Baker sold, Bacuna isn’t and Hutton going nowhere

I won’t dwell too much on Nathan Baker’s sale, except to say that I’m not convinced it was a good decision.
Why sign two defenders who probably won’t be with us next season and sell one that would?, is my immediate reaction and indeed it’s one that many Villa fans seem to agree with.
That said, Tony Xia has said there’s a good reason for it and I suspect that it’s just that the player didn’t see where he stood and wanted lots of playing time.
I can’t say I blame him and wish him well.

Then we’ve turned down a £1 mill plus bid for Leandro Bacuna.
This one doesn’t surprise me in the slightest, as it’s plainly obvious to me that Steve Bruce sees him as a very useful utility player.
That’s not to say that Bacuna doesn’t have a price. I’m sure he does.
But it would be a lot more than a million quid in Bruce’s eyes.
Reading have apparently immediately dropped their interest, as no doubt the manager has informed them of what he believes he’s worth.

And then the manager has called speculation about Hutton “rubbish”, while at the same time the player himself has said that he’s happy and not looking to leave.
I’ll bet he is. I’m normally pretty good with player’s estimated wages, but can’t put a figure on it, in this case.
£45-50k a week seems to ring a bell, but I could easily be wrong.
If I’m right though, who’s going to match that?
Again, I’d suggest that it’s simply because the price/deal haven’t been right and he has to be a possible to leave, as we have too many right backs and too many players overall.

I can’t comment on the Watford game personally, as I was up to my neck in it at work, so never saw any of it.
But the comments never seem to change, do they?
“Defence looks ok, but where’s the creativity?” And perhaps more importantly, “where are the goals coming from?” and even “what does Lansbury offer?”.

For me, things are not sorted yet and if Bruce feels he can get us promoted by winning 1-0’s, well, let’s just say I’m not convinced.
1-0’s will take you a long way, but they have to be backed up with the occasional whupping and I can’t recall the last time a Villa side under Bruce won convincingly, if at all.

The midfield is far from right to my mind, but of course I’m being unduly pessimistic.
I just hope we get yet more players in, but have to admit that I’m not as confident as I recently was, that we will. .

And then there’s a request for a “predict where we’ll finish” thread. It’s a good idea, but I’d rather wait until we’re nearer to seeing what players we’re going to start the season with.
So probably the back end of the week, “Nath”.

Roll on the proper footy and UTV!


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  1. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson July 30, 2017 at 4:58 am . Reply

    There’s one thing for sure Grealish is not the answer, weak player and I don’t understand his mentality, he has skills but no desires, im trying to keep up with what’s going on and Bruce himself has said the team has to believe in themselves, we have good skills in getting round opposition but lack that killer drive. Terrific back 4 and yet no midfield, Whelan looked good and you could see the wanting in his play, i like the new Egypt player useful to the team but its no good him putting balls in when player’s don’t keep up with his play, the answer? Not a clue when you see games like that. I’m trying to be positive but really disappointed at the minute.UTV.

  2. nath
    nath July 30, 2017 at 6:12 am . Reply

    first i liked to say thanks for taking up on the idea of a prediction thread. its only a bit of fun, most of the posters have already said where they reckon,will be good fun to return at a later date. i am more certain we are going up than i was before. but i am cautious to not be led blindly by my heart. the league betting is very close. i thought at least 7 clubs stand a fair good chance of winning the league. promotion is even closer.

    i have been critical of grealish but yesterday and one friendly before i have seen him more determined, in past i thought he drifts out of games. or doesn’t affect the game enough. no end product. but i see signs he has tried to address these points. ok he went off injured after being rough up AGAIN. but he did fall heavy. i hope its just precautions he was subbed. i did think in the minutes he was on he was looking to link up with green gabby and Elmo. the manager seems to want him being the link from mid to the front. no need to take back as much will suit him. being wide he was a reliability without ball.

    i just like to say watford were a decent last friendly. they are a match for all championship teams.i would have been less happy had we beaten a shit side. entering a league campaign without a decent run out against a real side would have been a concern.

    cutting edge up front i understand most of your concerns, i just like to point out the hard work of preseason was to do fitness and then set ground works of play they intend to use throughout the season. i can see the team are miles stronger in fitness then we have in many years. the shape of te team with ball is very strong too. they now need games and the goals will come. because our strongest assets id the defense. this gives you a platform to really attack teams.

    hangover typed so be cool

  3. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 July 30, 2017 at 7:07 am . Reply

    Not quite as pessimistic as you appear to be Badger.

    However ‘tin pot’ the Traditions Cup might be, it seemed to me the team put that little extra into those games and looked useful and they demonstrated a clear desire to win it. Last season we got mauled by Middlesbrough in the final friendly …………..

    A question – is Jed Steer in the shop window?

  4. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 July 30, 2017 at 7:13 am . Reply

    Jack Grealish in hospital and under observation following yesterday’s game – concerns over ‘possible internal injury’.

  5. langfordvilla
    langfordvilla July 30, 2017 at 9:34 am . Reply

    My man: Jordan Lyden to go out on loan this week!


  6. langfordvilla
    langfordvilla July 30, 2017 at 7:16 pm . Reply

    Lyden is the best prospect from the academy IMO. I’m hoping he’s a replacement for Jedinak in years to come! He does need ‘game time’ though and I think it will benefit him (and us) in the longterm!


  7. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 July 31, 2017 at 7:55 am . Reply

    Grealish out for two to three months

  8. Badger123
    Badger123 July 31, 2017 at 9:21 am . Reply

    Jesus. Sod”s law and Villa all over, that is. We never seem to get any luck and if we do, it’s bad.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 July 31, 2017 at 10:05 am . Reply

      Can’t help but think you are right Badger. We start the season without Kodjia, Jedi, Grealish and Adomah – what other side has so many key injuries?

    2. jvillan
      jvillan July 31, 2017 at 11:27 am . Reply

      youmake your own luck,the footballing gods are laughing at us and the doc

  9. nath
    nath July 31, 2017 at 7:30 pm . Reply

    grealish out for 3months 🙁 this sort of injuries are reason why results matter not in prseason friendlies. it was always about fitness and not to pick up injuries in the process. i thought we had a great preseason. i don’t care about results i saw bruce has the team organized and in prime condition. last years at villa i reckon we have witnessed players unable to play high tempo because they were not in great shape. this season will be different. they are organized and fit and able. results and goals will follow. bit disappointment for jack. i think he would have shined in the role bruce has chosen forhim

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 July 31, 2017 at 8:21 pm . Reply

      Nath – I was a bit disappointed at the criticsm levelled at Grealish when he went off – clearly not appropriate

      1. nath
        nath July 31, 2017 at 9:09 pm . Reply

        i won’t lie i have labelled him lightweight, but i don’t mean any malice by it, he just isn’t built for the rough and tumble side of game, the middle of the pitch is generally where its more frantic, i don’t think he is a winger as i have said before. because he isn’t the type to track back with the opposition full back, but playing where bruce wants him too,will mean he will be man marked and singled out for some rough abused by opposition. in last two friendlies i saw, he took the rough challenges and got up without dramas, he also looked like he was enjoying the freedom of just causing havoc and not much responsibility of tracking back.

        i think the criticism he gets from us fans is because he has it all, but mostly has failed to deliver, but like albrighton before him, the team around him hasn’t been the best, playing them out of their natural comfort also hinders.

        i hope he comes back stronger, gets another crack and the attacking midfielder role he was given in last two friendlies

  10. originallondonlion
    originallondonlion July 31, 2017 at 11:25 pm . Reply

    Our Jack is like the better known Jack Wilshire. There is a style of play which sets you up for injurious tackles – they both have it. Inviting players to rush you for the ball, whipping it away but leaving a limb in its place – or going for a block
    tackle with a heavier and stronger man. .You have to go back a long way to find the last Villan of the type – Alex Cropley. I suspect that despite not being a lightweight Ross Barclay will also pick up several injuries playing the same way.

    Then there are players who started like that but learned how to ride the rough stuff. Brian Little and Gordan Cowans being two, the most high profile today is Luka Modric.

    I hope Jack Grealish makes a quick recovery and becomes a bit more savvy.

    1. nath
      nath August 1, 2017 at 5:06 am . Reply

      thats a good point, his style draws a challenge, because he has quick feet he can make all challenges look foolish as he moves the ball away in a blink of a eye.

      one thing about him that gets up my nose, is complaining to referees, or asking for freekicks. this is a big no no. its also a sign of should never show on the outside your upset or angry, get up and hurt them back by actions on the field, by scoring or creating

      in last two friendlies he had seemed to have stamped this out, i did see him trying to moan to the german ref once or twice. but this forward and more central position. gave him a chance to run at last defenders, hold the ball up and move the ball left or right and link up with the striker. he seemed to be enjoying this. to be fair he looked good at this also, when hes wide he drifts infield, which makes the side weak he leaves. plus hes picking up the ball much further back, therefore less dangerous as hes likely to have to beat 3 or 4 players.

      there definitely is a player inside him. he just needs the right guidance. hopefully he will be back and stronger.

  11. Andrew
    Andrew August 1, 2017 at 5:59 am . Reply

    If I read correctly, he had internal bleeding into his Kidney (missed the game). That’s not something you can protect, if you get hit hard enough in the abdomen, you could pretty much be screwed.

  12. nath
    nath August 1, 2017 at 6:30 am . Reply

    football was always a contact sport and always will be. injuries happen to all players generally. nobody is suggesting this injury is his fault. but he has flaws. which we might have pointed out. flaws like drawing challenges this his is make up. some players have a burst of pace to clear a defender. some use trickery and skill. grealish uses a style that invites the defender a chance to pinch the ball.this will lead to more contact = more injuries. he was very unfortunate a freak accident. but this is football and sport.

  13. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 August 1, 2017 at 7:17 am . Reply

    I read in one article that the formation Bruce seems to be favouring 4-3-2-1 which can be readily converted to 4-4-2 is, in part, designed to allow Grealish to play in a more central role, if true then it’s a real shame that he’s picked up such a serious injury. Of late a combination of injuries and indiscretions on his part appear to have hampered his development.

    I’m no expert on formations so please don’t shoot the messenger …… 🙂

    1. nath
      nath August 1, 2017 at 7:14 pm . Reply

      the formation we used involving grealish was 4231 (last 2 friendlies)
      4 are the back four. 2 being two sitting midfield. 3 are the width and centre was grealish the attacking midfield ~ link up 🙂 but will we use same formation now grealish is injured. funny how football can keep surprising me. mcCormack played that very same position at fulham. he scored and created loads. will he be given a chance ???? more likely be lansbury or bjarnasson or switch back to a standard 442

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 August 1, 2017 at 7:31 pm . Reply

        Thanks Nath – knew I would get it wrong 🙂

        1. nath
          nath August 1, 2017 at 7:37 pm . Reply

          but you haven’t got it wrong. bruce might change formations now. because he does not have a grealish type to play the attacking midfield role. what you think about mcCormack getting a chance. he played their at fulham off a main striker and scored shit loads and created loads. hes a dead ball expert. if you were bruce would you give him a start Saturday

          1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
            OohAhPaulMcGrath August 1, 2017 at 7:47 pm . Reply

            Bruce’s tactics will be exactly the same. He will play negative defensive football and hope to nick a goal on a set piece. I guarantee you at least 75-80% of our goals this season will be from set pieces. It’s the only tactic Bruce knows regardless of who plays in the team

          2. Hitchens 60
            Hitchens 60 August 2, 2017 at 11:22 am . Reply

            Nath – read somewhere else (Brum Mail I think) 3 options for that role – Lansbury, McCormack or most interestingly Callum O’Hare. Give the kid a chance is my call

          3. nath
            nath August 2, 2017 at 7:10 pm . Reply

            lansbury is the save option.McCormack played the role at fulham and scored and created loads. Callum O’hare looked good in the friendlies iam sure if he got a look in he wouldnt disappoint. bruce will play it safe. he will revert back to standard 442 or play lansbury. in grealish slot. they have worked on that system just reading this.

      2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath August 1, 2017 at 7:48 pm . Reply

        Grealish is no loss. He is good in flashes but his head isn’t right and never will be.

    GIDDYVILLAN August 1, 2017 at 7:57 am . Reply

    Sorry about his injury but give it a couple of weeks we’ll all of forgotten about him especially if the teams performing.he simply doesn’t do it for me I can see loads more potential with green than I ever did at the start with grealish. We’re certainly missing kodjia will you be saying the same about grealish when the season is up & moving let’s just wait & see eh

  15. nath
    nath August 1, 2017 at 7:42 pm . Reply

    another idea elmo can play the attacking midfield role he has played their quite a few times. only that would mean we lose the good width he has supplied. i cant see him switching the AM

  16. nath
    nath August 1, 2017 at 8:23 pm . Reply

    i would take scoring from goal kicks if it meant we are promoted come end of season. whether your a fan of bruce or not. we have recruited in my opinion better than we have recruited in many many years. every player recruited this summer has improved the squad no improved the first team by a considerable distance. i said many times i do care how they play. as long as we reach our goal of promotion. personally i can see many goals in this squad. a strong defense doesn’t mean grinding out 1 nils. a strong defense can throttle teams into over stretching and leaving acres of space to exploit

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath August 4, 2017 at 3:10 pm . Reply

      Yes but we havnt got players to exploit space

  17. Andrew
    Andrew August 2, 2017 at 4:32 am . Reply

    You’re right, Grealish will always be a target for defenders, unfortunately when you’re talented with the ball, that’s what happens.

    A lot of talk about Abel Hernandez again. We 100% need an attacking mid still, whether Grealish is out injured or not. As well as a natural center mid.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 August 2, 2017 at 11:34 am . Reply

      Dr T knocked the Hernandez story on the head – not going to happen

      1. Andrew
        Andrew August 3, 2017 at 12:55 am . Reply

        Just read that, shame honestly. Overall he’s a talented player, something we lack. Would’ve been nice, as we need a few more attacking players before we can think about winning the Championship.

  18. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 August 2, 2017 at 5:33 pm . Reply

    Cissokho gone for £1.3m – probably a decent bit of business.

    McCormack very likely to go to Sunderland on loan – reading between the lines we have agreed some sort of loan fee and now it’s about agreeing on apportionment of wages. If we couldn’t get around £8m then, as predicted, a loan deal works better under FFP rules in the short term. Mad or what?

    1. nath
      nath August 2, 2017 at 7:04 pm . Reply

      that cissokho deal was dragging on some delighted its finally over and 1.3 mill thats a decent scoop.

      not sure about McCormack would have liked him to have a go on the AM role left vacant by grealish injury. but if bruce doesn’t like him and he is a bad apple i can understand the need to loan him. also as you pointed out ffp rules seems the best solution. as you explained before we could be looking for less next year. with him only on 2 years left. also he might improve his stock in the meantime.

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