Villa 2-1 Ipswich; further thoughts.

It’s still early in the UK, I know, but I expected to be quite quickly picked up in some way about when I posted how demoralised I am about the Villa.
Actually, I’m hoping someone does pull me and remind me of where we might be.
Or do we all think similarly, in that we really are utter rubbish, but just don’t want to admit it?

Whatever, I’ve thought about very little else since I abandoned watching the total load of tripe we were yesterday, since.
For me, that’s been a good sleep and a holiday drinking session.
The best part of a full day.

And I’m still worried about where we’re heading as a club.

On the one hand, we’re constantly told how rich Wes Edens or Safaris are, by the Birmingham Mail. We’re also constantly being told that we have funds available, by the same source.
And Dean Smith intimates that wheels are in motion, or similar, which suggests we do indeed have funds available.

Yet, up to now, we’ve signed a goalkeeper and a left-sided player who made the worst debut that I can remember in my 40 years plus of supporting the club (let’s not make excuses here, it really was that bad).
And I remember Djemba-Djemba.
That’s saying something, I’m sure.

Then there’s the fact that we now have 4 days (5 if you include today) to get some top players in.
And apparently our DOF is in Europe on a scouting mission.
This late on in the window?
Shouldn’t he have done that months ago when he first came in?
Or, even better, have been doing it for years, before he came here?
You have to be kidding me if you swallow this garbage.

And then the reality hits.
We’re being massively strangled by FFP.
I suggested we would do very little business a while back, yet still Smith seems to be dangling us on a string.

I have the vaguest feeling that we might actually sign yet another “top” player, who will turn out to be a failure, simply because it’s what’s expected of us as a club.

Thinking further, no it probably won’t happen, if Smith has anything to do with it.
But if we’re not going to sign anyone of any significance, I’d rather the club just come out and say it.

Which begs the question “why haven’t we seen the kids?”
Which is a policy I firmly disagree with, to be fair, as to me, they are not good enough; something that has been a consistent view, regardless of which manager you care to think of.
Are they really all wrong?

Which, all in all leaves my thinking totally directionless.

For all the hype that we’ve been given, that’s how the club strikes me. Directionless.
None of us have the slightest clue and I don’t think our “leaders” do, either.

It saddens me to say it, but Smith is doomed to failure.
He has been since before he took us on.
Unless he can do something that many decent managers have failed to do, in totally turn us around.
Steve Bruce commented recently that he considered packing it all in, because he couldn’t see what he’d done wrong.
I had a lot of sympathy for this, purely because that’s what managing the Villa does to you.
Lambert was much liked by us before he came to the club, for example, but he’s now hated for the way we played under him.

And all of this, is why I’m worried.
We don’t know how we stand.
Are we a big club going back to it’s righful place in the Prem, or not?
Certainly our team says “no”, but we as fans say “yes”.

And that’s our biggest problem in my opinion.
We’re awful, but struggle to admit it.


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  1. Avatar
    nath January 27, 2019 at 11:33 am .

    i think we just need to give smith time to address the issues. bruce lamberts both had their chances and they never managed to quite cut it. smith will but fans have got to be patient. his style of play is a patient one, at the minute we are not playing his team or his tactics, he is having to manage with what we had in the squad. its unfair to be really criticizing him for our predicaments.

    iam really gutted we don’t play fluid enough to play smiths way. the defenders just are not able to play out and that makes a big difference when your game plan relies on them doing just that.

    as i said in my last post, i reckon smith has already getting the youth teams to preparing them ready for next season. their are loads of players in current squad leaving in summer and smith will be best judged what we achieve next season. i am pretty confident we will be playing more free flowing football from the back to the front, all comfortable enough to have just one touch and pass it onwards.

    i still don’t give up on this season, how can we have only just passed halfway in the marathon. grealish / tuanzebe will make a massive difference. i expect at least 3 incomings this week. like hitch said yesterday wasnt as bad as most have you believe. i think it could be mostly down to confidence, self belief in their own ability. not winning games does that to you.

  2. Avatar
    Hitchens60 January 27, 2019 at 12:43 pm .

    You need cheering up Badger – just think of us poor miserable sods enjoying freezing cold, wet and grey, dark December days watching Death in Paradise – feeling better – good.

    First off, I don’t believe a word of what the media prints so I’m willing to let the window run and then reflect. We all know January is a difficult window in which to operate so no way do I want to see overpriced desperate deals being done.

    In regard to the kids – my only question about yesterday is – where was Andre Green – is he injured, ill or what?

    On Bruce – I find his comments rather sad althoughI empathise with him having to work through Xia’s financial meltdown but some of his decisions were strange – particularly loaning out Elphick and an over reliance on older players at the end of their careers.

    Yesterday Villa started off like a ‘train on fire’ got an early goal and then, it seemed to me, that they started being overly concerned about conceding a goal, so the rest of the half they were overly cautious. Much better in the second half and played some good football, The passing generally was pretty accurate, I thought, with some really good balls being played. In truth 23 shots / 13 on target from 45% possession suggests we used the ball much better than Ipswich which we did. Abraham scored twice and missed about 5 big chances from which he should have bagged another couple and McGinn was also guilty of missing two big chances (although he did well to buy us a soft penalty) – so overall we played OK.

    Are we directionless, can Smith improve on his best finish of 9th etc., etc. – well only time will tell but you’re absolutely right in saying that Villa fans have not yet accepted that we no longer have a divine right to be in the Prem and our history, far from being a positive, is actually dragging us down.

    1. Avatar
      nath January 27, 2019 at 1:08 pm .

      green was injured and not risked

      so hitch if we played good as now you say. why did they only beat the bottom team 2 1 and ipswich can count themselves really hard done by. our penalty was about as dodgy as i seen in years. referee definitely got that wrong. also the shout they had when elphick slid towards his own goal, that looked to be off his arm, if it did he should have been sent off, then they hit the post late on.

      yeah we missed chances and could and should have, but we didnt that is villa all over . ipswich had long periods of good controlled football , they lacked just a cutting edge.

      1. Avatar
        Hitchens60 January 27, 2019 at 3:21 pm .

        I said they played OK Nath – I was trying to put some balance on it and we did play some nice football albeit in patches. I also said we were poor defensively but the facts are we took 23 shots, 13 on target from 45% possession which meant we did use the ball effectively.

        I also said Ipswich played some decent football but all their chances came from shocking defending – even their goal – look at where the are defenders are – all chasing the ball and leaving Sears in so much space – good shot but given far too much time and space.

        We should have won more convincingly – I know it sounds silly when he scored two goals but Abraham was also guilty of some really poor finishing – he had at least three one on one chances that weren’t difficult and add that to the two gilt edged chances missed by McGinn where he didn’t even hit the target so we couldn’t have played that badly!

        1. Avatar
          nath January 27, 2019 at 3:44 pm .

          and i was playing devils advocate to see what really is your opinions

          we are all scratching around for some crumbs of comforts. i see loads of stuff by villa fans, slating lambert and his opinions on game. but while you are right we had the chances and should have won clearly. i though lambert was correct in his analyzes. they were decent on the ball and they were really unlucky with one or two important decisions.

          saying we should have won easy is a little contentious, end of the day we didn’t put the ball in the net and we make too many mistakes at the other end. but i am with you that this form improves from here on in

          1. Avatar
            Hitchens60 January 27, 2019 at 4:27 pm .

            Certainly agree that the Villa penalty was, being kind to the referee, soft. At the match my instinctive reaction to Elphicks block was penalty but I can’t say then or subsequently whether he ‘handled’ the ball. If he did I can’t see any way that it was deliberate but Ipswich may well have been unlucky (again).

            However, we’ve had more than our fair share of bad luck or poor decisions going against us this season – it happens. We moan when it happens to us; I’m certainly not going to feel guilty about it when we benefit and, in any event, these things tend to level out over the course of a season.

            Frankly I’m not really interested in what Lambert, nor Holloway for that matter, thinks.

            1. Avatar
              nath January 27, 2019 at 4:41 pm .

              you could not see the elphick handball on tv also. but it something i would like to see a replay to be sure. i saw once in real time and i thought it was handled and the reaction off their players tell me it was handled.

              you are right we have had our share of bad luck and i just hope we can take this win and make it, the start of the run into the top 6

              lots of transfer gossip i hope we can add some smiths targets and then we can start to really judge the guy,

              1. Avatar
                Hitchens60 January 27, 2019 at 4:46 pm .


  3. Avatar
    Holte66 January 27, 2019 at 1:08 pm .

    I think fans expectations could end up preventing us from getting promotion. Look at Leeds a similar size club who should have been promoted years ago. The constant pressure on managers and players throughout the years has been intense, and they finally look like the real deal to go up, although I wouldn’t be surprised if they cocked it up. Too many of our fans think we should be top simply because of who we are! Or should I say were! Time for a massive reality check for the majority of our fans before we get back on track. I agree with Badger that Smith probably is doomed even though a lot of us (including myself) think given time he will get us promoted. At the moment we are an average team with a few quality players in Tuanzebe, Grealish, McGinn and Abraham. Two of those being injured have had a huge effect on our recent performances. Confidence is another factor and if we can win away to Reading players will suddenly be more relaxed in possession, which they aren’t right now. Add to that Grealish and Tuanzebe coming back soon we still might make a late push for playoffs. But if we don’t let’s not become fickle like those already calling for change and look at the bigger picture.

    1. Avatar
      nath January 27, 2019 at 1:19 pm .

      leeds seem to have a media storm against them, about their spy gate incident, but your right about the big club situation. smaller clubs in championship all raise their games against the villa and leeds and this is hard to match every game, but thats no different than other clubs in other leagues

      villa and leeds have to deal with their fans expectations, leeds have been the best team this season. will they fold as i predicted they would, i don’t think they will this time around. they are just having a blip.

      once we get some form back and confidence returns we will also put a run to the finish. who knows if we will make the play offs. hope so

      1. Avatar
        villaawayindiv3 January 27, 2019 at 2:40 pm .

        I like these pages as it’s a lot of Common sense as against the FB ones I go on where I am called out for not being a true villa fan.Reason being is I express a lot of the feelings on the last 2 or 3 posts on here…..but even on here I hear we should duck it up and clear out the rubbish and virtually start again then people say hope we get to play offs…’s where I get called out as I want all the crap out of the club and start completely again with DS and another set of players that can perform like I see nearly all the players at other clubs…being able to move a ball around a pitch without much problem…and if that takes another 2 years do be it.
        We have had same trouble with playing crap for years with all the previous managers. ..playing like world beaters for a few out of the majority of matches. ..Sherwood came in to revive the effort but we ran Liverpool ragged one week and lost to Southampton badly another. …if we can get a style of play in all our teams with half decent players topped up with a bit of talent then and only then will we be up in Prem but staying there….hopefully…lol

  4. Avatar
    Bill Pearson January 27, 2019 at 3:09 pm .

    villaawayindiv3. It’s a total waste to look on face book for common sense, you’ll always get some idiot swearing at you talking sense . Yesterday game was unacceptably to us normal fans . Yes it will take another year to get it right, we all know what the problems are, tomorrow is another day and we need time to get it right, its no good us thinking buying Tom dick and Harry because they want pounds shilling and pence from us and not the shirt they wear.u ntill we get player’s like McGinn that plays to win we will have to breed our own kids that join Villa for love of the game. I might never see that because it will take a few years. Vtid

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 January 27, 2019 at 3:28 pm .

      Bill – just an honest question. If Abraham and McGinn had just converted one chance each (and they had plenty to chose from) so we won more convincingly, would our performance still have been unacceptable?

      Don’t misunderstand me, I accept there’s room for improvement and some of those on the Park yesterday are not good enough if we want promotion but I’m struggling to understand the level of negativity I’m seeing on here.

      Blimey, better be careful, I’m usually the one pedalling negative thoughts!

      1. Avatar
        Bill Pearson January 27, 2019 at 4:13 pm .

        Hitch, we will never know why they didn’t take the goals, could be over confidence ,could be lack of abilities, who know, no Hitch if they had I still think we have to improve, you know yourself that was a poor show all-around and the two you’ve mentiond are the best in the team.

        1. Avatar
          Hitchens60 January 27, 2019 at 4:15 pm .

          Fair enough mate.

  5. Avatar
    Sidcowanslovechild January 27, 2019 at 3:22 pm .

    Posted this on previous article but as ever I was late! Unlike others I didn’t think Ipswich were a better footballing side at all and was astonished to hear they had more possession. We should have got 5 or 6 and conceded a long range effort in the top corner which 99 times out of 100 goes high, wide or nearer the keeper.

    What depresss me most yesterday was that good players, notably Chester and Taylor, looked to not know what to do with the ball when it came to them (before anyone says Taylor is not a good player, he was good enough to play hundreds of prem league games for a very good footballing Swansea team and internationals so should be able to deal with the championship).

    So why are decent players playing so poorly. Beats me but it’s happened under too many managers with too many different players to be more than coincidence. We looked pretty dangerous going forward for large periods yesterday but not as stylish as under early Smith and questionable at the back.

    Point is, we already have better players than other teams in this league and while they might not all be fully suited to Smiths way of playing they should be good enough to play a possession game in the championship. So while it is comforting to think of we could just get rid of this and that player and bring in a couple of replacements in Smiths image I struggle to be confident that these players won’t also under achieve.

    So what can we do. Just be more patient and positive as when you are at the ground you really notice when there’s a mistake and the whole ground groans the players start either running round like headless chickens trying to kick people or go into their shells and hide and make more mistakes.

    I don’t want to sound like I’m criticising the fans but look at the players who have been wriitten off, slagged said not to be good enough before they’ve had a chance. This includes Jack Grealish who was a real whipping boy on twitter for a year or so despite anyone who knows a player could see what tremendous potential he had so, yes, I think we need to be more positive and patient. I was in The Doug Ellis yesterday as I got a free ticket, I normally go in the Holte, and there was almost no chanting but plenty of moaning. I was singing anyway despite being almost a lone voice but I carried on anyway.

    Just to completely contradict myself, when Jack and Tuanzebe come back we will see a team much more able to pass out from the back and retain the ball especially if we can get a ball playing LB and CDM.


    1. Avatar
      Pat 57 January 27, 2019 at 5:32 pm .

      Sid with regard to the fans contributing to our bad performances I think it’s a possibility too. Negativity can be transmitted from the fans to the players and it can turn into a self-perpetuating vicious circle.

      It seems that we’ve gotten so used to failure after years of hanging on in the Prem by the skin of our teeth that we sort of expect it now.

      If we want to have a successful club the fans need to get 100% behind what Smith is trying to do as well as the players and the board.

  6. Avatar
    nath January 27, 2019 at 3:59 pm .

    try this website for football statistics. even says how many players farted its really good for all stats.

  7. Avatar
    VillaAwayInDiv3 January 27, 2019 at 8:56 pm .

    Keep getting a privacy pop up and cant get rid of it….

  8. Avatar
    Tony Hill January 27, 2019 at 8:59 pm .

    Still the fans turn up in numbers for some reason…..we’ve had change of ownership twice, multiple change of manager, players have come and gone. Look at Lansbury, he was playing out of his skin for forest and scoring regularly; look at him now. What is going on at VP???

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