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
    Hitchens60 February 1, 2019 at 2:51 pm .

    Given that January is always a difficult window, I’m giving Smith et al a 6 / 10 (originally 7 but I’m concerned that none of our three loan signings are match fit).

    We have balanced the defence left side which should help but Smith will have to take risks playing Mings who’s not match fit.

    Like you Badger, I think the Hogan loan is a good move and I’m encouraged about the U23’s going out on loan allowing some of the acadamy an opportunity to step up. Bree will either improve or will go in the summer.

    I’m going for a draw tomorrow as statistically that’s the most likely outcome

  2. Avatar
    Bill Pearson February 1, 2019 at 3:10 pm .

    I’m a coward I just dont know what to think, I’ll wait till I see to say good or bad.
    I didn’t Think Messi would come to us anyway.

  3. Avatar
    nath February 1, 2019 at 6:30 pm .

    totally agree with badger and hitch on sending the kids out on loan. FINALLY i believe they should have all been sent out from last season to now. like hitch said they are clogging up the under23s now they have all been sent out the under 18s and 21s will get under23 games and they will be tested out of their comfort zones.

    so the kids sent out on loan,most of them for the first time will be tested in the mens game. i think they all have the football ability thats not in question, but i think its the physical side which a few will fail on. doyle hayes and corey taylor i rate to having the best chances, but you can never tell

    sending hogan out was also a great bit of business, his value has taken a massive nose dive, but a good finish to the season will do wonders for his confidence and his value.

    finally we have a manager who has a plan and also is out to improve the individuals, which will improve the team. making for a stronger squad and club ready for the premiership. i am behind him. would have loved to still go up this year but if we don’t iam more than confident next year will be the year.

    p/s a mate showed me this song from leeds fans singing a queen song hope you like it if iam allowed to post

  4. Avatar
    Holte66 February 1, 2019 at 7:18 pm .

    I’m more pleased with the outgoings than the incomings. All the players going out on loan were very unlikely to play first team football this season so it makes perfect sense. If the kids can’t break into league one or two teams then it’s unlikely they will ever make the grade. As far as the January signings are concerned I feel slightly underwhelmed. Guilbert I know nothing about although our recent history of signing players from France hasn’t proven fruitful. Mings could be a great signing if he is over his injury woes but roughly 20 games in 3 seasons doesn’t fill me with confidence. As for Carroll and reading Swansea fans comments, it looks like they are delighted he has gone although expect him back in the summer. Personally I don’t see any sense in it especially when Jedinak, Whelan, Bjarnason, Hourihane, Lansbury, Grealish and McGinn are fighting for 3 places. I know two are currently injured but should be back soon. Another disappointment is Green getting injured again in training with a hamstring problem and will be out for a number of weeks. I will wait till I see tomorrow’s line up before I make a prediction. Fact is we should win and to push for play offs we have to win. Trouble is we should have beat Wigan and we know how that went. Mind you Reading have lost a top champions league player so things looking up 😂

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 February 1, 2019 at 7:52 pm .

      Holte – I’m going to be devil’s advocate here – with Jedinak and Whelan certain to go in the summer, Thor probably also off and Lansbury a walking sick note, why not take a look at Carroll of whom big things were expected?

      Smith backs himself to improve younger players so,for the sake of part of Bolassie’s wages, and with no obligation to buy – merely an option – maybe it’s not such a poor call?

      1. Avatar
        Holte66 February 1, 2019 at 9:31 pm .

        I just think he will struggle to get match time with players already ahead of him in the queue. Maybe he will show in training that he is good enough, but his fall from grace from a promising young Spurs player, to a squad player at Swansea suggests that he might lack the hunger to succeed. Only time will tell I guess and like you said, if he doesn’t produce the goods at least we can send him back with just his wages costing the club.

    2. Avatar
      Big Fat Ron February 1, 2019 at 8:55 pm .

      Looks like Green will go into the Delfouneso category of unfulfilled potential. I’ve got my negative head on tonight. Can you tell?

  5. Avatar
    Sidcowanslovechild February 1, 2019 at 7:34 pm .

    I think we have massively improved at centre half, don’t forget we also brought Elphick back and now have left sided players is defence, when Tuanzebe comes back there will be great competition.

    My disappointment is we didn’t sign a lb which was the number 1 problem position or a real defensive central midfielder.

    However, as I think we already have the best squad I the league I still think it’s not about quality of player but getting the most out of them and them living up to potent.

    Over to you Dean Smith (and hurry back Jack and Axel

  6. Avatar
    Bill Pearson February 1, 2019 at 8:12 pm .

    I’m with you on that Holte, the feet will do the talking, in the next few games after tomorrow we have two midweek games 8th, the 13 th, a chance to see for ourselves. I’m not expecting for us to go up this season but see if we are moving forwards at last. Time will tell.

    1. Avatar
      Holte66 February 1, 2019 at 9:36 pm .

      Bill, if we can stay in touching distance of play offs and get Grealish and Tuanzebe back, then maybe we could go on a run. Still lots of points to play for and no team is doing a Wolves, Cardiff or even Fulham this season.

  7. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron February 1, 2019 at 8:51 pm .

    Basically, we’ve signed two crocks who nobody else wanted and handed a million quid over for the privilege. We don’t get many injuries so the powers that be thought it only right that the medical staff earn their wages. Well done to all concerned. (slaps forehead and screams into a pillow).

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 February 1, 2019 at 9:20 pm .

      We don’t get many injuries BFR?

      Grealish, Jedinak, Nyland, Green, Tuanzebe, Lansbury, Chester, Adomah – at one point we struggled to put out a midfield at all! Too many injuries on the training field definitely.

      A fair criticsm would be taking too many players from other clubs not match fit having suffered long term injuries.

    2. Avatar
      Hitchens60 February 2, 2019 at 7:44 am .

      Apologies BFR, if I took your post too literally.

      1. Avatar
        Big Fat Ron February 2, 2019 at 1:50 pm .

        Haha yes I was being sarcastic Hitch. Very disappointed with incomings.

  8. Avatar
    TED February 1, 2019 at 11:06 pm .

    Time to be honest. The window was an opportunity for Smith and the owners to make a statement and give direction as to their plan for the club.
    The in comings have been very poor not the calibar of player needed for promotion.
    To loan a player back to their club suggests planning for next season.
    Smith has been a disappointment so far. We have to be careful that just because he may have been a Villa fan he can do no wrong.
    Bruce over all results are better than Smith.
    Time to ask questions re Smiths capabilities.
    Let’s look at his side and how he has failed to address the weak areas,
    He picks Whelan almost regularly, even Bruce didn’t do that, Whelan lacks pace and is not going to compete at the top level in the championship, yet Smith selects him.
    Hourihane has been poor for weeks/months he disappears in games, offers no defence, can’t tackle yet he is a Smith regular.
    Taylor, we’ll surely we all now he is not the answer yet a Smith regular.
    We needed a centre half , a defensive mid player and a left back,
    Smith had months to plan for January yet ends up with Hause who didn’t impress, Ings may be a decent loan and Carroll who can’t get into the Swansea side ( I know he has been injured but his place has bee Filled)
    Where are the upgrades to address the weakness in the side.
    Remember the players who returned to their clubs, loss cancelled to free up money, where has the money gone?
    Smith, Purslow and the owners have failed. They have now show their true intent and capabilities.
    Smith is not good enough or Aston Villa.

    1. Avatar
      Pat 57 February 2, 2019 at 12:19 am .

      ‘The window was an opportunity for Smith and the owners to make a statement and give direction as to their plan for the club.’

      Since when was January ever been a window when anyone ‘made a statement’? Your negativity is appalling, if you’re a real Villa fan that is.

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