So, the Monday game, meaning it’s felt like a long time since the goalless draw at Elland Road. It’s been even longer, 24 years, since Villa and Forest have faced each other at the City ground in a Premier League match.

I’ve spoken before about this stretch of games and how important they are to Villa and Gerrard. It’s where you need to grab points, especially if you’ve been struggling. We squandered the run at the start, making Forest, Fulham, and Brentford pretty significant, however early they come. Four from Leeds and Saints isn’t the worst return, but one goal in the two isn’t the best return.

So, Forest sit bottom with a -15 differential, Villa 16th with -4. A win would take us up to 9th. Seems improbable, but that’s how tight it is, and that’s why these fixtures loom large. Chelsea may be a write-off, but you never know.

I’ve given up on Gerrard and tactics, talking about the two, since they don’t seem very well acquainted. Here’s hoping SG proves me wrong.

There might be an encouraging clue in the lineup…But I’m not getting my hopes up just yet.

Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Young, McGinn, Luiz, Coutinho, Ramsey, Buendia, and Watkins.

That might have 4-2-3-1 written all over it, but I’m guessing it’s still 4-3-3, by and large. We’ll soon see.

Over to you.

Comments 108

  1. Is that bit of apathy creeping in JC? 🙂 I hope we are incredible going forward because selling Trez, El Ghazi and Traore means we have 1 forward on the bench, Please god don’t be boring, I have to watch so its the least they could do.

  2. Absolutely rubbish,pathetic
    Gérard what do you do in training its definitely not setpieces work we are awful at both ends,it’s not system because we don’t have any,it’s not working with Watkins telling him the offside rule,it’s not with your captain mcginn because he is about as much use as a chocolate teapot,it’s not with beundi telling him to stop whining everytime some one touches him,it’s not talking to purlsow about keeping Luis
    We are a shambles no width no pace no strength no skill

  3. Well I suppose when both teams have now scored 7 goals this season it was to much to ask. Perhaps one pre-season isn’t enough to learn SG’s ultra technical game plan, right where’s the Vodka.

  4. It just goes from bad to worse, there are no positives take from that performance. The worrying thing is that if NSWE are happy with performances like this then they have clearly lost interest in our club

  5. JC- maybe that header is a reflection of the lack of belief in the squad. SG has said enough about what we lack never much about our qualities other than Phil the no show superstar. I’d say last seasons Archer wouldn’t have dreamt of not going for goal.

  6. Well that was frustrating. There seems to be a lack of rapport between our midfield and striker(s). Surprised Archer didn’t go for goal. . . . another player who’s having their attacking instincts knocked out of them?

  7. The away fans have seen the light singing we want Gérard out,
    Sherwood has a better win ratio than Gérard imagine that
    Proper manager gets a tune out of this squad with a couple attacking options in January
    The letting traore go madness,criminal how our squad has ended up
    Young our best player this season followed by mings

  8. Obvs Forest changed it up and packed in after Leicester. Always 8 right around the box. Very frustrating. It really did come down to not getting the second and forcing them to come out.

    That said, you can’t just keep playing the same way every week against any tactical counter.

  9. I’m going to try to put an alternative view here.
    We’re undefeated in 4 games. It’s been a while since that happened
    We were by far the better side yesterday but unlucky to meet a Forest side who’d changed tactics and decided to shut up shop from the start. . . . We did the same against Man City.
    Apart from the goal we looked pretty solid at the back.
    Gerrard is taking a more pragmatic, cautious approach and its improving results.
    It’s not good yet. . . . but it is better than it was.
    Gerrard does seem to be listening more. . He has recognised that plan A wasn’t working. Plan B is a ‘work in progress’ but at least its no longer a stubborn plan A

  10. Three games ago I said if we lost those games Gerrard would have to go.
    Well. . . we won 1 drew 2.
    Yes we should have turned at least one of those draws into a win, but I reckon we’d have taken those results 3 weeks ago.

  11. We’re treading water just above the relegation places. The last game and a half has been a great way to play when we’re leading by two goals and running down the clock. Getting those two goals first though is a different mindset and requires effort, skill and speed.

    Set pieces were plain shit. Bang free kicks into the wall. Don’t beat the first man at corners. When defending mark space and ball watch. Zonal marking? Space never hurts you, it’s players that kill you. Need to replace the wild man of Borneo.

  12. Gerrard’s substitutions. We ended with 3 strikers on the pitch. The two extra ones at the expense of midfielders. That’s Spud’s “tactics”. Replace midfielders with fresh midfielders and strikers with fresh strikers for something different.

    Couts has become anonymous. Likewise SJM. The selected midfield had no dynamism. Statues everywhere, static players, no movement. Perhaps they don’t run because the ball never comes to them when they do run.

  13. We’d have lost that game but for Young’s missile which came out of the blue. Plenty of folks have said it before, it’s horses for courses. Yesterday should work best against Chelsea next. Last night we needed siege tactics, running and moving.

  14. Ollie is regressing. He’s running offside most of the time. No thought or positional awareness exists. This is coaching stuff.

    The game proved a tough watch. Rant over.

  15. JG- McGinn overthought, basically caught in two minds and not in the flow. My thinking is SG is filling the teams head with info and that’s not being cemented on the training ground with the correct routines to commit it to the sub-conscious. Nothing is done on instinct by this team any more.

  16. robbo- on the basis of we needed some points and had to start somewhere yeah on face value its worked. The reality though is we have looked as bad as the three very poor sides we have played. We were told he needed a pre-season to cement his ideas, now it appears that his ideas were wrong or he can’t put them over? He has literally withdrawn the FB’s, that’s the tactical change. It doesn’t help our worst problem, scoring goals, as we then lack width ( even though with attacking FB’s we concede). We have ditched our wingers, he is limited to how he can play now.

  17. Transfers
    Who is in charge but since lange came along its been tits up
    Sanson neither manager picks him,it certainly can’t be training because our midfield is crap
    Beundi moaning batch awful signing
    Bailey not used right by Gérard but then WHO is, ot an upgrade on traore so far and his father is a mouthpiece
    Ings panic signing and its showing the new grant holt must use gabby fitness coach always breathless even during warmup
    Digne flatters to deceive not twice the player of target in fact been outshone by a 37 year old young
    Coutinho few minutes here and there ,also been used wrong by Gérard as a left winger instead of midfield where he has the ball
    2 Swedish lads ,another q0m plus wasted surely enter free options available
    Chambers plays well then dropped another baffling decision by the great Gérard
    Carlos kamara too early to say,but 27m for an aging centre half give me strength
    Decdonkeranother Gérard doesn’t want to play even tho we have a lightweight non running ousting tackling and shooting midfield
    Shambolic worse than the doc or even end of lerners time

  18. Robbo
    If these results had come against sides in form ,yes you could say it was a building point,
    West ham soton Leeds and now forest all on telly ,2 goals and maybe 3 or 4 shots on target,horrific stuff
    Keane last night said we had no bottle can’t disagree too much with that
    Gérard is from a long line on great players who will never make it as a manager,no humility for a start

  19. For comparison, Last season Smith lost Grealish, had a disjointed pre-season and injuries to Bailey and Beundia before kick off among other long term injuries and lost two close allies. He managed 10 points in 10 games, 14 goals with practically no wingers available (hence the eventual 352 tactics) 19 against played 8 teams that ended in the top 13. Scored 22 goals in pre-season all played against sides in the 1t div champs or above bar Walsall.

    SG lost Beale, had a very full long pre-season, brought in defenders and ditched 3 wingers. Add 3/4 of a season to get to know his fully fit squad. Scored 23 goals pre-season 17 against teams not even in league 2 bar Walsall. So far 9 points and 7 goals for, 11 against, played 6 of the bottom 7.

    Smith sacked after losing 5 in a row, previous season finished 11th after best start to a prem season. 15th after 10 games sacked on 11th in 16th.

    SG, finished 14th, nearly dragged into relegation and now 16th. The only plus point being that we are 2-3 points of the top end, that was very likely the same for Smith.

  20. Oh just saw this:

    “If Villa fail to beat Chelsea at the weekend, Gerrard’s win percentage this calendar year will be 26.6 per cent, while Dean Smith – who was sacked after a poor run of results from the start of 2021 until the point of his dismissal – boasted a 31.1 per cent win ratio in the 35 games he took charge of from the start of January until mid-November last year.”

  21. I know I’m fighting a losing battle here and it’s ironic that it’s me that’s fighting it as I supported Smith right to the end and was against Gerrard right from the start.
    I do think that he’s bought himself a little time with our last 4 results though.
    Chelsea will be an interesting one. If we’re able to show the same sort of resilience that we did against Man City then it would suggest that we are able to hold out against the best and compete with the rest and that wouldn’t be a bad base to build from.

    Our creativity and eye for goal does seem to have been stifled though, when that should be our strength with the players we have. The first half last night was desperately frustrating. It seemed that the players were fine as long as they had a chance to look around and see where their team mates were and then pass to them but there was little or no quick passing, or balls through the lines for attackers to run onto. It all felt pedestrian and full of conscious thinking rather than instinctive, empathetic interplay between players.

  22. Poch , Tuchel should be the standard.

    The XG stats are poor, we just don’t create good chances, we have creative players in Phil and Emi and goal scoring forwards that have scored goals, it really is up to SG to make it work unless he’s working under some other remit to every other manager. As far as being better in defence we are back to smiths players and lower opposition. The City game was with Kamara and Digne and no phil or Beundia starting. City missed some good chances too but fair enough we drew many others haven’t. If the answer is to play defensively against everyone we’ve cracked it.

  23. Mark, I’ve just seen your comment that “nothing is done on instinct by this team any more” and that’s just how it seemed to me. If they’re learning new ways of playing from Gerrard then it may take time for them to adapt. I know none of us ‘believe’ that’s what’s going on, but we don’t ‘know’ it, so until we do I’m prepared to give a bit of benefit of the doubt.

  24. Mark, you’re right about our poor XG. Last night they said that only two teams have had fewer shots in the league than us this season. . . . our attacking play is really poor. It’s odd as you’d think this would be an area where Gerrard could improve us. Maybe he thinks he can and he’s over-coaching and the players are starting to think too much. I dunno. . . . .pure speculation. It ain’t right and it needs fixing though

  25. JG, if we did go get Poch then I’d be as excited as the rest of us but I like people to be given a fair shot and I think we’re ‘just’ short of doing that for Gerrard so far. Arteta became Arsenal manager in 2019 and it’s taken till now for it to fully ‘click’ for him as a manager. We ‘may’ be showing signs of improvement and I’d like to see if there’s any substance to it or if we got lucky against City and since then have just met 3 poor teams.

  26. Robbo- Arteta at Arsenal is not comparable to us, granted he had some ups and downs but if SG had struggled then got us 8th in his 1st season as Arteta did you’d think we’ll give him time. second season he lost 1st three games badly then won 6 and drew 2 before losing again, he ended the season in 5th, ask yourself has SG shown he will be taking us to those heights in his time here? been a bit unlucky? he told us it would be different after a pre-season and some new players and it certainly is.

  27. For me, with SG, I’m just not seeing any improvement. Yeah, we’re conceding less, but he still hasn’t done anything besides the 4-3-3 (4-4-2 if he brings Ings on) and telling the fullbacks to sit back a little more.

    If there were more cohesion or some tweak to create more chances, I’d feel better. Right now it just feels like he’s persisting with something that doesn’t suit the players and won’t change it.

    Basically the stats MK’s talking about shout, “Why the different standard for SG than Deano? What was the point?”

  28. JG,

    You and I will continue to disagree on Buendia. Still the brightest spark out there, playing quickly, slotting balls into the box to run onto…chasing, fighting to win the ball back. Going everywhere to get on the ball and take responsibility.

    Yeah, he’s feisty and I like it. He’s a competitor and hands down showing Phil up. Jack moaned and rolled around (which could be a little embarrassing), Buendia is more likely to look for a fight.

  29. That said, I wish Emi were a little bigger and faster. But that’s why you change things, let him start central in a different formation (so all our attackers aren’t in a line), and don’t ask him to run games from wide right.

    He’s the only one who can run things, atm.

  30. r0bb0,

    The results have ‘improved’ and I get what you’re saying, but SG still seems too stubborn, too critical of the players, and unwilling to make central midfield changes.

    I want to ask him what he’s doing to help the attacking players find more space and create more chances.

    There are fine margins of course. McGinn didn’t need to dive and head five yards wide, Archer should’ve gone for goal. Ollie’s desperate to score, which is why he’s being selfish and offside. I’m not sure he’d have gotten to the ball on the disallowed goal if he hadn’t jumped. The ball would’ve needed to be played a little further back and closer to the covering defender.

    A good manager might sit him, tell him he’s still the man, but take some pressure off and reassure him he’ll be back in. Just sit, see the games, and come in off the bench. He’s not getting many good looks, certainly not enough for a 33% conversion rate. I see Kane miss chances like his all the time. He just gets a lot more chances. (Not saying he’s Kane, just a matter of getting enough real opportunities). He’s also got Son attracting attention and playing well with him. Phil can’t do that job.

  31. This was supposed to be a Manager that was to take us on from where Smith had supposedly hit his ceiling. Progression not regression was demanded and was presumably why SG got the job. Trouble is I think it was also done from a marketing point of view, ie Steve’s well known, can bring in big name players (supposedly), which gets us noticed worldwide.

    Klopp and Arteta made slow progress but it was always progress Not many get instant success. I would say that we have made zero progress in the attacking third In fact we have regressed, In defence we are back to where Smith was season before last except not as good on the clean sheets. And the mids have gone from defence to attack back to defensive but have no real goal threat either way.

  32. Mark and John, I totally agree that if the same standards were applied to Gerrard as Smith then Gerrard should have gone. Smith is the better manager.
    The point is that we were too hasty getting rid of Smith although it became very difficult to argue that point on here at the time!

  33. JG, I didn’t watch the City game but I am watching the England game and you have to say that they are playing better than Villa.
    There’s a cohesion and understanding plus creative and supportive movement that we’re just not seeing for Villa.
    Balls are being played through into space between and behind defensive lines confident that attackers will be running into those spaces.

  34. Robbo
    We will need marv in 2nd half plus a dollop of good luck,watched Chelsea tonight batter Milan in San siro,Potter working his magic we could get a hiding on sunday

  35. It almost feels safe to come out again!

    May I forcefully remind you all (tongue firmly in cheek) that the first few months of the 1980/81 season were pretty poor and a lot of people were getting fed up with Ron Saunders.

    Shame on yee all faithless.

  36. According to the Villa supporters club, Purslow has suggested that future transfers should become self-financing rather than relying on continued cash injections from the owners.

    This seems in line with the original strategy of investing in youth, creating stars of the future and then investing proceeds into steadily evolving an improving squad. There are some who crave instant success and they should go and support Man City or Newcastle, but our original strategy was one which I think most of us were happy to buy into.

    For that to have worked, we needed a manager who could develop youth and develop the skills (and value) of the senior squad members.

    That strategy was thrown out of the window when Gerrard was brought in, as youth was ignored in favour of experience. That cuts off the potential income stream of developing Academy players and inevitably, the value of newly recruited ‘experienced’ players is only likely to go backwards unless we do some exceptional deals.

    That leaves us with the last potential source of additional funds being the increasing value of existing players. I’m struggling to think which of our players are now worth more than they were when Gerrard was brought in.

    If the report from the supporter’s club is accurate then our current strategy is untenable and we will inevitably go backwards.

    So what’s gone wrong? Who convinced our owners to shift strategy? Did our owners even agree to a shift in strategy or have they now seen which way the wind is blowing and have finally laid down the gauntlet to the management team to turn things round without new cash?

    So where do we go from here?

    Our recent improvement in results is going to have to continue and Gerrard is going to have to show that he can improve the value of our players. . . . . this should be an automatic corollary of results improving. If he isn’t able to bring about this improvement then we will need to switch back to the previous strategy and the owners will hopefully accept three things:

    – The Purslow inspired investment in Gerrard and his new strategy has wasted 2 years, plus the investment in ‘experienced’ players (Ashley Young excepted) and is now water under the bridge.
    – The original strategy was sound and we should return to it, but. . .
    – We will need an injection of some new cash to bring in a manager who is capable of making the original strategy work.

    I suppose the remaining question will be whether we are able to attract such a manager without also putting some additional new money on the table for that manager to bring in a limited number of players of his own choice.

    Interesting times.

  37. Nicely summed up Robb0. Don’t think any of our players have increased in value since Gerrard came in. Maybe Dougie, but he’s not signing a new contract so his value to Villa has gone down. Conversely, we got Kamara for “free” and he must be a valuable player to Villa.

    The owners said at the outset that the club had to be self sufficient. They put in a large cash injection over the early years to keep the wolf from the door. But since Jack left, transfer money at least has evened out.

    The question therefore that needs answering, is why did Purslow change tack and deviate from the structure? Was there pressure from the owners to reach Europe within 5 years? Or did he panic when Deano went on a losing streak? Or did he believe, like me, that Deano had taken us as far as he was capable and we needed an upgrade. It can’t be the last because Gerrard was always a rookie manager and reliant on coaches. He was a big risk.

    I also wonder how secure Purslow feels right now in his post.

  38. 1st obstacle a more youth developing type manager has is he now has lots of very expensively paid players in the way. Will he bench them and lose the club millions or play youth and potentially make them millions? On the plus side we have a large contingent out on loan coming of age of decent quality that know each other, next one two years. On the other hand we bought a team to compete now.

  39. There’s a few massive problems at Villa at the moment.

    Lange is one. He’s absolutely pointless. Doesn’t scout anyone that the world doesn’t already know about.

    Purslow. He’s just in it for himself. Wants the lime light. He’s single handily trying to run this club for his personal sake only.

    He needs sacking along with Gerrard.

    McPhee. What an awful awful set play coach.

    We bought danks in under Smith as an attacking coach. He’s absolutely useless.

    I don’t see how Gerrard can survive when we lose on Sunday

  40. The worst thing is Potch is there to go and get

    But we won’t sack Gerrard until world Cup break and potch will be gone

    Newcastle will go-get potch or tuchel before us

    I’d also love Uni Emre.

    But if purslow is here

    Gerrard won’t be sacked anytime soon

    Because it will make purslow look bad

    It feels like it’s purslow and Gerrard v everyone else at the club fans and players

  41. I think SG hasn’t got the squad to buy into his ideas from the start. Dont think it helpd taking the captaincy for TM, rightly or wrongly
    They’re not comfortable with the system he’s playing and it looks to me like he’s lost their confidence.
    He’s going to lose his job on Monday, hope he learns from it. Hate to see anyone lose their job, hope his career works out, won’t be at Aston Vila Football Club

  42. I got stick for liking Traore

    He’s genuinely better than any attacking player we have

    He can do something nobody else can and we got rid

    And we insist on crap players like matt cash delivering crosses

    He’s the worst crosser of a football I’ve seen behind Alan Hutton

    Gerrard is a joke

  43. Cash certainly isn’t a genius. I’ve never rated him.

    Traore could do something out of nothing.

    I hope we get smashed on Sunday and the fans turn

    We won’t beat Fulham or Brentford either

    3 games in 9 days without a win should see him gone

  44. Canadian petes been backing SG for a while now, pointed out to him where it was going months back and now he’s finally turning. I, like him wouldn’t be surprised to see us perform ok against Chelsea, one its Potter and we seem to do ok against his sides, and two we are still a counter side, nothing SG has done has changed that. When we had some width we used to at least have some chance against a low block, plus we had players that pulled off the odd bit of skill to score and Jack who was hard to stop. We have a side slow in possession and that needs space to break into, Watkins, Ramsey, Bailey, McGinn, Ings, Beundia are all of that ilk hence we can’t do SG ball, I do doubt anyone but city could.

  45. Archie, having now also seen the reports of the owners flying in for Sunday’s game, it does seem that things may be coming to a head. Much as we may feel we want (another) new start, if we were to win this weekend (no I don’t expect it either) then we’d be unbeaten in 5 with results against both Man City and Chelsea. It would seem perverse to sack a manager on the back of a run like that. More than that though, it would add increasing weight to the feeling that maybe things were turning round.
    The best outcome for the club would still be that Gerrard learns fast enough to become a winning manager with Villa and on Sunday I’ll be wishing a win for us as much as I would any other weekend. That’s because I am a Villa fan and always want to see my team win. On a match day, I can’t contemplate ever feeling any other way.

  46. If we lose on Sunday and Gerrard goes, will Purslow go too?
    With Kwarteng going, will Truss go too?

    Both situations come down to responsibility and honour.

    Truss has sacked Kwarteng to try and save her own skin but pretended that he resigned. Apparently it’s not the first time that she has backstabbed a colleague but then pretended her hand was never on the knife. If she had any honour she’d now resign. If Gerrard is forced out then would Purslow feel responsible and do the honourable thing?

    I’ve seen it suggested that Purslow has been successful on the commercial side of things so would we want him to go, or would we just want to step back a bit from the footballing side of things?

  47. Frem, you’re right that Traore could make something out of nothing, but the frustration was that at least as often he’d turn something into nothing. He was the epitome of unpredictability and inconsistency. One of those players that you want to see on the pitch because he ‘might’ make something happen, but from a similar mould to El Ghazi and Trezeguet in that they ‘might’ sometimes make something happen, but with a bit less work ethic than the latter one of those at least.

  48. Think SG has lost a lot of the fans , even though we were all mover the teams in our last games its about results and the football being served up isn’t very entertaining , He will probably get a good result vs Chelsea are team is more than capable of competing but there is something that doesn’t seem right with how the club is currently moving

  49. runtings. . . . your last comment sums it up nicely.

    the question is whether a couple more decent results (plus goals for key players) could boost confidence sufficiently to turn things round

  50. I’ve thought over the past month or so that the players have stopped playing for SG. Doing just enough for them to get by on a personal level. I’ve also thought that managers like Potter, Smith, and Klopp have a more easy going attitude towards players. This might be a stupid comparison but Lola, my dog side kick is a well behaved loveable pooch and all I’ve done is given her lots of fuss, treats and soft commands. Maybe it took a bit longer but I have a well adjusted dog who can’t do enough to please me. I can’t see it being any different with footballers. Everyone wants to be treated fairly and made to feel important. Not demands that leave you feeling angry. Just my thoughts of different managers.

    I was quite confident that Luiz would re-sign for Villa. It would appear that he has a good agent who looks after him.

  51. Luis an odd one considering how close to the door he’s been and how he’s not nailed on to play once Kamara returns. I suppose its a good thing for Villa considering Arsenal wanted him but not on his overall product.

    Purslow saying we have been unlucky to not win the last two, that’s a crock of sh…
    we may have sort of dominated possession but we sure as hell created f all of the unmissable kind. Worse still is you could sit any team in a low block and it would be the same inane tactics to break it down. Luck really shouldn’t have a lot to do with it, if we have been unlucky against 6 of the bottom 7 then we were lucky against City, Lucky Youngs shot went in not hit the post. Maybe we need a coach that specialises in luck? we have one for everything else. Unlucky also with injuries, my how his viewpoint of progression has changed.

    Anyway Purslow and the owners are fully behind SG and I’m sure if no positive results happen in the next three they’ll be patting him on the back and letting him take us up the table after xmas.

  52. Robbo- one or two key players? nearly every player bar Martinez and young, that’s not a striker losing his mojo its the entire team, which likely points to lack of belief in what they are being asked to do.

  53. For the record I want him to do well and win every game, not sure if the quality of what we do doesn’t improve that I’ll be rushing to watch every game though we are very boring to watch. SG’s football at Rangers was never exciting according to the fans so I am not holding my breath.

    I think the penny has dropped about him being arrogant if his latest presser is anything to go by, that’s a start.

  54. Brighton were analyzing their new manager they have now for 2 years….

    I can guarantee you we don’t do that.

    Purslow needs replacing, and Lange.

    NSWE are at the game Sunday

    Apparently they desperately want Gerard to work

    It won’t

    Hope Chelsea smash us

  55. Brighton already scouting there next manager

    It’s amazing the continuity they have

    You just know we won’t even have a short list until Gerrard is sacked

    And it won’t include potch

  56. Dougie has signed a new “long term contract”. The official site is not saying how long. Wonder why? Has Dougie been told something that we don’t yet know? Or have they offered big conkers? Or is it because his girlfriend remains here? Questions…..

    I’m one of those who think we may get something out of the Chelsea game on Sunday. They way they play, they will not be defensive against us. We might just hit them on the break. Potter may have to wait a bit longer for a win against us. COYVB.

  57. Does our club ever make it easy for us, didn’t expect purslow to say any different about his mate our manager
    Luis signing comes totally out of blue unless he has been told a new manager coming in
    I see percy has done a big piece about gerards time here and one bit I agree is beundi has not came anywhere near good enough
    Then Canadian pete his podcast I watched it was something that I could of wrote(if I had stayed at school a bit longer)
    2 crosses out of q3 attempts against a poor forest side,never mind the setpieces debacle
    Now to chelsea think all villa fans agree gerards new ordained captain needs a seat on the bench,followed by his best mate phil( for me if Phil was played in middle of 3 he would have more influence instead as left winger in gerards stupid formation) then Watkins also needs a rest just out firing line,then problem our squad after all the money spent is wafer thin especially when Gérard won’t pick Freddie sanson and marv
    Gerards press conference didn’t show a man ready to man up and change rather blame everyone and everything else
    Time for a change purslow and if you can’t do it time for you to go as well

  58. JG, I’d agree with you that Buendia hasn’t been as effective recently as we’d like him to be. Coutinho hasn’t either, or Watkins, or Ings, or Bailey or McGinn. We don’t know if Archer would make a difference, or Sanson or Nakamba because we haven’t seen them.
    You see the theme?
    Frem singles out Watkins not performing as well as he should, you are disappointed by Buendia, whilst others see Coutinho being below par To be honest, it’s hard to know just how good these players could be because they are all looking like little boys lost out there at the moment.
    If Gerrard had worked out how to get them performing at their best then results would look very different and we wouldn’t be wondering if this weekend may be his last in charge of Villa.

  59. Gerrard seems to increasingly know what he should and shouldn’t say but doesn’t have a politician’s guile, so you can still read between the lines to see what he ‘really’ thinks.
    In a recent interview he was asked about the level of support he’d received from the club and he was very clear that he had indeed been supported, but then couldn’t help himself going on to point out that our next opponents, Chelsea have spent £280m.
    He then went on to say:
    “In game two we lost arguably the biggest signing we made in terms of Carlos at this stage of his career, aged 29, and consistently playing well at Sevilla.

    “I felt that was a big part of the spine that I spoke about before a ball was kicked.

    “I wanted to improve the whole spine and that was a big piece we wanted to execute”

    Having seen how Mings and Konsa have performed I think we’d all question now whether that was an investment we even needed.
    Another part of the new spine, Kamara, certainly IS a loss but it does seem strange that Nakamba isn’t even getting a look in and Luiz (although not ideally suited for the role) has stepped in pretty effectively.

    Shouldn’t Gerrard really have been praising the players who’ve stepped up when others were injured rather than inferring that things might have been so much better ‘if only’ Carlos hadn’t been injured?

  60. I can understand Gerrard feeling defensive and looking for excuses but it would be better if he was able to hide it and concentrate on building up the confidence of the squad of players he has available.

  61. There’s always a cycle when villa managers are close the sack.

    1)they start getting defensive and lying in post match interviews, making it sound like we were better than we are.

    Gerrard has been doing this for weeks now.

    2)away fans eventually turn. They did on Monday singing Gerrard out.

    3) home fans will turn
    . Sunday will be boos and chants at full time

    4) playing 5 at the back

    Gerrard will play 5 at the back on Sunday

    And you always know that means the sack is close. Bruce did it. Sherwood did it. Smith tried it

    Its the last ditch attempt

  62. Frem- Smith never lost the fans that I can recall and 5 at the back? what choice did Smith have when all but one winger was injured? it was as much a stop gap as anything and Smith had tried it pre-season and said he planned to use it from time to time. What it showed was using wing backs leave this team exposed, it was never a defensive stance. Gerrard will sit in against Chelsea most likely 5 at the back won’t help this unless like Warnock you field 5 cb’s.

  63. Have now read through all the recent comments, following Monday night’s match, which I eventually watched on Wednesday, after being away. Not much to add, except that Archer should have been on before Ings, having more time to settle into the match, but when he did come on, showed more drive and desire in his few minutes, than any other forward!
    I am still with you r0bb0 in believing that SG should get a little longer, and hopefully get a result on Sunday.
    I was also amused that you made the same analogy about Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng, as I was thinking!
    The appearance of the owners for Sunday’s game does seem a little ominous and probably not going to be the pat on the back for Gerrad achieving anything to shout about.

    I also think that Dougie’s new contract signing has more to do with Aliesha Lehmann than Gerrard!
    I am also believing that the players are still not buying into Gerrards way of playing, and his ability to communicate with them is poor. There is not the togetherness that was there under Smith. I do not see any pleasure in the players’ faces.
    Let us just hope we can get a great result on Sunday with the players actually gelling together and playing with a new confidence!

  64. Mark they didn’t turn because he was respected

    But most fans new Smith had to go.
    He had to.

    And he went to 5 at the back because that’s what all villa managers do when they have ran out of ideas

    I think Gerrard will do it today

  65. Frem- Had to go? potter went on an 11 game winless streak in 2021 and 6 games losing streak in 2022 for Brighton. Common sense tells you that losing Jack, JT and Richardson and not having your replacements fit ( nor any wingers) and a disrupted pre- season was not going to be a cakewalk yet he still did better than SG has this season who had a dream summer in comparison. So no he didn’t have to go he’d shown enough previously to show he’d find a way once the players returned.

  66. Match day again what’s my options ,go do some window shopping for Xmas,go for a walk,or sit and watch the worst villa side in my lifetime,yep even worse than mcleish side
    What will happen today,will we get a hammering,will play like we did against city,think first option has greater odds
    Will our delusion manager pick his mates or throw other players under the bus,I mean we have being outrun in something like 8 out of 9 games,our setpieces aren’t worthy of a decent Sunday league match,we have no pattern ,style of play but Gérard says he is working night and day at bodymoor ,when he is not watching his beloved pool and rangers
    The owners gave to protect there own interests yes it will be costly to remove Gérard but relegation will be a lot costlier, no improvement after a year in which we spent another 70 m along with have 2 big signings from previous summer available, and yet our 2 stand out players are smiths captain mings who Gérard tried to humiliate at start of season along with a 37 year old young,so Gérard coaching and man management skills are really standing out
    Don’t fancy shopping so I might go and lie down in a dark room

  67. Ollie Watkins and McGinn simply can’t start again today

    Mark. He had to go.

    We were awful for 12 months under him.

    He could have been sacked multiple times as Villa manager tbh

  68. Absolutely strange line up

    Watkins Ings and Bailey

    McGinn somehow starting

    Gerrard is at the stage of not having a clue what 11 to pick stage

    Hopefully sacked tomorrow morning

  69. Gerrard just sticks a front 3 together week after week hoping something will work

    Today we have 2 strikers that don’t score and Bailey he doesn’t get assists


    Zero creativity

    Hope Chelsea smash us in front of the owners

  70. So no 5 man defence? must be staying, he is playing on the break which in the circumstance is not the worst tactic even for a manager with few tactics.

  71. Tactic explained, Ings and Watkins and Bailey work hard at shutting down, Bailey has pace as does watkins to a lesser extent Ings will probably play in a loose 10 role which actually suits him. MCginn and Ramsey will look to break quickly. We are not likely to see much of the ball so Phils a luxury even as SG’s besty.

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