Now it’s time for City after the midweek loss to Arsenal. Last time out, Villa blew a two-goal lead. I, for one, would be stunned if we manage to score two again today, never mind taking a lead. Don’t like being negative, but this game will probably be more about damage control.

One way to limit the damage is to get up and into them, and I’ll actually agree with Gerrard when he said, “Are you getting up to people and closing them down, or are you just getting up to people and pressing with your eyes”

I’ve pointed to this myself. Villa shade and shadow, but don’t do enough to actually stop anyone doing anything. When that happens, you run around a lot and still end up looking like training cones.

Another way to limit the damage obviously is to sit back and pack it in, which we know Pep loves. But there’s no reason to believe Villa will be able to come away with a 0-0. Pep saying he wishes Villa were higher up and not as desperate was a nice touch…We all wish Villa were higher up. But we’re not and don’t really deserve to be.

Of course, you never know, and maybe a desperate Villa will produce enough to get a result. Me, I’m dreading seeing Haaland run riot, never mind the rest of the danger men.

So, could be a very long and depressing afternoon. Could be an inspiring one that turns our season. No idea if it will end up being a referendum on Gerrard, though I can’t imagine a heavy loss will help him. A spirited performance might. A result will almost certainly forestall any thoughts of sacking him.

All very interesting. Naturally I’m hoping for a shock result, not particularly happy to see us in 19th. But it will be just that, hope. And we all know what that does to you.

Gerrard, perhaps in an attempt to mollify Douglas Luiz after the club blocked his move to Arsenal, will be starting the Brazilian, and sitting both Emi Buendia and Philippe Coutinho to start. Not sure it really matters, might as well just keep moving players in and out for no particular reason.

Starting XI
Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne, Kamara, Ramsey, McGinn, Luiz, Watkins, Bailey.

Make of that what you will.

Over to you.

Comments 170

  1. Will it ve another hiding,probably, how can Gérard pick both full backs konsa mcginn,
    Countiho has played better against better sides they usually don’t worry about us
    Watching other sides too our players can’t be as bad as they are playing so is it they want Gérard gone

  2. Still playing this narrow shite

    He’s changed absolutely nothing

    They will rip us apart

    Good to see we crossing again and only have one player in the box who won’t ever get on the end of anything. Watkins


  3. Got to say that it is very difficult be on this site atm. Stinking atmosphere!

    This site is the best on the web for Villa fans – just not today.

    Glad we kept Luiz. If we are trying to progress to a possession side, then Luiz is one of our best for the job

  4. Take Bailey off put buendia on second half.

    Also zero point crossing the ball when er have it wide

    Nobdody is getting on the end of a cross we are tiny

  5. Minvs Luis kamara Watkins all excellent so far ,young for a 37 year old beggars belief
    Mcginn so sad to see how poor he is can’t pass tackle or even run
    Bailey should have started v West ham not tonight its not his game would have played coutinho keeps ball much better

  6. Still want Gérard gone
    Mings Watkins Luis kamara superb,
    Young outstanding
    Bailey digne ramsay more like it
    Mcginn so poor
    As was fcuking linesman our winner wrongly ruled out

  7. Another day, City would’ve probably found the net more than once, but they didn’t and we kept at it.

    Saw some encouraging signs at times, getting after the ball. Then there were the usual things.

    At times, we looked 4-2-3-1 off the ball.

    McGinn really does struggle with what he’s being asked to do. Hope that assist helps wake Ramsey up.

  8. Lucky to get a point but good result

    Still we don’t look good in any department though

    Gives Gerrard a chance to get 2 more games

    We need to get 4 points from saints and lcfc or he will be sacked

  9. Frem,

    We don’t have the players for it, no. Phil showed that spark with the ‘goal’, but otherwise, it asks too much of him. Asks too much of McGinn.

    But we’ll see…maybe the 4-2-3-1 off the ball at times shows Gerrard is learning.

  10. In fact, I think I’d try Sanson for McGinn if SG’s going to stick with it. Quicker, just as aggressive, better legs.

    Really wonder what he’s done wrong.

  11. We need to drop mcginn. We are better without him

    Also cash is poor

    Young was fantastic

    Gerrard said after the game he’s going to sacrifice long term things he wants for the short term wonder what he means

  12. Yep sanson definitely is a better football player than mcginn. He’s just horrible on the ball

    Very pleased with Luiz and young today

    Mings is good.

    He was never a problem

    The problem waw actually our strikers but we never addressed that. A lack of pace to we never addressed

    Ramsey should have scored his 1 on 1 ir was awful technical ability.

    We do have a lot of problems

    Main one is this narrow crap against lesser sides doesn’t work

  13. I think Gerrard said we will sacrifice possession to become more counter attack

    I think he will sacrifice technical players like buendia and phill for Ramsey and Bailey


    But mcginn needs to not play

    Have Luiz and Kamara double pivot

    Ramsey wide with Bailey

  14. We should have signed sarr

    Gerrard had realised after the transfer window that we can’t play the system we’ve been playing


  15. Big credit to Gerrad and the players for not giving up, but showing real fight in the last two games.
    Now. . . . . please please don’t throw away the good work. Gonout there and show the same intensity in the next two games and we could start building up some points.

  16. Gerrard is showing some signs of learning and adapting to circumstances and that can’t be easy for someone of his temperament. . . Well done to him

  17. Also thought that Watkins was just super today. . . absolutely tireless and great hold up play which is what we needed from him in a game like this

  18. Was fuming with both linesman and referee over Coutinho’s goal.
    It was so so clearly the wrong call at the time that it’s hard to understand how they could have done it.
    They KNOW that they are supposed to let the passage of play complete before blowing the whistle.
    The wife had to calm me down.
    Having said that. . . my feeling was that Coutinho ‘would’ have been found to have come back from an offside position. . . . Did I get that wrong?

  19. What was particularly nice to see was the player’s confidence on the ball improving as the game went on and seeing them start to demonstrate the quality that we all know they have. (OK. . . that we ‘nearly’ all know they have)

  20. So glad we held on to Luis. Properly used he can be a real asset for us. Credit to the owners and club for deciding to keep him despite his contract running down. It’s must have been so tempting to cash in on him. I also enjoyed that we fucked Arsenal about after the way they messed us about over Smith Rowe.

  21. Just watched the Coutinho goal again and yes he did run back from an offside position when the villa player kicked it but it looks as if the ball came off a City player so he would have been onside and the goal would have stood.
    I can understand the ref and linesman misjudging whether the player was offside or not but it’s inexplicable that they wouldn’t wait till the passage of play is complete so that VAR can be used

  22. Fucking robbed. The playing field ain’t level to begin with due to the UAE sovereign wealth fund owning the opposition. Their filthy tentacles have now reached the officials. RObB0, Couts was ONSIDE when the ball was kicked. It was also played backwards. He can’t possibly be offside. Fucking linesman waving his flag like New St station.

  23. Robbo
    Coutinho wasn’t offside in the move,also the ball was played back so,
    Sky boys covered it from every angle plus decision in first half to penalise konsa for nothing,silva got away with blatant foul on digne in first half,along with Rodriguez trying to get think it was ramsay shirt didn’t even get free kick for that

  24. Oh boy. When Bailey smashed in his goal the stadium detonated. Must say SG got his tactics and setup spot on today, not to mention team selection. Credit where it’s due and I’m both stoked and angry.

    The opposition today is the best in the world. And but for a scandalous official, we’d have got 3 points. Dougie played a sublime pass to put Watkins through in the first half. Young when he came on improved the RB position. Mings, Ollie and Kamara top notch.

    Once again though, it’s Konsa who’s ball watching and losing his man for their goal.

  25. Plug and JG, having seen it again, I agree with you about the final pass not being offside however didn’t the linesman flag and the referee whistle for the first pass (when Coutinho was also onside!)

  26. Cometary disagree with the MOTD crew about the West Ham VAR decision. Bowen trails his left leg to injure Mendy. The natural movement would have been for his left leg to lift and miss the keeper but he deliberately trailed it. Let’s face it we’d be more surprised if Bowen ‘hadnt’ tried to foul the keeper. . . That’s the sort of player he is. Bowen should have been booked

  27. Have been praising Gerrard for accepting that he needed to make some changes and then he goes and spoils it with his interview.
    What he ‘should’ have said is how proud he is of how his players fought for each other but instead he tells us about his motivational chat.
    Ffs man. . . It’s not all down to you when we perform well and down to the players when we perform badly.

  28. The dubious linesman should be checked for at least six decisions he gave in City’s favour, but should the referee ignore his flag a little longer and not blown. Once he had blown nothing could change.

  29. What an amazing day out for me and my friends at the Aston Tavern AND Villa Park!
    Enjoyed great beer and company at the Tavern, making friends with a lovely young Norwegian couple, who had flown over to see the game, which was obviously a big talking point with Haarland now being a City player.
    Made it into the ground in good time and the atmosphere was building well thankfully.
    What a game we were treated to, with Gerrard picking a sensible team to play City, and apart from the Cash injury, the team was to remain the same for at least the first half, with Ashley Young being outstanding at right back.
    The atmosphere could not have been better, and remained so for the whole of the match, which has not happened in a long time at Villa Park!
    Villa worked their socks off and we went in at half time with the score still 0-0. Good to see them clapped off as well for their sterling efforts.
    The inevitable happened not long after in the second half and Haarland scored, but instead of Villa buckling, with the crowd behind them, Villa managed to get more into the game when Buendia came on, replacing McGinn. The amazing thing happened then we got an equalizer with a fantastic shot from Leon Bailey, meaning that Villa had everything to play for, but as usual against City a dubious linesman stole the win from us.
    I still remember the linesman that gave City two non-existent penalties against us in Lambert’s Day and apologised after! Making us lose 4-2.
    I am still buzzing from the effort the team put in to get the result, the atmosphere that had been missing from Villa Park, and the enjoyment of sharing it with so many great Villa fans.
    So good to walk away from Villa Park and all the crowd on top of the world, and still singing.

    Can’t wait now for the next game!!!

  30. I’ll watch Brighton v lcfc today

    I think either Rodgers or Potter will be our manager soon

    I don’t think we will beat either Southampton or lcfc whih Gerrard wouldn’t survive

    I’d happily take Rodgers but would prefer Potter or Potch

    I hope Gerrard wins both our next games off course though

    Just can’t see it

  31. Morning after,yes still want Gérard out,his interview after match it was all him,even collymore can see the obvious it’s all about slippy g
    Players wise
    martinez brilliant his dark arts up another level,
    cash had a horrible game young was excellent, digne a good bit better
    Mings superb even his banter with haaland,konsa caught out for goal,needs to be benched
    Luis kamara both very good with and without ball
    Mcginn a rabbit caught in headlights needs a few weeks on bench
    Ramsay grew into game great attacking runs,unlucky with one caught under his feet
    Bailey quite but what a Finish, won’t be playing this quality every time
    Watkins never stopped running working more like it
    Subs coutinho unlucky with goal needs to find form now,beundi not long enough to say but did notice bench kept telling him where to be undisciplined maybe

  32. Didn’t Cash’s hamstring act up just recently? I seem to remember him having some difficulty. Perhaps it never really got back to normal for him and it popped again. Maybe that’s why he seems off ATM.

  33. Well Rodgers will be sacked. They will have a new manager bounce for us

    But if Gerrard doesn’t win he will also be sacked

    Meaning we might get Rodgers

    Potter though what a phenomenal manager

    We need to go buy him and Brightons recruitment team

  34. Gerrard will not be going anywhere now before the World Cup, whatever happens. He has done the right thing in admitting he was getting it wrong. I am sure he will become a far more defensive manager now, just hopefully not too much of a Steve Bruce!!

  35. They will have no choice but to sack him Paul if we lose on Saturday

    They can’t and won’t stand for the shite so far

    If we don’t beat lcfc he will probably be gone. If not definitely Southampton after

  36. Was worried when Young had to come on, thought he’d be skinned for pace, but he showed the experience, stayed home, read and anticipated well, got close to Foden so he couldn’t get started.

  37. Will have to go see Gerrard’s full comments, but if he’s admitting (however he does it) that he’s gotten it wrong, he can spin it whichever way as long as he does it.

    Long term = an entirely new squad that can play 4-3-3, and I think the owners have said “Not so fast.”

    Horses for courses and all that, but I’d go with a base of Kamara and Luiz, then Ramsey (no other real option), Buendia, Bailey and Ollie up top.

    Would probably also be looking to put either Chambers or Bednarek in for Konsa.

    I think Cash will be better if he gets to stay home a little more. But it obviously could be Young out there for a while.

    Whoever it is, I’d like to see us set up to counter. Not dire, I think we can be exciting. Emi can switch play, find the through balls, get Bailey and Watkins into space. Ramsey can drive and carry in space, as well, and showed good composure picking out Bailey.

    I don’t think there’s any inherent merit/superiority to playing like City. It’s great if you have a stable of players like that, go ahead. But when you’re building you just want to get results: Hard to beat with goals in the side. Play to your strengths.

  38. The whole thing with counter-attacking football is being able to control the second phase.

    If the attack doesn’t end up with a corner, goal kick or save, you have to then be able to quickly regain the ball, play ‘possession’ football, regain shape, stop the fast break against you.

    If you can’t regain high up, you have to have the legs to get back, and enough speed and quality in space with the CBs to blunt the initial break.

    All very simple on paper, but the main thing is that we defended better when we weren’t stretched both horizontally and vertically.

    You also hope a player like Dendoncker can come in to help shore things up, or start in more physical match-ups. Kamara is starting to show he can get forward, and he’s still getting used to things, so I’ll expect him to build on the solid start.

  39. Jc
    I would go with your side bar I would start coutinho over beundi, beundi is better as impact sub,would start Chambers see that Bernard can’t play v soon week after
    Young digne mings Chambers
    Luis kamara
    Bailey coutinho ramsay

  40. John Clark

    Apologies if you thought my comments at the start of the City game were aimed at you. Nothing you say gives me a problem.

    I was expressing my utter exasperation with the repetitive carping Football/Fifa manager entitled punk comments from frem. The other lot showed Harry Johnston the door after only a few weeks – why do we keep putting up with this crappy space blocking repetition?

  41. Wow well certainly wasn’t expecting that result or performance
    Have to give huge credit to SG for such a big turnaround under what possibly could have been his last game in charge with a bad performance and against the best team in the league

    Funny how SG actually played his preferred formation which was very effective for the first time at villa due to having workers in the 2 number 10 positions , it gave a real balance to the formation
    Ashley young showed a lot of footballing intelligence when he filled in for Cash and let the ball do the work to start forward play and was solid defensively

    The players have now set the bar for what it takes to be successful in the system of play hopefully we can now kick on and the flair players will also realise that they are not much use to the group if the don’t run for the team

  42. Not at all, jbd…no worries.

    Was just being ‘diplomatic’. We’ve tried a number of times, then folks lobby to unblock.

    Got better, then back to form. Will blow right past this.

  43. runtings,

    I’m not going to be so quick to praise the 4-3-3. It went 4-2-3-1 a lot of time off the ball, at least, showing the narrow three up front wasn’t getting it done.

    Also, I’d never slag Buendia’s graft. Works as hard as anyone, and still pretty much the only one-touch player we have, and plays more high-quality through-balls than anyone (so far, at least). Also plays it quicker than anyone.

    Watching Eriksen, though often playing deeper, you need those balls, especially in a countering set-up. You leave him a little deeper in a 4-2-3-1, and leave him central, where he’s been drifting anyway to pick up the ball and link up.

  44. JG,

    If Coutinho were on form, I’d agree. Glad to see a glimpse going for goal (and scoring), but unless SG finds a way to get him more involved, he’s been a passenger far too often, and just doesn’t seem to have the necessary legs to impact much off the ball.

    But, I’m sure he’ll be encouraged by the disallowed goal, which is only a plus.

    I’d simply start Buendia, then switch to Phil. For now, at least. More aggressive, more tenacious, less hesitant, atm. Seems to have every bit as good vision, and seems to spark the side.

    If you’re starting Phil, I’d still play the same way, 4-2-3-1, with him central. He’ll get the ball in more space than playing left, where we tend to bunch up around him.

  45. Still haven’t watched Gerrard’s presser because every time he says something positive and seems to realize his responsibility, he goes and says something unnecessary after.

    “We freshened things up a bit, and I was glad to see the commitment and hard work,” vs basically saying, “I put in players who work harder.”

    I like Dougie forward, thought he had a good game. He doesn’t work any harder than Buendia, though. Phil, yes.

  46. Jc
    I still haven’t seen much from beundi apart from a lot running about usually to slow,I also think beundi coming on as sub as a better effect,coutinho seems to huff as a sub
    Would definitely play him central ,4231 is only way forward barbie six sides

  47. JG,

    I know you feel that way…but he gets the team playing much quicker, always see through balls, switches play, moves it fast and decisively. He just sees the game better than anyone else (bar Phil) in the side. Luiz can play with him.

    And he never stops running, is aggressive and tenacious. Always looks for the ball. Isn’t the fastest, no, which is why I agree and think 4-2-3-1 suits both him and Phil. Pretty sure Emi covers a lot more ground, and is no slower.

    Me, I just don’t think Phil adds anything more, atm, and is more like playing with 10. But the way he’s being played isn’t helping. I see him get visibly frustrated when in the front three, he can’t chase, play is constantly just going around him (and the others). SG was talking about fitness with him earlier, no idea what that means (carrying a knock or whatever).

    One can argue bringing on the more lively player as a sub makes a bigger impact…Me, I’d rather see us start fast and gain a little initiative, set the temp and get others involved. I still believe he was brought in to the be ’10’ with Jack, probably the last call Dean got to make.

    Might’ve approved of Bailey…Would’ve given them two wide forwards with Bert opposite in a 3-1 up top (Bailey can play left). But, maybe it was always Bailey over Traore with Ramsey on the left.

  48. JC,

    I am with you, Buendia over Coutinho every time atm to start games. He gets involved, fights for the ball, and will always fight to win it back if he loses it. Phil is a luxury, too easily knocked off the ball, and teams crowd him out.
    Fair play, Gerrard got it right on Saturday, bringing Coutinho later in the game when he could be more effective.
    Looking forward now to the Leicester game.

  49. Rodgers apparently going to be sacked.


    If Gerrard loses to them on the weekend, he will probably be sacked to

    Meaning Rodgers available.

    Could be interesting

  50. JC I also agree Emi B has great work ethic and actually think he would be good in the centre mid 3
    I wouldn’t be writing off courts just yet he is the best player at the club
    But the marker has been set for the whole squad .. its the same for every premier team without hard work and togetherness you will not succeed

    No no no to Rodgers Frem … plus SG showing signs he can get a lot more out of the squad .. no reason why we can’t kick on from here

  51. If the media are to believed then the futures of both Gerrard and Rodgers rest on results in the next two games which would at least mean that Rodgers won’t be our next manager.
    If we win Gerrards job is safe and if we lose then Rodger’s job is safe.

  52. Praying Potter doesn’t go Chelsea , he would make them way too powerful he has the best brand of football in the prem give him superstars and its a problem for everyone else , plus my grandson developing nicely under his staff at Brighton

  53. City are probably one of the few teams that suits Gerrard’s preference for a narrow formation. Will it make Gerrard convinced that he was right all along? Is he capable of coming off his high horse and actually building belief and style in a team? Don’t hold your breath.

    Chelsea – New owners, same old impatience, don’t think there is club I detest more barring RM and Barca, the way they treat managers and players. If Potter is smart, he will wait for a club that will give him time to set things up, Chelsea will never allow that.

    I dont see Poch or Tuchel joining us just because Compass have big wallets, they will have CL/European ambitions. I rate Rodgers over Gerrard, more defined ideas and style of play. We may be in the same place as Leicester’s owners in the future and need to be prudent about building a team. FFP is only for below 6 clubs like us, the City’s and Chelsea’s can get away with anything.

  54. It’s Billy Smart’s alright down at the Bridge. The funniest act was not the sacking of Tuchel. That was beaten hands down by Fofana showing no pace or marking ability for the Zagreb winner. Couldn’t stop laughing at what they’ve got for £70 million.

  55. A very very highly respected football reporter in an interview yesterday said he could see Potch joining Villa. He said he would be interested in joining a lower club with a project

    It’s time this club take the next step and show we actually have ambition and going to get potch

    The fact potch and tuchel are out a job, the club should be all over them and looking to move Gerrard on already

    If we just sit and watch other clubs go fir them

    The n this ambition of being a top team purslow keeps spouting on about just isn’t true

    Lose Saturday.. Go get potch or tuchel

  56. I’m not convinced Pochettino would come to VP, I would think he’s more likely to wait for a club playing Champions League or consistently finishing top six, at this point in time Aston Villa are mid table at best, there’s a couple of years heavy lifting before we can confidently say we’re challenging to win a trophy or finish top four.
    Traditionally Aston Villa Football Club have hired managers who have provided a short term fix. I exclude Ron Saunders from this statement. Since RS we’ve had a procession of managers who’ve taken on a struggling side, turned it around then lost the plot. I’m hoping SG can change the culture of the club and leave us in a place where any new coach/manager can seamlessly take over a squad that is part of a club that has a great company culture.
    End of last season and start of this I was of the opinion SG had to be replaced, which meant pressing the reset button again. I’m of the opinion that it would be a better option to leave him in post, let him build something and change the culture. Obviously if he keeps losing, thats something else. He’s always played and managed in a winning side and won a Premier league as a manager, regardless of what the standard of the SP is perceived to be.
    Let him go with

  57. I know it’s futile to cry over spilt milk, but right now, it’s all over the floor and I’m pretty upset about it.

    We had a chance to have Potter last time round and missed it because of Purslow’s love affair with Gerrard and now we’ve missed the boat.

    Ok, pull yourself together, it’s water under the bridge and that ship has sailed . . . . . . enough idioms already! (or are they metaphors? . . . . I never did get that straight. I don’t think they’re similes though)

    If we could have had Potter I’d have jumped at the chance but now it seems we can’t, I tend to agree with Archie that we need to cross all our fingers, touch wood, avoid walking under ladders and black cats (or do they bring good luck?) and all get behind Gerrard and hope that the Man City game really did signal a turning point.

  58. Saturday’s game could be very revealing. Has Gerrard really learned anything or did he just temporarily pause his favoured way of playing because even he realised that Man City are SO good that it was futile to try and play the same way?

    Saturday is going to be fascinating for both Villa and Leicester fans. I have rather more sympathy for Rodgers than Gerrard at the moment because he’s suffering from his team being dismantled and weakened before his eyes whereas Gerrard has at least had some support over the summer and his team is stronger than before. Both managers NEED a win although I suspect that Gerrard has a bit more time than Rodgers due to his relationship with Purslow (and his extra 3 points too maybe)

    If we could get a win and creep close to mid table obscurity then Gerrard should buy himself some breathing room . . . . a draw will probably do neither manager any good and may be the only way we could end up with Rodgers as manager of Villa.

  59. Villalore and Archie great to read your thoughts I really can’t argue with anything you have raised

    I too am totally gutted about Potter going Chelsea as for me he coaches the best brand of football in the league and he is also a life long villain … we had the chance to bring him in but instead he is off to make Chelsea great
    Its pretty annoying and its not rocket science as most fans can see he would be a fantastic choice with no ifs buts or maybe’s involved in bringing him in

    I do think the owners as good as there are have not made the right choices in terms of who makes the decisions of the staff hired to bring the club towards there objectives .. we really should be much further ahead with the amount of investment that they have put in

  60. runtings, Totally agree. The owners have been fantastic but according to reports we ‘could’ have recruited Potter instead of Gerrard but chose not to. Nobody gets every decision right it’s just a shame that this was such an important one.
    Sincerely hoping that things will come right with Gerrard. If Potter had come in then it would probably have taken time for things to click so maybe things will still click with Gerrard

  61. . . .talking of mistakes. . . . I wonder if Chukwuemeka is now worrying that he’s made a mistake? Apparently Tuchel visited him and his Dad and they were impressed and swayed by his vision for how Carney be developed under him. Even with Tuchel’s reassurances he’d seen less playing time than he had been seeing at Villa but now he’s gone then I guess it’s up to him to impress Potter.

  62. We would have easily appointed Potter after we sacked Smith

    Purslow wanted a big name though

    He’s a twat and needs sacking as well

    It’s time our owners move purslow Lange and Gerrard on

    And get potch

  63. Purslow anf Lange have done a pretty horrific job with scouting and the quality of players and managers we’ve appointed.

    They need changing

  64. Robbo for me Chuck now probably has the perfect has the perfect manager to develop him and a system of play that will probably allow young talents more game time once his methods take root

  65. So Graham Potter has joined Chelsea. That was quick. My thoughts on anyone who jumps ship aren’t high. There’s something about moving on at a drop of a hat that bugs me. Perhaps Chelsea and Potter were talking secretly but hey. How do the players at B&HA feel about this? The amount of money going to Brighton must have been huge. How can Chelsea’s players go all in when there is a chance he’ll leave at a moments notice? Mind you Chelsea are more likely to sack him first. Chelsea is a hell for managers. Bohely seems to have kept Abramovich’es trigger finger in his top pocket. It also seems like Bohely wants to micro manage the team right down to the brand of oranges at half time. I’d never talk Potter now. By the way, I felt the same when Gerrard pulled up sticks at Rangers. Just another example in the Prem that ticks me off.

  66. Watched the 1st half against City in which we mostly sat in and frustrated City, I’d agree with Villalore that in recent times we have run out plucky losers by the odd goal under SG, pep is one manager SG does ok against relatively as was potter.

    We actually had no big chances to city’s 5 I think which tells a story despite the goal that wasn’t. That is a major problem with this side under SG we create absolutely bugger all. So all in all fair play to the players but could of gone very wrong also.

    Leicester set up to be a banana skin moment as they need a leg up but they are a team we have also faired ok against lately so draw all over it.

    I would ditch Phil, just his face alone needs slapping such a miserable little bugger. For me if we stick with 433 then Watkins with Ramsey left and Bailey right, then luis and Beundia with Kamara central. Back four maybe one of the new lads gets a start over Konsa but the FB’s need to take it in turns to overlap, no more suicidal high FB’s please, it never works for us ever.

    If SG cannot set us up to get a point in this one then I’d take anyone with a pulse over him.

    Deano 6 on the bounce including the cup and in second, its all gone quiet over there Frem.

  67. She has died bless her, feeling very sad it is too as she has been about the only rational constant in my lifetime. Forget the royals as an entity, she always seemed to genuinely care about her people whether they liked it her family or not, Farewell Liz.

  68. Tim Sherwood has come out in support of Steven Gerrard which is nice but I’m not sure I understand exactly what point he’s trying to make. He talks about Gerrard being too open and honest with the press and says:

    “But that’s the direction he wants to go, I did the same, always wore my heart on my sleeve. But it takes it toll in the end and you end up losing your job. He’s trying to take the pressure off the players, but you do that, the pressure will come to you.”

    That’s exactly the opposite of the impression I’ve gained from listening to him. . . . . Am I perhaps being blinded by my existing prejudices?

  69. No matches this weekend, understandable given the mood. Leicester will probably be tougher whenever we play them. Hope Gerrard plans to use this time to fix the backline and settle on a playing 11

  70. r0bb0,

    Don’t think you’re being blinded. SG hasn’t been brilliant at the comms part of the job. He may indeed be wearing his heart on his sleeve, but too often that heart points the finger at players who clearly can be seen trying.

    Not saying they’re necessarily looking good doing it, but I do see effort. Not their fault they’re being asked to do things they’re not suited for. I’d normally say it takes time to implement a new system, but they’ve been at it for nearly a year now.

    Who knows, maybe the City result will help them kick on and maybe SG has indeed learned some things and will be willing to make some changes not only to personnel but tactics. Only took him having his back against the wall, but better late than never. I think.

    Also curious how Luiz will be handled now it seems clear he won’t sign a new contract. Keeping him from moving only made sense if there was a decent chance he’d stay or we needed his services that bad. But, depending on January and whether an appealing club is desperate for him, looks like we may have lost £23m-£25m. If we needed him so much, hard to understand why he wasn’t a regular starter.

    I suppose he’ll keep playing to retain interest from Arsenal or whoever, and a lot can change in a year, but.

  71. Baffled by the blanket cancellations, even a local village fete cancelled?? would it not be better at at time like this for people to meet and talk about it and god forbid sing god save the queen? damn sure the football stadiums would of been in full voice. The only sport not cancelling is rugby which is supposed to be the posh kids game. Already had a skin full of the media coverage, don’t think it was what she was about at all, even that slimy cnut Macron has piped up about how the French loved her, baffling. She’ll be looking down in amusement if anything.

  72. Yeah the whole shebang at Villa has gone from replace the manager, the players are great, to the managers great replace the players in one year (Unless your Frem then its replace everything 🙂 ). To me that stinks and I’d like to hear Purslow explain again how its not just about recent results but the last year.

  73. As the footys off I’ll take the opportunity to ask Robbo if he’s getting his booster any time soon? I say this in light of the new Medical emergency declared by 400 from 34 countries doctors started in India. They are asking to have the Vaccines independently checked and their links to excess deaths investigated properly along with the myriad afflictions that it has thrown up unprecedented in history of Vaccines.

  74. Mk
    Over in Ireland our great politician are advising closing windows,doors,turn heat down ,close of rooms and all squeeze in together because of the energy crisis, no word of covid

  75. You trying to tempt me back into a covid discussion again Mark?
    As it happens I had my 4th jab 2 weeks ago. I was thinking of holding off until closer to the winer months but finally decided to go for it now. I’ve had the text about the flu jab and will be having that soon too.

  76. It’s probably another no no subject but you have to hand it to Liz Truss, appointing a climate change denier as Secretary of State for the environment.

    They are given the evidence about climate change and know that it’s real but still choose the current interests of the oil industry over our futures. For the first time in my life I am believing that our politicians may be corrupt.

  77. roBB0, you will be able to take an overseas holiday or travel beyond these shores at your leisure.

    Mark, you will be confined to these shores until further notice.

  78. Nah RObBo, it’s a needs must situation. With gas prices beyond extortionate, we need to burn coal and frack to generate power. The Greens will have to take a back seat for a couple of years. It’s only temporary.

  79. RIP Her Majesty.

    Typical Villa luck

    Gerrard now gets another life line

    If we lost today he would have had to been sacked

    We could have gone got Potch or Tuchel

    But off course we will keep Gerrard

    And come back after 3 weeks of doing nothing and lose to Southampton

    Then we will need to sack him and could have done it now and had 3 weeks to get a coach to work with the players

    Should have got Potter when Smith went… Now he’s at Chelsea.


  80. Mark, I’ve read that document you linked to. It’s not the best you’ve liked to.
    A document that says things like:
    “We, the medical doctors and scientists from all over the world”
    “so-called “COVID-19 vaccines”
    really can’t be taken seriously.

    I’m not saying that there are no harmful effects from covid vaccines because there almost certainly are, I’m just saying that that this particular document is unscientific, poorly written and a little bit embarrassing.

  81. Frem, we still can (get Potch or Tuchel). If not and SG proves inadequate further down the line, and these 2 guys are then unavailable, it’ll be Purslow sweating.

  82. Plug, the quickest and cheapest thing the government could do to alleviate energy shortages and alleviate some fuel poverty would be a massive and immediate insulation campaign. THAT would make an impact THIS winter and beyond.

  83. Frem, I agree that we should have got Potter. It seems we considered him when Smith went but chose Gerrad instead because of Potter’s release clause cost. . . .the one big Mis-step from our owners so far.

  84. Frem, although I’m at least as sad as you about us missing out on Potter, I’m not as worried about what happens next. There is still a chance that Gerrard will come good but if he doesn’t then hopefully the owners will have learned form the Potter mistake and we’ll get a good replacement for Gerrard next time.

  85. RObb0, that Forbes list seems like a crock to me. I don’t accept for 1 minute, Everton, Leicester, West Ham and Leeds are more valuable than Villa. The Wai Ayes not even mentioned.

  86. Still no confirmation on whether Friday’s game will go ahead.

    Don’t think we would have considered Potter, as I have said before, Purslow stated that “Gerrard was head and shoulders above any other candidate at interview”, with his two-hour presentation, showing his intimate knowledge of the club.

    r0bb0, I am the same as you, and had my fourth jab a couple of weeks ago, and now awaiting flu jab from the pharmacy. This time I did have pain in my shoulder for a while afterwards.

  87. Taboo topic, indeed.

    But I’ll indulge by saying this: Had three shots, finally caught covid on a work trip in June (conference, figured it was inevitable). Just a couple nights of intermittent fever and a cough. Same story for everyone I know, including my wife’s elderly parents. Her 80yo mother actually had no symptoms, but did test positive. Her father, same symptoms as me, a cold, basically.

    I will be getting the new booster shortly, and then going to Argentina on holiday for a couple weeks at the beginning of November.

    And that’s a wrap.

  88. Looks like our game against Southampton is going ahead. It will also be televised thus contributing to our broadcasting income this year. As JC’s link shows, that income stream last year was huge.

  89. Well if Gerrard doesn’t work out, and Potch is off market by then, there’s a guy in Norwich won the last 5 straight games and has them playing some nice stuff. He was miss treated at his last club, had hsi best player sold and a couple of players brought in behind his back. but great guy!!! Just saying !!! His old assistant at Brentford would be worth a shout too!!!!

  90. Is Friday night, the start of Gérard revival or the end
    His teams heat will be interesting no natural right back in squad,will he stick with konsa,then to his main problem midfield or our general lack of a proper midfield general, will mcginn start or be benched
    Sorry we missed out on potter,but quite fancy Rodgers myself and last manager we took from Leicester was pretty special the one and only BRIAN LITTLE last winner of proper silverware giving me one of the best days of my life

  91. Mark, I’d meant to respond to your comment about criticism for the manager and then the players as it was one of the things that had been bugging me.
    It shows real inconsistency from fans to criticise Dean Smith because he was failure to succeed with the players at his disposal but then once he’s gone say that the Gerrard wasn’t able to succeed because of the quality of the players at his disposal. . . . . particularly when by general consent the playing squad had been strengthened in the meantime. The two thoughts are mutually exclusive. . . . . but that hasn’t stopped some fans from having them.

    Canadian Villans cheeky comment is rather premature, but if Dean Smith does manage to succeed then it may make for some interesting fan and boardroom discussions. Let’s hope that both Smith AND Gerrard succeed so that it becomes a moot point.

  92. PP. . . . now that IS a surprise. Maybe someone has said that we ought to be trying to recover some of our outlay. . . . . or are we too far down the track for that?

  93. Reverting to the original subject of this thread. . . . . do you still think that Gerrard’s job is still at risk and if so what would be the trigger point?

  94. My own guess is that he’ll be given at least as many games as Dean Smith was although it should be borne in mind that this season has started with a disproportionate number of games against underperforming teams whereas Dean Smith’s team were up against a disproportionate number of teams in the top half of the table.

    I reckon that if he picks up 6 points in the next 5 games that may just be enough to save him for a bit longer because of his boardroom support although it would be a significantly worse performance than from our first 11 games last season.

    My own view is that if we achieve fewer than 8 points from those games then the rest of the season will prove to be a long slog. If we only achieve 6 or fewer points then we really should be looking for an alternative manager as, unlike Dean Smith, he wouldn’t have shown that he has what it takes to guide the team into a winning run.

  95. r0bb0,

    That’s exactly it: shifting stories re players vs manager.

    Me, I feel confident Dean would be doing better. Maybe not winning the league, but playing a system that suits.

    There would obvs have been no Phil. Most likely no Digne. And quite possibly no Ings if he’d had a say. Bailey? At least he suits a 4-2-3-1, and was probably meant to play opposite Traoré with Emi in the middle.

    Where the money would have gone instead? Who knows.

  96. Over the middle to long term, no idea what Smith would’ve had in his locker. Point is, Gerrard, at this stage, has not been an improvement.

    We’ll see if his newfound ‘flexibility’ pays off.

  97. r0bb0,

    Gerrard’s future, so hard to say. Everyone felt a bounce from finally getting a result against City. Then the queen’s passing, a lot of attention away from football, maybe makes things seem a little more stable.

    But this is a tricky run for SG, because the owners, while understanding the vicissitudes of sporting fate, will reasonably be expecting results in at least five of our next six. And maybe even Chelsea, given the turmoil, but Potter will have had some games in charge by then.

    For me, it seems to be about how firm their commitment to him is, ie, will they ride it out thinking they have the right man, or will they say “there’s been enough time and no progress.”

    For there to be actual “improvement” to point to, Villa probably need to have a mini-run in a series of winnable fixtures. It’s been what, basically 11 months, a summer window and camp, the January moves.

    So, he could have even less leeway. Losses to Southampton and Leeds might well do him in. NSWE aren’t going to be distracted from the poor record, table, and not being able to get points off teams they expect us to be above.

    Two wins, win and a draw, win and a loss, two draws? Points will always keep a manager safe, but they’ve really got to build on City, I think. Coming off that and losing to Southampton (and how it would come about), I imagine the pressure will start mounting again already.

    NSWE are certainly smart enough to understand the tactical debate, SG will certainly have communicated wants for his system (which he would seemingly not have had granted in full). In those talks, SG will have shown his hand pretty definitively. Which means I think Gerrard is going to have to show adaptability, a willingness to learn.

    If he persists in playing his way and not getting results, I think he’d be gone sooner than later. And while I’m sure NSWE are loathe to have make a change at this stage, they won’t hesitate if they think the season is going nowhere and the manager isn’t accomplishing anything.

    The question of who’d replace him has to have been a topic of conversation already, and I’m guessing a list of targets has to at least been drawn up, and maybe even discreet feelers put out.

    Smith at Norwich won’t be lost on them, either. That could all turn for him, but Deano getting results right at the same time SG’s under pressure isn’t a good look for SG.

  98. John, you must surely be right that if we were to lose the next two the the owners would have to come to the conclusion that the risks of sticking with him were too great. I suppose the next question is how active are they being behind the scenes.
    It’s all speculation but we ‘suspect’ that the conversations with Gerrard had been going on informally for a while before he was appointed. This may even have been what destabilised Smith because it’s likely that rumours at least wouldn’t that been going around that his days may be numbered.
    It may be less likely that there is active planning this time as there presumably isn’t the same underlying desire to bring in previous mate as there was last time.

  99. Its Cleary not been good enough so far under SG he has some big games coming that will really tell if he is able to bring the club forwards or not.
    Deano smashing it in the championship is impressive, but it doesn’t translate into smashing it in the premier league …. both of their records are not what the doctor ordered at premier level

    Personally, I was scratching my head at the SG appointment but did like who he was able to attract to the club

    If it doesn’t improve drastically asap there are good managers out there.
    Poch is a very obvious choice to take things to the next level .. … will obviously be behind the team in upcoming games which are very big ones for the current manager much more so than the players

  100. Match day,has Gérard done a complete u turn in past few weeks,will mcginn start ,will coutinho start ,will he play new lad alongside kamara
    For me if he starts mcginn and we don’t win that’s enough for me,he will have to go

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