We all know West Ham are one of those bogey teams for us, and they’re at home and under pressure. We also know that Villa have a bad habit of being a ‘get-well’ team to play against.

On the other hand, we’ve been on a good run of form under Emery. I’m not bothered about the 4-2 losses, especially since we’d done enough against Arsenal for a draw. They’re just a team on one of those runs. What we’ve seen has been pragmatic sprinkled with moments of genuine quality. Saturday, City likewise managed just a 1-0 win against Palace, and instead of an own goal, it was a peno that proved the difference.

Yeah, there’ve been nervy moments playing out, but Emery keeps insisting that he’s instilling a philosophy. A way of playing. And that he’s not backing down from it. We all know that means players who can’t execute it will be moving on.

Anyway, I put this on the last thread, but his pregame presser reiterates these points. It’s all about Villa learning, growing, adapting tactically and measuring their performances and results in terms of those metrics. It isn’t just about the points, which is usually the measurement no matter what’s getting papered over. Of course, if we do get a lot of points, we’ll be near Europe, he says. He also explicitly acknowledged what the European burden has done to West Ham. He’s been there, he should know.

In other words, the philosophy equals the points. The philosophy, the club mentality is the pathway. You establish the philosophy, and good things follow. That means he’s less concerned with Europe than he is with foundations. It’s also true that Unai will be looking at the run-in and thinking we should be in with a shout in all of them.

Naturally, Emery has a bit more weight with the owners than Gerrard or Smith. He’s been at big clubs, and he’s won European trophies with lesser clubs. He has the leeway to instill something because he’s shown he can more than once.

So, the match will be interesting. Bouba will be a loss, and Dendoncker still won’t be in the mix (though I’m not sure that’s any real loss). Maybe that means putting McGinn back in the pivot with Luiz. Maybe there’s a different idea, like Chambers. Me, I’d like to see more Duran, especially against an athletic and physical side. But then I go back to what I said earlier about Bailey (money, shop window, and whether there’s a player there or not).

Main thing is that the focus isn’t Europe, it isn’t West Ham (beyond the specific tactical challenges). The focus is on building something and that that’s how good things happen much more consistently. Which is refreshing and a return, I think, to what NSWE were hoping for in the first place.

Over to you.


Comments 47

  1. JC. Excellent comments ahead of the West Ham match.

    Yes,forgot about Tim at QPR. 2 goals in the last few matches in a team,who’ve lost their way after an excellent start to the season. Again whether he’ll fit into Emery’s future plans,who knows.
    It’s not all about big spending.

  2. JC, absolutely. . . it does seem that we’ve made a welcome return to trying to ‘build success at the club. It may take a bit more patience but surely is the right way to do things. It’s still bemusing why we strayed away from that by recruiting Gerrard . . . . I was going to say ‘with a very different playing philosophy’ but I don’t think we ever discovered what his philosophy was or if he really had one.

    The one thing that does feel different, as has been said a few times, is the current reluctance to try and use the youth set up but maybe we’ll see a bit of a return to that next year if the few players who’ve been mentioned continue to grow while on loan in the Championship.

  3. I’d momentarily forgotten that Ings is now at West Ham. . . . . he’s going to be absolutely straining at the bit to score today isn’t he!

  4. Thanks JC, its very hard to criticise Unai when he is so self critical of himself and obviously fastidious, you just know He’s going to take us to a better place, so I just sit back and relax.

    Both Archer and Ramsey scored again for Middlesborough yesterday too.

    Did anyone watch Match of the day? I didn’t, just wondering how it went. I’m not against him having his say personally I’d rather stuff like this was out in the open and debated. What he said by his own woke standards was hate speech in itself. The Nazi word gets bandied about by the left a lot which I find funny as it was the National socialist party in the 30’s and Hitler was more or less a Vegan with strong Green ideologies and eventually became totalitarian like most communist/socialists tend to. They fought with the communists party and back then The German National People’s Party was the conservatives side of German politics . So I suppose he might be right but not for the reasons he thinks He is because this government might as well be socialist and green. Unfortunately for him there was a democratic vote and the Tories were put in with a huge majority (curtesy of Labour voters)to do what he is railing against.

    Anyway looking forward to beating Wet Spam later.

  5. Well I was looking forward to Match of the Day last night but then discovered a shortened version was going to be shown so I didn’t waste my time. I want a refund on my TV licence as the Beeb and me have sweet FA in common these days. Like Attenborough but that’s about it. The rest of the time is self promotional, even the “news”.

    The big question today is…..who will replace Kamara? The one thing I’m certain about though, is that Unai has a plan. So if we can get anything from today’s game, it will be most welcome.

  6. Mark, putting to one side whether Limneker’s comments were justified or not, assuming Le Tissier is right about Lineker’s contract then it seems pretty clear cut. Lineker has to at least agree that in future he will refrain from making political comments; or resign; or be sacked. It puts the BBC in a tricky position because they don’t know how many other pundits will then follow suit, but they must have been heartened by viewing figures for MOTD actually going up by 500k. I think I’d heard that Lineker is their highest paid employee. If that’s right then it’s a nonsense as he really shouldn’t be considered to be their most important ‘journalist/commentator/presenter’.

  7. Bogey team,body manager,bogey player ings
    Hopefully it will be completely different game from earlier in season,don’t mind team trust emery in full
    Great to see loanees doing very well
    All we need is win another og will do

  8. Funny half,we should be ahead,mcginn is very good no trying Hollywood passes,Watkins unlucky not too have another,moreno brilliant going forward not so hot defensively, Bailey beundi and ramsay have to improve
    Martinez needs to improve setpieces he is a worry

  9. Apart from the peno (which I don’t understand), not a bad half. Played some nice stuff, should be ahead.

    Seem to have pushed spam’s press back. Great ball for Ollie’s goal.

  10. didn’t manage to watch it but the stats and comments on here suggest we did ok against a team we seem to struggle to beat at the best of times.

    If we’d been offered 7 points from our last 3 games I’m sure every one of us would have been more than happy with that return . . . particularly after the slight gloom following the previous 3 losses (even though 2 were against the the runaway two top sides in the league)

    Ollie gets man of the match . . . . must be because nobody keeps telling him he’s crap anymore 🙂

    Gutted that we won’t get to hear what the MOTD panel and resident referee’s union representative have to say about the penalty tonight . . . . as they do all know better than us of course 🙂

  11. Yeah, not the worst point, but still one of the softest pens I’ve ever seen. Commentary was out for me, strangely, so I couldn’t hear the debate, but he just threw himself to the ground and I didn’t even see an actual shove (if that’s what it was about).

    Beyond that, biggest thing I see is that Bailey is just a liability. We get no threat there, very few balls into the box, no individual magic (versus Benrahma and Bowen). Virtually always breaks down when it goes to him.

    Traoré, tough because he was just coming back and looked very rusty and hesitant. But it means there’s just not a lot of threat up front.

  12. Daylight robbery. Kavanagh doing his Dick Turpin act. Hands on a player is not a penalty unless the hands actually impede. Their guy threw himself down and Turpin didn’t hesitate to do the rest. The other 8 teams fighting relegation will be asking some serious questions about the ref.

  13. Overall I’m happy with a point. Excepting Bendrama (and he couldn’t hit a barn door), West ‘Aaamm didn’t offer much and I’m not surprised their fans booed at the end.

    Great goal from Ollie but he missed the easiest of chances. No doubt Beaky will ignore him when selecting his squad for the upcoming internationals.

  14. Traore looked rusty. Bailey doesn’t offer much, again he was very disappointing. The Buendia penalty shout was soft but the same as the one that was awarded.

    Unai set us up quite solid. Ings was no threat. Nice to get something from a bogey team.

  15. Given the poor returns from Bailey, I’d give the kid Young a run out against the Cherries next week. But I’m not Unai so I’ll run with whoever he selects.

  16. Plug,

    Yeah, we seem to be making better decisions more often. It isn’t necessarily creating a gung-ho attack, but they’re starting to show some game management ability. Spam were basically just lobbing long.

    Created a bit of confusion/scramble at times, but overall a match where we were the more controlled side. Not really used to saying that.

  17. I think that’s why he gave Traoré the longer runout, Plug. He’s more experienced than Duran, needs to be gotten back up to speed.

    But I’ll remain curious about what Duran can do if he has time to get settled into the match. Not saying he’s ready to be a dominant player yet, but surely he can’t offer any less than Bailey, especially giving Cash more cover and clogging up that side.

  18. Good point when all things added up,we have a small squad with 2 big injuries, a 3rd manager for mostly same players in just over a year
    The improvement in Watkins is unbelievable (frem),mcginn was superb today(myself) especially in middle of midfield just needs to find a few goals,cash had few shaky moments but also vastly improved
    Bailey gets stick but for me he is typical winger either hot or cold no middle ground a good squad player at best
    Now for beundi far from my favourite, too much moaning hands in air not enough goals and assists
    All in all future is looking bright thanks to emery and owners

  19. JG,

    I know we differ on Buendia, but I’m curious about how Bailey’s complete lack of effectiveness is affecting things. Attacks just go to him to die. No penetration, no cutbacks, not enough quality balls in from further out.

    Bowen and Benrahma were giving our FBs fits. Bailey troubles no one, so you’re down to trying to find Ollie since Leon is so easy to figure out and deal with.

  20. Jc
    On Bailey for me he should be on other wing but emery has a plan and sticks with it,would like to see moreno playing there v Bournemouth, link up with digne ,Ron Atkinson did with Staunton
    Noticed yesterday we weren’t getting enough bodies in box when we did attackb

  21. Enjoyed my freeview game again yesterday! I am surprised no one has mentioned Emi Martinez , and his handling of the ball. At long last he was quick to move the ball on, throwing it accurately to players and creating opportunities. I was really impressed, as I have criticised him so much in the past for not moving the ball on.
    Yes, the penalty was a poor one, but from where the ref was stood in real time, he was likely to give it, and VAR didn’t see enough to overturn the decision.

    Great to see Ollie on the score sheet again, it is what he needs. Bailey is still struggling, so maybe Traore will take his place against Bournemouth. A good all round team performance with McGinn still improving.
    Onwards and upwards, lets hope that Unai can continue to build, even if he will not consider our youngsters. Only eight on the bench again yesterday.

  22. Went pretty much as I thought bar the stupid pen for breathing on their player, thought there were far worse grabbing pulling etc in the box. The ball and the player were actually going away from goal, clumsy of Bailey but hardly cynical.

    We miss Kamara no doubt and McGinn had less licence to get forward which cut our chances down somewhat, meanwhile Marv is doing very well in champs controlling games and shutting teams out, maybe more his level but would be a better option you’d think, just not sure about the playing out from the back.

    Bailey I think has turned his Boiler down to low, he offers to options lately, Luke warm or cold.

  23. JG,
    Yes two keepers on the bench again.
    Good to see that Joey Barton cannot believe his luck in getting Lamare Bogarde at Bristol Rovers, and raving about his performance on Saturday, where he made the difference in beating Forest Green 3-1.
    We seem to have an absolute wealth of midfield talent at Villa at the moment, outside of the first team.
    I was really impressed on Saturday with a couple of youngsters at Bristol City, Alex Scott who scored and got MOTM, and Aris Mehmeti, Both excellent ball players and capable of carrying it.
    Was also good to see our old friend, Andreas Weimann score another cracking goal!!

  24. Robbo- Looks like Gary won and the Beeb capitulated, I think that’s the beginning of the end for them. Lineker even managed to flap his gums again in his statement, He got one thing right this country is very kind on the whole but it really doesn’t want open borders so putting himself in the majority presumably against those dastardly Tories that are left of centre more often than not?

    As for The 30’s Germany, not sure there were many trying to get into it, they didn’t close their borders until the war either. Ironically the jews left Russia and the east for the west and Britain changed the law in 1905 to slow immigration down. In the 1930’s the jews were heading anywhere in the west but were turned away by many. There are a few famous ships that tried to enter Cuba, the USA and Canada that were refused. The States apparently took 11Ok Jewish refugee’s in the whole of the 30’s as they were pretty isolationist after WW1 and the 20’s crash, hundreds of thousands applied to the very stringent immigration board and were refused. The world population was only 2 billion then.

    So when you consider we had 80k illegal immigrants come in boats last year on top of the legal ones and what looks like a never ending supply out in the world no surprise that it might be prudent to vet some when you live on an Island with 70m on it. I’m wondering if I turned up in Monaco without my passport I could get in? or anywhere at this rate 🙂

  25. PP- might be more to do with potential returns ££ or lack of options on the RW, I’d rather see him on the LW but as Unais plan involves one attacking FB that’s clearly Moreno. I’m with JC I think Duran looks far more effective and alive, more of team player even. Maybe with a few new additions Unai has planned Bailey will emerge as a butterfly but so far he’s content chewing some leaves.

  26. The Irons fans are rabid. Sullivan copping pelters. Moyes copping pelters. Rice copping pelters. Doom, gloom, anger and rage in equal measure. Don’t you just love it when Villa cause all this angst? Gutted Ollie missed that sitter.

    Onwards and upwards. There are teams above us who we can climb over. I have a feeling next weekend will be a bit of a scrap with Bournemouth biting, kicking and scratching.

  27. In one way its a pity that owners gave Gérard 11 games of this season,and another we could have got potter
    In his q1 games which includes Bournemouth Palace West ham forest Leeds Fulham we got 2 points out of 18 including some of worst displays by a villa team,players almost destroyed

  28. Whether you agree or don’t agree with Gary Lineker the right outcome came about. If BBC canned him over his thoughts and ideas it wouldn’t be any different than any autocratic or dictator led country cracking down on dissidents and free speech.

  29. Ian, the biggest dictator is FIFA who own the World Cup. They want £9 billion from the next one. Their greed knows no bounds. They’ve increased the number of countries involved which must water down the quality of the competition. Nevertheless, they don’t care as they just want the money.

  30. No kidding Plug. The Champions League isn’t much better with half of the teams not fit for the Championship. Perhaps the World Cup should just go by world standings.

  31. A lovely goal it was too, r0bb0!
    It was also interesting seeing Jack Clarke have a good game for Sunderland. Corey Blackett-Taylor also scored a couple for Charlton and is doing ok.

  32. Full credit to pizza man Southgate for not picking inform villa players in mings Watkins,only surprise he didn’t pick ings
    What a waste of a team england are under a fraud manager

  33. James, Beaky amply demonstrates the phrase insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Bit of a shock he dropped Sterling and White to be honest. But definitely knew he’d pick Maguire and Phillips, both of whom have hardly played so cannot be match fit. Then there’s Guehi, Dire and Henderson. Oh dear.

    With the same selections will come the same results. Might beat Ukraine but will struggle against Italy.

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