Lots of thoughts and links swirling around, as per, now that summer is upon us. Naturally, we’re seeing revived links from what might have been January targets, like Guendouzi and Pau Torres, and new ones, like Youri Tielemans popping into the frame on a free.

Me, I’ve not been paying much attention so far because I really hate being dragged along a lot of dead-end paths that were likely never happening to begin with. Most everyone feels the same. But, as we’ve discussed ad nauseam, there would appear to be certain needs. Filling those will, as usual, point to certain outgoings.

Without being wedded to any particular incomings, I’ll just go over the way I see the squad.

What We’ve Got
First, it would seem that with the players we have on the books, once again some kind of clearout could be expected. Sanson and Nakamba are obvious players to consider, and then others like Bailey and Traoré. Emery’s more likely to have a firm opinion on Leon and Bert, but he may want to take one last look at Morgan and Marvelous. I’m guessing that he has targets for those kinds of spots, though, since we keep hearing about midfielders. Phil, well, there’s another big question mark. Guessing Dendoncker will be surplus.

Beyond that, we have a starting core of eight that has picked itself. Bailey and Buendia have alternated a bit, Moreno and Digne, too. But Ollie, JJ, McGinn, Luiz, and Kamara are all locked in, as are Martinez, Mings, and Konsa. With Ash leaving, Cash is in on the right, but I’m thinking Emery might have some thoughts on that. So you’ve got 8 of 11 that were nailed on down the stretch. Will Digne stay? Assume he’d like to be a regular starter somewhere, but it obviously came in handy having two LBs at a good level.

Bailey, Buendia is interesting because Buendia isn’t really suited to that role up top, and Bailey has been underwhelming in it. I also don’t know that there’s a natural place for either Buendia or Phil in Emery’s system. I also don’t know whether Emery’s open to different to different setups.

What he’s done is pretty much in keeping with what we know about his previous sides, and there’s obviously a lot of positional/tactical fluidity in different phases of the game already. Point being, don’t know that Emery would field a squad to line up with a true 10. That said, both Phil and Buendia have played wide left, as well.

Traoré? Dunno. Whether he had a niggle or didn’t impress in training, Bailey was obviously firmly ahead of him in the pecking order. Maybe that had more to do with the fee we paid and shop windows.

Besides Sanson and Nakamba, we also had Wesley, Iroegbunam, Archer, Philogene, Davis, and Hause out on loan. If you can believe it, Wesley looks to have a year left on his contract, as do Davis and Marv, another two for Sanson and Hause. Just going on one site’s info, though. Can’t believe Sanson would still have two to run. Seems like he’s already been here and out on loan forever.

There’s Room, in Other Words
Given the above, there’s obviously a number of players who could be shifted to free up space and money. Don’t know that we’re going to recoup much on some, and NSWE have shown they are willing to take losses.

Target areas? I would think wide right, another striker, and a midfielder or two. Backup keeper. Obviously the ‘kids’ will get a look over the summer, and clearly there’s no way Ramsey, McGinn, Luiz, and Kamara can play every match. Whether it’s Cameron or someone else, can’t see not having another striker option besides Duran. Whether this gets covered by addressing wide right (with this player very often a second striker) or bringing in a true striker to rotate/cover with Ollie, dunno.

Surplus? For me, I could see Buendia, Phil and Traoré gone. Dendoncker. Bailey, too. That’s five midfielders right there. Of the bunch, Buendia is the most useful (to me), but like I say, he may just not fit. He could also be useful to have around. Phil? Just no idea where he’s at physically or mentally, and again, the fit. I think Emery would be good for him. If what I’m reading is correct he had a four-year deal at $125k/week, another three seasons, bringing him to 32. For some reason I thought it was just a two-year deal. He might not be that easy to unload, and we won’t get £30m for either Emi or Bailey, I don’t think.

Anyway…no answers, several questions. As I’ve said, there’s no player in our squad bar Martinez that we couldn’t upgrade. But obviously you can’t upgrade all at once, and we’ve a number of players who are good enough. We’ve seen how Emery likes to play, so you can be sure he’ll want players who have quality on the ball and smarts/awareness. They’ll need to get up and down and defend. Midfield is key, naturally, as is another consistent scoring threat.

In Emery we trust? No reason not to. We only have Moreno to go by, really, who took a little while to settle, but did find his feet.

All in all, a very interesting summer.

Over to you.


Comments 103

  1. I did forget about Aaron Ramsey.

    Shorter version of the above: Here’s who we’ve got, so who leaves, how do we fill out a 16-man rotation, say, and look to improve our league position?

  2. Not so, 656. He stated he was good enough for the Champions League and we’re not there yet. He will still turn us down.

  3. JC – Thanks for the shout out on the previous post.

    Pau Torres and Laporte linked to us, both CBs, is Emery thinking of a back 3 next year? Either one will come straight in, so if we stick to 2 CBs, then only one of Mings/Konsa/Carlos will play.

    Would prefer Barnes over Tielemans tbh, I like the former’s attitude. Anybody reviewed the relegated teams for players that fit Emery’s type?

  4. jbd, Plug: Sometimes wish this theme (site design) had reaction buttons. Something to look into, I guess. (which is to say I’d give you little laughing faces).

    Bacuna. My god, so many players. Ross McCormack, anyone? Last seen at Aldershot.

    Boggles the mind to think he was with us until 2019.

  5. Villalore,

    The CB links are very interesting…You’d think that might be an area where Emery could get away with not investing in, atm, with Carlos still to feature.

    But…yeah, you might be right. If any of those links are to be believed, seems he wants to improve our quality on the ball back there at the very least. Which, probably can’t blame him in terms of carrying, distribution.

    Mings certainly has been rock-solid, winning virtually everything in the box. Konsa, not the same that way, but they’ve been effective enough together.

    Anyway, it’s interesting.

  6. JC
    Give us a “Buy me a coffee” button then we might all be able to contribute to site redesign where we could fling emoticons about with gay abandon. Might even get a “block” facility!

    I’m sure young Leandro would come back to guide us through this European conference (or whatever) league and make us into his required image of a Chumpions league side.

  7. That’s a good link, Villalore. And, indeed, it does show how he might want a back three. So, I’d assume that means what we’ve seen with some other sides, a third who is defensively strong, but can also play in space and deliver vertical passes.

    My feeling has been, with the asymmetric setup, that the RB definitely needs to be a stronger, stay-at-home type defender than Cash, who really was initially intended to be more of a wing-back. The diagrams make that easier to see, and from watching, the examples shown of the RB’s positioning is accurate.

    So, between injury and tactics, he had Ash in there a lot as he wasn’t going to have to bomb down the flanks anyway, and is pretty savvy when it comes to positioning.

    I’m assuming the Moreno-Digne rotation was about asking the LB to run his socks off for 60-70mins then bring in fresh legs.

    Really don’t know whether Cash can get to that shut-down level when defending. I think the attribute there is being decisive and aggressive in getting close/tackling to just stop anything developing quickly out there (penetration, crosses, cutbacks). Looking for another CB seems to suggest Emery doesn’t think he’s that kind of player…could mean a couple other things, as well, I guess.

    Mings, for his part, does pretty well getting high up and cutting things out. Does have the odd error in him, as we know, but has the speed, size, and reading to know what’s up and help push that shape forward, give cover to that space behind Moreno and Ramsey.

  8. Good summary MK, my opinion is that Emery would want to switch play on the flanks and have the LB sometimes come into the ‘back three’. Mostly because teams know our danger today is through the left and teams will start preparing against that. The problem is as you say, Cash and Digne probably cannot easily slot into that holding position (maybe a pre-season will sort out, maybe not). So getting a player who can go forward but also defend as a CB will be his priority.

  9. PK, so Viborg lost tonight. Which means we remain unseeded for the Conference play off. Running out of options to become seeded.

  10. Welcome to VP Youri Tielemans. Lifers wish you every success with your new club. Always happy to see the midfield strengthened.

  11. think there just going a different route plug. they just got hicks in for commercial and looks like they want a sporting director for footy side of it.

    could be Monchi but i dont trust the spanish press!

  12. Here’s what Estadio Deportivo say about today’s meeting between Sevilla and Monchi:

    “Estadio Deportivo, a newspaper close to Sevilla, report there was a meeting this morning between those in charge at the Spanish club and Monchi.
    They don’t think things went well, saying he looked angry when leaving after just 15 minutes, and that he ‘stepped on the accelerator of his BMW’ to speed off. Relationships appeared to have become strained, at the very least, and this may now be more about Monchi and Sevilla than Aston Villa.

    Earlier claims from Spain stated the Premier League club don’t want to pay the clause, yet it would be clear that even if they are willing… Monchi doesn’t feel like they should have to.

    In a fresh article, Estadio say Aston Villa have offered around €2m for Monchi, which they state is ‘significantly less than half’ of his clause.”

  13. So yeah, big move with Purslow. No doubt Gerrard’s appointment was a big factor, perhaps the only factor. Maybe the post-Grealish business had already put him on thin ice. But Gerrard might well have sunk us.

    Seems to me like the job became too big for him. With Sawiris more hands on and directing the Emery appointment, and the pull given to Emery, there was definitely a major shift happening. And one wondered—with Alemany being pursued, and now Monchi—what role there really was for Purslow with Heck having joined on the commercial side.

    Writing on the wall, surprising none of us really.

    Can’t forget he did good things for the club, too, though.

  14. Is the tea lady safe
    What a time to be a Villain,owners to be proud of,manager who can be a God,backroom staff looking good
    Purslow done a very good job until his ego got in the way with slippy G
    Just a few signatures now and we are ready

  15. The Gerrard appointment defo did for Purslow. On one hand it sort of looks logical as he had European experience over Smith and won something in a foreign country but then the Grealish episode and backroom staff exodus stiffed dean. All in all it was a call best reserved for Roy of the rovers stories not a club who are deadly serious as The Villa are. It just said we are not ready for a top manager and showed lack of ambition and was more about the optics post Jack. He really wasn’t the man to make the call, Swaris is a serial winner and would of bristled at this no doubt. The rest is history as Deans team turns out to be one that would of ended third if the same standards it had under Unai were applied to the season.

  16. To add, Gerrards big signings no matter what they do moving forward had no real effect on the season being either absent or ineffective for the most part. Kamara the exception you would think but got injured and never recovered, but made little difference either way.

  17. mark

    yeah deffo re purslow.

    I heard at the time sawris particular was absoultly livid after that fulham game where we lost 3-0.

    like proper furious. mind made up there and then sg and purslow toast

  18. i think he will go but i wouldnt mind seeing coutinho stick around you know.

    under unai i think he could seriously cook. be ideal for european games too.

    he did look proper sharp in the arsenal match.

    but he is more than likely going!

  19. Disagree on Kamara man

    He has been our everything. rolls royce of a player AND makes luiz twice the player finally letting him have more freedom as a 8.

    They work so well together

  20. the 4222/442 works so well with this team. It just shows how elite unai is to come in mid season and boom straight away sets up different to what smith and sg did with the team. and its not even his players!

  21. Think martinez konsa mings moreno kamara Luis mcginn ramsay and watkins are starters so looking at a rb plus an attacking option to start
    Then back up is needed,emery used 1 sub v Brighton we need at least 5 options in every match

  22. Kamara is a quality player I haven’t said otherwise H&V , he had 10 games for Unai in all lost 3 won 7 but wasn’t really outstanding in any match I can recall, injury does that. He will be back to his best no doubt. So I stand by the fact the vast majority of players we used and won with were Smiths. Some ha moments most couldn’t command a place. What I am saying is without him we didn’t fall apart and Luis got even better, didn’t miss a beat and got player of the year.

  23. Mark

    yeah man for sure get what your saying but think Kamara has been very good when played.

    and deffo agree…under unai we wont be a one man team at all. its all about the system. obv dont want key players out for a length of time but the odd injury like we saw wont harm. players will come in and know there job exactly.

    Luiz has benefited more actually being a 8 and not being the lone cdm

  24. The announcement of Monchi’s appointment is imminent. Today or tomorrow. It’s mind boggling what we are getting from our new Sporting Director. He is reputed to have around 700 scouts world wide including South America. This is exactly how a serious football club should be run and he could be the missing piece of the jigsaw for us.

    It has been reported that V-Sports have put in another £124 million in share issues since last summer. I trust a small amount of the new development work at VP will be on a Royal Box in the Trinity Road stand fit for a king and his son.

    Tighten your seat belts guys, the ride is going to be exhilarating. No way the first game of the new season is going to be 4-0 to Newcastle like the season just gone.

  25. H&V Kamara was nowhere near his best in quite a few under Unai but Luis played every role asked of him to a higher standard, the whole midfield has in my opinion bar Kamara. I didn’t see him at his previous best nor showing the massive uptick the others did. I’m sure he’ll push on this year and it’s credit to the others that he no longer looks head and shoulders above them. Ankle injuries are a bugger in football though.

    I don’t think it mattered what number you put on the kids they all pushed forward and created and they all defended well.

    Unai had young sitting in a lot rather than the DM dropping in between the CB’s I’m sure with Kamara back that will happen a lot more.

    The whole infrastructure has taken a huge leap can’t wait to see how it goes. Tieleman can any of the mid files but his forte is a playmaker from deep and would pair well with Kamara skill set .

  26. With all things quiet on the Western Front, I’ve taken to musing about our chances of getting Champions League qualification next season. The coming season sees changes to entry qualification with one extra place given to the two leagues with the highest UEFA coefficient. The EPL currently has the highest one by some distance. This in turn means that 5th place should just about guarantee Champions League qualification next term.

    In the season just ended, the bindippers finished 5th on 67 points. That’s only 6 more than we got from a season that was a basket case for the first quarter.

    Looking back over the last 5 years, the lowest points for 5th place was 62 and the highest was 70. In the coming season, we can expect 8 or 9 teams competing for the 5 places. This should ensure the points needed to attain 5th place are at the lower end of the range mentioned.

    I don’t know what other Lifers think, but I reckon we are in with a great shout.

  27. I do believe the penny has finally dropped with Beaky. An England team set up that attacks. A team that uses its offensive weapons. Looking to play forward at every opportunity rather than endlessly across the back line. Fuck, we’ve suffered years of it but this is much more like it. Something has definitely changed in his head. Yes, it’s only Malta and North Macedonia but this is how we should be playing. Why did it take him so long?

  28. Plug,

    Has been quiet. Seems like a lot of jockeying over top targets. Secondaries to be revealed.

    CL? Tough. I’m not going to bet against Unai, but you need a lot to go right over a very long season.

  29. Been a quiet transfer window all around, not just at VP. Except for Chelsea’s clearance sale to Saudi. Insane valuations, Havertz at 65, Rice at 120, we need Monchi’s scouts to find us some gems.

    Plug, continuing on your CL question, lets consider the competition for those places. Usual suspects – City, Arse, L’pool, Utd. Chelsea will definitely have a better season, Brighton may make the step up. Going to say that Spurs need a season to regroup especially if Kane leaves . So that’s 6 already without other dark horses (West Ham?) coming through. Comes down to Umery’s plans to manage Europe and the league, dont think we have the quality yet to manage both and finish top 5. Lets see how the window goes I guess.

  30. Villalore, Chelsea’s “clearance” sale to Saudi for megabucks does open up yet another way around FFP which is becoming a bigger joke with each season. By obtaining massive millions for players close to the end of their contracts, it means much more funds for incoming players. It begs the question “what do the Saudi’s get out of it?” and that depends how far their tentacles reach into other leagues. Just imagine how this is going to work with Newcastle.

    FFP is well past its usefulness. With sovereign wealth funds in play, the various leagues around the world need to deploy a salary cap that is the same for each club within any particular league. Level playing field achieved. Will it happen? Not a chance. Suitcases stuffed with money come to mind.

  31. And whilst I’m having a rant…..Mourinho only gets a 4 game ban for his disgraceful and continued aggressiveness towards the officials during the Europa Cup final. Shameful by UEFA. Rant over.

  32. You’re right about stupid money from the Middle East upending FFP but it doesn’t fix stupid buys by Boele or for example the spending of Grealish money.
    It’s more than just piles of cash, big prices don’t improve players one bit. Astute buying, good coaching, and a good team mentality will do the trick. Chelsea collapsed with a spend as big as some countries GDP. Arsenal didn’t do it, and Newcastle with their big improvement were littered with tie games showing the abilities of lesser teams. There are no guarantees for 2023/4 except MC who have mastered the buying and selling game. Mind you they don’t have a worry about making a bad buy or sell money wise.
    I’m disappointed with the players who left for games in the sand but this world puts too much emphasis on the amount of money one accumulates. And yes, a salary cap will do the trick. The NFL and NHL have proven this with no deterioration on quality on the field or ice. For the players it is what it is. As it is with what teams can get for selling or trading players. One day it will change but not until you see a dozen Burys pack it in.

  33. Our local rag is reporting that Pau Torres is a Villa target and that we are prepared to pay his 65 million Euros release clause. Utter crap.

    Unai does want Torres. He’s a left footed CB at Villareal who has one year left on his contract. According to Marca in Spain, he’s informed his club that he will not be signing a new contract with them and therefore his release clause price will drop dramatically. Estadio Deportivo believe £35 million might do it. Nobody is reporting how much Monchi wants to pay for him.

  34. I see the excess death rate is still 10% above norm, more than inflation, here in the UK and elsewhere, Nobody in positions of power seems to be remotely bothered after reporting it nightly during Covid, I wonder what could be the problem? nudge nudge wink wink. Hope the season starts soon or they’ll be nobody to watch it.

  35. So wages are a sticking point? No they aren’t. If Nakamba wants to stay in the prem and professes to like Luton He should drop his wage demand. I like Nakamba but Rice he’s not.

  36. Yeah, that’s down to the player, wages. Like Ian says, if we wants to play, take the cut. Same time, no one really likes taking a pay cut.

    Suppose another loan deal would do, but we’d still be paying some of his wages for that. Guessing that’s what Naka’s agent wants.

  37. Plug,

    The £35m, maybe less, seems to be the number. Good business. Apparently Monchi played a big role in pushing it over the line. Sure Unai’s call didn’t hurt either, far as the player goes.

  38. With Romano now also talking about Torres it’s beginning to look as if he could indeed be our second senior signing. It’s not a position I thought that ‘needed’ upgrading, but this article may give some insights into what Emery expects him to bring:
    It perhaps also explains why we’ve seen more of Tyrone Mings driving forwards at times. It does seem to give us plenty of depth in that position and it’ll be interesting to see what the favoured partnership ends up being, assuming Diego Carlos is back to full fitness next season.

  39. Mark, I know we can’t get into a long conversation about excess deaths, but it is worrying, and with it being down to increases in a whole host of different illnesses, in many countries, it would be good to hear some reliable research on what was driving it. In the meantime of course there’s loads of speculation filling the vacuum!
    With life expectancy having started to fall in many western nations even before covid came on the scene, it’s probably not going to be a simple answer.

  40. I’ve owned up in the past to being a bit of an eco warrior and in my younger days attended marches etc, so you might have thought that the ‘Just stop oil’ protesters at the cricket and other sporting events would have my support but I reckon they’re deluded, self absorbed, attention seekers who are doing untold harm to the chances of a rational debate.
    There. . . . . I feel better now

  41. The reason there are more deaths lately is quite disturbing until of course you realize there have never been this many old people on the planet. And being an old person I’ve been noticing that there are herds of us milling around waiting for that dirt nap.

  42. Seen some good takes on Torres. Definitely about distribution and calmness on the ball.

    The comment I saw that stuck with me is that Emery didn’t necessarily want ‘another CB’, he wanted Pau Torres.

  43. 6 weeks yesterday the fun begins,what new players will we have who will leave,transfer speculation, poor frem all these names we r linked with,for me it’s brilliant back fighting with top dogs
    Can’t say I know anything about torres apart from he was emery only choice,so who is our back 4 for 1st of season,moreno is injured so for now it could be cash/konsa mings torres and digne with Carlos as 6th choice

  44. So Gerrard is set to go coach in a desert, and is said to want Phil.

    Apart from a ridiculous final payday, no idea on earth why anyone would want to go play and live in SA.

    But I’d happily mug them off for a tidy fee on Phil.

  45. JC, as well as the big bucks in Arabia, it’s also tax free. But Gerrard will only be allowed back in this country for 61 days per year otherwise salary is taxable.

    That’s just the UK position on tax, can’t speak for other countries. As for Phil, it’s a shame Unai has not had the chance to play him on a regular basis due to injury. When he has played, he’s looked quite good.

  46. Plug,

    Dunno what to make of Phil. He did look like he’d found a bit of his old self before he got hurt again. Definitely still a player in there. And from little clips I’ve seen, he looks to be getting a bit fitter and stronger.

    I just don’t know if it’s enough for the PL anymore in relation to his salary. Likewise, if he’s crossed that line where he’s just going to be more injury prone. Be interesting if he sticks around into preseason. If he goes now, we’ll obviously know Emery’s made his mind up already.

  47. With Barnes looking likely to head for the Wai Ayes for £35 million, I’m convinced we were never in for him. I’m sure Unai/Monchi has some other winger in mind for less money from the continent.

  48. Plug, you’re so right, and it’s good to be reminded of just where we were.

    The moment we appointed Gerrard it felt as if ‘the plan’ had been derailed, and it was hard to work up any real excitement. There was a brief flurry at the start of his tenure when I remember saying ‘ OK, hands up, maybe I’ve got this wrong, but let’s wait a bit longer to see’ and most Villa fans felt exactly the same (there’s one exception I remember, but probably best not to name names)

    You’re right though. . .it feels so different this year compared with last year in particular.

    When O’Neill first came in, there was a similar feeling, that things were going in the right direction, but this time it feels as if the playing side and commercial side may be moving forward together. . . .and that is different.

  49. There’s been talk of Gnonto coming to us and
    dependant on price, he looks like a good addition. He was really impressive at times for Leeds and appatently is a bright lad with a good attitude too. We’ve seen before how wingers can flatter to deceive and he reminds me a bit of Adama Traore, who is ‘nearly’ very impressive. I don’t think Traore can speak English, Italian, German and French, with a smattering of Latin and ancient Greek though.

    Bot getting g too excited, as it seems Everton may be in the driving seat, but it’s a handy click bait rumour for Villa fans too!

  50. Been watching the Euro U21 final live. If that was a penalty in added time at the end, I’m a small heath fan. Happily, justice was done with the save.

    Gibbs-White wouldn’t have scored this side of midnight. Lee Carsey will get away with it because England won, but his tactical shortcomings were clear to see when Spain upped the pressure.

    Nevertheless, well done England. All games won in normal time. No goals conceded in the entire tournament suggests we had a strong squad.

  51. Pau Torres is taking some time to get over the line. What do we know? Only what’s been reported. He’s been on honeymoon, Villa have agreed terms for his transfer with Villareal and……that’s it. No news yet about a medical time/place. No quotes from the player. Does he have outstanding issues with Villareal still to be resolved? Is it Monchi’s modus operandii? The silence is deafening.

  52. Plug,

    After seeing 42 Villa twitter accounts post the same footage of Torres at the airport (as you might guess, I’m not a huge fan of Villa twitter…the repetition and general lack of insight is truly mind-numbing), there seems to be a picture of him in Villa colors at Bodymoor.

  53. Carrying on from that observation, this is why I’ve not had a lot to say.

    There are various links coming and going, as per, but apart from polls, asking stupid questions to get engagement, endless podcasts covering the same dead topics over and over, there’s just not been much of anything to say.

    So yeah, I’ll pop in from time to time during the season to gauge the mood, see if the 1-3 accounts who actually have something insightful to say have said something. During the summer, you pop in looking for early word on deals that look real.

    But god you have to wade through a lot of bollocks to get there.

    Soon there’ll be 42 different accounts all retweeting the same photo of Torres at Bodymoor, and then Torres in the shirt, and then the first sit-down where he says he loves the club, has always dreamed of playing for us, the crowd is massive…

    Do I sound a bit jaded? I’m working on my grumpy old man persona.

  54. Welcome to VP Pau Torres. Hope your time with us is extremely successful.

    Another piece of the jigsaw puzzle is put in place. I wonder who will be the next piece? Exciting innit?

  55. Yes, indeed, Plug: Welcome Pau Torres.

    And it will be interesting to see if his official arrival moves any other deals forward. Also wonder about outgoings…Word is that two clubs are interested in Sanson, but as usual, it’s a money differential between the PL and the majority of Ligue 1.

  56. After I managed to scroll past the 42 versions of Pau’s arrival, I did see that supposedly Villa have tabled an opening bid for Moussa Diaby and that the club would listen to offers for Bailey.

    Word is that the opening bid is low and will be kicked back, so let the games begin.

  57. I wasn’t able to see the game yesterday so can’t comment on the performance. It was a first run out and the kids got some playing time into their legs. Unai will step things up as the opposition teams become tougher but he got an opportunity to see the current state of development with the kids.

    On a different topic, I see Howe at the Wai Ayes is bleating about the lack of new signings (just 1 so far – Tonali) and says they need more players to meet their forthcoming commitments this season. The club are saying FFP is now holding them back. Bad news for them, good news for us. Let’s finish above them this season.

  58. I guess I’m not the only one who take a quick look at Aston Villa ‘News Now’, to see what the latest articles say about us, and in particular the latest transfer rumours.

    There were two consecutive headlines that just caught my eye.
    The first said:
    “. . . . player doesn’t want to join Aston Villa, Newcastle boost”
    The second said:
    “Aston Villa lead Man United in race for La Liga star”

    Yes, you’ve guessed it, both articles, posted just a short time apart, are about the same player.

    It hardly matters who the player is, as most of these writers have no facts, but still feel the need to write ‘something . . . . anything’.

  59. Hey Ian, hope your not too close to all the wild fires out there. Have you heard which app we are going to have to down load for the prem games this season. Is it that Fubo again, my DAZN says its only showing the EFL

  60. Hey CV, it appears to be FUBO for the upcoming season.
    We have 6 wildfires close to us..10 km or so. There was a lightning storm two days ago. Temperatures around 30 and very dry. We’ve been lucky this summer so far regarding smoke. About a weeks worth so far and not too thick. Still it stinks.
    You had a good go with smoke earlier..Ottawa’s your home?

  61. Well, all indications are that Diaby has chosen Villa. Varying reports of the fee, but I believe he will clearly be our record signing.

    Serious statement of intent, if true.

  62. VillaMD, Philly is a stretch too far for me.

    If Diaby arrives John, it will be a large fee paid for sure. Hope he proves to be worth it because although he’s not responsible for the size of fee paid, the fans will use it as a measuring stick on the value for money scale.

    Also wish Naka the very best. Hope he has a great time at the Hatters but with the exception of their games against us of course.

  63. Plug,

    Ahh ok. I live in DC so it’s a hop up. Philly Villa club have everything organized. Really impressive stuff. Even have outdoor room in downtown bar booked just for Villa fans.

    Love Nakamba. Wish him luck. Also worked at Vauxhall in Luton for a year

  64. Plug,

    Yeah, price tag expectations are tough. But given Emery’s laser focus, I’m going to feel good about it. We’re going to have to shop in this market for some starters in the top 8 range.

    And indeed, all the best to Marv.

  65. Hi Ian, no I’m a Hamiltonian these days but we have had some very smokey days, enough for outside recess to get cancelled for the grand kids half a dozen times, and a couple of softball games for my grand daughter. We had more than our far share of rain though despite it being hot, so much so I’m having to cut the grass every 2 or 3 days .

  66. Welcome to VP Moussa Diaby. We wish you every success which I’m sure will happen under Unai’s development framework.

    Some serious chess pieces have now been positioned on the board. I trust entirely Unai will make the right moves. Our owners have spoken with actions. Bring on the new season. I’m looking for P5 and a Champions League place. Am I getting carried away?

  67. Indeed welcome diary,think he is 12th French man to sign
    We are becoming a league of nations all happy cliques
    Wonder how many more to come
    So far what’s anyone’s team
    Martinez Cash mings torres digne kamara Luis mcginn tielmen diary Watkins
    Injuries to moreno and ramsay help

  68. Friendly last night,
    Some good points and really main point was olsen is not good enough even as 2nd choice keeper
    Bidace looks decent,beundi has muscled up and looked good on left side,in fact we were excellent till water break and then howe reorganised his team and it was much opener
    Kellyman looked impressive

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