First midweek game, and it follows a third loss in four matches to open the season. Not what Villans were expecting by any means. A few weeks ago we were largely filled with optimism. Now, true or not, it feels like the bottom has suddenly dropped out. And somewhat remarkably, Steven Gerrard, Christian Purslow’s man-crush, is already fighting for his job.

Question is, are the players in that fight with him?

In all honesty, it’s hard to imagine they are.

Compounding anxiety and frustration is the fact that after starting the window strong, Villa have gone quiet, despite what seem obvious needs that haven’t been addressed. Seems like everyone around us is spending like mad and that we’re only falling behind. Naturally, Diego Carlos, a marquee signing, does his achilles in the second match.

It all feels so very, very Villa.

I wish I had some sense of patient optimism, that I wasn’t painting a picture of gloom and despair. And I suppose optimism can be found in our owners. I do believe they’re in it for the long haul, and that if they’ve made mistakes, the lessons will be learned.

Undoing those mistakes might be costly, but I imagine neither Edens nor Sawiris believes in throwing good money after bad. You take a hard look and decide to cut your losses. Compensation to a manager is nothing compared to relegation, or staying up and going back to square one.

Have I said the R-word? Yes. Only because that’s the specter that haunts everyone outside the cartel at the top, the worst-case scenario that lends urgency to a club’s every move. I don’t think it’s likely, but once it pops into your head, it’s hard to get out.

But I also don’t think it’s likely that Gerrard will survive. The squad may not be enough to challenge for Europe, but it’s certainly not as bad as it looks. And now Gerrard has two tough games (though Villa have conspired to make every match a tough one) that couldn’t have come at a worse time for him. A 1-5 start when management would’ve reasonably expected at least 6-7 points on the board is not good. Start adding it into the rest of 2022, and it’s a depressing record. We haven’t won against a side with similar ambitions in a long, long time.

Now, doesn’t mean Gerrard can’t turn it around. It’s truly in his hands. He could mend fences, come down off his high horse. He could abandon a formation and tactics that just look hopeless most of the time. He could stop playing favorites. He could stop chopping and changing without actually ‘changing’ anything. He could give fringe players a chance. Some combination (or all) of these decisions could reverse the slide.

But he just doesn’t seem the sort. And a definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting a different result.

Naturally, we see Luiz delaying his deal, while the likes of Juventus and now Liverpool are rumored to be interested. Arsenal and Newcastle, too (I know). If any of that is true, just how bad can he be? Is anyone circling Ramsey or McGinn? We’ve plummeted Sanson’s value and seem to be actively pushing him out the door. Same with Ghazi. Cost £6m–£8m, went for less than £2m, I think. I know I’ve said we should just take losses if we need to clear out wages, but that’s a little different than actively dropping a player’s value by bomb-squading them or sending them on a disastrous loan. There has to be something really wrong if you’re sending seasoned pros to train with the kids, and has there been? Rumors are, not everyone is happy with Sanson’s treatment.

Further, why would you be motivated if a cold and distant manager is telegraphing to everyone that he doesn’t think you’re good enough even though he’s cocking up the tactics and playing to everyone’s weaknesses? How happy and confident would you feel? It’s seemed a bit insulting to a squad that was once tight-knit. Moves like stripping Mings of the captaincy don’t help. That wasn’t Villa’s issue, and given he’s fiery and vocal by nature, I doubt it was much of a burden.

Anyway, here we are then. I’ve a list of most-used tags generated by the platform. I’d thought “Aston Villa Crisis” and “Aston Villa Relegation” were far in the rearview mirror. Crisis certainly seems to be gaining on us.

I’d love to get a result tonight. I’d love Gerrard to turn it around, see the players buzzing. But we’ve almost reached that territory where things look and feel so toxic and mysterious that some supporters would rather see a loss hastening Gerrard’s departure than a stay of execution. We honestly might see another cabbage in the near future. That’s where it’s gotten.

Me, I didn’t think Smith was treated fairly. I didn’t want Gerrard. I got behind him well enough, even though he only took us up one spot from where we were when Deano was unceremoniously dumped. But I was never convinced, and the tactics were alienating almost from the start. The Phil bump was fun, but that was about it. And now Phil seems a distinct liability.

We all rather hopefully thought the summer, and supposedly “big window,” would get things straightened out. Seems nothing was accomplished, and the big window has fizzled out.

Gerrard’s dug himself a hole, and only Gerrard can get himself out. It’s not going to be a pleasant atmosphere if Villa get battered. Gerrard may not need to win this game, but the side will have to look competitive and pose a real threat. Progress has to be visible.

Over to you.

Comments 159

  1. JC, if I was a writer I think I’d have said pretty much exactly what you’ve written there!

    It would be just wonderful if we were to get a result tonight and not just because I seem to have screwed up my fantasy team selection by not pressing the confirmation button on my changes, so Bailey and Cash are still in it and Odegard isn’t.

    I would love to be eating humble pie tomorrow morning and eating lots more humble pie by the end of the season . . . . . but I’m not going to starve myself in anticipation. Now where are those scones and clotted cream?

  2. SG reported TM was doubtful for tonight, It really doesn’t look good for tonight, but ever the optimist !
    It seems to me there’s been no transfer activity due to the fact the owners don’t see SG being at the club in the immediate future. And if we lose tonight he may be gone in the morning. I thought after the Palace match in his post match interview he looked like a drowning man and after the West Ham fixture some what the same. What you have to remember is, he’s never been in this situation before as a player or as a manager.
    Aston villa Football Club will be here for a long time yet, and the changes that are made will take us out of the current situation, I do believe we have a good enough squad.
    Question is how does SG pick up the pieces and move on…… where?

  3. JC, I grew up reading sci fi and ‘books of the weird and wonderful’. I used to sit on the floor in the sci fi aisle of the library for ages and then take my favourites home with me. I guess no-one is surprised I was that sort of nerdy kid (I did love my sport too though so I wasn’t a total Adrian Mole).

    The ones that left the biggest mark were the Asimov Foundation trilogy. I must try them again and see how they feel second time round.

  4. Archie, I think the answer to your question is more Port Vale than Liverpool.

    That probably sounds harsh, but I hope he has the moral fortitude to see this just as a blip in his managerial career from which he can go back to basics and learn. . . . .but at a lower level.

  5. “That probably sounds harsh, but I hope he has the moral fortitude to see this just as a blip in his managerial career from which he can go back to basics and learn. . . . .but at a lower level.”

    Managers college…..

    Yes seriously, he’s has to go and learn from his mistakes….as we all have….

  6. r0bb0,

    Yeah, Foundation was big for me, too. Not sure Asimov’s writing stands up brilliantly as one ages, but the ideas were always first class.

    I’ve been enjoying Iain M. Banks (the Culture books)…so much fun. If you haven’t already, highly recommended. Even for us ‘mature’ readers.

  7. Well, Mings is in Archie.

    But, interestingly, Luiz is not in the starting XI. On the bench.

    Ramsey and McGinn again.

    SG did go with Watkins, Buendia and Bailey up front.

  8. So he’s dropped chambers and Luiz

    Who were our 2 best players against West Ham

    John McGinn starting, again. Somehow.

    Our bench has absolutely no quality or game changers.

    We. Are. Shambolic.

  9. The lack of quality in our starting 11 and on the subs bench in genuinely terrifying.

    We are in a relegation scrap with this squad

  10. Frem, you’re talking bollocks. Sorry, I know we’re supposed to be polite on here but politeness just doesn’t cut through with you.

    If we’re in a relegation scrap it won’t be because of the quality of the squad. This squad got us 14th last year despite the desperately disjointed pre-season. The position we MOST wanted improving was defensive midfield and we all agree that Kamara has been a good find. You like Archer and Iroegbunum as do most of us and they are a year older and wiser now.

    It just defies logic to say that this is a relegation squad. It could be a relegation squad if this manager stays in charge but it’s the combination that would be the problem, not the squad of itself.

    You may say that other squads have improved more than we have and some will have done but others will have regressed. I just can’t accept that the quality of the whole league has leaped forward this year. It just doesn’t work that way.

  11. Robbo

    This is 100 %a squad poor enough to go down. The lack of quality is scary

    We desperately need a tall striker who can get on the end off crosses

    Every time the ball is wide Watkins is zero threat in the bic6

  12. Box.

    He just won’t get on the end of anything in the air.

    Mora will do.. Desperate but he’s better than nothing

    What an awful transfer window

  13. Well, they’re giving it a go. Been dodgy clearing corners, obviously. Can’t believe it was taken out of Emi’s hands.

    Whatever the system and limitations, Buendia’s done more in 20 than Phil in 60.

  14. Dunno if it’s due to the rumors, but I can’t see Ramsey offering anything to get the nod over Luiz.

    But overall, after a lot of energy and pressing to start, we’re passive. Players go to spaces or track someone, but they aren’t doing anything to put them off, or to attack the next pass.

  15. It’s worrying when the only way we can score is from a corner

    Then again concede straight away

    We are a running joke

    Newcastle beating Liverpool

    They have overtaken our project in 6 months

    There isn’t a worse side in this league than us

    Cash is crap as well. Add him to the list of shite with mcginn and Watkins

    Sack Gerrard or else this side is going down

  16. Is he gone yet
    only seen few minutes either side of half time both teams resembled their managers area kicking every ball keeping play going at throw ins ,Gérard standing arms folded clueless
    Team selection we have major problems going forward bar Carlos the 14 used tonight where Gérard side for top 8 ,well at the minute cash konsa digne mcginn are not even championship level,how he keeps picking them we will never know,if you put haaland in this team under Gérard he would still be goalless
    No leaders 3 times out of 4 this season we score we concede immediately, under 12s don’t,beggars belief

  17. On top of that youth don’t get a look in now,his treatment of archer insane,then we go on to squad we let go hause no replacement, traore no replacement, davies (even I don’t rate him) no replacement,
    Sanson best midfielder at club ,Freddie can he be worse than cash at the minute, even marv didn’t get a run out v Bolton

  18. It’s certainly painful isn’t it?
    The players Villa have have been exceptional at different times of their careers. I’ve wondered why all of them have turned into pumpkins this season. I only have one thought now. The players are hanging Gerrard out to dry. They don’t like him or his methods. And McAllister seems to be a bit bull headed too.
    Why would top teams all look at Luiz? They know there is a good baller in there. Same as Watkins.
    Don’t fret too much Frem. The players are good, just dragging their heels til Gerrard is gone. One more game should do it. Especially if it’s a blow out.

  19. Trouble is

    The club have left us seriously short in the transfer market.

    Awful midfield, awful strikers no wingers
    And now nobody will join because they know Gerrard is getting sacked soon

    If we did our business early it would be ok

    But now we will be left with an awful squad and no manager.

    Shambolic. Shambolic. Shambolic.

  20. We want a spurs and wolves reject. Some midfielder from them who’s shite

    We are in panic mode

    We have zero scouting network

    What does Lange do

    All summer and this is the shite we come up with

    Desperate times

  21. Isak looked amazing yesterday for Newcastle

    And we have Ollie Watkins.

    Club is a bloody disgrace

    Why didn’t we go pay 60 million for him?

    We think Watkins and Ings are good enough?


  22. I don’t get why we have the arrogance at this club to think we don’t need to spend money on this shite squad

    We are getting mugged off by purslow and Lange trying to convince us that our players are good

    Watkins Ings Luiz Mcginn cash

    Just aren’t good enough

  23. We’d rather have Ollie Watkins and Ings then go sign a 60 million pound striker

    We would rather have mcginn in our midfield STILL instead of going to sign a cm


  24. H&V, yes of course I’d still take Ings over Isak because I’m not a spotty 12 year old who’s going to wet himself over a player scoring on their debut.
    oh. . . .and he’s a little video showing Ings scoring a spectacular bicycle kick on his home debut for Villa:

    Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying he won’t turn out to be brilliant for them, I’m saying that if I was operating on a limited budget (which we clearly are) then I wouldn’t be gambling it all on a young player who hadn’t yet played in the Premier league. It would be too much of a gamble.
    Newcastle are in a different situation as they appear to have an unlimited budget so can take calculated risks. The price of oil means that Isak was the decimal point on a decimal point. . . . it just doesn’t matter to the owners. It’s different.
    That probably won’t stop you saying at some point “see Robbo . . .you were wrong not to rate Isak” but maybe some others on here will remember that I didn’t say I don’t rate him. . . . I said I don’t have enough cash to take the risk. . . .Newcastle do.

  25. The one thing I’ll say about last night was that at least they showed some effort and determination. Yes we were outplayed for most of the game but the players tried. For the first time this season?

    Arsenal are one of the 3 best teams in the league right now and probably have the highest confidence of any of them. They’ll run through brick walls for Arteta right now so we all knew that last night was going to be a tough gig. If we played with that intensity every week we’d be mid table even under Gerrard!

  26. Ian summed it up perfectly by recognising that we have good players but wondered “why all of them turned into pumpkins this season”.

    It was a rhetorical question to which we all know the answer, even if some of us are pretending we don’t (well. . . I hope they’re pretending)

  27. Morning Lifers

    Been reading JC’s posts and comments from all, thinking that its too early for us to make another change. After all, Arteta was in a worse position last year and now look at them. But Arteta learnt under Pep and SG leaned on Beale, so what do I know. We definitely arent better than from Dean’s time.

    Most of the comments here and on other blogs focus on three issues with Gerard
    a) no pace in the team – I watched the West Ham game and we spent so much time passing it amongst our backline, it was embarassing.
    b) no Plan A or B – Almost everything goes through the left flank which every team figures out in 5 mins and cover well. Someone mentioned that we need a football philosophy so that the Gerrard’s of the world can come and go but we stay stable
    c) Losing the dressing room – Stubborn, blaming the team, freezing out people when you already have a limited squad, its like Paul Lambert’s era all over again (the above two apply as well).

    Anyone who thinks Poch is going to join us especially after the transfer window closes today is absolutely dreaming. Why would he or Potter want to join our 10th rebuild in 10 years? First step is consolidation, if SG stays till Oct because of Purslow’s ego, we are going to be in a huge relegation battle.

    Why cant supporting the Villa ever be easy?

  28. Best wishes to AEG at PSV. His diving header at Wembley gave us lift off. He also scored some important goals in the EPL so I wish him well.

  29. Where to start about yesterday? Well, I did see more effort than I’ve seen so far this season. Which leaves me asking the question……where was this effort in the previous games?

    On the team front, we should never have let House go until a suitable replacement was signed. This is plain bad business Purslow. The need for a big midfield enforcer has been ignored all summer. Unlike Frem, I think Dougie is an asset who has been woefully misused in both time on the pitch and positional play. And we could lose him today.

    The Arse could have had 4 or 5 last night. Konsa continues to wind me up. Gerrard continues to keep selecting him. It’s unfair to pick on 1 man, others were also left wanting.

  30. If Compass have turned the taps off as it seems, it would be a wise move to communicate their thought processes with the fans to prevent some of the more wild accusations flying around.

  31. im not so much fussed with sg last night…..conceeding again from kick off with an inability to see out a point with 20 left
    is why i hate this side. its 4 years now and they do the same thing over and over. wouldnt trust em as far as i could throw them. weak minded. no chemistry. no leaders. no partnerships.

    just weak physically and mentally with the ability to loose matches at a drop of a hat.

    rip it up

  32. I have been banging on about the power of a strong football philosophy for over a decade now and we are no where near having one at the club
    The owners have been brilliant but I fear they have made a big mistake in how they have structured the decision makers at the club as we should be the opposite of a mess after a 400 mil spend and the many other various ways they have invested

    As Frem points out Newcastle have gone from doom and gloom to a very good side heading for Europe after 2 windows within 6 months …… Brighton less money to invest but supremely well run
    We could have a good deadline day and improve the team but I am not optimistic about the long term and who the owners have intrusted to run things

  33. Whp plays v city
    Young Chambers luis(if still here) sanson
    Young plus flick a coin for other full back because both are brutal at the minute
    Chambers mings
    Kamara Luis sanson ramsay Watkins
    Coutinho he plays better against good sides
    But no chance of Gérard doing it

  34. H&V, glad you liked the link but I’m still not sure you’re getting what I’m saying. I agree that Isak “may” turn out to be the dogs bollocks but you just can’t be sure with young players.
    I just think that £60m+ for a young player would be too much of a risk for them and they’d feel more comfortable playing a bit safer with two £30m players. . . . .it’s just too much of a gamble.

    As I said, Saudi Newcastle don’t take risks. . . .they have so much money that nothing is a risk. They can just say hey ho, let’s try again.

  35. runtings, Brighton are well run for sure, but they do also have a decent budget. Over the past 5 years their net spend has been £39.5m a year against our £39.6, so almost identical. The big difference to my mind is the manager. Theirs has been given time to develop the squad and playing style he wants.

  36. see i dont mind the dendonker signing….the types we need instead of good on paper and pretty on the ball.

    a 6’2 exeperinced mid who will do the dirty work.

    now he has to play in a 4231 alongside kamara though!

  37. H&V, “you can sell Isak for 70 mill in a few years” . . . . or maybe you’ll end up giving him away for 20 mill if he doesn’t work out.
    That’s my point.
    Our owners may not be of a mind to take that big a punt on an untested young player in the premiership.
    You can ‘say’ “but he will work out” but the premier league is littered with exciting players who looked like the next big thing but didn’t work out and neither you nor I can guarantee which camp Isak fits into

  38. runtings, last night did you see Doug and Jesus chatting behind their hands to each other. I said to the wife “Luiz is saying. . .’you can catch me in your medical room tomorrow mate'”

  39. General consensus from most fans that Dendonker would be a good signing ‘if’ we can get him.

    Not sure where Sarr would fit in if we really are after him again. . . . and what an ‘unusual’ way to start a new relationship. . . . Stevie G loves you, he loves you not, he loves you. . .

  40. Don’t mind Dendoncker. Moura, either.

    Nothing exciting, but a big midfielder (and he’s got 28 caps for Belgium), and another experienced attacker. Moura has to be an upgrade on Ramsey at the moment, though he’s played more on the right. Depends on if we want Bailey and him/anyone playing on natural side or inverted. But he is 30. Sarr might be the better option if SG has done a U-turn.

    If Pool and Chelsea are interested in Luiz, too, maybe we get more than £20m. Unless he has his heart set on Arsenal. I’d probably rather play for Arteta or Klopp than Tuchel.

  41. Anyway, sounds like a potentially interesting day.

    Not sure how I feel about a manager on very thin ice making several deadline day decisions, but that seems to be what’s happening.

  42. robbo thankfully I was pre booked last night to go see my mate Joe Appleford play in Camden … I may have come out of the gig fairly def but at least I was sparred squirming watch our boys getting schooled once again under SG

    lets hope we can add players today that will make us a better side

  43. I guess this trolley dash today is purslow trying to save his job along with his buddy
    Back to the bad end reign on Lerner and his hiring if fox and his mates ,remember how that fared ,if we keep Gérard that’s where we are going

  44. Frem,

    I think the question is much more SG and his ability/willingness to adapt.

    Saw someone saying there’s players unhappy, not with Gerrard per se (walking carefully), but in not playing to their strengths.

    Wonder where I’ve heard that? 😉

  45. We also getting a Southampton reject centre back as well.

    Jesus Christ what does Lange do? What does he scout?

    We will be the slowest side in European football with dendonkey bender bloke Ings Countino and buendia starting

    Absolute joke

    Massive trouble

    We need to sign a quick attacking player now.

    We need a striker and sarr

  46. John.

    So they can’t be happy with Gerrard then if they think that?

    He’s making them look even worse than they are

    Hr won’t survive past man City

    I hope we have potch lined up

  47. Arsenal upped the bid for Luiz

    If dendonker is his replacement then it’s a joke

    Ee have to get the guy from lcfc


    Sorry about the spelling

    We simply can’t replace Luiz with someone like dendonker who can’t pass very well

  48. Tielermans is available for 25 million

    Surely we do that of we sell Luiz?

    And surely we are going to sign someone to improve our absolutely pathetic attack today?

  49. Frem,

    Just think it means that however the behind-the-scenes info is being leaked out that no one’s wanting to criticize the manager and have it come back on them.

    But yes, clearly the set-up is one person’s fault, and it’s a way of criticizing ‘without’ criticizing.

  50. Frem apparently Tielermans wants so much wages that its not worth the deal unless you get him on a bosman which is why Arsenal have gone for Doug instead

    The new Southampton centre back is going to be a mega star hence why we Jan now can’t get a game for them and coming to us

  51. Frem,

    I think as this moves on, we are moving out players, albeit slowly and near the deadline.

    It seems clear to me the owners are in a wait-and-see moment with Gerrard. So, they’ll sanction certain kinds of moves, but are trusting him with more big-name signings, atm.

    I’m pretty certain the belief is that if Deano could get 11th without Gerrard’s buys (obviously the Grealish factor is big), then SG should be doing better with what he’s been given.

    The looming question behind all this is how long does Gerrard have?

  52. runtings,

    Yep, that’s the kind of math at work.

    And I’m sure the thinking is that we don’t want to spend big money if we believe Carlos will come back. It’s a stop-gap for depth and to play for time.

  53. Frem ,
    Once again it looks like the end of the line for American money once more, as Villa and Purslow search the bargain basement for players, while Luiz will be sold for around £25 million to Arsenal to cover any costs incurred.
    Purslow and Gerrad have probably been given until the World Cup to turn things round, but the owners are not spending a penny more.

    Thanks for the link to Benteke which makes interesting reading. Wow! What would have happened if we had spotted De Bruyne playing with him at that time….
    Unfortunately, in the 50 years I have been a Villa fan, we have always been a selling club, never really building to be a really top club. Sadly, that has not really happened since around the 1920’s!!
    Well, only a few more hours to go, and we are still shipping all our young guns out on loan.

  54. If the chatter is right, Villa agree to £25m for Luiz plus add-ons. Also see Villa want £40m. 20% sell-on to City if he goes for more than £15m. I’m guessing that £40m would be to get Arse up a little.

    Does that go somewhere else, or is just Dendoncker? Little bit of talk about Gerson at €25m+.

    Who knows.

  55. PP,

    Don’t think the money has dried up permanently. I really do think it’s about SG.

    a) results speak for themselves
    b) the owners will know more about the dressing room than we
    c) SG has to be on borrowed time
    d) youth on loan probably means they aren’t going to fix anything immediately, so get them game time to develop and keep some faith with the internal pipeline.

    Remember, SG keeps looking at older players with little sell-on, higher fees. Don’t think NSWE want a team of 29-30yos costing a lot (and on high wages) that we may be stuck with. The current difficulty moving on out-of-favor players won’t be lost on them.

    Ings (not SG’s fault) and Coutinho are probably at the forefront of their thinking.

  56. Lerner tried to turn off the spigot with MON, who threw his toys out and then sued. Which was disgraceful after the way he’d spent money. Sorry, but I don’t think an owner holding a manager to account or trying to balance the books = constructive dismissal.

    Lerner had a lot less money to play with, whatever his other, numerous faults.

    NSWE are no mugs. Could be wrong, but two balancing elements: Neither will want to fold, they’re too successful for that; the value of the club has increased, perhaps attractive enough to sell. But, given the shares they hold, etc., might not be anywhere near enough value to buy them out completely and have it make sense to sell.

    They can see Brighton doing better with less.

  57. And I’ll reiterate: Newcastle and West Ham both had better squads than results showed. Managerial changes have proved that.

    Yes, they’re doing what we wanted to be doing right about now, but the progress hasn’t been there for us, and we were starting from a lower base talent level. Which = more to replace.

    And of course Saudi Arabia do have rather deep pockets. We can’t just say, “It’s Newcastle, FFS” anymore. They’ll likely be challenging City soon, exact same kind of takeover.

    So there’ll probably be a new top 2, depending how clever Liverpool can be. And one of the perennials will get pushed out of CL spots.

  58. Frem, you remind me of the guy who had a drawer full of strings. Too short to use and too long to throw out. How can Luiz be so useless in your mind but so expensive if someone wants him? El Gazi to a #1 team, Luiz potential to a #1 team. Go figure.
    Hause too useless to play for Villa but too good to let go on loan.
    You’ve got to stick to your reasons.

  59. Ian, Frem doesn’t deal in reasons. . . just emotions.
    Now I get that. . . . we all deal in emotions if we’re honest with ourselves . . . .some of us a slightly less ‘sharing’ though.

  60. JC, I read some Iain Banks books a while back but now can’t remember which ones. I’ve reached an age where I can be Half way through a book and then realise I’ve read it before!
    Am just doing that with some Jack Reacher books but am happy to pay for them twice as they are at least supporting a Villa fan. He doesn’t complain about how every player is crap every five minutes either!

  61. John why can’t we spend what Newcastle have? We have megga rich owners to

    We’ve acted like a newly promoted all summer, and on the pitch

    In fact newly promoted clubs have been better in the transfer market than us, and tactically on the pitch.

    It’s been a real mess

    We aren’t going to sign a single attacking player

    We’ve been horrific going forwards every minute of every game so far this season… And we aren’t going to sign a single striker or winger. They have blind faith in our crap strikers anf one winger Bailey.. And a player who used to be good for Liverpool 8 years ago

    It’s disgusting

  62. Listening to Brendan Rodgers talk

    He’s be a fantastic manager for us I think of Gerrard goes

    I certainly think we could attract him with money

    Id not then potch or Potter

  63. We put about 200 crosses in a game and have no striker who can get on the end of a single cross

    But yet the club think Watkins and Ings Are ok

    We put some mad amount of crosses in against Bournemouth and the strikers got on the end of nothing

    But yes let’s keep our two useless strikers all season

  64. Frem. You say our strikers are crap because they don’t get on the end of 200 crosses in a game.

    You’ve also said that our full backs are crap at putting in crosses

    Neither ings or Watkins tend to score goals with their heads.

    Can you see the inconsistencies in your arguments?

  65. Still hoping we have a manager lined up
    Mod last night slammed Parker for saying his Bournemouth players aren’t good enough but as usual slippy gets a free ride
    The team that performed so bad so far this season is the one slippy had to start season bar Carlos yet we have had so many different players starting ,different formations,same stupid tactics, this is going on for almost a year over 30 games,one away from worst ever villa manager yet most of media saying its not slippy fault

  66. Frem,

    Not saying we can’t spend (I’ve been saying why I don’t think we are, atm). But. I have no idea what squad size and salaries are doing with FFP.

    Interesting bit from Leicester owner about their summer, needing to not make money from sales, getting back on track with their covid-stalled development plans, and other revenue streams.

    We have money, but Toon have a petrostate owner. Different league, different kinds of financial shenanigans they can whip up. Like The Etihad sponsorship. They probably also have more leeway this year because of Mike Ashley’s ways.

  67. Spot on JC.
    We may have wealthy owners, but as Klopp said last night, it is very different when you are competing with clubs owned by countries. Newcastle will spend, when necessary, but with Howe in charge the have built very wisely and have plenty of room because of the way Mike Ashley ran the club.
    I am sure if Gerrard can make a difference now he has Bednarek and Dendoncker, that he will get at least until the World Cup, and if does move Villa up the table, then the future will open up.
    Looks like we held on to Douglas Luiz in the end, and that will please his girlfriend, as well as a few Villa fans!

  68. It’s a step backwards, but I wouldn’t have trusted SG if I were the owners today.

    Dendincker should be great with Kamara as two 6’s. Bednatek a 4th choice CB

  69. What an awful transfer window.

    We spent nothing.

    We haven’t added any pace or technical ability.

    We still have no pace.. Still can’t counter. Still can’t retain possession. Still aren’t solid defensively.

    I don’t know what our style is or will be

    We have no choice with our players but to me slow and narrow still

  70. We didn’t sign a number 8 or forward.. Madness

    Defenders will love playing against us.

    A striker who gets bullied with any physical contact. Can’t jump can’t head can’t hold a ball up can’t pass.

    Then Ings who just can’t run

    And then we have Bailey who will get injured at some point soon and then that’s it we are fucked.

    We are in huge trouble. The amount of technical ability, pace and our pathetically slow formation will send us down

    Rodgers might be available soon. He would do I guess

  71. I’m pleased we’ve managed to keep Dougie for a while longer. He’ll be needed. But I’m sorry to see Tim go on loan to QPR. Beale knew what he was doing there, but I don’t think we did. Will we get to see Sanson and Freddie?

    I am pleased we held onto Cam Archer. There’s more to come from this feller. Overall, I don’t think we addressed the skill shortages with the correct priorities. With incoming transfer fees for Targett, Chuk, Trez, AEG and outgoing fees for Couts, Carlos, Olsen and Dendoncker, it’s reasonable to say we’ve had a couple of cheapish net spends over the last two summer windows, although we did buy Digne in the window between them. Everyone else has spent £2 billion this window.

  72. Wolves fans all saying the same thing about dendonker.

    Works hard gritty

    But can’t pass and basically isn’t very good.

    Just what our midfield needs. Someone else who can’t retain possession

  73. Read some stuff on social media,but one person take I hope is right
    Gerard will be sacked after city game unless we win it,Gérard and lange don’t get on,purslow has back Gérard in transfer up to yesterday, he won’t be sacked but will appoint a new manager from langes choices,social media from villa had been under purslow control up to last week ,stories being leaked all over the place
    Hope this fellow/lady is indeed correct

  74. mad how we got rid of all our wingers and not replaced!

    dendonker i like but zooming out we are 4th year back in prem.

    finished 14th last season and trying to play catch up. whilst saints / wolves sign some very good players we are getting there cast offs! hmmmmm its not great

    but hopefully see donker and kamara in a 4231

  75. luiz is a weird one. i like him. but his whole time with him we have wasted him. criminal.

    looks like we can afford to loose him for free in summer? he aint signing a contract.

    and we hardly play him anyhow!

  76. Time for us to be positive. The club accepts that things are not right, and they have made an outstanding error in Gerrard’s appointment.
    That is what I see in keeping Douglas Luiz, signing Dendoncker and Bednarek, as it shows they are preparing for a managerial change, but recognise the need for cover in defence.
    Tomorrow will be interesting, as it could be the last team Gerrard picks, unless by some miracle we manage a win, or at least a draw. A heavy defeat would be unthinkable for Gerrard.
    I do not see anything much happening now before the World Cup, and we must just continue with our support for the team, win, lose or draw.

    Things will change for the better eventually, but Compass must have learned some very important facts about what bit is like to run a Premier League club, and you cannot just buy success, as their five-year plan now lies in tatters on the floor.
    They know they need to go back to the drawing board and start afresh.

  77. Luiz was very interesting, H&V. Playing hardball on a player who will just run down his contract.

    Yet with the rumored interest, SG didn’t pick him Wednesday? Seems a bit of a rebuke.

    I can almost imagine him being told which team to pick for City. (Not that that’s ideal)

  78. “mad how we got rid of all our wingers and not replaced!”

    I’m sure this is the concern, H&V: gutting the squad to play a way that hasn’t worked at all.

  79. Plug,

    Doesn’t look like SG was going to play Tim, so I figure him going to Beale, who rates him and is smarter than SG anyway, is probably better for the player and us longer term.

    Also very interesting in Sanson and Fred. SG needs to integrate them into the team. Can’t be forced to play them, I suppose, but he can’t keep sidelining them and keep everyone else onside. If they aren’t causing problems, they deserve to be treated with a little more respect.

    And agree, glad Archer is staying. Would rather see him come on than Ings when we’re chasing, tbh. Would also like to see more changes earlier, given five subs. If SG can alternate Phil and Buendia, he can basically put out a second team instead of the piecemeal stuff.

  80. Hello Lifers, thought I’d drop in and disprove the rumours I’ve Carked it.

    To be honest so Much shit going on at present with daily revelations about so many of the things presently afflicting the world and a chasm opening up at present I thought it best to not afflict your good selves, can lead a horse to water etc.

    I also paid £45 to watch Villa’s pre-season, watched a couple if that and concluded that although we were getting positive results the footy was still dire(rhea) and once we hit prem teams with something to lose the truth would out. I’ve missed more games this season than I have in last 10 years. We must be the most boring team in existence at present and that reflects the Managers persona.

    What went wrong? they sacked Smith and abandoned the plan and the youth for a tilt at Europe, when that became blatantly obvious that it might be way out of our league they like any good business men looked at the cloud coming over the hill and thought time to Reel SG in and hunker down this season, and maybe next. Add other teams looking in much better fettle than us with little investment they have probably twigged and begun to ask Questions.

    So basically two seasons wasted when they could of just let Smith see his contract out while sourcing a real coach because no Beale no coaching it seems and even then I can’t understand the fascination with the Narrow team. Haven’t looked but are QPR lining up like that? if not its SG’s baby. Imagine all that travel in the summer and no coaching of worth, or what’s being taught is crap or taught badly. Looks like I was right about his 3 seasons and 30 mostly old players to win a two horse race not being indictive of much. He’ll need at least 3-4 more windows at this rate.

    Stevie does seem a bit arrogant and wants everyone to be mini hims mentally, worlds not like that Stevie.

    Biggest problem I see is he has flushed a lot of players that another manager may have needed if he gets the bullet. You can only hope that the opposition watch our games and his pressers and go into a trance like state of sleep.

    Kept an eye on you all and my two favourite comments are Frem’s “people had a go at me for saying Smiths a crap manager but now he’s showing it etc” when Norwich had lost a couple of games. Well not so bad now eh Frem 2nd with 4 wins on the bounce, remember those days?

    The second best goes to Robbo for Graham Souness might be racist because he said Mings has a lot to say for himself whilst winning nothing in the game, Who knows what was said off camera eh Robbo? 🙂

    Wedding to go to tonight and a gig tomorrow catch you all later once city have spat us out.

  81. Ah Mark good to know that you are alive and kicking .. we don’t agree and much and you can be a pain in the ars- but you are our pain in the ars- 🙂

    Very strange happening at Villa atm

    I have been waiting around two decades for a strong footballing philosophy to be implemented at Villa and even with great owners we are not making the right choices for it to happen at Villa
    were is the next Big Ron

    Saturday at villa park will be very interesting

  82. Well I didn’t think following Villa could get any worse. . . . . . and then Mark reappears!

    Welcome back 🙂

    I’m going to have to read your posts again because on first reading I couldn’t find anything to argue with you about so what’s the point of that!

  83. It’ll be interesting to see the team for Saturday. Three CB’s or midfield overload. I think it’ll be the latter with Watkins as the lone striker. Also curious to hear the crowd if it’s a hammering

  84. Great to see you back MK,
    Yes, we are living in a very troubled world at the moment with the shocking flooding in Pakistan, the war in Ukraine, the unrest and soaring cost of living here.
    I was also shocked watching Simon Reeves the other night in Canada and how the indigenous population has been treated, especially the disappearance of thousands of women, the treatment of the homeless. It is not only America that has problems!

    Makes our problems as Villa fans seem a little trivial.

  85. Just watched the initial interviews with Dendoncker and Bednarek which I felt were good and positive, in contrast to Steve Gerrard’s press conference. He could not leave his face alone which indicates that he has no real belief in what he is saying.

    Mcginn did the same after his first interview after the game on Wednesday.

    Well getting ready now for another trip to the Tavern and Villa Park, which is so nice now as I only have to one in three trips!!

    Looking forward to seeing a different Villa today, hopefully inspired by the new arrivals, and ready to give City a bloody nose!

    So time to start building the atmosphere. C’mon you Villa Boys…!!!!!!

  86. Everton just hada goal ruled out against Liverpool.

    There isn’t a worse side than us in this league.

    If Gerrard isn’t sacked we are going down

    Hopefully Monday after we’ve got smashed tonight they will sack him

  87. So dendonker is missing today because of a saw throat

    The player we signed to add grit to the side

    Isn’t playing because he has a saw throat

    This club is a joke.

  88. Tuchel available soon

    Will we show any ambition and go get him or Potch?

    Or stick with Gerrard or appointed some bang average manager again

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