Brentford – Villa; A draw written all over it

I’m really not sure that I have much to say that’s any different from what I’ve said in the last few weeks, to be honest.
It’s very much the same old, same old, where we just have to keep winning games if we’re to get a play-off place.
Yet we haven’t been achieving those wins and we’ve only got six points from our last five games.
How we’re still in the top six (via goal difference) is somewhat beyond me.

Yet we are where we are and it could definitely be worse.
Unfortunately, this is another Sky game, where I fully expect our poor run of televised games to continue.

The good news is I’ve done my tax returns and have the added bonus where I’m due a few quid back.
Which means, having subscribed for a one week Sky pass, I’ll be able to watch the game.

So what do we know?

Brentford sit in 12th place and their form is a bit better than ours, in having eight points from the last five games. The same as us, they’ve only lost once, so are obviously fairly tough to beat.

Squad-wise, Josh Clarke and Henrik Dalsgaard might be in contention to return tonight while Alan Judge continues to work his way back to full-fitness. Up front Lasse Vibe lasted an hour on Friday on his return from a three-week injury lay-off, so he might be doubtful.

On our part, Gabby is out (again), along with John Terry, Henri Lansbury, Chris Samba and Jonathan Kodjia.
Onomah might be available.
You can see Steve Bruce’s words in the Twitter timeline on the right of the page (or maybe not, as I’m seeing “media can’t be played?).

So I can’t see much changing team-wise, with the only question being will Bruce go with Jedinak as a central defender again after his poor showing in the last game?
We have Elphick available, but will Bruce use him? It might be good timing for him to put himself in the shop window, but I don’t see it, as much as it’s the pragmatic option.

Against my better judgement, I think Grealish will start, as he did at least offer something. I still don’t see that we have the team that suits his play, but there you go.
It seems Hogan will start too, as the manager has been talking about how it’s his time and as much as I’d like him to come good, I just don’t see that either.

Prediction time then and I’m going for the draw, as I really don’t see much else.
Brentford are tough to beat, we don’t look much like scoring and we’re on Sky again, where it seems we never win.
Then add in that they beat us 3-0 last season and I certainly don’t see us winning.

Which all in all sees me a bit depressed and longing for the days where we could strongly expect a win.

I’m tempted to say 0-0, but I’ll go for the 1-1.


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  1. Andrew
    Andrew December 26, 2017 at 10:07 pm . Reply

    We’re now 4 points better off now than this time last season, after Bruce’s January and Summer transfer windows. I thought we were supposed to be better after he got his own team? Where did those fans go? Seems most have changed their minds quite quickly.

    1. Villain1
      Villain1 December 26, 2017 at 10:21 pm . Reply

      Dont forget he’s the so called promotion expert. It’s all part of the Villa Engine that Keith Wyness likes to sell. The club is full of BS from Dr Tony, through to the board and management structure.

      1. Andrew
        Andrew December 26, 2017 at 10:28 pm . Reply

        Xia’s in the same boat Lerner was when he first joined. He gave jobs to all the wrong people, he spent a crap ton of money, is getting nothing on his investment, and has had to cut funds for while different, legitimate reasons. He’s being dragged around by Wyness who doesn’t know what he’s doing. Both Wyness and Steve Rounds weren’t highly thought of by Everton fans, and it’s showing why.

  2. B6
    B6 December 26, 2017 at 10:11 pm . Reply

    Seems most also post on here after a win as well as a defeat Andrew. Just saying.

    1. Sidforever
      Sidforever December 26, 2017 at 10:28 pm . Reply

      It’s time to sack Steve Bruce
      It’s time to pack his bag
      It’s time to wave him off
      With his muppets show tonight!

      I knew that muppet tune from childhood had a long turn purpose. Dr Xia you are backing the wrong manager with whatever decreasing funds you can invest in Villa.

  3. Benno
    Benno December 26, 2017 at 10:20 pm . Reply

    Bruce is an average, average manager. Once again our performance and tactics were woeful.

    Long balls to Hogan and Grealish?!!!! aahhhh!! Bruce has no idea against any half decent side. Jedinak and Whelan in the middle together?? Both too slow and too old. Their midfielders had a field day.

    1. Villain1
      Villain1 December 26, 2017 at 10:25 pm . Reply

      Average is complimentary. He is unbelievably cautious, which I have said for months is the problem. You can’t take a play it safe attitude when your aim is to finish in the top 2. Yet week in, week out we see Bruce being negative with his starting lineups, subs and the insistence on wasting a starting place on utter gutter dross like Glenn Whelan who couldnt play a forward pass if his life depended on it.
      Not the defence has gone to pot on top of that, we’ve got literally no hope at all. Its a waste of time and energy watching the Villa under Bruce as every game is so predictable beyond belief.

  4. Holte 66
    Holte 66 December 26, 2017 at 10:36 pm . Reply

    Stick or twist? When our blood pressures have returned to normal then some will say stick because of his successful promotion record while some will say twist because fortune favours the brave. I think with the amount of money being spent we should all expect a minimum of top six but we have been found out and high tempo fast pressing teams will more often than not beat us. Time for change and give a new manager half a season to access players.

  5. DSVilla
    DSVilla December 26, 2017 at 10:59 pm . Reply

    “With Aston Villa there comes an expectation and at the minute you have to handle the expectation”

    Steve Bruce after match.

    Needs to look at himself.

    1. jvillan
      jvillan December 26, 2017 at 11:09 pm . Reply

      a full year wasted with this clown in charge not only that he has spent 30m on mostly players who appeared fairly good at this level and turned them in complete ghosts,signed couple ex hull players who are complete crap,whelan who cannot pass the ball forward,sold any decent player we had and left us with a squad of over the hill old players who cannot run,pass ,cross the ball close down opposition,and yet badger and nath still think he is doing good job

  6. Andrew
    Andrew December 27, 2017 at 2:42 am . Reply

    I don’t think Badger’s one of those that are still blindly following Bruce. He may not be like some of us who think Bruce is a disaster and should’ve been gone last January, but I don’t think he’s in the blinded Bruce seat. And Nath seems to be slowly changing his mind. Kinda hard to read if he blames the players or Bruce, but he doesn’t seem blindly following him either. The one guy who comes on after every win or loss talking about how close we are to the top 2 and how we’ll make the top 2 and be an automatic promoted team seems to have gone into hiding quickly though.

    Reading the typical bullshit comments by Bruce, it’s annoying that he keeps talking about how big of a club we are and the pressure the players have and almost making fun of the fans by claiming we think we’re in a crisis and 2-3 weeks ago we were in the thick of it, yet most of us knew we weren’t anything more than maybe a play-off team, which are aren’t anymore.

    I am happy to see the away fans turning on the useless shit though. “You don’t know what you’re doing” is what the away fans sang to Bruce at the end, and they couldn’t be more right.

  7. nath
    nath December 27, 2017 at 10:08 am . Reply

    listen jvillan i don’t have the authority to sack bruce and i don’t have his back. football is my enjoyment. what we are trying to play last night, has no place on a football pitch. i am a sad and disgusted as the rest of you.

    our midfield was maybe the worst we have ever fielded in my memory. lacked everything a midfield needs. losing adomah was bad but wouldn’t have made any difference had he played the 90. we made Brentford play like Brazil, that’s some achievement. hogan and grealish had no chance to shine.

    defence is not worth mentioning. only that it was strong not long ago. but has been continuing to look ragged and clueless game by game. wasn’t helped by a clueless midfield offering no support or shield.

    team that’s a word must be a swear word around Bodymoor Heath, i get confidence is rock bottom. i saw players not caring or not working. only effort i saw was in last 10 minutes.

    movement is important to teams with the ball. if you don’t move to offer options you can’t pass the ball, brentford have no superstars in their team. but they kept the ball moving and players also offering themselves. they gave us a footballing lesson. dr x should have learnt something and he is the man who needs to learn the lesson.

  8. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson December 27, 2017 at 10:28 am . Reply

    I’m back to square one, ducking and diving from people that know who I support and spend money on, i couldn’t believe that was my football team being made to look like a bunch of half wits that had no clue of playing football, the two fulbacks went missing, Whelan I just dont know what to think of him, not one of that load of shite deserves mentioning, going up?we will be lucky if we stay in the halfway of the championship. Yes Bruce has to go, no two ways on that he doesn’t have a clue, neither does his staff.

  9. nath
    nath December 27, 2017 at 10:43 am . Reply

    i thought something may have happened over night Bill. Dr is a tweet fan. so i half expected something to have been said. silence isn’t his style. i know he was fined and has since kept a lid on criticism of officials. but he is the owner and needs to say something.

    last nights performance is one that can’t be defended and you can’t come back from. dressing room has downed tools. another game is coming in days. if we throw in another performance like that we will get mauled.

  10. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson December 27, 2017 at 11:14 am . Reply

    Nath, might be the time span on him giving his kick up the arse, I’ve had enough now, take a look at my Avatar I’ll have to hide now again.

  11. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson December 27, 2017 at 1:39 pm . Reply

    Here we go, all the bull shit coming out from Bruce, he’s just as angry as the fans and understand why, the guys unbelievably a idiot, we have a week before it’s critical, what planet is he from.

  12. Andrew
    Andrew December 27, 2017 at 6:27 pm . Reply

    He tweeted: “A hectic work and business travel schedule month. Just recovering from one week serious flu. No(t) enough free time and most time inaccessible to Twitter. Hopefully it will also end the ‘disaster month’ with a win! Time to recovery!”

    Xia’s tweet. Pretty much assures Bruce won’t be sacked yet. When you’re in the game for 20 years and blame injuries and expectations from fans, you’re utterly pathetic, especially knowing what you’re getting yourself into.

    1. nath
      nath December 27, 2017 at 7:02 pm . Reply

      this is not the news that will end this nightmare. injuries have been cruel nobody can doubt that. but injuries alone are not the reason for the chaos which is happening every game now. they have been getting worse game by game. so our immediate future is bleak.

      i watched middlesbrough against wednesday monks last game,they were second best first half, but still had the better chances. second half they stepped it up and were easily the better team. pulis will give them a automatic lift, if we play like we have, we don’t have a glimmer of a chance. middlesbro are a strong unit strong all over the field.

      we don’t have a ounce of confidence, work rate, organisation or skills to hurt them or anybody. we are dead men walking. bruce won’t last out this year. dr x will have to act or maybe bruce will walk after a heavy defeat saturday,

  13. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson December 27, 2017 at 7:05 pm . Reply

    Just read that tweet , another good news Terry at bodymore, training with the first team and may be back for the game, still one man won’t make that much difference would it.

    1. nath
      nath December 27, 2017 at 7:25 pm . Reply

      terry back is a wonderful plus. but doubt he can rattle the troops for another effort. looking at the villa players faces and those of the brenford players. difference was night and day. villa players looked disinterested and scared. brentford players were happy and laughing. obviously at the state of the villa defence.

      mistakes are littered all over the pitch. they are individual errors as well very hard to eradicate. been happening for months and getting worse. snowballing affect. yesterday we made 10 to 20 basic errors that is too many for 10 games never-mind one

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