Is Hourihane our saviour? Wesley, 20 goals? and the Hutton love-in

Now I’ll admit straight off, this is just trying to raise a bit of debate.
I’m currently on holiday again (work hard, play hard, for those that don’t know me) and there’s next to no English telly and worse still, no footy to speak of. Unless you count the meaningless byes we’ve been given in the internationals as important, that is.

So I’ve been looking at the news and that’s poor too.
For some reason, I’m going to go in reverse order to the headline and ask why are the press, particularly the Birmingham Mail (or live) constantly printing everything Alan Hutton says?
I loved the bloke when he was at the Villa, simple.
His work ethic and overcoming the “bomb squad” reputation left me admiring him very much.
But he’s gone, it’s as simple as that.
And while I thought he did a good job for us, given the circumstances, he will not be going down as a legend in my mind. He was paid top dollar, even if he cut his wage late on, while we were failing.
So who gives a flying about what he thinks about Harry Kane at Spurs?
Pack it in, for christ’s sake, Alan and either play the game or just retire gracefully, with those £millions backing you up.

And then there’s Wesley talking about getting 20 goals this season and thinking of the Champion’s League.
Now this is more like it.
I suspect there’s more than a bit of PR going on here too, but it’s the right sort.
If it’s his genuine thoughts, I love it and that’s the sort of ambition our players need to show.
If it’s just PR by his agent, well, it would worry me, as the kid could do without that sort of pressure, simple as.

Then we have Conor saying he isn’t taking his place in the Ireland team for granted.
Pull the other one mate.
While I might think you’re invisible sometimes in the Villa side, you’re a shoe-in for Ireland.
Internationals from a British pov are much less about graft and physicality and more about skill. You have the latter in abundance, fella.
Now that is a shoe-in and you know very well you’ll be starting.
That’s nice PR though, whoever wrote it.


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  1. Avatar
    Dave Sheridan October 8, 2019 at 8:29 pm .

    Usually enjoy reading these articles, but this is just utter dross. For someone who publishes media, you seem to be unaware of the world of syndicated media – Birmingham Live is part of The old Mirror Group papers – a national chain. And bearing in mind Alan Hutton played for Spurs, I guess there is interest in what he says about Spurs (albeit not from Villa fans necessarily). Remember also, this is the guy who (yes, whilst paid exceptionally well like all pro footballers) battles to get his place back and drive us (the fans) forward with optimism. Remember, he also scored 2 wonder goals – not bad for a right back. And don’t forget the Tesco carrier bag he snapped in two too! As for Wes, just let it play out – come back and criticise if he scores 5 this season or big him up when he notches 20! Finally, Conor Hourihane. He isn’t a guaranteed starter for Eire despite what you might think. He started at left back in the last game. Clearly Mick is using his guile to lull everyone into a false sense of security…but to suggest he is a shoe-in shows a lack of understanding and knowledge about what McCarthy is doing there (whether I agree or not!). Your headline suggests that Conor is our saviour…but then talks about Eire. Nothing about how he has galvanised/solidified our midfield and allow Grealish to roam further forward. Nothing about quality delivery from set pieces that we have lacked when he’s not been in the team. Gripe (not a rant) over. Time to have another glass of red.

  2. Avatar
    Originallondonlion October 8, 2019 at 10:47 pm .

    Alan Hutton. Nothing against him as a person and I could not fault his endeavour. But he was a crap full-back. Sucked forward, his crosses were routine for defenders and his major failing is he never seemed to notice an opposition forward taking up space behind him. Hutton never had a prayer of getting back to defend, his #1 job, when Villa lost the ball.

    Not to be immortalised in song – unlike Paul Birch. Change of topic but the “My old Man” song has been sung since the last of the trio, Spink, Birch and Macanally joined Villa. It is sung today by fans who weren’t born when they played. Of course they should still know who Nigel Spink was, and there are a few video clips of the all too brief career of Alan Macanally that can be found. But Birchy – a totally humdrum player viewed with the perspective of history. So, Alan Hutton – unlucky – your name didn’t rhyme.

  3. Avatar
    sidcowanslovechild October 9, 2019 at 7:35 am .

    Conor is our most under rated player. Constantly pulls down the best results across the season for a midfielder and is our only decent set piece taker. He may be overshadowed by Jack and SJM in terms of profile/optics but not results (goals/assists). I think the invisible tag is very harsh and if you look at results with him out of the team, they do not improve

  4. Avatar
    Holte66 October 9, 2019 at 7:40 pm .

    I don’t mind Hutton expressing his opinions to the Birmingham Mail. He wasn’t a player blessed with ability but made up for it with passion and determination. His goal against Small Heath will leave a lasting memory for us.
    Wesley having targets is a sign of positivity which is what we as fans would rather hear over previous mentality of reaching safety and 40 points! Whether he reaches 20 goals or not is debatable but having confidence in his own ability won’t do him any harm.
    I’m a fan of Hourihane. He isn’t built like a Sissoko but he is a battler. He is also our best passer, dead ball specialist and most prolific goalscoring midfielder. The formation we played against Norwich allowed Nakamba, Hourihane, Grealish and McGinn to play and it worked well.
    It’s a shame in a way that the international break came after such a confidence boosting performance. I’m not a fan of these tedious qualifiers so roll on next weekend and proper footy again.

  5. Avatar
    Hitchens60 October 10, 2019 at 1:58 pm .

    I note Tom Heaton has withdrawn from the England squad after ‘picking up an injury’! Was that whilst with England? I hate these qualifiers.

  6. Avatar
    Hitchens60 October 10, 2019 at 2:07 pm .

    And on a completely separate note, our owners have issued a further fully paid up £57m shares brining the total investment since they acquired the club to a staggering £250m – and we thought (except OLL tbf 🙂 ) that Dr. Tony could actually finance the regeneration of the club!

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