Villa 1-0 Swansea; very much as expected

It would seem I was right to try and underplay things, having listened to that game.
We started brightly, but seemingly got worse as the game went on. Which figures. They’re the same players.

But having only listened to it on AVTV, which is very more factual, it’s hard to gauge any nuances or opinions as to how we actually looked as a side.

Here, I could use your opinions.

Smith brought Bolasie on for Elmo and then Hourihane for Grealish, which is probably very similar to what Bruce would have done, imo.

So basically Smith changed little and used the game to look at our weaknesses.
What could he have seen?
I don’t have a clue, apart from the fact that we simply can’t keep up a winning mentality.
This is what Smith needs to instill, imo.

Still, I can’t complain too much.
We won and that’s what it’s all about.


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  1. Avatar
    DSVilla October 21, 2018 at 8:57 am .

    I guess the tiredness could be down to working harder without the ball. It would be interesting to see the Opta stats and compare with previous games. If it’s fitness that is going to take some time to address. Where we should improve is in retaining the ball. That should help on energy levels too.

    Smith played full backs in their natural positions. That has got to help the defence get more resilient. We got a clean sheet. When was the last time?

    Onwards and upwards.

    1. Avatar
      Bum Bum October 21, 2018 at 11:20 am .

      But these are professional sportsmen. They have no excuse to be out of shape at this level. I think it’s a mental block. Aren’t you taught to let the ball do the running?

      1. Avatar
        DSVilla October 21, 2018 at 4:42 pm .

        You would think so. Under Bruce w didn’t press, and often didn’t play from defence through midfield. It required less energy and I think that might be why the players aren’t at peak fitness. Time will tell. If we keep possession better we will make the opposition work harder, so maybe it will be them that tire first.

        Totally agree that it’s unacceptable though.

  2. Avatar
    Holte66 October 21, 2018 at 4:53 pm .

    Tough game on Tuesday night away to Norwich and it’s live on Sky TV. Right now I would be happy with a draw. We don’t have a good record at their ground and Smith has always had to rely on home form, particularly at Brentford. I would expect the goalkeeper and back four to keep their places, but midfield might need freshening up with games coming thick and fast. Could Bolasie start for the first time? El Ghazi hasn’t had many opportunities, plus Hourihane will be eager to start. If Smith can get these players playing at their best, then our squad will be a match for anyone, defence apart.

    1. Avatar
      Big Fat Ron October 21, 2018 at 10:55 pm .

      I’ve said it several times Holte, but I think we should go two holding midfielders away from home, so I’d put Jedi or Whelan in and replace Elmo with Bolasie. That way, there’s an extra shield for the defence, but we add a little more going forward.

  3. Avatar
    Benno October 21, 2018 at 5:06 pm .

    We pressed higher and stopped just hoofing long balls from the back. 2 big improvements from Bruce’s era. Major changes wont happen overnight but I’m.glad we held on for the win could be huge in building momentum.

    For Tuesday i think he will need to freshen up in midfield esp with game on friday too. We have a big squad so shouldn’t be an issue.

  4. Avatar
    Hitchens60 October 21, 2018 at 9:12 pm .

    Thought this piece in the Telegraph was interesting. Smith talked about working in training without the ball and, maybe like me, assumed this was all mainly about better defending – not so apparently ….

  5. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron October 21, 2018 at 10:46 pm .

    I know it sounds laughable right now, but how about getting out of this league, investing wisely, then challenging for the PL title within 3 years? Leicester did it, so why not?

    Why did we come so close in ‘93? Because Big Ron wanted to win it. I recall Andy Gray (before he was lured by Sky) saying “we came here to win that”, “that” being the old 1st division. After that, I recall Gregory saying “we wanna win it” and we know Gregory flirted with the top of the PL on several occasions. MON, on the other hand, seemed content to scrape top 4. You never got the impression he wanted to win the league, despite the significant funds he had. And that’s why he fell short every time. If he’d aimed for 1st he’d have got at least 4th. But he aimed for 4th, so finished 6th.

    Bruce was the same. He was aiming for play offs and fell short. Yes, 2nd was available very briefly, after the Wolves win and after we beat Blues at home, but we were never in the top 2 consistently.

    My point is, a club like Aston Villa needs its leaders, firstly the manager, to get the message clearly across, that whatever league this club is competing in, the objective is to win that league. End of. That can only happen with a stable structure in place. Doug Ellis gave the club that structure and now, without wishing to tempt fate, it appears that with Sawiris, Edens, Purslow, Smith, and Terry ‘in charge’, we have that structure. Not to mention ‘Jesus’!

    Let’s see if these men have the vision and drive to make Aston Villa great again. I really don’t see any reason why not. First thing’s first. Let’s get out of The Championship!

  6. Avatar
    Pat 57 October 22, 2018 at 3:03 pm .

    Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a decent football team. I think that fans and especially the owners need to have some patience and not expect miracles.

    Personally so long as I can see some progress being made and some logical decisions being made by the management team I’ll be happy.

    Prediction Norwich 1-2 Villa

  7. Avatar
    Hitchens60 October 22, 2018 at 10:30 pm .

    Off topic but I think a valid point for debate. Rowett has been charged by the FA in respect of remarks he made to the referee on Saturday. There appears to be a difference of view on the words used but i’m not sure that’s the real issue.

    I think most observers would ageee that the standard of football in the Championship has improved and there’s very little between (say) the top six Championship sides and the bottom six in the Prem. However, it seems to me that the general standard of refereeing in the Championship is poor by comparison and the EFL are covering it up by taking draconian action whenever it’s challenged.

    Chester’s sending off is an example. According to those better informed than me, the referee having awarded a penalty should have shown Chester a yellow card in line with new rules and guidelines (a ‘double’ penalty in the circumstances being unjust). However when Villa sought to challenge the decision (have the card reduced to a yellow) they were advised the EFL might increase the ban to 3 games having, by implication, already admitted the error by only banning him for one game (but still a double penalty).

    Or perhaps I’m wrong?

  8. Avatar
    badger123 October 23, 2018 at 3:26 am .

    I can’t comment on Rowett, as I know nothing about that story, but there’s no doubt the refereeing in the championship is particularly inconsistent.

  9. Avatar
    Hitchens60 October 23, 2018 at 7:13 am .

    Oh b***er – I was feeling quietly confident about tonight but then it seems McGinn has got a one match ban for 5 yellows. How do we replace him in midfield? Wheelan?

    Minded to think a draw would be a decent result given our recent awful record at Carrow Road.

    1. Avatar
      Big Fat Ron October 23, 2018 at 2:59 pm .

      Whelan or Jedi, then but Bolasie in for Elmo. What we’ll lose from McGinn, we’ll gain from Bolasie, and defence should be tighter with Thor and Jedi in front of them. I know we’re sick of draws and not really what we need, but it would be a good result, given their position.

  10. Avatar
    Bum Bum October 23, 2018 at 8:39 am .

    I might actually a Sky Sports pass for the week if we’re on TV tonight. Hope it’s not the kiss of death! 😁 Would be good to see the changes in effect.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 October 23, 2018 at 12:44 pm .

      Yep, on Sky tonight – full coverage

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