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
    Sidcowanslovechild December 27, 2018 at 11:24 am .

    How on earth did you think we wouldn’t miss Grealish? Our best player by a mile. With him playing against Leeds we win that game as, forget about his attacking, he is an outlet for us, rarely loses the ball and wins lots of fouls which is invaluable in seeing out a win. Sign a few ball playing defenders in Jan and we will be comfortably in play offs come May

    1. Avatar
      nath December 27, 2018 at 11:37 am .

      i said we are more able to cope without grealish than under bruce where he was the heart of our team. therefore we are more able to cope without him under smith who focussing more on the team than individuals. injuries are a part of the game. his role will was ttaken by another player and they have a chance to shine.

      1. Avatar
        Badger123 December 27, 2018 at 11:44 pm .

        Actually Nath, I suspect Sid’s question was aimed at me.

        Sid, I reckon Smith is more about the team and not individual players.
        Rightly so, imo, because heads can get turned and players will have ambitions at leaving for bigger money/prospects.

        I’m ambivalent about Grealish, fwiw.
        Yes, he’s skill-wise the best player at the club, by a mile.
        But I’m not at all convinced he produces anywhere near what he should.

        Hasn’t Hourihane got way more goals than him? (and he’s a player who, on average does very little in games, imo).

        That said, I do believe Grealish adds to the team, with free kicks and drawing players.
        But he still has lots of room for improvement for me.

        Opinions, opinions 🙂

  2. Avatar
    nath December 27, 2018 at 11:31 am .

    one tactical thing i notice under smith. is with us playing one up front Abraham. when we don’t have the ball it would be generally his role to harass the goalkeeper and defenders, so they don’t pass it around themselves, but under smith he has them alternating this so not to burden one player lol also they don’t press the goalie until its a forces pass back and all off them are pressing, that is stuff that i find really interesting.

    Bolasie & Ghazi both helped out their full backs yesterday better, but Bolasie just seems to go back as deterrent rather than to put his foot in. both these two share the load with Abraham. not forgetting hourihane and Mcginn

  3. Avatar
    Bill Pearson December 27, 2018 at 12:42 pm .

    Abraham was blowing his top at his midfield, they failed to help him attacking goal .I don’t blame McGinn he’s the only player at times getting stuck in, the little guy all over the place after the ball more like him would do us good.

    1. Avatar
      nath December 27, 2018 at 12:47 pm .

      thats all character building lol my old mate used to say bill. he was letting his mates know he needs them closer. its great to see that they are all demanding off each other. midfielders are the engines, they have to support the forwards but also the defenders will also be blasting them for not tracking back if they neglect that part. often see hutton doing that.

  4. Avatar
    VillaAwayInDiv3 December 27, 2018 at 6:30 pm .

    1st match I have not watched or listened to for years…..Boxing Day shopping (sad)….and only saw the extensive highlights on Quest- ha ha – so this is the best I have seen so far…..

  5. Avatar
    Hitchens60 December 27, 2018 at 6:34 pm .

    Seems PNE’s injury list is as critical as ours so it’s who has the better second XI – on paper, you’d have to say Villa so I’ll call this a win but won’t be surprised by a draw.

    Assume no red button Saturday!

  6. Avatar
    Holte66 December 27, 2018 at 10:30 pm .

    Hitch, I think red button is only available for midweek games. It might be okay for QPR game. Having 3 games within a week will push squad depth to the limit. Even with the injuries we should be better suited to cope than Preston and QPR. If we can get 6 points from these 2 games we should be sitting in a play off position with the transfer window open.

  7. Avatar
    nath December 28, 2018 at 9:37 am .

    totally agree badger about grealish. i have said recently about grealish injury and we wouldn’t miss him as much as say last year. i don’t mean he isn’t our best player any more. cause i do believe he is the most effective player.but now under smith we do have other players that are dangerous too

    but like badger says and i totally agree, smith has brought in many slight changes sofar and one of them is no reliance on one player its more focussed on team. we are coping really well with grealish’s absence. still would rather him be in the team but we are coping very well.

    under bruce he would often hold on to the ball too long. or the ball would end up at his feet when our team run out of ideas. pass to grealish was the team talk i bet. this did create space for other players, but we never exploited that under bruce. but smith has used the space grealish creates and its the space he creates which is a loss aswell as the player himself.

  8. Avatar
    Bill Pearson December 28, 2018 at 11:48 am .

    Nath, I do think we miss his personal creativity in the middle and his perception in going forwards, yes Smith has stopped that defensive attitude by reverting them to think of going forwards more that backwards.we also have wingers and not wing backs all the time.we now have creative minded players and that’s down to Smith and Terry plus his training crew. Bruce shackled player in thinking defending was the game,

  9. Avatar
    Bill Pearson December 28, 2018 at 12:19 pm .

    Aston Villa have recalled rookie defender Easah Suliman from his loan spell at FC Emmen, according to reports in Holland.

    Suliman joined Eredivisie newcomers Emmen in August but Dutch broadcaster RTV Drenthe claims Villa have agreed to cut the loan spell short.

    The England under-20 international hasn’t enjoyed the playing time he’d have liked to in Holland. Three substitute appearances and a total of nine Eredivisie minutes is all Suliman has to show for his four months at Emmen.

    Suliman’s fruitless spell in Holland follows on from an unsuccessful stint at Grimsby Town in League Two last season where he only accumulated 58 first team minutes.

  10. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron December 28, 2018 at 1:45 pm .

    The next 6 games are all winable. IF we cab take 18 from 18, we will be challenging for 2nd. It’s a cliche but every game’s a cup final now! Lots of twists and turns. Who’d have thought Forest would be out of the top 6 now? It’s like musical chairs. Who’s in the top 6 when the music stops? I just hope we can put that run together and not be worried about scraping 6th…

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