Brighton 1 -1 Villa; I’ll take that.

Although I predicted a 2-1 loss, I did say I favoured a 1-1 draw. No excuses though, I called it wrong.

And after the frankly abysmal first half performance, I actually think that was a pretty decent outcome for us and I’m reasonably happy with the point.
It’s all a bit moot though, as we really shouldn’t be in a position where we’re happy to take a point against a fellow struggling side who we’ve beaten twice already this season.
That’s where we’re at though and it just seems to confirm that our confidence is low.

Was it a five at the back?
I really don’t know, as it was hard to tell on the telly.
All I know is we looked like we had no shape in defence and seemed to panic all of the time.
Hassle our defenders and we just rush things or hoof it out to no-one in particular. No wonder Dean Smith asked the lads to press high, as we always look dodgy.

Going back to that first half, our passing was horrendous, yet again.
You just can’t expect to keep possession if you’re constantly giving the ball away.
My take on this is that we’re simply not good enough and it’s down to a lack of experience.
That might seem harsh, but it’s the reality of things to my mind.

On a more positive note, I thought we were better in the second half and Smith’s substitutions worked for the good, as much as I didn’t agree with Trezeguet coming off.
Luiz’s cross for the goal was an absolute peach and it was of course finished superbly by Grealish’s left foot.
And the young lad Vassilev also did very well, I thought.
I think it was within the first minute of him coming on, where I noticed he made a run and pulled one defender totally out of position. I didn’t notice and haven’t seen the replays, but I believe he also did exactly the same to give Grealish space to get the goal.
Whatever, he impressed me and it was very noticable.
Why I’ve never noticed that about Wesley, I don’t know, but it gives me food for thought.

It seems we pretty much have the Samatta deal wrapped up, but I have my doubts about him.
When you consider we paid £11 mill plus for Hogan, £13 mill for McCormack and £22 mill for Wesley, you have to wonder if Samatta at a rumoured £8.5-10 mill will be able to cut it at Premiership level.
Still, at least my expectations won’t be too high and if he can at least look like a striker should, he’ll hopefully improve things.

Just step back to that paragraph for a second though.
My god, we’ve wasted some money, haven’t we?

So while I thought we were better in the second half, it still wasn’t great.
It seemed to me that Brighton eased off, which was strange, because I thought they had the beating of us.
I’d like to say we massively stepped up our game, but that wasn’t the case.
We improved, yes, but not much.

As much as it seems Brighton had 10 shots, with only 2 on target, while we had 8 shots with 3 on target, it didn’t feel like that to me and Brighton really should have put us to bed in that first half.
It’s just a good job their overall play isn’t backed up by any incisiveness in the box.

The “will we, won’t we” survive thing rumbles on.


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  1. Avatar
    Bill Pearson January 20, 2020 at 7:34 pm .

    Yes Nath its on TV.

    1. Avatar
      Holte66 January 20, 2020 at 8:07 pm .

      Bill, it’s not on Sky or BT Sport! Need to find a stream ☹️

      1. Avatar
        Bill Pearson January 20, 2020 at 8:44 pm .

        I’ve got the box, try and find out for you.

        1. Avatar
          Bill Pearson January 20, 2020 at 9:01 pm .

          It’s normally on Bein or CBS the tanks buy the stream , will know more tomorrow. ..

          1. Avatar
            Bill Pearson January 20, 2020 at 9:02 pm .

            Or even the Yanks. ..

            1. Avatar
              Holte66 January 20, 2020 at 9:21 pm .

              Cheers Bill!

  2. Avatar
    Holte66 January 20, 2020 at 7:38 pm .

    I would love for us to wipe that smug look off Deeney’s face. I hope Mings clatters him early on because he can be wound up, particularly with the VP crowd giving him stick.
    It does look like yet another critical game without a recognised striker. El Ghazi as CF doesn’t work, so why not try Vassilev? I think Grealish needs to play down the middle in midfield because he is wasted anywhere else on the pitch. Play El Ghazi and Trezeguet out wide and go for it. This would mean a back four with Mings and Konsa most likely. Question is would Targett be disciplined enough to do his defensive duties? I think Guilbert is capable and has a good engine.
    It looks like Drinkwater has signed a must play contract, so Luiz over Nakamba for me. It wouldn’t surprise me though if Smith sticks with the 3-5-2 and plays Elmo and Taylor!
    I don’t hold much hope for a result though and I wouldn’t be surprised if Deeney scores. My prediction 0-2! With Burnley getting a result against Leicester, I’m worried that the number of teams we need to be better than is reducing each week. Norwich, Bournemouth and West Ham are the three looking as poor as us but the latter will improve I’m sure.

    1. Avatar
      nath January 20, 2020 at 9:46 pm .

      i concur with your sentiments on mings giving that bluenose whatfor big time. but i hope we keep our heads this time. just wind him up legally and when we win the game rub his nose in it

  3. Avatar
    nath January 20, 2020 at 9:43 pm .

    cheers bill i will find a stream hopefully

  4. Avatar
    nath January 20, 2020 at 10:00 pm .

    i think our new formation will match up nicely with watford. i just worried about who will lead our front line. el ghazi is not a main striker he doesn’t do anything he should. i would like to see him back out wide with trezguet opposite wing and maybe allow grealish the central role. he can hold the ball like nobody else can and watford would struggle to defend him central and deep in their territory.big central defenders hate nifty players with quick feet dashing around their slower clumsy feet. would be a bold move but i think a correct one and bring the sub vazzilev on later he showed plenty enthusiasm and willingness

  5. Avatar
    Hitchens60 January 20, 2020 at 10:04 pm .

    Samatta signs 4.5 year deal but can’t play tomorrow – I presume because we are waiting for International clearance (whatever that means) and a work permit.

    1. Avatar
      nath January 20, 2020 at 10:15 pm .

      maybe has a deadline to qualify for tomorrows and its past. mean thing is we have a striker finally. just need to beat watford now and give ourselves a chance to drag more teams back into the mess we find ourselves in

    2. Avatar
      DSVilla January 20, 2020 at 10:33 pm .

      No Hitch.. Rule is to register signing by noon on day before the game. Work permit must have already been sorted to sign him in first place

      1. Avatar
        Hitchens60 January 21, 2020 at 7:09 am .

        Thanks DS

  6. Avatar
    DSVilla January 20, 2020 at 10:28 pm .

    Clattering Deeney is a mugs game. He’ll get up and keep coming at you (Terminator!). We just need to be calm and not get drawn into that. We need 3 points however it comes.

  7. Avatar
    Originallondonlion January 20, 2020 at 11:44 pm .

    Deaney will let their other bruising forward play up against Mings. Deaney would fancy playing on his left against Hause or Konsa, and might pull rank on Delofeu to make him play right side. Delofeu is their danger man and the best tactic would be to shadow tightly him to cut out the passes to him. Unfortunately the current Villa team has nobody who looks capable of doing that.

    Yes you are right El Ghazi isn’t a CF and the instinct cannot be taught overnight – if it can be taught at all. Players of his size Salah, Long, Martial can play as CFs but they need the instinct. Vasilliev is well worth a try, he will get battered but might earn a homer’s penalty.

    Drinkwater? If he starts I’d advise you to drink something stronger.

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