Derby 0 – 3 Villa; Fantastic result and a confidence boost.

Well, I’m truly happy to say I called this one totally wrong.
I didn’t get to the game and only got to listen to the WM commentary for the final half hour or so.

We were missing chance after chance and it seemed like it wasn’t going to be our day, as I could see Derby catching us with a sucker punch.
It wasn’t to be though and it was great to hear that McGinn had scored. Imagine my joy when the goal was soon followed by a second and then a third!
And then, to cap it all, the WM commentators were saying that this was easily our best performance this season and even our best performance in a very long time.

On the face of it, it would seem that Dean Smith can indeed get the team to produce top performances that have previously been so lacking, as much as the players look good on paper.
What excites me about that and has me licking my lips in anticipation, is if he can get us to play to the max, there’s probably more to come.
And given that we could possibly have beaten a side that were being touted as one to watch this season by six or seven goals on their own turf, that bodes really well. You would expect that this result has made the rest of the league sit up and take notice.

After the final whistle, I spoke to my Derby mate (who had called me pre-match, to wish us the best of luck for the rest of the season, “after we’ve annihilated you”).
His opinion was that the first half could have been 2-2, but in the second half they were sh*te and we played really well, fully deserving the result. He’s quite balanced when it comes to footy.

Then, I specifically asked what he thought about Grealish and the reply was interesting.
His opinion is that he’s a decent player, but goes down way too easily.
I pointed out that he gets us a lot of free kicks, but unprompted, he said “maybe, but he slows down your game far too much and ruins your impetus”. He went on to say that all our best play happened when he wasn’t actually involved and he’d probably be more suited to the Premier league.
It’s certainly a valid viewpoint and one I touched on last week, where some Villa fans would be sympathetic.

Not that I’m criticising.
How can you, after such a brilliant result?

Best of all though, is that this is a massive confidence booster, not long before the blues game, where up until now, I’d been having nagging doubts that we’d win against them.
The bonus is that we’ve moved above them in the league on goal difference.

Three goals away, to a team on a roll, with a clean sheet thrown in, has made my weekend.
It’s as simple as that.


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  1. Avatar
    DSVilla November 11, 2018 at 9:18 am .

    Stunning win. I had a feeling this would be the game where we turned some good performances into a good result. You could just feel it building. I put a tenner on us to get promoted after Smith’s first two games as you could see the change.

    I feel a lot more confident over the next fixtures having seen that. We are still dishing up decent chances for the opposition through simple mistakes from long balls straight down the middle, but there is no denying that we have tightened up at the back. Maybe it’s that we have so much possession that we are denying the opposition the chance to attack as much.

    Anyway. Huge congratulations to Dean, his coaches and the team. It’s so refreshing, as mentioned by others earlier, that he has a clear philosophy that he can communicate to the players and us fans in his interviews. We will continue to improve, and the players are clearly enjoying the new regime.

    1. Avatar
      badger123 November 11, 2018 at 7:24 pm .

      “Maybe it’s that we have so much possession that we are denying the opposition the chance to attack as much.”

      Spot on.
      While possession only tells part of the story if you have lots of it, if they haven’t got the ball, they’re not a threat.
      It’s the doing something about it, that makes the difference (think Arsenal over the last few years), imo.

      As you suggest, we are majorly prone to errors from a ball straight down the middle and it’s poor.
      But good saves from Nyland helped massively there and that’s credit where he’s due.
      His confidence must be building, so let’s hope he’s finding his feet now.

      1. Avatar
        DSVilla November 12, 2018 at 4:36 pm .

        Also telling Badger is that we went to one of the best teams in the division and didn’t play an out and out holding midfielder. I thought we might be lightweight there with Hourihane, but hats off to Smith for seeing that we could do without. Maybe derby midfield is a bit lightweight (in the sense of tough tackling). Maybe Boro would be a different proposition but we’ll see how Smith approaches it.

  2. Avatar
    VillaAwayinDiv3 November 11, 2018 at 9:40 pm .

    Yes pressure on the ball should stop the long balls through the middle….all teams will be trying it now……

  3. Avatar
    Bill Pearson November 12, 2018 at 7:19 am .

    Cheers.villaawayindiv3, i just cannot stop watching ,it reminds me of them days in div3 as well. I’m fighting a very bad cold that to me is the flu after having the jab 5-6 weeks ago. Badger its making me paranoid over Kodjia and Abraham and who miss more. But one thing we can see is a team that’s more in tune than ever before.may it continue.

  4. Avatar
    Bill Pearson November 13, 2018 at 5:08 pm .

    I cannot believe that Sky have monopolized football game for the next two weeks not one on national tv. I’m off to buy a V P N and cobblers to Sky., BT sided with Sky about streaming and now BT are not involved. it’s gone now on the red button for championship games.anyone who has sky dump them now please someone has to show guts.

    1. Avatar
      Pat 57 November 13, 2018 at 6:04 pm .

      Bill you might be right but not before the Blues game that’s for sure!

      Best value for me is 11 Sports where I watch all the Spanish, Italian and Dutch games for just £50 a year. As I follow Barca and Juve that’s not too bad.

  5. Avatar
    Bill Pearson November 13, 2018 at 7:21 pm .

    Pat enlighten me please, how do i get that.?

    1. Avatar
      Pat 57 November 13, 2018 at 10:21 pm .

      Bill just go here –

      I’ve been using it for a few months now and I find that it works really well. Besides the live games they also have full replays on demand as well if you can’t watch the match live.

      1. Avatar
        Texas Johnny November 14, 2018 at 2:45 pm .

        Pat, is it just the continental games or the EFL too?

        From the US, I’ve been able to get a fair few games, but it just so happened any 3pm kick-offs are 9am here and coincided with kids games, so I’d only stream midweek games and pay for each one individually (which is about $10 a game) and not worth it.

  6. Avatar
    Bill Pearson November 14, 2018 at 7:36 am .

    Yes Badger, been following that with interest. I don’t think I’m in the same court as you on that issue, but do honestly believe the game should be given back to the club’s.I don’t think its in anyone’s interest to have to be at the mercy of greedy profiteering shit like Sky and pulled out on previous negotiating for rights but Sky took the lot. Becauce they don’t have airtime they put it on red buttons.if you stream that from them you don’t get the red button. No its time to turn on Organization like them and now looking into VPN with complete anonymity and stick two fingers up to sky and bt. Villa draw the biggest gates on away games, and them two sky and bt see the money matket and other struggling clubs suffocating under deals like that.

  7. Avatar
    Hitchens60 November 14, 2018 at 11:13 am .

    Article in the Times today on the wrangling over Sky contract for those that might be interested.

    I think the Championship Clubs make a very good point – Sky is all about profiteering – and they make very good money out of clubs like Leeds and Villa.

  8. Avatar
    Bill Pearson November 14, 2018 at 5:12 pm .

    Its what im on about Hitch, interesting read that Hitch, its not right for Sky to profiteer on our English game, take this as known, in Turkey Sky is only half what we pay, Italian Sky is cheaper, its got to be stopped and given back to terrestrial tv..

    1. Avatar
      Originallondonlion November 14, 2018 at 9:38 pm .

      A noble thought Bill but terrestrial TV companies did not bid. It looks a poor deal now – but in a worst case scenario Baggies, Villa and Leeds go up and Huddersfield, Fulham and Bournemouth [only one unlikely] go down. Then you are not left with an attractive Championship package.

      1. Avatar
        Hitchens60 November 14, 2018 at 9:44 pm .

        That’s an interesting point OLL although I think teams like Derby and Middlesbrough might argue the point.

        As an aside, did you enquire what odds you could get for that bet?

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