Villa 4-2 Birmingham; The city is still ours!

So after wasting a couple of hours looking for a Christmas tree (that we didn’t get!), here’s my thoughts;

I’m going to look past some major problems at first and say that this was a cracking win.
After going one down, I thought we did well to get back into that after having lots of possession, but not being able to do anything with it.
The team spirit seems really good and the manager seems to have an attitude where, “it’s not a problem, we can outscore them”.
Which is so refreshing. If we were playing that game under Bruce, I’ve no doubt we’d have crumpled under a constant barrage of attacks, while sitting back and trying to catch them.

It’s blatantly obvious to anyone that our attacking threat majorly outweighs our defence, which leaves us with the only option where we have to go for the jugular.
We’ve known it for ages and Dean Smith obviously agrees, given his subs.
So it amazes me that Bruce didn’t or just refused to see it.
I’m not happy to say it, as I liked Bruce, but frankly I’m glad he’s gone.

So while it was a cracking win, in analysing the game, you can’t really say it was a good one.
I know, I’m moaning, but we have to look at what went wrong too.

Nyland has to be replaced as soon as possible. I actually thought he was doing ok up until the first goal, where he just went missing. I’ve tried not to complain about him up till now, but he’s had plenty of time to settle, yet still looks a massive liabilty at what should be staightforward stuff.

What’s up with Chester? He too looked mostly ok, but his lapses in concentration are shocking and he gave the ball away far too easily at times.

We missed McGinn’s energy big time today and were humping long balls upfield, to little effect. It just shows how important he is to us, as without him, there’s no real outlet in the middle.
Grealish often came deep to try and take on that mantle, but I really don’t think that’s his game.

We look seriously dodgy at any set piece and that’s a worry.
But it’s nothing we didn’t already know.
What surprised me was that blues didn’t try more of the ball down the middle, that we know we’re also susceptible to.
Fair play to blues, they tried to play proper footy, I thought.

But enough of the criticism, as today was all about the result.
We got it, quite convincingly in the end, with some of the noses leaving with more than 10 minutes to go.
Which I thought was poor, given that they had put up a pretty decent show.

That win puts us up to 8th, where suddenly our next fixtures don’t look nearly as daunting as they did a few weeks back. Our confidence must be growing all the time.
Dean Smith won’t be happy with the performance and indeed he’s said as much.
But he knows where our weaknesses are by now and will surely be looking to improve us in the January window.

It bodes well when we have a manager that can genuinely see our strengths and weaknesses and won’t need to splash stupid amounts of money on risky ageing players.
And it also bodes well that we’re winning games without playing particularly well.

130 Comments

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  1. Sidforever November 25, 2018 at 4:10 pm .

    Life just gets better and better under Dean Smith.
    Well done you Villa boys.

  2. Originallondonlion November 25, 2018 at 5:29 pm .

    The first big question now answered. ‘After Derby could we do it again?’ Yes we could. Confidence has improved both on and off the pitch.

  3. Holte66 November 25, 2018 at 5:54 pm .

    Credit to Dean Smith and his team for turning the same bunch of players players inherited from Bruce and showing positivity in his selections and substitutions. He puts players in their favoured positions and when he takes off a striker or midfielder he doesn’t replace them with a defensive minded player like Bruce used to. He has told Grealish to push further forward and look what happens, goals and assists. I’m sure Terry has already had a good input defensively although I agree that we need a back up CB and LB in January. Tuanzebe impresses me more and more, actually more reliable than Chester at the moment. Hopefully McGinn will be back to replace Whelan on Wednesday. Looking forward to tough fixtures coming up now rather than dreading them.

  4. Big Fat Ron November 25, 2018 at 8:15 pm .

    The performance is never a priority in any derby, never mind one of this magnitude. I’m glad to hear that the penny is dropping about Nyland. I’ve been saying it since August. We all said when Smith came in that we need to hang in until we can fix the defence in January. We also said the best form of defence was attack, as that’s where our strengths are. So it looks like, to date, everything is going to plan! We’re well in there and the attack is compensating for the defence. We still have lots of difficult games until the New Year, but we really shouldn’t be moaning at all!

    Btw, even if we beat Forest, which is a big ask, we won’t move up a position, so now’s the time to be patient. If we can keep winning, we might be pleasantly surprised by the league position come the New Year!

    UTV

    1. DSVilla November 25, 2018 at 8:31 pm .

      If we beat them by two goals we will go above them. As you say, a big ask. It’s at home though, and we are doing well at home. I am actually starting to expect us to win, rather than be surprised if we do.

      1. Big Fat Ron November 25, 2018 at 10:53 pm .

        Just hope Grabban doesn’t do what most would expect him to do! Especially with our defence!

  5. Hitchens60 November 26, 2018 at 11:14 am .

    Our daughter is out staying with us at the moment so we enjoyed the win together even though we could only follow it on text. Seen the highlights and it looked like a game of two dodgy defences and with our ‘new Deano attack’ I believe in those circumstances we will always score more goals – and so the good fairy willed it.

    As pointed out Smith’s challenge in January is to strengthen the defence but I suspect with limited resources – something he’s very comfortable with. For me I’d recall Steer and Mitch Clarke and make a new LB my first priority.

    Bit worried about the growing injury list though.

    Oh – and perhaps we should recall Gary Gardiner just to upset Small Heath LOL.

    1. DSVilla November 26, 2018 at 12:25 pm .

      Nah! Need to find another Gardiner to send them. Craig was useless!

      1. Pat 57 November 26, 2018 at 1:47 pm .

        And gobby as hell with it. I wonder if he’s given up on going back to VP after all his mouthing off during the match on Sunday?

        Wouldn’t want him back now, we could do a lot better.

        1. Hitchens60 November 27, 2018 at 1:26 am .

          I was refering to Gary not Craig who, by all accounts, has been influential for them in midfield. It was supposed to be a tongue in cheek comment!

          1. Hitchens60 November 27, 2018 at 1:28 am .

            And Gary wasn’t playing Sunday under the terms of the loan deal!

  6. Bill Pearson November 26, 2018 at 2:17 pm .

    It can only get better lads, can you imagine that game under Bruce, it would have been lost before they played. I see the difference and yes we do need to strengthen in our defence but give credit where its wanted, Villa didn’t buckle when we went 1 down, to me it showed the team are together, that wouldn’t have been with Bruce believe me. We are not far away from being a side to be reckoned with, Wednesday night we will see. Well done the lads.

  7. Adam November 26, 2018 at 6:33 pm .

    I might be the only one but i actually think Nyland is improving and doesnt need replacing. He was fouled for their first goal Che Adams pulls his shirt. The more pressing matter was the biggest man on the field was apparently being marked at first by Whelan!? And for that goal didnt have anyone marking him just left free. Nyland couldnt do anything about their 2nd either. His distribution wasnt bad either. He came and collected a couple of times to ease pressure. I think there is a good keeper there just needs that confidence and his defence didnt exactly help in that department!

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