Bournemouth – Villa; Happy days are here again!

Wahey, the footy proper is back again and not before time.
The Euros has been great for putting Brum on the map, but it’s not really my thing and footy’s what does it for me.
Nothing else comes close.

So we travel to the Vitality stadium for our first game.
I quite like the idea of smaller clubs being in the Premier league, but have serious doubts about how a stadium that holds not many over 11,000 people has anything to offer at all and I’d say there might be a serious argument that clubs shouldn’t even be allowed into the league with a capacity of say, 20,000 minimum.
Certainly to my mind, Bournemouth should have either increased the capacity or moved to a new ground.
They could of course retained the right to keep things as they are and not enter the league, but who seriously would turn down the Sky riches?

I won’t harp on it, but I think it’s somewhat embarassing that we have grounds that small.
And before anyone complains about that, consider that away crowds are small enough as it is.

Not that I get the chance to go away these days. I’m constantly busy lately and indeed am working again tomorrow. I might struggle to see the kickoff, but I will make sure I get to see most of the game.

The main thing of note for me in this game is that Scott Parker has been constantly rattling on about how Bournemouth are not where they need to be to compete.
I have been incredibly poor at keeping up with all things football in this close season, so I don’t have a clue how many players Bournemouth lost at the end of last season, but they obviously haven’t got enough in and Parker is definitely not happy about the situation.
In fact the way he’s been talking, I’ve almost read his comments as blatant criticism of the owners/board.
Whatever, it can only be good for us. Or so you would think.
I’m sure the Watford game last season will live long in the memory. I know it will, mine.
It goes without saying,there’s no such thing as a guaranteed win.

Squad news then and on Bournemouth’s part, things aren’t helped with the fact that two of their new signings, Ryan Fredericks and Joe Rothwell are both injured. Good news is that ex Middlesbrough signing Marcus Tavernier will be available.

As for the Villa, we’re all good apart from Konsa and Davis not being ready according to WM earlier, although I’ve not seen this confirmed anywhere on the web.

I know I really shouldn’t count my chickens, but I really can’t see past a Villa win here. I’d expect it to be convincing too, as much as Bournemouth might put up a decent fight.
The way Scott Parker talks, I’m expecting nothing other than a relegation fight for the Cherries too.
Or is Parker just being canny?
I doubt it.

I’m going to go for a 2-0 win, but don’t ask me who’s going to get the goals. The truth is I have little faith in both of our strikers lately.

Maybe we’ll see more of Archer this season? I doubt he can be much worse, hence pressure shouldn’t be too bad.
Which reminds me, congratulations on the new five year contract, Cameron.
It’s nice to see we’re looking to tie top quality young players up for a long time.

Oh, I need to check out my betting account too, as I can see a tenner going on us.
Last I looked, it was temporarily closed, because my £80 balance was being checked for money laundering.
You have to laugh.

UTV and here’s to a successful season!


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  1. Holte
    Holte August 9, 2022 at 7:04 pm . Reply

    It’s taken me a few days to calm down but Saturdays game made me as angry as I have been for a long while. It wasn’t just the result but mostly the inept performance totally devoid of ideas and a plan B. Watching Gerrard sat in the dug out looking as if he knew the game was lost left me questioning whether he can turn things around. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration in saying that we cannot lose against Everton. A draw would be very disappointing and would only keep the axe from his neck for a bit. Unfortunately if we can’t get points out of Bournemouth given their issues with lack of signings etc, then what hope have we against an established premier league team?

    1. Badger123
      Badger123 August 9, 2022 at 9:31 pm . Reply

      Blimey, I’m really glad I hardly got to see any of it!

  2. Badger123
    Badger123 August 9, 2022 at 9:28 pm . Reply

    “famously displaying a banner featuring a penis with Purslow’s name written on it”

    Haha, you can’t beat footy fans for cynicism and sarcasm 🙂

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand August 9, 2022 at 9:59 pm . Reply

      Wonder if someone somewhere still has it tucked away in the attic?

  3. Sidforever
    Sidforever August 10, 2022 at 7:27 am . Reply

    An excellent article revealing the worrying short fall in Gerrard’s tactics.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 August 10, 2022 at 2:52 pm . Reply

      ‘And Villa (fans) should be looking over their shoulders rather than thinking about climbing up the league’

      Are we really headed back to relegation struggles with an endless procession of bad managerial appointments.

    2. OLL again
      OLL again August 10, 2022 at 3:18 pm . Reply

      A brilliant analysis! I urge everyone who posts here to read this article. Then the conclusion is, there was a huge hole in midfield, no Villa player patrolling the centre circle to link play. If the rest of the players had roles out wide, who was supposed to be filling that role? I think the answer on Saturday was John Mcginn. Never in the picture. I come to the conclusion SG has given the armband to a player who, in this formation, should not be on the pitch. Douglas Luiz or Buendia or Sanson can adopt that role.

  4. The Ron Saunders Stand
    The Ron Saunders Stand August 10, 2022 at 11:39 am . Reply

    Oh dear, any foundation to this and it looks like the wheels are well and truly coming off.
    Aston Villa willing to sell Ollie Watkins after fall-out.
    It is believed manager Steven Gerrard has a tense relationship with Watkins and one well-placed source told us the pair “do not see eye to eye”.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 August 10, 2022 at 2:45 pm . Reply

      Only needs rumours and rumours of rumours and the house of cards tumbles.

      Smoke and fire – there is something smouldering at VP and it’s for the owners to act decisively one way or another.

      Watkins was always Smith’s player and maybe that’s at the root of it?

  5. Big Fat Ron
    Big Fat Ron August 10, 2022 at 3:54 pm . Reply

    It would appear that Gerrard is a lame duck and unfortunately (for him and us), his tenure at Aston Villa will provide him with the harshest of lessons on how to manage a prestigious top-flight football club. As everyone on here knows, I strongly advocated giving him a chance, which was only right and fair. A good pre-season and the addition of some of his players should have provided the springboard for a productive and progressive season. Although that may yet materialise, the mounting evidence, although primarily based on conjecture, suggests that Gerrard has lost the dressing room – the reasons appear to varied and have been discussed at length, so no need to go over old ground. If that is the case, I hasten to add it the situation is likely irretrievable and therefore, messrs Sawiris and Edens must act immediately and, regrettably, relieve Gerrard and his staff of their duties, pulling rank on Purslow if necessary.

    The ideal manager for Aston Villa FC is available now and the owners must act to secure his services before they are acquired elsewhere. His name is Mauricio Pochettino. The next stage for AVFC is for the team to be competitive in the top 6 of the Premier League. Pochettino has proven experience of this, for a club not bigger than ours and which, traditionally, was inconsistent. Also, for the club to be qualify and be competitive in Europe. Again, this man has experience of this, both with Tottenham and on the continent. Finally, the significant ground-work that has gone into building one of the best academies in the country must be cultivated for it to have been worth the effort. Pochettino has proven to be adept at this. Without wishing to be sarcastic, he is a marquee manager who has managed prestigious clubs but doesn’t win things. A perfect fit for a prestigious club that doesn’t win things and needs a marqee manager. Aston Villa is now at the stage where, after years of appointing managers with ‘potential’, without success, it needs a manager of Mauricio Pochettino’s stature, reputation, and perhaps even more importantly, temperament. Dean Smith assembled a squad of ‘good guys’ and good players. That they are now turning on a manager who should be able command respect by name and reputation alone, is telling.

    I implore the owners of Aston Villa FC, who only have to speak to the squad to find out if the dressing room is lost, to make this all important decision and offer him a contract he cannot refuse, before Mr Pochettino secures employment elsewhere.

    Meanwhile, if anyone has any humble pie, please hand me a slice while I wipe the egg of my face.

    1. Holte
      Holte August 10, 2022 at 7:41 pm . Reply

      BFR, I don’t think Gerrard will be going anywhere unless we are winless after our first 4-5 games. Purslow doesn’t want to look an idiot because he advocated his old Liverpool buddy as the man to move us forward. Whether Gerrard is creating a new bomb squad is purely down to gossip and like you said, the owners should know what the truth is. If he is trying to upset all the Smith signings so he has his own team, then that’s just petty. I’m not a big Mings fan but I feel uncomfortable with the treatment of him. It’s Gerrard’s prerogative to appoint his own captain but if dropping him and calling him out is a means to show everyone who the boss is, then that could alienate key players and cause a split when he should be trying to create a harmonious squad.
      I don’t want Gerrard to fail because I want to see Villa win games, but based on the Bournemouth performance alone, I don’t see how he will succeed.

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 August 10, 2022 at 10:17 pm . Reply

        Love him or hate him, the indisputable fact is that our win ratio when Mings isn’t playing is just 10.6%

        He’s a leader on the pitch and I think he’s been treated shabbily.

        Having had time to think about it, not only has he be stripped of the captaincy but Gerrard has appointed two vice captains – one being Diego Carlos who, it seems, doesn’t speak English and appointed Young club captain who has a one year contract. Whatever else one thinks about Mings, he’s articulate and has been a decent ambassador for the club – he, at least, deserved to retain the club captaincy.

        Sadly, what we’re witnessing, is Gerrard’s proclivity to like or dislike players and display it publicly.

        Contrast Mings and Coutinho.

    2. OLL again
      OLL again August 10, 2022 at 10:11 pm . Reply

      I don’t agree either BFR. You make your case as if player power will win as usual. I suggest it will not.
      There is a group of players still at Villa who played badly enough to get Smith sacked. Now a new manager is struggling to get better performances out of those still in the 11. So is this the fault of the two managers? The case can be made that the players are not good enough, and if that is so, a third manager probably hasn’t got a magic wand to improve them. Better to let the new manager shift them out and try with new recruits.

    3. Guest
      Guest August 10, 2022 at 10:25 pm . Reply

      BFR, fair play, completely agree.

  6. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 August 10, 2022 at 6:26 pm . Reply

    According to Brum Live, Luiz is close to signing a new three year contract.

    Perhaps Gerrard sees him as the missing but of the midfield jigsaw?

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 August 10, 2022 at 6:53 pm . Reply

      Three year extension apparently

  7. Steve
    Steve August 10, 2022 at 11:02 pm . Reply

    Off the field gerrard talks a great game. But tactically i don’t see anything. In a flat back four your full backs don’t bomb on without cover.
    He seems to be alienating our bigger players from pre gerrard.
    His love of coutinho over buendia is obvious.
    3 more drfeats on the back of last season he and purslow will be gone.
    My fear is lerner wasting a lot of money on o’neil and ultimarley lost interest. Our current owners have invested big with smith and gerrard.
    Purslow wanted gerrard way before smith was sacked.
    I hope i am wrong but the last 12 games last season and fall outs the writing could already on the wall.
    Potechino for me.

  8. Sidforever
    Sidforever August 11, 2022 at 12:05 am . Reply

    BFR I am in total agreement. SG is not tactically astute enough and is struggling to motivate the team he has.

    Let’s be clear he has had the chance to stamp his authority on the team.

    He wanted and got:
    * Coutinho
    * Digne
    * Chambers
    * Carlos
    * Kamara
    * Olsen
    * Augustinsson
    * Young – resigned
    That’s now his team

    He wanted a pre-season and he got it.

    Yet what we hear and see is:
    * falling out with players
    * throwing players under the bus
    * incessant talking about high standards
    * appointing a new captain who is inconsistent
    * not picking players on form
    * appearing to have favourites
    * setting up the team to be less than the sum of its parts

    What have we see is a 38.1% win ratio! Not good enough.

    Saunders – 44.5%
    Barton – 44.6%
    Atkinson- 43.3%
    Little – 41.5%

    All these Villa managers won a trophy. Moreover, each of them had a style and system to the team’s play. We are void of that at the moment.

    Pochettino has a 51.6% premier win % and is free.

    If I were NSWE I would be meeting with Purslow after Everton game and asking him to get Pochettino in.

    I also think Purslow is on ice wearing hot skates. He has made a number of mistakes.

    I currently have that dreadful feeling in my stomach the last time we were relegated. I really hope it is an over reaction on my part.

Right or Wrong? What do YOU think?

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