Spurs 0 -2 Villa; Cracking win, which I didn’t see coming at all.

Well, I called that one wrong, I’m extremely happy to say, although I think I’m seriously at risk of falling out of love with football.
While the result was superb, the actual football bored me witless.
I know we need to be pragmatic to ensure survival this season, but playing a flat back six, compounded by the fact that we constantly play back to the goalie, even from the halfway line at times, just leaves me totally uninspired.
The worrying thing is Spurs, who have always played the game in the right way over the years,weren’t much better.

It’s an old debate, but the aim of the game is to score more than the opposition and not just try not to concede, to my mind.

That said, it’s hard to argue that this was a poor performance, because quite simply, it wasn’t.
How can it be when you win 2-0 away to Spurs?
Yet still it sort of leaves me cold. The bigger worry for me personally is that I’m currently treating Villa games like any other; I do other stuff at the same time and only watch closely when the commentary goes up a notch when a chance is coming on.

Still, we were told that Emery plays a more pragmatic type of football before he came and there is no doubt it’s effective.
I suppose one way that I should look at it is that Gerrard’s football was equally as boring but not at all effective most of the time.

We now look organised and like we know what we’re doing.

Some of Emery’s choices puzzle me.
Why did he start Olsen over Martinez, for example? Surely the latter is a better goalie even if he had 2 broken arms?
Yet Olsen did perfectly well today.
Which would seem to show that the manager’s pragmatism extends to player choice too. I can only assume that Martinez wasn’t in the best shape and Olsen retained his confidence, which is some shout considering he’d conceded 14 in four games.
It’s no doubt a good job I’m not a football manager.
It bodes well and seems to demonstrate that no player should feel that they’re a guaranteed choice.
It was backed up by McGinn being subbed again, too.
I’m very encouraged in that sense.

Luiz got the MOTM and I thought he and Kamara looked very comfortable together. It seems a powerful pairing that could well be good enough to build a team around.

I’m not going to go to far into players that I thought were poor, because they’d include Watkins (for his finishing, not his work) and McGinn.
I know. “They both helped with the goals Badger, you idiot.”
And in fairness, they weren’t brought into the game enough, particularly in the first half.

I find myself in a bit of a quandary really. I’ve always said that I believe football is a results game first and foremost, where very little else matters.

Yet I find my self wishing that we were a bit more entertaining, even when we win.

I suppose you can’t have everything and the way we’re currently going, the thoughts of Europa league don’t seem so daft when you think of a couple of decent additions and growing confidence etc.

I’m mostly impressed about how Emery has made us a more effective side so quickly.
Every game just proves what we all knew.
Gerrard was a terrible manager for us.


Page 1 of 1
  1. Ardent Villain
    Ardent Villain January 1, 2023 at 4:59 pm . Reply

    Very largely agree with every word you’ve written there, Badger.

    Perhaps I’m just a little less negative because if we can produce a few minutes of great stuff AND win the game, I’ll forgive some of wasted opportunities to make the score bigger and game more entertaining.

    One thing that I’ve seen today was that apparently a lot of Villa fans were having a go at Emery when the team was announced, for leaving Martinez on the bench: yes, my hopes sank when I saw Olsen’s name in the line up, but then I also imagined that Martinez has probably been in party-central for the last 2 weeks… I’d certainly still be nursing a hangover.

    And actually, much as I’ve slated him, Olsen was OK today, in fact I’d even dare to suggest that his distribution is generally better than Martinez’ – and he looks to get play back out much quicker…

    We’re a bit fickle: we want to win, we envy the teams that have been consistently good at winning for far too long, but we want to be entertained at the same time. Maybe we just have to accept that winning isn’t going to be pretty?

  2. Holte
    Holte January 1, 2023 at 5:18 pm . Reply

    Credit where credits due and Olsen did nothing wrong today apart from one moment he dwelled in possession and Kane chased him down to force an unnecessary kick into touch.
    Badger, I assume McGinn went off with a hamstring issue rather than anything tactical. Hopefully he and Luiz will be fit for next game.
    The first half was one to forget as both teams lacked creativity. I thought Spurs would come out flying second half but we grew into it and were much better than them in the end.
    Maybe against the top six clubs a more pragmatic style is better particularly away from home to try and silence the crowd.
    I would expect us to be more on the front foot in the next few games against ‘lesser’ opposition.
    It’s refreshing to see us with a manager who has a style of play rather than the likes of Gerrard who looked like he was way out of his depth.
    Before the game I had slipped into my fickle downbeat self assuming the new manager bounce was over but perhaps we should start believing in a brighter future. UTMV!

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain January 1, 2023 at 5:28 pm . Reply

      Ah yes, Gerrard.
      Same players too.
      Think you’ve made a good point there – Gerard had all the ‘negative ‘ attributes that we dislike, but without any idea of how to even use those ‘black arts’ to pick up points. He surely needs to spend some time in manager-school before before applying for another job.

      1. RSS
        RSS January 1, 2023 at 5:42 pm . Reply

        Very reasonable rates 😁

    2. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum January 1, 2023 at 7:16 pm . Reply


      1. William Pearson
        William Pearson January 1, 2023 at 7:49 pm . Reply

        Bum Bum, it worked I said we would not win and we did, if I say it every match we will win the league 😂 . Every player played today and didn’t give in , that a team , Mcginn played in his position he likes and Luis was along with Konza and Kamara equal in performance was excellent.,long may it continue.

        1. Bum Bum
          Bum Bum January 2, 2023 at 5:01 am . Reply

          I forgot we’ve got Wolves on Wednesday!

  3. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 1, 2023 at 6:35 pm . Reply

    I reckon I was in a minority saying I thought we did OK in the first half – this was Villa playing Spurs away with two wins in the last 21 games against them – and we completely snuffed out their attack.

    Emery has, in a relatively short period of time, welded our players into an efficient, intelligent team unit and in so doing has won three out of four including United at home (after 27 years) and Spurs away where we have a shocking record (in North London – not just against Spurs). What more could we have asked for – more to the point wasn’t the lack of team co-ordination the main criticism under Gerrard’s reign?

    If we go gung ho in games like this with the players we have we’ll get soundly beaten – so we have to accept a more measured yet controlled approach in some games. We didn’t give them too much respect, we made sure they weren’t allowed to dictate to us.

    What we’re seeing is far more than ‘new manager bounce’.

    Now I have to try and put away my negative viewsvgenerated over the last several years of continual failure and disappointment.


  4. VillaAwayInDiv3
    VillaAwayInDiv3 January 1, 2023 at 7:58 pm . Reply

    Things I remember….Kanes 1st touch around 30 mins……
    ….our only shot in 1st half just before 1/2 time…..
    ….before that shot we had no shots – none on target and no play in their area….
    ……2nd half Spurs had no shots- none on target or any touches in our area for most of the 1/2.

    Wolves next…..when we were 2 up and 5 mins to go Spurs got a corner and I thought it would be a 3 in 5mins like the Wolves game.

  5. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 2, 2023 at 9:05 am . Reply

    Luiz is 24 and Kamara is 23.

    Makings of a world class central pairing – can we keep them at Villa?

    Arsenal offered £23m for Luiz in the summer – Arteta recognised the quality he possesses – what price now? And if we need reminding – for all the criticism levelled at Purslow / Lange – they got Kamara on a free!

    Carlos to come back and a couple of additions in the window with an elite level coach (at last) and wealthy, committed owners – is 2023 going to be the year that Villa finally wake up?

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain January 2, 2023 at 1:32 pm . Reply

      I believe this may be a really good year for Villa.

      Apart from Luiz & Kamara, let’s also remember that Jacob Ramsey is another one who could prove to be a world-class player if the new coaching team have a bit of time to work on him, and he’s only 21…

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 January 2, 2023 at 2:44 pm . Reply

        Absolutely Ardent. MOMS members voted Ramsey player of the year for 2022 and I can see why.

        When fit he’ll come in for McGinn who, I suspect, will move on in the summer.

        Emery needs to think about who should be team captain.

        1. Ardent Villain
          Ardent Villain January 2, 2023 at 3:28 pm . Reply

          Hitch, I was reading some bits on the “B’ham Mail” / “Live” (whatever they now call themselves) site this morning; there are a couple of their writers also suggesting that McGinn will be sold in the summer.

          Ramsey is great quality and potential, just needs a bit of development from an ‘elite’ coaching staff – which hopefully he’ll now receive from Emery & co.

          In almost all the games I’ve watched in full this season, nobody seems to have told Mings that he’s not the captain. He basically seems to still be the one ‘bossing’ players at set-pieces, etc., in fact I haven’t really noticed McGinn doing much of that at all.

          1. Hitchens60
            Hitchens60 January 2, 2023 at 3:57 pm . Reply

            Mings and Young are the undoubted leaders on the pitch.

            Watching the Spurs game I suggested maybe Mings should be reinstated as captain but my kids / grandkids view was that his game had improved and was less prone to errors without the responsibility of wearing the captains armband. They may well be right.

            There doesn’t seem to be a stand out for team captain although I’ve been told that Diego Carlos would be a shoe in for the role but for his limited English.

  6. OLL again
    OLL again January 2, 2023 at 5:13 pm . Reply

    Who got the magic wand for Xmas? Or should I be praising the Villa Hypnotist for the job done on Olsen?
    Olsen – the bag-of-nerves keeper who against the Scouse was afraid to come for crosses or get in where it hurts: whose wooden handling cost us two goals – was faultless against Spurs. He claimed all the high crosses and caught them, dived at feet to smother the ball and used his long accurate throw out. Olsen was beaten only once, but Ashley Young was behind him to clear.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain January 2, 2023 at 6:50 pm . Reply

      Credit wherever it’s due: Olsen was a man transformed on Sunday.
      Maybe it’s all just down to ‘confidence’ at the end of the day?

  7. Holte
    Holte January 2, 2023 at 6:14 pm . Reply

    I don’t get why there is so much talk about McGinn moving on. I only hear it from our fans, not from media sources. He was made captain by SG which wasn’t his fault and I think it affected his performances although many players form suffered under SG. Recently under Emery we have seen more of the McGinn who impressed when he arrived. Is it because he is being played further forward which he does for Scotland? Round pegs in round holes seems to be the Emery way. When Ramsey is fit he will provide competition which is what we need. Our squad depth has been an issue for the last few seasons and we need a strong bench if we are to compete for Europe.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain January 2, 2023 at 6:49 pm . Reply

      Holte, I think that McGinn is a very good player, on his day; and maybe the new coaches will get him to ‘step-up’ to something even better.
      And I do agree that like everyone else in that squad, he suffered a loss of form under SG – whether it had anything to do with being handed the armband is debatble, since everything Gerrard touched seemed to turn to lead.

      However, there’s a feeling in some quarters (& I can see the viewpoint, even if I’m not 100% convinced either way -) that if Villa are really going to break in to the top 4/6 on a consistent basis, then perhaps he isn’t capable of that level.

  8. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum January 2, 2023 at 7:23 pm . Reply

    Bloody hell. Brentford 3, Liverpool 1.
    What a funny old game football is!!!!!!!

    1. RSS
      RSS January 3, 2023 at 3:19 pm . Reply

      And The Bees had two disallowed (oh how the powers that be favour the big teams).

  9. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum January 2, 2023 at 7:24 pm . Reply

    I like McGinn too. Just paper talk…

  10. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum January 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm . Reply

    Am I the only one who found Emi’s ‘rude celebration’ rather funny???? Considering all the deviancy and corruption and excess in top level football, this was rather low down the scale for shootable offences!
    Emery says he’s back, refreshed and focused and playing Wednesday.

    1. RSS
      RSS January 3, 2023 at 4:25 pm . Reply

      I thought he made a bit of a dick of himself.
      Could you imagine Bobby Moore running around Wembley in 66 holding the Jules Rimet as some large phallic symbol?
      Tasteless imo.

      1. Ardent Villain
        Ardent Villain January 3, 2023 at 4:42 pm . Reply

        RSS – couldn’t agree more.
        Martinez made himself look a complete muppet.

  11. Holte
    Holte January 3, 2023 at 7:50 pm . Reply

    Martinez shouldn’t have done what he did but some goalkeepers do seem to be a bit eccentric. The media have made a big deal of it IMO. You’d think he had shot someone! I suppose all fans except Villa fans will give him stick until it becomes old news. Personally I’m glad he’s our keeper and I think he will enjoy the chanting as it will fire him up even more.

  12. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum January 3, 2023 at 8:24 pm . Reply

    1966. The past is another country. They do things differently there.
    24 hours until the Wolves KO!!!!

    1. RSS
      RSS January 3, 2023 at 9:26 pm . Reply

      “foreign country”

    2. RSS
      RSS January 3, 2023 at 9:34 pm . Reply

      Oh and the answer to your original question appears to be a resounding YES!

      1. Bum Bum
        Bum Bum January 3, 2023 at 10:14 pm . Reply

        Well I’ll happily stand alone in my love of the absurd!
        The next 4 games: Wolves. Leeds. Saints. Leicester (‘Clash Of The Shite ‘Uns’ rescheduled). I’d have previously said we’d blow these, but not so sure now with Emery in charge.
        Imagine picking up 12 points before playing Citeh and Arse…?

        1. RSS
          RSS January 3, 2023 at 10:39 pm . Reply

          Environmentally conscious and a love of the absurd?
          How well those dovetail together.

Post Comment