Villa Blog

Midweek Fixtures Sheffield United V Aston Villa

Midweek fixtures I did love the championship for it’s midweek fixtures. But it is better to be in the Premier League. However the championship was exciting and gave us opportunities to make a real difference to our league position. I recall during our 10 game winning streak, we were able to shoot up the table and be noticed. Well, as luck would have it we have midweek fixtures this week. I am really happy about this. I feel a bit hard done as I missed our win at Leeds at the weekend as I was sick. Tomorrow we take our second trip to Yorkshire in a few days to visit Sheffield United. And I fully expect us to bring another 3 points back to B6.

Midweek Fixtures

There are seven games this week with one tonight, four tomorrow and two on Thursday night.

Midweek games

Four of the games (highlighted in pinkish-red) have a bearing on the midtable mini-league. None of these is a 6 pointer insofar as no two teams in the mini-league are playing each other. And to be honest only one of these four games really impacts Villa. That is The Baggies v Everton and as much as I would love to see an upset I am not banking on it.

Man City v Wolves

Pep and Man City just do look like they can do any wrong these days. 20 wins on the trot and the Premier League title surely a mere formality. They have Spurs in the final on the Carabao which I expect them to win. That leaves the FA Cup and the Champions League for an amazing quadruple. I actually think they will do it and do you know what? I am happy for them. The quality of their football is brilliant and they deserve their success.

Prediction: Man City win 3-0

Burnley v Leicester

This is an interesting game and I think as good as a ‘must win’ for Leicester as you get. Leicester fcuked up last season and threw away Champions League football at the final hurdle. This season, Leicester is the only team that has remained in the Top 4 since the start. They are suffering badly with injuries and I think they are going to drop out of the Top 4 by season end.

Prediction draw 0-0

Palace v Man Utd

If there is any justice and if the footballing Gods are looking down on this game then Man Utd will win. Crystal Palace play the worst football in the Premier League imo. Worse than The Baggies or The Blades. They are so boring to watch. They clearly have a 40 point strategy each season and it is horrible to watch. Palace make Steve Bruce look like Pep Guardiola. There win against Brighton was so unjust it must sicken the Brighton fans.

Prediction Palace loss 0-3

Baggies v Everton

I am certainly going to be cheering on our local rivals in this game. We really want / need Everton to drop points and a draw here for Big Sam would be great for Villa. But, Big Sam will know he needs wins and I expect he will go for it. With Saints and Brighton dropping down the league quicker than a whores knickers there is a little chance for one of the current bottom 3 to avoid the drop. Personally, I hope Fulham would be the team to survive as they play the best football and are more deserving.

Prediction Baggies loss 1-2

Liverpool v Chelsea

What a brilliant fixture this is to have. Tuchel is unbeaten in 9 games since replacing Frank. They are playing very solid football and have clearly turned a corner and I fully expect them to finish in the Top 4. They have yet to really destroy anyone or look like genuine contenders but that time will come I am sure. Liverpool are on a miserable run and have a very weak defence. Liverpool are also fighting for the lives to try and qualify top 4 so this is a massive game for them and I think both teams would be happy with a draw.

Prediction draw 1-1

Fulham v Spurs

Fulham play some great football and have consistently improved as as the season progressed. Spurs on the other hand have the ability to play brilliant football but are nearly as inconsistent as we are. I would like to see Fulham win this but from watching Spurs recently I think Bale is starting to regain form. An inform Bale is a match winner to any team in this league. If Bale continues like he has been the last few games this will be a straightforward win and we will see Spurs march up the table to finish top 6.

Prediction Fulham loss 0-2

Sheffield United v Aston Villa

On paper this should be one of the easiest 3 points we pick up this season. Blades can’t score goals nor can they defend. Their midfield is weak and their manager has lost all confidence in himself and his players. Their tactics, substitutions and game plan each week are consistently wrong. On the other hand, Villa is full of confidence. We have one of the best defences in the league and our attacking players cause problems to every team we play. This surely can’t be anything but a very straightforward win.

Hopefully, Smith will be boosted by his decision making against Leeds and as Vancouver suggested, resting Jack and Martinez would make sense. I just saw the Smith Pre-match conference and Jack is not playing. I think this is good news!

I am still feeling rough and the brain isn’t working too well so I am not going to make too many suggestions about the game. I will say I think Watkins will score and Dean should rest key players for the Wolves game. If we can’t beat Sheffield United playing a few reserve players then we may as well give up on this season now/

Prediction: Villa win 0-2

Ian Saint John (RIP)

Ian Saint John

I am not really old enough to remember Ian Saint John as a player. But in the 1980s, my number one TV program was Saint & Greavsie. This was in a time there was virtually no football on TV and living in Ireland I didn’t have the chance to attend games. Saint & Greavsie was the highlight on my Saturday. Earlier today Ian St John sadly passed away at the age of 82. Thank you for the memories!

UTV

https://avfcvillablog.com

www.avfc.co.uk

426 Responses

  1. AVFCVillablog

    Like Dean Smith did with the mens 1st team, Gemma Davis steered the Villa women to promotion last season to the WSL and this season consolidated their place amongst the best in the top division.

    No sentiment shown and nor should there be,
    This shows me that when the time is right the Villa hierarchy will not hesitate to replace Dean Smith

  2. AVFCVillablog

    Aston Villa Women can confirm that Head Coach Gemma Davies and Assistant Manager Jenny Sugarman have left the club following the completion of the season.

    The Club would like to thank both Gemma and Jenny for all their efforts and wish them every success for the future.

    Has soon has they brought in Marcus Bignot has interim head Coach and demoted Gemma it was only a matter of time.

    1. AVFCVillablog

      Update

      Aston Villa Women can confirm that Marcus Bignot’s term as Interim Manager has ended following the completion of the season.

      We would like to thank Marcus for his hard work and dedication under difficult circumstances which culminated in the team recording an excellent draw at Arsenal yesterday to confirm our WSL status. He leaves with our very best wishes for the future.

  3. Vancouvervillan

    Ridiculous refereeing
    Utd always get the breaks. Greenwood’s handball gets penalized and this is a different game, they got away with so many fouls 1st half.

  4. Vancouvervillan

    Think we’ve done okay so far, lovely goal from Traore, might of had another right at the end there. I like the aggressive press and not sure we’ve given them much, a few shots from distance.
    Midfield doing okay against let’s face it better players. My usual pet peve, need to keep the ball better, got to find a way to keep possession from our own throw ins been going on for a long time.
    Can we catch them on the break for another goal 2nd half ?
    COYL !

  5. Vancouvervillan

    Think we have to start with the winning team from Everton tomorrow, bit of a no Brainer really. Hoping Barkley has a good game again and I fancy Watkins to reak some havoc, there defence is relatively slow, if we move the ball quickly.
    We can do this !
    UTV !

    1. HenleyVillain

      A bit of positive thinking there VV. Not so sure myself but agree the team will be unchanged. Great performance overall last week.

  6. Vancouvervillan

    Congrats to City & Chelsea then, fully deserved, utd a gimme after the first leg but really disappointing from the Arse. I kept expecting them to up their game and show some PL pace & desire, it never happened, even with 15 minutes to go and needing a goal they never got the ball forward quick enough.

    Would love to see us involved in Europe again, I’m sure we could perform better than that Arsenal display tonight.

    1. AVFCVillablog

      How many losses against the villa this season now ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ 5

  7. AVFCVillablog

    Aston Villa is delighted to confirm ticketing arrangements for the return of supporters to Villa Park. ๐ŸŽŸ๏ธ

    ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿต/๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ season ticket holders will be invited to enter a ballot for our home fixture with Chelsea, which will be open from 12pm on Wednesday, May 5 until 5pm on Sunday, May 9.

    The ballot process will work as follows:

    Supporters who held a season ticket for the 2019/20 season will be invited to register their interest in the fixture by entering into a ballot, which will be open from 12noon on Wednesday, May 5 until 5pm on Sunday, May 9.

    Fans will be invited via email and also informed via our official website and social media channels as to when the ballot is open. Please ensure your email address and preferences are up-to-date to receive ticket news.

    Please note, the ballot is drawn completely at random and fans can enter at any point during the open window; the ballot process will not allocate tickets on a first come, first served basis.

    The ballot will be held entirely online via tickets.avfc.co.uk.
    You will be asked to select between standard seating, accessible seating or wheelchair bays.

    You can then enter the number of fans you wish to attend with. You can attend as a group of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 fans. Under-14s cannot enter the ballot as a lead booker but can be assigned a ticket.

    You will then be able to assign each ticket to another fan as long as they are linked to your ticketing account in the โ€˜My Friends & Familyโ€™ section of your ticketing profile
    Each fan assigned must be a 2019/20 season ticket holder. All tickets applied for must be assigned. Please ensure your ticketing accounting is up-to-date and you are ready to enter the ballot,

    All ballot entries are final and cannot be amended when purchasing tickets.

    1. HenleyVillain

      Speaking in slow motion. I’ll have to try that sometime when I do my next voice-over !
      Fair play to the club though, and though quite anti-royalist myself, fair play too for the kudos this gives our club.

  8. AVFCVillablog

    Cracking team performance & excellent win, will those who say smith is clueless persist with that narrative after being victorious against the great Carlo Ancelotti ?.

      1. AVFCVillablog

        Maybe I should have akso mentioned him being victorious against Klopp Rodgers Blelsa Nuno Arteta

        Not bad for someone out of his depth๐Ÿคฃ

        1. HenleyVillain

          Counts for nothing when you don’t pick Davies, play 2 up front and hang Barkley from the nearest yard arm.

          1. AVFCVillablog

            Yeah you could kind of understand the discontent if we were in Derby position right now, has it is were sitting 10th in the Premier League while their fans are worrying about possible relegation on final day of season to league 1

          2. Vancouvervillan

            Barkley was very good on Saturday, looked back to closer to early season form. Maybe the injury & covid stoppage was worse for him than we thought. I did read the players were left to maintain/regain fitness more or less by themselves during that time, maybe he needs more than that ?
            I’m not sure if I’d sign him permanently or not at this stage, tough decision for the club, especially if he repeats last effort for remaining games ๐Ÿค”

  9. Vancouvervillan

    Pretty good performance that, could easily be 3 up.
    As always would like us to keep the ball more, but had some good moves in final 3rd. El Ghazi poor giving the ball away

  10. AVFCVillablog

    I am just pottering through my personal issues thanks for asking.
    In regards Begley he’s gone quiet he’s just visits & stays silent which is his choice,

  11. AVFCVillablog

    I would say that same old you refer to, is probably DS strongest 11 looking at that bench I suppose we have to assume Davis does not show enough in training to warrant a starting place and Smith will not change his prefered formation just to accommodate.

    1. AVFCVillablog

      Not the last game but the one before that Keinan Davis got a full 45min half he came on at HT, but he looked as lethargic has Barkley as looked in recent weeks i think on that performance Smith is Justified on his selection, regardless if we agree with his decisions or not he’s more qualified than any of us or uncle tom Conley off Facebook. We have improved and the stick is getting is unjustified imo.

  12. Vancouvervillan

    Hi mate
    I see it more like stick to the formation that has worked for us in the past and get arguably our best players available out there. Having the option to change plan B later on with Davis

  13. AVFCVillablog

    Villa:
    Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett, Luiz, McGinn, Traore, Barkley, El Ghazi, Watkins.

    Subs: Heaton, Taylor, Elmohamady, Hause, Nakamba, J Ramsey, Philogene-Bidace, Davis, Wesley.

  14. AVFCVillablog

    Just putting this out here rumours are rife that Ollie Watkins is unavailable tonight hopefully it’s BS will have wait for official conformation, but if true then it will be the very first pro game Ollie Watkins has ever missed.
    .

  15. AVFCVillablog

    Aston Villa paid approximately ยฃ105million in wages in 2019-20 โ€“ that represents 97 per cent of their annual turnover.

    That is according to finance guru Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after Villa released their official report via Companies House.

    Villa posted a ยฃ99.2m loss for the 2019-20 season, up on a ยฃ68.9m shortfall in 2018-19.

    The club chalked up ยฃ36.1m of the overall loss to the fiscal impact of the pandemic.

    Villaโ€™s revenue has been hit in terms of matchday income, broadcast rebates and so on.

    Regardless of this, it shows that the owners backed Dean Smith in terms of recruitment, which was a bit hit and miss last season.

    Villa released an overview of their accounts via press release on 9 April but key details, such as wages-to-turnover figures, were omitted.

    1. HenleyVillain

      Thank goodness for their support. Dread to think where we would be now if Xai had still been in control. I agree that recruitment has been a bit hit and miss, for me though it’s been more hit than miss. Don’t forget we have been recruiting players at an average cost of below ยฃ10m each. Without paying more like an average of 2 or 3 times that amount I think we couldn’t expect to have done a lot better. I think Smith & Co have to be applauded for getting us where we are now all things considered.

      1. AVFCVillablog

        I Agree 100% It’s also pretty obvious without NSWE stepping in when they did we would have gone bust.

        The club’s latest accounts reveal how Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens ploughed ยฃ126.4 million into the football club last season, helping it to remain debt free.
        They had already ploughed ยฃ105.7million into club before this and promotion saw us spend 155m in player accusisions

        Christian Purslow said The board mitigates this risk to the best of its ability by providing the manager with first-class training facilities and appropriate payroll and transfer budgets, and through generous support to the academy.

        “The acquisition of players and their related payroll costs are deemed a core activity risk and, whilst assisting the manager in improving the playing squad, the directors are mindful of the pitfalls that are inherent in this area of business.”

  16. AVFCVillablog

    Our rescheduled home game against Everton as been set for Thursday May 13th 8pm kick-off, also our game away at Crystal Palace as been put back a day and will now be played on Sunday May 16th kick- off 12pm

      1. AVFCVillablog

        No buddy it’s deffo 12pm kick off now since they put it back a day due to our rearranged Everton fixture now being played just 3 days earlier.

  17. AVFCVillablog

    Johan Lange replaced Jesus Garcia Pitarch has the club’s new sporting director it’s no
    coincidence since then our signing have been of better quality ?

    On promotion we needed so many players we had to stretch 140m between 12 players, even most of those purchases have increased in value
    This season we saw fewer signings but better quality come into club.

    It’s not like smith has a team of stars at his disposal and he’s failed to win silverware or titles, he’s been tasked in trying to build a squad to compete at PL level since winning us promotion

    But I am not really surprised that some Villa fans patience is wearing thin even towards a guy who dragged us out the Championship at first attempt & took us to a cup final and who has improved us again this season

    Jack Grealish was present while Steve Bruce was here yeah the specialist he never won us promotion or got us to a cup final so i wish fans would give Dean Smitj some credit for the job he’s done and doing and not credit Grealish for it.

    Were adding better quality every window on this journey to get back among the elite, they’re are bound to be many occasions where we have good & bad weeks it inevitable when the club purchases players that are not the finished article.

    I am not convinced that the owners will get rid of Dean Smith, while the business model needs remains the same, unless its absolutley necessary, as it would be an unnecessary change which they won’t want to make until our progression or lack of it warrants one.

    These owners saved our club I think they have every right to take this club in the direction they think will benefit Aston Villa and its fan base in the long term.

    I envisage that when Smith’s time comes to an end we will be in a much healthy & better position squad wise to attract a better quality & more experienced coach, to take us to another level, it’s simply horses for courses.

  18. AVFCVillablog

    It’s testicular cancer awareness month so check your nuts lads or get your ladies to check for you

    No not just a random in the street you pervs ๐Ÿคฃ

  19. AVFCVillablog

    ‘Smith Out’ supporters what did you honestly expect us to achieve this season?
    The poll I ran below shows the majority of visitors to this site expected us to finish between 11th & 15th.

    Don’t worry your secrets
    safe with me, discreet is my middle name๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

    Some voted for top 10 but most only did that after our decent start.

    No one will convince me that you suddenley thought after the additions of Ollie Cash and Martinez or the loan of Barkley you thought “Oi up”, we should make top 10 now with these two championship players we just bought.

    Truth is at the time of their arrival not many fans were kean on us signing another brentford player and championship defender.

    If memory serves me write only Martinez got a thumbs up but after Nyland that’s not surprising.
    If were honest then we all perhaps got a little ahead of ourselves after we hammered Liverpool and this ultimatly increased our expectations, which went through the roof.

    There was suddenly talk of Europe even though we only stayed up by skin of our teeth on last day the previous season and with help of GL tech error during season.

    I absolutley agree that some of our recent displays while jack has been out have deserved criticism, and it’s obviously we are weaker without our best player but this just proves our squad depth is filled with championship standard at best players,

    For me, with Ds or anyone else in charge this season we would still have struggled without Jack

    Those who said finishing between 11th & 15th would be progress and success did so anticipating Jack would not be missing for a third of the season.

    So making the the top 10 become more difficult with the loss of Jack.

    I won’t understand why some fans think we should have done better or that DS as taken us has far has he can because we have still improved on last season and it looks likely we will achieve between 11th & 15 which so many predicted and saw as success when casting their vote.

    Putting everything into perspective I believe DS as earned the right to be able to spend big in the summer on Two or Three quality additions

    It was the same under Mon after he obtained three top 6 finishes, it was not good enough for some of our fan base, and now under DS were having our best PL season in over a decade and some want change.

    When you look back with what he inherited and what he’s had to work with, is it really a surprise we struggled last season or now without jack.

    Be careful what you wish for Villans
    Rant over

    UTV

    1. Vancouvervillan

      Very well said, we dominated the game last night but not good enough for some.
      Of course we miss Jack, what team wouldn’t ?
      I also expect we will be looking at some championship players this summer and judging by the performance of Pereira yesterday nothing wrong with that.
      Interesting stat I found on Davis,who was getting crap from most fans, his first goal came after 20 or so PL appearances sounds a pretty poor return until you factor in he’s only actually played 160 minutes of PL football this season. That’s less than 2 full games, a goal every 2 games is a better return than Watkins overall.
      Loved him last night, on for 15 minutes hit the post, scored a goal. Maybe, just maybe, this points to fans having a little more patience with some of the players and the coaching staff ๐Ÿค”

      1. HenleyVillain

        You are dead right about this. I am one of the guilty ones who has recently criticised Davis. Happy to admit I shouldn’t have done.

    2. HenleyVillain

      100% agree. There has been a definite improvement in most aspects of our game and withing the club too. Better prospects from the youth team set ups, better coaching, better management all round. These owners are to be applauded. The general tone from a lot of blogs I see is that nothing is ever good enough.

  20. Vancouvervillan

    I know it’s not good enough for some but think changing the manager would be sheer madness.
    I’ll get me coat

  21. Vancouvervillan

    Thought Wesley was going to steal it for us at the end.
    Pleased for Davis, great to see Wes back. Soft pen and a slip from Konsa cost us. Not too unhappy with the performance, better than recently. Maybe time to get some youngsters involved now, get Wes up to speed & see if we can’t add a few more points.

  22. AVFCVillablog

    I dont think it’s a good idea to sack the manager who has improved the team position every season since arriving and I am not too sure our owners will.

    1. AVFCVillablog

      Your entitled to your opinion but there is no evidence to support your claim because we have improved again this season

      So how can you say hes taken us as far as he can ?

      Is it because we have dropped off and not looking like we will make Europe ?

      For me squad depth is our biggest issue and if our unders were ready for PL they would be winning the unders league but there not
      The season DS takes us backwards and we do not improve I will be the first to ask for change.

  23. AVFCVillablog

    He was over due one his last one was probably opening day of our promotion winning season ๐Ÿคฃ

    1. Vancouvervillan

      We’ve shown more attacking intent and looked more dangerous in that half then we have in a long time. Some good moves all half. Granted some passing & ball retention needs improving, but not sure you can say we are not performing.
      We’ll see 2nd half.

  24. AVFCVillablog

    We must have done ok comments have been few and far between ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

  25. Vancouvervillan

    We’re the only ones playing football, some nice moves, AEG & Barkley look on their game.
    Anyone got a link for specs for big Ron?

  26. Vancouvervillan

    Great to see Wes back in the squad.
    Some rubbish being talked (elsewhere) El Ghazi is back up for Jack, not sure I expected any more. Maybe Barkley needs a start ? Think inclusion of Elmo confirms Smith hasn’t given up on a higher finish.
    We play with 1 striker, he’s our top scorer playing as a lone ST up top, talk of moving him from the start to include Davis, Barry, Wes at this stage ludicrous.
    I get the Smith, could do better narrative, but he’s done okay so far and think this is a reasonable starting line up without throwing anything away. Progress has been made this season with a less than ideal squad.
    COYL !

      1. Vancouvervillan

        Errr 1.6 ppg with Grealish, 0.6 without.
        Yeah it’s crazy to think Smith can get us winning again ๐Ÿ™„

  27. HenleyVillain

    Well, all those of us (me included) who wondered why Davis wasn’t getting more minutes have probably realised what Smith knew already. He’s just not good enough against the sort of opposition we played last night. I would also put El Ghazi in that camp too – just not up to Prem standard. Neither is Traore and Barkley should be sent back to Chelsea as there is something very clearly wrong with the guy. We were also forced to surrender possession because our midfield is also inferior. All in all very disappointing but on the positive side it was far better than last season’s efforts against them, if only because we have a decent defence (Cash’s stupidity aside)

    1. AVFCVillablog

      Not sure it fair to judge Davis against city he was the catalyst to us beating Fulham although he did appear unfit last night

      And has It was Man City champions elect it was always likely we would lose but I do agree it was much better than last seasons mauling.

      On a positive note We absolutley battered them for 20 seconds ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

      We all know Mings has a mistake in him but you cannot question his effort, he told Barkley what he thought of him last night he appeared to say โ€œbullshit Barks, fuck off barksey, fuck off manโ€ nothing wrong with his leadership.

      I have no idea why we have not sent him back I didnt think his loan could end up as bad as Drinkwaters given how his form when he joined but something is not right his attitude stinks and regardless if their good enough now or ever going to be I would rather bed one of our youngsters than see Barkley play again.

      1. HenleyVillain

        Fair play, I was a tad harsh. The difference between the two sides last night was immense. We are light years away from having a squad that good, so all things considered we did well to come away losing by the odd goal in three. I noticed Mings mouthing off but was unaware he was having a go at Barkley – I thought he was addressing one of the manc players. I’m sure what is upsetting most of us right now is our dip in form compared to the great start this season. I’ve heard mention that it would have been better to start the season badly and finish well because that would show that we are an improving side. What I think they are forgetting is hardly any team’s season goes that way due to injuries and suspensions.

  28. Vancouvervillan

    I know it’s city but bloody hell we give the ball away so easily.
    Stupid from Cash, we were doing better after that pure city control. Barkley & Traoe in particularly embarrassing

  29. Vancouvervillan

    With a man extra I’d be tempted to get Davis on to bully them while the prima donnas are upset. Two up top might also allow us to keep the ball better.
    Great forward ball for our opening goal from Mings, but felt he was poor on their 2nd. Nakamba should have been on Foden for the equalizer.
    New game 2nd half, we might get something yet
    Come on Villa !

  30. Vancouvervillan

    Sulking I think. We’ve all told him he’s missed, not sure what else he wants to hear ๐Ÿ˜ท

  31. Vancouvervillan

    Not sure why Pep is so upset, dreadful tackle. Ramsey must have some protection, ref let Walker get away with a blatant forearm smash on him earlier with zero intention to play the ball.

  32. Vancouvervillan

    Foden unmarked ๐Ÿ™„
    Got to somehow try to keep the ball when they let us have it ๐Ÿคฃ

  33. Vancouvervillan

    Wouldn’t believe that, but if it’s going to affect his future career, already happened twice, he should consider wearing longer pads, seriously how much of an issue is that really ?

  34. Vancouvervillan

    Like to see Davis get more than 5 mins tonight, Watkins moved wider to accommodate. See no reason why we shouldn’t get a look at Chucky either later on.
    Seems we are playing with no wingers as such, should be interesting.

        1. HenleyVillain

          I will most probably spend most of the evening shouting at the TV. At my age I should know better ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. HenleyVillain

    Not predictable at all. He very rarely starts Nakamba and he very rarely ignores El Ghazi when Trez is unavailable. I think you just like to slate Smith at every opportunity you can. I think you sometimes forget that we have a very weak squad and few options when Grealish is out.

  36. HenleyVillain

    Can’t say I’m very hopeful of getting anything out of tonight’s game. But you never know. And I do have us down to win by a single goal in the predictor league. I imagine Smith will stick with Traore and El Ghazi wide and McGinn playing the 10 behind Watkins. I wish he wasn’t so predictable. I would not be having El Ghazi anywhere near my starting eleven. I also think he needs to be playing Nakamba but he probably won’t.

      1. Vancouvervillan

        I have us down for a 2-1 win, well because we can.
        Interesting line up, love Watkins to get on the scoresheet again.
        UTV !

  37. Vancouvervillan

    Club captain’s meeting today, I can’t imagine many are too thrilled by the SL plan. I can’t see the likes of Harry Kane willing to give up captaining England. Chance for the players to show us the way here and protect the game.

  38. Vancouvervillan

    It’s all kicking off as predicted, Chelsea and City changed their minds, (kudos to the Chelsea fans today), Woodward resigns at utd …
    I suspect there will be more drama this week. Clearly those greedy owners have underestimated the reaction.
    There can be no guarantees in football otherwise it’s not football ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  39. Vancouvervillan

    Begley it’s time for another one of your excellent leaders mate, there’s a lot going on. Would be interested in your views on super league debacle?

    Opinions are just that, everyone’s got one. Not agreeing with BB, or me for that matter, doesn’t mean your narrative is not appreciated. It’s never stopped you in the past. Missed your view on things.
    Hope all is well bud.

    1. HenleyVillain

      Yep. 100% agree. Get working on a new leader Begley, we all miss it !
      The blog is very much the poorer without your input.

  40. BrisVillan

    Not sure how this will be received being Australian but if the self invested six do go would it not be an idea to invite the big Glasgow clubs to the premier league.

    1. Vancouvervillan

      Hi mate
      I think that sort of smacks of the same thing, Scottish football roots also needs to be protected at all costs.

    2. AVFCVillablog

      I would rather promote clubs from the championship.
      and see them remain big up north than become little fish down south.

    1. HenleyVillain

      It’ll feel like a hollow victory for me if I manage to stay ahead in the predictor table. C’mon Begley, where have you got to ?? UTV

      1. AVFCVillablog

        No do not think like that, that is doing yourself an injustice, if you win it, you win it on merit, do you remember you was on holiday when it started and by time you came back we all had points on the board,

        I remember you saying it looked like a two horse race at the time, but you started making your predictions and have done really well to catch up and deserve your present lead mate,

        The point system in place for making comments viewing content etc creates a user log, hence why I say Begley is fine

        So before you think it would be a hollow victory you log on and comment and make your predictions where Begley just logs on now numerous times and stays silent.

  41. HenleyVillain

    Greed, pure and simple. I don’t usually have much time for Gary Neville, but fair play to him for his outburst this afternoon.

    1. Vancouvervillan

      I also find him irritating but he was spot on with his comments. Pure greed from owners at a time when many regular fans are struggling due to covid, outrageous.

  42. Vancouvervillan

    All quiet on the western front then !
    Seems crazy we played all those games in quick sucession and now wait till Wednesday for a tough game not many will give us much hope of a point.

    Transfer news is more or less same links, not sure why with Ollie’s 11 goals we are apparently targeting starting strikers ? Had his disallowed goals and woodwork hit of gone in he’d be on his way to the golden boot !
    Still think midfield, namely a no.10, winger and LB cover are the essentials, maybe a DM & CB cover also.

    Not expecting great things against city but would be nice to hold our own, give them a scare. I guess if we lose then we’re in no man’s land and night see a few u23’s blooded and peripheral players given more of a chance.
    I’m reasonably happy, its been a great season with some real highlights, so good to not be fighting for our PL survival. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

    1. HenleyVillain

      Very quiet. Hope everything is ok in Begleys world, he’s been missing for a while now.
      Nice to be able to respond to a post without having to read about who we should be replacing our manager with ๐Ÿคฃ
      For me, we need to sort out our midfield and wide attacking players. El Ghazi not up to it and Traore is a disappointment. We are clearly struggling without Jack. I don’t think we can complain too much defensively, Mings is a tad error prone but for me more than makes up for it with his effort and leadership on (and off) the pitch. UTV

      1. AVFCVillablog

        Begley fine mate as far as I can tell, he’s just letting you catch him up on the prediction league ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

        Well I cannot think of another reason why he would sign on to this site near enough every day numerous times since his last post but for some reason, which he will only know why has decided not to comment or make any predictions.

        If he remains absent you might even pip him to top dog spot come end of season in the prediction league.๐Ÿคฃ

    2. AVFCVillablog

      Pretty much Agree with what your saying
      it’s like having an international break but without having to watch boring gateball.๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

      Roll on Wednesday even if were likely to lose as long as we put up a fight,

      I think we might as well start bedding a couple of youngsters for remainder of season

      Yeah the unders beat Burton in cup 9-0 other day super Louie Barry and Chuckwannda

      We have some exceptional talent coming through the ranks at the minute lets hope unlike the last Gen generation more of the current bunch make it into our 1st team.

      Fans have to be happy with this season we were safe when we had 10 gamea to go we ain’t done that since Mon days.

      Since then it was season after season relegation fights untill we eventually dropped, then a struggle last season on our return so significant improvement has been made this season.

      Onwards & Upwards
      UTV

  43. AVFCVillablog

    Just reading it been confirmed Trezeguet as unfortunatley severed a cruciate ligament,

    So our season goes from bad to worse we will deffo miss Trezeguet enetgy & intensity thats for sure.

    I am beginning to wonder how our owners will look at this season given they have invested heavely,

    No doubt they will be looking closely at West Ham especially if they make Champions league given that they were also fighting relegation last season and did not invest as much as we did in summer.

    I am not advocating we replace Smith just yet. But he is sounding alot like Lambert lately. Barkley is not the answer he is so far off the pace its laughable. He’s lazy and body language is all wrong for me. I was screaming for Davis Yesterday we did’nt need two DM’s

    If were being honest without Martinez & Jack in the team this season, we would be in another relegation battle.

    if Smith’s job is under consideration then I think a change could happen in the summer, I believe Smith’s safe till then given the covid setback I only say this because we do have ambitious owners and with Joachim Low being available after the Euro’s they might call time on the romance of a villa fan managing us.

    1. Vancouvervillan

      Trezeguet will be a huge loss, I had sort of guessed it was serious him being in tears & other players concerns for him. If only we had a few more players with his energy and work rate in the team, only Watkins and McGinn come close. In contrast, I’m finding Traore really embarrassing lately so lightweight for a big man and looks so lazy, 2nd time yesterday I’ve seen him play a blind cross over into the middle of our defensive area lately, surely even kids know you just don’t do that.

      So in light of your sudden doubts on Smith’s tenure (shocking) I find myself thinking is our current 2nd half of season form down to injuries, coaching, game plans, team selection, poor recruitment, bad luck, covid stoppage, or no fans ?

      I honestly think all of those are factors, I also think Smith won’t be going anywhere in the summer as not all of those factors are his fault.

      1. AVFCVillablog

        I was only suggesting how our owners might view this season fella, it’s not like I am advocating smith should go, of course there will be collectively a number of reasons for our drop off since covid,

        Personally I still think we have punched above our weight even with the level of investment so far, and fans will always make comparisons with other clubs, but that’s not to say our owners will see things similar to me or any other fan.

        For instance i firmly believe a few of our players are championship standard at best. And were a team who struggles without our A team fit but do our owners see it this way ? Are they happy with mid table this season ? Us fans should be in all honesty as we have improved on last season.

        We all know time is a commodity rarely given if your a Manager so the big question will be will our Owners think Smith will improve us again next season after further investment.

  44. HenleyVillain

    Unfortunately, I will collect 5 points from that.
    I’d much rather villa had taken 1 or 3 ๐Ÿ™

  45. Vancouvervillan

    Shame we couldn’t just hang on there, really need to improve as far as knowing when to just keep the ball.

  46. AVFCVillablog

    No idea the last time we did the double over pool
    But if we can get over the line today we will still have outside chance of making the Europa league
    That said we have to be much better in 2nd half

  47. Vancouvervillan

    Well a let off there ๐Ÿ™„
    Think we’ve done okay had 2 or 3 goos chances not a lot of possession as expected.
    Concerned about some of the bad passes, at times we’ve been our own worst enemy, got to cut that out.

  48. Vancouvervillan

    Damb statistics ๐Ÿ˜‰
    While interesting it really doesn’t tell the whole story, who teams have played isn’t a factor and the difference between us in 4th and Everton, 11th, for example is only 1 point.

    Regardless it does show we are not the only club finding points hard to come by lately. I had though what could be deemed as “freak” results early on would diminish as the season went on, as would the home advantage results, barr a few top clubs that hasn’t changed much either.

    I think with 9 games left we are still in with a shout of getting further up the table, no doubt in my mind compared to earlier on in the season we seem to be underperforming lately but seeing the fight back on Sunday you never know.

    I’m finding some stuff I’ve read about changing formation just ridiculous, a few tweaks to starting 11 is all that’s required right now imo.
    Smith’s plan & formation so far has us 10th, about 5 places better than I expected. Fact is our recent drop off in performance, Jack’s injury & covid shutdown hasn’t really cost us that much points wise, now is not the time to panic in my view.

    1. HenleyVillain

      Yep. I find it amusing that all we have to do play Davis up front and all our ‘problems’ will be solved. I think you are right about us under-performing. We did however over-perform imv earlier in the season, so evening itself out now maybe.

      1. Vancouvervillan

        Yeah, Davis now the man ๐Ÿคฃ I do think given longer than 10 minutes he can make an impact but going 442 based on 1 fight back is a bit ott.
        What I do know is we’ve been at our best with a high energy press, Traore can’t do that, Trezeguet can, has to start for me in place of El Ghazi maybe ?

    1. AVFCVillablog

      I was meant to put these up before our last game they differ from your source but did show we have obtained same points return as Liverpool, last season Champions.

      1. HenleyVillain

        Well, I guess it is quite selective – without the latest 3-1 result it would be looking very different !

  49. Vancouvervillan

    West ham won’t go away will they ๐Ÿ™„ they looked good today, Lingard maybe should have been the midfielder we loaned, (I did say as much last summer ๐Ÿ˜Ž), seems to have transformed their midfield for the better, not sure what OGS was thinking not playing him, looks like a man possessed.
    I also couldn’t help thinking about our own young Davis when watching Antonio, a big strong athletic striker does cause havoc in this league, he certainly made an impact for us yesterday.
    I think myself and a few others might have to rethink the Moyes dinosaur narrative ๐Ÿค”

    Wolves look poor without Jimanez & Jota and what Nuno, a manager I really rate, was doing signing and now playing Traore regularly is beyond me. Nice accent and killer beard though ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  50. AVFCVillablog

    I think our start to the season resulted in us fans dreaming, and naturally our expectations increased accordingly, and why not given how our first season back in the top flight panned out.

    Who knows for sure why we have dropped off, it probably down to an accumulation of numerous things and not just one particular, but we’ve never managed to reach the same levels since the Covid outbreak

    We all know what Jack brings to the Team he’s our catalyst he the one that makes the rest of the team tick and up the game.

    It’s silly to say we shouldn’t be reliant on one player because apart from Man City there ain’t many other PL teams who dont struggle when their Talisman is Missing

    Kane for Spurs
    Van Dyke for Pool
    Ings for Saints
    Vardy for Leicester
    Aumbanyange for Gooners
    Fernandes for Man u
    Zaha for Palace
    Jimanez for Wolves

    Until we get better squad depth coping with key players missing is going to mean we struggle.

    The difference between Cash & Elmo is massive and it’s the same with Targett and Taylor

    it’s about improving season on season Trez gets slated at time by the fan base but he’s scored some important goals for us thankfully he came to our rescue again yesterday.

    Of course were all disappointed we have not kicked on but look for a positive Villa have obtained the same amount of points as last seasons champions over the last 12 games so dont go believing we have been showing relegation form.

    Onwards & Upwards
    UTV

    1. Vancouvervillan

      Yeah, I think it’s only natural that expectations increase given our start to the season. I mentioned a while ago I think the covid outbreak may have affected us perhaps more than we imagined.
      Kudos to Trezeguet yesterday, I’m a huge fan, not the first time his energy has worked for us, I read he’s had the most shots in the PL per minute or something like that. Interesting comments from Watkins when interviewed, said about Trez he’d never seen a player work so hard, no surprise, whenever he’s involved it seems we are sharper and up our game in the final 3rd. I’ve said before he’d start ever game for me.
      There’s no doubt the 3 subs had an instant impact, we looked pedestrian prior to their arrival, food for thought for Smith then.
      It’s been an amazing season, and the 10 games theme seems to have worked for us in the recent past, with Jack on the verge of coming back you never know ๐Ÿ˜Ž
      UTV !

  51. AVFCVillablog

    Just updated users prediction league positions as I got oiled yesterday following our win.

      1. AVFCVillablog

        Well done fella
        Like a fool I changed my prediction after seeing Jack was missing but on a plus note I got the Man u score right

  52. Vancouvervillan

    Not sure why Trez doesn’t start his energy and work rate always gets us going. Ramsey and Davis made a big difference.
    Food for thought tonight, clear same old starters aren’t working.
    UTV ! ๐Ÿ˜†

  53. AVFCVillablog

    You have buddy but although it worked today I think the league is too strong to play it week in week out.

  54. Vancouvervillan

    Some really bias coverage in favour of Fulham, come on villa let’s get out of the blocks and go win this !

  55. AVFCVillablog

    I thought a penalty should have been given for the challenge on McGinn prior to the one on Ollie but poor 1st half from us.

  56. Vancouvervillan

    FFS !
    That wasn’t a clear and obvious error. Penalty should have been given. This VAR shit is ruining the game, if you’ve got to see 10 replays from different angles then the refs decision should stand.

    1. AVFCVillablog

      If Smith was clueless we would not of won promotion or reached a cup final he’s made a pearl necklace out of a pig’s ear because half the squad are championship level at best.

  57. Vancouvervillan

    I hope Lookman isn’t too much of a factor today, I’d be looking to sign him in the summer been very good, ideal age, pace, clever, Benrahma type, would be ideal cover for Jack LW.

  58. Vancouvervillan

    No Jack is a blow but side doesn’t look very imaginative, it’s not like we seem to be trying anything new.
    Not sure why Taylor is included on the bench yet again. I read he’s played 13 minutes this season.

  59. Vancouvervillan

    Well let’s see if Sanson can show some improvement today, he wasn’t too bad at times last game he started.

        1. Vancouvervillan

          Oh ye of little faith, now you’ve said that I’ve changed mine to 2-0 at least we know our defense is still stingy.

  60. AVFCVillablog

    We see pics of Jack training all week during International break & Smith’s said he was available for selection

    Now Matchday comes around and no show again

    I am not even going to try and 2nd guess but it stinks

    1. Vancouvervillan

      I imagine shin injuries are a bit unpredictable, maybe there’s been some reaction from training. Should have been made to wear proper shin pads ages ago, not acceptable for a 100 mil pound asset.

      1. AVFCVillablog

        I suppose It’s possible Jack’s had a reaction since the Press conference

        You no how conspiracy theories take over

        Smith should have said he will be assessed befor game to not leave himself open for critique because it all looks a bit dodgy even local Journo’s are now shaking their heads I suspect Smith will be asked some difficults questions post match.

  61. HenleyVillain

    All very quiet here.
    Hopefully everything is ok with everyone.
    I have us down to win 3-1 though that usually means the kiss of death for us.

    1. AVFCVillablog

      Snap, great minds and all that lol
      Considering the run you have been on in the prediction league I dont think I should change mine now ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

      The log shows points awarded for daily visits etc some have just decided to visit but not comment

      Team news shortly

  62. Vancouvervillan

    I knew we should of hired big Sam when we were struggling last season ๐Ÿ˜†
    Rue the day ! ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

    1. AVFCVillablog

      Was Tuchal just enjoying new manager syndrome ? because his bubble well and truley burst today. Of all the teams to lose to tactical genius my arse.

    2. HenleyVillain

      But didn’t you know, he’s a tactical genius.
      One we should be clamoring for ๐Ÿคฃ

  63. Vancouvervillan

    I’d like to see us push McGinn further forwards tomorrow and see if we can’t get Luiz & Nakamba playing together as the two DM’s. We always seem to have played one or the other this season and never really tried the two together since our PL return season when both weren’t great at the time. On paper they look ideal, Nakamba breaking up play and Luiz capable of spraying the ball around.
    Fulham will be a tough game but with Jack back I hope he can make a difference. Previously, before this season we’ve always been at our best with Jack & John in advanced positions.
    UTV !

  64. AVFCVillablog

    Hi Villains
    I have Just realized that PL football is back this weekend and I have not yet uploaded the prediction sheet for this round of games yet.

    I promise I will get right on it so that sheet will be available a little later

    UTV
    Done now๐Ÿ‘

  65. AVFCVillablog

    The Beard is back

    Villa have appointed Adam Henshall as the club’s new Head of Emerging Talents & Loans and Mile Jedinak returns to the club as the new “Loan Player” Development Coach…

  66. Vancouvervillan

    I’m hoping we can get back on point for the return to PL action, not sure Jack’s been the only factor in our football stuttering a bit lately, I do think the covid shut down was maybe a bigger factor then we think, certainly staying fit by themselves clearly didn’t work for Barkley.
    The fact no one has stepped up creatively with Jack out is a disappointment, all the more reason to get McGinn further forward where he’s much more effective for me. Surely we have enough DM depth to let him off the leash rather than rely on inexperienced Ramsey or an unfit looking Barkley. Traore doesn’t look capable either.

    Be nice to get back closer to the earlier standard & energy we had to finish off the season.
    UTV !

  67. Vancouvervillan

    Loved that team under big Ron. We really outplayed that utd side full of superstars, throughly deserved the win.

  68. Vancouvervillan

    Congrats to Ollie, a goal on his England debut, lovely story, great big grin on his face, bless him.
    I wish Foden was setting up Ollie on a regular basis ๐Ÿ˜Ž

    Ollie, Ollie, Ollie !

  69. AVFCVillablog

    How true ?
    Considering the rehab conspiracy theory about our Jack, Everton fans are seriously outdoing our fanbase with their one about James ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Vancouvervillan

          Lol
          Must be the international break again ๐Ÿ˜Ž
          Must admit I actually quite fancy James there

  70. AVFCVillablog

    UEFA to blow final whistle over financial fair-play:

    After over 10 years, UEFA has decided to end the FFP system according to journalist Tancredi Palmeri. He claims that a new system will be announced as the replacement for FFP which will leave clubs with ‘much more freedom’ in their spending

    I wonder if NSWE will change their approach ?
    I guarantee they will still want us to be sustainable long term but they just might want to catupault us so we can mix it with the elite alot sooner when FFP restrictions are lifted.

    1. Vancouvervillan

      I think that’s assuming the PL will adopt the same rules. As far as I’m aware right now the rules are different with UEFA, actually slightly strickter rules on losses allowed for teams qualifying for Europe.
      Either way any NEW rules are also a concern.

      Maybe covid has had a bigger impact than imagined for all involved, but at the end of the day you still need owners willing to invest huge sums.

      We’ll see where this ends up, would be nice if NSWE were allowed to invest more, IF they are willing to do that, i say that because sustainability was a big part of the remit.

      Going to be an interesting summer if the spending restrictions are eased up. No spending limits and clubs around Europe in some cases desperate to sell …
      Bring it on ๐Ÿ˜†

  71. AVFCVillablog

    I just don’t understand anyone who wants Smith gone this season all I can say is your expectation outweigh reality in my opinion
    Yes I would like to be qualifying for Europe but at present we would just become next seasons whipping boys were not ready for that yet we have not really consolidated ourselves as a PL team yet.

    You all know your free to express yourselves and comment as you wish their your opinions to have and hold, for me though it’s all become a little tiresome to read and verges on being toxic at times the focus of discussion as soley shifted onto wanting to replace Dean Smith

    Has per vancouver says below we have improved every season under smith this one included it’s our best season in a decade and it’s been done with mostly mediocre players

    Don’t you wonder what Smith could actually achieve with upgrades on the current squad ? Probably not because HIS selection and tactics do not match your own we all think we can do a better job or grass will be greener on the other side Watford a prime example Arsenal and Wenger Even man u and all there flops since fergie left.

    I get it, we all get frustrated at times but that’s football we can always do better.

    It’s not an excuse but FFP has and will play a part on our spending ability going forward

    We wont be able to spend 100m every season on 2 or 3 upgrades I mean 30mil buys you what ? Purslow said it’s about picking up potential talent and smith and co turning them Into gems, therefore not every signing will be a success we are not in the market to buy the finished article well not yet anyway

    This is why they chose a coach and not a manager who can only do it surrounded by multi million pound players at their disposal

    I think some of you have forgot where we were a couple of seasons ago like it or not we are a team in transistion we averaged a spend of 10m per player with our mini rebuild after gaining promotion and that will increase moving forward as per Ollie Watkins signing.

    Just be happy this season we are safe we numerous games to go let’s not repeat what the noses did when they fired Gary Rowett.

    Stay safe everyone
    UTV

  72. Vancouvervillan

    If there is one thing I’ve learned following Villa for all these years is a change of manager is never any guarantee the team will improve.

    I’m actually a little surprised fans are not being more patient under Smith, hell most were over patient with some pretty poor managers in the past.
    Give the guy a chance to see if he can get us closer to the top 6 next season after he’s had another window to make more improvements to the squad.

    1. HenleyVillain

      You are right. Fans seem to have absolutely no patience whatsoever. I can’t get my head around the number of people on here and other blogs screaming for a change of manager. I would bet good money that neither Naglesman, Tuchel, Klopp, Pochettino, Guardiola or anyone else you might want to mention would be able to do any better than we have done since Smith took over. Leastways certainly not without inheriting a squad full of expensive talent and spending really big sums. It’s getting me down, and is the reason I don’t post on blogs much any more.

  73. Vancouvervillan

    I’m not Smith’s biggest fan by any means, recent performances have been disappointing to say the least, and to be fair I think the players have to take some responsibility for that. We all know we could have better players in the squad, also worth remembering we are the youngest squad in the PL.

    After years of mediocre managers many of whom took us backwards, Smith’s record has been bordering on outstanding…
    1st season promotion gained
    2nd season kept us up and cup final
    3rd season consolidated us in the PL

    I don’t think Smith will be going anywhere, he’ll get another window and see how we perform next season with a few more tweaks & additions. No matter how we seem to have lost our way a little this season no one really imagined we’d be on the cusp of qualifying for Europe did they ?
    You could argue he has over achieved every season he’s been our manager and based on his tenure so far there is no reason to believe he won’t improve us again next season. It’s not as if he’s failed, doesn’t he deserve the chance ?

    1. Vancouvervillan

      He’s improved us and moved us forward season on season, there is no denying that.
      I’d hate to work for you ๐Ÿ˜†

    2. Vancouvervillan

      I’m not, I’m rating Smith on constant improvement over not much more than 2 and a bit seasons.

  74. Vancouvervillan

    Looks like we are a one man team, and he cost nothing.
    Dreadful performance & effort again.

  75. Vancouvervillan

    Spurs one chance, which we gave them and two unmarked players in the box ready for a tap in ๐Ÿ™„

  76. Vancouvervillan

    Annoying, we were the better team played most of the game in their half but no chances at all to speak of. I dont understand why Mings is playing sloppy passes out of defence like he does, Luiz should be coming deeper to do that.

  77. Vancouvervillan

    Oordergaard (spelling?) been fantastic, wouldn’t mind him in a villa shirt. What an entertaining game.

  78. Vancouvervillan

    Brighton thoroughly deserve to be winning 3-0, bye bye Brucie ?
    Rue the day ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

  79. Vancouvervillan

    I see what your saying, pack the midfield, but think that would be foolish with 1 game to go before the break. Not sure we need to reinvent the wheel. We are comfortably mid table using the current system and have played our best football in years at times this season with the 4231/433 set up.
    I fancy us for a win tomorrow, spurs not that great lately.

  80. Vancouvervillan

    So looks like Jack may or may not play on Sunday, and reading around i’m wondering if I’m the only one who doesn’t want Smith to give the opposition any heads up ๐Ÿ™„
    Looks like Traore has bruised ribs and could play with pain killers, would we notice the difference ?
    I think Jack will start and Trezeguet on the right for me, El Ghazi on the bench.
    The energy and work rate Trez has brought to the way we start games is something we have been really lacking, he’d start every week instead of Traore for me.

  81. AVFCVillablog

    Prediction sheet and it league rankings are all present again suggest that everyone clears there browser cache on visiting after that you should be good to go.
    UTV

    Vancouver sorry about our few missing posts from earlier between us there in cyber space somewhere gone for good I’m afraid.

  82. AVFCVillablog

    There may be a little disruption, although I believe site as now been moved over to the new server which is cloud based,

    I still need to do a few bits to speed it up a little more but i need to wait till its DNS as fully propagated.
    UTV

  83. Vancouvervillan

    Hmm must be losing it, I could of sworn the Spurs game was tomorrow ๐Ÿค”
    Now I’m reading it’s Sunday, some fecker’s changed it without my permission ! ๐Ÿ˜†

    I guess we need to let them get knocked out of Europa cup on Thursday first. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  84. Vancouvervillan

    After my 5 points for the Arsenal win yesterday, I just checked the prediction rankings ๐Ÿ™„
    Needless to say my progress is slower than i thought, Henley is on fire lately

  85. AVFCVillablog

    Given how this weekends results have panned out it’s been another missed opportunity to close the gap on the european places.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m happy with where we are this season, we have seen improvement every season under Smith, but I can’t help think it could have even better.than it currently is.

    But having said that we don’t have depth to our squad yet so I don’t see the options available to smith, some of our players have improved this season,while others will never be anything more than bang average championship standard.

    We can go on about giving youth a chance but what has Ramsay done to date ? It’s no good looking at the Liverpool cup game as a barometer, fans need to tune in and watch the kids in the u23’s then perhaps you would see more harm than good would probably come in throwing them in against men at this moment in their development

    Hopefully after we invest this summer again, it will propel us into the european spots but I cant help feel that if we qualified this season for Europa we would just become whipping boys and thats only going to give ammunition to the smith out brigade.

    With the investment being ploughed into Villa smith will have to deliver european football sooner than later or he will be shown the door.

    UTV

    1. Vancouvervillan

      I can only think the “missed opportunities” are fuelling the could do way better than Smith brigade.
      Whilst we’ve had some disappointing results it is really only so disappointing because of the way we have progressed this season.

      For years we seemed to put up with endless managers who achieved next to nothing without much call for change even when adequate time was given. Now it seems we have a manager who is achieving and clearly progressing us and some want him gone !

      I’ve always held managers accountable and that won’t change, no one is above criticism when things aren’t going well or even when they are going well, but surely we have to look at the overall picture and in Smith we have someone, for all his faults and mistakes, who is clearly progressing our club.
      Of course that may change but let’s wait until there’s no progress or some obvious underachievment before we start down this road.

      The management merry go round has done us few favours in the past.

  86. AVFCVillablog

    I am planning on doing the change over when this weekends games are over so you can do your predictions if I do it on an evening it should limit disruption
    Still seething at the other nights performance
    Utv

    1. Vancouvervillan

      Good luck bud.

      Yeah, know what you mean, we didn’t play well but neither did they, we were robbed! All we had to do was keep the ball.

      1. AVFCVillablog

        I will crack on after tonight’s game it could take up to 12 hours for site to propagate before its back on line.

  87. Vancouvervillan

    Point stolen by Geordies there, we did enough and deserved 3 points.
    Tragic we simply can’t keep the ball when we need to, been a similar story lately.

  88. Vancouvervillan

    Marv a bit defensive for Newcastle imo, but I would push McGinn further forwards, not much support for Watkins 1st half.

  89. Vancouvervillan

    He’ll get 15 minutes to improve i imagine.
    We haven’t done too much wrong, not a great game but a goal would be nice.

  90. Vancouvervillan

    A win tonight to start our 12 game winning streak

    so glad to see Trezeguet starting, conservative with Cash & looking forward to seeing Trez with Ramsey
    UTV !

  91. HenleyVillain

    56 points minimum for me. I have already judged it to be an exceptional season though ๐Ÿ™‚

  92. HenleyVillain

    Expecting a good performance tonight. Newcastle missing their best 2 players will nullify the absence of Grealish. I think also Brucie may be losing the dressing room, reports of discontent recently, alongside the training ground altercation between Matt Richie and the manager. Only problem is, when I expect us to do well we invariably don’t.

  93. AVFCVillablog

    Kesler is in the u23 this afternoon against Burnley so wont be in senior squad tonight which can only mean Cash is back

  94. Vancouvervillan

    So looks like a few missing from training, Grealish and Traore most notably, if El Ghazi still has the bad toe could be we see young Bidace at some point on Friday. Ramsey must also be in for a good shout to play.
    I think at this point, I’d rather Jack didn’t play, it’s one game and an extra two weeks over the international break to get fully recovered seems more sensible.
    I’m sure there will be great criticism if Southgate doesn’t select our Jack, but he’s injured, id prefer him to get fit rather than risk a set back for us or England.

    Some great news with Wesley back to full training, I imagine he’ll play a few halfs for the u23’s before we see him anywhere near the match squad, but bodes well for another striking option in 3 weeks or so. I’m looking forward to seeing the lad back in action, I think before the injury he was really progressing, had 6 goals I think, and was looking more dangerous every game.
    Forget the naysayers and the stick he used to get, I think if he can recapture that form he had for 4 or 5 games just before the injury we’re going to have some player on our hands and as a team we’re much better than we were then in my view.

    1. Vancouvervillan

      Lol
      In my defense, you do have an extra 12 hours on my post ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Glad Jack’s getting further down time, tbh I forgot about Spurs game next week.

  95. AVFCVillablog

    Jesus mate I think I prefer looking back on our 10 game winning run in our promotion year

    Its interesting thou that alot of rival fans and the media say and remind us we only stopped up last season because of goal line tech error as it suits their narrative

    No one ever mentions all the decisions that went against us unfairly during the course of the seaon disallowed goals that cost us points

    Besides no one can say we would not of scored had the blades goal counted because goals change games and mindsets

    Personally mate am looking to the future because the last decade as a villa fan has been an horrible experience

  96. AVFCVillablog

    Hi all
    I have been exploring various options in regards the sites hosting service as it’s up for renewal next month

    I Just reached an agreement with a hosting company and secured their services for the next 3 years until March 2024

    I will update you in coming days when it’s happening I aim to change over one evening to minimalise disruption to users

    It certainly wont be this side of Toon game that’s for sure.

    UTV

        1. Vancouvervillan

          yee ha ๐Ÿ˜Ž

          I guess you’re just giving us the heads up for the inevitable down time.
          Keep at it bud, doing a fine job.

  97. Vancouvervillan

    I’m reading the B’mail online suggesting there will be a mass exodus this summer. Not sure i agree with that, I think Smith’s reluctance to let Hourihane go suggests he knows at least some of the squad will be useful next season.

    Amazed at some of the comments elsewhere regards signing Tammy and trying to get us playing with two strikers, I think we’ve seen enough to know we don’t play with two strikers. Wesley is clearly the key to our intentions, we’ll see, but not sure I want Tammy back anyway.

    1. Vancouvervillan

      This is part of the perception problem, the mail is fuelling. Think generally you are probably right on Conor, but a handy squad player, energy in final 3rd & set piece delivery is something we’ve missed. Freddie would have been excellent cover for Cash injury, shame he couldn’t keep his disappointment & ensuing comments to himself. Not sure how you can fault El Ghazi coming in as cover and scoring 5 or is it 6 goals?, or Trezeguet’s energy transforming our start & intent against wolves after coming in from the cold.
      We disagree on McGinn, I’ll leave it at that.
      Ironic you don’t mention Traore whose been one of our worst players in the last 3 or 4 games, skilful, yes a few goals yes, but generally I’m unhappy he starts before Trez & El Ghazi on current form, there was a reason he played off the bench in France.

      I’m not expecting wholesale changes and sales. I also think we have to be slightly realistic and ask ourselves who we are going to sign better than likes of AEG & Trez prepared to come sit on the bench and wait for an opportunity as professionally as those two have.
      Less than 10 mil for a 6 PL goal scorer !

  98. Vancouvervillan

    So is that a change of mind ? ๐Ÿ˜Ž
    TBF Tuchel does have some excellent players to select from, squad is far superior to ours, their bench is frightening.
    Thanks for reminding us, after that loss to Leicester I think most of us were convinced we were gone.

    1. AVFCVillablog

      How well would Klopp and Tuccel do managing Sheffield United I doubt very much they could replicate what Chris wilder achived last season

  99. Vancouvervillan

    It is frustrating, but think the notion he can’t take us further forward is unproven. Smith has taken us forward every season since he became the coach.
    I think we all share the same issues with line ups, rotation you mention but tbh a “plan b” was executed perfectly recently at Leeds. We also had some poor results the 6 or 7 games prior to Jack’s absence.

    I’m frustrated, but there are plenty of clubs in the PL who can’t find that level of consistency we are all craving, including many clubs managed by so called elite managers.

    1. Vancouvervillan

      To add, I’m disappointed Kessler hasn’t had a game with Cash injured but on the other hand I think Ramsey has proven throwing “kids” in at this stage isn’t going to bring the required level of consistency either. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      1. Vancouvervillan

        Annonamous on Wednesday, not the only one, Smith should have changed the starting midfield.
        When Europe is gone is the time to try a few IMHO.

  100. Vancouvervillan

    Well I guess a draw was the right result, if we’d won on Wednesday I think I’d of been happy with 4 points from these two games.
    I got what I wanted, with Trezeguet and Sanson we started very brightly, the energy first 20 minutes or so deserved a goal, not sure how Watkins and Konsa aren’t on the score sheet. Easily won the first half but sadly lacking in the second. As Smith said the proverbial game if two halves.

    I thought Sanson was very good, linked up nicely with Trez. Luiz and the defense a good performance, thought McGinn okay 1st half. That midfield 3 had us in control first half not sure what happened second.
    Shame El Ghazi had the toe injury, I thought this game was crying out for him. Traore did very little and I noticed yet again he was bottom of the bbc player ratings, after the subs, at least twice in a row now & Barkley only touched the ball 5 times in wolves half in 35 minutes !

    Not too disappointed with the performance, a draw fair and we did okay especially starting off a lot brighter like we did. Just think a few are really underperforming right now. Barkley and Traore have been way short of the required standard imo. Not sure what Kessler has to do to get a start and Davis needs to be on earlier if Smith is looking for him to have any kind of impact, should have brought him on for Traore and moved Watkins wide right.

  101. Vancouvervillan

    Martinez
    Kessler, Konsa, Mings, Target
    Luiz, McGinn
    Trezeguet, Barkley, El Ghazi
    Watkins

    Traore, Ramsey, Sanson, Nakamba, Davies all good options from the bench to change or shore up a game.

  102. Vancouvervillan

    Golfing tomorrow morning, so won’t be watching live, I’ll catch up later.

    I think we have to make some changes this game. I’d be starting Barkley, Luiz & McGinn in midfield and Trez on the right. I’d also start Kessler instead of Elmo, can’t be any worse, last time he started he was up against Mane, so Neto shouldn’t be a problem.
    I think we have to rest Traore, Elmo, Ramsey, Nakamba it’s the 3rd game in a week.
    Without Jack it’s imperative we start strong and take the game to them. We’ve been so slow out of the blocks for most games since Jack was injured, the one game we came out with some energy for first 15/20 minutes was Leeds and it paid off. If we start with same 11 and look lethargic again I’ll be shaking my head in disbelief again.
    UTV !

    1. Vancouvervillan

      Well lose a few more against teams we’re realistically expecting to beat we’ll have nothing to lose, so I agree to a certain extent.
      Might be a little early for that if Europe is still within sight.

  103. Vancouvervillan

    Great read and discussion today lads, nice to see our glorious leader back in the trenches.
    UTV !

  104. AVFCVillablog

    Firstly I respect all your opinions and this is just mine, but Begley old chap I have to disagree with you on this, none of the 3 names you mentioned below have really done anything of note imo, I mean how much competition is there in the german Bundesliga and french ligues ?
    1 or 2 teams dominate similar to in la liga I would say, the premier league is far more competitive and has such, it’s harder to deliver titles & cups.

    Thomas Tuchel
    He’s won a German cup with Dortmund and won French ligue 1 with PSG twice he’s also been runner up in a couple of domestic cups with PSG and also runner up in champions league with them

    How well will he do at Chelsea in a more competitive league ? Only time will tell

    Julian Nagelsmann
    He won a couple of u19 titles at Hoffenheim
    I wouldn’t have swapped this guy for smith last season but I do like how he plays and if Smith loses his job out the 3 begley mentioned I would not mind him being given the reigns.

    Mo Pochettino
    Did wonders at southampton but they had a great set up at the time
    He had 5/ 6 years to deliver champions league at spurs and only managed runner up have spurs really progressed much oh he’s
    won a trophy at PSG which is equivalent to the Community Shield

    On to our critique no matter what any of us think Its really pure conjecture on our part to suggest that if smith would have freshened things up or made subs earlier in games or named the team we wanted that we would have more points on the board

    I guess with a loss there comes a more in depth analysis by all of us as we try to come to terms with the defeat, unlike when were victorious and happy as Larry and cracking a can or two in delight.

    When i witness poor performances win lose or draw, the manager & players will not got a free ride, like all villa fans were entitled to hold them accountable for the performances and if need be, give critique when deserved

    For me personally this season has already exceeded my expectations so given where we are at present after purchasing two championship players in the summer in Watkins and Cash, I have come to the conclusion Emi Martinez saves alone have probably given us at least 15 more pts on the board and without them we could easily be in a another relegation battle

    I tell you what’s really interesting and that is the poll I put up on what would be a good season for us before the season started, the majority thought 11th to 15th would be decent but as the season as progressed more people have gone for top ten finish, which only confirms expectations have risen, let’s hope the remainder of the season brings more joy I am ljust happy were safe and can plan for next season now.
    UTV

    1. HenleyVillain

      Have to agree with you here BB. I would rather like to compare Smiths tenure so far with say that of Alex Ferguson’s at Man U. There were very many of their supporters calling for his head, just as many of ours are call time on Deano. The Utd owners showed patience and were justly rewarded. All managers have their faults and foibles but I would much rather give the benefit of the doubt to Smith right now, and not judge him on individual performances. People do learn from their mistakes (given adequate time in which to do so).

    2. Vancouvervillan

      Agree, I think we’d be mad to be looking or even contemplating a new manager at this stage in the teams development, as below, I don’t see that as a reason he should be beyond criticism though.
      I guess with overachievement & being so close to the top six, the expectations change dramatically, understandable when we’ve shown we are capable on our day.
      I think at the end of the season that 11th to 15th prediction most of us clicked on will probably be more realistic.

  105. HenleyVillain

    I wonder how you would all have reacted if a) McGinns lame effort had been executed better (the guy has no right foot at all), b) we were awarded a penalty which most definately should have been given and/or c) we had taken one or two of the other chances we had in the game? Like they say, it’s a game of very fine margins most of the time and we had a few players not quite on top of their game. Shit happens, I just don’t get all this piling of the blame onto the manager all the time. Constant digs, constant moaning, it just grates on me. The result could easily have gone the other way, just as in the same fashion we have won when we deserved not to.

    1. HenleyVillain

      I think maybe we are all seeing too much football. Too many comparisons to make. It’s wall to wall seemingly for me anyway. Before Covid I didn’t have Sky, BT or Amazon but now subscribe to all three just because I can’t go to see matches live. Often the bad outweighs the good. I am just trying to see the good more often. Thinking about where we were this time last year, in fact this time for as many seasons as far back for a very long time, we are in pretty good shape. Ask any bluenose.

      1. Vancouvervillan

        LOL
        Yep, for me much more time on my hands and wall to wall football.
        No doubt, overall we are doing well

    2. Vancouvervillan

      As you point out fine margins, but i think you would agree we were not at our best. The way we started the game and the lack of energy I’m convinced would have been better with changes, afterall that was the case on Saturday, changes produced a much more lively start to the game.
      I can only speak for myself but overall Smith has done an incredible job & I can’t see him going anywhere soon. It’s clear he’s overseeing huge progression not sure why on earth we would replace him at this stage.
      Having said that I’ve always held managers and players accountable and won’t be changing that view. I think given the progression we’ve seen so far this season it’s frustrating we can’t beat the bottom club or find a level of consistency to our play. Unfortunately, progression or not, it seems at times it’s the same old AV, can’t beat the teams we should be beating.
      It’s even more frustrating given what we’ve seen from team and manager at times this season, the opportunity to overachieve even more is right there, perhaps if we weren’t within a stones throw of Europe I might feel slightly different.

      To add I think criticism of players, tactics, formations & managers is all part and parcel of being a football fan. I think Smith was responsible for the way we set up yesterday, Ttat doesn’t mean I want to blow it all up and start again with a different manager.

      1. HenleyVillain

        He was also responsible for the way we set up against Liverpool and Arsenal. Sometimes things go your way, other times not so much. Happy times right now for me !

        1. Vancouvervillan

          Yes of course and the excellent tactical display at Leeds.
          Unhappy with the loss as always but very happy with the overall progression.

  106. HenleyVillain

    I just don’t get it. All of you calling for the managers head !
    Win the game in hand (against Newcastle, which I believe we will) and we are a point behind Liverpool and Chelsea and still in with a shout of European football next season.

    1. Vancouvervillan

      I’m not calling for his head but I think he takes the blame for today.
      Right from the start it was the wrong starters. After saying we needed to start better with more energy he picks the same team. Saturday he changed it and got the required reaction, but to start same players 3 days later, mind-boggling to me. The 19 year old, only his 2nd start ?, the 34 yr old ?
      We needed to load the midfield and stop their bullying tactics. Traore looks lifeless, why not start with Trezeguets energy ?
      Subs were way to late, we were poor first half and he did nothing to change things for the 2nd half.

      It seems so obvious to me that we needed to start alternatives, I didn’t follow his logic at all today. Bottom club with woeful defense and can’t score, we should have buried them, yet another opportunity missed.
      It’s sad and frustrating that McGoldrick looked a way better, hungrier player than most of our team.

  107. Vancouvervillan

    I blame Smith today as well, should have changed starters to begin with 3 games in a week then when he saw the non reaction & lack of energy made changes at half time. To wait until past 65 minutes to do anything unforgiveable.
    Really frustrating, Smith needs to learn, don’t follow his logic today at all.

  108. Vancouvervillan

    I think that’s the most frustrating half of football i’ve seen all season, Smith preaching about starting with energy and starts the same team from Sunday !
    Sooner we get Barkley and Trezeguet on and increase the energy the better.
    Wake the fuck up !

  109. Vancouvervillan

    ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ Oh Traore looking a little slow going down on the knee

  110. AVFCVillablog

    The Great Britain Olympics committee want Aitor Karanka
    To be the GB Bob sleigh coach as they have never seen a team go downhill so fast as the blouse
    Lol

    1. Vancouvervillan

      Thought we might have rested Marvelous for Wolves game, but we know Smith likes to stick with winning teams

      1. AVFCVillablog

        No surprise really but did think he would freshen it up given short time after Leeds to be playing again

  111. Vancouvervillan

    VAR is a joke when their looking at heels and arms, I do wish the’d just go back to looking at the torso to see if onside and level should be good.

  112. Vancouvervillan

    Watching the city game, one player I do think is a good player, possibly under the radar a bit is Jonny, just back from fairly serious injury so out of form but been great for Wolves in the left wingback role.

  113. Vancouvervillan

    On Morelas, I think he’s a good fit, not proven in the PL, likely okay with not starting straight away, probably reasonable price given the state of Scottish football. Think he ticks a lot of boxes.
    Of course Haaland might be available if we do want to break the bank ๐Ÿ˜†

  114. Vancouvervillan

    Just reading about the inquest into Peter Whittingham’s death, very sad, great player