Az Alkmaar 1- 4 Villa; Spanked. Who are ya?

What was I worried about?
Is it unfair of me to say that AZ played like a bunch of total amateurs?
Truthfully, I don’t think it is and my over-riding thought was that they need to learn how to play the offside rule. How can a professional team get that so wrong, so many times?
Anyway, that’s their problem and I quite frankly loved watching this game.

Make no mistake about this.
We made AZ look like a bunch of total amateurs. I’d say Stevenage, but we all know how that went.
Seriously though, we basically abused the opposition here.
How on earth was it so easy? is what I keep asking myself.
I don’t believe for one second that we’re the best team on earth, hence totally invincible, but wow, AK offered no resistance and we embarrassed them, in my opinion.
I’d say if we keep putting a proper team out, instead of messing about with the second string, we have a decent chance of a bit of silverware here.
Will Unai and more impotrantly, the owners see it like that though?
I do hope so.


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  1. Villain57
    Villain57 October 26, 2023 at 9:11 pm . Reply

    I’d say they played like amateurs because the Villa overwhelmed/outplayed them for most of the game.

  2. The Ron Saunders Stand
    The Ron Saunders Stand October 26, 2023 at 9:26 pm . Reply

    “we have a decent chance of a bit of silverware here”
    What would prioritise – Silverware or a Champions League spot?

    1. Villain57
      Villain57 October 26, 2023 at 9:41 pm . Reply

      Keep playing as they are and both are possible

  3. Ardent Villain
    Ardent Villain October 26, 2023 at 9:28 pm . Reply

    We did have 4 changes from the WHam game.
    And just to prove that I know nothing, Tielemans not only put in a shift, but he was actually quite good.

    Add to that that Bailey is finally showing what all of the fuss was about, and I think that Emery has found the right balance rotation-wise – at least until we get an injury to someone for whom we really have no back-up…

  4. Texas Villan
    Texas Villan October 26, 2023 at 10:22 pm . Reply

    This game highlighted the importance Luiz has on the team for us. His play dictation is the best I’ve seen at VP since Gareth Barry – and I believe showed that it was actually mostly just him we missed during the other prior euro games. If you look back at those games, we always looked better once he got on the pitch.

    I think Tielemans thrives off of his play as it’s so reliable and they were an interesting partnership to observe tonight. It really makes me excited to see JJ back on the left and give Zaniolo a rest. I have high hopes for him but tonight he wasn’t at it – and understandable so with his personal issues going on.

    Bailey though – wow. You talk about unplayable and he totally was. He was direct, he was skillful, he passed at the right moments, and could easily have had another goal had the one Ollie got gone in first.

    I did see what people were saying about Lenglet having a good performance and he definitely retained the ball better but he still seems so much slower than Mings. We really miss that pace when that high line gets breached and we chase back.

    1. BFR
      BFR October 27, 2023 at 8:58 pm . Reply

      And to think Stevie couldn’t fit him into the team. Roll eyes and slap forehead.

  5. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum October 26, 2023 at 11:13 pm . Reply

    I’m wondering if the ‘boring’ comments weren’t Badger in disguise…Generate a bit of traffic 😁😁😁😁.

    2nd in the group on head to head but with superior GD. Strange… We have so many players to talk about and assess it’s fantastic. Bailey and Teillmannnnnz. What do we know? Emery seems to have challenged them both to raise their game, and tonight they responded. Blooding fringe players in seems to be working too as we will get injuries throughout the season so have to be ready. Look how Konsa has grown in stature. I still think we’ll bring in 2 quality new faces in January. Remember when Ellis refused John Gregory Juninho when we were top of the league then fell away? I don’t think NEWS will make that mistake.

    Luton next, but take nowt for granted!!!!

    1. BFR
      BFR October 27, 2023 at 9:01 pm . Reply

      Ellis also refused Greg Muzzy Izzet the 2 seasons later. Again Greg was top of the league. 🙄

  6. OLL again
    OLL again October 26, 2023 at 11:38 pm . Reply

    Says much about the Dutch Erdivisie. I watched Brighton & Hove Actually disposing of Ajax with ease, who look a young and easily discouraged bunch, but they are second bottom. AZ Alkmaar were near the top we dismantled their defence as we had done to West Ham.

    Still some old Villa traits. We can’t take the p*** after going into a conclusive lead. When we try the soft little passes with no end product we screw up and give a goal away. Kamara particularly prone to gifting the ball to an opponent.

    Two 4-1s in a week though – that is some performance!

  7. 1874 was a good year
    1874 was a good year October 27, 2023 at 12:26 am . Reply

    Two wonderful and very similar performances against the Hammers and AZ. Controlled 90% of the game and altogether scored eight goals with five different scorers. Unfortunately, we also had a sloppy period in each game and gave a goal away so we’re not quite there yet.
    I thought that Tielemans and Bailey both had terrific games and I agree with Texas that we always play better when Luiz is in the side.
    I also agree with the pundits who said that we now have our own style of football and identity and how Emery has massively improved the players he inherited.
    Happy days and all I can say is what a difference a year makes!

  8. Adam
    Adam October 27, 2023 at 11:44 am . Reply

    Lets be honest the players we had before Emery always had ability they just had no structure, identity or confidence. Enter Unai – “You play like this, you move here, you defend like this you attack like this” He has it all worked out and it is a tried and tested method (by Unai himself) that produces consistent results. Proven by the instant impact when he arrived and the continuation of points gained since. The lads have now persisted and worked very hard over the last 12 months to fine tune the Unai method and wow we are seriously reaping the benefits. The commentary last night said the mark of a good manager is has he improved the players he inherited – undoubtedly YES! with better to come yet i’m sure. JJ and Moreno to come back will make us better. A clever January window and I can see a very strong finish to the season. Unai is a god and long may this journey continue. A conference league trophy and a top 4/5 finish could realistically be on the cards.

  9. 1874 was a good year
    1874 was a good year October 27, 2023 at 12:32 pm . Reply

    So, while Emery is taking us to the heights, ever wondered what happened to our previous manager? Then wonder no more –

    “Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson’s Al-Ettifaq slumped to defeat against Al-Riyadh in front of fewer than 700 fans last weekend.”

    Sounds like football hell to me and it’s bloody hot too! Serves him right.

    1. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum October 27, 2023 at 3:12 pm . Reply

      £700,000 a week to play in front of 700 people? Utterly abhorrent. The Saudi League will be gone in 18 months, just like the Chinese a few years back.

      1. The Ron Saunders Stand
        The Ron Saunders Stand October 27, 2023 at 3:34 pm . Reply

        650 have asked for their money back 😁
        (The other 50 had complementary)

    2. BFR
      BFR October 27, 2023 at 8:50 pm . Reply

      I’m sure Steven will feel much better about it when he checks his bottom line.

      1. The Ron Saunders Stand
        The Ron Saunders Stand October 27, 2023 at 9:51 pm . Reply

        You can’t buy credibility mate.

  10. Sideforever
    Sideforever October 27, 2023 at 7:03 pm . Reply

    These are magic days. Further, I love the Sunday/ Thursday matches because we no longer have to wait a week to watch such great football.

    Let’s go for Champions League qualification. Securing this accesses greater finance for better players. But let’s be greedy and win the European Conference League. As the late great Freddie Mercury sang ‘I want it all and I want it now’.


    1. BFR
      BFR October 27, 2023 at 8:53 pm . Reply

      Now Sid, don’t be greedy. Let’s hope we’re singing ‘another one bites the dust’ by Sunday evening…

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 October 27, 2023 at 10:43 pm . Reply

        Need to be careful of Luton – they’re fighters – and it’s just the sort of match to cause an upset.

        Everyone thinks we will win (easily) – beware the Stevenage’s of this world! Even Canadian Pete is wary.

        I’m sure Emery will have driven this point home

  11. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 October 27, 2023 at 10:52 pm . Reply

    Reports coming out of Italy suggest that there is no evidence linking Zaniolo with illegal betting on football although, it seems, he’s admitted betting on card games on (an) illegal site.

    If that the case then there would be no grounds on which to ban him from football although he will probably face a stiff fine.

    Hope that’s the case as I like him as a footballer and think he has a
    lot to offer.

  12. OLL again
    OLL again October 28, 2023 at 10:22 am . Reply

    Tomorrow could be a long old 90 minutes if Luton park the bus and go for spoiling tactics – which I think they will do should they take the lead. I agree with Canadian Pete: apart from 2 early season thrashings (like us) they have lost games by the odd goal since they have become used to the EPL. Nevertheless they lack pace at the back and I think their keeper does not anticipate well so if our finishing matches the Alkmaar game it still might be a big score.

    1. 1874 was a good year
      1874 was a good year October 28, 2023 at 3:05 pm . Reply

      Just watched the Chelsea v Brentford game where Brentford had a very low block and Chelsea just didn’t know what to do about it. I suspect that Luton will try the same tactic against us tomorrow. However, unlike Chelsea, we have lots players who can score goals, five different scorers in the last eight goals. We only need to get one and the low block tactic is made redundant.
      Of course, one proven solution to the low block is shots from outside the box so I’m wondering if Tielemans will get a start as he has scored some cracking goals from distance when he was playing for Leicester.
      I know that this is the sort of match that teams can slip up in but I don’t think that Emery will let that happen. I think that we will win by at least two goals and it would be nice to have a clean sheet too.

  13. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum October 28, 2023 at 6:04 pm . Reply

    I think with the lack of goal threat from Luton, we may see a changed side tomorrow, resting several defensive players who’ve all put in long shifts recently. The question is, if they do park the bus, how do we draw them out? Get Emi to stand on the ball for another 60 seconds??? That would embarrass them somewhat (although I have a lot of respect for Luton). We may even see Luiz rested for the first half for Tielmanns. Looking forward to it big style though!!!

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 October 28, 2023 at 7:02 pm . Reply

      Loved Canadian Pete’s parody of Emi standing on the ball.

      Some might think it’s boring 🙂 – I think it’s hilarious!

      If the opposition are that concerned about challenging Emi to play the ball we must be doing something right!


      1. Bum Bum
        Bum Bum October 28, 2023 at 9:59 pm . Reply

        Emi was very, very funny.

        2pm Sunday KO. (I’m only flagging times because I’ve nearly missed loads of our games recently!!!).

  14. Sidforever
    Sidforever October 29, 2023 at 1:13 pm . Reply

    Team for today:
    Martinez, Digne, Torres, Konsa, Kamara, Luiz, McGinn, Zaniola, Diby and Watkins.

    Good to see Ireogbunam on the bench.

    I guess Bailey will come on when Luton are tired and cause mayhem.

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