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


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  1. Avatar
    Tekkers48 August 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm .

    I have seen the makings of a very good team today. This was the team that was runners up of champions league final against team that finished fifth in the championship last season. Its a good game to get out of the way and players and manager will take plenty from that game. For 85 minutes the whole team played with heart and skill to match most outside the top six teams. Rome wasn’t build in a day. Onwards and upwards.

  2. Avatar
    Badger123 August 10, 2019 at 7:52 pm .

    McGinn just said we didn’t press enough second half.
    Enough said.

  3. Avatar
    Bill Pearson August 10, 2019 at 7:55 pm .

    That Pat was how I seen it, if we look at that game it spells out how not to play football against a team thats been top half for years, what’s the old saying?, attack is the best way to defend, we just defended, and full credit to our central defenders.

  4. Avatar
    Holte66 August 10, 2019 at 9:59 pm .

    I think today’s game was a sobering reminder that we have stepped up to the big league. Norwich last night was the initial reminder and today for the vast majority of the game we were outclassed. Last season we were able to dominate teams but we won’t see that this season. A few players performed well although mainly defence and goalie plus McGinn gave his all as always. I was disappointed with Wesley, considering his size he went down too easily and a number of times flung his arms in the air. He will have to man up a bit if he wants to emulate Benteke. On a positive note, we won’t have many games this season as tough as this one so there is hope that forthcoming games will be a bit easier.
    I don’t blame Smith although some on here already questioning his tactics. Fact is we can try to go toe to toe with the opposition but reality is some teams are simply much better and will dominate us, even though we want to try and attack and press. Bournemouth at home offers us more of a chance of getting points but it won’t be easy because they are an established premier league team with a great manager. It was easy to get carried away after the amount spent in the transfer window but perhaps we need to re-evaluate our hopes and expectations going forward. Suddenly survival this season does look like what we have to achieve.

  5. Avatar
    Hitchens60 August 10, 2019 at 10:55 pm .

    Stop,stop, stop.

    This is our first game back in the Prem after three years and we’re already criticising the team and the manager!

    It’s easy for us to say do this, do that but not so easy for the players.

    Spurs (hate them) are losing Champions League finalists; we are new boys with new players having finished 5th in the Championship.

    Be proud we worried them, Be proud that the shirt was not disgraced. Be proud that we earned the respect of the commentators. Be proud – we are the Villa.

    We will learn and we will improve.

    To my mind one report says it all :-

    ‘Just how many Mings are there on the pitch – he’s everywhere’

    Proud Villan

  6. Avatar
    Originallondonlion August 11, 2019 at 1:15 am .

    Great Stadium! Great first half from Villa!

    Second half was an example of constructing an upfield press by Spurs, and what you should not do to counter.
    I used to say to parks midfield players “if the opposition have the ball, and the ball is nearer your goal than you are – you are in the wrong place.” It is a good maxim, valid all the way up to League 1. But it does not work higher than that – as just demonstrated. Our midfield got back behind the ball. What happens at the lower levels is the opponents pass quickly to their strikers, who have a pop. 3 possibilities, they score, it is saved, they miss and its a goal kick. In all those cases you get the ball back and the pressure is off. What happens at the top level is opponents do not play the ball to any striker or midfield player who is covered by a defender, or who will shoot from distance. Instead the ball is played around in front of our defence until our opponents have moved all defenders upfield covering where all our clearances might land. At that point they do play the ball to their attackers, and even though we win the majority of tussles and make the clearance the ball keeps coming back.
    So the next thing Villa’a creative midfielder Jack decides is he has to run out of defence with the ball because there is nobody upfield he can pass to. He got away with it – until he didn’t – and that was Spurs second goal.

    What can Villa do instead? Be fearless, take the gamble and leave two attacking midfielders and the target man upfield, let the rest of the team defend. Villa would be more open at the back, but not nearly as open as their opponents would be to a counter-attack. Could we defend better instead? No. Defenders will make mistakes or get unlucky ricochets. If the ball spends most of the game near our goal – it will go in that one not the other. Dean was unlucky in that both his subs Jota and Kodja were not as good as the players they replaced.

  7. Avatar
    Pat 57 August 11, 2019 at 6:25 am .

    Let’s face it we weren’t doing too bad until Eriksen came on. Spurs improved massively after that. Even so their first two goals had some luck about them. The first one was on its way out until it hit Mings and deflected in and the second deflected straight to Kane’s feet in front of goal. We weren’t a million miles away from getting something unlike Norwich where the game was over after twenty minutes.

    Having said that the vital quality we lacked was composure on the ball. When we won the ball we just couldn’t hold on to it. Part of this was down to Jack who has to lead by example and do his job. He should always be in a position to accept an out ball from a defender but you can’t do that if you’re always defending yourself. The best defence is to hold on to the ball.

    I agree with OLL about the subs, Kodjia ran around and did little else and Jota was as responsible as anyone for losing the ball too easily which was disappointing.

    Anyway I’m sure that Dean will have already made this and other points and we’ll see how well they’ve taken it on board against Bournemouth.

    Let’s not forget that our manager and his team are also on a learning curve so we’ll need to cut them some slack and not be too over-critical for a while.


  8. Avatar
    nath August 11, 2019 at 7:30 am .

    i am very surprised with the response from most fans posting online. its just one game and had we won 3 1 we still would need to take a chill pill. we seem to be one extreme or the other.

    of the game, i was disappointed watching, but in the cold light of day. its what i expected would happen deep down . worse case scenario would & could & should have lost this by a larger margin.

    i thought the new pairing at cb looked good except for the free header first half. both of them were very good individually and collectively they showed great understanding.

    about grealish he is a player, who will not just hoof the ball to nobody or into row z. he searches the ball out and the ball was always deep in our half. so he had to come deep and deeper.

    if i had any criticism, i thought we looked fooked after 20 minutes of the game. my mate agreed. first 20 minutes we hurried them, we surrounded them. but after the opening 20 minutes we never closed them down. spuds we’re poor themselves in the opening 45. but second half they stepped it up and from the first whistle they immediately put us under a premiership examination.

    the top 8 in premiership they are in another level above the rest of premiership. also spuds worked hard all game,but harder as the game went on and i thought we tired at the same rate.

    we will get a better indication of our level in the next few games. what this game shows is, we need time to adjust to find our feet. but we have the game if we can retain good possession. in championship teams hit you hard, but we had to much class and created time. spuds did the same to us and we couldnt wrestle enough time on the ball.

    oh i thought we broke well for the opening 20,but that faded as we tired and then we had to sit deep as spuds compressed us back into our box for the entire game it felt like.

    keep the faith upthevilla

  9. Avatar
    Hitchens60 August 11, 2019 at 8:37 am .

    Just a little side note and another Villa (unwanted) record.

    JG has now played in 19 consecutive Premier League defeats for Villa – a record for any player in the Premier League.

    The tide is about to turn.

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