Villa Blog

Playing Catchup And Man City

Aston Villa is playing catchup and Man City is the first team on our list. Since the opening day of the season Aston Villa has been playing catchup. Man City and a few other clubs that competed in European competition were given an extra week off and didn’t have to play on the opening day. Aston Villa were due to play Man City in our first game so we also ‘benefited’ from the extended break.

As the season progressed, the number of games in hand got bigger as a result of fixture scheduling and Cup clashes. This was further compounded when Newcastle Utd needed to postpone their game against us due to Covid. Then, AVFC got an outbreak of Covid and we needed to postpone a couple of games. We now find ourselves with 4 games in hand over 5 teams, 3 games in hand over 10 teams and 2 games in hand over 4 teams.

Catchup Is Name Of The Game

Obviously, while we weren’t playing games we slipped down the league table and we are now in the bottom half for the first time this season. So we are now playing catchup. We are in 11th place, 3 points behind Arsenal in 10th. But with games in hand, I do expect us to be in the top half when games played is equal. Deano and the team deserve huge credit for getting off to such a good start and gaining so many points. It would be horrible if we were towards the bottom of the table and watching our position drop each week when others played and we didn’t. That would add a new pressure we can do without.

Man City Next

Man City tomorrow night, but as there are other games too, unfortunately, this is still a playing catchup game. Not having played a game since January 8th means we will have had a 12-day ‘rest’. Further, we had a serious outbreak of Covid 19 with about 10 first team players testing positive for the disease. And we are playing against, what I believe to be, the best team in the Premier League this season. They have won their last 8 league and cup games! This does not bode well, and although the lads have had some excellent performances I expect Man City to win. On a positive, regardless of our’s or other’s results, we cannot drop below our 11th place on the table.

Team Selection Against Man City

I am not even going to try and predict what our lineup will be. With the Covid outbreak, I have no idea who will be available to play or who will be self-isolating. The only confirmed information is that Trezeguet did test positive and that Grealish did not test positive. So it does look like Grealish is available for selection. I would be very happy to see Barkley make his long-awaited reappearance in the team. He was brilliant before his injury and we could benefit from his return. If we could somehow manage to leave Manchester with a point it would be fantastic. By the way, I have read that Sergio Aguero is definitely out.

What The Bookies Say

The bookies are aligned with my way of thinking for this game. They have City at 2/9 for the win with the draw being 11/2. If you fancy a crazy and potentially profitable flutter, Villa is a massive 11/1 to win the game.

Newcastle Catchup Game

Saturday night brings a really important game for the Villa. This is a catchup game. We are the only team, other than the Toon of course that is playing this weekend. A win against Bruce’s men and we will gain 3 points on every other team in the league. Depending on upcoming midweek results a win could lift us to 7th.

Steve Bruce

Bruce appears to have lost the plot completely. He was slated by the Toon Army for playing 9 defensive players against 2 point Sheffield United. Following this he said the ‘gloves are off’ and he was going to do it ‘his way’. (It does beg the questions who’s way was he doing it for the previous 18 months). Last night against Arsenal, he changed the team and included more attacking players. He also pushed the players forward leaving big gaps at the back for Arsenal to exploit. However, he forgot to mention to the players that they were now allowed to attack the opposition goal. One-shot on target in 90 mins is something I think Emi Martinez should be well able for. Newcastle Utd is a dire football team and anything less than 3 points is a bad result for Villa.

What The Bookies Think

Yet again those clever bookies agree with me. Aston Villa is rightfully only 8/13 to win the game. Bruce is 3/1 to nick a draw and 17/4 to leave Villa Park with all 3 points. However, my bet of the week is not on either the City or Toon game. It is actually more of an investment than a bet. I think people should invest their hard-earned cash into Cabbages. There could well be a run on cabbages in the Newcastle area next week which will no doubt drive the price up.


143 Responses

  1. Vancouvervillan

    All the loans out will be good for the club and the players, chance for them to get regular football.
    Wages wise you would think that frees up wages to more than pay for Sanson.

  2. AVFCVillablog

    Heads up

    I have Updated the prediction sheet
    It includes this weekends games and next weeks midweek games

  3. Vancouvervillan

    It almost looked like two handballs tbh, some nice Liverpool goals today, it just shows the better side wins most often.
    Sorry, still a little sore about yesterday

  4. Vancouvervillan

    Being able to finish off sides like Burnley, Spam, Brighton when we dominate the games is part of moving up to the next level. Not sure we’re there just yet but hopefully it will come, fine margins.
    Maybe this season is a little too soon but how entertaining were we that 1st half, just fantastic football 😎

  5. Vancouvervillan

    Mings is becoming a bit of a scapegoat, issue for me was no tracking back 2nd half from Traore & Barkley it seems was done after 45 mins. Add that to a mediocre performance from Luiz. I also though McGinn was okay today.
    As Begley says below, subs earlier might have made a huge difference.
    I think we did start with our strongest 11 but we have to realize when players are out of gas.
    Unfortunate we didn’t put away some easy 1st half chances but we could have retreated a little and shut the game down 2nd half with more of a win ugly approach, maybe Nakamba on & Trezeguet being able to support Cash better, whoever we should have subbed off or on it clearly should have been earlier.
    I hope we learn from this.

  6. Vancouvervillan

    Defending wasn’t great but Barkley and Traore need to be able to last longer in a game, or we need to sub them off earlier. If we could have finished them chances 1st half we would and should of been out of sight.

  7. Vancouvervillan

    As Begley says poor game management. 2-1 up we should have got Barkley off before he tired and maybe Nakamba on for Luiz who I didn’t think was great tonight.

  8. Vancouvervillan

    It’s been years since we took advantage of this type of opportunity to close up on teams, big reason I hate games in hand.

    1. Vancouvervillan

      We always seem to struggle for results against the anti football teams. Maybe spurs, Everton we’ll be okay.

  9. AVFCVillablog

    I know its cold in the UK at this time of the year but it’s -33 in West iBrom 🀣🀣🀣

  10. AVFCVillablog

    In depth article inside on jack if your tempted to buy it

    It’s bloody great to see one our own as the cover star on the front of the world soccer magazine

    1. Vancouvervillan

      As expected then. Bench is looking healthier too, with Sanaon to come.
      Just Elmo, Engles & Taylor not ideal, but problem will be solved with contracts running out in the summer for 2 of em.

  11. AVFCVillablog

    I only went and missed the cut off time twice for all of last nights predictions so zero pts coming my way i am just about to input results and update rankings
    Perhaps I should forget that also lol

    Best of luck peeps

  12. Vancouvervillan

    This Valerie seems a good player, came out of nowhere like Smith-Rowe, got to wonder the amount of good players on fringes of clubs.

  13. Vancouvervillan

    I’m still shaking my head with west ham up to 4th, the football they play, it just shouldn’t be allowed 🀣🀣🀣

  14. Vancouvervillan

    I see the FA have changed the interpretation of the offside rule, I dont get why they can’t admit they got it wrong. Interpretation of the rule not a rule change ! So clearly it was wrong and we suffered … again !
    VAR and two referees and now unessesary linesman (if they are told not to flag), officiating this beautiful game has become a joke. With huge money on the line I don’t see PL clubs putting up with this BS for too long.

    The FA has shown time and time again it’s bias, sexist, poorly run and corrupt. Ifab no better.
    Its very simple just leave the rules alone and just get it right.

  15. Vancouvervillan

    Welcome Morgan, long term target apparently, got him in early before the summer. This is great business, allows us to bed him in nicely with absolutely no rush. He’ll have to quarantine and it’s subject to international clearance so don’t expect to see him anytime soon. I can’t see him displacing SJM, Barkley or Luiz at this point anyway but allows us time to get him up to speed and will improve the bench no end. Perhaps we’ll be including him in the match squad within next two weeks for possible late sub, should allow us to do better than 3 FB’s sitting on the pine.

  16. Vancouvervillan

    See we are linked to 7Texiera, Brazilian striker currently a free agent, at 31 he doesn’t really seen to fit the remit, but tbh all we really need in the striker dept, if anything, is some insurance, possibly an experienced option from the bench ?
    Allegedly we would offer a two year contract, for a player who’s also coverted by Shaktar & Benfica. Turned down Liverpool a few seasons ago apparently.
    I do like this outside the box idea at no cost.

    While I’m not sure we need another striker, as I say insurance and another option with no fee involved?

  17. AVFCVillablog

    No surprise to me with Lampard being sacked but Bruce cant be far behind do you rememberWhen Bruce was manager of us we used to go to Dean Smith’s Brentford and get passed off the park and made to look years behind in development. The same happened to toon the other night. We knew it was the manager at the time and now Toon fans know it’s the manager. The irony is Steve Bruce had the nerve to say Who are they gonna get to replace me

  18. Vancouvervillan

    Feel sorry for the Newcastle fans, poor team, poor football, defensive tactics if any, big wedge of money spent on mediocre players, owner that’s desperate for an out.
    Sounds familiar doesn’t it πŸ˜‰

  19. Vancouvervillan

    Nive to see us top half again, comfortable win. Difficult to select a motm but I’d give it to Watkins, on the score sheet, tireless running and hold up play.

  20. Vancouvervillan

    Vilas Boas, who I previously rated as a manager showed himself up with the “pathetic” comment, classy we didn’t react in public, and maybe indicated VB rated him and didn’t want a sale. Good sign.

  21. Vancouvervillan

    Just looking at Sanson on utube he looks a great player πŸ˜‰ some good shots, passing & turns, seems predominantly right footed although did see a nice goal with his left. He looked fairly advanced clips I saw but could be just showing goals, shots mainly.
    As always we’ll see if he adapts to the PL, I hope so.
    I’m glad this didn’t drag on too long, shows us in a very good professional light, minimum fuss, reasonable price, good signing well executed.
    So great to have yet another new player to watch develop.

  22. HenleyVillain

    Expecting a few goals tonight. Just took 15/2 against Watkins and Wilson both getting on the scoresheet.

  23. HenleyVillain

    Don’t much care about getting beat by Utd or City. Just really pleased to see us being so competitive against the better clubs. I can see us beating Newcastle and Burnley. Defo deserve to be in the top half of this division. 5 games in 15 days. Bring it on. UTV

    1. HenleyVillain

      Always been the same. Before VAR the referees blatantly favoured the top sides. VAR is being controlled by referees and their bias will show in the same way. The way round it is to become one of the top sides. Looks to me that’s just where we are heading πŸ™‚

      1. Vancouvervillan

        Never a truer word. Foolishly I assumed VAR when introduced would stop any perceived ref bias, and be the best tool yet for unsuring fair play.
        As you say, as the reviews
        are run/manned by another referee in a remote studio, tbh nothing has changed.

        When I first saw it used in the world cup it was excellent and very effective, the ref on the field checked everything himself on a pitch side screen, images of which everyone could see, it was way too embarrassing for any ref not to follow with a decision based on the clear evidence.
        What we have now is a 2nd referee with similar bias and the ref on the pitch rarely looks at the evidence. He’s also no longer held accountable by 40,000 + fans in the stadium.
        We’ve seen some diabolical decisions & little justice or accuracy, it’s become a poorly used tool & only used really when it suits them. The City 1st goal was by far the worst non decision I think have ever seen, and the 2nd not consistent with similar “accidental” handball decisions.
        No excuses the VAR system clearly let us
        down. It was a disgrace not just for AV but football in general.
        The FA needs to act.

  24. AVFCVillablog

    With smith suspended for the weekend it means there will not be a premier league manager in either dug out lol

  25. Vancouvervillan

    & Dean Smith 10 !
    Great to see him with so much passion, sticking up for the players, had a spat with Pep 1st half also and gave as good as he got. I don’t mind the red card this once, sometimes you have make your feelings clear.

  26. AVFCVillablog

    Rules state if player comes from an offside position an recieved the ball then hes classed as interfering with play and offside however if the opposing play deliberately plays the ball prior Aka defender Mings in this case – then Rodri is deemed on side coming from an offside position

    So mings should have just cleared to row z

    I don’t like the rule and I doubt any of our players were aware of it but letter of law is clear

    Had it been up the other end i doubt we would of same outcome

    On a plus pointt it was a decent performance our players getting back up to speed given time away 19 days roll on weekend to right the wrongs

    1. Vancouvervillan

      Ooooh you little tinker ! πŸ™„

      Had the rules not been changed (interfered with) the lino would have immediately raised his flag. Had that been our goal no way would it have stood.

  27. Vancouvervillan

    I’m so pissed off with this, why is it we NEVER get the benefit of the doubt. Others never seem to have this sort of issue, us its drama everytime.

    McGinn hits the ball cleanly earlier and were 1-0 up, we were excellent defensively tonight.

  28. Vancouvervillan

    Well it’s official, a conspiracy.
    John “moss side” ! Clearly offside and not deliberate handball imo.
    All we can do is keep at it and prove these wankers wrong. Media, refs, var all against us, turned the game that OFFSIDE!

  29. Vancouvervillan

    Fair play to Biden great speech today. Kudos to Pence also has there ever been a more difficult job.

  30. Vancouvervillan

    One thing about this season is we’re not scared of anyone and will go out and play our game.
    I remember the last time we were a huge underdog, I think we scored 7 goals πŸ˜‰

  31. Vancouvervillan

    It’s a good game this, we might of been lucky playing Leicester when they had injuries. Ndidi is an awesome player.

  32. Vancouvervillan

    I had baggies down for a shock win as my sensible predictions haven’t been working πŸ™„
    Good goal to win it from Antonio, I remember when we were rumoured to be signing him was dead against it, but he’s proved me wrong, a real beast of a CF.

  33. Vancouvervillan

    With Hourihane off out on loan it does seem the signing of Sanson is as good as done.
    I wish Hourihane good luck and success, good servant & pro who had a lot to do with us getting promoted & staying up last season. Thanks Conor.

  34. HenleyVillain

    Percy confirming our reported interest in Morgan Sansom. Don’t know much about him but you can bet our scouting team do !
    Not sure if there is anything in the rumours regarding Barclay but this could maybe be something to do with that. Hoping to see him return to the side tomorrow, we’ll need him against Citeh. Shame we couldn’t have played this one first up when they would have been easier to beat than they will be now.