General thoughts and Bruce resigns.

So I’ve been watching the Villa news avidly, as per usual, but you guys have been quicker to the mark which means I’ve mostly been getting the news from you lot, hence I’ve little to add at the moment.

You’ve done an excellent job in keeping me informed, so please keep it up!

It’s frankly a case of me just posting something new for the sake of it so we move the headline forward.
If I have something different to add, I’ll do so.

I have to say, I’m loving the business we’ve been doing (the Mings price apart, as much as I like him) including the players we’re still linked with. Douglas Luiz particularly seems a very good bet, given the buy back clause. If Pep wants him, you’d have to expect he’s a good player.
But even though it appears we might get him in as our defensive mid, who does Dean Smith have in mind to back him up?
I’ve seen it said that Hourihane is the answer.
And that’s just wrong to my mind, as he’s just too lightweight, even though I praised him for getting stuck in during the play-off final.
Maybe Bjarnason is the backup DM?
I don’t know.

And then I see here that Steve Bruce has resigned from Sheff Weds.
On the face of it, that seems quite treacherous, given that the Owls took him on when to my mind he’s demonstrated how he’s a yesterday’s man (albeit a safe choice).
But it’s obvious he’s going to Newcastle and it’s a management choice he just can’t resist.
Just like Dean Smith, who could resist managing “their own” club?

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but I suspect Bruce might have made a big mistake here.
The barcodes want to watch attacking football and from what we’ve seen with him managing the Villa, he’s far too pragmatic and just won’t play like that.
Of course, the fans will give him the benefit of the doubt for a while, but I see him as only a survival-type manager and it will ultimately go badly.
That said, I do appreciate how he stabilised us and wish him all the best.
Except I expect them to be one of our major competitors this season, where I hope he seriously struggles.

Keep posting the updates guys, they’re much appreciated by me in yet another torrid time at work.



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  1. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson July 21, 2019 at 2:32 pm . Reply

    Bloody confusion here, I was thinking who the f is otter then realised its Jota , still it is my anniversary, and entitled to have a drink.58 years is a mile stone.

    1. Pat 57
      Pat 57 July 21, 2019 at 2:44 pm . Reply

      As he’s Spanish it’s pronounced either as ‘Hotter’ or in certain areas with a gutteral ‘H’ as though you’re coughing up phlegm. However, it’s definitely never ‘Jotter’.

      1. Big Fat Ron
        Big Fat Ron July 21, 2019 at 2:51 pm . Reply

        It’s getting hotter over here in Cyprus! Can’t wait for the season to start – just hope I can get a ticket every now and again!

    2. Big Fat Ron
      Big Fat Ron July 21, 2019 at 2:52 pm . Reply

      Congrats Bill. I asked you the same question on your recent birthday: what’s the secret (to long marriage)?

  2. Big Fat Ron
    Big Fat Ron July 21, 2019 at 2:43 pm . Reply

    The conclusion to the first half hour is that we need a potent force up top. I hope this won’t be the conclusion of our season. I’m eagerly awaiting the signing of a classy center forward. Could it be the young Portuguese, Leao? I’d be happy with Maupay.

    Three weeks to go! If Luiz and Trezeguet are all but dusted, that’s three weeks to get that striker and a top goalkeeper. Not a bad summer’s work so far, but the cherries need adding to the cake!

  3. Big Fat Ron
    Big Fat Ron July 21, 2019 at 2:47 pm . Reply

    Keinan just made my point. Took a pass on the edge of the box with his back to goal. Instead of turning and having a shot, he played it simple and layed it off. Need a striker with natural killer instinct, whose only thought is scoring goals. They don’t come cheep, and rightly so!

  4. Pat 57
    Pat 57 July 21, 2019 at 2:51 pm . Reply

    Well the Shrews are giving us a game.Jack and John played well and Mings was impressive when coming out of defence. Otherwise Jota was the best player on view.

    Now let’s see what Wesley can do. I must admit that I’d have sooner seen him play when Jack and Jota were on the field to see how they might link up but I daresay that Smith knows what he’s doing.

  5. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson July 21, 2019 at 3:00 pm . Reply

    Yes seen that BFR, still he does hold the ball up well but has to learn to turn and strike the ball, I still don’t think these friendlies do a lot for the players only stroll through the game, a player must think well it’s only a friendly it don’t mean much. Us fans like to see why we spend so much money and a game must be won, at Villa park Wednesday spending my pension on a new shirt, got the shorts, and ready to kick a case ball and not a plastic coated one.utv

  6. Big Fat Ron
    Big Fat Ron July 21, 2019 at 3:08 pm . Reply

    Great stuff Bill, I quite fancy a shirt this season! The last one I bought had ‘Ginola 14′ on the back!

    I’ve no problems with good hold up play, but I do have a problem with anyone who plays centre forward and can’t score goals! Think Ian Wright vs Villa at Highbury in 1993. Edge of the box, swivel, shoot, goal. How about Les Ferdinand QPR vs United in 1994/95. Back to goal, outside the area, turn, smashed it in the top corner. That’s the kind of instinct i want to see in the number 9 at VP! Mark Hughes could hold the ball up, but he know how to bang ’em in too!

  7. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson July 21, 2019 at 3:17 pm . Reply

    Shit BFR, you’ve got a good memory, mine is seen it, that was good and its gone. Your right Dean knows what he’s doing, all this is building them to know each others play and having a happy camp. I’m off on Saturday visiting other countries and showing my colours.utv .

    1. Big Fat Ron
      Big Fat Ron July 22, 2019 at 7:49 pm . Reply

      I’ve dug that Ferdinand goal out for you, Bill! This is what you do when you receive the ball with your back to goal!

      1. Big Fat Ron
        Big Fat Ron July 22, 2019 at 7:57 pm . Reply

        And here’s the Ian Wright one on 4:00. Another example of how to score with your back to goal! Surprised how easily I found these!

        (worth watching the whole thing for a super Villa win – great times under Big Ron!)

  8. Pat 57
    Pat 57 July 21, 2019 at 3:30 pm . Reply

    Nice through ball from Wesley and a nutmeg on the goalie from Hogan.

    Not sure we quite deserved it though.

  9. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson July 21, 2019 at 3:30 pm . Reply

    I like that Wesley, sharp and positive, he’s our man.

  10. Big Fat Ron
    Big Fat Ron July 21, 2019 at 3:31 pm . Reply

    Wesley looks a handful. The sooner he gets a goal, the better…

  11. Pat 57
    Pat 57 July 21, 2019 at 3:43 pm . Reply

    Fantastic pacy run from Wesley but unfortunately RHM looked so surprised he forgot to pass him the ball.

  12. Big Fat Ron
    Big Fat Ron July 21, 2019 at 3:46 pm . Reply

    I hate to say it, but O’Hare looks lightweight. Struggling…

  13. Big Fat Ron
    Big Fat Ron July 21, 2019 at 3:53 pm . Reply

    Just to reinforce my point, Wesley looks like a superb ‘foil’, but for who? He looks like he plays deeper – very evident from the YouTube clips. So again, we need a natural ‘fox in the box’ poacher – someone who plays facing the goal, who can take a through-ball in his stride, either over the top or on the deck. We have the players to play the through-balls, but I don’t think we have that number 9. Respect to Hogan for winning the game, but I don’t think he’s the answer in the PL.

    1. Pat 57
      Pat 57 July 21, 2019 at 4:12 pm . Reply

      I agree and I’m wondering whether Hogan is just warming Maupay’s shirt.

      Still Wesley looks like a find, 6′ 3″ and built like a brick shithouse. He has a bit of pace and skill too. He also doesn’t seem to mind the physical side of the game either and I think he’ll bully some defenders.

      So far, so good…

  14. Big Fat Ron
    Big Fat Ron July 21, 2019 at 3:59 pm . Reply
    1. Big Fat Ron
      Big Fat Ron July 21, 2019 at 4:10 pm . Reply

      Fascinating read! Nice to read something from a half-decent journalist who’s not fabricating everything! All Villa fans must read the last paragraph; this ‘kid’ thrives on support and good will. The situation reminds me of Savo when he came in, which was also our record transfer at the time. We must remember that he’s a very young man from a different country and culture. He will have his ups and downs, but if he feels loved, he’ll be a huge asset. Savo never quite had that and he produced his best elsewhere. I hope we can get the best out of Wesley and keep him when he gets to his prime in 4-5 years’ time!

    2. Pat 57
      Pat 57 July 21, 2019 at 4:20 pm . Reply

      Yes a terrific read. It’s hard to imagine what’s happened to him already and he’s still only 22. I think he has everything he needs to become a top number nine. What we need to give him is patience and our belief that he can come good.

      I also think that Dean might be the perfect manager for him.

  15. nath
    nath July 21, 2019 at 4:24 pm . Reply

    i liked what i saw from the game. we looked fit and strong. very tidy in possession. we have a philosophy which is same for both teams we played in 1st and 2nd half. i think we can see they have been mostly on fitness and they have 3 weeks to prepare the other stuff.

    i liked to say ohare has improved since we last saw him. still isn’t ready, but he has made great strides. looked more with it and stronger,a little harder to get brushed off the ball, needs a loan in championship maybe but i can see him making the grade if he improves again.

    davis was another i liked to say had good touches, looked to bringing in the reinforcements from midfield. but i think another that will need another season in championship. but he is much closer than ohare to being ready.

    i think we will see better in the next few friendlies, when they start to knit together better. but again i like to say much prefer smiths attitudes to friendlies than past managers. playing two sides for the whole halves is far better than sending on multi subs and disrupting the flow of the game.

  16. fastjet81
    fastjet81 July 21, 2019 at 9:34 pm . Reply

    Went to the game and was good to see some of the new players up close. Early doors Shrews were very direct with the diagonal ball to Morrison causing problems. Once settled felt a bit like we were on cruise control. Good link up play with Guibert and Jota down the right and Grealish looked a class above. Thought their keeper had a bit of a stormer, on loan from Bristol City I’m told. Steer did have a few shaky moments in the second half, but wasn’t really called into action as much as him.

    Hause surprised me and was very commanding, nice to have good options at centre half. Chester looked a bit leggy at times and may struggle to start.

    Definitely more potent in the second half, players in the final third had more energy. Wesley neat and tidy and could easily have finished with 2 assists. Hogan has good movement, but touch not always as complimenting. O’Hare was busy and perhaps should have scored. Hepburn-Murphy lots of good touches and had their right back on toast. Just the final decision making of the latter 2 needs to improve. Saying that they impressed me more so than Green and Davies.

    The recruitment has been calculated and Dean is addressing the right areas. It was evident in the game that the positions we’re supposedly looking to bring in a few more players would be beneficial. Striker to work off Wesley, defensive mid to replace Bjarnasson (clumsy and doesn’t move the ball quick enough) and possibly a new GK.

  17. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 July 21, 2019 at 10:45 pm . Reply

    Sorry, didn’t get to see the game as charity fund raising all day. Consistent comments appear to be around signing a ‘fox in the box’ goal scorer but after spending north of £100m (including assumed Trezeguet and Luiz) do we really have the money to buy a Maupey for instance?

    1. Pat 57
      Pat 57 July 21, 2019 at 11:59 pm . Reply

      Hitch, having spent somewhat north of £100 million I dare say an extra £20 million won’t faze our owners. If it’s a gamble for them then it’s a good one as just staying in the Prem will more or less repay all their outlay so far.

      I still think that Heaton and Maupay might still join the cause. If they do it will be a lot of Christmases together for me.

      1. Texas Villan
        Texas Villan July 22, 2019 at 3:07 pm . Reply

        And that figure of $150m may not account for any sales we manage to make. I think any of Thor (2m), Chester (5-7m), Kalanic (3m), Elmo (1m), Kodja (3-5m) could be made available which could be the best part of another $20m to add, which in my mind we’d do if we could replace fringe players unlikely to contribute a lot to a quality replacement such as Maupay.

        1. Big Fat Ron
          Big Fat Ron July 22, 2019 at 4:03 pm . Reply

          I’d be disappointed if we sell Elmo. Excellent back up for Guilbert and should start in the cups. He’s a very valuable player. Think of the quality of his crossing, which Smith wants from his full-backs. He’s worth way more than 1 milion. Thor is also needed as back up to Luiz, especially if Chester goes, as Engels would be the fourth CB, meaning little back up in the holding role. I also think Kodjia has more to offer than Hogan.

  18. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 July 22, 2019 at 4:46 pm . Reply

    Thanks for the responses. I think we will offload some players but not until we’ve secured all those we want first – which is sensible. Agree with BFR on Elmo and Thor; Elmo in particular was a stand out performer at the Afcon Cup according to reports and demonstrated last season that he’s really grown into the RB position. If we do sell a RB could be Bree going.

    Chester may well go if we got the right offer for him but Smith did say he wanted 5 CB’s for the upcoming season. I also agree one of Hogan / Kodjia could be sold and one of of the GK’s if we bring in Heaton (or A N Other). I have a suspicion that Hogan might appeal to Smith more than Kodjia – he does make really intelligent runs into the box and IF he can stay fit might link well with Wesley – it may all come down to whether we sign Maupay and / or Trezeguet.

    1. Tom
      Tom July 22, 2019 at 5:17 pm . Reply

      I like all the signings to date. Can’t really fault them. I just feel now that with what we have in McGinn, Grealish and Potentially Jota, we could really do with a proven CDM and Striker that are already doing the business at a top level. I know that’s a huge ask and a huge price but those positions need filling and there isn’t much time to find our feet in this division. I’m getting worried that the feel good factor is over riding the reality of this up and coming season. Survive it and I’m confident our owners will strengthen and build year on year. But this is the crucial one and they know it

      1. Badger123
        Badger123 July 22, 2019 at 6:48 pm . Reply

        That’s exactly my thoughts, Tom.
        We just need to survive this season and anything else is a bonus.
        And as you say, we build each year.
        I think it’s managing expectations that’s going to prove the trickiest part, as I can see us getting caned occasionally, with the way we know we’re going to play (you score 3, we’ll score 4).
        That said, I can’t wait for the season to start.

        1. Tom
          Tom July 22, 2019 at 7:19 pm . Reply

          And that attitude sounds great when you are in a 10 game unbeaten run but that’s not happening this time and at some point we will have to grind something out or take an unflattering draw. It’s an admiral approach and one I’d love us to nail and have the quality to give The entire premier league a run for its money. As it stands teams like Leicester, Watford , Bournemouth even Burnley are hardy premier league teams.
          Strikers like Wilson, Vardy, Delafou, Murray offer some regular goals for these guys.
          I don’t even want to start on keepers!

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