Brighton – Villa; I’m expecting no points.

This game is massive to my mind.
But is it a game that we should really expect to win?
I’m not convinced it is, as much as Brighton are struggling alongside us.

It would seem that the concensus amongst us Villa fans now, is that we really aren’t very good when it comes to the Premier league
I actually think this is a good thing, in that it will help to lower expectations.
I’ve said I’d take 17th from the off and as things stand, I’d suggest that’s a reasonable expectation.
But it’s 50/50 to my mind.
I firmly think there will be two teams worse than us.
But will there be three?

Squad news says Brighton’s Aaron Mooy, Shane Duffy, Adam Webster and Alireza Jahanbakhsh have overcome minor issues.

As for us, Matt Targett and Bjorn Engels should be availble, but Kodjia, as has been long suspected, can’t get out of the Villa quick enough, so won’t be available, as he looks to get a last payday in Quatar or whatever.
I don’t blame him, to be honest.
Let’s hope the warm weather suits him better.
I know he’s Marmite, but I suspect he’s a confidence player, who needs to be molly-cuddled to get the best from him.
And I just think he doesn’t fit Dean Smith’s style and has had little encouragement.

Oh, no doubt Reina starts.
I’m not convinced he’s going to be any sort of saviour, but hopefully he might save us a couple of points, with his reading of the game.

Ha, I don’t know what to think about this game.
It’s Brighton, after all and my history says we should just beat them because they’re a “little” club and we’re not.

But it doesn’t work like that, does it?

We won’t play five at the back, that’s for sure, because Brighton play an expansive game, but they don’t have the quality of Man City.
I’d expect us to go toe to toe in trying to get the win.

Which makes it anyone’s game.
But then, we don’t even have a striker and as much as you might say we don’t necessarily need one, it’s just a pathetic position to be in.

I honestly just can’t call this one.

I favour 1-1, but suspect it’s more likely to be 2-1.

If we continue to keep giving the ball away, which I think we will, because the team overall just can’t do the basics in the Prem, I just don’t see the win.

And while a loss wouldn’t be the end of the world, it would be just another dagger that we’d have to fight against.

Brighton 2- 1 Villa.

Prove me wrong, lads.


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  1. Avatar
    VillaAwayInDiv3 January 18, 2020 at 7:36 pm .

    Don’t think he can play in the cup…..something about having to be registered before the 1st leg……how come it takes ages to get a permit…he has only moved inside the EU…not as if he has come from Mars…

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 January 18, 2020 at 9:32 pm .

      Unless he has an EU passport he needs a work permit. As Tanzania is ranked 134th in the World he needs (or Villa need) to demonstrate that he has sufficient points to get special dispensation and thus be granted a work permit.

      Things than earn points are number of international appearances (plus being captain of the National side), appearances for Genk, the fact that he’s won national awards as a footballer and his importance to Villa (well we don’t have any strikers do we?).

      The same applied to Luiz – Citeh couldn’t get a work permit but we could even though Luiz wasn’t a full international.

      The general view is that we shouldn’t have a problem getting the permit – but the wheels of government grind exceedingly slow! Not sure whether we can claim impending relegation as an expedient in this instance 🙂

    2. Avatar
      Hitchens60 January 18, 2020 at 9:38 pm .

      On your other point, according to Brum Mail ‘Reina would be eligible to play in the second leg even though he wasn’t registered (as a Villa player) prior to the first leg’.

      It would seem if Samaratta is registered prior to the second leg (having not played for any other team in the competition) then he can play. Drinkwater, on the other hand is not eligible having played in the a Cup for Burnley.

  2. Avatar
    VillaAwayInDiv3 January 18, 2020 at 9:36 pm .

    BUT……he plays at the moment in a country and team that had got him a permit …the criteria is the same for us…just chance Belgium for U.K….madness…

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 January 18, 2020 at 9:39 pm .

      No argument from me

  3. Avatar
    Originallondonlion January 19, 2020 at 1:58 am .

    My first visit to the Amex. A great view from the visitors’ seats.

    The travelling support is out of patience with some on the pitch – and patience is wearing thin with the management. 3 Villans were given real stick – Konsa Hause and Targett and all 3 gave a nervous and erratic display. Konsa and Hause – how much time to they need, and how much do they get to control a ball and pick a pass?

    Vassiliev I suppose counts as the bottom of the barrel (of Villa strikers) but he was bright, lively, and did more than the others to harry the Brighton defence. He is lightweight in the literal sense, probably 20lb, short of the average Prem player of his size. Cracking goal from Grealish.

    Anticipation: Reina has it, Maupay twisting his body to get in a hook shot near the end could only get some power behind it if he struck it to Reina’s right. Pepe was already on the move and made the diving stop. [Heaton please note does not have it]. Nor does El Ghazi – Jack is skipping past defenders to the left of goal near the goal line. Anwar makes a run. Jack has to lift the ball over the keeper, but from where he is the lofted cross must come down to head height beyond the far post. Anwar runs to the centre of goal.

  4. Avatar
    Bill Pearson January 19, 2020 at 9:42 am .

    OLL, what’s your take on Guilbert, I view him as being slow on the turn and lacks pace getting back. I did see the match yesterday and again today, he reminds me of Barry when he first played for Villa. No doubt about it we are in trouble again and seeing Watford match its starting to look bad.

  5. Avatar
    nath January 19, 2020 at 10:11 am .

    konsa and hause are being asked to play out from the back which is not natural for centre backs. this is another grievance of this system of mine. i thought they both did much better second half,but its not their strongest part of their games. we mentioned how sheff utd outside centre backs both happily moved into the opposition halves. like their were attacking full backs/ wing backs and against us one of them even back heeled a through ball which led to a goal.

    they also also must learn to come out and meet the attacker, when they are being backed up/ ran at. in all the games since we made the change. the back three have backed off and off. when they have a player running at them. mings could be seen telling one of the other two cb to go out and face the danger.

    if this 352 is the new system, stuff like this will be worked on in training. but against a well drilled side this will be a weakness they will target. another noticeable reason why these two cb struggled coming/passing out with the ball. is lack movement of the midfield and lack of a target front man. this all means more precise passing needed.

    any ways i was more than happy with the draw, we struggled first half with the ball, we just struggled to find any momentum, lack of movement. we ended up too isolated attacking in ones and twos. but second half especially when el ghazi went wider. we then had move movement with the kid up front harrassed the brighton back line. they were ending the game very nervous. just a shame we did not start the way we finished,

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 January 19, 2020 at 10:45 am .

      Nath – you’re more of an expert than me but watching it seems that Konsa is comfortable on the ball and is capable of passing it whereas Hause is strong in the air but very poor on the ground. For me Hause is a weak link in a back 3.

      I’m not sure why Engels has dropped out of contention because I thought he looked a very decent player – is he injured? If not Engels, why not Chester although it seems Villa are looking to offload him.

      Would like to see an experienced CB come in this window alongside the second striker – which is an absolute must.

      1. Avatar
        nath January 19, 2020 at 11:05 am .

        i am not a expert it is obvious. put yourself in a defenders boots. they defend but nowadays they are asked more and more to be able to play out. you look forward if you are rushed to get rid off the ball safely. but without a striker that easy/safer option is at minute unavailable. so they are being asked to be more precise passing into midfield which is much harder.

        hause and konsa are very similar, both can pass and both can make mistakes because they are trying things they are not 100% comfortable with, they will get better i suppose both are being coached through the game by mings.

        engles is a less mobile defender and was caught out badly last game he played. if he played in the back three, we would have to play much deeper to compensate for his lack of pace.

        i wouldn’t have changed the formation mid season.but smith knows what he has and want. we just struggle at minute with the ball and getting the numbers forward quickly. the transition we are slow and you could see that in first half were are attacks were in one and twos. second half we were much better when el ghazi went wide and the young striker came on and luiz came into midfield. we got many more forward and we had options

        1. Avatar
          nath January 19, 2020 at 11:17 am .

          should we get another defender ? well if mings was to miss the rest of season with injury like heaton wesley and mcginn. then we would be woefully short at the back. can chester cover ? engles ? that is why the manager is the expert. if we continue play three, i would want another defender who is a leader like mings who is top class.

          1. Avatar
            Hitchens60 January 19, 2020 at 11:29 am .

            Just on a very minor point Nath – I didn’t actually say you were an expert – it was a comparative – ‘you’re a better expert than me’ which I stand by 🙂

            1. Avatar
              nath January 19, 2020 at 11:43 am .

              hause and konsa both young and both will adapt to this system. like we discussed sheff utd who play the same system. the outside cb will need to be like wing backs. they will need to add to midfield and also have enough pace and stamina to get back into a defensive shape.

              i do think once we get a striker back into the team, everybody roles will be made easier. at the moment we have no easy ball to escape. teams know we have no danger behind them so push up and that condenses the midfield and this makes it harder for konsa and hause

  6. Avatar
    nath January 19, 2020 at 1:01 pm .

    just seen a compilation of our new striker video clips on youtube. i have not heard / or seen him play,so i decided to see what i could find of him. i know we shouldn’t prejudge from youtube, made many mistakes in past doing this example tonev helenuis both looked like world beaters.

    samatta has a little bit of earlier Dwight Yorke about him. seems to like to put a foot on the ball and look to be strong to hold off challenges. he also seems to like to play wide so will be able to run the channels and scores in the air. one was against pool.

    fingers crossed he will be a success, we really need him to hit the ground running, so hard for these strikers to join a club from foreign lands, be a instant success,just fitting into our playing style and knowing the strengths and weakness off our own players will take time.

  7. Avatar
    nath January 19, 2020 at 3:25 pm .

    football fans who think grealish goes down too easily, want to watch maddison for foxes. he defiantly goes down more than grealish for the slightest touch or even no touches lol

  8. Avatar
    nath January 19, 2020 at 3:39 pm .

    somebody called westwood scored for burnley looks like the winner too.

  9. Avatar
    Dave. C January 19, 2020 at 5:05 pm .

    I really think Burnley’s win against Leicester today is a huge blow for us, they are one of the three teams I thought we could finish above. I’m really worried now, I fully expect Watford to beat us on Tuesday, making the Bournemouth match a must win. Who do you guys think we can catch, West Ham maybe?!?

  10. Avatar
    Bill Pearson January 19, 2020 at 5:39 pm .

    No Dave, we are candidate to drop, every thing we done is too late imo.

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