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.

41 Comments

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  1. Avatar
    Holte66 February 24, 2019 at 12:51 pm .

    Kodja reminds me of a certain Stan Collymore, when they are up for it they are (were) unplayable. I think for our sake and Kodjas career, we need to part company in the summer. Pity that Hogan looks as unlikely to get into the Sheffield United team as ours at the moment. It would be ideal if he was playing and scoring for either confidence or transfer value. With Abraham leaving in the summer we will need to get another 25 goal striker which will be difficult. Maupay is the obvious choice but we wouldn’t get much change from a Grealish sale to sign him. Changing subject I hope Hutton can get fit for a final goodbye because he deserves a great send off assuming we don’t renew his contract.

  2. Avatar
    Bill Pearson February 24, 2019 at 1:12 pm .

    Not Villa but interesting, Leicester have parted company with the 4th manager in 2 years, its shows us nobody safe in this footballing world.

    1. Avatar
      Pat 57 February 24, 2019 at 1:33 pm .

      For me it’s a bit like the Man U situation, playing soulless football and using a system that doesn’t suit the skills of the squad.

      Puel isn’t a bad manager but the when the fans can’t see any sense in what a manager’s doing and he isn’t winning games then he’s always going to be trouble. Sarri won’t be far behind Puel (for me I’d sack him just for playing Kante, one of the best mids in the world, so woefully out of position).

    2. Avatar
      CHARLIEAITKEN...Villa legend February 24, 2019 at 1:33 pm .

      Holte….fully agree. Kodja needs to go in the summer. DS will move him on, I’m sure of that. Getting a prolific striker is going to be hardest task IMO. I dont know who’s going to be available and to get a decent striker you have to pay a premium. Hope we can find the next Benteke! I’m sure that our scouts and DOF will already have someone in mind!

      1. Avatar
        Pat 57 February 24, 2019 at 1:39 pm .

        There is another alternative and that’s to play a system that will get you goals from lots of different positions rather than relying on a single striker. If we’re to be a successful team then we need the mid-fielders to be scoring more (Hourihane excepted of course) as well as the wide players.

        Of course the best situation would be to have both!

        1. Avatar
          villaawayindiv3 February 24, 2019 at 3:00 pm .

          Correct me if I am wrong….my normal state….but when Smith was talked about coming it was said he didn’t go with one up front but ordered lots of people who could float about and get goals along the line. …also he didn’t play with wingers?

          1. Avatar
            Hitchens60 February 24, 2019 at 3:37 pm .

            I think you’re right VillaAway but I also think he’s had to adapt to utilise the players he has in the squad. I also think that, possibly, Smith loaned out Hogan for him to get game time ahead of next season.

            For me Hogan is far more a ‘Smith’ player than Kodjia will ever be.

            Time will tell.

          2. Avatar
            Badger123 February 24, 2019 at 5:38 pm .

            Yep, Smith’s game is for players moving all over, playing quick passing and movement.
            It’s why Hogan worked so well for him and why the system is so alien to our players.
            I think Grealish will come into his own with that system, if we can hold onto him.
            It’s ripe for Abraham too, imo.

      2. Avatar
        Holte66 February 24, 2019 at 3:18 pm .

        Maybe we should go for Benteke! Not having any joy at Palace and could be a handful in championship. He was at his best when Weimann was upfront with him.

        1. Avatar
          villaawayindiv3 February 24, 2019 at 5:57 pm .

          Thanks guys….that’s why I can’t see why everyone is stressing out about Tammy as we wouldn’t want him in a proper Smith system.

  3. Avatar
    Bill Pearson February 24, 2019 at 7:11 pm .

    How the he’ll .can a manager be over ruled about coming off, Chelsea goalkeeper refused to come off ,,I’ve said player power had come to football. Tomorrow it will be headlines in all our papers.

    1. Avatar
      nath February 24, 2019 at 7:39 pm .

      that chelsea goalie refusing to come off is exactly the same point i have been saying for ages. players have too much power these days. managers can not even shout at them without infringing their civil rights.

      1. Avatar
        Bill Pearson February 24, 2019 at 8:07 pm .

        That will be the talking place in all papers, nobody’s never seen that in a game of football , to be honest Nath was he really hurt? He seemed ok to me , he was able to move ok.sorry lads I know its not Villa ,but as Nath and I are saying its totally wrong to show a manager up like that.

        1. Avatar
          nath February 24, 2019 at 8:25 pm .

          it doesn’t matter if the player is not injured and made a remarkable recovery. the manager made the decision to sub him. player like you said bill disrespected the manager in front of how many supporters and tv viewers. how can the manager continue in the position of chelsea manager now. he has no authority.

          i don’t like chelsea makes no difference to me. but still made my blood boil, i wanted zola to run on and drag the turd off. this sort of shit happens at all clubs but its mostly hidden from supporters, but always results in the manager leaving as results dip as players down tools

  4. Avatar
    Badger123 February 24, 2019 at 9:11 pm .

    A player refused to come off and the game allowed it?
    I’m stunned.
    And need to see what happened.

  5. Avatar
    Bill Pearson February 24, 2019 at 9:31 pm .

    Terry was livid, its never happen before some heads will roll believe me, Chelsea at the forefront of allowing player power in the club.

  6. Avatar
    Hitchens60 February 24, 2019 at 10:22 pm .

    I’ve always felt it was players that got managers sacked – not the fans – and today sort of reinforces that view.

    If you recall the media comments about Bruce losing his job at Villa was all about being the fans fault – now we see Smith under the same pressure – but the real common denominator is the players, or, more accurately, the players not performing. One blog suggested that the problem Smith has is that the players think they ‘deserve’ a bigger name and so aren’t interested in performing for him?

    Conspiracy theories – don’t you just love them 🙂

  7. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron February 24, 2019 at 10:23 pm .

    Coincidentally, I just watched the ITV documentary about English clubs’ success in Europe. Sir Ron was before my time but watching the interview with him after he quit showed that he wouldn’t have stood for that B.S. Neither would Clough. Also, in an interview with Souness, he said modern players need guiding through every second of the game. Gary Birtles admitted Forest didn’t even practise set pieces because they knew Robertson would take them all. Point is, players and managers in those days were MEN. I could imagine both Saunders and Clough physically booting Kepa off the pitch.

    I don’t think Sarri has been embarrassed. Kepa has unwittingly highlighted just how pathetic the modern player is. But it’s a snapshot, a representation of the snowflakd society are we live in. Sarri made two errors. The first was backing down. The second, havinb backed down, was returning to the dugout. He should have carried on down the tunnel in an ‘up yours’ to the fools he is suffering and not come back. That’s what Sir Ron would’ve done. “I don’t suffer fools… I don’t give a damn if people like me.” Yes Ron, if only there were still MEN of substance and integrity like you in the game today.

  8. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron February 24, 2019 at 10:35 pm .

    Coincidentally, I just watched the ITV documentary about English clubs’ success in Europe. Sir Ron was before my time but watching the interview with him after he quit showed that he wouldn’t have stood for that B.S. Neither would Clough. Also, in an interview with Souness, he said modern players need guiding through every second of the game. Gary Birtles admitted Forest didn’t even practise set pieces because they knew Robertson would take them all. Point is, players and managers in those days were MEN. I could imagine both Saunders and Clough physically booting Kepa off the pitch.

    I don’t think Sarri has been embarrassed. Kepa has unwittingly highlighted just how pathetic the modern player is. But it’s a snapshot, a representation of the snowflake society we live in. Sarri made two errors. The first was backing down. The second, having backed down, was returning to the dugout. He should have carried on down the tunnel in an ‘up yours’ to the fools he is suffering and not come back. That’s what Sir Ron would’ve done. “I don’t suffer fools… I don’t give a damn if people like me.” Yes Ron, if only there were still MEN of substance and integrity like you in the game today.

  9. Avatar
    CHARLIEAITKEN...Villa legend February 25, 2019 at 7:56 am .

    BFR….So good you typed it twice? 🙂

    1. Avatar
      Big Fat Ron February 25, 2019 at 11:48 pm .

      Just had to correct the typos CAVL! My OCD kicked in! 😃

  10. Avatar
    Pat 57 February 25, 2019 at 8:10 pm .

    With regards to Kepa I don’t think he should play again for Chelsea. He’s proved he can’t be trusted.

    Where were the so-called Chelsea ‘leaders’ when that happened? All I saw was Luiz go over, say a few words and then shrug his shoulders. JT would have given him the bum’s rush off the field.

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