Notts Forest 0 -1 Villa; Disciplined, professional and the experience showed.

Well, Steve Bruce will feel justified in playing that weakened team in the FA cup and fair play to him, as today’s result says he got it right.

Forest play some nice football, but they totally lack when it comes to effectiveness.
And as much as they played the better footy in the first half, according to all the stats, so we countered them with what was a very solid performance from the defence and midfield.

I have to be honest and say I found the first half bored me witless, as apart from the goal, which came against the run of play and Terry’s header, we created nothing.
That said, Forest did nothing either.

The second half, however, made for much better viewing, with both sides opening up more.
While I still felt Forest looked the better side when they crossed the centre line, so they were still pretty ineffective.

Whereas we had that bit of a difference in a superb cross from Snodgrass, combined with some really nice movement from Scott Hogan to nod in the winner.

Add to that that our defence was very solid and we frustrated the Forest players with some old tricks like deliberately getting your body in the way and totally denying the opposition player a fair chance, but drawing the foul.
I hold my hands up and say I don’t like to see that sort of cynical play at all, but we’ve had it done against us enough times and I’m beginning to accept that it’s part of the game.
Add in the slowing the game down and a bit of time-wasting and it was all good.
If you like that sort of thing.
I say that as someone who’s brain blows a fuse when it’s done against us.

So all in all, very professional and I’m certainly not going to complain, as we got the points that keep us on a roll.
As was pointed out by the comms, we have what would seem some very favourable games coming up, where we might be able to apply some serious pressure to the teams above us.

We’re looking in a very reasonable position, I feel, as long as we can keep racking the points up.

What pleased me most though?
I thought Jack Grealish worked his nuts off, which suits us overall as a team, I think.
But I also felt that while he’s tracking back, so it takes the edge off his attacking game.
Which is the dilemma I’ve always had with him.

Still, never mind.
It’s 3 points in the bag and a very disciplined performance that I’m sure Steve Bruce will be delighted with.
He might even get some sleep tonight.


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  1. Bill Pearson January 15, 2018 at 7:11 pm .

    Villa under 23s are on u tube now if interested.

  2. Holte 66 January 15, 2018 at 7:44 pm .

    Cyrille Regis RIP. A truly great player who was instrumental in Albions great years under big Ron. Special that he played for us for a while too.

  3. DSVilla January 15, 2018 at 9:17 pm .

    Regis was fantastic. I was too young to realise the importance of him as a role model and one of the first successful black players. Hard to believe things were so bad at that time.

  4. DSVilla January 15, 2018 at 9:20 pm .

    I’m really interested to understand whether Agnew is making a difference in the coaching. I thought some of our play against Forest was an improvement on what I have become used to. Clearly it’s impossible to change things overnight, but it will be nice if we progress over the next few games.

  5. Andrew January 15, 2018 at 10:13 pm .

    Stoke were excellent and they’re gonna have to go again after losing to United…

    Agnew showed at Boro he isn’t a manager when he became caretaker. But he’s showed as “head of coaching” that he can coach a team. The team looks more confident on the ball. Off the ball is all Bruce really has coached the team and improved them, but on the ball now, I think Agnew has done well. Interesting, Jordan Rhodes is his nephew. Maybe that’s why he signed for Boro and then left.

  6. Andrew January 15, 2018 at 10:43 pm .

    4-1 for our U23’s. Green, McKirdy (penalty), Tshibola and Sulliman with the goals.

  7. originallondonlion January 15, 2018 at 11:12 pm .

    I am feeling more optimistic than at any time since we dropped. We are promotion contenders. On current form we are at least the 3rd best team in the division.

    Old habits die hard so when the possession stats come up we are usually below 50%. But it it what you do with the ball that counts, and passing along the back four to keep possession isn’t our style.

    Johnstone is a diamond – If England take Buckland to the World Cup they are missing a trick.

  8. Andrew January 16, 2018 at 12:54 am .

    It’ll definitely be Pickford, Hart and Butland. Heaton would be going over Butland if he didn’t get injured. Lets be honest, England would take Ruddy over Johnstone as he’s playing for Wolves.

    1. Benno January 16, 2018 at 4:03 am .

      There’s no way Hart should be going, but sadly you are probably right…he might even be number 1!! Grealish keeps playing the way he is right now, and Southgate has to come and take a look. No other player like him in that England squad.

      1. Andrew January 16, 2018 at 4:22 am .

        I completely agree Hart shouldn’t get a look. Do wonder if Heaton wasn’t injured if Butland and Heaton would go over Hart, doubt it though. I do think Pickford will be first. Butland’s been god awful this season.

        Other than Villa fans, I don’t think much of England would be behind Southgate if he took him. Then again I mean the other creative players they have are who? Sterling… He’s been great. An injured Lallana who is just coming back. Chamberlain who has had 1 good game all season. Who else? Alli? He scores but that’s about what he does. Walcott? I agree with you but there’s too many names Southgate would rather pick. Lingard is having the season of his life. And then Rooney will go.

        Should be interesting who gets picked up front. Vardy and Kane obviously… But there’s like no one else.

        1. DSVilla January 16, 2018 at 12:46 pm .

          Wilshere will probably get back in if he can stay fit

  9. owen January 16, 2018 at 9:27 am .

    Nice to see so much positivity about the club. Not sure if Agnew has made that much of a difference in a short space of time. Just that Grealish has come to the fore, Snodgrass keeps getting better and injuries are clearing up. Jedinak made a big difference in midfield before he got injured but we also have Whelan and maybe even Bjarnason as well. Maybe, maybe not, either way still think second place is ours for the taking especially with the fixtures coming up.

  10. Bill Pearson January 16, 2018 at 1:09 pm .

    BBC WM Sport 95.6

    11m11 minutes ago
    This Friday between 6-7pm #avfc CEO Keith Wyness @retsub12 will be on the Football Phone In taking your calls on all things @AVFCOfficial

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