Chelsea 0 – 0 Villa; An intriguing, if not quite captivating game.

I was going to just throw a quick comment or two about this game into the Newcastle preview, but I’m actually watching the Barcodes’ FA cup time now and a couple of thoughts have entered my head.
See how much research I do, watching games just like Emery, but without the wages? Ahem.

My very brief thoughts. First half rubbish and you’ve never have thought Chelsea had played midweek. They looked a lot sharper, which got me wondering if you can actually lose sharpness by having a few days off? I’m sure most of you know I’ve never subscribed to young, fit men not being able to play two games a week, although I’m admittedly slowly coming round to the idea.
But if I have been wrong about that, maybe you can have too much rest too?
It’s all far too confusing for a simple bloke like me.

And then, after I’ve wondered at half time if Chelsea would tire after their efforts, it’s fair to say, it was a different game, which we mostly dominated. While I thought the first half made for a poor game, so the second was much better and it made it much more interesting, in me now wondering how the replay, which we could definitely have done without, will go.

Chelsea created a fair few chances in the first half, but fortunately, they reverted to type and their finishing lacked the same cutting edge we’ve seen all season. I need to mention that Martinez was excellent again and definitely kept us in the game once again.

That said, we also created a few chances of our own and if we’d got our shooting boots on, we could easily have had two or three goals of our own. Luiz’s goal was handball and not even debateable for me. It matters not now.

What got me thinking was the defence. I’ve previously said more than once, that I hate the way we mess around at the back. It looks like we’re panicking all the time when we’re being pressed, which Chelsea did very well.
But have seen a re-run, I have to admit that while I still slightly think we look panicked, so it’s also the case of me thinking it’s nowhere near as bad when I’m not watching it live.

A bit of an aside;
As much as I don’t like to admit it, I just know that when I’m driving, my reactions and ability to see in a million places at once are diminished because of my age. I’m nowhere near decrepit yet and make up for in other ways. My being able to anticipate better, appreciate more what might happen and well, to keep the football thing going, just “read the game” better, actually make me a better and certainly safer driver.
I would hope many of you would understand what I mean there. I hate admitting to my failings, particularly in print, but have always thought what Dirty Harry did. “A good man knows his limitations”. If you don’t know what I’m talking about there, just strike this whole paragraph.

What I mean is, what might seem incredibly uncomfortable to me is probably quite easy when you’re a footballer’s age. It might give me a corona occasionally, but it is what it is and I probably need to stop worrying about it as it’s probably no good for my blood pressure.

So overall, my point is that I thought that the defence were, on reflection pretty solid.
Which all led me to wondering about how our defence will cope with Newcastle on Tuesday.
And that then led to me looking up my thoughts before and after the St James park tonking.
Which was interesting.
They used a lot of pace. Yet they haven’t really tonight.
It was also the game where Mings got injured. I suggested that we’d learn to play without Mings and Pau would be okay. Given our league position, I don’t think that was too bad a call.
And no, it’s not about me blowing my own trumpet. I still feel Mings has a lot to offer, although I wonder about his ability to get back to where he was.

I’m not going to comment about the Newcastle game yet, as I prefer to leave it closer to the event.
So I’ll just sum up last night’s game; intriguing and probably the correct, albeit unwanted result. Still, we go into the hat tomorrow. When was the last time we did that for the quarters?



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  1. Mark
    Mark January 28, 2024 at 9:29 am . Reply

    No worries Badger.I am definitely with you on the subject of driving,that’s for certain.
    Just a couple more days left of the,so far uneventful, transfer window. I have always been a firm believer in the ‘Bubble’ finally bursting with the amount of money spent on transfers either now or in late August, despite the ‘Sword of Damocles’, commonly known as the Financial Fair Play, hanging over every club. It has taken that previously veiled threat of punishment by points deduction to actually be implemented, as is the case with Everton, to seriously curtail over-inflated transfer fees.
    Personally, I would have liked to have seen the departure of clearly unwanted players who only play bit parts at best. Chambers and Dendoncker are two examples. This would then allow for the acquisition of replacements, whilst keeping within the FFP criteria.

  2. BFR
    BFR January 28, 2024 at 9:47 am . Reply

    Richard Masters’ reference to ‘smaller’ clubs is disgraceful. In my opinion, it’s enough for him to be pressured to stand down. I’ll refrain from calling him an ass***.

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand January 28, 2024 at 2:09 pm . Reply

      “To suggest clubs are categorised according to size raises wider questions about whether every member of the league truly does receive treatment that is fair and consistent.”
      And Pep’s globe trotters with over 100 charges?
      No shit, Sherlock.

  3. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson January 28, 2024 at 3:26 pm . Reply

    Home game if we beat Chelsea Leeds or Plymouth nice draw that

  4. Holte
    Holte January 29, 2024 at 11:35 am . Reply

    Jacob Ramsey to Newcastle? Spurs and Bayern also keen. Reports say a £50m offer would be hard to resist because clear profit considering current FFP concerns. Thoughts?

    1. BFR
      BFR January 29, 2024 at 11:52 am . Reply

      Disastrous, Holte. He’s worth double that. The injury hit season has seen his value decrease. Someone on here said he’s better than Grealish. He is. If anyone gets him for 50 million, they’ll be laughing: at the Villa.

      1. Bum Bum
        Bum Bum January 29, 2024 at 12:10 pm . Reply

        Howe said there is no interest this morning. Clickbait. Just like the non-stop Arsenal/Luiz rubbish.

  5. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson January 29, 2024 at 12:09 pm . Reply

    No, he’s our asset and we shouldn’t be in a market to sell that type of player, we are on the up not down . No

  6. Holte
    Holte January 29, 2024 at 12:13 pm . Reply

    Almost definitely click bait but the question about FFP and sustainability means that a serious offer for him is more advantageous than most. Personally I wouldn’t entertain it unless it was close to £100m

  7. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum January 29, 2024 at 12:17 pm . Reply

    Guys, our time would be better served talking about last nights TV rather than the cr@p they spew out. Utter rubbish just to wind everyone up.
    Both Arsenal and Newcastle up up shyte creek on FFP too. They can’t afford Luiz or Ramsey. They need to offload £100m worth of players before they start talking about new players.
    Apparently we’ve made a 3rd (and final?) offer to Boro.

    Roll on tomorrow night!!!

    1. BFR
      BFR January 29, 2024 at 6:44 pm . Reply

      Random comment based on interest in the Boro lad. Dele Ali will be available for free in the summer and is 27 years of age. He’s out injured at the moment and has some personal issues. But imagine if Unai could get him back to his best in the number 10 role.

  8. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 29, 2024 at 3:36 pm . Reply

    It seems ‘Borough have turned down our third offer – personally I’d tell Gibson to do one – time to move on.

    Emery in his press conference has basically said ‘Ramsey is a very good player for England and Villa and is creating some noise but I 100% want to keep him here’

  9. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 29, 2024 at 3:51 pm . Reply

    Emery confirmed Torres, Ramsey, Digne and Dhuran still out so unchanged aquad from Friday night. Newcastle also have a long injury list although Almiron might be back.

  10. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 29, 2024 at 6:20 pm . Reply

    More from Emery – very few ‘relevant’ players available (in this transfer window).

    I think we can draw the conclusion that Villa will not be particularly active but it seems that this applies to all EPL clubs. Has the charges for breaking PSR (learnt the new acronym:-) ) rules finally worried the ‘bigger’ clubs?

    1. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum January 29, 2024 at 7:12 pm . Reply

      Nobody has spent a penny Hitch. I think everyone is pooping themselves.
      If no money changes hands in the EPL, now, you watch the rules change quicker than you can say Jack Robinson. It will bring the industry to a halt and European clubs will be affected. They depend upon English clubs spending crazy amounts to keeps their own clubs sustainable.
      The quietest window in footballing history.

  11. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum January 29, 2024 at 7:13 pm . Reply

    Nobody has spent a penny Hitch. I think everyone is pooping themselves.
    If no money changes hands in the EPL, now, you watch the rules change quicker than you can say Jack Robinson. It will bring the industry to a halt and European clubs will be affected. They depend upon English clubs spending crazy amounts to keeps their own clubs sustainable.
    The quietest window in footballing history.

  12. Holte
    Holte January 29, 2024 at 8:52 pm . Reply

    The January transfer window should be scrapped. I’m sure it’s just to give Sky sports something to talk about. All it does is promote click bait and unsettle clubs like Villa who find their best players linked with the likes of Arsenal, Citeh or the other protected 6. They hate the thought of Villa taking away a European place from their favourites. Let’s hope we can kickstart our challenge against the barcodes tomorrow night.

  13. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 29, 2024 at 9:28 pm . Reply

    Watched some of the Blackburn / Wrexham game – nothing much of interest except Ben Chrisene came on for the last 20 minutes on the left wing and was totally ignored by all the Blackburn players!

    He might have well sat on the bench and Blackburn play with ten.

    Could well be a waste of time him being there on loan

  14. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum January 30, 2024 at 8:20 am . Reply

    Absolutely fascinating that Emery’s name isn’t being dragged into the bunfight that is the next ‘Liverpool/ManU/Barcelona’ Manger debate. There’s obviously no intention of our owners letting him go, or interest from Unai in moving on. Everything is in place to move Villa up into once again being a footballing superpower, where we belong. (Gently polishes heavily biased claret and blue spectacles). Spending power even with FFP doesn’t seem to be an issue with Citeh, Chelsea, Arsenal also facing constraints. And ManU may be able to spend but they’re a basket case. Rashford??? ‘The shots are on me’!!! Lol!!!
    We may have to do summat about Villa Park though, and I don’t mean move to the NEC either. Perhaps the owners should undertake a rebuild the way we didn’t with Wembley. Shameful the way the towers were demolished for a shite glass and steel identikit entrance.

    Tonight? 2-0 Villa.

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