Leeds on Sunday and Kalinic signing; it’s getting interesting.

So much for FFP then.
As I’ve often suggested, it’s a load of old tripe that you can get around if you have the means.

It is of course a good idea, that is designed to stop clubs going bust, but we’ve seen that there are ways around it, as demonstrated by the likes of the blue mancs, even though it seems they’re being threatened with sanctions.
Yeah, right. Just the same as red manc are in trouble for being close on 1 Billion in debt.

It would seem common sense has prevailed and after the Villa’s discussions with the powers that be, it would also seem that adequate funds have been guaranteed by our owners and we’re clear to spend a few quid.
I do not expect the £5 odd million quid we’ve apparently spent on Kalinic to be our only signing, by a long chalk.
Expect a CB and LB to come in and more, just as we all want.
And no, Grealish will not be leaving to pay for it (yawn).

Kalinic will hopefully be a great signing, given that it seems someone at the club has tracked him since our first interest 3 years ago. But I wonder who that someone might be, given the lack of continuity amongst the coaches?
Did we commit to signing him as soon as he became eligible for us when we first showed interest in him, I wonder?
On the face of it, it would seem so, to me.
Hence, is that a good deal?
Whatever, he probably can’t be worse than Nyland, can he???

Onto the game and I’m hoping I’ll actually be able to watch this, although it’ll be touch and go, depending on what time I finish work.

This is a massive game, to my mind.

If Leeds beat us, I think you’d have to call them as clear favourites to win the league.
They’re the big threat to my mind and we have to pull points back on them, if we’ve any chance of winning the league.
Note the “winning” part.
I still believe we have a chance, as much as that might seem daft at the moment.

Squad news then and it’s a bit early, but Grealish is out. He’s wearing a protective boot.
Adomah is a better bet and he’s trained.
Lansbury won’t be available, although Jedinak might be.

Whatever, this should be a great game.
Bielsa is very similar to Smith in the way he plays, in that Leeds play the high press and go for a high workrate.
That ultimately killed Leeds last season, but won’t affect them this early.

McGinn has to be the pivotal player for us, imo and if he plays well, I suspect we can dominate this one.

I’m going for a 2-1 win, but my brain says it will be a 1-1 draw.


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  1. Avatar
    Bill Pearson December 23, 2018 at 8:45 pm .

    BFR, I don’t buy that 18 year old player are mentality unable to play a part in any game, what did Leeds do, it was 18 year old kids that changed the game, in this world 18 year old flew spitfire, 18 year old got called up to fight for the country ,
    Sorry I don’t believe that, yes we did lose that game because mentality not strong enough and because we have a defence that’s weak , I hope that Dean will address that soon. It’s not over yet.

    1. Avatar
      Big Fat Ron December 23, 2018 at 9:33 pm .

      Very good and valid point about the youngsters Bill. The fact the the Leeds boss is getting results from his youngsters is a strong point. They can be fearless, assuming they’re strong enough characters. That’s for Smith and his team to judge…

      1. Avatar
        Big Fat Ron December 23, 2018 at 9:41 pm .

        I guess you only have to look at what Southgate is doing and the effect it’s having. What the hell, bring on the youngsters!

  2. Avatar
    Hitchens60 December 23, 2018 at 8:58 pm .

    If you’re good enough, you’re old enough. So, either we’re bottling using some of the better U23’s or they’re not good enough?

    One defeat doesn’t undemine the positives since Smith came but as BFR points out the last few results at home (but strangely not away where the dropped points at WBA came courtesy of crap refereeing) have highlighted deficiencies in the squad.

    But it does raise the question, why do we defend better (on average) away from home than at at home?

  3. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron December 23, 2018 at 9:38 pm .

    Really interesting. I’ve just conceded to Bill that maybe I’m wrong about youngsters and that they’re fearless. But now you’ve made me wonder, Hitch. Could it be that we concede more at VP because of the fear factor? Fear of failure? Fear of a potentially volatile crowd? Fear of expectation? Away from home, you’re not expected to win. At VP, a win is a must. So again, the question is, can the youngsters handle that? Maybe they can. But maybe some of the seniors can’t. Or maybe we’re overthinking it and we’ve just got a shit goalkeeper and shit defenders.

    1. Avatar
      Holte66 December 23, 2018 at 9:56 pm .

      BFR, I think the fear factor is not the U23 players themselves but the management who have too much of a short term philosophy in the clubs aspirations rather than blood them and see who sinks and who swims. Fans generally are quite forgiving with kids and I think under Smith and his style of management they would flourish. At the end of the day it’s hard to say what is the right thing to do. With Grealish, McGinn and Hourihane, alongside Bjarnasson now he’s fit, the likes of O’Hare and Doyle Hayes chances look remote.

  4. Avatar
    Holte66 December 23, 2018 at 9:45 pm .

    I think we only have one problem Hitch, and that is a defence that looks shaky and disjointed. I hope the new keeper is capable of commanding the box because Hyland doesn’t. Last season we had Terry to organise and Chester relished just getting on with his job. Tuanzebe was looking like the real deal but looks like he could be out for several weeks if it’s a metatarsal. A top experienced CB is a must for us plus a quality LB. recall Mitch Clark as back up too. I wonder if we still have to balance the books though so there should be outgoings too. Possibly Hogan and Lansbury on loan. I can see Jedinak going too. It’s embarrassing to see Blues sitting above us at the half way stage. They have had it tougher than us when it comes to signing players, so it’s time for Smith to turn to do the business we knew was required to stop our leaky defence.

  5. Avatar
    Bill Pearson December 23, 2018 at 9:53 pm .

    I’ve only one respect for a player at Villa in that game, McGinn he fought to win, that’s what I’m getting at, he came from up north to a Midland side and took no prisoners. That’s a guy that I admire plays to win. Give me 10 more like him with mental aggression that he has.I still maintain there are some of our youth that could play a part in today’s game.

    1. Avatar
      Holte66 December 23, 2018 at 10:27 pm .

      Totally agree Bill. Bruce’s best signing for us without doubt. We need to hang on to him if we don’t get promoted, especially if Grealish goes which we can only assume.

  6. Avatar
    nath December 24, 2018 at 7:34 am .

    what a game yesterday just a shame we lost, we can look into defeats too deeply. sometimes we just lost because we were not good enough on the day. we started brightly and took leeds by storm. building a 2 goal lead still wasn’t enough, because we might have broke leeds early we did not kill them off.

    leeds were always compact they defended as a team and attacked as one. we do try to do the same but we do not compete with them on this leeds were tremendous. they also wanted much more. take when they should have given the ball back, they refused and this good will to all is bulshit and leeds wanted to win and giving the ball back didn’t even cross their minds.

    second half we started like we wanted to add to our scoreline. but leeds had continued in the same way as they did first half but villa couldnt continue the same tempo, we started to not track back and started to allow the leeds runners to run free at our weak back line.

    we are not too far away, but yesterday shows we are not there yet. you could see this also in the forest game. we have to track back el gazia and bolasie are great going forwards most of the time. but they are liability when you need them to track their men back. also el gazia yesterday was well of the pace. leeds just do not give you time in the first minute and the last whether thats 95 minute.

    smith will learn more from this game than all his other and we will improve further, leeds will win the league i think and wba might be second and we will just miss out in 3rd but will go up in playoffs thats my predictions

    1. Avatar
      Guest December 24, 2018 at 11:22 am .

      Personally, I feel we are losing due to mistakes of our own making, how many times this season have we been played off the park by the opposition? Yesterday was no exception, I didn’t feel Leeds were ultimately the better team, and had Elmo not gift wrapped that chance for Roofe we’d have come away with a point.

      Yet, how many times have we gifted teams goals that have cost us so many points this season? Way too many, we have to cut out the mistakes, this is the difference between scraping into the playoffs and automatic promotion.

  7. Avatar
    Bill Pearson December 24, 2018 at 7:47 am .

    That Nath, was a good assumption of that game, I’m not going to dwell on it we all know what’s what, I’m not letting it spoil my Christmas as I’ve just hit the post code lottery, ,I’m Wishing you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS ,God knows where Badger gone unless being a civil servant job making him work .

    1. Avatar
      nath December 24, 2018 at 8:01 am .

      Merry Christmas bill & all the best for 2019

      leeds result will be a one off / we learnt nothing really from losing that we didn’t already know. one defeat from a very tricky run is not half bad. looking forwards like you not back

      1. Avatar
        Hitchens60 December 24, 2018 at 10:45 am .

        Merry Christmas Bill, Badger and all on AVN & V Hope Santa brings you all you wish for including promotion to the ‘big league’.

  8. Avatar
    Holte66 December 24, 2018 at 9:11 am .

    Looking back on yesterday’s game having calmed down, I agree with nath that we have to put things into perspective. We aren’t quite there yet, but a few top additions in January and players coming back from injury and we will be strong for a play off push. It’s only half way so a first defeat after 7 unbeaten considering the games we have played should leave us hopeful. Finally Merry Christmas to everyone and roll on Swansea! UTV

  9. Avatar
    Hitchens60 December 24, 2018 at 5:11 pm .

    Ever the optimist me – well probably not.

    How about these for a list of depressing statistics.

    Villa have only ever won 5 of 25 Boxing Day fixtures played and only once since 2005 (in 2016).
    Villa have only won once against Swansea in the last six meetings home or away (but that win came 1-0 earlier this season.
    Villa haven’t won at Swansea since 1971!

    A draw might be a good result!

    1. Avatar
      Pat 57 December 25, 2018 at 3:25 pm .

      Bah humbug Hitch. We’ll bounce back and win this one 0-2.

      Merry Christmas and hoping that Dean can give us all the best New Year’s gift ever – a defence!

      1. Avatar
        Hitchens60 December 25, 2018 at 3:46 pm .

        Ho, Ho, Ho, Happy Christmas Pat and I promise to put my optimists hat on in 2019!

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