Stoke 1-1 Villa; Poor quality all round, but we maybe did enough for the points

Well, there wasn’t much to write home about there, was there?

Now that I’ve resigned myself to us not having a hope in hell of getting promoted this season, so the urgency has come off and I find I can actually analyse things better.
The points don’t massively matter now, as long as we keep scratching enough to keep us up and we’re probably already safe.

I actually think we did ok today, against a very poor Stoke side.
I can see why their fans are concerned, as they have some decent names that just aren’t performing at all.
Much like we were recently.
It’ll be interesting to see if they can turn things around enough to keep themselves up, but they looked like a side in decline and offered next to nothing in the second half.

So what did I like?
Well, I thought the lads were genuinely working hard.
I think we lack pace and energy and Stoke more than matched us for that in the first half.

And to be fair, there wasn’t much in it, their early goal apart, which while well taken with a bit of skill, was somewhat lucky, the way it crept over the line.

The way Hutton went off is a worry, as he’s one player I’d want in our next game and I think it threw us momentarily.

We came out the better team in the second half and looking back, we were at least worth a point, if not all three, as we had decent chances, whereas I remember very little coming from Stoke.

Which says a lot, as both sides are, to my mind very poor.

Which leads me to what I didn’t like.
Yet again, so many balls are massively over-hit.
It’s almost as if we’re playing a pre-season friendly, where the lads haven’t quite weighed the ball up yet.
This far into the season it’s inexcusable and just a sign of players in really poor form.
Or is it just really poor players?
You look at it on paper and it really shouldn’t be the latter.

Trying to think positively, I thought Mings looked very comfortable on the ball, but his passing was wayward, even though he was the better of the bunch.
Abraham worked his socks off, as did El Ghazi. Hause looked tidy too ( I told you I’d give him credit if I saw anything decent in him).

But overall, it’s just not good enough.
Our passing and crossing is just rubbish.

I’ll take the point, but I’m not sure what Dean Smith is learning about this squad now.
Is he going to continue playing players that aren’t going to be here next season?

He probably feels as the manager, that he has to do everything within his grasp to try and get us up.
To be fair, he probably thought he could win this game.
But it’s a lost cause and he needs to look closer at the back-up, I reckon.

After an hour, we should be binning the usual suspects and just try the kids.
We’re not getting the wins, after all.

Of course, it has to be balls out for the scum and I won’t want any kids in for that one.
Just blood and guts.


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  1. Avatar
    Bill Pearson February 23, 2019 at 6:06 pm .

    Been my thoughts two matches back your right not a cat in hell we’re going up, yes badger your right let’s see the kids we need to see what we have.

  2. Avatar
    Holte66 February 23, 2019 at 6:12 pm .

    Not many kids left to pick. Our most promising youngsters are out on loan. Disappointing that Davis is injured again. I don’t know why we seem to have so many.

  3. Avatar
    bill evans February 23, 2019 at 6:18 pm .

    Barely one decent cross. Even the goal was off a fortunate miss-hit.

    Too many players look disengaged,and no wonder: Most of them will be playing elsewhere in the Summer; the play-offs are beyond us; and they simply can’t play the sort of game Smith wants.

    Nevertheless, sucker that I am, I still find the games intriguing.

  4. Avatar
    CHARLIEAITKEN...Villa legend February 23, 2019 at 6:31 pm .

    I thought we were on top for most of the second half against a poor Stoke team who hardly laid a glove on us throughout the 90 mins!
    Mings is definitely ‘captain material’ IMO, I really hope we can sign him! Hause as also been quite good in the last 2 games. If we can sign him and Mings coupled with the arrival of Guilbert from Caen added to Kalinic I thing we have the defence largely sorted!
    Major Surgery is required in midfield and attack. We need a ‘creative’ midfielder to takeover from JG should he leave (I dont think he will as no one will meet the fee given the amount of time he’s been out in the last couple of seasons). We also need an energetic ‘box to box’ midfielder, someone in the Ian Taylor mode! We are lucky to have McGinn, particularly at the price we got him for! JG, McGinn and a box to box midfielder with Carroll, O Hare, Ramsey, Houihane and Doyle Hayes in reserve and midfield is already looking far better….I believe all these options in midfield are able to play the ‘DS way’ (pass and move). Sadly, I dont feel that either Whelan or Jedinak are capable of playing this way (legs are gone)!
    I’m at a loss in knowing what to do up top without Tammy although I think DS has sent Hogan out on loan to see he can recover his confidence. I think Hogan can thrive under the DS way of playing. We will still need to purchase another striker though IMO as both Davis and RHM always appear to be injured.

    I am very excited to see what DS can build….I love watching his style of football but he needs the correct players in situ to play it!


  5. Avatar
    Hitchens60 February 23, 2019 at 9:26 pm .

    I want to pick up on a point raised by Sidforever and reported in the media on the recent £13m cash injection by the owners. This injection is said to be in order to fund the acquisitions of Kalinic and Guilbert.

    I don’t agree.

    Most transfers are paid for by installments and I strongly suspect that we won’t pay anything for Guilbert until the summer as a condition of loaning him back to Caen. Even if it were to pay for transfers then Kalanic and Guilbert together are less than £13m – OK add in loan fees and it just about works – but are our owners so naive as to pay 100% of these fees up front – I bl***y well hope not!

    More likely (and more worrying) is that we are still haemorrhaging cash and need injections to cover payments such as wages and HMRC and, in part, transfer / loan payments on account.

    I suppose some day we might be seeing good news!

  6. Avatar
    Hitchens60 February 24, 2019 at 7:12 am .

    Does seem that we are ill fated with poor luck at the moment. I didn’t see the game but understand that Hutton was off the pitch injured when they scored and the assist came from the left side. Add to that, it looks like Hutton’s season is done and that’s yet another long term injury this season.

    We may well have seen the last of the Scottish Cafu – one of the few players who always gave everything for the shirt.

  7. Avatar
    CHARLIEAITKEN...Villa legend February 24, 2019 at 10:41 am .

    No matter what you think about Hutton’s ability I for one am going to miss his professionalism. Kodja please take note as you are the complete opposite! Totally selfish player who looks completely disinterested. Players like Kodja should play NO part in our future!

  8. Avatar
    Bill Pearson February 24, 2019 at 11:13 am .

    I totally agree Charlieatken, play’s for the shirt and club, what I admire is he playing under that knowledge and gives his all. Just been watching extending highlights and second half we played well. I really think that’s our problem , insecurity in the club. Still Smith knows and only time will tell.

  9. Avatar
    Bill Pearson February 24, 2019 at 11:15 am .


    1. Avatar
      CHARLIEAITKEN...Villa legend February 24, 2019 at 12:03 pm .

      Bill……yes we played second half and deserved to win. Cant wait for the summer rebuild. DS needs to build his own squad before we judge him!

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