Safely ashore after cruising through the Patagonian archipelago, we’re now tucked up against the Andes in wine country. Villa (for once) have seemed a million miles away. The people here are lovely;  just don’t bring up the war.

Did see the result of Danks’ final game in charge. What an odd record to finish with, either side of 4-0 drubbings.

Seen the comments, all very interesting, even those regarding Sunak and Truss. Will dip a toe in here and say the last 12 years haven’t exactly been a brilliant performance, and maybe the lettuce deserves more consideration.

Moving on. What do we get today? No idea. We’ve all researched Emery’s Villareal 4-4-2. Will we see it? Are the Mings’ rumblings true? Does Emery get £120m in January? There are always more questions than answers in football, Vill’s version of it at least.

So here’s to Emery and his famous preparations. He’ll deserve time, patience, and backing, as his CV does seem to suggest he could be very successful getting us back in the fight.

Don’t know that I’ll be to watch this match, either, and that could be for the best…it’s been a much-needed break for me in all regards.

Fingers crossed for a result, as always.

Over to you.

Comments 145

  1. Dare I say (and have a cheeky little gloat) it, Villa seemed to be only slightly stretched to take a routine win. They seemed to know what they were doing.

  2. Well I’ll be honest, I hadn’t seen that coming. . . . . oh me of little faith.

    Obviously envious of everyone who was lucky enough to be there today as there’s nothing like the feeling that a game like that leaves you with, particularly after so many recent disappointments.

    Nine points from 11 games with Gerrard and 6 points in 3 games without him. Ok, we need to see a lot more games to say that the corner really has been turned but once again today showed that we DO have the players to compete in the top half of the table.

    Oh boy. . . . . can’t you feel the optimism flooding back again??

  3. We’re seeing increasing signs of why the club spent big (for us) on Bailey. Let’s hope we finally have a flair player who can turn it on consistently.
    Really pleased that Ollie Watkins has been recognised as being important for the team by yet another manager and good to see that today’s performance takes him into the top ten (9th) attackers in the Premier league despite the desperately turgid style of play and therefore lack of opportunities created for him in the Gerrard era.

  4. I’ll admit that the manager I most wanted to take over from Gerrard was Potter but my Chelsea supporting mate is desperately unhappy with how they are playing under him. It’s early days for him still and only day 1 for Emery, but could it be that after the Gerrard fuck up the club have got it spot on this time?
    (ok. . . . time to calm down again now)

  5. Sanson will have been pleased to get onto the pitch for a change and this surely is an indication that Emery will be true to his word and will give every player a chance to show what they can do. Finally we have a pedigree manager who will understand what he is seeing and will know what he wants, so you imagine that player favouritism will be out of the window in favour of hard footballing logic.

  6. JC, your holiday sounds amazing but I don’t envy your exploits on rolling seas. I’ve sat on many a ferry, staring intently at the horizon, counting down the minutes till disembarkment. The worst was the small ferry to the Isle of Man where I’d just about held it all together until there was an announcement that the seas were too rough to land at Douglas and we’d have an extra hour’s journey to go round to Peel on the other side of the island . . . . . it was the final straw.

  7. Hard to disagree, r0bb0. Seeing McGinn left out of the starting XI for three matches running (whatever the reasons), shows some signs of sanity.

    Love him, but he’s been a liability, and Emery truly does have a very well-deserved clean slate. As do the players.

  8. Could Dendonker be that quiet, unassuming, low profile, unseen and unnoticed player that makes us tick by releasing Luiz to do his thing a bit further up the pitch.

  9. Absolutely brilliant.

    We actually have a tactical manager.

    We dominated man u for first 30 minutes. We controlled the ball.

    We had patterns of plays. Players new what they were doing in possession. Dinge and buendia great links

    Ramsey and Bailey great links

    I haven’t seen a tactical manager in my life at Villa.

    We’ve never had a manger who coaches players what to do in possession and movements its all just been made up before and hope

    Uni.. Brilliant

  10. And sanson lives

    When he did that brilliant turn, the guy sat behind said ye can see why Stevie didn’t fancy you Morgan

    Hopefully do the double

    Beat them on Thursday

    Would like to see Archer up front over Watkins but won’t happen

    Give sanson a start

  11. It was full fucking Tonto where I was sitting. At long long last, we’ve rolled the Mancs over at a rocking VP. Well done Unai. Well done the players.

  12. The only way is up after ditching that 4-3-3 crap. Crack, fizz, glug, glug. The party has started. Extremely stoked. I’m going to enjoy this evening.

  13. The resting of SJM was so obvious to the large majority of us. Except bone head saddled him with the captaincy and then couldn’t bench him. Thankfully that nightmare has passed.

  14. Agree with the majority of your comments Frem. It was good to see us close out a two goal lead. Something we’ve failed to do on more than one occasion under Gerrard.

  15. I was only nervous during that 6 minutes injury period at the end of the 1st half. They got a fluke deflection goal.

    Who impressed me most

    Martinez – back to his best and controlling the 6 yard box

    Mings – mom for me

    Dendoncker- quality

    Bailey- wow, I thought he was just speed. His close control is great

    Unai also excellent with subs. He killed the game at 70 mins

  16. JC, in your write up you questioned whether the Mings rumours might be true. I’m really dubious, but if there ‘was’ anything in it, surely Mings dispelled it today?

  17. Wow!! what a brilliant day out seeing Villa defeat Man Utd at Villa Park for the first time since 1995!!
    This was not a scrappy game that was won by any flukes. It was a pure destruction of a top team with Ronaldo being made to look like a petulant small boy by Mings!!
    Terror struck for a moment when they got a fluky goal just before half time, but this was a different Villa who came out second half determined to restore the two-goal lead and thanks to our wonderful Jacob Ramsey they did!
    So much to tell but celebrations are still in order…Bring on Thursday.
    Great to see an immediate rapport with Unai and hsi Claret & Blue army!!
    Also responded with a wave to the Holte End!!

  18. Still buzzing the day after. It was a big 3 points. Can’t rely on the alphabet to keep us out of the bottom 3. There will surely be bumps along the road but dumping ManUre is a rare event for us.

    Looking forward with renewed optimism now.

  19. Dunno Frem. As it’s League Cup, ten Hag may think of changing his personnel. Then again, he saw what we could do and that might influence him otherwise.

    Unai wants to win a cup so will go for the win I’m sure. I wouldn’t put it past him to come up with a surprise or two.

  20. Historically, we’ve bought players and rarely seen them improve in quality and value. This could be about to change. I think there’s plenty of room for improvement with our current crop and if they’ve got it in them, Unai will find it.

  21. I agree Plug. At last, we have a manager capable of getting the best out of what we have, making the most of their potential. I t was such a pleasure to see a manager on the touchline so full of passion from the first kick of the ball to the last.
    I am over the moon to be able to see this new dawning of Aston Villa, and I am sure that I am not going to be disappointed.
    Everything about yesterday was so positive, the team selection, the tactics, the passion in the players, the substitutions, and most importantly, the best result in 27 years!!!!
    Leon Bailey was outstanding along with Ollie Watkins up front, although I see he has complained about the officials not protecting him, because of the number of times he got poked in the ribs.
    Mings and Martinez had their best game of the season.

  22. Frem,
    I am sure that from this morning until Thursday evening, Unai will be plotting Man Utd’s downfall, and yes, he will be determined to have this cup as a priority to win! Bringing the glory days back to Villa Park. I shall never forget the 1977 three times final against Everton!

  23. Bednarek and Dendoncker are cup tied, so Kamara and a favourite of Unai’s, Morgan Sansom come into contention. Fascinating to see Unai giving so much instruction to players throughout the game, and apparently, he wants to use Leon Bailey as his striker rather than Ings!

  24. Wasn’t that fun. 🙂
    Regarding strikers, Villa, if you count Bailey, have 3 strikers who bring a different skill to the table. It’s going to be interesting how the team is set up around them. Happy for Sanson and Dendoncker. All we need to see now is Chambers and Archer get into a rotation in the team.
    The first part of the season was frustrating. With a stubborn one trick pony for a manager I’m sure the players stopped playing for him. People saying the players should be playing for the shirt and should be ashamed for their “quiet quitting” don’t realize that they were playing for the shirt and the only way was to reject Gerrard.

  25. Plug, great point about Unai bringing the best out of the players and thereby increasing their value. It’s yet another reason why the Gerrard appointment was so uncharacteristically short sighted. When you look at the cost of a top manager, they can pay for themselves many times over if they a) bring success on the pitch and b) improve the value of the players.

  26. PP, so right about Unai’s touchline behaviour. Here was a man who knew in his guts what he wanted, noticed things as they were happening and wanted to influence the behaviour of the players during the game. Some manager’s arm waving and pitch side demeanour seems to be a bit of an act but Unai was focussed on trying to influence the game and he didn’t want to miss a trick.

    It’s no bad thing that players are bringing the United’s players cheating to everyone’s attention now. . . . . maybe the officials will feel less able to be so damned lenient next time out

  27. Ian, when you say we have 3 strikers who are all a bit different, do you mean Bailey, Watkins and Ings. . . . . or is Archer one of them? What’s nice is that yesterday (and against Brentford, in fairness), we were starting to see attacking players anticipating where their teammates would be and there was some lovely interplay and flexibility.

    I don’t believe that the players were actively trying to get Gerrard sacked. They looked pretty gutted at the Newcastle performance and result . . . . . . it’s just that Gerrard doesn’t yet have the qualities to be a Premier league manager and it showed on the pitch.

  28. Small points, but really important ones:
    Unai is immediately using the words ‘we’ and ‘us’ and you sense he already feels he’s a part of the club.
    Whereas the players used to come to the home games in their own cars, they now get together at Bodymoor for a short session and then travel together on the team bus.
    He ran a training session for all the substitutes after the game yesterday, including Archer and Nakamba who weren’t in the match day squad.

    Once again we have a manger who believes in teamwork and that everyone should be involved. He sees himself as one ‘part’ of that team.

    This was always my biggest gripe with Gerrard. He never understood that a manager’s success depends on everyone in his team and he has to value them. . . . . he never seemed to grasp that it wasn’t all about him.

  29. Wow that’s the way to start a new regime, Was also great to see what the completely hopeless team and players put together by Smith with Langes help (plus SG’s 2 players) show what they really could do, shame Smith never got to put them all out on a pitch fit. For one we would not have to have suffered the last year of misery. Nice to see the new manager showing how effective the counter is with this side and how good they look when given space to run into rather than butt up against a team that’s already ran back and dug some trenches by the time Steevie allowed them forward, hopefully that’s the last of the tippy tappy shit.

    Dean back up to fourth, Beale who was in 1st now 5th, useless bugger.

    1st time I’ve seen a 4222 but also not surprised to hear Unie say he doesn’t care much about the shape. We defended in numbers won the ball and attacked quickly in numbers.

    Playing Manure straight away is tough, mostly because its a cup and changes will be made and there are no matches in between to see how they will react to that loss, its instant revenge time. I think this might be more of a rope a dope with us soaking up pressure, could be wrong but would love to whack them again.

    As for someone who can improve players we sacked one for Steve. I have every faith Unai will improve them but getting three players into the England set up, two into the Brazil squad, plus two into the Argentine squad/team and one into the Polish side is not to be underestimated in a team that never got above 11th.

  30. Great to see Rishi getting the Liz treatment too and folding like a deck chair, oh and thanks Rishi for agreeing to pay for all our climate crimes who wants to be able to retire anyway. Can’t wait for the budget with a £40 billion hole in it .

    JC- well jealous always fancied Argentina, no chance now Rishi is taxing us into oblivion, we seem to have stopped producing politicians with any competence (well ones that are allowed on the electable list) might as well vote for a bit of wood. I can’t believe though that the recent spate of absolute bollox heaped on the western world is just incompetence, it just comes neatly packaged as such.

  31. Marca reporters have been at BMH following the big result yesterday. They are saying that Sawiris gave Unai a blank piece of paper and asked him to draw him a winning team.

    Sounds to me like Unai will have complete control over personnel purchases and if so, Purslow will be left to deal with marketing and improving income whilst Lange will be looking to recruit the academy youngsters. Could be wrong, but that’s what it sounds like to me.

  32. Dendonker Is great. I felt Luiz took it up a level knowing he had a protector beside him.

    Bailey’s close control is quality. His speed and control means he’s a natural #9.

    I’ve been critical of Mings in the past. Yesterday, I thought he was a 10/10. Didn’t ditter on the ball. Defensively was excellent. Some of his 40 yard passes. Wow!

    If I had to be critical. I thought Cash was average again. SJM gave away a few sloppy passes.

    And Sanson wants to play. Also Ramsey is a stud. He could make WC squad. Ah, but Southgate hates Villa

  33. Mark, it’s a fair point that Dean Smith improved players. . . . . I suppose the one blessing in disguise is that Gerrard’s failings as a manager mean that Unai Emery will have more players to work with over the coming weeks as they’ve dropped off the radar of their National coaches. . . . . tough on those players missing out on the chance to play in a World Cup though.

  34. VillaMD, Bailey’s tight ball control, Ramsey;’s MOTM performance and Mings’ all round performance were great to see. The real challenge for Emery (and the players themselves) is to get them to perform like that consistently. We’ve seen that a number of our players really do ‘have what it takes’ so let’s hope that we now have a manager who can bring it out of them week in and week out.

  35. I like this quote from Emery: “We must also talk about respect for the players. There are players here who are underperforming. I want to give them the opportunity to help them improve and improve their performance,”
    Until proven otherwise, I’ll take Emery’s words at face value. I don’t believe he’d already made his mind up about Mings. . . . .that still sounds to me like bitter Gerrard supporters making stuff up behind the scenes. From what we know, Emery is a ‘proper’ manager who will want to see things for himself before making any decisions and every player is going to be given a chance to show that they fit into an ‘Emery style’ Aston Villa.

  36. i am so happy we have emery. elite coach. obsessive about the game and will turn villa into a unervaersaity….he will coach them to death.

    3 days training and boom 4222. he just sees it

  37. im convinced sg was auditioning for the pool job and trying to show he can play the same was as klopp…..its the only logicall reason i can think of keep playing 433 with high fullbacks when it doesnt suit us.

    fair play signing dendoncker and seeing we need a bit more ecperience, i get that….but he never played him or switched to 4231!

    to keep playing a mid 3 of luiz, mcguinn and ramsey was suicide

  38. watching norwich like a hawk….deano is under some pressure….they hate him! exactly like us as a fansbase with sg.

    that norwich team should be sleep walking that league. hope he keeps pulling off the vital wins when needed hes just about surviving.

    ramsey looks very impressive

  39. We have finally got a manager that this stage of the villa owners project deserves and it was amazing to see what a few days on the training ground with the squad produced in such a short time

    Patterns of play were so good and we looked more of a unit than I can remember is being for a very long time .

    Huge game tomorrow and if we do the double on the mancs that will be further evidence of how elite the manager we have really is

    time to start enjoying being a villain again

  40. runtings,

    yeah man i cant really belive we have him….hes elite. a proper proper tactician and also a great chap.

    i rated him at arsenal, was hounded out. after 70 games he has a better record than arteta and he bought martenelli and saliba!

  41. H&V, you’re right that segments of the Norwich fan base haven’t taken to Dean Smith but I’m not sure how you work out that “that norwich team should be sleepwalking that league”.

    It’s not easy to bounce straight back as we know ourselves. . . . . .ask a Leeds fan. . . . or West Brom come to that. In fact you look down that league and it’s full of teams who quite recently were in the Premier league. Norwich finished last season below Watford and they’re now sitting just above them. Burnley finished last season with 60% more points than Norwich and currently have less than 20% more than them. Both Burnley and Watford’s team are more valuable than Norwich’s.
    Seems he’s doing pretty well at the moment but the fans are suffering from raised expectations after a really strong run of form which then broke down.

  42. Beaky’s squad for the World Cup is so……..Beaky. Half the squad are defenders and keepers. That’s if you think Dire, Maguire, Walker and Coady are defenders. It’s full if risk. Players unfit or short of game time with their clubs. What a joke.

    This lot might not even get out of the group. They’ll be all home early.

  43. In a way, PP, I’d view this as a plus. We’re losing Cash and Bednarek and, I assume, Martinez and Buendia, but we might also have lost Mings, Watkins, Luiz, Coutinho, Digne and Kamara: four players instead of ten, who’ll now be injury-free and rested ready for the re-start.

  44. Can’t wait for tonight

    Actually looking forward to football games again

    I think sanson and Kamara will start

    Can’t wait to see if uni sets us up the same or not

  45. The Sky team aren’t wrong. . . . It’s not been a great game so far. . . but I’ll take that.
    United started well in front of an expectant Old Trafford but we stifled them. That doesn’t just happen. . . It needs coaching and players taking it on board and executing it

  46. Frem, I thought you were pleased with Emery taking over and rated him. . . .. and yet you’re already second guessing his team selection.
    You don’t trust him after all?

  47. Hahahaha

    Bailey did all that great run

    Passed to Watkins who then does what Watkins does best and miss controls the ball

    And united go and score from it

  48. That’s a shame for Olsen. Some of his distribution has been really good and has created opportunities. He then made two fine saves, but that. . . . was a moment of madness

  49. McGinn has just been a bit off the pace tonight and has been caught from behind a couple of times.
    It’s been nice to see the use of substitutions though and feeling confident that they make sense

  50. I would be really pissed off if that was a league game. Not fussed about the cups – though they are useful to give reserve team players a runout.

  51. Watkins won’t be starting on January that’s for sure

    He had a chance to score and assist before they scored there second and third and fucked it both up

    Why do people like him so much?

    He’s shite

  52. Unai will have learned more from tonight hopefully
    Who ever scouted keeper will certainly be worried
    We missed dendonker from midfield too many lightweights in there
    As for mcginn if he has a future with us we r in trouble can’t run tackle or pass

  53. James mcginn has no future

    He’s been awful and he’s getting worse every game

    He was absolutely horrible tonight

    January a lot of these will be gone thankfully

  54. WTF!!

    Olsen was atrocious as a keeper and thought the same against Newcastle Utd. A terrible buy for a keeper. Meanwhile we let Sarkic go on a free, and he is being outstanding at Birmingham City, on loan from Wolves.
    A game we should have won, and if Martinez had played, I think we would have.
    At least Unai knows he needs a reserve keeper of quality!
    Never mind on to Brighton now!
    Otherwise, considering the players we did well against a United team who could see the keeper’s weakness.

  55. Player ratings from Birmingham Live:
    Olsen 4,
    Young 6 Chambers 5 Konsa 6 Augustinsson 5
    Ramsey 7 Luiz 6 Kamara 6 McGinn 5
    Watkins 7 Ings 5
    Mings 5 Bailey 6 Buendia 6.

    I agree with all those ratings, which show where the weaknesses were. If Martinez had replaced Olsen after half time, there is a fair chance we would have won tonight.

  56. I was thinking how good olsens passing had been until that inexplicable attempt. That said uniteds keeper had a few moments. Chambers a bit wobbly and Tyrone bings doing Tyrone bings things. The game changer was rashford and the young winger for united was superb. Mcginn still played defensively. Unai will soon twig where he should play just wether he can dislodge others like Beundia, unlikely.

  57. last showed that there is a good few players that won’t be able to bring us forward in this high press system only bailey Emi B and courts will survive from the senior attackers imo

    Not the result we wanted but I think the manager would have learned a great deal about what he can keep and who he needs to replace

  58. Gutted we lost that one. Olsen did indeed fail his audition as did other defenders. It was telling that Unai subbed 3 of his back 4. Sure sign he wasn’t happy with them. They struggled to beat the press and it loaded pressure on us.

  59. On the bright side, OT is never an easy place to go and we had them on the ropes at one stage. The failures have been covered by other Lifers. Unai will surely have learnt a bucket load last night about his squad.

  60. Shame though. A bit faster in the head and we could have taken them. Rashford and Gnacho did the damage as Mark says.

    Looking forward to Brighton now. I saw enough last night to think we can get something down there. COYVB.

  61. Couldn’t watch, obvs, interesting to read the observations.

    Thought from lineup, Unai clearly wanted to see what else he has, also maybe switch up the system a little.

    Fair for a cup game/second outing.

    If he has been given a blank sheet, clearly wonder what January priorities will be.

  62. The one problem that Unai has, is we have a lot of promising players out on loan, that he has not seen, or worked with. Number one priority now must be a keeper, because if Emi is injured, we are in big trouble.
    Surprised he has not brought Guilbert in from the cold, but not a lot is known about why he is not being considered. McGinn is still struggling to find any form, and Ings is the same.
    Midfield seems to be strong now with the two Ramsey brothers in good form, Tim the same at QPR, Douglas Luiz getting better, Sanson in consideration, and Kamara back from injury.
    There is also Dedoncker now becoming involved.
    The need for cover at fullback depends on the possibility of Kessler-Hayden, being recalled, as his loan spell at Huddersfield may not be working out anymore.
    Unai may well consider a keeper, full back, winger and a striker, if he can attract the right ones in January, but we have enough to see us through to the summer, apart from a class keeper to challenge Emi.

  63. Watkins getting picked out on Twitter and podcasts for his absolutely criminal touch after the Bailey run that lead to united goal

    And rightly so

    He costs us way to many games with his awful finsihing and ball control in the final 3rd

    January we need a couple of strikers and winger

  64. lots for emery to ponder from last night…mainly the fact that we are mentally fragile (bottle jobs)

    Our stats from conceeding straight after scoring and never coming back from a goal down is amazingly bad. we just know how to loose a football match.

    to conced 19secs from scoring is pathetic

  65. robbo

    re norwich…..nah man not anymore…anyone who drops from the prem always bounces back now. parachute payments etc and better squads make it easy and plus that championship is proper proper poor.

  66. frem

    watkins is ok man…we are always a better side when he plays and could do ok under uni…..but need another st yeah and its ings that has to go.

    the maddest signing ever. what a waste of money he has been

  67. I agree with Fren re Ollie, and SJM I think we will need to upgrade them all , but I think the likes of Ramsey ,Sanson dendocker ect with thrive under the manager

  68. Here’s another set of ratings from last night:GK: Robin Olsen (5); RB: Ashley Young (6), CB: Ezri Konsa (6), CB: Calum Chambers (5), LB: Ludwig Augustinsson (5); CM: Douglas Luiz (6), CM: John McGinn (7), CM: Boubacar Kamara (6); RW: Jacob Ramsey (7), ST: Danny Ings (6), LW: Ollie Watkins (7).
    And another: Robin Olsen (4); RB: Ashley Young (6), CB: Ezri Konsa (5), CB: Calum Chambers (5), LB: Ludwig Augustinsson (5); CM: Douglas Luiz (6), CM: John McGinn (5), CM: Boubacar Kamara (6); RW: Jacob Ramsey (7), ST: Danny Ings (5), LW: Ollie Watkins (7).

    I know there is one person with a peculiarly warped vendetta against Watkins and I know there are others who think that we may be able to do better, but independent observers seem to think that he was one of our best players again last night.

    I’m afraid the doubters only ‘look’ for mistakes. It’s a very unscientific and emotional way of analysing players performances. I know we’re all guilty of it. We all have our own heroes and villains , but when I see that my own assessment varies wildly from others in here I tend to look at independent judges to see if maybe I just haven’t been objective after all. . . .oh that everyone did that.

  69. He costs us way to many games with his awful finsihing and ball control in the final 3rd

    Bailey did absolutely brilliant run good pass to Watkins and…..United go and score

    Ollsen Watkins Chambers mcginn augautin bloke. None are good enough. Sell sell sell

    Watkins won’t be starting on January that’s for sure He had a chance to score and assist before they scored there second and third and fucked it both up Why do people like him so much? He’s shite

    Watkins has a serious problem with his first touch. He never gets the ball under control straight away. Ever

    It’s a simple pass from Bailey to him Completely panics loses it

    Don’t care what anyone says about Watkins he isn’t good enough

    Watkins standard awful first touch nearly cost us

    These are comments from Frem about Watkins just in this thread. . . . .and it isn’t a particularly long thread.
    Views and comments on here are generally great and we’re bound to disagree on points . . . let’s face it, there’d be no point to the forum if everyone said the same thing, but surely this constant, emotionally immature repetition is too much. . . isn’t it?

  70. runtings, I was expecting to see Sanson get some playing time last night, particularly because he’s had so little game time since he joined us but he didn’t get on the pitch at all. You may turn out to be right but I’m not sure why you think he’s going to thrive under Emery based on the limited evidence so far. There are quite a few Villa fans that agree with you that he’s going to be good for us but again, I really don’t see how anyone can say that based on the little that any of us have seen of him

  71. I reckon we can all see that John McGinn isn’t at the level he was a couple of years ago. He probably suffered more than anyone from being (mis)managed by Gerrard but let’s not forget how influential he has been for us and for Scotland in the past. There’s a clearly a good player in there (that United were reputedly eager to pay £50m for) and I’m hoping that Emery is able to bring it out of him again.

  72. A few observations, Villa have the players to press high, its basically what we were working toward with this team under Smith. Unai likes to press high and he likes a high line. The players were constantly caught out second half by balls over the top yet Unai didn’t change it. Kamara although probably not fit didn’t seem to nullify the threats that often and the defence were nervy because of the high line taken.

    The Young Manc winger and Rashford multiplied that with pace, skill and tenacity just as Watkins and Bailey did at times to Manure. If Watkins hadn’t slipped then 3-1 would of seen us through I think. And no it wasn’t an easy pass to take in your stride it was audacious from Bailey but not many would of controlled it instantly.

    To put it in perspective before we start selling the entire team Manure have conceded 2 goals in the 8 games before they played us 2! we have scored 5 and been ahead for most of two matches until a dodgy pass happened and a deflected shot went in. This second effort was with the B team. So all in all with Unai being here zero time that’s not exactly bad.

    They look more assured, are passing better and quicker, they are taking players on and going past them, they have scored 5 fecking goals! what exactly for his 1st two games did people want? 🙂

    Best thing is we are exciting to watch again.

  73. r0bb0
    hope you aren’t getting too hung up on f**m.

    He/she is a severe blot on this blog and at times, has driven me away. It is of course fair enough to say whatever you like (weither it is faecal matter or truth) but not to repetitively obliterate whole swathes of the blog at a time. There has got to be some sort of mental issue going on there. I have life experience with someone like that. it draws you in and contaminates your soul as well. You have to step away before it marks the rest of your life. f**m is poison!

    I presume this or any other site gets a minute payment for any click it generates. There must be a trade off between the number of clicks f**m gives the site and the number of clicks lost due to people being exasperated by the looney mentioned above. I will now boringly repeat myself. Harry Johnstone was chucked off The Villa Blog after several weeks. They can be a bunch of squabbling headbangers at times, if they couldn’t stomach HJ for very long, wtf are we still putting up with looney tunes?

  74. Jbd, let’s face it , we all talk bollocks on here sometimes or say things we then realise were wrong . . . . but we then either admit we were wrong or just move on.
    I wish he could do that.
    Like you Ihough i’ve given myself breaks from here sometimes because he just sucks the fun out of it.

  75. Sad that for 90% of Frem’s annoying comments, there are roughly 10% that make sense, perhaps his posts should be monitored, before publication by an admin.

    I think Sanson may well have played on Thursday in the second half, but when things started to go wrong, maybe Unai did not want to take risks with him. I am sure if we are playing well against Brighton, and he is not already on the pitch, he will get some minutes.
    I think we should definitely cut some slack to a team that had spent no time playing together before, performing as well as they did against Manure.
    I also sure the result would have been different with Martinez in goal! Robin Olsen was so stal and out of practice, you have to feel for him, and I am sure he felt that he had let the team down. Not a nice place to be.

  76. Tyrone on the England M&S advert a tad awks. Just think Under Smith a load of players got into their national sides then under Slippy G all but 2 I think lost their places, in fact one (Dendonker) who he would not play has since got a place. He even cocked his mate Phils chances up.

    I can’t share the idea that Phil will come good under Unai from his performances so far, He’s got a thigh injury at the moment so fingers crossed for after Crimbo.

  77. Frem throws a bucket of shit and naturally some will land and stick, he does see what is in the moment but not what could be. Watkins has had a hard time lately as the chances created have been poor, no striker scores every time, some just miss more often per match, if you get 5-6 chances per game then 1-2 goals happen get two chances then the odds are poor. There are maybe three players you would hang your hat on in the prem to get 20 goals, Salah, Kane, and now Haaland. Only 2 of them are anywhere near their best this season, doesn’t make salah poor, his team though is at present.

    Will Watkins reach those threes heights? doubtful, but to think we will find someone at their level just like them is farcical. How many have ever hit 20 in a season for Villa?

  78. Some strange and unexpected results in today’s EPL matches. The lesser teams rolling over the better teams. I’m sure this is down to players selected for Qatar not wishing to get injured so pulling out of risky tackles.

  79. Plug, I was thinking exactly the same, and that may give us some hope for tomorrow despite Brighton’s extra day’s rest. It would be great if Villa were to get a result, partly because our players aren’t going to the World Cup. Southgate would hate to know that he actually helped us out.

  80. H&V, you may have chanced your arm a bit with this comment: “anyone who drops from the prem always bounces back now.”

    Now you know how I love a statistic, and the fact is that all three relegated teams have ‘never’ come right back to the Premier League the next season and lets not forget that Norwich were the worst of the relegated teams last year.

    In fact, in the 29 years of the Premier league, two teams have come back up next year on only 5 occasions and on 11 occasions, ‘none’ have come back up the next year.

    There are 26 teams that have been relegated and ‘never’ returned to the premier league. The fact is, that it’s still much more likely that any team that gets relegated will not get promoted back the next year and particularly so if the relegated team was bottom.

  81. Chelsea fans not happy with Potter
    They say he has a new style of pressing football it’s called depressing football
    Imagine if they had mcleish lambert garde Bruce and Gerrard in charge

  82. Whatever Potter has it won’t manifest at Chelsea in 10 games, didn’t at Brighton and he’s trying to pry staff away from Brighton. Brighton had already identified Potter MK2 anyway But even Stevie beat them so it should be a pretty even game you’d think.

  83. Mark, I don’t believe that anyone really thinks the Championship is easy. . . . I think H&V was just trying to make a point about Dean Smith but went a bit too far.
    The Championship is ranked 11th most competitive league in the world but the extra dimension you have to add is that it contains 24 clubs where most world leagues contain between 10 and 16 with the majority actually having only 12, which is half the number of the Championship. The biggest leagues (Serie A with 20 and Bundesliga with 18 etc) tend to have between 16 and 20 but none are as big as the Championship.
    If you want to know the facts it doesn’t take much to ask Ecosia or Google how many teams bounce straight back from the Championship each year and you can quite quickly discover that if you’re relegated as the bottom side, you have an uphill struggle to get back the following year.

  84. JG, Chelsea fans have come to expect success based on Abramovich’s investment/laundering of over £1.5bn since he bought it. . . . exceeded only by Man City’s, human rights violating UAE backing.

    You tend to feel that without that backing their fortunes may now be on the wane which makes it a particularly tough time for Potter to step in. Maybe he’d have been better waiting for Villa as his next step up. I admit that’s what I was hoping for but we may have gone one step better with Emery. . . .time will tell.

  85. No Watkins today he’s ill so we will soon see how good bad he/we are won’t we. Bailey a bit dicky too so doesn’t start. Dendonker sits as well as Kamara continues. That means McGinn is in too as captain and Ings up top, be interesting to see if Unai adjusts his tic tacs because of the lack of pace up top.

  86. Well, back from the southern hemisphere and playing time-change games. But I’m awake for the match.

    One note:

    jbd…The site makes nothing. Basically I pay for the server costs, so it makes for easy bookkeeping. Clicks would usually help generate revenue from ads, but whatever ad links are on here are ancient, and there aren’t many. I think in a good month they generate like £0.05.

    I could post more (do polls, all the rest) to generate more traffic. (I should probably post every article to twitter for the same reasons.) But these sorts of ventures just don’t really make money. I think probably podcasts and videos can/do, but it almost has to be a full-time job. Likewise, I could junk up the site with all the ads and pop-ups and things you have to scroll around, but I hate that.

    So (for everyone else), I don’t keep Frem or anyone else on for clicks. I’ve gone back and forth with this one. When I have sent him to the corner, some call for his return. When I let him back on, others call for his banning. I’ve had a word, hear that lessons have been learned, then normal programming resumes.

    I’ve not yet scrolled up enough to see the latest explosion, but I’ve seen them all before.

    Since I like to think it’s a community, I’m happy to take the majority view. I just don’t want to be unfair to anyone who bleeds claret and blue.

  87. My Feelings are he won’t change much as he needs to know who can cut his style before Jan and the world cup has just pissed on any time he’d have to access to much in real games.

  88. Disappointed with team,think we will miss dendonker in midfield, and if emery seen something in mcginn other night I am worried
    Listening to sky raving about geordies,one comment stood out last nights team contained 10 players that where at club before however,and they actually criticised previous manager

  89. JC- My thoughts are its just Frem, we have had worse in the past as far as abuse etc.

    Hope you’ve had a great time in Argie land, I think your going to like Villa MK3, I see it as Smith+, Good exciting counter attack with a bit more tactical nous.

    As others have said their may be a fair bit of chopping going on in the next few years, not many of the CB’s can cut that highline, basically one Konsa.

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