Chelsea 0 – 1 Villa; Haha, Poch sacked in the morning?

Isn’t it strange how a single result can change your perspective?
Or in other words, consider that we have now played Newcastle, Liverpool and Chelsea away and still sit 6th in the league. Given the manner of our two defeats, that’s pretty impressive and puts me in a much better frame of mind as a supporter.

Keeping things in perspective, although I saw this as a major banana skin of a game that we’d always be possible of losing, purely because if you’re in terrible form you can’t have anybody better to play than the Villa, I’ve watched Chelsea a few times and I think they’re frankly awful.
So colour me totally not surprised that we won today.
They proved yet again that they just lack goals, as much as they do seem able to create chances.
Then again, which goalie made the better saves?
Clue, it wasn’t Martinez, as much as he demonstrated his abilities on more than one occasion.

There were a few notable points. That pitch was a disgrace and reminded me of days of old. I know it’s been very warm over the summer in London, but there was no excuse for the pitch to be in that state. Villa park is mostly like a snooker table so I see no reason why the Bridge shouldn’t be at least near on a par. Perhaps the Chelsea fans ought to be singing sack the head gardener before they start on Poch, as they surely have too many skilled players to actually want the pitch to be in that state?

We continued to play the high line.
Which was fine, as Chelsea offered very little in trying to beat it with a long ball out wide.
Yes, they tried to go outside us, with Chilwell and Sterling doing their best, but they preferred to try and run around. It basically didn’t work.
So there was no need for Emery to change it up and his tactics worked today.

Luiz looked very refined and I don’t think it will be long before he has very serious suitors eyeing him up. He is one Rolls-Royce of a player, who just does the simple stuff incredibly well, while making it look so, so easy. Likewise Kamara, who sprayed some lovely balls around.

Watkins continued to do what he’s done for a few weeks, in looking very ineffective.
Hence it was typical of him that just as I again thought that, so he goes on to score. I think I need to call him out every game in the hope he can continually make me look a mug.

So for once, we got the result I was actually expecting, while being very concerned about it and it’s all good. It’s just the typical Villa fan experience, isn’t it?

Now consider our next six games and it’s this I find incredibly intriguing;

Brighton Home
Wolves Away
West Ham Home
Luton Home
Forest Away
Fulham Home

I can realistically see 12 points out of a possible 18 there (and it could be more), with the usual proviso that we’re talking about the Villa, of course.
But where would that leave us in the league?
I find the next few weeks a mouth-watering prospect.
As long as we don’t mess things up in our usual Aston Villa fashion.

Happy days then and beat Everton in the League cup or whatever it’s called this season on Wednesday and I’m sure my confidence will return.


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  1. Sidforever
    Sidforever September 24, 2023 at 5:02 pm . Reply

    Great to read you are back. I hope you’ve fully recovered.

    Absolutely spot on in your analysis.

    Personally I was happy to see Ramsey get some minutes.

    The next few matches will be the basis of d as very good season if we perform.

  2. Texas Villan
    Texas Villan September 24, 2023 at 5:34 pm . Reply

    Kamara my mom today. I thought he broke up play really well. Emi made some amazing saves. Zaniolo a really interesting player. I think he’s gradually getting up to speed and think he’ll be a serious threat like Grealish was. Diaby ineffective first half and think he’s better suited out wide of a front 3. Would like to see JJ on left and him on right.

  3. Holte
    Holte September 24, 2023 at 5:55 pm . Reply

    It was great to see us wi no and get a clean sheet away from home. Chelsea look very average and it’s funny because of how much money they have wasted.
    I still worry about our defence and particularly down Digne and Torres side where they had their best moments.
    Watkins scoring will hopefully see his confidence return.
    6th place with a decent run of games coming up means we can try and challenge for a top 4 position.

  4. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 September 24, 2023 at 6:19 pm . Reply

    Good to see the positive Badger returning.

    The next six games offer us a chance to create a strong base to build off for the remainder of the season.

    However, there are some banana skins in there – for instance given our recent results against West Ham and Wolves.

    Brighton will be tough and Forest have made a good start to the season.

    Take nothing for granted but if we see ourselves finishing top six we have to be winning these games.


  5. 1874 was a good year
    1874 was a good year September 24, 2023 at 6:33 pm . Reply

    Not playing as well as we can but so far we’re averaging 2 points a game which over a season would give us 76 points. Last season that would have put us in third place a point ahead of United.
    Just saying…

  6. Guest
    Guest September 24, 2023 at 8:57 pm . Reply

    Thought we were very lucky today, Chelsea had more than enough chances to beat us quite easily, we are looking shaky defensively and we clearly miss Mings, his leadership at the back is priceless.

    To be honest i don’t think we’ve been playing particularly well all season, however we are getting the results but they are against teams struggling, i’m not too sure how we’d fair against teams in form.

    Great win today but i’ve got a lot of concerns.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain September 25, 2023 at 11:43 am . Reply

      Agree completely about the loss of Mings.
      Whoever actually wears the armband at Villa is irrelevant – Mings has always been by far the standout ‘captain’ of the team.

      McGinn isn’t particularly effective, Konsa is too quiet, and other than perhaps Martinez (although I don’t believe ‘keepers make great leaders most of the time) I can’t think of who could actually influence the team – as nuch as Mings does.

      I also think that our defence needs sorting; teams have rumbled how to beat the high line, and Emery constantly shuffling the back 4 (presumably not through choice-) isn’t helping.

      But that said, I don’t have too many concerns at the moment – we can only get better as the new signings settle in.

  7. OLL
    OLL September 25, 2023 at 12:47 am . Reply

    Ah, The Bridge, best located ground in London, with the White Horse at Parsons Green only a short walk away.
    I have some memories of Chelsea even with the dog track still present. Hidings yes but we tonked them occasionally. Tony Daley (the pineapple-topped one not the blond) with a hat trick the earliest.
    Strange about their pitch. It was Villa Park that was ripped to shreds with a bunch of moto-cross bikes over the summer, not Stamford Bridge, but then we did have to relay VP completely.

    I am not sure about lucky – their keeper was MOM keeping out some great strikes. We had an unbiased ref for once, and a secret weapon of ours was playing – Conor Gallagher. The worst footballer in the current England squad, but not the most careless Chelsea have, that must be Mudric. “I have a cunning plan boss” “I speed down the wing leaving Cash for dead like a digital wallet.” “I see a flaw Mudric – our forwards are also lagging behind, but you cross the ball anyway to nobody.”

  8. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum September 25, 2023 at 10:24 am . Reply

    Really interesting watching Villa play at the moment. We look very disjointed at times down to the fact we have so many injuries and Emery is having to re-design his whole team, but somehow we’re still getting results because we still have a core of VERY good players on their day, albeit everyone can have an off-day. Luiz. McGinn, Cash, Emi, Konsa. Kamara, Ollie Digne has come in and fluffed, but has also been great. Same with Zaniolo who also looks to have great potential. Jhon Duran. And there is no let up at all from Emery – did you see him going mental at 88 minutes getting the 2 subs on who weren’t getting changed fast enough!!! in 2023, as I posted the other day, we have gained the 3rd highest points tally behind Citeh and Arse. Awesome stuff.
    Can you imagine when we get everyone back and have had another window or two…Ollie certainly needs to get this contract extension sorted though. I wonder what the hold up is? I also see Konsa signed a FIVE year deal last week!

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain September 25, 2023 at 11:51 am . Reply

      Bum Bum, your comment is the other side of the same coin as Guest’s above!
      IMO Emery needs to sort the defence rapidly – Mings probably won’t be back before the end of the season and in the meantime we are leaking goals from teams playing long balls over the midfield and catching-out our back line.

      Against lesser opposition we can pretty-well expect to outscore them, but as at L’pool or Warsaw, better sides are causing us real problems.

      We do have some excellent players, and the new ones will get better, but in the meantime I suspect it’s going to be win a couple, lose a couple.

      1. Bum Bum
        Bum Bum September 25, 2023 at 3:24 pm . Reply

        Compromise. Win 3, lose one??? 🙂

        They always say attack is the best form of defence. There’s only really Arse, Citeh and Pool we should fear. The Barcodes game was just weird, a bit like the Legia Warsaw game. With the defensive injuries to Mings, Morena and Carlos, what the hell do we do? They were so late in the day… I do agree we should have kept hold of Ash for another season. I think another centre back will be a priority during the January window. Can you imagine if Konsa gets a knock? (No, no, no, please don’t go there…). If Ollie is still holding out on the contract signing, then it wouldn’t surprise me to see him side-lined while we ‘re-learn’ another system. As Fergie said, football is always in transition…
        Winning when you’re not playing your best is a massive plus. I have to admit, Emery has really changed our mentality. Look at the problems Spuds have faced, ManU, Chelsea, Everton and even Liverpool last season. It will be interesting to see what happens to Citeh when Pep goes. Another 2/3 years they’ll be looking for someone else, but who????

        (First thoughts when I woke up this morning: What day is it? and, We won yesterday!!!)

        1. Ardent Villain
          Ardent Villain September 25, 2023 at 4:28 pm . Reply

          At the moment I’d add Spuds to your list – possibly more so than Arsenal.
          Yes, I realise that we’ve had injuries, but Chambers was having a mare in Poland and still got left to play most of the game when he was clearly a liability on that day. I thought that Emery should have improvised something to relieve him earlier.

          As for Watkins, hopefully now that he’s managed the first PL goal of his season, he might go on one of his runs and score in the next 5-6 games. I don’t understand what his contract difficulties are: he’s probably already on a better deal at Villa than he’d get in most PL clubs, and I don’t see a long queue waiting for him…

  9. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson September 25, 2023 at 5:51 pm . Reply

    I just cannot get use to this high line we play, it worries me watching the game we play , I’m on tenterhooks thinking get the ball up the pitch and stop pissing about and we do get caught a lot of times. It now been going on and we are not improving as teams know how to close us down. Yes we have skilful players in close passing and we don’t use it enough, you take Martinez and his kicking up field he never finds a player but either their player or throw in . I’m a nervous wreck watching us play I want football dribbling beating player like Grealish did. As a young man I played till I was 37 and to be honest playing like they do today I might have be a professional.😇 Oh happy days..

  10. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 September 26, 2023 at 5:57 am . Reply

    So – in 2023 – only ManC and Arsenal have scored more points than us – despite us being crippled by injuries, not only to to key players, but important players in defence. It seems Carlos and Moreno are going to be out for longer than expected which gives Emery a massive challenge in rotating players for the games ahead.

    And yet we’re still criticising Emery’s tactics?

    What exactly do we want as Villa fans?

    1. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum September 26, 2023 at 6:35 am . Reply

      I’m happy, Hitch. Well chuffed.

    2. BFR
      BFR September 26, 2023 at 2:42 pm . Reply

      Hitch, you’re spot on. If we can’t appreciate having a manager like Emery at VP, there’s zero hope for us.
      If we take your last question as not rhetorical, I would love an answer. What do we want?

      1. Ardent Villain
        Ardent Villain September 26, 2023 at 3:52 pm . Reply

        We all want to be football managers…

  11. badger123
    badger123 September 26, 2023 at 12:47 pm . Reply

    A story has appeared that there will be plenty of interest in January for Duran.
    I’m not even going to link to it, as imo, it’s just a pathetic story.
    How do they dream them up?

    1. RSS
      RSS September 26, 2023 at 3:08 pm . Reply

      Mate did you read the one the other day about Diaby wanting to leave to join a Champions league club?
      What a load of BS that was.
      Moussa was simply saying that PSG, having spent his formative years there, would always have a place in his heart.
      That in the future (should the opportunity arise) he would love to return.

    2. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain September 26, 2023 at 3:58 pm . Reply

      I still look at the BBC’s football “Rumours” page (why? – just out of habit, I suppose) most days; full of made-up stories from here, there and everywhere about the January window. Guess they’ve all got a qota of drivel to fill… and sloppy journo’s just pick up any rubbish put out on “X” (or whatever it’s called now) or Instagram, etc., and parrot it.

      Don’t know how many games we’ll be playing between now and 31st December, but doubt very much that anyone will remember any of these ‘rumours’ by then.

    3. 1874 was a good year
      1874 was a good year September 26, 2023 at 4:33 pm . Reply

      As a pathetically avid user of the rumour mill when it’s time for the transfer window to end, at a guess I’d say that only one in a thousand of the stories peddled actually turn out to have some basis in fact. I’d also guess that some lowly paid intern is given a list of all the goal scorers from the previous week and then told to just make stuff up in order to fill column inches and web pages.
      Jhon’s day will come when he will stir plenty of interest from other clubs but I don’t think that we’re quite there yet. Hopefully, when it does, we’ll actually be one of the top PL clubs ourselves and the rumours will be all about us being interested in other clubs’ players.

  12. Ardent Villain
    Ardent Villain September 26, 2023 at 7:23 pm . Reply

    On a completely different note –

    Funnily enough I was just thinking during the Warsaw match that our players always look drenched in sweat 5 minutes after they come onto the pitch; this might be why…

    1. BFR
      BFR September 26, 2023 at 7:35 pm . Reply

      This was spotted in pre-season out in the US. Embarrassing for Castore. Apparently the new badge is also being binned and another fan consultation beckons…

      1. Ardent Villain
        Ardent Villain September 26, 2023 at 7:40 pm . Reply

        In the States I just assumed it was duw to the heat…

        1. Bum Bum
          Bum Bum September 26, 2023 at 9:16 pm . Reply

          ‘Dew’ to the heat??? I got the joke anyway!!! 😁
          There’s a Woody Allen version in there too if you’re an Annie Hall fan…

      2. RSS
        RSS September 26, 2023 at 9:06 pm . Reply

        On the subject of Castore – the players have been complaining that within minutes of playing their shirts are wringing wet with sweat.
        To be honest I had noticed but thought it was some super duper cooling system or something highly scientific but apparently no…
        They’re just shite (allegedly)

        1. Bum Bum
          Bum Bum September 26, 2023 at 9:18 pm . Reply

          Isn’t Gerrard a major investor in Castore too?? I seem to recall a conflict of interest when he was our (dreadful) manager.

          1. Hitchens60
            Hitchens60 September 27, 2023 at 3:33 am . Reply

            Think you’re right Bum Bum

  13. BFR
    BFR September 26, 2023 at 8:01 pm . Reply

    Just browsing the fixtures and the next two months appear relatively straightforward league wise with plenty of games against teams we should finish above. Then. December. City and Arsenal at VP in space of 5 days! Need to find some rhythm in the next two months…

  14. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson September 27, 2023 at 7:00 am . Reply

    Bit of information Villa game on tv Saturday TNT 1 12-30.
    I’m a great Emery fan, thought I’d let you know it’s the players that need to use their brains.

  15. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum September 27, 2023 at 1:45 pm . Reply

    Anyone else see the funny side of this?

    Wet t-shirt contest anyone? Are we back in 1974 suddenly??? LOL!

    1. RSS
      RSS September 27, 2023 at 5:41 pm . Reply

      Suppose they could change the walkout theme to Yakety Sax?

      1. Bum Bum
        Bum Bum September 27, 2023 at 5:47 pm . Reply

        It did make me chuckle!!!!

Right or Wrong? What do YOU think?