Brief thoughts on the Leeds game; We move on and will beat Swansea

Merry Christmas all!

I watched most of the Leeds game and I was absolutely livid at the way we threw the game away at the final whistle.
I thought the ref was shocking and seriously wonder how paid officials can get so many calls wrong.

Regardless, I thought Leeds were probably the better side overall.
Did they deserve the win?
I don’t know.
But it is what it is. We’re going to lose some games, simple as that. A 94th minute goal conceded still remains disappointing though.
So gutting that I just didn’t fancy posting anything about it at the time.

That said, I think given our defence, we’re doing quite well.
To keep things in perspective, we gave Leeds a pretty good game. If you accept that they’re looking favourites to win the title at the moment, we have much to look forward to, if Dean Smith can get the right players (read defenders) in.
Surely we have to recall Elphick and then add a decent left back, meaning we will look better?

What’s important, is that I thought the team ran their guts out for the manager and that bodes well.
Our promotion hopes aren’t over for a moment, in my opinion.

Which is why I’m extremely confident that we can beat Swansea.

Squad news and Grealish is out.
Hands up, as much as I thought we wouldn’t miss him, we have.
He definitely adds creativity and we look slightly lacking without him.
Yes, we can still score goals, but we still lack that added clever pass, which Grealish brings at times.

Tuanzebe is out too and that’s probably currently a bigger loss, as he’s really started to look the business recently, in the way he’s played so calmly and without fuss. He also plays out too, something else we lack.

On Swansea’s part there’s still a bit of doubt about Wilfried Bony, who’s still on the recovery trail after an anterior cruciate jobby.
Oli McBurnie and Bersant Celina are available, as is Daniel James. I’ve never heard of any of them.

While we haven’t quite been getting the results we want lately, I’m still optimistic that we can out-score the opposition.
As Smith said, Leeds are probably the best team we’ve played under him.
Hence I don’t see Swansea being so tough.

A nice 2-1 win for us, I reckon.
What we can well do without is yet another draw.
We need the points.


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  1. Avatar
    DSVilla December 26, 2018 at 7:03 pm .

    We looked a bit off the pace at times today. Leeds game took a lot out of us and maybe morale was a bit low as well after losing it late on. Happy with the win, but we miss Grealish. His ability to receive the ball from the defence and hold onto it, allowing us to recover our shape is really important. Still in touch with the play off positions.

    Well done to Nyland. Got us out of jail at the death.

    1. Avatar
      Big Fat Ron December 28, 2018 at 1:34 pm .

      Well done to Nyland! Credit where it’s due. He just needs to earn about another 10 points for the team then his slate is wiped clean…

      On a less serious note, watch this lot – makes Nyland look like Schmeichel at his peak. Absolutely hilarious. The top 2 are side-splitting. Pick your favourite! :’)

  2. Avatar
    Hitchens60 December 26, 2018 at 7:10 pm .

    Just been reading our current injury list; on top of a Taylor, Tuanzebe and Grealish, add Jedinak, O’Hare, Doyle-Hayes and Lansbury – couldn’t make it up!

  3. Avatar
    Holte66 December 26, 2018 at 7:25 pm .

    We seem to pick up too many injuries. Is it just bad luck or training methods? Who knows! I managed to watch match just after Hourihane goal, so can’t comment really, other than we were lucky to hang on at the end with them hitting the post and penalty. At least Hyland can take credit for something positive for once. El Ghazi though, what was he thinking giving away such a cheap penalty. We won though which is better than I expected so maybe we can string some wins together now. Does anyone know how long Grealish is out for? We miss the way he breaks play up when we need it and how he attracts a couple of the opposition which in turn creates space for his teammates.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 December 27, 2018 at 7:51 am .

      Holte – watched the match and thought we did enough to edge it – overall we defo had the better chances. We played poorly first half hour but were the better side each side of half time.

      Last I heard / read they didn’t seem to know what the injury to Grealish is – either a stress fracture or some kind of muscle problem – either way it sounded like a few weeks at best.

      Losing both Grealish and Tuanzebe weakens the team considerably.

    2. Avatar
      Sidcowanslovechild December 27, 2018 at 11:28 am .

      We were the better team or at least had the better chances by far before the goal. I can’t agree with you about them hitting the post. I couldn’t understand the commentator saying we we were lucky there as it was a very tame effort which if it hadn’t hit the post would have been easily gathered by Nyland. Was great to save the pen though. With singings in Jan and some injured players coming back we should improve significantly

  4. Avatar
    Bill Pearson December 27, 2018 at 8:22 am .

    I cannot believe other teams don’t have the problems we have, in injuries alone we have a team out of action, what date dose the door open for bringing in and calling back players.I’m looking at those above and creeping slowly away.It’s nail bite time again.

  5. Avatar
    nath December 27, 2018 at 9:30 am .

    i thought we showed buckets of character yesterday, first half we struggled, second half we overcome our struggles and managed to get ahead while not playing our best. but what impressed me most was once we got ahead we managed the game better. no need to chase the game as much as before. we slowed down and broke up swansea momentum. we still almost thrown it away right at the death, clumsy challenge by el gazia who had a far better game yesterday than against leeds, nyland to the rescue with a fine save, penalty saves are always instinctive,even if you guess the right way you still have to adjust in flight. that will give him confidence and our team most importantly. its not always about playing well scoring loads, but winning when your struggling or not playing your best is what great teams do best.

  6. Avatar
    Holte66 December 27, 2018 at 9:40 am .

    There are rumours circulating that Grealish could be out for a couple of months, although nothing official has been said. With Tuanzebe out for a couple of months and ‘possibly’ Grealish too, we might need to look at a creative midfielder in January seeing as the U23’s aren’t good enough apparently. Momentum is building on Elphick coming back which makes sense. We can then switch Bree to RB because he is the future. Recall Mitch Clark and buy a quality young LB. I would think we need to offload one or two from either Lansbury, Jedinak, Whelan and Bjarnasson. Maybe we can terminate Richards and McCormacks contracts. Also Bunn, Steer and the loan goalkeeper whose name escapes me will have to be looked at. We have to get a few wins on the bounce now to break into top 6. That won’t be easy away to Preston and QPR at home. We all remember last season when QPR and Bolton turned us over after a great run.

  7. Avatar
    Bill Pearson December 27, 2018 at 9:51 am .

    I don’t know if you seen the game live it was said that they had watched penalty taken by Swansea and state that most was to the right of goal, someone doing their homework at last.Nath have to say the stream I had on that game was dire, it ripped stopped so I struggled to keep pace with it. Have to say yes bad 20 minutes but improved as game went on, just hope we can get our key players back quickly.

    1. Avatar
      nath December 27, 2018 at 10:26 am .

      that is correct bill. i think they informed nyland the side the taker was most likely to attempt. but you still have to save um bill, having seen the pen again it was a poor pen wasn’t into the side or high enough was ideal but nyland still had to save it.

      i have to say i fancy lansbury still has a role at the club and his game will be ideal for smiths tactics. under bruce he couldnt fit in his team or show his game off. but under smith he will be instructed to get forwards in the box at given times. i think if he can recover from injury and get into the team he will be a decent player for us.

      also i think smith needs to address the holding mid we don’t have a player who can distribute the ball like a us quarter back. i watched Brentford and thats how they dominated the game. they had ball playing holding mid like bannan could hayes do it i think he could but we have to allow smith to say when the kids are ready he will know best he sees them,

      1. Avatar
        Hitchens60 December 27, 2018 at 10:58 am .

        Holte, Nath – problem is, as I understand it, is that Hayes is either injured or ill so I’m not sure him not playing is about his ability.

        1. Avatar
          nath December 27, 2018 at 11:08 am .

          i seen his early this season and his standards have fallen to those of last season where he was immaculate with the ball. i doubt smith will want to trust a newbie with such a vital role, it wouldnt surprise me if smith went back to brentford and bought a few of theirs he knows them trusts them.

  8. Avatar
    Bill Pearson December 27, 2018 at 10:20 am .

    Dean Smith has told BBC West Midlands Sport that Aston Villa are making progress as they look to bring in new players in January.

    Villa managed to keep a clean sheet against Swansea City yesterday, as they picked up a 1-0 win at the Liberty Stadium.

    But Smith has not been convinced that Villa’s defence is good enough to last the pace.
    It seems that Dean Smith is well aware our defence is under par and has irons in the fire for the January window. Pleased to know.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 December 27, 2018 at 10:56 am .

      Sounds encouraging Bill. I don’t think he has any choice but to recall Elphick – probably in preference to Mitch Clark although it would be good to see Clark back as well.

  9. Avatar
    Hitchens60 December 27, 2018 at 10:54 am .

    Given the criticism (fairly) of Bruce’s failure to adjust game tactics, I’m slightly surprised no one has (yet) picked up on Deano’s change of tactics after 30 minutes which coincided with us getting more of the ball and playing much better. It was very noticeable how he pushed McGinn further up the pitch and he was very unlucky not to score (the ball rebounding off the GK’s head!). If el Ghazi’s challenge warranted a penalty so did the one on McGinn when he was about to poke the ball into the net.

    Nath, I thought this is something you would have picked up on?

    1. Avatar
      nath December 27, 2018 at 11:03 am .

      if i post tactics i am damned by those smarter than me and if i dont i also am damned. tell me how i can please everybody i love to help

      tactics are not new, they have always been in the game. every team use um and during & every game one team will out manoeuvre the other and during every game that team will adjust . so villa made a slight adjustments yesterday to retain more ball. this also is why i suggest a barry bannan type will be better at the base of our midfield. whelen doesn’t have the range of passing to start off villa moves,

      1. Avatar
        Hitchens60 December 27, 2018 at 12:24 pm .

        Hey Nath, my comment wasn’t meant as a criticism of you or anyone else for that matter. Apologies if it seemed otherwise.

        The point I was trying to make was the difference between Bruce and Smith’s approach and I wanted to recognise Smith’s contribution to the improvement in our performance rather than getting into the technical details.

        1. Avatar
          nath December 27, 2018 at 12:42 pm .

          i know what you meant, but truth is we fans don’t agree and talking tactics is a no no but i love things like that. why we do stuff and how things go wrong. smith has been a breathe of fresh air. he has released the players to be able to express themselves. but he also demands hard work. he will be a good manager for us iam sure .

  10. Avatar
    nath December 27, 2018 at 10:55 am .

    odds on villa have shortened on promotion, to were we was before a ball was kicked. which is a positive thing cause we drifted out loads once season started

    smith has had no preseason with these players. has has none of his own players. so to come in and change the style and change the mentality is great. if he can had to our squad and strengthen us. we could still reach the promise land this year.

    leeds and norwich both don’t have great players or even very good ones,but they have great fight and determination to not get beat just like cardiff had, that will make um hard to catch and pass. wba are looking strong in 3rd and the smart money will be on them on autos. if we can finish play offs it will be the next best thing, wont be easy but you would have to fancy our chances of beating anybody from this division. smith will get us up this year. he has kept us in the race with players probably most not to his fancy. so we should be stronger if he does indeed add his player types

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