Cardiff – Villa Preview; Someone has to step up.

Cardiff away next then and what to think?

The bad news is that it seems Kodjia won’t be able to play, as the Ivory coast won’t allow him to join them late.
To be honest, I don’t have a problem with that.
The player is committed to his country and I admire him for it.

Given that the club apparently offered a private flight, so he’d only arrive a few hours late, it seems a bit petty.
But I guess the argument would be “what if he were to get injured against Cardiff?”
And it’s a fair point.
Hence I don’t feel we can moan too much. Them’s the rules, after all.

But it’s a right royal pain and he’s going to be a massive loss, more so because I worry about where our fire power is going to come from.

Here’s a list of our goalscorers and when you take Kodjia out, it doesn’t make for great reading;

Player LG LC Total
Jonathan Kodjia 9 0 9
Rudy Gestede 4 0 4
Jack Grealish 3 0 3
J Ayew 2 1 3
Ross McCormack 3 0 3
Albert Adomah 1 0 1
Leandro Bacuna 1 0 1
Nathan Baker 1 0 1
Gary Gardner 1 0 1
Aaron Tshibola 1 0 1

Gestede can be forgiven somewhat, as he hasn’t featured that much, but it’s looking increasingly likely that he’s off to Boro and probably won’t play tomorrow.
Grealish isn’t an out and out striker, so we can discount him.
Ayew has been allowed to stay for tomorrow’s game, but I wonder if this is more about giving him time to sort a deal with Swansea?
That’s a bit of a wild guess on my part, but stranger things have happened.
Kozak’s a goner and Bruce seems reluctant to introduce Rushian Hepburn-Murphy

Which basically leaves us with Ross McCormack, whose return has been poor to say the least.
Or Gabby, who, well…..

Maybe now you understand my concern.

On the plus side, McCormack has often been a late starter, who goes on runs in the back half of the season.
But he doesn’t look fully match fit, does he?

And Gabby?
Well, I’m sure I’m not alone in saying he shouldn’t even be at the club, let alone starting.

So considering we’re supposed to have an abundance of strikers, I’m not seeing it myself.

So if we go with two up front, it’s going to be Gabby and McCormack.
If it’s a one, it’ll be Gabby. Which is scary.

So maybe a three? With Gabby, McCormack and Adomah?

God knows.

The midfield will probably remain as per the Leeds game, seeing as Westwood played a blinder(!), although if Tshibola doesn’t get a look in you have to think his days are numbered, regardless of what the manager says about him.
The defence and Goalie likewise picks itself.

So it’s all about who is going to step up and score in Kodjia’s place?

We beat Cardiff 3-1 at home, but they were on top for long periods, so tomorrow certainly isn’t going to be easy and even given Cardiff’s lowly standing in the league, I don’t think we can count on a win here.

Any Warnock team will try to bully us and I think it’ll give them an edge.
Couple that with the fact I worry about where the goals will come from and it has to be a draw for me.


Which frankly won’t be good enough.


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  1. Steve
    Steve January 2, 2017 at 4:35 pm . Reply

    Get bacuna off. If he is on the pitch

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath January 2, 2017 at 5:38 pm . Reply

      Bacuna is a champions league player lay off him

  2. Adam
    Adam January 2, 2017 at 4:39 pm . Reply

    Why no 3rd sub? 10 mins left no chance to get in to the game, need a goal, just shocking really.

  3. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 January 2, 2017 at 4:40 pm . Reply

    Ironically, I think today was a game for Gestede and direct (hoof ball!) football not that I necessarily think we should be keeping him.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath January 2, 2017 at 5:37 pm . Reply

      I agree we should keep Gestede imo I still think he’s our best striker after Kodja

  4. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum January 2, 2017 at 4:57 pm . Reply

    Where was the weaknesses today? Didn’t listen to the game?

  5. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 January 2, 2017 at 4:58 pm . Reply

    Today’s game has just reinforced what many of us have been saying in that we just don’t have sufficient quality in mid field to be serious promotion contenders. Whatever some may say on here, I don’t see how we can lay the blame for that with SB – he can only use the players we have. That’s not to suggest he has got everything right either.

    RDM’s major error was his failure to address the need for a quality creative midfielder in the summer; SB has to try and rectify that now albeit in January it will be difficult. Clearly we also need a GK – whether Johnstone is the answer only time will tell.

  6. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 January 2, 2017 at 5:00 pm . Reply

    There’s always a silver lining – the scum got bashed today!

  7. Villain1
    Villain1 January 2, 2017 at 5:08 pm . Reply

    Play off hopes pretty much gone after that woeful loss today. Leeds, Reading and Huddersfield are all 10 points or more infront of us and we are never going to catch them as the away form is diabolical and this team is incapable of going on a run. Its over for this season

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath January 2, 2017 at 5:35 pm . Reply

      Badger still thinks we will finish top 2! Well he did a few weeks ago 😄

  8. pat57
    pat57 January 2, 2017 at 5:14 pm . Reply

    I’d guess that if Kodjia was playing we might have at least equalised but we can’t rely on one player.

    Oh well exactly mid-table and just above the noses. I’d have gladly accepted this after 13 games.

    However this just shows that we desperately need some new recruits, especially in mid-field, and the sooner the better.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath January 2, 2017 at 5:35 pm . Reply

      We will see the true ambition of chairman this month. See if Bruce has much to spend.

  9. Dave67
    Dave67 January 2, 2017 at 5:18 pm . Reply

    We were never going up this season, team is not good enough. Still player’s to get rid of. I will be bitterly disappointed if I don’t see a couple of midfielders come in.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath January 2, 2017 at 5:34 pm . Reply

      Me too like I said earlier it will be a blessing if we don’t go up. If we went up with this team we would go straight back down again

  10. Benno
    Benno January 2, 2017 at 5:44 pm . Reply

    Another pathetic display. Our midfield is simply woeful. Cant for the life of me understand why we gave Gardner a new contract. As much as I would love him to succeed, his performances this season have just not been good enough.

    Our best hope this month is deluded Lambert comes and takes some of our deadwood away. We can still make play-offs, but we are going to need 2 proper midfielders to get us there.

    #HELENIUS January 2, 2017 at 5:46 pm . Reply

    Complete shite. Leeds managed another 3 goals again. Hope Brucie adapts asap. Id rather see kids play than Westwood and Gardner. He’s gota bring in some steel and quality

    1. Villain1
      Villain1 January 2, 2017 at 7:01 pm . Reply

      We’re not scoring enough for a team that has invested so heavily in forward players, thats for sure. Most of the goals we seem to score are down to individual quality (usually by Kodija) rather than actual team moves. That in my opinion is down to 1) lack of clinicality and 2) the fact we have no midfield. Nobody scores from midfield and nobody creates. Its a wonder we’ve got the points we have when you look at it like that

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath January 2, 2017 at 8:36 pm . Reply

        And there lies a story. On paper we have the best forwards in that division yet can barely score a goal a game. Something is seriously wrong here

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath January 2, 2017 at 8:42 pm . Reply

      Agree we may as well start throwing in kids as unlikely to make playoffs now and we won’t go down either so nothing to lose

  12. Astonished Villain
    Astonished Villain January 2, 2017 at 6:35 pm . Reply

    I give Bruce credit for hauling off the midfield at half time – sends a message to the players & squad. He also sees the shortcomings of the squad, goalkeepers, midfield as well as lack of pace in midfield. Let’s see what the window brings and 2nd half of season will be true reflection of Bruce’s capabilities.

    1. Villain1
      Villain1 January 2, 2017 at 6:58 pm . Reply

      I wouldn’t give him any credit for starting them in the first place. Tshibola should have got far more game time, he might make the odd mistake, but he’s equally likely to offer a bit of energy and make something happen. Same with Andre Green, Its better than playing two crabs in midfield in Westwood and Gardner.

      The club isn’t learning from its mistakes, theyve just offered Gardner a new 4 year deal… what has he contributed to deserve that? Just like when they gave Gabby a new deal because he’s a local lad, its complete incompetence.

      I think the Jan window has come too late to salvage 6th this season anyway but the midfield problem has to be addressed in time for the next league match against Wolves

        GIDDYVILLAN January 2, 2017 at 7:09 pm . Reply

        7 points off the playoffs season over lol 😁 a possible 63 still up for grabs only 2 days into the window maybe I’m reading it wrong

        1. GIDDYVILLAN
          GIDDYVILLAN January 2, 2017 at 7:11 pm . Reply

          63 points*

        2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath January 2, 2017 at 8:35 pm . Reply

          All depends who we sign or don’t sign this month. Get 3-4 quality players in and we will do it if not forget it the team isn’t good enough. Midtable at best which is where I predicted at start of season

      2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath January 2, 2017 at 8:37 pm . Reply

        I don’t get the Gardner deal he’s a played less than a handful of decent matches in last 3 years yet we offer him a 4 yr deal. Is lerner still running this club?

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath January 2, 2017 at 8:41 pm . Reply

      He shouldn’t have picked them in first place. Bruce out Rowett in

  13. OriginalLondonLion
    OriginalLondonLion January 2, 2017 at 6:53 pm . Reply

    I don’t think the manager is under any illusions. He might put in a call to Pochettino and see if Spurs are going to field the stiffs next Sunday. If they are it gives him a chance to play a midfield of youngsters to see if there are any nuggets there. Trouble is – if Gardner emerged as the best of them it must mean the rest are crap. 10/1 the bookies odds of a Villa win – I think it would take 40/1 to tempt me.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath January 2, 2017 at 8:40 pm . Reply

      Who cares about Spurs the game means nothing. Spurs will play mainly reserves and Kane, Ali etc will be rested on bench and only bought on if needed. Cup matches are pointless imo if we win it’s because Spurs played youngsters and if we lose we’ve lost to Spurs reserves which will shatter confidence even more. Best for us to play 3-4 senior players and just let the kids have a go who cares if we lose 10.0 it means nothing

  14. nath
    nath January 2, 2017 at 7:30 pm . Reply

    forgive me for not hanging myself with you all lmao. i missed the game just got in and read your posts. most disappointing. i mean results not your posts. we are not the finished article bruce hasn’t even started to bring his players in. but he knows who he wants out. once gestede leaves, more will follow allowing him to change the team and squad. which we all know is dog poo quality. at moment he has only the players that previous managers av mashed together and we all know its a unbalanced squad. 7 points off the playoff last spot. i have one bit of advance……. don’t do it…….. we will not be far away.if we don’t manage too this year i will lay my balls on automatic promotion as champs next.

    shower time ~ thanx for your posts. i wished i hadn’t looked until morning

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 January 2, 2017 at 7:52 pm . Reply

      Hang on Nath I think that’s a little unfair. Not all the posts are doom and gloom – it seems to me there’s some pretty objective comments and not everyone is saying the season’s over. Even the most optimistic supporter recognises that we need a good transfer window if we are to seriously challenge the playoffs this season.

      1. nath
        nath January 2, 2017 at 8:03 pm . Reply

        lmao = i was taking the piss

        i know most were not doom and gloom. but i was just saying isnt the time to throw that towel in. like some are saying we are too weak now to go up. best to go up next season. this was always the best route.we don’t need a touch up we needed a major surgery. work has started and bruce will get lots done this month. i will also expect us to finish the season very strong. that will carry us onto next season. i predicted playoff final win before season started and thats a possible outcome,

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath January 2, 2017 at 8:33 pm . Reply

      I actually think Gestede is one player we should keep.

      1. nath
        nath January 2, 2017 at 8:49 pm . Reply

        i felt sorry for him, he has lots of ability, but we always used him wrong.we never floated crosses in for him. for a guy strong in the air and able to unsettle deep defenses. he is a good option. we just never crossed the ball.

        yes he is not mobile and slow but that not why we bought him and why bro are buying him. i wish him luck he will score in premiership. bro will use him correctly

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