Semi final review and other thoughts

I still struggle to believe we beat Leicester.
Fortunately, while close, my 1-1 prediction didn’t materialise and all I remember is not Trezeguet’s goal, but the pure elation in the moment.
That’s footy and booze for you.

So we face Man City in the final and while it won’t be easy, I absolutely do not see anything like the battering we got at home to them.
It seems to me Dean smith is learning quickly, as even though I didn’t think we played at all well, we beat a side that is managed by Brendan Rodgers, who by most accounts is a very good manager tactically.

So how did we achieve the win?
Well, I thought Targett and grealish seemed to have a good understanding and put their right side under serious pressure that they couldn’t live with.
I’ve often slated Targett, but thought he had a great game yesterday.
I also thought Samatta did well. He netted, albeit offside and had another decent chance that got stuck under his feet.

But of course, the plaudits go out to Nyland, who was simply brilliant. Would Reina have made some of those saves?
I seriously don’t know, but his display surely means it would be incredibly harsh to drop him for the final, given that he’s done so well.
Smith says Nyland was always going to start last night, but I’m not sure I believe that and I’d expect that logic says that Smith will go with Reina in the final.

As I’ve said, I don’t think we played well.
Our defence is horrendous at times and just looks so disorganised and panicky, it scares me.
Indeed, Leicester had a stupid amount of shots, something like 22, while we only had 3 on target.
It’s a good job we were clinical and Maddison wasn’t.

Still, we won, so what do I know?
What I do know is that the lads haven’t given up and continue to work their guts out for the manager.
That’s good and I for one appreciate it.

Apparently, we’re still looking for a striker to provide backup to Samatta and Davis. I suspect we’ll get one too, although we’re leaving it close.
I’m expecting an old hand, with premier league experience that could come on and help close out a game, but I don’t have a clue who it might be.

I’m minded to think we need an experienced midfielder and defender too for the same reason, but we have Chester at the back, if he doesn’t go on loan.
I just don’t see the midfielder happening at all.

It was interesting to see that Wes Edens turned up to the game.
He chose a great one to attend, but I doubt that was his only aim and am guessing he wanted to speak to Smith about his thoughts.
The optimist in me thinks that he might have wanted clarity about a major spend on a big signing.

But the realist in me doesn’t see much happening.

Last night’s game must have seriously encouraged him though.
Wes and Nassef going to Wembley twice in a year must be very rewarding and must already be more than they expected this early into their ownership.

Of course, the priority remains Premier league survival, but a cup final never hurts, does it?



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  1. Avatar
    Holte66 January 31, 2020 at 5:45 pm .

    Sad to see Chezzie go. Alongside Grealish and McGinn, he was my favourite player. Hope this doesn’t come back to haunt us if we have an injury crisis in defence.
    As for new signings, it’s looking unlikely despite talk that we were going to sign another striker.
    Would another CM player have been worth signing too if Nakamba plays in African Nations?
    Overall as expected I’m underwhelmed. January window I reiterate should be scrapped!

  2. Avatar
    Hitchens60 January 31, 2020 at 5:54 pm .

    Couple of new links emerging. Definitely meh signings as suggested by DS

  3. Avatar
    Hitchens60 January 31, 2020 at 6:22 pm .

    Apparently we’re in for Borja Baston – who you might well ask – Spanish striker with Swansea. Reported that a medical booked.

    As DS says – a meh signing but very much a safety first deal.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 January 31, 2020 at 6:24 pm .

      It would seem he played for Athletico when Suso was there – so it sort of makes sense.

  4. Avatar
    Hitchens60 January 31, 2020 at 6:28 pm .

    Sky now reporting this.

    Villa still confusing the media rumours – and the fans 🙂

  5. Avatar
    Holte66 January 31, 2020 at 6:32 pm .

    A completely pointless deal if true. Not good enough to start regularly for Swansea in the championship. Might as well offer Gabby a short term deal.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 January 31, 2020 at 6:37 pm .

      Give everyone a chance – that’s my mantra. He started the season well at Swansea and if it’s a temporary cheap deal that works on a contingency basis ……

      Who’s to say that Samatta will be any better?

      We don’t want Benteke and, frankly, non of the other strikers we’ve been linked with were ever coming to Villa Park.

      We need to build a new dynasty at VP – history counts for nothing.


      1. Avatar
        DSVilla January 31, 2020 at 6:41 pm .

        Think we have to be buying him as we have 2 domestic loans already. Is he any good? Time will tell I guess, and I don’t think we have that many attractive alternatives either. At least we have alternatives up front now. Hopefully we have enough goals in us to stay up.

        1. Avatar
          Hitchens60 January 31, 2020 at 6:46 pm .

          His contract is up in the summer and it’s being reported as a short term deal with no fee involved. In the circumstances, I have no problem with the principles of the deal.

          Every team needs squad players.

          The reality is a lot of teams are trying to sign strikers – a rare commodity – and after our summer spend we don’t have £20m to spend on a Bowen (who also – it seems wants serious money as an unproven PL striker – if reports are to be believed).

          1. Avatar
            DSVilla January 31, 2020 at 7:05 pm .

            I don’t think we are short of money. The owners are too rich for that. I think they may have issues with FFP, and also, given the investment in Moraes which they must be hoping will come good there is perhaps some caution. It will probably be the biggest investment we make in the summer if we stay up. Far easier to address in that window as well. I would have liked Bowen, but you can’t have everything!

            1. Avatar
              Hitchens60 January 31, 2020 at 7:21 pm .

              I think FFP may be a concern insofar as the expected challenge to Villa’s sale and lease back of the ground. It seems the EFL have passed the issue to the EPL.

              1. Avatar
                DSVilla January 31, 2020 at 7:45 pm .

                Yes maybe so. I think that should be fine provided we “sold” at a defendable price. It’s also a bit of a retrospective move, which probably leaves the EPL open to legal action if they tried to enforce a punishment. I can see it ruling to stop it happening in future though.

                I guess it’s fair game if you are Man City and bend the rules, but maybe not for the likes of us.

  6. Avatar
    Holte66 January 31, 2020 at 8:43 pm .

    Looks like Bowen signing for West Ham, our relegation rivals. I think he will score goals for them. Can’t say the same for our strikers.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 January 31, 2020 at 9:18 pm .

      Maybe but it’s big gamble at £20m+ – on a par with Wesley imho 🙂

      You can draw a comparison with the Belgian Pro League – so it’s one thing scoring goals in the Championship but to score regularly in the EPL is another matter altogether.

      The reality is there are no quality strikers readily available unless you pay enormous sums for them and then they only want to play for the top European sides – and we’re not one of them.

      1. Avatar
        Guest January 31, 2020 at 9:52 pm .

        Comparisons to Wesley are wide of the mark, Bowen isn’t a striker for one, he’s a winger, and his goal return for Hull is phenomenal.

        He was prolific last season too.

        Is he as much a risk as Wesley? I doubt it, the guy can play, and I for one would have loved to see him at VP, he’s far better than any winger we have and I believe he will step up to the PL easily.

        A lot of people said the same about Maddison.

        1. Avatar
          Hitchens60 January 31, 2020 at 10:09 pm .

          Or, on the other hand, we could have just kept Hogan!

          We all have our opinions.

  7. Avatar
    Roy Bracy February 1, 2020 at 12:40 am .

    I think villa have made a big mistake not getting Bowen in even worse he gone to a relegation rival this could come back against us on last match against West ham.there must be more to this ffp than we’re being told.lets hope sammata is good this Swansea players middle name is balaban and last player with that name was rubbish hope suso knows him better than anyone else.not happy

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 February 1, 2020 at 7:16 am .

      Contrary to my earlier views, it now seems likely that we do have FFP challenges and whilst our owners could afford to splash the cash (having already invested £200m since acquiring Villa) they have to act responsibly. Whatever our (my) views on FFP it exists and therefore we have to comply with it.

      According to the Mail we were offered Ighalo on loan 24 hours earlier but turned it down because of the strikers six figure wage demands – FFP again?

      So, simply put we’ve brought it what we could afford.

      My concerns are more about cover at CB with Chester having gone out on loan.

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