Reading – Villa: and transfer window thoughts

I’m sorry, but you’ll have to forgive me for not wanting to do cartwheels over our winter window business.
Reading around, it seems the word I’ve come across most to describe our dealings is “underwhelmed” and that’s about how I feel.
While the Guilbert signing intrigues me, it’s obvious he’s one for our future plans and that’s fair enough, although I do wonder why we’re signing players for the future, when we need them now, if we’re really going to push on for promotion?

Looking at the rest of the signings, it’s a similar story.
Mings seems our best bet and I like the sound of him, but he’s hardly played in years.
Will he be ready to start tomorrow? I’d be surprised, but we do need to give Chester a rest. The problem I have is that U-23 match fit is not Championship match fit.
Which leads me to Hause, who was supposed to have looked the business in training, but hasn’t been able to oust an injured Chester. What does that say about either the player or what Dean Smith told us?
The minimum for me, is that he’s nowhere near ready.

Kalinic is finding his feet and definitely seems a better goalie than Nyland, although it’s early days.

And then there’s the enigma which is Tom Carroll, who strikes me as a desperation signing when the Fer transfer fell through.
Hopefully he’ll add some more intensity in the middle, compared to Whelan and Jedinak, but I’m not sure exactly what his role will be. Competition for Hourihane, perhaps?
I’m just a bit concerned that Swansea’s fans seem glad that he’s gone, but at least he’s had a few games this season.

Ok, on paper, we’ve rebalanced the side somewhat.
But we all know the game isn’t played on paper and if it was, we wouldn’t be where we are now.
I’m minded to ask how we’ve actually improved a single position and would welcome thoughts on this.

So, all in all, I think we’re pretty much going with what we’ve got, which ultimately won’t be good enough, this season, at least.

So while I don’t think much of our incomings, I think our outgoings are mostly good moves.
Hogan to the Blades is a risky one, but as it was, we were only depleting his value by not playing him.
Yes, he might ultimately cost us promotion, but I’m not convinced. If Sheffield can get him firing, fair enough. At least he’ll retain more value when we do let him go.
Bree, well, while I know some were disappointed over this one, I can’t say I am. He hasn’t yet struck me as anything special and needs games.

And then there’s the kids. Smith hasn’t messed about here. He said we were top heavy and has cleared most of our attack out on loan.
Rightly so, as most of them were never going to get a game and need real minutes in a man’s game. This is the encouraging part for me.
If they do well, they come back and seriously challenge; if not, they get binned.
Bedou, I’m really not bothered about.
And McCormack, well, good riddance.

Anyway, given my views of the academy being a waste of time if the lads are never going to move up, I’m very happy about our outgoings.

So onto tomorrow’s game and I don’t have a clue what to think.
Will Mings go straight in?
Will Carroll play?

Will Reading have an advantage now that they’ve got rid of Bacuna?

I simply don’t know.

But I’m going for a 1-0 win.
Simply because we ought to win this game.


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  1. Avatar
    TED February 6, 2019 at 9:51 pm .

    BFR firstly I’ve supported Villa many years, I remeber Charlie Akine, met him in Ackocks green when he had his antiques business and later at Villa, Andy Lockheed, Alex Cropley etc and as previously stated I had a birthday in hospitality last year. I attend games and remain an active supporter.
    Secondly you suggest I’m saying things to wind others up.
    This confuses me, I’ve simply posted a comment from the media. You can see the full article on news now, so I’m not sure of your point?
    It appears if I disagree and post supportive views, it’s offence

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 February 6, 2019 at 10:06 pm .

      Ted – you didn’t ‘simply post a comment from the media’ you posted it and then had another swipe at Smith.

      If you are going to continually criticise him then expect to get comments in return.

    2. Avatar
      Pat 57 February 6, 2019 at 10:40 pm .

      That’s Charlie Aitken and Andy Lochhead as any real Villa fan would know.

      1. Avatar
        Badger123 February 7, 2019 at 11:37 pm .

        Pat, I suspect Ted has a few years on us, hence the mis-spelling, I can live with.

        And as mad a Villa fan as I am, I remember Charlie Aitken quite well, but didn’t know he had an antique business in Acocks Green.
        Although to be fair, that is seriously bordering on nose territory, so perhaps doesn’t mean much.

  2. Avatar
    TED February 6, 2019 at 10:10 pm .

    The entire entry is from the media only the first line is from me.
    Where have I then had a swipe at Smith?

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 February 7, 2019 at 7:32 am .

      Misunderstood Ted, didn’t realise that – thought just the piece in quotes was from the media.

      Chalobah might have been one of his targets but I, for one, never saw that one happening and, Watford unsurprisingly refused to let him leave even on loan. I think that just reinforces the difficulties in the January window and why clubs have multi targets.

      The only interesting bit is that this piece says the squad isn’t good enough whilst other pieces say it’s the best in the Championship and under performing.

      Which is it?

  3. Avatar
    Holte66 February 6, 2019 at 10:17 pm .

    Sheffield United game they have opened up top tier of Trinity stand which is impressive considering its on Sky. It will be a real test after they thrashed us earlier on in the season. One thing for certain is they will come at us as they are an offensive team. Whelan did okay against Ipswich and Reading but if Smith picks him on Friday I fear the game will bypass him. We need to be brave if we want to get 3 points. Maybe play Carroll and McGinn with Hourihane back at DM where he has performed best. Also give Kodja a game in place of Adomah who’s confidence looks shot. Why not go 4-1-3-2 with Abraham and Kodja or Davis up front? Whatever formation we go with we MUST win to keep play off hopes alive.

  4. Avatar
    Bill Pearson February 7, 2019 at 7:02 pm .

    James Chester could return for Aston Villa after training twice this week.

    The defender missed the 0-0 draw at Reading with a knee injury and will be assessed ahead of Sheffield United’s visit.

    Jack Grealish is still out with a shin injury but is closing in on a return after two months out, while Andre Green is back from a hamstring injury. Axel Tuanzebe (foot) and Henri Lansbury (hamstring) are out along with goalkeeper Orjan Nyland (Achilles)

  5. Avatar
    Hitchens60 February 8, 2019 at 7:10 am .

    Welcome back to Blighty (and winter -:) ) Badger

  6. Avatar
    Bill Pearson February 8, 2019 at 7:27 am .

    You beat me again Hitch, your smiley didn’t work throw, Badger welcome back to our unsettled weather, 😊.tonights game I’m going for another draw1-1. Utv.

  7. Avatar
    Bill Pearson February 8, 2019 at 8:21 am .

    Spelling lessons . Though though though. By God I’ve got it.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 February 8, 2019 at 9:41 am .

      Predictive text Bill – it gets us all in the end -:)

      1. Avatar
        Hitchens60 February 8, 2019 at 9:44 am .

        Aaaagh- did it again 🙂

        That’s better!

  8. Avatar
    TED February 8, 2019 at 9:09 pm .

    Oh dear Badger and the rest of you wake up Smith is out of his depth.
    This is. Or acceptable,no excuses .
    But I giesss some will try.

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