Villa 1-0 Palace; Pardew’s words really encouraging

Well, that’s just sod’s law isn’t it?
I’ve hardly missed watching any games this season, but tonight I was so busy at work that I didn’t get to see a minute of it.
So what do the Villa go and do?
Well, after waiting since the Blues game, they only go and actually win don’t they?
Which had me kicking myself, as I suspect the feeling of elation would have been much higher when the final whistle went, compared to just reading the result on Yahoo.

As for my prediction in the preview, where I was all doom and gloom, I’m extremely happy to say I got that totally wrong. But I’d be happy to be wrong every game if it meant a Villa win.

Moving quickly on (ahem), it was interesting to see that Garde made a couple of changes, the biggest surprise perhaps being Libor Kozak getting a start ahead of Gestede. Well, perhaps not a surprise as such, as many fans have been calling for him to at least be given a chance.
But the better news is that from what I’ve read, he put in a very decent display.
Now I know nothing about how we set up tonight, but it’s struck me that Gestede is impotent if you don’t put the ball on his head and Kozak, with his better all-round game has to better suited to the way we play.
I look forward to seeing him play a full game myself.

Another surprise to me was Richards not starting.
I was under the impression that he was fit after his knock and I wonder if this was more about taking him out of the line of fire, as surely he’s a better bet than Bacuna at RB, generally speaking?
Good management perhaps, as long as the player and manager haven’t had any contretemps.

Guzan being rested for Bunn, however, was not a surprise.

An interesting point was Gil getting practically a full game. That doesn’t quite make sense to me after suggestions that he needed to be pulled off early against Wycombe, because he was fading.
I’d have thought a player can either play a full game or he can’t.
So what’s changed in a couple of days?
No doubt it comes down to what the manager thinks and perhaps it was merely a case that he thought Gil might struggle to complete two full games in such a short time, which I suppose is fair enough. Today’s game was far more important, after all.
Whatever, I’m not knocking anything. I don’t care who gets hauled off when, as long as it brings the right result.
And either way, it’s a sign that Gil’s fitness is improving.
Although why I should even be talking about that halfway through the season, begs other questions, that have often been asked already.

You’d have to suspect that Kozak and Bunn (if he did nothing wrong) will probably feature in the next few games.
And rightly so, as if anyone looks better than the player he’s replacing, he has to stay in the team because we can’t afford any favourites.

Again from what I’ve read, it seems we played a 4-3-3 and Garde’s after match comments were that he was happy because we didn’t sit back and actually went for the second goal.
Which hints that he’s been trying to get the team to go forward more and it’s actually the players themselves who have been too negative (remember Garde’s “they’re not doing as they’re told” comment?).
If that’s the case, I may owe him an apology, as I’ve criticised him as the cause of our overly cautious way of playing.
And if that’s the case, maybe today’s result might actually inspire the lads to actually believe we can beat teams?
If so, that’d be superb.

Yes, it’s only one win, but doesn’t it suddenly make things look a lot brighter?
And ok, it was apparently a lucky goal. But how much bad luck have we had?
We’re still in serious trouble of course, but for the first time in ages, we’ve actually closed the gap on teams and that has to be a good thing.

The best news of all though tonight was Glenn Alan Pardew’s (yes, I realised after I wrote the preview that I got his name wrong) words about the Villa;

“Villa really deserved their victory – they worked so, so hard.”

After the criticism we’ve all been dishing out about the players not wanting it enough, this was just music to my ears. Or should that be my eyes, given that I read it?
Well, you know what I mean, I’m sure.

Happy days, for once.


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  1. Jvillan
    Jvillan January 15, 2016 at 10:11 am .

    Crespo going back to Spain another tony moon buy junk you have pay rag and bone to clear up,full time at villa

  2. Holtender
    Holtender January 15, 2016 at 10:31 am .

    Lots of interesting points made, but surely we just have to give the bloke a fair chance? It seems his CV, in the business world at least, is exemplary and maybe we’re lucky to have him and he obviously really wants to do the job. If the club are serious about getting a football, and hopefully, Villa man on the board too, well I think that could be real progress.

    Really good article in the Mail today;

    much more balanced and well thought out than their usual half arsed bollocks.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 January 15, 2016 at 11:27 am .

      Agreed Holtender – good read and reinforces the fans view of a number of players drawing the club’s life blood – but the guy the blog supports is Garde not Hollis and that’s very interesting. Here at last, it appears, is an intelligent, articulate and brave man who is going to tell us and the board how it is – I really hope he stays.

      Now if and its a big if Hollis backs Garde and he has enough sense to get in more footballing knowledge and ability at Board level the maybe he will prove to be a good appointment.

      Only time, which Villa have precious little of (excuse the pun) will tell UTV

      1. saddened
        saddened January 15, 2016 at 12:20 pm .

        His remit is to input “solid business principles” as “spending lots of cash on players is not the answer”….. The business plan is flawed before its written…

        And sick of giving people time at AVFC, we have been doing this for 5 years and look where we are, about to be relegated with an owner an chairman telling us they are not scared….. Thats bloody arrogant and naive…. They should be crapping themselves…

        1. Dave67
          Dave67 January 15, 2016 at 1:50 pm .

          To bloody right their scared, and they should be scared of going down . But he has to say their not. I will wait and see how the new chairman gets on before I start putting him down. In my opinion the problem will stay with us until Lerner is gone.

        2. Hitchens 60
          Hitchens 60 January 15, 2016 at 1:55 pm .

          I can’t argue with any of your points Saddened – particularly Hollis’ poor comments in regard to relegation. Any business should be concerned about a move that worsens their market position which relegation does. He’s also being incredibly naive which is very worrying about how readily the Phoenix will rise from the ashes. All in all it shows a lack of football knowledge and understanding.

          However, there are some very good examples of how sound business principles have been used alongside football nouse to build clubs on well managed investment. Three examples that immediately spring to mind are Everton, Southampton and Crystal Palace.

          We’ll see if Hollis has understood that he needs to question some of the director’s ability to do the roles they gave and act and he needs to bring football knowledge on the board quickly and listen. This latter point us something Faulkner should have done years ago rather relying on MON.

          So we’ll just have to wait some more!

      2. Ardent Villain
        Ardent Villain January 15, 2016 at 1:55 pm .

        H60 – spot on.

        In the last week or two some senior people at VP have finally admitted that something is seriously and deeply wrong at Villa; interesting that one of Hollis’ first quotes actually mentioned something ‘..broken at Bodymoor..’ [ -and I don’t think he was referring to the gym equipment, sauna, or PlayStations].

        Of course nobody on any Board is going to admit that they haven’t invested enough, or promise another bagful of cash to solve the problems, but finally even this lot seem to have understood that just changing managers each season isn’t the answer.

        Garde may have arrived too late to prevent relegation, but he may be the right man to rebuild the playing side over the next year or two – IF he receives the right support form the Board, and if they do bring in someone with real football experience to help him at that level.

        If the rumour about Brian Little joining the Board turns out to be true, I’d be delighted – BL never struck me as an anyone’s ‘yes-man’ and I can’t imagine he’d agree to come in just as Randy’s “PR Ambassador” to pacify the fans.

        1. Saddened
          Saddened January 15, 2016 at 3:43 pm .

          the points about Bodymore Heath being part of the problem are interesting, as along with his pub its the only thing Randy has improved… Its always puzzled me why we have more injuries in training than on the pitch, maybe Lerner is in the process of sanctioning some lawnmowers.

    2. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum January 15, 2016 at 4:48 pm .

      So the club is broken? It wasn’t when Lerner bought it. We had little or no debt. We had the makings of a half decent squad – not the best but better than now. Lerner has a track record of totally shit appointment after totally shit appointment. I thought Fox may be the man to turn it around but once again has proved to be a bit of a joke and out of his depth.
      As much as I’d like to believe the new Chairman is the right stuff, from the crap he’s spouted so far, I sincerely doubt it.
      We’re going down under that prats stewardship. That’s all we need to know. Nowt will change until he goes. “Money doesn’t buy success”? Even Ranieri has said this week that Leicester are an anomaly in much the way Chelsea are this season.

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath January 15, 2016 at 9:23 pm .

        We don’t need an overpaid yes man like Fox to us the club is broken. I think that was pretty obvious ffs!

    1. Stubbs
      Stubbs January 15, 2016 at 2:20 pm .

      Had the owner shown more of an interest in his business instead of letting it be ran into the ground it would never have come to this,

      It’s all down to Lerner, no one else, Lerner.

      1. Stubbs
        Stubbs January 15, 2016 at 2:23 pm .

        “The drop will not be as serious as some people imagine”,

        I think it’ll be catastrophic from a fans view point but that clearly doesn’t matter anymore does it Tom.

  3. Jvillan
    Jvillan January 15, 2016 at 3:13 pm .

    Tom fox look up meaning in dictionary, state fizzy pop salesman knows nothing about football,any clown thinking 8/10 m spend on team fighting relegation for 5 years his words,would create a midtable team keeping and giving contract extension to guzan sendross Richardson bennet zog,Hutton baker Clark gabby Westwood speaks volumes about fox and his fuck buddy’s alstad reilly

  4. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 January 15, 2016 at 3:48 pm .

    Read the report the BBC had on it’s website yesterday. Read what Fox has subsequently been quoted as saying. Here is a guy trying to defend his actions and justify his position as CEO and, in my view, failing miserably. Hollis has to replace him and probably the two senior appointments he made. I will start to believe in Hollis’ integrity as Chairman if he moves decisively.

  5. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson January 15, 2016 at 3:53 pm .

    Would I be right in saying that after all this time it now appeasers the board where only looking after thier own interests, that being thier investment and had no interest in spending to go forward, if that’s the case heads should roll, one being Fox.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 January 15, 2016 at 4:16 pm .

      Not sure Bill; I just think they are not up to the task or the positions they were appointed to. To be fair some of the pundits have been saying this for sometime and not just in regard to moneyball which is a diversion from a wider truth.

      Fox was seen as an improvement on Faulkener but I’m not sure that has been shown to be true. He came with a good reputation but with little or no experience as a CEO which is a markedly different role from that of marketing director. From what we now read it seems that it’s the role he’s continued at Villa (rather than a CEO) with, to be fair, some success. I would have no problem with a new CEO coming in and Fox reverting to marketing director – but he may find that impossible. The other two directors he appointed have to go.

      Over to you Mr. Chairman – we’re all watching.

      1. bws
        bws January 15, 2016 at 5:32 pm .

        It’s all just rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

        1. bws
          bws January 15, 2016 at 5:59 pm .

          My old man said ‘be a city fan’,
          And I said’ b***ocks you’re a ***t (you’re a ***t),
          We hate the blues and we’re gonna show it,
          We hate the blues and we f**king know it,

          With Foxy and Reilly, Almstadt and Hollis
          They’re the boys who gonna do us fine,
          You support the blues ur a blue nose b***ard and you ain’t no friend of mine,
          ALL TOGETHER NOW… 🙂

      2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath January 15, 2016 at 9:25 pm .

        It seems from a commercial view people like Fox are ok but it’s the football bit that’s not covered

  6. Holtender
    Holtender January 16, 2016 at 2:26 am .

    We’ve moved from the decisions being made by a man who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, who has shown undoubted incompetence in running a sports team into the ground before, who had an expensive divorce, his (Dads) company was badly affected by the recession, and frankly his heart isn’t it. He never sought qualified advice and continually hired under qualified people without ever giving them enough control.

    We now have someone with an excellent reputation for fixing broken companies (granted no football experience but who has both?), who will take complete control of decision making (a la Levy at Spurs) who Lerner trusts enough to hand over the responsibility. Hollis is a self made man, with local pride and roots who’s going to focus on nothing else than fixing our club, he’s hopefully going to bring qualified football people in to help and has a good track record of success in his previous tasks.

    Surely this can only be a big step forward for us? Granted it’s not going to make Gestede be able to control a football or N’Zogbia & Agbonlahor realise that £70k a week should inspire some sort of professionalism! But it will hopefully result in future decisions taking the club forward and not continuing with the farcical decision making that has got us from knocking on the door to the Champions League to where we are now.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 January 16, 2016 at 8:16 am .

      Good post Holtender but Hollis has to take some big decisions at the top of the business – in my eyes that will be the measure of the man. First we need a very experienced top quality CEO preferably with experience in running a football club.

      1. Holtender
        Holtender January 16, 2016 at 8:50 am .

        Agreed Hitchens, although maybe instead of replacing Fox, he’ll decide to bring in a football man (Taylor, Houllier or Little would be good choices for me) to help run the football side, and let Fox focus on his strengths.

        1. Hitchens 60
          Hitchens 60 January 16, 2016 at 11:29 am .

          Good point, particularly if Hollis takes some of the CEO responsibilities on board. Do we know whether his appointment is as a full time executive chairman?

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath January 16, 2016 at 11:50 am .

      Disagree Hollis us a glorified accountant who is a Lerner puppet. He has no football experience whatsoever. Yes he will help us keep club on a financial footing but that’s about it. It’s a total folly to suggest this guy is the answer. The fact he is keeping on Fix and Co says that his decision making is piss poor. Would I like him as chairman of Tesco yes I would Football is a completely different kettle of fish than ur standard blue chip company.

  7. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson January 16, 2016 at 6:48 am .

    Wise words that, we have had a bad attitude in our club for many a year, the likes of Abonglahor! N’Zogbia, they have been sitting pretty not bothering about our dire position yet took the money, I can see the reasons of why Lerner has done this now but, it would be a miracle to stop the drop , its going to be hard to attract good club players and why haven’t we got academy players coming through? hence this move from Lerner to put stabilization into his business with a Chairman at the helm. .hope I’m around to see them happy days.

    1. Holtender
      Holtender January 16, 2016 at 9:07 am .

      Bill I was very happy when I heard Garde talk about those two being the major problem in the dressing room. There’s been a rotting core in the squad for far too long and it needs cutting out, didn’t Gabby get Culverhouse fired, fall out with Duverne first time around and now seems to be possibly faking an injury to avoid being sold?

      As for the academy, don’t be so downhearted mate. Grealish has made it through, Lyden is starting to develop, we’ve got Hepburn-Murphy, Sellars, Suliman and Green not far behind.

      1. Bill Pearson
        Bill Pearson January 16, 2016 at 9:28 am .

        That’s cheering news Holtender didn’t know that, I did about Abonglahor though, no its disheartening a club you love going backwards, I just hope for my young family things get addressed soon.

        1. Holtender
          Holtender January 16, 2016 at 9:57 am .

          Chances are it’ll be in the Championship, but I’m optimistic we’ll have a team that will play good football and win more than we lose next season Bill. Whether we’ll win enough to get back up, only time will tell. As for your young family and all of the generation of fans who’ve known nothing but this recent horror show of Lerners ownership, I’m hopeful we’ve finally bottomed out, I’m hopeful this is the start of us getting our Villa back!

          1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
            OohAhPaulMcGrath January 16, 2016 at 11:46 am .

            I wouldn’t be so sure about coming straight bk up we could be down for years. Look at cup ties when teams in championship and league 1 push top premier teams all the way. Look at how well teams like Bournemouth and Watford have done and Norwich. We would never had finished above them last year that’s for sure

    GIDDYVILLAN January 16, 2016 at 10:20 am .

    The championship is better than some people give credit to see this season alone all three doing alot better than some of the old school Inc us.if I said we’d be coming back up alot stronger(not sure about straight away) would I be far of the mark??

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath January 16, 2016 at 11:43 am .

      Agree it’d incredibly difficult to get bk up now even when we came up in 88 it was on on GD by the skin of our teeth. I think the first season we will struggle big time as we won’t be able to cope with teams playing against us as if it’s their cup final lush physically they will bully us all over the place. Second season is more realistic but it could be years forget what Hollis says it might not make too much difference from a financial PoV but that’s irrelevant to fans. We should never have been in this position in first place and to carry on letting and trusting these useless clowns to get us back up is misguided on our part.

  9. Stubbs
    Stubbs January 16, 2016 at 11:21 am .

    Would be a good signing. Shame we couldn’t afford the 4 million quid Southampton have paid for Charlie Austin, Him and Ayew up front could of been decent. Should of offered Gestede and Gabby in a swap.

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