Villa 1 -6 Man City; Horrendous and where do we go from here?

Good grief, that was a poor performance wasn’t it?
Giving the ball away is bad enough and it feels like I’ve moaned about it all season.
But to combine it with what seemed like a lack of fight is shocking.

That said, I think I can put forward some mitigating circumstances, although I think many of you might not agree.

First, is a very obvious fact.
We quite simply are not good enough to compete with Man City, when they’re playing well.
The word “gulf” springs to mind and it’s perfectly accurate.
You only had to watch their midfielders and attackers quick thought and passing to see the difference. We’ve never shown that speed of thought and accuracy, because the players just can’t do it, particularly at pace.

Ok, I’ve seen the argument that we spent around £130 million in the window and we ought to be way better.
But that doesn’t wash with me. Dean Smith said himself that City paid £50 million for a Left back.
It galls, because we can’t do that, but it does demonstrate the difference.

We started Drinkwater. I guessed we would, because our midfield is frankly abysmal and has been since McGinn got injured.
But that massively backfired, as he looked way off the pace. My criticism here would be that did the coaching team not see that he’s obviously not fit?
Did Smith play him regardless, to try and get him up to pace quickly?
I said in the preview that he has more in the locker than Lansbury at least and I stand by that.

It’s all quite strange to my mind, because I thought Hause had an excellent game until even he caught the bug and gave the ball away for a goal.

Did we miss a striker today?
I personally don’t think so, as we never got hold of the ball enough to warrant having one on the pitch.
And that’s a damming indictment.

You might say my next criticism is an ongoing theme, but certainly today there were too many players who just aren’t good enough.
Hourihane was invisible, Taylor offers nothing in defence or attack and Elmohamady is judged by Smith to be a better defender than Guilbert (something I agree with, which says a lot about the RB position).

Having read around, it seems the “Sack Smith” mantra is slowly gaining momentum.
Certainly, I’d have agreed with it when the final whistle went, which is why I’ve given myself time to think about things before posting.
There’s nothing worse than a footy fan when you’ve just been spanked, after all.

But it’s a mantra I don’t agree with just yet.
Yes, you can take a rosey view, where we get a manager in, he adds one or two players and we suddenly click, going on to finish mid table easily.
But do we think that would be likely to happen? Really?

I think the only way we could massively improve things would be to change half the side for more quality and change the manager. And that definitely isn’t going to happen.
We could of course bring in a fat Sam type, who would probably improve the defence and while it might just keep us up, I’d see it as a backward step.

For me, we stick with Smith for the rest of the season, regardless.

I know what some of you might say.
“It just isn’t working” and “He’s out of his depth”.
While I’m inclined to agree at times, I’m not going to let an abject performance against one of the best sides in the world sway me.

That said, I thought our work-rate and effort today was awful. It was as if we were beaten before we started and that’s not acceptable.
If we maintain that against lesser sides then no doubt my opinion might change.

But we knew it was going to be tough this season.
It’s hard going though, isn’t it?


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  1. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 16, 2020 at 2:14 pm . Reply

    Villa will need a work permit for Samatta but shouldn’t be a problem as he’s Captain of Tanzania. One concern is whether having signed him (Assuming we do) whether we’ll then lose him for the African Cup of Nations?

    1. DSVilla
      DSVilla January 16, 2020 at 2:23 pm . Reply

      Knowing our luck he would miss the ACN due to a long term injury suffered in the first 10 mins of his Villa debut 🙁

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 January 16, 2020 at 2:29 pm . Reply

        Nothing like an optimist DS 🙂

        His stats are certainly very impressive and, according to reports, he was impressive in the CL game at Anfield. Reports say he’s pacey, works hard for the team and has an eye for goal – could this be our Maupay?

        1. DSVilla
          DSVilla January 16, 2020 at 2:33 pm . Reply

          He looks good on YouTube!! I think if video existed of my football days you could probably come up with a short compilation of impressive moments. That’s how I remember it anyway!!
          Fingers crossed.

          1. Big Fat Ron
            Big Fat Ron January 16, 2020 at 10:21 pm . Reply

            Nicklas Helenius looked world class on YouTube.

  2. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson January 16, 2020 at 2:38 pm . Reply

    Birmingham Live

    Aston Villa have struck a €10m deal to sign striker Ally Samatta from Racing Club Genk, according to strong reports in Belgium.

    The 27-year-old, scorer of 10 in 28 games in Jupiler Pro and Champions League this term, has been identified as the forward to replace injured Wesley.

    Samatta, a Tanzanian international, is reportedly keen on a “dream move” to the Premier League and sees Villa as the perfect destination.

    Villa have solid links to the Belgian top flight, with news outlet HLN – who confirmed summer transfers of Wesley and Marvelous Nakamba from Club Brugge – confirming today’s deal worth £8.5m

    Dean Smith has been desperate for a striker ever since losing Wesley for the remainder of the season on New Year’s Day.

  3. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson January 16, 2020 at 2:45 pm . Reply

    He’ll still need a permit, to play, but don’t think it will be for this weekend.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 January 16, 2020 at 3:08 pm . Reply

      Unlikely Bill as, according to The Guardian, he’ll need special dispensation (for a work permit) as Tanzania are rated 134th in the World. However, The Guardian also said it was unlikely to be a problem given he’s captain of the National side and his standing in Belgium football – but these things take time.

      Hopefully for the Watford game.

  4. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 16, 2020 at 5:42 pm . Reply

    Kodjia off to Qatar? That probably says all you need to know.

    Smiths comments today also suggest Kodjia’s illness was – well probably not!

  5. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 16, 2020 at 7:59 pm . Reply

    Club statement (via Twitter) – Kodjia due in Doha tomorrow for a medical. Will any fan be sad to see him go?

    As the Brum Mail says – ‘a damming verdict on (Jonathan) Kodjia’.

    On balance another waste of money – which is the only thing Villa have been consistently good at over the last few years!

  6. Holte66
    Holte66 January 16, 2020 at 8:24 pm . Reply

    It would be cruel to label Kodjia a waste of money. A one season wonder definitely. If you look at Kodjia’s career however, there is a case for suggesting he is not a player for the long term. One thing is certain though and that is we need 2 strikers and preferably one of them to be less of a risk than Sumatta who like Wesley will find it a learning curve. Also one who won’t be involved with African Nations.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 January 16, 2020 at 9:04 pm . Reply

      Agree we need two strikers Holte and it appears Villa agree with us 🙂 On balance I think Sumatta might adapt quicker than Wesley given his age and broader experience.

      On Kodjia – I think we paid £16m for him and he’ll probably move for nothing – did we get our money’s worth? I think not – and it’s on this premise I consider him a waste of money. It’s not meant personally against Kodjia – he didn’t ask Villa to pay that money for him, more a commentary on the incompetence of successive Villa owners and management. However, it seems clear that he hasn’t been putting in the effort or commitment required or expected for some time now.

      I’m not clear on the how the African Cup of Nations is structured – do the various African countries have to qualify (for the finals) and, if so, have Tanzania?

  7. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 16, 2020 at 10:05 pm . Reply

    African Cup of Nations Finals 4th – 25th April. Tanzania have qualified so we would lose Samatta at a crucial stage of the season for an indeterminate period.

    On that basis we do have to acquire at least two strikers. We also need to get Davis fit – and keep him fit.

  8. VillaAwayInDiv3
    VillaAwayInDiv3 January 16, 2020 at 10:09 pm . Reply

    They are in group J…the draw is….

    Group A: Mali, Guinea, Namibia, Liberia/ Chad

    Group B: Burkina Faso, Uganda, Malawi, South Sudan/Seychelles

    Group C: Ghana, South Africa, Sudan, Mauritius/Sao Tome

    Group D: DR Congo, Gabon, Angola, Djibouti v Gambia

    Group E: Morocco, Mauritania, CAR, Burundi

    Group F: Cameroon, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Rwanda

    Group G: Egypt, Kenya, Togo, Comoros

    Group H: Algeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana

    Group I: Senegal, Congo, Guinea Bissau, Eswatini

    Group J: Tunisia, Libya, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea

    Group K: Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Madagascar, Ethiopia

    Group L: Nigeria, Benin, Sierra Leone, Lesotho

    …and a Preliminary round:

    Liberia v Chad

    South Sudan v Seychelles

    Mauritius v Sao Tome e Principe

    Djibouti v Gambia

  9. DSVilla
    DSVilla January 16, 2020 at 10:41 pm . Reply

    The thing that strikes me most about this signing is that I had never heard of Sumatta and for all the reams of “Villa in for this, that or the other” player, his name wasn’t mentioned until late last night and he is now scheduled for a medical. Papers know no more than we do.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 January 17, 2020 at 7:09 am . Reply

      DS – Smith said as much in a recent press conference. Something along the lines of ‘we like to keep our business close so that you (press) won’t know until we’ve a deal in place’.

      Looks like they’re pretty good at it – so time to stop reading the speculation – like that’s going to happen 🙂

  10. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson January 17, 2020 at 3:42 pm . Reply

    It’s about time we did that , how many players have been snatched from us in the past. Right Luise Barry just flown in ,I wonder if that’s still on in him being on loan to us.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 January 17, 2020 at 3:56 pm . Reply

      Don’t know Bill but the media have been saying we’re buying him for a fee reputed to be around €3m

  11. Texas Villan
    Texas Villan January 17, 2020 at 3:47 pm . Reply

    Interesting article on Forbes about Africa’s richest. Our owner Nassef Sawiris’s own fortune has increased by $1.7bn in the last year alone – making him the 2nd richest in the continent. I know this season is rough on the pitch but I think we’re in a great position whatever happens and in time they’ll get the formula right at Villa.–tycoon-who-lost-half-his-fortune/?utm_source=FBPAGE&utm_medium=social&utm_content=3041247122&utm_campaign=sprinklrForbesMainFB#2eadc73c2d85

    1. DSVilla
      DSVilla January 17, 2020 at 8:40 pm . Reply

      I think that is true provided we stay in the Prem. The turmoil in player turnover if we go down would make next season really difficult. Grealish would go along with a number of other good players. Would Smith stay as manager? If we do survive, I can really see us progressing, as the addition of a couple of quality signings would make all the difference. We just need incoming players to hit the ground running. Not much to ask is it?

    2. Big Fat Ron
      Big Fat Ron January 17, 2020 at 10:18 pm . Reply

      Can someone explain how having all the money in the world is useful is any way if FFP rules are in place? What’s the point in having a wealthy owner if he can’t use his money to ‘buy’ success? Excuse my ignorance, but I just don’t get it.

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 January 17, 2020 at 11:02 pm . Reply

        Nor do a lot of people. In reality it seems to be designed to protect the existing wealthiest clubs (like the Sky6 R Madrid, Barcelona, PSG et al) against upstarts like the Villa who could challenge them with the wealth of their owners if allowed free reign to invest as they wished.

        Imho FFP is absolute cr*p and achieves f**k all.

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