Spurs – Villa; Er, I’m worryingly confident

It’s been a long while since I’ve been confident about a Villa game. I think it’s just that I’m scared that I’ll jinx things. Well, portraying things in a pesimistic light has certainly worked quite well lately.

This is one of my favourite fixtures, probably because Spurs are similar to us in having an ongoing history of usually trying to play the game in the right way.

Their start to the season is a bit of a mirror image to ours, in that they won their first three games against Man city, Wolves and Watford but have lost their last three games with a 9-1 goals against record.
I watched their game against Arsenal last weekend and they were frankly poor, with Arsenal running riot in the first half. Spurs did pull it back somewhat in the second half, but I got the feeling that Arsenal had taken their foot off and were going throught the motions.
Hence my confidence.

Squad news first and nothing has changed. Bailey and Sanson are out. Trezeguet and Davis are long termers.

On Spurs’ side, Stephen Bergwijn (who?) is a concern because of an ankle problem. Ryan Sessegnon is also out.
Not that I’m bothered much.

Who’s the threat in this game then?
Well, Kane is the obvious one, but I commented recently that I think there’s something not right about him. I don’t think he’s finished, but I also think his head isn’t right and he’s seriously off form. He scored a hattrick last night in the Europa cup, but the opposition wasn’t that great. Of course, it could have been enough to get him back in the groove and if anyone needs to change a recent record, there’s no better club to turn it around against than the Villa.
I think the bigger threat is Son, who I admire a lot. He’s bang in form and has 6 goals and 4 assists in his last eleven games. He’s also scored 3 of their 4 goals this season.

There’s a lot of interesting stats for this game and one is that Spurs have had fewer shots than any other team in the Prem this season.
You can read more stats here, if you want and they are actually worth a look, I’d suggest.

What to think then?
Well, we’re playing reasonably well and as Dean Smith has said, there’s more to come: an assessment I agree with.
If our strikers can start performing, I think we’re capable of worrying most teams. Without wanting to be over-confident I think we can win this.

Oh, I’ve been working in Norwich for the first part of the week. A two minute walk from Carrow road, as it happens.
And I got talking to one of the locals, where somehow football came into the chat.
He assured me that we had got a steal in Buendia, because he has everything in his locker. He said he’d probably take six months to settle and I wish I’d pushed him as to why he thought that, but I was too busy at the time.
I just said that I’d be happy to see a lot more of him. I wonder if he’ll feature tomorrow? Dean Smith made a very good point when he said it shows how things have changed when our record signing has hardly featured.

Back to the point in hand and even with our strikers not firing, we can score.
I like Son though and fancy them to get one through him.
Our defence should have enough to keep them at bay and I suspect they’ll resort to shots from distance, which Kane is pretty good at.
Now add in that we’ve recently turned our abysmal record in London around (see the previously mentioned stats link) and I think we’ve got enough to win this.
I’m going for a 2-1 win.


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  1. Adam
    Adam October 8, 2021 at 10:28 am . Reply

    Wouldn’t it be funny if they get relegated though! Wonder what will happen then? They have a dire team, its going to be a big struggle for them.

  2. badger123
    badger123 October 9, 2021 at 7:05 pm . Reply

    Interesting question here.
    Does the kid Archer take the place of Davis and Wesley?

    My money says big time, he does.
    He knows where the net is compared to the other two, who imo are both nowhere near good enough;


    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 October 9, 2021 at 7:49 pm . Reply

      Agree with you Badger. Archer is now our third striker but Ings and Watkins need to be aware he’s on their heels.

      I like Davis but he’s injury prone and doesn’t score enough goals. Wesley – well what can you say – a very expensive punt although the injury at Burnley never gave him a chance to prove himself. I genuinely hope he can rebuild his career but probably in a less competitive league than the EPL.

      1. badger123
        badger123 October 9, 2021 at 8:01 pm . Reply

        Davis pftt, the less said the better and I struggle to believe the money he’s supposed to be on (40k+ per week) given that he’s done nothing and for me, never even approached the promise he was supposed to have showed. A perfectly typical example of how our kids were massively over-rated in previous years.

        Wesley, yes the injury was unfortunate, but I never rated him before that.
        The money we paid for him as well, wow.
        I very much doubt he was a Smith signing.

        1. Hitchens60
          Hitchens60 October 9, 2021 at 8:35 pm . Reply

          Badger – I find it hard to believe that he’s on £40k per week (Sport Trac say £45k compared with Luiz at around £32k and McGinn at £25k with Ings on £120k per week – complete nonsense!). As it’s unlikely that individual salaries are a matter of public record then I take this sort of info with a massive pinch of salt.

          It seems that his contract runs to 2024 (which is probably accurate) then we need to get him fit and sell for whatever we can get. Hopefully Wesley will show good form in Belgium and we can also recoup some of our outlay next summer.

          Having watched Archer, he’s a skilled footballer and gifted natural goal scorer with fast feet and must be the future for Villa – famous last words

  3. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson October 10, 2021 at 7:01 am . Reply

    Exactly Hitch, fast feet, a skill much needed in football just look at Marcella if that’s how you spell the name. Davis never looked the part for me but his strength won fans over. All this time given is a Pratish idea in football , if your good enough then play them. The way of managing is seeing the talent and useing it, I feel sorry for Barry he’s put out to dry and left wanting when he should be playing near the first team selection. This is why I think Smill fails in management he slow in his selections.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 October 10, 2021 at 7:53 am . Reply

      Hi Bill, I do understand why young players are loaned out but too many of ours are currently not getting game time; Barry bring a prime example. That should not be acceptable to the club and I wonder what ‘The Jedi’s’ role is as Loan Player Development Coach?

      If Ipswich (in Barry’s case) secured the loan (in preference to Sunderland who also wanted him) by guaranteeing him more playing time then Villa should recall him and find him another club. Clearly Barry getting little or no playing time is a waste of time.

      Archer, on the other hand, seems to have profited from his loan last season where he did get playing time.

    2. Bill Pearson
      Bill Pearson October 10, 2021 at 7:57 am . Reply

      Salah Hitch I meant…

  4. Holte
    Holte October 11, 2021 at 7:01 pm . Reply

    Would 60,000 fans in Villa Park be too big a capacity or about right? Talk of a stadium development scheme done in stages beginning in the next couple of years and completed by 2031 latest. Personally I think it has taken too long with too many clubs already stealing a march with increased capacity or new stadiums. A waiting list of 18,000 for season tickets shows we should have acted sooner and a missed opportunity of empty stadiums during lockdown to do what Fulham managed. Certainly one major issue will be commuting to the ground. 42,000 makes it a gridlock around VP and I find it difficult to see what can be done to improve things with an extra 18,000 supporters. With Newcastle getting new owners I won’t be surprised to see their capacity bumped up considerably and I wouldn’t be surprised if they sort it before we do.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 October 11, 2021 at 7:42 pm . Reply

      Holte – I don’t know the location of Newcastle’s stadium but VP is constrained by it’s position within a high density urban area and adjacent to Aston Park. Access by public transport is not brilliant so many choose to drive with it’s impact on the road system and those living adjacent to the stadium.

      The obvious answer is to build a new stadium elsewhere, probably with a new sponsors name, but this has consistently met with opposition from the fans.

      So, if we are going to stay at VP then we just have to accept that a substantial increase in capacity will take years to achieve entailing investment (by Villa) in public transport access and a substantial reduction in inconvenience to those living close to the stadium.

      Not an easy problem to solve,

  5. Holte
    Holte October 12, 2021 at 6:09 pm . Reply

    I wonder whether it is the transport issues which have scuppered any plans to increase capacity so far. It was speculated that we would increase to 50,000 under the Lerner era nearly 15 years ago.

    Interesting that McGinn continues to score regularly for Scotland and on another day could have had a hat trick against Israel. I don’t think we are utilising him to get the best out of his abilities.

  6. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 October 12, 2021 at 9:32 pm . Reply

    Watching England who are less than impressive.

    What I don’t understand is why Southgate took Grealish off for Saka. Grealish was the one England forward who was prepared to run at the Hungarian defence and created a number of chances. Since he departed we’ve created very little.

    Am I missing something?

  7. Adam
    Adam October 15, 2021 at 12:28 pm . Reply

    And it starts again! Smith saying players will be back by a certain date and then every week it gets pushed back. Leon Bailey another one. Now not fit for Wolves and hoping to be back for Arsenal. All because he hurt his muscle whilst kicking a ball, does it really take a month to recover from that. We MUST sort these injuries out ASAP it will derail our season.

    1. badger123
      badger123 October 15, 2021 at 2:19 pm . Reply

      It’s annoying, isn’t it?
      And it really bugs me.

  8. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson October 15, 2021 at 2:29 pm . Reply

    I read that Adam now beginning to think we have another sick list player, how do we get these players, are we some kind open door for hospital cases, how are we suppose to get a working team when players break down on a whim.

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