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. Avatar
    Pat 57 July 18, 2019 at 3:22 am .

    Oh and just to say that there was a wonderful crowd of over 18,000 in Minnesota for a mid-week friendly (including a few vociferous ones who had clearly travelled from B6).

    Also nice to see Adrian Heath again as manager of Minnesota. Like most of us he’s carrying a bit of timber these days but he’s looking well.

  2. Avatar
    Benno July 18, 2019 at 4:22 am .

    Very good start to preseason, gotta say i really enjoyed the game, esp first half. Jota and O’Hare both looked really lively, and was nice to see us moving the ball around with such ease. Second half wasnt as fluid, but great goals from Lansbury and Bjarnason, be good for their confidence too. Targett and Guilbert both look a real threat going forward, and should add an extra dimension to our game,

    Presuming the Luiz deal goes through, i would still like to see us pick up another forward, hopefully Maupay before the end of the window. i dont think Hogan or Kodjia have really got what it takes in the Premier League.

  3. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron July 18, 2019 at 6:30 am .

    Thanks for the summaries, Pat!

  4. Avatar
    Hitchens60 July 18, 2019 at 7:00 am .

    Thanks for the heads up guys – sounds encouraging.

    Jota was top drawer at Brentford and pulled our pants down when we played them. I think he could turn out to be the bargain of the summer – playing in a better side (than Blues) and under Smith again – exciting times.


    1. Avatar
      Big Fat Ron July 18, 2019 at 10:28 am .

      Similar to Juan Mata in style and ability, would you say, Hitch and Pat?

      1. Avatar
        Pat 57 July 18, 2019 at 11:31 am .

        Not sure, it perhaps might be nearer what David Silva does for City. He had a nice shot too. It was quite Messi-like, side footed through the defender’s legs and heading for the far corner. It took a really good save from the goalie to stop it.

        1. Avatar
          Big Fat Ron July 18, 2019 at 1:43 pm .

          If he’s half as good as Silva, we’ve definitely got a bargain who will make a difference through the season!

          1. Avatar
            Texas Villan July 18, 2019 at 1:50 pm .

            I didn’t mention Jota in my comments below and I should have done – he was very confident on the ball. My worry with these flair types is that they don’t have enough end product – but this guy seems to have something about him. I’m excited to see what he brings too. A bit of flair mixed with guile isn’t something we’ve seen for a while.

            1. Avatar
              Pat 57 July 18, 2019 at 2:13 pm .

              Flair and guile – you’re spot on there Texas. I noticed that, rather than the usual cross, Jota was constantly outside the penalty area probing and looking for the short pass into space inside the box. It’s early days and he’s only played a half so I don’t want to get too excited but, if this is what he’s tasked to do, I could see our strikers benefiting greatly from this.

              Good teams can mix it up – shoot from outside the box and cross the ball for headers etc but really good teams have that bit extra that so often makes the difference – the short killer pass into space. Barca and Man City especially excel at this. If we have a player in Jota who thinks this way then so much the better for us.

              As I said it’s still early days though….

              1. Avatar
                Bill Pearson July 18, 2019 at 8:54 pm .

                Texas Villan, good luck to your 9 year old , give them all the help you can at that age it pays off in the end, my two grandchildren are now benefiting, the girl has just signed for Coventry Unt and now going to play the likes of Villa ladies . The lad 13 still banging them in for his side and only one team he wants to play for Villa.we didn’t see much in the highlights to see how good players did, I’m just pleased that its a happy camp and wait till they’re back at Villa. Picking up my Villa kit Wednesday and off on holiday Saturday. Utv.

      2. Avatar
        Hitchens 60 July 18, 2019 at 3:56 pm .

        Mata or Silva – not going to argue. We’ve desperately needed another creative mid to back up JG. Here’s hoping

        1. Avatar
          Big Fat Ron July 19, 2019 at 7:18 am .

          For me, our benchmark is Paul Merson. A genius who was never replaced. This is an example of when it is worth signing a player who’s around the 30 mark.

  5. Avatar
    Bill Pearson July 18, 2019 at 7:38 am .

    Just been watching highlight of the match, some nice goals, also a incident when Dean was going in he started to sign a shirt for a fan, a security guard snatched the shirt away from the fan and Dean couldn’t believe his eyes, it was on Birmingham Live. Utv.

  6. Avatar
    Pat 57 July 18, 2019 at 12:52 pm .

    Good post match interview with Dean –

    I love the way he talks frankly about the things the team didn’t do so well as well as the good things. He really seems to see things very clearly and in an unemotive way.

  7. Avatar
    Texas Villan July 18, 2019 at 1:43 pm .

    Fortunately last night the Villa game finished in time for my 9 year old’s baseball game – they won their local tournament and made it to state and are 2 games away from being state champions. I’ve only been here for 4 years but as an adopted sport, I recommend baseball for getting into new sports!

    As for the Villa game itself – the one negative I saw was our defence looked sloppy at times. Perhaps we felt the opposition weren’t taxing but we just looked too casual. I thought Mings looked incredibly confident and the way he drove the ball forward was really impressive. JC was all over the place, even for a friendly was good to see that’s just who he is.

    I looked forward to seeing Callum O’Hare but was a little disappointed. He seemed off the pace of the game and his passing seemed a little awkward but he at least got stuck in. Perhaps tried too hard?

    Wesley didn’t seem to get into the game for me and would have liked to see him more involved.

    Henri had a superb game – all the 3 goals were really impressive. The latter two were moves made at speed and screamers (not to take anything away from Jack’s goal which was a great effort). Thor’s goal was nice and he looked very very good. I’ve always liked him and hope he gets some game time or we move him on where he can and should be playing.

    I thought Bree had a decent game and should not be ruled out being involved this season. Same for Davis whose hold up play is phenomenal. Guilbert looks to be a very impressive capture and I’m excited to see what he can bring to a settled team, after setting up a great goal. And just to echo what others said, nice to see Chester back who I think deserves a place still.

  8. Avatar
    VillaAwayInDiv3 July 18, 2019 at 11:22 pm .

    JOTA….some superb though balls……

  9. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron July 19, 2019 at 7:30 am .

    Love the comment from the female commentator: “If you’re not there to win the league, why are you in it?”

    I know many of us are content with survival or top half or whatever, but if you aim to win every game (which is what our manger does), why not see where that takes you? OK, this season is too much to ask, but why not have a plan to at least challenge for the league in 3 years? With the players we’ve signed, if we can add 5-6 more upgrades in the next two summers, why not aim for the sky?

  10. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron July 19, 2019 at 7:39 am .

    Lansbury’s run from midfield and finish were Lampard-esque – really good sign if he can stay fit!

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