Villa 1 -1 Hull; belated thoughts, good and bad.

I could have posted this straight after the game, but felt the overwhelming sense of disappointment that I felt after us only taking a point, would have seriously clouded my judgement.
It seems I wasn’t alone either, having read plenty of calls for Bruce’s head after just this solitary game.
Yes, I know. Those of you who won’t have Bruce at any price will quite rightly say that you made up your minds about him last season and that’s fair enough.
I’m not his biggest fan myself, but I do believe he needs to be given a chance before we all start calling for him to be sacked, if only because it surely can’t help the manager himself or the team.
I recall saying only a couple of weeks back that our opening fixtures concerned me and if you look at our first six games or so, it’s definitely a worry.
Given the major disgruntlement after yesterday’s game, I wonder what the clamour will be like after those fixtures have been played?
It’s fair to say the expectation is massive and I’ll bet Bruce is feeling the pressure already.
Who’d be a football manager?

But then, I’m not convinced he helped himself by starting Bacuna. He’s at best average. I’ve said that I believe Bruce thinks he’s a good player to have around because of ability to play pretty much anywhere.
But to actually start him over Green?
I really can’t understand that.

But then, while the result was crushing, especially after having such a good start and getting the early goal, where it looked like we were going to run out three or four nil winners, so upon reflection I actually think the game was more about the way Hull played as opposed to us.
And Hull quite frankly were a shambles at the back for the majority of the first half, which I think is what made us look very decent.

Leonid Slutski (what a great name) will have been much the happier manager yesterday, as his side did a pretty good job of getting it together and not letting their heads drop.
Whereas Bruce will rightly have the hump after we let them back into the game so easily.
The worrying thing is we could all see their goal coming, yet nothing changed.

So all in all, many of us expected a draw and that’s what we got.
I said I also don’t read too much into the first game especially, as anything can happen, so I’m just going to view it as a one-off and reserve judgement for a few weeks down the line, where we’ll have a better idea of how we’re really shaping up.

And while this post might seem downbeat, I actually liked some of the things I saw.
Terry and Chester look a decent central pairing; We actually had players attacking the box occasionally and Green looks pretty sharp. I even think we tried to go forward more instead of continually passing sidewards and backwards. Hogan makes great runs, although of course we still can’t read/see them and Johnstone looks reasonably competent in goal. Even Gabby looked like he’d worked his socks off by the end of the game and if he can add another 12-15 goals this season, I might begin to rate him again.
And yes, Lansbury was rubbish, but even so, I liked the way he put himself about and can see something in him, which will hopefully manifest itself in better performances.
And most importantly, we created chances aplenty.

Of course it wasn’t all good.
Whelan looked like a man possessed and was probably lucky to not get sent off. Bacuna was just all round rubbish. We still give the ball away far too much because of poor passing, putting pressure on ourselves and probably worst of all, we don’t convert our chances.
And they weren’t rubbish chances either.
I sat with my head in my hands after Green missed when it seemed easier to score, for instance. Not that I’m pointing the finger at him; our main strikers were equally or even more guilty.

I think what I’m getting at is, that after reflection, I’ve realised that we have four or five players out who possibly would have started today.
And there are many squads in this league who would like to be in our position.
IF we can start getting our act together, I see possibilities.
This is a marathon, not a sprint and we definitely have the tools.
It’s up to the manager to use them correctly and one tip I’d give him, is only use Bacuna when it’s absolutely necessary.

Our biggest problem is going to arise if we don’t quickly get into our stride and start bagging wins.
The pressure’s on, Steve.


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  1. originallondonlion
    originallondonlion August 9, 2017 at 10:02 pm .

    Glad to see Ritchie De Laet back playing after his luckless injury. The most successful player in one season in English football history – it was almost fate the following season would bite back.

  2. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 August 9, 2017 at 10:04 pm .

    Really impressed by O’Hare and Steer and I thought Onomah looked a reallly decent acquisition – even if it is only for one season (but don’t bet against it if we do get promotion). Green not doing it at present. Nice to see De Laet get a few minutes at the end.

    One worry is that Thor is not a left back. With Baker and Amavi leaving we are in a fix if Taylor is suspended or injured. Notice Bruce moved Bree to LB when De Laet came on – square pegs in round holes – we need another LB.

    1. langfordvilla
      langfordvilla August 9, 2017 at 10:17 pm .

      Agree with all that Hitch. Borg is deffo not a LB, but I believe De Laet has played there quite often in th past. Green had a poor game. Onomah, O Hare and Steer the 3 standouts for me. I felt more confident with Steer in goal than any of the other 2 keepers we have!

      1. Sidforever
        Sidforever August 9, 2017 at 10:32 pm .

        Winner g creates confidence. Well done you Villa boys. You can only beat what’s in front of you. Last year we were not good enough to beat Sheffield Wednesday or Luton. This year drew with Hull and beat Colchester. A marked improvement. Also shows the depths we have fallen due to Mr Lerner’s lack of investment. We are now part of Dr Xia’s incredible army!

        1. langfordvilla
          langfordvilla August 9, 2017 at 10:34 pm .

          Love it Sid….well said mate!

        2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath August 9, 2017 at 10:55 pm .

          Agree this time next year we will be on a par with that Real Madrid team that stuffed Utd last night 😄

      2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath August 9, 2017 at 10:53 pm .

        Must say I was very impressed with Steer. I would give him a go over Johnstone on Sat and see what happens. Rather we developed our own keeper than Utd one

        1. DSVilla
          DSVilla August 9, 2017 at 11:12 pm .

          Begs the question why he has been overlooked by successive managers. The problem here is probably down to the pressure on managers. They would rather draft in some player who has played at the current level required rather than give youth team players a chance. Sad really. I think some of the players we have let go are probably capable of playing at a high level in a decent team.

          I would like to see them get a proper chance, otherwise what’s the point of an academy?

          1. bws
            bws August 9, 2017 at 11:16 pm .

            Johnson, Davies, Albrighton, Cahill this list is not exhaustive.

          2. Ardent Villain
            Ardent Villain August 9, 2017 at 11:53 pm .

            Steer has been injured for months, hasnt he?
            He certainly had an aura of solidity/confidence about him that surprised me.

          3. Hitchens 60
            Hitchens 60 August 10, 2017 at 7:35 am .

            Steer was injured for the whole of last season. Before that loaned out to Doncaster and Huddersfield. Always seen as a prospective talent but can understand Bruce getting another keeper in given Steer missing a whole season.

  3. VillaAwayInDiv3
    VillaAwayInDiv3 August 9, 2017 at 11:39 pm .

    Only saw match in patches….missed both goals tonight ( and the one on Saturday)….Tonight reminded me of the England Womens team against Holland……long ball long ball long ball…….you would think after 2 attempts they wouldnt try a 3rd …but they still do…

  4. nath
    nath August 10, 2017 at 6:26 am .

    some good posts above. nice to see fringe players get a run out in a competitive match. much better to judge them in these games than a meaningless friendly.

    Ritchie De Laet and Steer both back from bad injuries. laet received a bad tackle near the corner flag late on. this will be good for him. having had a bad injury it can be psychological when they return. they don’t fully commit to challenges fearing another injury. so that’s another hurdle for him to overcome.

    I am glad they used some fringe players, no point using the current first 11 say taylor our only recognised left back say he got injured playing yesterday. your only as strong as your weakest link lol. bree and laet can play left back so we will be ok.

    we have a good squad better than last 5 seasons I think. if we can sell some more players like Bacuna McCormack both are problems if they are around the squad unhappy

    we do look vulnerable but we managed to win and that’s good,as winning is a good habit to have.

    1. Sidforever
      Sidforever August 10, 2017 at 7:44 am .

      What to do with the potential good news coming our way?

      a) It looks like Amavi is going to Marsaille £8 either loan then signed at the end of the year.

      b) please be true, it looks as if Reading are back in for Bacuna up to £2m

      c) Sunderland fans 74% in a poll want McCormack £4/6m.

      If these three leave it will generate transfer money and help towards FFP. I would not be surprised if between them their weekly salary is near £100k, equating to approximately £5m per year.

      I hope SB and Dr Xia save the money if needed in January. I would like to see the likes of O’Hare given a chance to break through and save the club millions on journeyman players.

      Do over to you, what do you think if we sell these three players?

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 August 10, 2017 at 8:50 am .

        I agree Sid – add Elphick and Gardner to your list and we could also afford to get in a LB which I think we need now (this seems to be a continuing problem at Villa)

      2. nath
        nath August 10, 2017 at 7:43 pm .

        I think we have needed a good clear out for years. our squad has improved in quality. whether you like bruce or not he has improved the squad in quality and depth. McCormack is the player we need to get out. whether that’s at a loss,its just getting him out. I think the spuds loaned player is a quality player, once kodjia back I think we will be a decent side. so we could easily get to jan before we add more quality. sounds like bruce has his eye on more now in this window. I hope they are same quality as the spuds player or we should be blooding our own youth. I think we have real quality coming through. I know we always say this but I really do believe this

  5. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 August 10, 2017 at 7:42 am .

    I actually enjoyed last night’s game and Colchester gave it a really good go which is what you would expect in a cup tie.

    I wasn’t entirely convinced but we won a game last year we would have lost and, yes with mainly first team squad players but 9 changes from Hull suggests exactly that squad players rather than automatic starters. I don’t agree we played long ball football – thought we mixed it up quite nicely.

    We played quite a number of U23’s and Callum O’Hare looks the real deal – but we’ve been there before. Green is struggling at the moment and shouldn’t start Saturday. Onomah looks quality even at 20.

    As for others, Saturday is the real test.

  6. Villain1
    Villain1 August 10, 2017 at 10:07 am .

    Steer looks composed and assured – why on earth are we developing Man Utd’s player over our own…. another awful decision Bruce will pay for when he is sacked

    1. nath
      nath August 10, 2017 at 7:57 pm .

      I thought the same. steer has played in championship 2 season ago at Huddersfield Town where he was very good. maybe the manager thought he would take time to get back to that form and thought it was a gamble to start with just bunn and steer

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath August 10, 2017 at 8:23 pm .

      My thoughts exactly. Can we not drop Johnstone or is it written into his contract he has to be first choice

      1. langfordvilla
        langfordvilla August 10, 2017 at 8:44 pm .

        I think Steer should just start the cup games for now and then be introduced gradually into the league side. I’m only saying that because of the length of time he was out injured. I certainly felt more confident with him last night than I have with either Johnstone or Bunn between the sticks. I dont think Johnstone is good enough for the PL and thats where we’ll be next season! Hopefully , Steer can save us some money!

    3. Andrew
      Andrew August 11, 2017 at 6:30 am .

      Think it largely has to due with the fact Steer’s been injured a fair bit over the last 2 seasons. So he’s not the most reliable keeper, currently. And Bunn is atrocious. Should’ve easily been let go of.

  7. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 August 10, 2017 at 10:19 pm .

    At home to Wigan Athletic second round

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath August 12, 2017 at 9:29 am .

      What’s all this north and south bollox. Why are the scum and us in different geographical divisions ffs.

  8. Dave67
    Dave67 August 10, 2017 at 11:23 pm .


  9. Dave67
    Dave67 August 10, 2017 at 11:26 pm .

    New phone trying to figure it out. I have mede contract.

    1. Dave67
      Dave67 August 10, 2017 at 11:27 pm .


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