Preston 1-1 Villa; feels like and indeed is, 2 points dropped, although credit to them

I should have known better, shouldn’t I, than calling this one a certain win?
The Villa never fail to let us down, whenever we think it’s in the bag.

I commented early on that I thought us playing so wide all the time wasn’t working.
You can say that Bolasie and El Ghazi were just poor today or you can say Preston did very well in just controlling them. It doesn’t really matter, as either way, they were ineffective.
Couple that with Whelan and Hourihane both being pretty much invisible (the latter, again) and to me, it was obvious.

John McGinn is excepted from any criticism, to my mind, because although he was amongst the most sloppy of our side, so his workrate and desire to win the ball back continue to keep me astounded.

Whatever, I think my point is proven when you consider that we brought Bjarnason on for Whelan and he offered more in a couple of minutes, than Hourihane and Whelan had put together previously.

What concerns me slightly about that is that the coaches didn’t see it, or at least left it too late to change it.
In Smith’s defence, perhaps he just thought that one of the wingers would just produce something. Which is fair enough, given that they do have that ability.

You have to give massive credit to Preston though.
Given the injuries they have, they gave us a very good game and maybe deserved to even nick it, given that poor goalkeeping from Nyland (again!) nearly gave them an early goal headstart.

Whatever, this is massively disappointing when you consider that today was a good day to catch up on the top 6.
While it was a poor first half, it got better and better as the game went on.
Football is supposed to be about entertainment and I suppose we got it today, even if the result isn’t what we wanted.

As per usual, we move on.
QPR next.


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  1. Avatar
    Bill Pearson December 29, 2018 at 5:31 pm .

    Gutted, do you think when its only days off buying and selling its in players mind, like will I be here next week or what, I cannot believe football players of Villa standing cannot play better than players aged 16 -17 -18 and beat us .is this thinking young people are not better than Villa 30 year olds?.we have missed the boat in being in the play offs today.

  2. Avatar
    Tekkers48 December 29, 2018 at 5:33 pm .

    We will easily finish top six. Top two most likely beyond us due too the poor start to season. Just take our point and move on. January recruitment is key to forming a team that will blow the opposition away in the playoffs. It’s our most likely route out of this league this season. But football is a funny old game. If we can get that run of six or seven wins on the spin anything can happen and the league table might start to look a little more exciting. There is always the team that clicks in January with a second half charge and it’s not beyond reality that it could be us. There is a lot of points to play for yet.

  3. Avatar
    Holte66 December 29, 2018 at 6:47 pm .

    Dean Smith was always my choice because If he could get Brentford playing attractive football with a small budget then he could work wonders with a bigger budget and not having to sell his best players all the time. He will need a couple of transfer windows to get close to what he needs though. It’s frustrating and annoying to keep letting the lead slip on a regular basis. New goalkeeper and defenders will definitely help during second half of the season.

  4. Avatar
    VillaAwayInDiv3 December 29, 2018 at 7:11 pm .

    Good job there are pessimists to balance out the optimism …lol
    I am beginning to think we need to sort out all the old tired ones and get some in that can do a bit of sustained running aligned with some skill then get it honed by ANOTHER year in this league- as it would be murder in the Prem (again) if we bungled our way up by whatever means without having a team that can be relied upon to perform with some consistency.

  5. Avatar
    Holte66 December 29, 2018 at 7:42 pm .

    As much as it is disappointing to not be in the top league, I can’t say I have missed it as much as I thought I would. Of course we have to try and get promoted but I don’t actually relish getting back there. I think it was Martin Tyler who said the other day that they should award a trophy to the team that finishes 7th! This is a sad reflection on how the Sky money has structured the top six. There might be a shock team every now and then but it will always be one offs. Even with our wealthy owners can we break into the mix long term? I remain cautious after the previous two owners flaunted optimism at us then failed to back it up. Dean Smith needs patience from us fans and the board to build a team for the next 4-5 years and not a nursery team for clubs in the premier league.

  6. Avatar
    Sidforever December 29, 2018 at 9:35 pm .

    Smith’ golden opportunity. The following players contracts come to an end this season.
    Glenn Whelan 35
    Mile Jedinak 34
    Mark Bunn** 34
    Alan Hutton 34
    Tommy Elphick 31
    Micah Richards 31
    Ritchie de Laet 30
    Jed Steer 26
    Jordan Lyden 23
    Harry McKirdy 22
    Easah Suliman 21
    Callum O’Hare 21
    Kelsey Mooney 20
    Mitchell Clark 20
    Harvey Knibbs 20
    Jacob Bedeau

    It is not unreasonable to expect the first 8 to save the club £250,000 per week. Of whom Hutton is the only regular. Whelan can be replaced by Bjarnason. Taking these players off the wage bill vertically equates the the last parachute payment.

    I hope a few of the younger players are kept on.

    But for Smith this turnover means he can start to look at using these departures to build our squad. He stated he did not want us to take loan players to help other clubs. This to me sounds like he wants 11 Villa players in the starting 11. This means he currently needs for next year:
    Centre half
    2 x winger or midfield players

    Then add into the mix replacements for Hutton, and Taylor, I think this transfer window will be the start of this process.

    Put it another way, who would you keep in the team if we managed to get promotion? I think there will be a significant player turnover with or without promotion.

    I think the following will be the spine of his team:





    What do you think?

  7. Avatar
    VillaAwayInDiv3 December 30, 2018 at 12:36 am .

    Has anyone watched our other teams since DS took over.
    Have we started to get the club playing to the same Smith style or are we carrying on as before ?

  8. Avatar
    Benno December 30, 2018 at 5:41 am .

    Yeah I think Smith got it wrong today. First time I’ve said that since he took over. Whelan in for Grealish just isnt working. Abraham is isolated and we are not creating any chances. I also think he should have also rotated the wingers. Bolasie and El Ghazi looked tired and never really got the better of the full backs.

    We looked a very different team from the one that aged so well at Boro and Albion. Hopefully we can turn it around against QPR as we want keep dropping easy points.

    Looking forward to seeing who we get in Jan though. Smith with real money to spend could be magic!

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