Interesting week for Villa. Bullied by Palace, just about adequate against Bolton in the end, and now linked with Craig Dawson.

Oh, and Ajax might be interested in Anwar El Ghazi if a couple other things happen. Or don’t.

Me, you’ve heard it all before. Don’t like the formation, doesn’t suit what we’ve got. We can’t play it, simple as. But incomings that could make it work aren’t happening. What gives? I have no answers. Whatever is really happening, I’m not sure that if I’m Konsa or Chambers that I’d be too happy about the ongoing insistence I need to be replaced, this time with a 32-year-old player coming off injury. Not saying Konsa is the same player he was (no idea what happened), or that Chambers covered himself in glory against Bolton. But Gerrard seems to be going about his business in a slightly too undisguised manner.

On the pitch, we have West Ham, who are winless so far, but won’t be for long. I’ll confess, I haven’t watched them yet, so I can’t comment on their poor start. But you can almost bet your bottom dollar that Villa will be the cure for what ails them.

Negative? Maybe. I prefer to think I’m just being realistic. And perhaps I’m also trying to employ a bit of reverse voodoo, as I never make predictions. But truth be told, I just don’t see us winning this one, if, for no other reason than West Ham are not a 0-4 side.

So the natives are restless, and understandably so. We’re supposed to be moving forward, but nothing says we’re any better a side than we were when Deano was sacked. Doesn’t mean Smith was the messiah, just means Gerrard hasn’t done anything to convince us that he was a great move for the club. If you’re going to fire someone like Smith, you have to do better than what his successor has shown so far.

Some will point to Sir Alex. Or just Arteta. I get it. I just don’t have good feelings rumbling in my tumbly. Gerrard putting out a virtual starting XI out against Bolton? Yes, a sign of the pressure for a win, certainly, but it also seemed to me like he wanted extra training, and to deliver a pointed “No time off, you’ve not been good enough.”

To make things worse, now we’ve got Bailey’s uncle/agent saying loudly that he’s a winger with great stats who didn’t come to England/Villa to be on the bench. Bit rich, given he’s barely been healthy, but also not a good look.

Anyway, I don’t have much else. You know me, I generally trend toward the positive, but I’m just not feeling it at the moment. I’d really really love for Villa to make me eat my words, because we could desperately use three points before Arsenal. I don’t even want to think about what Haaland could do to us.

So come on, Villa. Make me look bad. I’ll be cheering hard for just that.

Over to you.

Comments 193

  1. There is probably some unobtrusive anonymous player out there (or even in our reserves) who could slot in, do a job and suddenly everything would work. It happened before when DS picked up Mings. That was one of the most impressive debuts I ever saw. Even more impressive was Martinez. Maybe Bednarek could be that player. Doesn’t seem to be the flashy glamorous glitzy sort of player that SG would be associated with. Even less Craig Dawson. Hope there is a hard nosed seasoned pro in the background coming up with these thoughts and gently telling SG to stop being a prat.

    Time to go, where’s m’flying pig?

  2. Hang on! Didn’t GT1 have a bad start before he got us promoted back to the first division at the first attempt? Didn’t Sir Nasty Ron Have a vastly underwhelming start to our most recent league winning season? See, I can be positive, or is it delirium from lack of sleep?

    So many questions!

  3. JC, having read your last comment on the previous thread I’d prepared myself for a Private Frazer knell of doom but hey. . . it wasn’t THAT bad!
    Having a slightly negative rumbley in your tumbley is some way short of using the ‘R’ word. 🙂
    Things ‘could’ start turning round very soon and with the twelfth man doing his bit, it ‘could’ even start this afternoon! . . . but if it doesn’t, then we’ll be cheering “Graham Potter’s claret and blue army” by Halloween!
    See. . . There are always reasons to be cheerful.

  4. JG. . again from the previous thread, yes it’s quite Brummie to moan but I’ve always thought we do it with a slightly upturned corner of the mouth knowing we don’t mean it really. . . we’re just playing up to the stereotype!

  5. Anyone else notice how rangers are playing great football now Gerrard has left and now in the champions league?

    Lose today he will be gone I think

  6. Loss today and then against city and arsenal

    There wouldn’t be much of a choice for the board

    They’d have to sack him

    And if mcginn starts today it’s criminal

  7. You know what’s going to happen


    Two shite strikers up front

    Ramsey mcginn playing shite but will start and give the ball away every 2nd pass

    Countino won’t have any space because we suffocate the pitch with body’s because we are so narrow. Watkins Ings mcginn Ramsey will all take up space we should be leaving for phill

    Cash and Digne will be the outlets even though cash is the worst attacking right back in the league and worse than Hutton at crossing

    That’s going to be our plan

  8. Frem, I guess you feel you have to exaggerate and repeat comments to get people to listen, but it doesn’t work that way. Cash is not the worst attacking full back in the league, we don’t have two shite strikers and Ramsey and McGinn aren’t playing shite.

    You’re right that we’re not getting the best from any of them at the moment and probably right that it’s down to the formation.

    I wouldn’t object to the formation you’ve suggested. . . .back to Mings as captain?

  9. JC – good read

    Frem – unfortunately I agree with you. Rangers are better without SG

    I see us losing today and the next 2 games. SG seems clueless. It was interesting hearing Martinez saying that SG leaves it ti his assistants to handle training and SG is more of a PR person. Let’s get Poch in asap

  10. Frem, you were one of the biggest advocates on here for Gerrard to be brought in, as you were for Thierry Henri before him. Presumably that was because you felt that they could attract big name players? There’s probably some truth in that but I suspect another major reason for the club to look at both of those was raising the profile of the club by having such big names associated with us.
    It probably can work provided, as VillaMD hints, they are a figurehead and have a team of very competent coaches beneath them but sadly it appears we’re currently left with just the figurehead.
    If that is the case then bringing in additional coaching support is far more important than a number 8, or new striker, or centre back.

  11. VillaMD, the most positive thing in your last comment is the recognition that Rangers are doing well now that Gerrard has left. It would seem that he had therefore pulled together a more than competent squad of players that someone else is able to now take to the next level.

  12. What can you say about tem selection, no centre half on bench,please god will Gérard just go absolute disaster as a manager up his own ass,Mr friend with nobody

  13. It’s hopefully coincidence ( . . .as Villa fan Jack Reacher says. . . .”I don’t believe in coincidences”) that Mings didn’t miss a single Premier league game for the last 2 seasons but has missed two already, for different reasons this time round.

  14. Do you think Coutinho and Luiz have been doing sprint practice in training this week in preparation for chasing down the long passes to West Ham’s wings and Declan Rice’s surging runs, whilst Cash and Digne are stranded up field?

  15. Five subs available and our squad’s most creative players are on the bench.
    Surely a positive finish coming up. . . . provided it’s not left too late.

  16. JG,

    I think SG is making the mistake of communicating a little too directly that he simply doesn’t think they’re good enough.

    One thing to ask for more, another to make them all think it’s simply a matter of time no matter what they do.

  17. YAWN. SNAFU. Any of the sky6 would have got that Watkins non pen. As usual, Buendia did twice as much in 30 mins than PC did in 60 mins. Surely the clock is ticking more loudly.

  18. Absolutely JC. It’s too soon to judge whether he’s able to learn how to set up teams and tactics and adapt to changes made by opposing managers but his man management tactics feel very old fashioned to me and that is down to personality and character and probably harder to learn.

  19. McGinn had one of his better games, the way spam were playing helped.

    Final ball wasn’t there from anyone. West Ham were packed pretty tight at the back. Watkins and Ings were feeding off scraps.

    Buendia injected energy as usual, and tried to force the issue. Should’ve started, would’ve had a chance to punish a lethargic and sloppy Spam. They were playing off, looking not to concede.

    Now of course West Ham’s goal was a massive deflection…probably should’ve been 0-0 on balance.

    But the two up front, just not working. That makes everything too narrow, then it’s hit and hope from wide.

  20. Jc
    If that was a better game from mcginn god help us
    Gerard team selection so poor,ings should be used as a sub his speed will equal opposition after they played an hour,coutinho had only Watkins as an outlet,
    Tactics cash and digne crossing into a box never once picking out a teammate, it’s a sorry site watching us,

  21. Yeah, Ings and Watkins can’t play together

    Can’t understand why Bailey is not starting ahead of Ings and Buendia over Phil.

    Better to get Poch in tomorrow so he has the City and Arsenal games to figure out a playing system. SG is clueless. Hopefully the owners don’t let him waste more money if he stays

  22. I blame Purslow for this mess. He wants to be the architect of a football team and definitely wants a bronze statue of himself outside of Villa Park. The only problem is his ego getting in the way of his non existent football IQ.
    A clear out is coming. I can’t blame players who are placed in positions that beg failure. If NSWE say fuck it it’s gonna be a free fall to National League South

  23. VillaMD, if we’re going to talk about who may eventually take over from Gerrard if it doesn’t work out, I’ve been favouring Potter. I was a real fan of Poch in most of his time at Spurs but worried that he may have peaked and lost a bit of his passion, even though I have bugger all evidence to back that up.
    Having just read his Wiki profile I warmed to him all over again. I’d forgotten his passion for developing local academy players and man management ethos and that does seem to be what we’re lacking at the moment.
    I still like to think that Gerrard (maybe with some extra coaching support) can turn things round on the set up and tactics side of things but I remain concerned that he doesn’t have the personality to manage players and get the best out of them.

  24. I blame Purslow for this mess. He wants to be the architect of a football team and definitely wants a bronze statue of himself outside of Villa Park. The only problem is his ego getting in the way of his non existent football IQ.
    A clear out is coming. I can’t blame players who are placed in positions that beg failure. If NSWE say fuck it it’s gonna be a free fall to National League South.

  25. Ian, we all ‘suspect’ that, towards the end of Dean Smith’s reign, players were recruited ‘on his behalf’ rather than at his request.
    We also suspect that Purslow was working towards bringing in Gerrard for a little while before the change was made.
    We further suspect that DS was being undermined towards the end, in order for Gerrard to be brought in.
    All speculation but it all feels plausible at least.

    Purslow by all accounts has had a very positive long term vision for the development of Aston Villa and the owners have trusted him to see this through. The fear is that his previous relationship with Gerrard has blinded him into making one, very big, tactical mistake, in bringing in Gerrard.

    My feeling is that what we need is for Purslow to come to terms with his mistake and put it right. I’m not sure that this one mistake (albeit a big one) should taint his whole tenure.

  26. R0bb0,

    I like your comments. Potter is also a good shout, but can’t see him leaving Brighton. Especially as they have the best South American scouts. Caicedo is better than Bissouma. The new lad Estupinan making his debut, slots right in. How do they do it!

    It’s not just Potter

    Ian – you may be right, but SG signed Phil on a 4 year contract for 17m. What a waste of money. He also signed an aging Digne for 25m when Targett is younger and better. Hey, it’s not me burning money…

  27. Another Gérard masterclass interview blame the players
    First half does anyone remember 1 attack we had 2 midfielders join it
    Gerards record
    10 wins 6 draws 15 losses
    Last 25 it’s 6 wins 6 draws and 13 defeats
    He has split dressing room with his bomb squads misuse of players
    Hasn’t fixed midfield even with signing 7 players
    O I am fed up again

  28. JG – I hear you. Will be interesting few days before deadline day. If I was Buendia or Bailey I’d ask to leave. Archer should go on loan vs sitting on the bench.

    I’m waiting for the Frem rants

  29. Back home now after a great time at the Aston Tavern!
    Superb service. Good beer and food included in the entry fee.
    The sun was shining beautifully, so most of us were sat outside, enjoying some great live music too!!

    Unfortunately, we then had to leave for Villa Park around 1.30pm, which was not too bad to start with, and the boys were putting some effort in, but you always know that it will not last, and sure enough it didn’t.
    Wet Spam got their flukey deflected goal, and Villa could just not find a reply.
    Kamara was the one outstanding feature, Watkins worked hard, but you sensed there was no real togetherness.
    These are not players putting their lives on the line, and willing to die for each other, and the shirt.
    Like as has been said earlier, totally unimpressed with Gerrard’s interview, like a man awaiting his sentence.

  30. A couple of quotes from SG today:

    ” I do believe we have the quality players and the thing for me that I need to get right is getting our best players in the right positions”
    That’s a fair assessment although you might have hoped that with a full pre-season he might have been able to do that by now. He’s not the first manager to take a while to discover his best team though so I’d put that comment down as a positive.

    “The only thing we can do now is act and try to put it right. I am all in to make that happen and my staff are but it has to come from within the players as well and the players have got to really stay together and find results now to move us up the table.”
    I suspect he’s been made aware that people don’t like him palming it all off on the players so it’s positive that he starts by assuming responsibility but it seems he just can’t quite bring himself to stop there. . . . he still has to bring the players into it. I’m sure there are many other managers who would have just said. . . “hey’ I’m the boss and ultimate responsibility lies with me”, but at least today’s comment is a step in the right direction

  31. I’ve read that the owners were both at the game today. Anyone know if that is true? I don’t know if American fans ever boo their sports teams but if Eden and Sawiris were indeed there, I can’t imagine they enjoyed hearing that today.

  32. Heading down to VP yesterday, I wasn’t expecting anything other than a Hammers win. Very disappointed with the experience. These are tough times.

    I think that if the players leave everything out on the pitch, then fans will forgive a loss. As long as they put up a fight. Haven’t seen any fight this season. Stats like… Villa have covered the least mileage this season during games…. confirms the lack of effort compared to others.

  33. We can’t keep changing coaches. The choice needs to be correct rather than just hopeful. It’s rare for great players to become successful managers and that fact alone meant the appointment of Gerrard was a risk. Purslow will be under the cosh from Compass.

  34. JG, there are some interesting observations in this Sky article


    Our passes completed and crosses completed are in the top 7 but we’re right down on the bottom half of the table for shots and expected goals. If we had a Benteke, or Carew or Heskey up front then the tactic of sending the full backs forward to put in crosses (if the full backs were able to put in good crosses) could make sense but with Ings and Watkins scoring fewer than 15% of goals with their heads it feels misguided.
    Gerrard yesterday identified our problem as a “lack of creativity” up front but it’s so difficult for our players to be creative against teams that are given every opportunity to organise their defences whilst we slowly build our attacks. Man City are used to breaking down packed defences and have players that are so good at it that someone like Grealish often can’t even get into the side. No other side in the division has quite that luxury. Our attacking players should be our strongest attribute but they’re being dulled by the slow build ups.
    Where Gerrard is right is that we’re not creating enough opportunities (our low Xg indicates this) but he’s blaming our creative players instead of his tactics. Hopefully this is slowly dawning on him and he can work out a plan B.

  35. A really damning and worrying fact from the article is the one that shows we’ve had a very easy opening to our campaign, having played the teams ranked 12th, 16th, 17th and 18th. What’s even worse is that the 3 teams we’ve lost against have only recorded one win each so far this season and you don’t need to guess who that was against for each of them.
    Had those 3 clubs not won against us then they’d have been 18th, 19th and 20th. We really couldn’t have had an easier opening to our Premier league campaign.
    Under Dean Smith we used to win games against the top opposition and part of the frustration was that we’d then lose against easier teams that we should beat. If only this was the case under Steven Gerrard then we could go into our upcoming games with a little more confidence, but up to now that has been very far from the case.
    Up to now his confidence in his existing plan seems to have held him back from learning and adapting. The decent first half yesterday may convince him that it’s only a matter of time until things click into place. I do hope not because the longer we persevere with these tactics the more confidence will be sapped from our creative players.
    He needs to look at himself first. . . . . . . stop blaming the players, but much more importantly start to really believe and accept that the responsibility really does lie with him. . . . he’s the one making mistakes . . . and then he needs to change.

  36. Robbo
    Yesterday we had ings overlapping digne our left back ,ings then crossed into an empty bo x
    I feel for mcginn,he should never have been made captain ,he has no decent form since before Jack left so maybe a spell watching would do him the world of good
    I mentioned yesterday about not getting bodies forward to help,MOD highlighted ings berating teammates for not getting up
    Gerard has had somewhat similar time games played to 2 worst statics wise managers we ever had yet neither spent money he did they where both tail end if Lerner and fox reign
    For me we ha e to get sanson into our middle field ,kamara has played with him ,Luis gets s nose bleed if he goes past centre circle
    A lot social media talk last night that mings wasn’t sick but another major bust up,main reports where from an xplayer who was working at villa Park for game

  37. JG, I agree with all that.

    I’m happy that Gerrard is given more time to adapt his team and his tactics but I’m becoming increasingly convinced that what he needs to learn first is humility.

    It’s not long since we were worried that McGinn might be off to United for £40m+. Mings has been a regular for England and a mainstay in the Villa defence when we were keeping regular clean sheets. Watkins and Ings are both top goal scorers. One by one these players are having their confidence sapped by poor tactics and even worse man management.

    I just read what I’d written and thought “this doesn’t sound like me”. . . Fuck. . . . I was even supporting Mcleish when everyone else wanted him gone!!

    This isn’t about our last 4 results, I genuinely can forgive those provided Gerrard is learning and can adapt. he clearly has a footballing brain to have played the way he did. It’s his character that worries me.
    You can imagine that Mings won’t take shit from anyone and from what we hear, Gerrard wouldn’t like that. Of course he has McAlister to back him up, but am I right in thinking that he struggled with some of the players back then too? Maybe he came to the club with preconceptions of having to lay down the law?

  38. Well, after a quick opinion/reaction scan, looks like all faith in SG has gone. Course in some quarters, there was never any ‘faith’.

    No idea about the accuracy, but seeing Juve inquiring (again, I think) about Luiz, and there seem to be some rumblings linking Bailey to Ajax. Luiz has an offer he still hasn’t signed, and wasn’t happy coming off yesterday.

    Also reports that Mings and SG had a bust-up.

    You could easily say Villa can find better players than each of these, but I’ve lost confidence we will, and departures like any of these at the tail-end of the window…not good. Haven’t heard Mings wants out, but.

    No idea what’s going on in the camp, but it can’t be a good sign that Konsa is doing the post-match talking instead of McGinn.

    I was very much in the ‘give Deano time to fix it’ camp because I never felt like the side had fractured. It was a very tough hand he’d been dealt to start last season. Targett’s tearful interview after Smith was sacked said something.

    Could all be talk and panic, naturally, but me, I just don’t see what’s going to get better. I hope we’re sounding out alternatives.

  39. Hi r0bb0,
    Glad that you are helping to keep this blog alive, and agree with most of what you say, except that Gerard has a footballing brain. Gerrard , to me , is a one of football’s legends, but more so, for his reliability, consistency, tenacity, and loyalty. He has been a one club man, playing in the days when Liverpool prided themselves on being a team, playing together, and no mega star dictating play.
    He had a great career with England too, and again, was a team player, playing in the systems that had been coached.
    He managed young players at Liverpool, helping to ensure that they were able to learn and develop within those systems in place. He then went on to Rangers, bringing in coaches to help him introduce similar systems to those that he believed in. It worked because of how the Scottish Premiership was a very limited league.
    No where have I seen any genius or great ideas in Gerrard the man, or Gerrard the player. Just a fairly humble guy who has made a career for himself by being Mr Reliable, a craftsman in his sport who learned to use his tools to the best of his ability.

    If he had stayed at Rangers, would he have achieved much more? Should he have then gone to learn his trade more in the League One, or the Championship, he may have become a reasonable manager, and eventually been good enough to be a Premiership Manager.

    I have to wonder about Christian Purslow, when following Gerrard’s interview, he stated that “Stephen stood head and shoulders above the other candidates, giving a clear vision of what we are looking for”. If I remember, Gerrard gave a two hour presentation to the board. So he cannot be faulted for not doing preparation, but that does not fulfil the management skills that the board should have been identifying.

  40. Even Lambert could engineer results against sky elite teams. Another ex manager I had no problem with (yes his talking voice was abysmal during interviews). Lowton and Westwood were well spotted good buys – I think we got more than our money back on them. He even got Delph off the sick list and made him our main man. The bloke was operating way above his paygrade and had to front up for Lerner and all his non football higher management. Now the aged memory banks are getting a rare awakening, lambert and DS seem to be similar man/managers. Similarly, SG and bingo bill.


  41. Sad to see one of our boys that left us and became a good servant at Bristol Coty, Nathan Baker, has been forced to retire through ill health at the age of 31yrs old. Apparently, through head injuries that he has suffered over the years.
    Our dear Monty will be sad if she gets to hear the news. She was a great fan of his, and would have loved one of his Villa shirts!!

  42. JC,
    We were all shocked yesterday at the omission of Mings at the last minute due to sickness, and nothing more. Very strange that the media and pundits steered well away from it, when usually they would be pressing for answers.
    Nothing even mentioned today about Mings in any media talk. Something has to be seriously wrong, or why the silence.

  43. r0bb0,

    Was the easiest opening we could’ve hoped for, and we’ve gone and blown it. Have also looked poor doing so.

    For SG, like a lot of former players, I think, the issue is that his talent and drive blinds him to a lot. When you’re a natural you take a lot for granted. So yeah, there’s character/arrogance in play, never mind the stuff he probably doesn’t want to do, doesn’t think he should have to do…Like coach, and support, and build trust and rapport.

    Maybe he can get past that, but he hasn’t shown any signs yet, and like you pointed out, he just can’t quite seem to step up and accept that the buck stops with him.

    I’m guessing the players don’t buy into his system, feel like they’re being set up to fail, and that the arrogance is poisoning the environment. If we’re hearing it, they certainly know that Gerrard wishes he could just replace them all. They don’t see it ending well, SG’s made his mind up.

    Phil seems like a lovely guy, but it also can’t be helping that SG was so adamant about getting him and then playing him only to have him produce nothing…and indeed, become a bit of a liability.

    It’s one thing when you’re Smith saying, “We don’t have a 10/CAM…Barkley didn’t work out, we’ve tried JJ there, but that’s not his position,” and you go get a Buendia to fill a need/gap. Buendia barely gets a chance to get going and SG is instantly bringing in a mate whose star has faded to replace him.

    See Targett/Digne, see Konsa or Mings/Carlos.

    Kamara has been the exception, a player for a position where there was clearly a need (with all due respect to Marv). The players will have understood that one.

  44. The only problem I had with Lambert was the bomb squad, but yes he always had to do with second best players, like Joe Bennett, when he wanted Cresswell. How much would Villa have saved long term with him on our books. So many similar cases, where we have bought the cheaper option, and that includes managers!!

  45. Yeah, PP. None of the vibes are good. Players understand competition. But no one likes to be disrespected.

    SG has never proved he’s a genius manager and took the first bus out of Scotland rather than replicate his success. A terribly small sample size.

    Think Potter, Howe and even Parker are all better managers, have shown more with a lot less to work with.

  46. Oh, and yes…Fans will boo the performance at football games in the states. Think I’ve heard it in hockey. Not so much baseball or basketball, as I recall, but that’s shaky from me as I don’t really watch them.

  47. I was also shocked yesterday when I realised that we are paying Danny Ings £120,000 per week.
    I am sure Dean Smith could have produced an amazing team, if he had been allowed to pay those sort of wages!!!
    No wonder there is discontent, as I wonder how much other players are on!
    No wonder Carney wanted £100,000 per week! I see his brother, Caleb is off now!

  48. PP,

    I’d seen a chart ‘leaked’ of Villa wages, and some were surprising. £120k/wk…You’re defo under pressure to play him.

    The contortions Deano went through to fit him in, can’t believe it was his idea. Flipside is that he’s experienced, older head, good GS record, but that doesn’t seem like it would’ve been Smith’s primary focus after JG left given his comfort with Ollie and the system.

  49. Mings apparently had a bust up with McCallister, and probably walked, or was sent home.

    El Ghazi has got his move to PSG for £2.5million, and Bailey wants his move to Ajax, Bot happy being a substitute!

    Nazwaris and Edens were at the game yesterday, apparently…

    Four years to the day that Steve Bruce was defending himself…..weeks before he got the cabbage and the sack!!

  50. Juventus want Douglas Luiz, another unhappy player at Villa, refusing to sign a new contract, with his present one running out next year!

    Word is that players are all unhappy playing at Villa and looking for out. The bust up over the captaincy and Mings is fairly central to the problem . We can only wait and see.

    Wish I could find some positives somewhere, apart from Micah Richards telling Gerrard to rip up his plan A and start afresh!

  51. Players like Sanson and Guilbert should at least be on our bench, and not being excluded. We should always be developing players and maximising their value, but at Villa, apart from Jack, we seem to do the opposite. It just does not make any business sense.

  52. I never thought we would have a more disruptive manager than Bruce,falling out with players, trying to sell good players(jack) no tactics no plan b
    But Gérard is worst I have ever seen

  53. Agree with Robbo purslow has his faults but this is his baby and needs to fix it. But he has done good too.

    But Lange…..needs to go as the recruitment is appalling.

    Saw this last 62 games. Lost 30

    This team is shit.

    Lange sg out

  54. H&V, nice for you to agree with me on something but sadly I’m going to have to disagree in the strongest terms with you about our squad. It absolutely is not shit.. . . . no. . .it really really really isn’t.

    The problem is the manager and for the first time ever I’m going to say it
    Gerrard has to go.

    I’ve changed my mind. We can’t give him till Christmas, I want him out now.

    I do hope that the club are starting to make enquiries of alternatives. there are some good ones out there. This time, we do not want a vanity manager for PR purposes such as Henri or Gerrard, we want one who knows how to ‘manage’ a football team!

  55. I actually feel bad about that last comment because the manager’s job is a really tough and lonely one and hate the manager merry go round. I always want managers to be given a fair crack of the whip.

    This time it’s different. Reports are increasingly coming out that morale is falling and all the evidence seems to back that up. The comments I’ve seen from Gerrard either demonstrate bluster and a lack of confidence or overbearing arrogance. I don’t care which it is, he is destroying our club from within.

    He has to go. . . .and soon.

    Oh. . . and no. . . .we don’t want Mcallister as interim manager

  56. Anyone see the bit in telegraph by percy ,it will make grown men weep
    One thing doesn’t add up is new plans for stadium if we go down ,which is a big possibility with Gérard in charge it won’t be needed,already this season tickets available for Everton game up to last day,who is going to spend money going to villa Park if yesterday is anything to go by

  57. JG, the reason I was still optimistic a couple of days ago was that if Gerrard turned it round we’d be ok and if he didn’t he’d be replaced. . . . and we’d be ok.

    It need to be the latter and the sooner the better

  58. Not a peep out of villa Park from management team,purslow or even transfer guru today
    3 arsenal attackers in my fantasy football team,would think Jesus will captain of a lot of teams this week

  59. I seem to remember when the season under Houllier imploded due to his ill health, the remaining rump of mon’s team (therefore seasoned experienced pros) were supposed to have have sorted it out for themselves.

    SG can go right now. Reckon the players would back up Mings and maybe Ings for a while and at least steady the ship until we can get in someone they respect.

    Mischievous apologies to the senior sages on this blog – but I would love Fireman Sam on a short contract if you couldn’t stomach out of control player power.

    Runs away and hides…………

  60. No worries jbd656,

    Power to the people!!!
    We are not far from the winter of discontent, a general strike, and the downfall of the aristocracy!
    I can already visualise Rees-Moggs head on a stick leading the procession to Trafalgar Square…

    I am normally a very placid and middle of the road person, but the failure to recall parliament, deal with national and world crisis, while the “Buffoon plays on”, has really got to me.

    I hope the Villa board is not going to dither while our club falls apart. Apparently, there was some sackings of backroom staff, yesterday, including one of the medical team.

  61. Scott Parker being sacked puts pressure on purslow to do the same.

    Bournemouth beat us..

    What does that say about us?

    After tomorrow it will be 4 defeat ls from 5

    I think purslow will have to sack him after that

    It doesn’t look if Bournemouth are showing more ambition than us

  62. It’s mad how Parker has been sacked before Gerrard

    What is our club doing?

    All the ambition is gone.

    After city it will be 5 defeats from 6

    Surely he’s sacked either Thursday or Monday morning?

  63. I think purslow sacking SG would say to the board that purslow isn’t getting his job right and all this chopping and changing is costing the owners time and money
    We need the people at the very top making the right decisions
    Brighton are a fantastic model and they are about the 3rd of the size of Villa , if that
    The can sell players brought cheaply for mega bucks and there scouts then find someone even better for cheap again , and of course there manager coaches the team to play football in a most delightful way

  64. Frem, Parker hasn’t been sacked because of results but because he inferred that the owners weren’t acting as they should and the poor darlings didn’t like that. . . .so they sacked him.

    Nothing to do with ambition and everything to do with ego.

  65. runtings, If Purslow sacks Gerrard it would say that he accepts he’s made a mistake and he’s putting it right. Now if he ‘doesn’t’ sack him. . . .that’s when the owners will have to move him on because it would say that he’s not able to own up to mistakes and will put his loyalty to his friend above his loyalty to the club.

  66. People must be allowed to make mistakes . . . . it’s when they can’t own up to them so that the mistakes can be quickly rectified that you have a problem.
    (or if they keep making the same mistakes and show no sign of learning from them)

  67. If Konrad Laimer of Leipzig is the perfect target for Liverpool at around £20 million, as the perfect midfield target. A player who grew up idolising Steve Gerrard, and is an amazing ball-winning machine, can play defence and midfield, why isn’t Villa and Gerrard chasing him down, as he could be the answer to save Gerrard’s career!

  68. A nice thought JackVilla,
    and would show that Gerrard has the players onside!
    Nothing is beyond the realms of possibility, but it would mean a complete change of heart by Gerrard, showing that he had learned a big lesson, and come down to earth, in order to get his players onside.

    There is always that possibility that Purslow may talk to Gerrard, making it clear to him that not only is his job on the line, but both of them.
    He would make it crystal clear that something has to change and change now. There could also be make or break meetings between them and the players, where everyone can air their views on the way forward, agreeing how they can move forward, in order to improve, and get the best out of everyone.

  69. The reason I’ve suddenly shifted to saying that Gerrard has to go is that I can put up with him making mistakes and taking time to work out how to get the best out of the players, but what the club can’t afford is for him to destroy morale and drive good players to wanting to leave.
    Just before he went into hiding, Jbd said that he thought that if Gerrard went, the players would rally round and sort things out for themselves and I reckon he’s probably right. . . no need for an interim manager.

  70. I don’t see how the board don’t sack Gerrard soon

    Tomorrow and Saturday will be 2 defeats.

    He can’t survive that can he?

    That will be 3 wins from 17 games.

    Then after them it’s Southampton and lcfc

    He won’t survive past the next 4 games 100 %, because we aren’t beating anyone

  71. I don’t understand how we haven’t signed an attacking player yet either.

    It’s criminal what Lange has done

    Our bench is so so poor

  72. Also why aren’t we spending money?

    Going back to last summer in reality we sold our best ever player after finishing 11th and have spent £16 million since

    Newcastle who finished 12th that season have a net spend of £239 million

  73. Frem, maybe we’re not spending money because the owners have lost faith in Gerrard?

    We had Bailey, Archer and Buendia on the bench on Sunday. . . . nobody can (or should) describe that as weak.

    It would be fair to question whether those players ‘should’ have been starting on the bench though!

  74. Frem,

    It’s easy to spend money when it isn’t yours.

    There are lots of different assessments of who’s spent what, but based on this table, only 4 clubs have had a higher annual net spend than us over the past 5 years.
    I reckon it would be grossly unreasonable for any fan to question the ambition or support from our owners up to now.
    If I was them I would certainly want to see some evidence that the money I had already spent was going to provide steady progression and right now that isn’t happening. You have to be able to understand why they’d want to see that there is a prospect of improvement before they spend even more.

    Personally. . . . .I wouldn’t have given Gerrard a single penny more. . . I would however consider spending more than I was really comfortable with on recruiting the right replacement manager.

  75. r0bb0,

    “The reason I’ve suddenly shifted to saying that Gerrard has to go is that I can put up with him making mistakes and taking time to work out how to get the best out of the players, but what the club can’t afford is for him to destroy morale and drive good players to wanting to leave.”

    This is my fear, too.

    Add the fact there’s no forgiveness in this league, and it can all go wrong very quickly, and you see 3-4 years of work undone.

  76. JC, Exactly. . . .right now a new manager could come in and excitement and optimism AND results could return quite quickly. Let it drift for too much longer and player sentiments could permanently shift against the club because of the way the club is allowing them to be managed.

  77. We have one winger. 3 center backs. No good cm and two shite strikers

    That’s how purslow and Lange have left our squad.

    And apparently we’ve missed out on Dawson and bendarak

    Robbo. We are one injury away to an attacking player to being absolutely screwed
    Our squad is awful

  78. It seems to me SG has fallen out with too many of the squad TM especially whose likely to be very influential in the dressing room. They do look devoid of ideas going forward with the hopeful kick and chase ball over the top to OW or DI (one of them might get on the end of it) Can’t see them getting any thing from the next two fixtures, we’re on the ropes then. Its not working, its going to be necessary to make the change.
    Any truth in the rumour regarding the sacking of the back room staff.. I suspect fake news, likewise the Poch rumour. And it didn’t happen over night for Graham Potter, be careful what you wish for.
    ….Back to management school for SG ….However he did win a Premier league title and you can’t knock that…..

  79. Why haven’t we gone and bought a 50 million pound midfield player like Newcastle and wolves have?

    Why haven’t wr bought a 60 million pound striker like Newcastle have?

    Why the hell do the idiots at this club talk about getting European football ( purslow) and then also believe that shite like Watkins Ings mcginn Luiz will get us European football?

    West ham have spent 200 million this summer


    Our squad and quality of player is absolutely shite and we’ve had a net spent on 25 million

    I don’t know if it’s the owners purslow Lange or what ever but our owners seriously need a rethink of they want

    If they aren’t putting money in like West ham are willing to then go

  80. If we had a squad that showed potential I’d understand not spending money

    But our squad has crap like matt cash John McGinn Ollie Watkins all championship players in. Danny Ings legs gone Luiz utterly useless etc etc

    What the hell have Lange an purslow been doing

  81. Basically Lange thinks there isn’t a football player out there in our budget that can’t improve on John McGinn Watkins Ings cash etc

  82. Frem, I back our owners to the hilt. They have been brilliant for AVFC. The future was extremely bright just over a year ago. The first turn of events was Jack leaving. Not much we could do about that once a player wished to go.

    About the same time, we signed Ings and I thought that might have been our first error. There were some sound reasons for changing Deano, but the next error appears to be the hiring of SG. He was a big risk for the key position of head coach. I don’t hold Compass responsible for these errors, it’s down to Purslow and Lange.

    Compass have stated all along, we have to be self sufficient. And it’s how most Villa fans would want it. They put the money in when needed and took a breather when necessary. Having said that, I am disappointed Purslow and Lange haven’t purchased the big midfield enforcer that we are crying out for. That is the missing piece of the jigsaw for me. Plus another defining moment is looming in the shape of a new coach.

  83. Watching Chelsea v soon,I wouldn’t swap many of soon players for ours yet there team looks miles better,better coached is easy to say but in fairness our midfield have been coached by 2 different managers and coaches and are criminal inept,when do we see them getting forward in support of attack
    Last January we were crying out for midfielders what does Gérard do,replace an average left back for an old one,something similar in playmaker role,we were linked with numerous players including 2 that ended up at spurs for under 60m,then summer window we still needed midfielders especially how we finished last season and only 1 came in ,blew 25plus million on an old centre half
    How long does Gérard want

  84. Watching Southampton beat Chelsea

    Watching Everton and Leeds playing

    There isn’t a worse side than us this season

    We are slower than everyone else.. Tactically awful.

    We are in huge trouble


    Villa chat from about 29 minutes on this link. Consensus that Villa have a strong top half of the table/top 8 squad but that they don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing. I’d have gone along with the view that Gerrard needed more time to try and get it to work but seeing that last post from JG just confirms my worst fears that Gerrard could be responsible for destroying the club from within if he’s allowed to stay any longer.

  86. Frem, I assume you mean that there isn’t a team that is ‘playing’ worse than us this season and I fear you may be right.
    When you say we’re the slowest team, I assume you mean that our build up play is slow and indeed we are one of the very slowest teams to get the ball from back to front
    Tactically, yes, we are indeed awful

    We’re only 4 games into the season though so we’re not in huge trouble. Even after this awful start there are still teams below us (there may not be by this time next week mind you). We’re not in trouble though because the owners will very soon be bringing in a new manager. . . . .I can’t see that they have much choice. Depending on who they bring in things could soon very exciting again.
    We just have to be prepared to give the new manager a bit of time . . . .I do hope everyone is ready to do that!

  87. I know we’re not supposed to talk ‘non football’ stuff but. . . . .just heard that the new Webbe telescope has firm measurements of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet 700 light years away. Not proof of life of itself, but now it can be detected and measured, if it can be see that it changes seasonally then that may well be very good evidence for extra terrestrial life.
    I’d make an excuse for THAT being more important than football.

  88. r0bb0,
    It all depends on if they have human life forms playing football in a league!!!!

    Still waiting on the new moon launch…

    Kortney Hause had an excellent debut at Watford after being brought on as a second half substitute, playing on the left. He met every header, completed his passes and slotted in as if he had been playing all season. Not bad for a player that had not played since last November. I expect to see him become a good player with Watford.
    Dean back up to second in the Championship!!

  89. JG,

    It is turning toxic…and I’m guessing the lack of investment may well end up being a show-us-something statement. Starting to feel that way.

    Who it’s meant for, though? Just SG or Purslow and Lange, too?

  90. At least Dean Smith gave us a small smile last night by pushing Birmingham a little closer to the trapdoor.
    That’s 4 wins on the trot for Norwich after a slow start to the season, showing that fortunes ‘can’ be turned round. It’s not the first time that Dean Smith has managed to turn things around and you’d like to imagine that SG could do the same, but not having beaten any teams sitting In the top half of the table in nearly a full season’s worth of football doesn’t give any cause for optimism.

  91. Robbo. Fascinating. There has to be another intelligent life form somewhere. Space is just so vast ( infinite) that there just has to be something somewhere.

    Luiz to Liverpool. Bid 20 million

    Take the money, loan someone in who’s better.

    It’s a good offer for someone who doesn’t do anything of a football pitch

    Take the 20 million and give it to potch

  92. So we got 100 million for Grealish last summer, 20 for chuk 20 for Luiz

    140 million l….

    And we just aren’t spending much above what we are getting in. We’ve spent 25 million net this this summer

    I don’t know what’s happening

    Owners giving up or what

    Or saving funds for potch?

  93. West ham spent 200 million this summer and Sold Nobdody.

    We didn’t spend much over the 100 million we got for Grealish last summer. That’s all we spent

    This summer we’ve spent near enough the chuk money and no more

    Why aren’t we spending 100 million plus on top of that?

    We have so many poor players and we just aren’t upgrading

  94. Frem, I don’t know the answer to this but how much has our wage bill gone up by and maybe that’s partly responsible reducing the amount available for transfers?
    It would make sense, as older, established players tend to have moved up the pay grades and under Gerrard we have shifted from youth towards experience.

  95. Frem.
    It seems that our 3 best paid players are Digne, Kamara and Coutinho. Between them the club is paying out around £23m a year. It could be that this is what attracted them rather than Gerrard’s magnetic personality?
    It does mean that over 4 years we’ll be paying out nearly £100m on wages just for these 3 and this has to come from somewhere . . . some of it presumably from the transfer budget.

  96. r0BBo, £23 million/year for those 3 players. That averages out at £147k/week each. If they are indeed on that kind of money, I’m not surprised there is discontent amongst the players. There needs to be a pay structure that contains some leeway for the better players, but not a grand canyon.

    I’m just imagining the performances we would get out of Kesler and Tim for a fraction of that money.

  97. Plug, absolutely!! The Gerrard strategy could make sense if, and only if it brought almost instant success. Bringing in old experienced players must have been seen as a way of fast tracking the club to European football.
    I can imagine that Gerrard put together a powerful footballing case, presumably backed by an equally powerful Purslow business case for accelerating the club’s development through bringing in known winners on high salaries to take us to the next level. The flaw in the argument was Gerrard. That sort of strategy first and foremost needed an experienced and proven (but probably expensive) first class manager. THIS was the big mistake in the strategy. . .they brought in a young unproven manager instead.
    Whether they did this because they were trying to balance the books and so skimped on the manager, or whether they were pre-sold the Gerrard dream by Purslow we may never know, but it was a big miscalculation which I imagine they won’t make again.

  98. The club now has those expensive players on the books, unbalancing the wage structure and even worse, it has blocked the development of some of the players that were already in the club.
    Luiz is apparently now being tapped up Liverpool, Arsenal and Newcastle and no doubt others are too so if the club don’t move fast, we risk being left with old expensive players whilst being stripped of our talented disaffected younger players. . . .the ones we SHOULD be building our future on.

    Those players quickly need to be shown the exciting future that still exists for Aston Villa under a new manager who will recognise their skills and help them to grow with the club rather than outside it with a competitor.

  99. H&V, Frem etc. . . .i’d love to spend time on extra terrestrial life discussions but you remember what happened when we got sidetracked by covid vaccines etc. . . .I’d best leave it there.

  100. I’ve always been a huge scifi fan and it’s a bit of relief and perspective from the mess that’s Villa, atm.

    Bonus points for no lives being at stake.

  101. Not only Liverpool, Arsenal and Newcastle interested in Luiz, but Leeds interested in an unhappy Watkins.
    Guilbert and Sanson can leave, so by the end of play tomorrow, Gerrard may have his wish of getting rid of all Villa players from Dean Smith’s time, but will he get the sort of replacements that Villa needs to succeed!!
    Tottenham just signed an exciting youngster from Sheffield United, Will Lankshear, a former Arsenal youngster, for £1 million + add ons. An eye on the future to replace Harry Kane!!

    One more day to go, with the only news taht we may sign Craig Dawson….Champoions League here we come…

  102. Just to clarify:

    My beef with covid, Trump, etc., is that these are areas rife with clearly weaponized and deliberate ‘misinformation’, otherwise known as lies. Same with climate. The zones have been flooded with shit to confuse and break down the social consensus of trust.

    A lot of good people get caught up for all sorts of reasons. Strange convergences, on the surface, that aren’t so strange when you think about it. The crossover between New Age yoga moms and anti-vaxers, for example, or QAnon. This stuff is simply dangerous.

    Scifi: You know when you’re reading either a ‘fantasy’ or a story based on speculative hard science. It’s not lying to you or trying to divide/hobble us from effectively addressing serious issues.

    Life on other planets: Whole lot of science going on there in plain sight, and I agree that among all the billions of stars, there’s an almost mathematical certainty other life has existed.

  103. Watching clubs we should be competing with do great business

    Youri Tielemans is available if a club meets Leicester’s asking price before the deadline – namely £25m

    Off to Newcastle apparently

    It’s a joke

    Now arrogant and deluded purslow and Lange are to think we have a good enough squad and players to even finish top half let alone top 6.

    We still have the majority of crap week minded technically shite players for years.. Luiz Mings Watkins cash mcginn

    How are they still playing for us?

    Shambolic window and we are seriously in huge trouble of heading to the championship

    Our squad lacks fight fitness
    . It has no pace, poor technical ability and no tactical understanding

  104. Newcastle have flew ahead of us

    Why are they going for Youri Tielemans whislt we play John McGinn and Ramsey and Luiz

    It’s a joke

    This club needs ripping up top to bottom

    The board need to get rid of purslow Lange and Gerrard and hire people who know what they are doing

    Go and buy Brighton and Potter and there scouts and who ever rins the football club

  105. I will say this, Frem: It is very strange to witness. There are clear needs (though we may disagree on certain players). There do seem to be solutions in the market.

    And yet nothing is happening other than Gerrard saying he clearly hopes Sanson can find another club and we’re left to haggle with West Ham over Dawson just to cover for a big transfer that met with disaster.

    Me, I don’t think this is Purslow and Lange thinking we’re fine. It seems more like Compass expressing a lack of confidence and refusing to spend big money to back a manager whose vision is clearly taking us nowhere.

  106. I think the Newcastle take over completely derailed our plans.

    They are already further ahead than us in the project with what they have done this summer.

    We’ve had 4 years. They’ve had 6 months and they are now better than us

    I think it completely made us step back and give up

  107. I don’t think we aren’t spending because a lack of confidence in Gerrard.

    I think we’ve completely changed our ambition and standards.

    Gerrard won’t be manager much longer though

    We will lose our next 2 and probably the 2 after

    I just hope we could somehow get Potter, potch or Rodgers

  108. And we have had to many average players for to long

    We’ve had a lot of these players since we got promoted and signed new ones from the championship

    It’s simply not good enough

    We won’t get anywhere like that

    We have to sign 30 plus million pound players like west ham and Newcastle have

  109. But you don’t attract managers like Potch by telling him he gets to come manage players like matt cash John McGinn and Ollie Watkins

  110. Newcastle, a bit like City, eh?

    Not sure that would deter us to the extent Compass would give up. We’ve got money and no debt.

    If it’s not an FFP issue, it’s clearly a rethink. Rethink about exactly what, hard to say.

    It’s not like we had to go out and spend £200m to be competing for some kind of Euro spot.

  111. Well, you maybe get Poch if you tell him we’ve saved up a war chest he gets to spend after evaluating the players, stopping the slide.

    Villa should still be an attractive proposition in terms of the resources. The immediate situation? Who knows. Some managers like the idea of coming in, turning things around, being a hero. Especially if they’re looking on and seeing obvious changes they’d make.

  112. And now it sounds as though half the clubs in Europe, including Atletico, Arsenal and Newcastle, are monitoring Luiz. Forgot Liverpool, too. But word yesterday is Atletico would wait for a free.

    Oh, transfer windows.

  113. I think the next 2 games are very important for SG at Villa if he gets any type of result from either its going to give him a lot more time to get to winning ways as know one would expect us to get anything . but are players are capable of getting a result they just haven’t been showing it to often

  114. What the fuck is wrong with Atletico, Liverpool, Arsenal and Newcastle? do they have no ambition at all . . . .or do they just have rubbish scouting systems? Don’t they know that Luiz and all the other Villa midfielders are “crap, weak minded, technically shite players”?

  115. Sorry, word was that Juve would wait on Luiz.

    Rumors are rumors, and we’ve heard the same about McGinn in the past. If those were true, wish we’d have cashed in.

  116. I really don’t like conspiracy theories but here’s one for you anyway.

    Imagine there’s an under-performing football team manager who sees that his job is under threat because the team is doing really badly. He realises that they may be able to attract an excellent replacement because there is a good squad of top 8 ready players already in place but also the owners have been hanging on to their cash ready for a new manager to invest in keeping with his own playing style.
    In order to make it more difficult to find a replacement he does what he can to demoralise the existing squad and whittle it down to make it less attractive for a potential new manager.

    I’m sure that’s not what Gerrard is consciously doing at Villa. . . . . . he’s doing it without even trying!

  117. runtings,

    A result probably will give him time…though if there is serious unrest in the camp, I’m sure NSWE are hearing about it.

    Me, I don’t think it’s down to the players not performing, though. Gerrard has some tough choices to make (like sitting Phil and maybe Ings, sticking to a side, changing formation, or at least how it’s played).

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