Southampton – Villa; An easy three points (ahem).

Well, this should be easy, right?
Southampton are bottom of the league, after all, aren’t they?
Except we all know things are never that simple with the Villa.

The saints seem strangely inconsistent. Since Christmas they’ve beaten Palace and Everton away and Man city at home, but lost to Brighton and Forest at home and Fulham away.
So it’s hard to call how this game’s going to go.

Squad news and Emery has updated us that Ollie Watkins has trained well and will be available. Ludwig Augustinsson will also be available, as will Matt Cash, but reading between the lines, I suspect neither will feature. I don’t think the manager thinks much of Cash at all, but no doubt we’ll see. Jan Bednarek won’t be available because of his loan from Southampton and new signing Jhon Duran doesn’t have his visa yet, so is ineligible.

John McGinn isn’t quite ready yet, but should be okay for the Leicester game. I have a sneaky feeling that the Scot’s injury has been a little convenient, as it’s given the manager a chance to have a look at the side without actually having to drop him. He’s another who I suspect Emery might be willing to let go in the summer, if the right sort of offer comes in. I like McGinn, but he’s been poor for too long and it seems odd now that there was talk of him being worth £50 million not that long ago.

Danny Ings has gone and I think that’s a decent deal for the club, with talk of upto £15 million. When was the last time we got a decent fee for someone of his age? It makes a nice change and I actually think he’ll do quite well at West Ham, where I think Moyes will play more to suit him. If he doesn’t get the sack, of course.

Southampton then and they have no new issues.
Theo Walcott could be available after being out with a calf injury for six weeks and new signing Charly Alcaraz is looking for his first start.

The player to watch is James Ward-Prowse. He’s on form, having scored 4 in his last four prem games and is close to beating David Beckham’s record for direct free kicks.

While the Villa have loads of potential to let us down yet again, I feel we should have enough to beat them and I see goals. Emery has some astounding record for not drawing games and I think both teams are capable of scoring.
I’m going for a 2-1 win (he says, with fingers crossed).



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  1. RSS
    RSS January 26, 2023 at 3:10 pm . Reply

    This Jonathan David is an interesting rumour, his goal returns at both Gent & Lille are pretty impressive.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 January 26, 2023 at 3:17 pm . Reply

      Blimey – which striker are we going to be linked to next – Harry Redknapp’s missus -:) -:)

      1. RSS
        RSS January 26, 2023 at 3:32 pm . Reply

        As long as it ain’t his son (-:
        (How overrated was he?)

    2. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain January 26, 2023 at 4:59 pm . Reply

      It seems to me that the rumour mill regarding Villa has gone pretty quiet all of a sudden – most of what I’m seeing seems more like desperate attempts for clickbait, and a lot of re-cycling of stuff that went cold weeks ago…

      1. RSS
        RSS January 26, 2023 at 5:09 pm . Reply

        We could, in an ideal world, do with someone up top but the reality is the January window isn’t the best time to buy.

  2. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson January 26, 2023 at 6:30 pm . Reply

    Let’s face it, as from the appointment of our new man Emery us fan are, and quite rightly kept in the dark as to who is coming to Villa . You don’t let the opposition know what you’re upto. It’s worked with the young 19 year old we was took back that we got him. I’m pretty sure the next guy will shock us all. Happy days are back but don’t read that rag Birmingham mail it’s the last to know what’s what .

    1. RSS
      RSS January 26, 2023 at 8:41 pm . Reply

      Never been the same since Leon Hickman retired (-:

  3. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 27, 2023 at 3:10 pm . Reply

    Delafou injured and out for the rest of the season – so if we were interested it’s no longer an option.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain January 27, 2023 at 5:49 pm . Reply

      Starting to feel like we’re probably not going to rush out and buy anyone else until the summer.

  4. badger123
    badger123 January 27, 2023 at 6:55 pm . Reply

    I see Villa were fined £20k for failing to keep players under control (or something) when they complained about Ward-Preece’s disallowed goal on Saturday.
    Luiz was probably correctly booked for putting his hand on the ref, but I’ve seen that lots of times, without punishment.

    I’ve just looked at the highlights and I wouldn’t say the protests were anything out of the ordinary.
    The punishment, while again probably totally correct, seems harsh, given that it happens all the time and you rarely see clubs fined for over-protesting.

    1. RSS
      RSS January 27, 2023 at 7:16 pm . Reply

      See Old Clippety during the Wolves game have a complete thrombo over a throw in on the halfway line FFS?
      Or Arteta have a complete meltdown over any decision that doesn’t go the goooners way (YAWN)?
      It’s all completely over the top imo.

      1. badger123
        badger123 January 27, 2023 at 9:29 pm . Reply

        Yep, theatrics are okay when it suits.
        Or it’s the top 6, more accurately.

        1. Hitchens60
          Hitchens60 January 27, 2023 at 10:07 pm . Reply

          Think they just arbitrarily decide to make an example of someone from time to time – makes them feel powerful! And, as you say, it’s never the top sides – heaven forbid they should actually be criticised!

  5. badger123
    badger123 January 28, 2023 at 3:40 pm . Reply

    Just watched Archer have a chance for Boro, but he blew it.
    I saw similar the other night.
    Every time I see that sort of thing, I honestly think the fans wouldn’t have the patience for it if it was sustained.
    It’s a tricky one, as I’d love to see him get a run as much as the next supporter.

  6. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson January 28, 2023 at 3:46 pm . Reply

    I see Villa are hosting a Paul Merson night at Villa Park 9 th March. £500.00 for ten on a table. I only paid £ 20 8 years ago . Price gone up then.

  7. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 28, 2023 at 4:20 pm . Reply

    Good old inflation Bill!

    I’m beginning to think that Villa aren’t majorly pursuing anyone else in this window which would be quite surprising given the number of players leaving.

    We had 4 kids on the bench against Southampton and two GK’s because we didn’t have sufficient number of first team players available!

  8. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum January 28, 2023 at 4:24 pm . Reply

    Anyone else get the impression Emery is really angry with his stint at Arse and is determined to make a point?

    1. RSS
      RSS January 28, 2023 at 5:45 pm . Reply

      That’s gonna be tasty encounter…
      Can’t wait 🕕

    2. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 January 28, 2023 at 6:24 pm . Reply

      Absolutely – they never supported him against dressing room ‘power’ – yet they did Arteta when he came in.

      I think Emery feels a sense of grievance against Arsenal and is out to prove a point. Hope he succeeds!

      I see the click bait merchants are floundering in the dark and linking us with anyone who has been linked with any EPL club – pathetic really.

  9. badger123
    badger123 January 28, 2023 at 6:57 pm . Reply

    Just out of interest, would anyone be up for that Merson jobby?
    Mail me if so, at

    I suspect 10 might be a bit of an ask, but I’ll put it out there anyway.

  10. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum January 28, 2023 at 10:45 pm . Reply

    What Merson jobby?

    I think Emery’s blood boils for much more than the Arsenal experience. I think he wants to prove himself big time in the Premier League. And prove it with us, not just queue jumping, managing a super rich club like Citeh or Chelski. I can almost feel him seething…This is bloody good fun!!!!!

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 January 29, 2023 at 7:54 am . Reply

      Bum Bum – a night with Paul Merson at VP on 9th March. Table of 10 is £500 plus VAT so £60 a head.

      I’ve stuck my hand up for it but both Badger and me reckon it’s a bit steep – still you never know – might get 8 more willing punters.

      1. Bum Bum
        Bum Bum January 29, 2023 at 9:40 am . Reply

        Ah. Gotcha. Can’t really make it but £60 sounds reasonable. Great player and really liked the bloke. Have u seen the documentary he did about his addictions? Sounds bloody horrible to be afflicted with that. He keeps fighting the good fight though!

        1. RSS
          RSS January 29, 2023 at 6:55 pm . Reply

          Which one? 😂🤣
          He seems a sound guy but come on this is a bit of a saga?
          Definition of madness and all that?

  11. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson January 29, 2023 at 3:09 pm . Reply

    I was at one of his gentleman night Bum Bum and have to say was very good. Had my picture with him and my late son on his table. I’d put my name down but it would be best I didn’t as upsetting to me. He’s a laugh as he tells you of his magical moments in his drinking and betting times with sky .loverly bloke .

    1. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum January 30, 2023 at 12:45 pm . Reply

      Fully understand what you’re saying Bill.
      I can imagine Merse telling some shocking stories he can’t share on regular TV!!!

  12. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 30, 2023 at 9:41 am . Reply

    It’s looking very likely that Villa aren’t going to do any further business in this window. If we can’t get our top targets then there’s no point in getting players in for the sake of it – we’ve seen that far too often in the past.

    If that’s the case then we are taking a risk with injuries but Emery must be confident he can manage the second half of the season with a much smaller squad.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain January 30, 2023 at 12:52 pm . Reply

      Emery has been repeatedly quoted (if we are to believe B’ham Live !) as saying that he’s not interested in ‘numbers’ – and will only buy players if they represent an upgrade to what he’s currently working with.

      That’s a bit of a change compared to some of the transfers we’ve seen at Villa in the last couple of years: who actually bought-in players like Guilbert, Sansom, Augustinson, etc., when no manager seemed to want to play them, and why?

      Still, given the number of departures, it’s a definite risk for the remaining ‘half’ of this season.

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 January 30, 2023 at 5:05 pm . Reply

        And it seems more to leave before the deadline!

        All I can say is our wage bill will be a lot lower!

        1. Bill Pearson
          Bill Pearson January 31, 2023 at 7:15 am . Reply

          I now think it’s time to believe in our manager, he has seen what we have on our books and probably seen young guns in our club that will fit in time . I’m happy at this time in our club utv.

  13. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson January 30, 2023 at 2:05 pm . Reply

    Well we can only say it’s the quality of the man ,has he sent the best out on loan ? I wonder, time to find out next few months , you’ll find out we have the best manager in the league. Still time for a shock and I hope we get a midfielder.

  14. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 30, 2023 at 5:19 pm . Reply

    Looks like Nakamba may be joining the Baggies and also being rumoured that West Spam want Chambers!

    Meanwhile Louie Barry has gone out on loan to Salford.

  15. Holte
    Holte January 30, 2023 at 6:37 pm . Reply

    Do we have any players left for the Leicester game? Joking aside, we are in a perilous situation if we pick up a few injuries. Especially if the likes of Watkins, Kamara, Mings or heaven forbid…..Martinez!

    1. RSS
      RSS January 30, 2023 at 7:38 pm . Reply

      What’s the point of keeping players that in all probability their introduction to a game would ultimately increase your chances of incurring a defeat?
      Emery’s been really brave in setting his stall out early doors…
      Not good enough – there’s the door me old china!

      1. DSVilla
        DSVilla January 30, 2023 at 7:49 pm . Reply

        I’m inclined to agree but I am worried about CF. Most teams have 4 and we have 2, one at 19 who has never played in this league. I will be gobsmacked if we don’t address that.

        Everywhere else I would be ok with taking the risk and not buying for the sake of it.

        1. RSS
          RSS January 30, 2023 at 8:04 pm . Reply

          Hypothetically Watkins gets injured (fingers crossed he doesn’t) and in this here hypothetical alternative reality Igns is still at VP.
          What would the chances be of him playing 90 minutes week in, week out and not getting injured?

      2. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 January 30, 2023 at 7:50 pm . Reply

        Good point RSS – perhaps Emery feels some of our ‘kids’ would do a better job. If so he’s certainly prepared to back his own judgement at least over the next 18 games.

        There’s been plenty of comment on here along the same lines!

        1. DSVilla
          DSVilla January 30, 2023 at 8:52 pm . Reply

          Who would do a job as CF though? Not Brad Young I’m afraid. So Duran is our option. I doubt any other Prem team has two men for that position. Maybe someone else can help out here?

          1. RSS
            RSS January 30, 2023 at 11:50 pm . Reply

            Duran Duran DS.
            I think he’s a straight replacement, green yes but expect him to be in fray sooner rather than later.
            The lads not a kid at 19, the same as a certain Mr Andrew Gray when he came down from Dundee and he didn’t do to badly?

  16. Holte
    Holte January 30, 2023 at 9:39 pm . Reply

    While I agree that we should avoid bringing in players for the sake of it, I still think we should have got a replacement for Ings lined up before letting him go. Maybe that’s still going to happen but 24 hours remaining suggests it’s looking unlikely.
    With the cup competitions sacrificed perhaps they want to streamline our squad to scrape through the second half of the league campaign. After all it’s always preferable to source new recruits at the end of the season rather than pay through the nose like Chelsea.
    Our current squad is too threadbare to challenge for a European place this season. The likes of Chelsea and Liverpool will almost certainly improve on results with only Brentford, Fulham and Brighton as realistic targets to overhaul which would see us 8th at a push. The 80/81 season when we played the entire season with only 14 players is one which won’t be repeated.

    1. Adam
      Adam January 31, 2023 at 10:42 am . Reply

      Have to agree Little8. I feel like we’re in a position now very similar to where we were under O’Neil and Lerner before he pulled the plug when we were 2 or 3 top drawer signings away from a serious push at the top 4. I know Jan is hard to find players but there are players out there that could be brought in, it’s not like we aren’t rich enough now where under Lerner we weren’t nearly as rich. As already mentioned our net spend is low in reality. Other top clubs are slipping and we could really do something this season. If we don’t though I know we have enough to still get around top half this season. Emery is a top manager and we can hopefully go big in the summer and push on next season.

  17. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 31, 2023 at 8:21 am . Reply

    Over the last two transfer windows there has clearly been a change of direction at Villa. It seems the big spending has gone – at least for the time being – and the wage bill is being / has been considerably reduced.

    Our gross spend over the last two windows (to date) is c. £84m but after sales the net spend is around £34m – compared to Chelsea’s spend of just shy of £0.5bn which is gross. As an aside, is it the owner(s) or Potter buying the players – Brighton over the same period have made over £100m in profit from transfers; surely more Potteresque than what’s happening at Chelsea.

    We may see someone come in today but is Villa’s strategy to ‘clear the decks’ for a big summer spend (and a further clear out?)?

    NSWE are backing themselves by backing Emery so if we make the top half – even 10th – with a reduced squad, I suspect they’ll be pretty happy.

    I can’t see Europe as being a realistic target this season – but next?

  18. little8
    little8 January 31, 2023 at 8:59 am . Reply

    Need a striker today badly even if it is till the end of the season, can’t believe we have a chance of finishing high and haven’t improved the team up top
    Come on unai do the majic

  19. Holte
    Holte January 31, 2023 at 1:32 pm . Reply

    Traore set to recalled from loan spell? Oh dear, another ineffective winger in the squad. Probably a sign that we can’t get anyone else until the summer.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 January 31, 2023 at 2:00 pm . Reply

      Actually I think that’s a decent move.

      If we can’t get the players we want and need a left sided wide player then get the one we have back from loan – no need to waste money.

      I know Traore can be a frustrating player but is he so much different to Bailey? Also, it seems, Bailey can play a central attacking role so bringing Traore back gives Emery options.

      On their day either can be a match winner.

      Anyway, we’ll have to wait to see the OS confirming it first.

      1. RSS
        RSS January 31, 2023 at 2:23 pm . Reply

        Miles different imo Hitch.
        Traore lacks Bailey’s pace and dynamism, a more laid back style that I don’t believe is to Unai’s taste.

        1. Texas Villan
          Texas Villan January 31, 2023 at 2:55 pm . Reply

          I think it’s a wise move – people forget he still scored 8 goals his first season at VP in a team that just scraped relegation. I think the second season he didn’t get a good run in the team and there’s definitely a player there.

        2. Hitchens60
          Hitchens60 January 31, 2023 at 2:57 pm . Reply

          Fair call RSS but I still think it makes sense to bring back a contracted player if we’re short of attacking options and aren’t able to bring in the right player (at the right price) from elsewhere in this window.

          With Bednerack (sic) and Augustinnson being recalled we do have two loan spots so maybe we’ll see a loan signing before the window ‘slams shut’!

          Why does it always slam shut rather than close gently? 🙂

          1. RSS
            RSS January 31, 2023 at 3:04 pm . Reply
            1. Hitchens60
              Hitchens60 January 31, 2023 at 5:56 pm . Reply

              The only downside is Traore is in rehab following a knee injury but not sure how close he is to full fitness.

          2. Ardent Villain
            Ardent Villain January 31, 2023 at 3:41 pm . Reply

            I’m not at all disappointed with Traore being recalled.

            He’s probably not the dog’s whatsits, but overall he always seemed a very skillful player, who could do sublime things one day and then look stupid the next game.
            Bit like Bailey – who knows, maybe Emery can get the best out of him?
            Certainly there’s more chance of that than there would have been under SG.

            1. RSS
              RSS January 31, 2023 at 4:44 pm . Reply

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