decent performance and a win tomorrow though and I reckon the sentiment in both the team and the fans could change so so quickly.
    Fingers crossed!

  97. Wonder what the shower of shite will do today

    Certainly not confident I think we will look toothless again, little phill will play and do nothing

    It’s a really depressing transfer window.

    Watching Leeds sign sarr and Forrest sign Dennis for 15 million each…


    Those 2 walk into our starting 11

    Time for Lange and purslow to do one

    Absolutely shambolic window

  98. Only media mate speaking out in favour of Gérard our sourness,
    Always thought he was best manager we never had sold us Staunton Houghton and Saunders for good money for us

  99. Thank god I am working,,same non existing midfield, 2 up front no Bailey best player in pre season, no sanson only decent midfielder we have,the mind boggles

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