Leeds – Villa; Am I bovvered?

I’ve found it hard enough to stay interested in the Villa when we are playing let alone not playing lately, so the Queen’s demise and a break for a money grabbing tournament that few care about was the last thing we needed.
Indeed Steve Gerrard said exactly the same thing after we’d improved slightly in our previous two games.
Not that I find myself being able to get particularly excited about four points against Man City and Southampton.

I think it’s just the thought of the same old tactics that have proven to not work with the players we have that have left me so uninspired and I suspect I’m not alone.
There seems to be a malaise hanging over the club now and it seems ages ago where there was a real buzz because it looked like we were on the up.
Now, it seems like many of us would be happy if we were guaranteed that we weren’t going to be relegated and few of us hope to achieve anything more than midtable mediocrity.

We’ve been incredibly unfortunate with injuries, but it’s only part of our issues and our form has simply been far too poor for too long. Whatever happens that has to change.
Is Leeds away a good game to try and maintain our brief run of momentum?

Injury news and I think we pretty much all know the score, but just a reminder;
Boubacar is out for months, Carlos is out until the new year at the latest guess and Lucas Digne looks like he could be out for weeks because of a heel problem.
Matt Cash and Cameron Archer will only be rejoining the squad for training in the coming week.

Leeds have had an even longer break than us with two games having been postponed, but it’s been good for them as a few players have recovered and even though they have Adam Forshaw and Archie Gray out they’re in a decent place.
Rodrigo, Liam Cooper, Luke Ayling, Junior Firpo, Rasmus Kristensen and scumbag Patrick Bamford have all got back to being available.
Not that I care about dirty Leeds.

So we have to shuffle the pack and the obvious problem is right back.
Gerrard has said he likes to have two players for each position, but who’s going to play in Cash’s place then? It’s either Ash Young, who to be fair has done a very good job of being backup in a few positions or the new lad Ludwig Augustinsson, who we haven’t seen yet.
Of course we have a replacement in Freddie Guilbert, who I thought did a decent job but isn’t even in the squad after being thrown out by the manager.
The point is we’re going to have to cover Cash with a left footed player and I hate that, particularly in the fullback department.
I think I’d be inclined to play Augustinsson in his proper position so we can properly see what he’s about.

I don’t know who Gerrard will play in any area of the team apart from Martinez, but would prefer to see us concentrate on not trying to concede.
Hence I quite like the idea of a 4-2-3-1. Could Nakamba and Luiz work together, with Luiz pushing forward to reinforce the midfield work, for example?

Or do we stick with the usual variation of 4-3-3? This is what I’d expect Gerrard to do and it’s just a matter if he plays one or two strikers. Watkins is wasted lately on the left and Ings is just well out of form in my opinion, although I realise that some don’t agree with that assessment.
I’d just say watch Ings and he’s blowing like a hurricane after an hour. I don’t get what’s going on with him at all, as much as many think he’s by far the better finisher. If you ain’t getting involved in the game, it’s all pointless, imo.

So what do I think?

Well, I have to be honest and say if I couldn’t get to watch the game, I don’t think I’d be too bothered. The way we play just bores me to sleep.

We did well the last time we played this fixture, winning 3-0 in March.
Will we do the same again?
No chance.
We just don’t create anywhere near enough to score three goals now and you have to wonder why that is, especially when you consider so many of our players are out of form at the same time.

Then add in that Jesse Marsch has Leeds in a better place and I struggle to see us getting a draw.

Perhaps I’ll be surprised and we’ll win, but I see us losing this.

However, I’m going to keep the optimistic hat on and go for a 1-1.

I actually think I’d take a loss if it meant we started playing more entertaining footy.


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  1. badger123
    badger123 October 4, 2022 at 4:41 pm . Reply
  2. Alfie Ricketts
    Alfie Ricketts October 4, 2022 at 6:59 pm . Reply

    Would’ve taken the point before the game, but given the circumstances, 3 was needed.

  3. OLL again
    OLL again October 4, 2022 at 7:10 pm . Reply

    Watkins: good-looking, articulate, and very hard working. All those are bonus points. Not the fundamentals which are he does not score and does not pass to somebody better. If Gerrard is fired it will be in large part because he was too patient with Ollie.
    Watkins scores two types of goals: 1/ at short range tap-ins and uncontested headers; 2/ breakaway goals one on one against the keeper with no defenders near enough to tackle. None of those requires power – because Watkins does not possess a powerful shot (he does not swivel his body to add momentum), nor can he out-jump a centre half.

    The ball will fall to other players 20 to 15 yards from goal. What angers me about the current midfield and other forwards is their APPALLING shooting. Firing over the goal because they are planting the non striking foot behind the ball and getting the toe of the striking foot under the ball. If they ran through the position of the ball – the toe of the striking foot would point down and the point of connection of the foot would be higher up the ball, imparting more power and less lift. Then there is aiming. Why do they aim to glance the ball in off the post? They miss by a yard so why not aim a yard nearer the centre of the goal? WTF do they do in training instead of the most urgently needed improvement – shooting practice?

    1. Big Fat Ron
      Big Fat Ron October 4, 2022 at 10:23 pm . Reply

      Have you sent your CV in yet, OLL.?

      1. OLL again
        OLL again October 5, 2022 at 10:38 am . Reply

        Ha Ha. A bit too old now BFR. But I was surprised when I managed a Sunday League side how many footballers in their late 20’s did not know what they had been doing wrong for years. I just can’t believe with all the technical analysis Prem teams have players are not better coached.
        Most are golfers so you can ask them to think why the ball departs the tee much faster than the head of the driver was travelling. Mass x Velocity is equal. Apply that to football and they could see the more of their weight that is supported by their standing leg, the less mass is impacting the ball. Which is why swivelling or jumping and hitting the ball is a good technique.

    2. Big Fat Ron
      Big Fat Ron October 4, 2022 at 10:28 pm . Reply

      Some fascinating comments from Michael Owen about Ollie’s game, including finishing:

      I wonder if he’d be up for a coaching role at VP? Ollie and and Archer would benefit hugely as the defence did from Terry a couple of seasons ago.

  4. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum October 4, 2022 at 8:23 pm . Reply

    Gotta say OLL, it’s the sort of thing you learn at school. Why do they un-learn the basics when they turn professional? Leaning back sends to ball skywards. Anyone want to drop an email to our squad?

  5. William Pearson
    William Pearson October 5, 2022 at 7:28 am . Reply

    Think the rot going through our club , Villa under 21 lost to Portsmouth 5-1 . Portsmouth?

    1. OLL again
      OLL again October 5, 2022 at 10:19 am . Reply

      Don’t worry. I watched Sutton United squad members demolish Chelsea U-21 3-0 last month. These U-21 teams play the ball around on the deck with lots of one touch and flicks, but they just do not have the weight and strength of even league 2 pros. The rare exceptions, who are physically developed early, are the players taken out of the U-21 squads and loaned out or put on the first team bench. So the Prem U-21 players are literally lightweights.

  6. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum October 5, 2022 at 8:01 am . Reply

    I have this page bookmarked from this time last year. Makes an interesting read…


    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain October 5, 2022 at 12:14 pm . Reply

      Makes me think that nothing has really changed much…

      1. Bum Bum
        Bum Bum October 5, 2022 at 12:24 pm . Reply

        Groundhog day. Great movie, terrible for football. It’s like being stuck in limbo. Next Monday night is going to be very interesting. If the weekend results go against us, we could be in the bottom 3 without kicking a ball. Then if we can’t beat Forest then StevieG has to go.
        Come on NEWS. Get Poch in!!!!!!

        1. Ardent Villain
          Ardent Villain October 5, 2022 at 12:34 pm . Reply

          It wasn’t supposed to be like this when they sacked DS. A year on and still the same-old, same-old.

          1. Big Fat Ron
            Big Fat Ron October 5, 2022 at 9:05 pm . Reply

            Gerrard out. Pochettino in!

      2. Big Fat Ron
        Big Fat Ron October 5, 2022 at 9:07 pm . Reply

        I see my comment then suggests giving Archer a chance as he was in form then as well. Ridiculous that he’s still waiting a year on. The people who run the show at VP are asleep at the wheel. START ARCHER ON MONDAY!

  7. Badger123
    Badger123 October 5, 2022 at 1:10 pm . Reply

    Interesting indeed Bum bum. What’s that saying about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

    Oh yes, it’s madness.

  8. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum October 5, 2022 at 3:24 pm . Reply

    Very pleased Deano’s reputation is intact. Great bloke and talented. Norwich are flying!

    1. OLL again
      OLL again October 5, 2022 at 7:14 pm . Reply

      Bum Bum, I think Deano is joining a short list of managers: like Scotty Parker and Potatohead who are a certainty to get you out of the division you are in this season. The Baggies engage most of them.

  9. Big Fat Ron
    Big Fat Ron October 5, 2022 at 9:12 pm . Reply

    I recall Big Ron when he put Bosnich in the team due to Spink being ill in ’92. Bossie was “magnificent” so Ron basically said “keep the ball out of the net and you stay in the team.” Same applies with Archer. Our strikers aren’t scoring. Put him in. If he scores, tell him “keep scoring and you stay in the team.” So simple.

  10. Third Generation Villian
    Third Generation Villian October 5, 2022 at 9:53 pm . Reply

    I heard earlier that Haaland is not going to the world cup, so thought get him an english passport quick, but then i realised that Southgate would find a way to cock it up, so dont bother.

    sorry its off topic just totally fed up with villa at the moment

  11. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 October 6, 2022 at 4:48 pm . Reply

    Here’s a link (I hope) to the latest Holy Trinity show – once again this is really worth a watch. This guy speaks a lot of sense.


  12. Holte
    Holte October 6, 2022 at 5:50 pm . Reply

    I watch the show Hitch and it’s always well presented. I haven’t watched the latest one yet though.
    As for Villa and Gerrard, do we hope for a defeat against Forest to fast track his departure? I have a feeling we will scrape a draw with more drab football. I think it will take a lot for Purslow to accept he screwed up. He is probably in the owners ear saying it’s a work in progress.
    Interesting to read the capacity at VP is estimated between 32,000 and 34,000 during the rebuild of the North stand. I don’t expect a clamour for tickets if Gerrard continues to serve up Southgate style drivel.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 October 6, 2022 at 7:29 pm . Reply

      Holte, I think you’ll find The latest HTS interesting, particularly Pete’s ‘demolition’ of Purslow. Happy listening.

  13. Gerry
    Gerry October 7, 2022 at 11:48 am . Reply

    Nottingham Forest have announced that manager Steve Cooper has signed a new contract with the club.

    The 42-year-old, who was in the final 12 months of his present deal has agreed to stay at the City Ground until 2025.

    It will be interesting to see the players reaction to the “nothing changes” response from Forest.

  14. Sidforever
    Sidforever October 9, 2022 at 10:22 am . Reply

    Purslow really should look at Newcastle.There is a team with a good manager. Howe has a style of play that he effectively communicates to his players. He develops and motivates them. They also are a ‘work in progress’. The main difference- Howe is competent.

    Purslow stop the ostrich head in the sand. Own the mistake and appoint a good manager. No point in expanding Villa Park if Gerrard continues to alienate the fan base with the current rubbish being served.

    1. Big Fat Ron
      Big Fat Ron October 9, 2022 at 9:54 pm . Reply

      What Sid said.
      I was wrong about both Howe and Potter. Both are streets ahead of Gerrard in terms of competence at this level.

      Pochettino in.

  15. little8
    little8 October 9, 2022 at 2:08 pm . Reply

    Ye the holy trinity show is brilliant

  16. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 October 9, 2022 at 7:46 pm . Reply

    The EPL is mad!

    If we beat Forest we go 8th!

    But can we do that?

    For me a score draw at best because I have no confidence in the team and Cooper signing a new contract is, strangely, like a new manager bounce.

    If we lose what does that mean for Gerrard?

    1. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum October 9, 2022 at 9:05 pm . Reply

      That’s the point Hitch! But it’s not like my Spuds mate who says they’re playing rubbish but getting consistent results. We’re shapeless and scraping through. Jumping up to 8th is falsifying who we are. I think we have a potentially great squad but a negative and dour manager who, despite his palying career is still using our club as a training course.
      Wanna swap StevieG for Klopp after todays Arsenal result? I’d bite yr hand off with a mouth full of dentures, mate! I hate social media led witch-hunts, but SG is not a chap I’d like to have a pint with.
      P.s. and that’s not even going there with his gangland press connections in the Mail last week.

      1. Big Fat Ron
        Big Fat Ron October 9, 2022 at 10:03 pm . Reply

        Klopp’s burned out, Bum Bum. He’ll have a year out at least when it (soon) ends at ‘Pool. I have a theory; the specs are to Klopp what the hair was to Samson. The contact lenses have ‘blinded’ his coaching skills, hence ‘Pool’s predicament.

  17. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 October 9, 2022 at 8:24 pm . Reply

    Click bait noise apart, I do think the game against Forest could well determine Gerrard’s future.

    A ‘Bournemouthesque’ display must surely mark Gerrard’s departure?

    Or have I read it wrong?

  18. Gerry
    Gerry October 9, 2022 at 9:30 pm . Reply

    The way the weekend results have gone means a Villa win and we are dizzy at 9th. Simple as. We are good enough to stop Forest scoring and I really fancy 0-3.

  19. Big Fat Ron
    Big Fat Ron October 9, 2022 at 9:59 pm . Reply

    If we lose tomorrow, we’re in deep shit. I’d like to think Poch has already been sounded out and can appointed swiftly in time for Chelsea should the proverbial hit the fan. Forest leaking goals; we can’t score. Logic says we should win. Instinct tells me Forest will be galvanised by Cooper’s new contract and will take the points, leaving Villa looking at a relegation battle season if Gerrard continues. With the players we have, we should at least match what Leicester produced. I doubt it, though. We have to start fast, ideally two up after the first half hour. But we always start sssssssslllllllllooooooooow. Another horror show on the cards?

    Gerrard out. Poch in.

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