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
    Hitchens60 December 23, 2018 at 3:26 pm .

    Injuries; we’re just not good enough without key players. Best we can now hope for is play offs otherwise it’s another season in the Championship.

    At times it was like watching the old Villa.

    Pissed off as this is the first game I’ve been able to watch in two months.

  2. Avatar
    Holte66 December 23, 2018 at 3:29 pm .

    Can’t believe how amateur we were in the last few minutes. Leeds were the better team without a doubt. We missed Grealish and Tuanzebe badly today. Still suffering because Bruce left us with no CB’s. Also the full backs were ripped to shreds as well. It has cost us any chance of automatic promotion and risks our chances of play offs too.

  3. Avatar
    Holte66 December 23, 2018 at 3:35 pm .

    Does anyone else think that Bolasie should have been substituted instead of Kodja? El Ghazi was ineffective when he came on as was Hogan. Funny like Bill said that Leeds played a few 18 year olds who changed the game yet we continually say ours aren’t ready yet. You can’t use the physicality remark because the game is pretty much a non contact sport now. Fact is if they are good enough then they should be playing. It might save a lot of money in the long run.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 December 23, 2018 at 3:59 pm .

      Bolasie was ineffective today and should have gone rather than Kodjia but I think Deano wanted to play with two out and out wingers.

      I agree that we should give some of our younger players a go but is Smith under the same catch 22 as Bruce – we have these expensive players on loan and we have to play them?

      Defence is a shambles although I’m not laying the blame for that at Smith’s door. We have also been unlucky with injuries – again – and all in key positions where there is little or no cover at all.

      Our only ‘hope’ now is play offs but there are a lot of teams of similar ability all striving for those. Next game is also difficult – Swansea away. Lose that and I think we should concentrate on building for next season whilst giving some of the top U23’s some senior game time – and I would definitely recall Clark.

      Fair play to Nyland, don’t think you can blame him for any of the goals but he doesn’t install confidence.

  4. Avatar
    Pat 57 December 23, 2018 at 3:54 pm .

    A reality check for us I think. We still have a way to go but at least we know what’s needed to get us there.

    With some good additions in January I’ll be optimistic that we’ll at least make the play-offs.

  5. Avatar
    Bill Pearson December 23, 2018 at 5:38 pm .

    It’s not all over till the fat lady sings lads, play off is our chance unless teams fall to pieces above us, Not take it away from Leeds the better side on the day, Questions now will players stay to finish the job or jump ship. Badger must have jumped in the cut no words from him today.

  6. Avatar
    Sidforever December 23, 2018 at 5:40 pm .

    Smith is inherited an unbalanced team. He has done well to get some form of tune out of them. However, the squad is threadbear in key areas.

    I agree with Holte66 it would be great to see some of our youngsters play. I think Smith will have a good transfer window and we will still make the top 6.

    Must admit I would have preferred to see Davis come on instead of Hogan, as he can hold the ball up.

  7. Avatar
    Gene Kerrigan December 23, 2018 at 6:43 pm .

    Defence is a serious problem that has to be resolved in the window. Fullbacks Hutton and Elmo are fine when we attack but cannot defend. Chester is too small and we don’t have any cover when our central defenders are injured or can’t play. We have been slaughtered on set pieces.

  8. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron December 23, 2018 at 8:15 pm .

    Well, that was predictable, eh? I predicted we’d need to start on the front foot, and we did, but it was impossible to sustain. Also predicted, like many of us, that we’d struggle to get anything from the game. We need at least 2 class, experienced CBs in January, never mind Mitch Clarke. Are we serious about going up or not?

    It sounds crazy, but 2nd hasn’t gone, but ONLY IF we can string 7-8 wins in a row together, starting at Swansea. The fixtures suggest we can do that. Failing that, I’d take 6th, with the belief that we’d have enough fire power to win the playoffs, which we didn’t have last year.

    What’s most concerning is the number of points dropped from conceding late goals. That suggests mental weakness and immaturity, which is why I think the kids aren’t ready for this yet. Bruce was right about that. The problem is, when is the right time for them, considering the size of the club and the fact that there’s no room for maneuver with regards to points. We simply can’t afford to drop any more cheap points. Too many have been chucked away already.

  9. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron December 23, 2018 at 8:25 pm .

    Most would’ve taken a point before the match, and it was in out grasp until the last second, just like the 3 points vs Forest and at Albion. Those 5 points alone would have seen us joint 5th and a point of 4th, which would, in my opinion, be a more realistic position at this stage.

    Must stop losing late points. Smith and his team need to look at this, whether it’s tactics, tiredness, substitutes, whatever it is. Earlier in the season, we were taking the late points (credit to Bruce, I suppose). Now it’s changed. We know that successful teams play to the whistle and pinch late points consistently. How weird is this: Steve Bruce, Sheffield Wednesday, late goals, Villa screwed. Ring a bell? Spooky, eh?

  10. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron December 23, 2018 at 8:41 pm .

    Just watching the goals. Who made the ‘defensive’ header on a plate for their winner? Shocking. Put it out for a corner FFS!!! No communication between the players. A good defender could’ve even nodded it to the keeper to pick up and run the clock down. But at least put it out a corner! Unforgivable defending. Terry’s got to start earning his money in this area, surely?

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