Villa Blog

Is Deano Holding Aston Villa back

Is Deano holding back Aston Villa’s development into top Premier League team? A quick answer may suggest he is not. Afterall, hasn’t Smith delivered huge success at Villa Park. Promotion against the odds in his 1st season. Retained our Premier League status in his second season (plus a cup final) and so far he has us in 6th place in the table in his 3rd season. If any of us were offered that the day Smith was appointed we would have been delighted. Is it right to even question Smith’s position now?

Our owners

To deliver success Aston Villa must be managed as a busines and ruthlessly so. Decisions must be made with the head and not the heart. There is no single player or member of staff that is indispensable, including Jack! The most important people to keep at Aston Villa are Nassef Sawiris and Wes Eden, our owners. The Simple reason for this is because Aston Villa Football Club is not yet a sustainable business and we need our owners continued funding of the club to make it so. NSWE are putting all the pieces in place to make our club great again. The infrastructure, the playing staff, the ladies team, the youth setup,  the coaching staff and the CEO and his team managing the club. NSWE are the key to our success!

Deano’s Success

Deano did brilliantly following his appointment. We had no centre backs and looked like a team heading for a lower half finish in the Championship. In the space of about 7 months Smith delivered promotion to the PL by beating Derby in the playoff final. Incidentally, Derby are now without a manager and rock bottom of the Championship! 

Our First Year Back

Due to the poor management of our club prior to Smith’s arrival we needed to buy and integrate a new team to try and compete on our return to the Premier League. This was an extremely difficult task and Smith managed to keep us on about a point per game for the first half of the season. After that we dipped a little and last Jan people called for his head. I was completely against this idea.

The thoughts of getting a Big Sam into our club still scare me. I even saw people post ‘anyone would be better than Smith’. We needed continuity at Villa and we needed the right head coach. We were not going to attract the right manager in the position we were and it made total sense to stick with Smith. Also, Smith was still learning the ropes of the PL and the players were also still adapting to playing with each other. We stuck with Smith and survived to play another year in the Premier League.

Time To Deliver Deano

We are now into Deano’s third season and his second in the PL, it is time to deliver. We have invested further in our squad and have what looks like a very good 1st 11 and one capable of a top half finish. And definitely, it looks like the spine of a squad that is capable of a push for Europe in the next couple of years. Smith’s honeymoon period is over. He has had time with the team and has had time in the Premier League. He must now show continuous improvement.

Questionable Decision making

This is where I think Deano is failing and it is such a key requirement for his job. Although we are getting better it could be argued that this is simply because we have better players available for selection. Martinez, Cash, Barkley, Watkins are all big improvements on last season. But the recurring theme of poor substitutions, questionable tactics, no plan B and poor defending appear to be sticking with Smith. A simple example is one that BFR pointed out. Against Brighton, McGinn was marking a much taller player in the box when defending a set piece, the result was we conceded a goal. Surely Deano should have learned from the Southampton game that this is not a good tactic. Yet yesterday against Brighton there was McGinn making a tall Brighton defender. That is not learning and that worries me hugely.

I am not completely anti Smith. He has us in 6th in the PL and I am enjoying watching Villa play football again. However, as I said earlier, AVFC is a business and it needs to be managed ruthlessly. I was fully behind giving Smith time to prove himself and I did not want him sacked. However, he has now had that time and I think he is showing his limitations. 

A unique opportunity

We now find ourselves with a very unique opportunity. At times we look a very good team, we have some great players, we have the golden boy of the media, we are in 6th place in the Premier League. Furthermore, we have owners willing to invest in our club when most other clubs are battening down the hatches. Is now the perfect opportunity to take the next step in our development as a top club and employ an elite manager. 12 months ago we would have had no chance of attracting an elite manager but things have changed and I believe we could now be an attractive proposition. And you all know my next line. It’s time for NSWE to get Mauricio Pochettino in as Villa manager to replace Deano and bring us back to the top of English and European football.


80 Responses

  1. Vancouvervillan

    Is there anything worse than Dermot Gallagher trying to justify VAR as always right 🙄
    Clearly a freekick at point of contact for me, he dives into the box.

  2. Vancouvervillan

    Wondering what’s everyone’s opinion on penalty taker ?
    Should we perceiver with Watkins, I do like the idea of the CF being the penalty taker, but in light of the recent miss & Jack’s record not stella either should we look at other options.

    1. HenleyVillain

      Should be the best taker, shouldn’t it? I’d make all the regular starters practice them every week in training and decide that way. I think Watkins has missed 4 of his last 6. That’s a really poor stat and should have prevented him from taking it.

  3. AVFCVillablog

    Dean Smith confirms via Villa TV that Ross Barkley is OUT of Saturday’s Wolves fixture. “His recovery is going well. It allows us not to push him,

  4. Vancouvervillan

    Getting back to Jack, I assume the restaurant was open for eating in, staff were wearing masks, so is there anything illegal here ? Were any protocols broken ?
    He was having a few drinks with his team mate celebrating Barkley’s birthday i don’t see much wrong here. I assume the regular rich patrons of a restaurant in Mayfair are okay to be there during a pandemic, why shouldn’t Jack.
    Granted while half the country is in stricter lockdown maybe not great optics for a club captain but I’m not seeing a lot wrong tbh.

    BTW Jack shouldn’t really be captain anyway imo, think we ran out of candidates when half the squad was shipped out or about to be and I think Mings was on loan when Jack got the nod.
    Not the ideal captain for me, hasn’t got a captain’s calm in a crisis leadership qualities and moans to the ref way too much, but not sure how you take the captaincy away now either.

  5. Vancouvervillan

    Hi mate
    Jack’s just a young footballer with lots of money, can’t see any big repercussions on the way from club or league.

    Smith has an issue with no depth available, outside top six most managers have that problem. I do wish he’d introduce some youth, no crowd as such is surely a good time to try a few. Timing of subs is maybe understandable with no game changers on the bench. He is selecting the right side, if not the bench, at least we all know the strongest 11.

    Overall I think he’s reacting better tactics wise, seen variations of the 433 & 4231 all season, liked the way he was moving Barkley deeper or further forward. We are playing good football, if we keep doing that it will convert to wins & points more often than not. Be nice to perform and take our chances so VAR is not a factor.
    Be safe mate 😎

  6. Vancouvervillan

    Smith done nothing wrong for me, he has a squad with no depth i think we are all aware of that. Key for me is we are no longer being outplayed every week.
    I think talk of Poch is a little wishful thinking, can we attract a manager of that quality right now ? I read Poch is in the frame for PSG, Real and the like. Ancelloti is a great manager but would the likes of those two accept the current club set up ?
    If we were to make a chang, and i can’t think why we would at this stage, I think we would still be in the realms of managers like Potter, Puell etc. tbh

  7. Vancouvervillan

    We are currently playing the best football I’ve seen us play for many a season, I can only think of one game where we were out played so far, Leeds. Ironically a top notch, grade A, experienced manager like Ancelotti not doing so well at Everton either results wise. 😉

  8. Vancouvervillan

    There are some advantages to the game being postponed. No.1 we don’t put ourselves at risk, Barkley will be recovered, chance to address defensive issues, extra training time and a rest before busy Christmas period. 😎

    Down sides are we lose momentum, we’re not that good after international breaks and we don’t have a great record of taking advantage of games in hand. 🤔

  9. Vancouvervillan

    15 mil is nothing in today’s market, he wasn’t great tonight but does have the most tackles over 90 mins than any other player. I would say I’d prefer Guilbert as the alternative at the moment. Plus 2 FB’s on the bench, hard for me to understand.

  10. Vancouvervillan

    Should of won, two really poor goals to concede when we were half asleep. Mings is the best we have but FFS he’s got to be organizing from the off, once bad enough but FM twice asleep at the off in both halves !
    We were responsible for our own downfall, we got “spammed”, they did nothing of note for the rest of the game, a real smash & grab.

    We missed a couple of sitters, keeper made some good saves, pen missed, and var is never going to give us the benefit of the doubt.

    I’m disappointed but its not Smith’s fault we as good as dominated the game, simple lapses in concentration not acceptable at this level and the lack of depth is clear to see.

  11. Vancouvervillan

    Wow, some crazy results this weekend, I only have 2 points from predictions, two more tonight hopefully.
    Id like Hourihane to click with Grealish and stuff west ham. 100 % record and no goals conceded away so far, long may that continue.

  12. AVFCVillablog

    FA Cup third round draw 1

    Chorley vs Derby County

    Marine vs Tottenham

    Arsenal vs Newcastle United

    Canvey Island/Boreham Wood vs Millwall

    Crawley Town vs Leeds United

    Aston Villa vs Liverpool

    Chelsea vs Morecambe

    Manchester City vs Birmingham City

    Norwich City vs Coventry City

    Blackpool vs West Brom

    Newport County vs Brighton

    Cheltenham Town vs Mansfield Town

    Manchester City vs Birmingham City

    Luton Town vs Reading

    Chelsea vs Morecambe

    Exeter City vs Sheffield Wednesday

    Bristol City vs Portsmouth

    QPR vs Fulham

    Aston Villa vs Liverpool

    Brentford vs Middlesbrough

    Stoke City vs Leicester City

    Wycombe Wanderers vs Preston North End

    Crawley Town vs Leeds United

    Burnley vs MK Dons

    Barnsley vs Tranmere Rovers

    Bristol Rovers vs Sheffield United

    Canvey Island/Boreham Wood vs Millwall

    Blackburn Rovers vs Doncaster Rovers

    Stevenage vs Swansea City

    Everton vs Rotherham United
    Nottingham Forest vs Cardiff City
    Arsenal vs Newcastle United
    Wolves vs Crystal Palace

    Stockport County vs West Ham
    Oldham Athletic vs AFC Bournemouth
    Manchester United vs Watf
    Huddersfield Town vs Plymouth Argyle

    Southampton vs Shrewsbury
    Chorley vs Derby County

    Ties will take place between January 8 and 11

  13. Vancouvervillan

    Haven’t seen the game yet, but VAR playing a part yet again I see.
    Fair play to klopp “last week it was armpit, this week we had a toe” he really is a great manager and a real positive, happy person. He was very classy with the 7-2 defeat also.
    Very sad VAR is having such a negative effect on football.

  14. Vancouvervillan

    FFS !
    Out of all the teams Palace have proved possibly the most difficult for me to predict. Bet against them and they show up, back em to win and they don’t.
    F*ckin hell Woy ! 😎

    1. Vancouvervillan

      Newcastle continuing to do well with that team, that manager and those tactics, well it just ain’t cricket 🙄

  15. Vancouvervillan

    George Best for me, the 1st truly superstar footballer, brought something to the game i’d never seen before as a kid.

  16. Vancouvervillan

    So talking of whether Smith is the right manager to take us forwards or not, for the first time our starting 11 does not pick itself, Smith has a dilemma and a decision to make.

    With Barkley out for at least 2 games does he continue with Traore as a replacement as he did Saturday or does he introduce a proper midfielder to fill in ?

    The bench on Saturday highlighted what little depth we have, I still don’t understand the lack of midfielders on the bench, rather than the 2 fullback’s we saw. I’d be much happier with Hourihane, Nakamba & Ramsey in reserve.

    The options are Traore, Hourihane, Nakamba or Ramsey as I see it.

    Traore is not a box to box midfielder and won’t last the game anyway, Hourihane is not ideal but on many occasions after being dropped he has responded with a good game & goals. Nakamba is a defensive midfielder who breaks up play but doesn’t get forward, maybe safety first away at west ham ?, Ramsey is the box to box with some trickery, but is he ready.

    Answers on a postcard 😎

    1. HenleyVillain

      I think he will almost certainly go for Hourihane. And he does have a habit of coming up with the goods when brought back into the team. At the very least it will improve the taking of free kicks. I think we can win this match.

      1. HenleyVillain

        Not sure I understand all the dislike towards him – he played an important part in our promotion year and looks to me like he gives of his best every tie he is picked. I can’t fault him for lack of effort, he might lack the qualities for playing in this league, but there are a lot of players you could say that about ! ?

  17. Vancouvervillan

    This from BBC
    “When you picture Burney v Crystal palace on a Monday evening, this is it basically”

  18. Vancouvervillan

    Funny we were all talking about the bench before the game and we were right.
    No striker was a poor decision, Davies’ bullying would have given them 3 accomplished CB’s something to think about.
    Was the inclusion of Taylor a response to the Lamptey threat ? If so why not start the more defensive LB, would have sent a message to Mings and the defense surely.
    SJM & Luiz were busy in the break, inclusion of Ramsey & Hourihane would have been more sensible, obvious our MF were going to tire.
    I understand the keep the winning team mentality but with hindsight we could have done something a bit smarter with the bench selections. Midfielders are always the most flexible from the bench surely.

    Our lack of depth is now going to come into play with Barkley probably missing a few weeks, need to put that right in January.

    I think we’ve only had one recent win after an int break, Leicester, previous to that no matter how good we looked before breaks we have had poor results on the restarts, been an issue for a while.

    Not too worried, I think we’re still punching above our weight, certainly don’t think it’s time to bring in an elite manager, even if one would come does that actually fit the remit the club have talked about, not sure at this point.

  19. Vancouvervillan

    Nice post, one loss against a lower team and your teetering on top of the fence already 😆😆😆
    Smith not to blame for the schoolboy defending and positioning.

  20. Vancouvervillan

    I’m not entirely sure i can blame Smith for yesterday. Okay Traore coming on instead of a midfielder, poor idea, as were the options on the bench, no Davies & no Ramsey in particular, Midfield was always the area we needed options after our players travels, BUT is Smith responsible for the Sunday league, 6 players is same area of the pitch for the 1st goal ? Is he responsible for the terrible defending for the 2nd where the ball goes clear across the middle of our box while the defenders watch ?

    I wanted us to be gung ho and go at them but it doesn’t need to include the CB’s. Going a goal down do we really need to forget our shape when pushing for the equilizer.
    I have to blame the players as much as Smith for yesterday, many were at fault including Grealish.