Man Utd – Villa; Fingers crossed.

Well, I hope everyone has had a good Christmas. My partner and I have enjoyed ours; very quiet, just as we wanted.

I didn’t do a write-up on the Sheffield game, but I was basically gutted and just didn’t want to think about it. Typical bloody Villa. Beat Man City and Arsenal and then go and lose to that load of rubbish, who even Luton have managed to beat tonight.
It’s just what we’ve always done for decades though, isn’t it?
As is often said amongst Villa fans, “it’s the hope that kills you”, and it’s this which probably makes some of us seem so pessimistic and not able to 100% believe. I mean, as much as I was confident of beating them, so, along with most I did make a big point of it being a banana skin game.
The good part was that we didn’t actually lose, as much as it felt like it, but I do wonder how that result and the Forest loss might look at the end of the season.

Anyway, onward and upward it is.
And I actually feel more confident that we’ll win tonight than I did against Sheffield.
Which is just nuts.
With our history against them it should be impossible to feel any confidence at all.
Yet I honestly do. I’m setting myself up for heartbreak, I know, but I’ve been saying for a couple of years now that Utd are totally rubbish.
I’m sure I heard somewhere that they’ve lost over half their games this season, which says a lot about them.
Add in that I think Ten fags will set up with a low block against little Villa and it says even more.
I can’t see them coming at us, because we’ll beat them even easier, in my opinion.

Team news and it’s out;
Martinez, Konsa, Carlos, Lenglet, Digne, Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Dendoncker, Bailey, Ramsey, Watkins.
Subs: Marschall, Proctor, Chambers, Moreno, Zaniolo, Duran, Diaby, Pau Torres, Iroegbunam.

We all know the state of injuries and suspensions, I’m sure.

Man U have dropped McTominay, but Rashford is back.
I really couldn’t care less, to be honest, as I firmly believe they’re just a club in decline and Ten fags will only be saved from the sack because no decent manager wants to touch the club.
These clickbait news sites might think they’re being clever in saying the likes of Emery would go there, but there’s not a hope in hell in reality.
Why would anyone want that poison chalice job?

So what to think?
Well, I don’t see too many goals.
Man U will be out to try and limit us, so it’s one or two goals to us.
I do see them getting one, if only because they haven’t scored in 4 games.

So that’s it then. Given that I think we’re going to win, it has to be 2-1.

The only worry is, if they do play the low block (I prefer “park the bus” myself. Where do all these recent sayings come from?), we might struggle to break them down.

Hopefully, Emery has a plan. Fortunately Cash won’t be involved, as much as I thouroughly dislike Konsa getting nosebleeds in playing so high as the opponent’s second half.

2-1 then.
Should I put a few bob on it, I wonder?



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  1. Gerry
    Gerry December 27, 2023 at 4:31 pm . Reply

    It wasn’t losing the lead that got my heart racing Bill, it was going to Old Trafford and leading 2-0. So proud of our team these days. There again I always am. Badger thank you for keeping the site as good as it is. To you all a Happy New Year and may this crazy dream continue.

  2. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson December 27, 2023 at 5:40 pm . Reply

    Fair play Gerry I use to float around the country with my mates when I was younger . That must have been a real heartbreaking day .

  3. Holte
    Holte December 27, 2023 at 8:47 pm . Reply

    I’m just about getting last nights result out of my system. I think our current league position has got us all in dreamland. Many pundits felt we would fall away when fatigue set in alongside injuries and suspensions. If I remove my claret and blue bias, then it’s hard to disagree. None of our players have experienced being in the top 4 and the expectations and pressures of maintaining our form is a tough challenge.
    Citeh, Spurs and even Man Ure could end the season above us. Thankfully Newcastle, Brighton, West Ham and Chelsea are struggling but we are only halfway through the season so still a lot of points at stake.
    So my question to fellow Villans is where do you think we will finish? Also how many signings do you think we will make? If Lenglet is recalled, we will have another loan option.
    I’m predicting 6th with two new permanent signings. Probably a RB and striker. If Lenglet goes back I’m guessing it would be a like for like replacement on loan.
    Also out of interest regarding the North Stand rebuild put on hold, the advisory notes at the recent meeting at Villa Park with Chris Heck in attendance stated below:-
    “For clarity, rumours on social media suggesting that this decision will result in a new stadium elsewhere are entirely false. Moving away from Villa Park is not part of any plans.”
    Let’s remember that just in case they attempt a U turn!

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand December 27, 2023 at 9:42 pm . Reply

      Oh my days this VAR is such a fix, Man City”s is a pen but ours wasn’t against the Blades?
      Yea ok.
      Apparently you can’t walk around Stockley park without getting a brown paper envelope stuck to the sole of your shoe.

      1. BFR
        BFR December 28, 2023 at 2:04 pm . Reply

        Been saying it from day 1, RSS.

        1. The Ron Saunders Stand
          The Ron Saunders Stand December 28, 2023 at 5:36 pm . Reply

          It stinks BFR and I’m really getting a bee in my bonnet about it.
          One, it absolutely sucks the joy, spontaneity, the emotion out the game. Every goal taken to pieces in an attempt to find a minor infringement in order to disallow it?
          This can’t be right?
          Secondly, be interesting to see how many of these contentious decisions go in favour of the so called big teams and vise versa?
          Thirdly, I have no idea what the posters on here do for a living but I know if I made a major gaff as often as these bod’s at Stockley park do, I’d be looking for alternative employment.
          I’m falling out of love with the game.

          1. Holte
            Holte December 28, 2023 at 8:55 pm . Reply

            It took 3.5 minutes to decide West Ham’s goal was okay! Ally McCoist ‘joked’ that he would like a decision this evening. I don’t know who wants to keep VAR but I’m sure it’s not the fans. The TV companies are loving it because it adds a new dimension to the game that they can waffle on about. They even have a ref watch episode on Sky Sports now! Complete and utter bollocks show they should call it.

    2. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 December 28, 2023 at 7:56 am . Reply

      Good summary Holte.

      I agree with you on final position – anything above 6th will be a bonus. Results at Newcastle have shown they are not able to cope with the Champions League and I fear that might be Villa’s fate should we qualify.

      It’s important we are in Europe again next season and I would dearly love to see us pick up The Conference trophy.

      In the transfer window, definitely our main focus should be a top quality right back. After that I can’t see a lot of incomings although that will depend on whether we can shift a couple such as Dendonker, Chambers or even Olsen.

      Anyone know the situation with Kortney Hause – still on the books and not loaned out to my knowledge?

    3. Bill Pearson
      Bill Pearson December 28, 2023 at 11:07 am . Reply

      Holte, you pretty well hit what’s the problems in the Villa team , we have a team of players who are not certain whether they are on the move come 2024 also rotation of position in team due to who plays where. Uncertainty a key in any team not to play your heart out and that helped to lose the game. Mcginn is the only player that gets stuck in , Bailey, stuttering most games Luiz hit and miss, Watkins isn’t getting help the team falls apart. Carlos not a rightback neither is Konsa, Digne is slow Diaby headless chicken, Duran wild and will give us problems, Zaniolo not convinced yet Cash he can move . That’s why we don’t have yet a team that will die for the Villa . We need two backs and a midfielder too settle our team ,that my thinking.still what do I know ?.

  4. timw
    timw December 27, 2023 at 9:19 pm . Reply

    Jonathan David from Lille,would that be a good striker signing or do Villa need a bigger striker?

    1. Holte
      Holte December 27, 2023 at 10:09 pm . Reply

      Someone with a physical presence who can hold the ball up and make a nuisance in the box for corners and free kicks. Also someone who could play alongside Watkins as well. I don’t know much about Jonathan David so will check YouTube. I think with Monchi and Emery’s experience, it could well be a player from La Liga.

      1. 1874 was a good year
        1874 was a good year December 27, 2023 at 10:36 pm . Reply

        I notice that Borja Mayoral of Getafe is doing quite well with 12 goals so far just 1 behind top scorer Bellingham. Unlike Bellingham, Mayoral doesn’t have loads of great players around him as Getafe is usually a bottom half club in La Liga. He could be had for around £15 million. Of course whether he suits Emery’s style of play is another thing.

  5. Badger123
    Badger123 December 28, 2023 at 6:05 pm . Reply
    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 December 28, 2023 at 6:27 pm . Reply

      As long as they don’t offer us Phillips as part of the deal…. 🙂

    2. Holte
      Holte December 28, 2023 at 8:47 pm . Reply

      Could there be any truth that Luiz has been distracted by the links to Arsenal or Citeh? His performance particularly against Man Ure wasn’t up to his usual standard. It’s usually the thing that happens when a team like Villa threaten to gate crash the Sky 6 party. Even if they don’t intend to sign a player it’s a positive for them to unsettle our squad. Expect links with Kamara, Martinez and McGinn soon.

  6. Badger123
    Badger123 December 28, 2023 at 8:28 pm . Reply

    I’m not so sure Hitch. I do think there’s a player in there.
    I’m only thinking £15-20 mill though.

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand December 28, 2023 at 8:47 pm . Reply

      I’d take £100m for him but Pep what a manager is? Sells a young player for £15m, let’s another club develop him and buys him back for £100m?
      Got to give it to him the man’s a genius no doubt about it.
      Give him a cheque book, a bottomless account, a few dodgy Spanish officials
      ( allegedly) and he’ll win you anything.

      1. Gerry
        Gerry December 28, 2023 at 9:26 pm . Reply

        I am just going to save football. VAR interfering, slowing down the game, making unreal decisions and a million other faults. The sport is played at speed and controlled by a ref at speed. VAR has to show a clear fault by the ref before it can correct the decision. But VAR uses slow motion to make it’s judgement. This is not natural and the picture that it creates is not natural. Therefore VAR should only be in real time. I probably haven’t explained what exactly I mean very well. But it cannot be right to add an extra dimension before making a judgement. In the real world these games tonight are going well for us.

  7. Badger123
    Badger123 December 28, 2023 at 8:35 pm . Reply

    Heh, VAR actually worked properly just then.
    West Ham score, but the ball went out all day long for me.
    But VAR couldn’t give clear and obvious evidence, so the goal was given.
    Correct decision, imo, for once. Even though it was wrong lol.

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand December 28, 2023 at 8:50 pm . Reply

      No better or worse than when it wasn’t there imo.
      Just a gravy train for techies and over the hill officials.
      Killing the game.

  8. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson December 28, 2023 at 8:52 pm . Reply

    Even the leg would’ve told you it’s out . Clear view between and leg hiding it over the line .

  9. Badger123
    Badger123 December 28, 2023 at 10:19 pm . Reply

    So Arse have their Arse kicked and Spurs, the media’s latest darlings also lost.
    We’re only 2 points above Citeh and they have a game in hand. They’ve probably had the best Xmas spell???

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand December 28, 2023 at 10:52 pm . Reply

      How I detest Pep and his globe trotters.

  10. 1874 was a good year
    1874 was a good year December 29, 2023 at 12:59 am . Reply

    If we’re being realistic Man City will finish top and Liverpool will scrap it out with Arsenal for second and third. Our aim is to secure that fourth spot and Spurs losing today didn’t do us any harm.
    Our real rivals are Spurs, Man Ure, Brighton and West Ham. I think that Newcastle might well have blown up.
    Getting a fourth spot would be a magnificent achievement if we can do it and anything better than that will be a bonus.
    We’ll still need 2-3 new recruits in the Jan window if we’re going to have a chance. But, let’s be honest, it’s great being in the chase, isn’t it? It wasn’t that long ago when we were near the bottom and praying for mid-table mediocrity.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 December 29, 2023 at 7:22 am . Reply

      Good shout 1874 – we all need to keep a sense of reality – building Rome etc.

      Anyone heard anything about Digne’s injury – didn’t look too good.

  11. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum December 29, 2023 at 10:07 am . Reply

    Still smarting over the Utd game. In heaven at half time. Hell at 90 minutes. I hate losing leads like that. 2 up like with Arse at home last year? Park the God damned bus!!!!!!!!
    Anyway, in the cold light of day i think our squad depth, or lack of, has been exposed. Super John McGinn, Douggie, Ollie were all elsewhere and Moreno and JJ are still not up to speed which is to be expected. Will Buendia be back in January? If only initially as an impact sub it would be great to have the little terrier back!
    The window cannot come quick enough for us.
    Burnley is another tough one and they may smell blood. We need a plan B. And can anyone tell me when ‘Parking the Bus’ became ‘The Low Block’? It sounds like a dodgy council estate to me…
    Deep breaths…deep breaths…

  12. Holte
    Holte December 29, 2023 at 1:25 pm . Reply

    It’s a fair comment Bum Bum. When 2-0 up away from home, adopt different tactics, when clearly from the 25th minute we were looking like we had run out of steam. Play the low block against a team that had Rashford and Garnacho looking dangerous in the space between our back four and Martinez. Make them change their approach before the inevitable.
    Anyway, that game is over now so I need to let it go until I have to see all the glory hunting fans at work!

  13. Tom
    Tom December 29, 2023 at 1:45 pm . Reply

    Well after a few days to calm down and I mean calm all the way down, a couple of things were obvious stand outs.

    It was an off day to start, it is always a funny time of season and these results will happen and have to other teams now.

    Diego looked slow for me and we missed either Pau or More so Konsa in the middle. So a right back is an absolute priority in jan, even if a loan deal. I can’t help but think if konsa played in Diego position, he may have handled it a little better.

    Next, is we miss kamara to much, I don’t know how you find cover for that, I guess tielemens and Luis is an option we would normally have, not a disaster but some balance and consistency between 4 players would be nice in this area of the pitch. We otherwise sacrifice the attacking threat of Mcginn.

    I know Ollie has superb goal scoring runs and always offers a service in a physical element even if there is a draught, but we need a second striker who is capable of even pushing Ollie now. I totally understand there is a risk to rocking the boat and disrupting Ollie here but this is what players need to be able to handle and fight for now, Espiecally if we are to qualify for Europa or maybe even the champions league.

    So, maybe our league position has had a little element of luck but we are there and it is an opportunity to have a great season.

    For January window it must be a quality right back. I think we can get away with that alone .

    Be nice to find a young and promising keeper who is happy playing second to Martinez which is actually a unique opportunity in itself to learn from the best in the world. We should really capitalise on that situation as it’s actually desirable for some players.

    I think what Dean Smith said once is so true in football, you can’t get to carried away with the highs and you can’t get to down with the lows.

    Simply put, it’s only half time this season!

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 December 29, 2023 at 3:00 pm . Reply

      ‘We miss Kamara too much’ – not only the team but Luiz in particular. Football is played in pairs after all.

      What is accentuating his absence is that of Tielemans who would, I think, be the obvious stand in.

      We move on; Emery has always managed to reset the team after disappointing performances let’s hope he hasn’t lost his touch and we win convincingly against Burnley.

  14. 1874 was a good year
    1874 was a good year December 29, 2023 at 2:36 pm . Reply

    I see that Jack Grealish had his home broken into and had £1 million in jewellery stolen. His family were downstairs watching TV so it could have turned out worse if they had come across the burglars.
    However, I can’t help thinking that anyone having a cool million in jewellery in their bedroom drawer doesn’t quite deserve all my sympathy.

  15. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 December 29, 2023 at 5:56 pm . Reply

    Digne out for ‘at least a month’ with a hamstring injury; Tielemans still out and Torres not yet fit enough to start – according to reports.

    Injuries starting to tell. Be glad to get Kamara back.

    Think tomorrow will be a slog.

    1. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum December 30, 2023 at 9:09 am . Reply

      You’ll see the true Villa today. We need to show real grit.

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