The transfer window and Spuds tomorrow, Yay!

I’ve been pretty quiet of late, mainly because I’m not a big fan of all the transfer speculation and much prefer to just see how things pan out.
And I have to agree with what seems to be the consensus amongst us that we’ve done some excellent business in the window. We’ve re-signed Hause, El Ghazi and particularly Mings, which is all good, even if I do think we over-paid for the latter.
I think sometimes fan campaigns like @announce Mings can work against you, but hey, I’m certainly not complaining that we’ve got him. I’m pretty sure he’ll prove pivotal to how we do this season.
Heaton strikes me as an outstanding signing and he’ll earn us some points this season.

Smith has signed a few that he knows well, so apart from them settling into the club, he’ll know what he’s going to get, hence in a certain sense, they’re not really that new.

The likes of Moraes, Luiz, Trezeguet and Wesley are unknown to us, but they’ve apparently been tracked since the Winter, which shows the planning that has gone into things.

While we’ve spent really big money, it seems we haven’t been totally taken to the cleaners in over-paying either.
We apparently put a £12 million bid in for Adam Webster the day after the play-off final, but it was knocked back. Brighton paid the full asking price of £25 million.

So all in all, we’ve been pretty canny and spent quite well.
Yes, we’ve brought a lot of players in, but quite simply, we needed too.
We had too many players that were either too old, on loan or just massively over-paid for what they produced.

The only blot for me was us not signing a striker, after a “marquee” one was rumoured to be in the offing. That’s rumours and speculation for you, I suppose.

That said, while I’m concerned that Kodjia and Davis won’t get us twenty goals between them, we do have plenty of players who will chip in with a few.
Hopefully Dean Smith has total confidence in his overall attacking play, else surely we’d have gone all out to sign someone?
I suspect we’ve probably kept some of our powder dry and will sign a top notch striker in the winter window, should it prove necessary.
Given the high prices you have to pay then, I hope our strategy doen’t bite us on the proverbial.

Onto the important stuff then and after a highly encouraging pre-season, we have a really tough test in Spurs away.
Whatever happens, this is a good one to get out of the way, as we all know Spurs are going to be up there at the end of the season.
It’s a bit of a no lose game for me, because if we get a result, it gets us off to a great start.
And if we lose, it’s basically only to be expected.

Squad news is that Tottenham’s new signings Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele are available, but Ryan Sessegnon is out with a hamstring issue.
Spurs are also without Dele Alli, Serge Aurier, Ben Davies, Juan Foyth and Son Heung-min, but Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama are back in full training.

Our only player out is James Chester, so we’re pretty good.

The big question then is who gets to start for us?

Heaton, Targett, Mings, Guilbert, El Ghazi, Grealish, McGinn, Jota and Wesley are pretty much nailed on, in my opinion and that only leaves two other places.
Will it be Konza or Engels in the other CB position?
Then will it be Luiz or Nakamba in the midfield?

I don’t have a clue, but it shows we hopefully have really good competition for places, when you look at some of the players I haven’t even mentioned. The likes of Hourihane, who was often lightweight in the Championship will be better suited to the premier league, I feel, for example.

Given that I don’t know how we’re going to set up and anything can happen in a first game of the season, I’m pretty confident.
I wouldn’t normally expect much at Spurs, with where we are at this point, but I’m going to be cheeky and say we’ll nick it, as they have an off day.

Either that or we get totally caught out and get tonked.
I don’t think that’ll happen though, as teams generally will be wary of us.

Spurs 1-2 Villa

120 Comments

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  1. Avatar
    nath August 11, 2019 at 9:41 am .

    just watched highlights on beeb replay

    they gave us a nice analysis.

    i think this game could be a blessing in the long run. its been a eye opener for the players, listening to mcgins comments on beeb. this gives them a lvl they have to reach to be competing with the best.

    wrighty also said we looked good 🙂 sometimes the more honest reviews have no villa ties.

    what did everybody think of video ref ?? watched city thrashing of hammers and i thought the tap in, set up by sterling was harshly ruled out. so little gap to be called offline in my opinions. also on the villa game no replays of incidents was annoying

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 August 11, 2019 at 11:31 am .

      Being a big cricket fan, I was originally opposed to umpire reviews, now they are an exciting part of the game because they have been refined and are now balanced, make sense and are fair to umpires and players

      The footballing authorities absolutely have to learn from cricket’s experience and refine and adapt VAR if it’s to be accepted by the fans. For instance – your point about Nath about how offside is being managed. It’s absolutely ludicrous imho to rule somebody offside because their big toe nail is in the wrong place. Just because you can doesn’t make it either sensible or, more importantly, a fair reflection of the rules.

      So why not introduce the equivalent in cricket of ‘umpires call’. For those not cricket fans this is where there’s a marginal decision which might go either way. Essentially it means in very marginal decisions the umpire’s original decision stands. So taking offside – if the goal is ruled fair by ref / linesman then a review through VAR must demonstrate that, that decision was clearly wrong. A big toe nail would not overturn the goal! – and of course vice versa.

      Sorry for the long post

      1. Avatar
        nath August 11, 2019 at 1:12 pm .

        i agree totally hitch. city goal ( which was offside) was a great move and deserved better from these var officials. if it was indeed offside, it was toenail length only and that shouldn’t be offside in my opinion. didn’t the old rules state. that in such a tight decision, advantage went with the attackers, i reckon if its so close that they are all not agreement. then give the goal. had that been a villa goal, i would have been really mad that they robbed me of that move.

        1. Avatar
          Pat 57 August 11, 2019 at 1:23 pm .

          The problem is that they can actually say now to with millimetres is someone is offside. Does it really matter if its a gnat’s knacker or a couple of yards?

          How would we all feel if someone scored a goal against us and were clearly offside by a gnat’s knacker but the ref gave it anyway?

          It’s the one decision in VAR that is absolutely black and white, you’re either offside or you’re not.

          1. Avatar
            Pat 57 August 11, 2019 at 1:49 pm .

            BTW I watched a lot of La Liga games last season when they first introduced VAR and at first there was the same reaction. However, as the season wore on the moans more or less stopped and it was just accepted as part of the game.

            1. Avatar
              nath August 11, 2019 at 2:08 pm .

              var isn’t 100 % accurate. i wouldn’t moan if that city goal was scored against us. because i seen the goal and it was level without splitting atoms or hairs. offside should mean more than millimetres
              i

              1. Avatar
                Pat 57 August 11, 2019 at 2:23 pm .

                Why? If you’re a millimetre offside then you’re offside. Where do you draw the line then? Five millimetres, ten?

                I think the black and white application of the offside law is the clearest and most transparent and therefore the only way to do it.

              2. Avatar
                Pat 57 August 11, 2019 at 2:35 pm .

                BTW Nath VAR is really accurate. After a worldwide trial they found that 98.9% of all decisions were accurate –
                https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/42781236

                I can’t think of a single ref that would get anywhere near that by themselves and several who would score less than 50%

            2. Avatar
              Hitchens60 August 11, 2019 at 5:53 pm .

              Sorry I disagree Pats although your point about it being fair to both sides is a valid one.

              Although the application of VAR for offside meets the strict interpretation of the rules, I feel the way it’s being applied means the game is in danger of being materially changed (for the worse) by the continued referral to VAR of too many on field incidents.

              I’m not against it’s use but I do think it can be applied more wisely than at present.

              1. Avatar
                Pat 57 August 11, 2019 at 9:20 pm .

                Hitch it’s early days yet. I noticed that with La Liga last year it was a bit clunky at first but as the season wore on it worked better and it just became part of the game

  2. Avatar
    VillaAwayInDiv3 August 11, 2019 at 12:33 pm .

    Saw the Bio yesterday but some good chat after from the panel after……
    https://www.facebook.com/myoldmansaid/videos/941469389528080/UzpfSTEwMDAwMzMxMjM1MzM4MjozMzk4MzQwOTM1NjM0MjY/

  3. Avatar
    Pat 57 August 11, 2019 at 4:00 pm .

    Just watched Newcastle v Arsenal. Two poor teams with Aubameyang providing the only bit of quality in the game.

    Newcastle weren’t too bad until they went a goal down but then, just like in many games when Bruce was managing the Villa, they didn’t seem to know how to respond. If anything they attacked even less.

    I’d guess that the Toon will be fighting relegation once again but, without Rafa, I don’t fancy their chances. I just hope we’re not in the same pickle.

  4. Avatar
    AlfieAVFC August 11, 2019 at 4:20 pm .

    I personally think positions could range from 16th – 11th but no more. Yesterday’s game versus Spurs was a long 90 minute lesson. Spending the first 75 minutes in dreamland, I couldn’t be happier watching my football club. As Spurs dominated from 60 minutes till the end of the game, I knew they would score and I knew if they kept it up after the goal they would score again. No negativity should be taken from this match, just a lesson.

    1. Avatar
      Holte66 August 11, 2019 at 4:59 pm .

      Well put AlfieAVFC. It was a tough way to start the season and they do say that you learn more from a defeat. I thought Mings and Engels worked well together and I know we conceded 3 but our midfield didn’t offer much protection for the back 4 as Spurs midfield dominated them second half. Taylor also I thought did well and might have raised his game with extra competition for LB. My biggest concern are options up front. Wesley was snuffed out for the most part although whenever he did receive the ball, there were few options for him. Trezeguet was our liveliest forward player but like the rest of the team he tired second half.
      We should remain positive that we gave Spurs a fright for 3/4 of the game. I think at home we will be more comfortable with 40,000 backing. We still have a lot of new players to settle in and it will take a bit of time. There are 10-12 teams we are competing against this season. Most of them will lose away to big six so no need to be concerned yet. Bournemouth are one of those we should hope to get points against. After all they only drew at home to Sheffield United! Mings will certainly be up for it. Let’s all stick together and be patient. 1-0 with a 90th minute goal and an end to Grealish’s unwanted record will be the tonic we all need.

    2. Avatar
      Tom August 12, 2019 at 5:27 am .

      Agreed, the players where gutted and assuming we brought in the right characters (which I believe we have) and allowing a few days for it to calm down a little, these boys will be hell bent on holding on to a lead like that next time round. As you put, a lesson learnt, against a top team and away from home. The standard has been set and there are more positives than negatives to take from this. It hurts because we came so bloody close! Had it been 4-0 and we didn’t show an ounce of bite, that’s a little different.

  5. Avatar
    Bill Pearson August 12, 2019 at 1:10 pm .

    At last common sense, that’s not a reflection on opinion from us all, I stated after the game I could see we are a team to be reckoned with, two mistakes cost us that game and will be put right. That would not be the case if Bruce was still in charge. Villa in my eyes will be top ten if not six, we have the making of a footballing side to start worrying other teams. Utv.

    1. Avatar
      Pat 57 August 12, 2019 at 2:06 pm .

      I’m with you on that Bill. Our first game might be a Godsend really. The players now know that they can compete at this level but that they’ve still got some work to do.

      Fingers crossed for Bournemouth and I’ve decided that I’m out of the prediction game for the rest of the season. Last time I did that we got ten in a row! Here’s hoping.

    2. Avatar
      Texas Villan August 12, 2019 at 4:47 pm .

      I hope you’re right Bill – if you look at how we traditionally start slow and have a better run, fade off over Christmas and pick up again mid spring… It’d be nice to see that pattern fade with the right management (which I think we have).

      Like others, I’m really concerned about our forward line, but I was even before Saturday’s game. I think that’s something we’ll see behind the scenes movement on really quickly come January – or even see Sturridge arrive on free for 12 months.

  6. Avatar
    Hitchens60 August 12, 2019 at 4:15 pm .

    https://underagaslitlamp.com/2019/08/12/delving-deeper-into-aston-villas-30-possession/

    This is an interesting article about what stats actually mean, particularly when we had the lowest possession (30%) of any team in the Prem last weekend!

    Badger has mentioned this site before and they do seem to write some balanced stuff.

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