Villa 1 – 2 Liverpool; I’m distraught, but a great performance on our part

It’s not that often these days, where I can’t take my eyes off the game to go to the toilet or get myself a beer, but this was definitely one of those days.

I said in the preview that I thought Liverpool would get at least 2 goals and that part proved correct, but what I didn’t expect was such a resolute all-round performance from the Villa.

Make no mistake, there will be a few non-Villa fans saying we really aren’t that bad a side.

Ok, if I hold my hands up, I’ll say Pool were overall the better side.
But we defended so well for long periods that if we’d drawn, I don’t think it would have been undeserved.

You can’t knock Liverpool, because I got the feeling that it wasn’t going to be their day, given the chances that they created, but ultimately put well over the bar. But the fact that they came back from being a goal down with a few minutes to go, says it all. It’s the sign of a top team.

But while we lost, which was no disgrace against one of the best sides in Europe, I saw plenty to be pleased about.
While I think we missed Grealish, who I think would have found a few more gaps today, his not playing wasn’t the end of the world.
Dean Smith played well in using our wide players to stop theirs playing.
El Ghazi played well, as did Targett, but it was Trezuguet who gets the MOTM for me.
He gave Lovren a torrid time, got the goal, was close to getting a second and just worked his socks off. A brilliant performance.

If I have to moan, it would be because we constantly gave the ball away, every time we tried to clear it.
That said, Liverpool’s movement is excellent and they just put you under the cosh, which I guess makes defenders a bit panicky, but it’s something that bugs me whoever we play.

I still don’t know what to think about Wesley, but I’m afraid my opinion of him goes down a little with every game.
Is it the way we play that doesn’t suit him?
He just never seems to be where it matters for my liking.
Which is where I’d have liked Kodjia to have come on earlier. I just think his quicker (albeit sometimes clumsy) feet might have suited this game better.

And then there’s VAR, which I thought was disgraceful today.
Ok, both decisions went our way, but they were so close it shouldn’t have been used at all, if the aim is to correct obvious mistakes. As I said in the previous replies, both goals looked ok to me and if the ref got it wrong, it would be understandable.
I just don’t think the way VAR breaks the game up is justified with such close decisions and I don’t want things computerised for everything that isn’t an obviously good goal.
It’s supposed to be about CLEAR and OBVIOUS errors and that’s not what it’s being used for, imo.

Anyway, enough of that.
I’m proud of our lads today, simple as.
We’ll be okay, I’m sure of that, after today’s showing.


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  1. Avatar
    Benno November 7, 2019 at 10:36 pm .

    Grealish not being selected is madness. He is miles better than Barkley, who doesnt even start for his club! I dont know what else he is supposed to do.

  2. Avatar
    nath November 8, 2019 at 6:42 am .

    southgate wants shooting for giving grealish the cold shoulder, any other england manager would pick grealish now. cause he is ready, more ready than some other players ahead of him in southgates eyes.

    its all down to style imo. grealish slows the game down,then glide past players. southgate wants his team to play passing game and open up teams with the tempo changes of passes and switches.

    i believe for a good team, you need a right blend, grealish would offer southgate a different player, a solution to tight defences, which cant be broken by tempo changes and switching the ball.

    we seen first hand how players dont like other players running at them with speed or skill like having twinkle toes / quick feet. teams only answer is too foul him and double up on him, how can southgate not want more space for other players.

    1. Avatar
      Originallondonlion November 8, 2019 at 9:39 am .

      You are right Nath, it is down to style. Perhaps the quality of opposition comes into it also. Grealish will be an asset when England play better-rated teams than themselves. In the European finals Spain France Belgium Holland Croatia and Germany would be the opponents against which he should field Jack.

  3. Avatar
    Bill Pearson November 8, 2019 at 12:34 pm .

    I’m pissed off with Southgates view of Grealish and the reasons he gives, its up to him to use talent footballers have ,Southgate wasn’t the best this country had and he’s not proved to say the reason he gives. Grealish has talent England needs as both Nath, OLL has said. A player that goes forward and pass players with ease, he also finds chances that Southgates pick of players don’t do. Southgate will find out soon how wrong he is when we play better sides , I think he has a grievance with Aston Villa from the past years at Villa and using it at Grealish. Wake up Southgate and be honest for once.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 November 8, 2019 at 1:15 pm .

      Bill, he never had much judgement – when he moved to Middlesbrough he said it was because he was moving to ‘a bigger club’!

      Need I say any more?

  4. Avatar
    Bill Pearson November 8, 2019 at 4:04 pm .

    Hes a lucky fella Hitch , up till now teams we’ve played haven’t been good sides and I think the next two games will show it. He’s not an England manager he’s riding on luck.

    1. Avatar
      nath November 8, 2019 at 6:32 pm .

      100% agree

      i also will add the world cup where we did far better than expected. we played absolutely nobody.also didn’t we go out to a very bad russian team. who were touted to be the worst hosts. tipped to struggle to get out of the qualification rounds. this goes to show you it was a very bad world cup and england going far in it was misleading

  5. Avatar
    Originallondonlion November 8, 2019 at 5:45 pm .

    Southgate might just be being canny. Assuming England qualify the opposing coaches will have films of England’s qualifying games, and use them to plan their tactics. But if Jack never appears in an England shirt until the finals there may be a radical change to the way England play and no videos.

    Alternatively he could be being a prat:
    Exhibit A for the prosecution Fabian Delph.
    Not the worst player I have seen in a Villa shirt, there were some total no-hopers who were quickly removed. Delph was the worst player I have seen picked consistently for Villa when he was destroying the team from within. Two things he did were criminal 1/ running towards a back four player who had the ball when he should have been running away from the man into space to provide a passing option. 2/ Joining in the back row with no cover behind him and trying to turn and dribble past his marker.
    My wife has a phrase for it: “Bad enough for England”. He qualifies.

    1. Avatar
      nath November 8, 2019 at 6:44 pm .

      i agree with being a prat.

      doesn’t pick a player with game changing abilities. then not in same position, picks delph who hardly plays, also plays for not a top team in everton. in a position he has’t played all his career, cant see it myself bloody snake

      rice and dier hardly world class dier has not played loads for god knows but walks back into the set up. its obvious southgate has his favorites and grealish isn’t amongst them.

      this qualifying has been a joke they havent progressed any. they will meet a top nation and they will get hammered because southgate hasn’t addressed the defence and playing without the ball.

  6. Avatar
    Holte66 November 8, 2019 at 6:56 pm .

    Southgate is an idiot. The vast majority of games England have played were pub quality teams so his win percentage shows him as being a successful manager. Currently we have a strong squad with capabilities of reaching the latter stages of tournaments. Grealish has been overlooked which doesn’t make sense when you look at the likes of Declan Rice! Personally I’m glad he won’t get injured during the internationals and won’t be lured away to Citeh or whoever by other England players whispering in his ear. Hopefully he will be fit and fired up for Wolves on Sunday which is a big game. The advantage we have is we are well rested while Wolves will hope none of their players are leg weary after playing on Thursday.

  7. Avatar
    nath November 8, 2019 at 7:27 pm .

    lets put this another way had grealish moved to spuds which southgate probably advised him too. then he would have picked grealish. i have no doubts about it.

    southgate was a defensive midfielder in the old div2 now championship. when we bought him and converted him into a back three with god mcgrath. we improved his career which was not going anywhere, then he stabbed us in the back. saying bora were bigger than us, we made him the player he was ,played for england whilst playing for villa, we stood by him ,when he fook up, missing that pen in the shootout that kicked us out of euros 96.

    like holte said the qualifying have been against pub teams at best. we have even looked shaky against them without the ball. i feel for grealish thou all the players want to represent their national team. grealish might start thinking he has to leave to get the call up.

  8. Avatar
    Bill Pearson November 8, 2019 at 8:09 pm .

    Spot on Nath, Southgate has no right to undermine a talented play of Grealish quality, I’m waiting for the day it comes back to bite him.yes he did humiliate himself with Boro which tells you he’s not as clever as he thinks. Idiot he his.

  9. Avatar
    Hitchens60 November 8, 2019 at 9:23 pm .

    Pretty consistent view of Southgate on here and I’m certainly not going to disagree (apologies to Badger for the double negative 🙂 )

    But what does it say about those in power at the FA who chose him to be England manager?

    1. Avatar
      badger123 November 9, 2019 at 6:49 pm .

      He’s a safe pair of hands, groomed by the FA, simple, even though he’s achieved nothing as a manager.
      It doesn’t matter if he’s any good or not, imo.

      Sven was crap, but at least he had a couple of women on the go to deflect from England’s medicrity.

  10. Avatar
    Holte66 November 8, 2019 at 9:32 pm .

    Ross Barkley is in the England squad but not included in Chelsea squad because of injury which has kept him out since mid October. So much for Southgates comments about needing to be playing premier league games to be included in his squad!
    With regards to Grealish however, he is only 50-50 for Sunday’s game. It depends on whether he can train tomorrow. Calf injuries are always difficult to call. Hope that Smith doesn’t panic and rush him back too quickly.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 November 8, 2019 at 9:55 pm .

      I thought Smith was being overly optimistic about Grealish and said I thought he might miss a couple more games. As you say Holte calf injuries are difficult to call.

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