Villa – Albion; I’ll be amazed if we get anything from this

I’d just got home from work on Wednesday and was about to start writing my thoughts about the Brentford game, when I got called back for an emergency.
So I spent an hour driving back, only to find it wasn’t an emergency after all.
The long and short of it is, I got back in the car just as we were kicking off and had to settle for the WM commentary for the first half.
Where we sounded awful. Hause, it seems, was being picked on in “being caught out several times”.
To my mind, there’s no way he should be being started, as I’m going to give him the benefit and say he’s way too rusty and should only come on as a sub for now.
I’m not convinced by Taylor’s “injury” at all and as much as I don’t rate him in the slightest, I’d rather see him in than Hause as it stands.
I still struggle to believe we didn’t get a proper, decent Left back in.

Anyway, I watched the second half and actually thought that while we were still poor, I could see signs that we were actually looking slightly better as the game went on.
We created chances that we should have done better with and massively against the run of play, I thought we might actually nick the points.
It wasn’t to be though and we were still rubbish overall.
I won’t go into it anymore, because it’s gone.

But the result reminded me of what Dean Smith and a few fans were saying in that we had a big week, with Sheffield, Brentford and Albion and three wins would see us right.
I laughed at the time, as I struggled to see us getting much at all.

And I still don’t.

Squad news.

Not much has changed on our part, but Taylor should be available. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, myself.
Chester is definitely out, while Grealish is itching to play, but apparently got knocked back by the doctor.

Albion have Dwight Gayle suspended, but Matt Phillips, Hal Robson-Kanu, James Morrison and Ahmed Hegazi may all be available.

Not that it matters much, as I expect Albion to have far too much for us, whoever they put out.
Things ain’t clicking, we’re not getting any luck, we’re just outright rubbish; call it as you like, just as Lee Hendrie said the other night, we just don’t look like winning and you have to wonder where the next point is coming from.
It’s something I agree with. So much so that I can’t see us getting anything tomorrow either.
Our midfield is far too weak and the wide players aren’t cutting it.
A run of bad form?
It looks a lot more than that to me, but whatever, I’m glad we’ve already got 44 points on the board.

I’m getting close to the stage where I’ll be calling for us to totally change things up and make sweeping changes and just stick anyone in, as they can hardly do much worse and we can’t keep rewarding such poor performance with repeated starts.
But it’s not going to happen, because we’ve loaned our best kids out anyway.

I’d expect a goal when Albion back off at some stage, but I doubt it’ll be enough and think it’ll be a comfortable 2-1 to the Albion.
What surprises me is that I’m sure the bookies have us as favourites.


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  1. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 February 17, 2019 at 1:40 pm . Reply

    Albion and Brentford play different styles of football yet both had ‘worked us out’ before the games which suggests problems with tactics etc and therefore points the finger at the manager – yet to my way of thinking we played the same style in both matches – and Albion / Brentford similarly played to their strengths.

    And that, surely, is where the problem lies. Where do our strengths lie – well two of them are long term injuries and the other two or three suffer without Grealish pulling the strings.

    Nath makes a good point about getting on players backs too quickly. I remember when we bought Ken McNaught from Everton – he was absolutely pants for the first few games – but, once he’d adjusted – what a player.

    Personally, I don’t understand the criticsm of Hourihane – what is it we actually want from a player – 11 McGinns 🙂

    1. Pat 57
      Pat 57 February 17, 2019 at 1:55 pm . Reply

      You’re wrong Hitch – we need 10 McGinns, I hear he’s crap in goal 🙂

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 February 17, 2019 at 5:04 pm . Reply

        Bl**dy hell – thought he was brilliant in all positions – what a disappointment 🙂

  2. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson February 17, 2019 at 2:34 pm . Reply

    Unfortunately we’ve not got him for the next two games, sorry Hitch Hourihane is a weak midfielder, I don’t known how you don’t see it, one thing I’m not a person getting on his back, but I am a fan that’s not sitting on the fence by say what I see. Yet hes not the only one who’s a weak player Albert needs to step up Kodjia also, lightwait players, I can always remember Barry being a player that was slow on the turn and being ridiculed but wish we still had him. No lads if you think some will improve I don’t get that window open and soon.

    1. nath
      nath February 17, 2019 at 4:33 pm . Reply

      trouble is bill the window is closed and remains closed until the summer, thats the rules all clubs abide by. so we need to make do with what players, we have in the squad built largely by previous manager.

      i am not saying hourihane is a brilliant player, but what i am saying is support the players, while they represent our club. hourihane is not as bad as ppl are making out.

      we do need summer window to open quickly, this is why i hate changing managers halfway through seasons. smith has been forced to play another managers players, who where all bought to play another managers tactics.

      if we are now insisting we return to bruce type tactics to suit the players. tell me what the rush was in sacking bruce. we need to stop messing around and stick with what we are trying to achieve. if we think cheering a player off the field after he had a nightmare game is correct thing to do. then its indeed a sorry state of affairs and we deserve to stay out of the elite league until we find ourselves

    2. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 February 17, 2019 at 5:09 pm . Reply

      Don’t totally agree with you Bill. A midfield of Hourihane, McGinn and Grealish would imho opinion have no weaknesses. No player (unless it’s Messi) has all the skills or every attribute and it’s about blending abilities together to make a whole.

      I agree that a Hourihane is struggling in the current midfield set up but it doesn’t make him a poor player. I would even suggest that McGinn is not as effective without Grealish alongside him. Grealish is the glue and if you have none, things generally fall apart!

  3. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson February 17, 2019 at 5:33 pm . Reply

    Hitch, we cannot have to bank on Grealish, its a possibility he won’t be with us next season, so honestly do you think Hourlihane is strong enough to carry the job on after he’s gone, he’s not doing it now being in that roll, all I’m getting at I don’t think he has the ability . Hopefully we might get new players , stronger players, Nath I’m not indicating we do a Bruce type move, I’m staying with Smith till its obvious the job to big, believe it or not we have had bad luck in some games, and bad decisions by refs, all I want is players like McGinn, Minns, with determination, Hause played well yesterday and I think we have just the player for that roll, let’s get strong players not old but younge eager won’t to win players.

    1. nath
      nath February 17, 2019 at 6:00 pm . Reply

      we won’t know if the jobs too big for smith, until he has been given enough time, to at least assemble his own team. with the amount of managers we have had over a decade. add to that the amount of players during that time, also been at villa and deemed useless, only to go elsewhere and forge a career at a higher and better level than what we find ourselves playing.

      i just putting out there that we need to stop making panic decisions, fans wanted smith and some of them same fans think the job is above him. we need to allow managers to manage the club. style of play takes much longer to change or create than we all think. got to allow smith summer as bare minimum.

      otherwise we deserve everything we get and worse. smith was popular with us because his teams played good style and high tempo. he knows what he needs and he isn’t about to come out on interviews and say that, cause he needs the current players, as we fans need them to see out this diabolical season.

      1. Bill Pearson
        Bill Pearson February 17, 2019 at 6:04 pm . Reply

        Well ive said till its obvious the jobs to big , meaning when he’s got his team,.

        1. nath
          nath February 17, 2019 at 6:18 pm . Reply

          i am just commenting on what is floating around. not necessarily on here. lots of posts saying smith should go is ludicrous. also change style to suit the players ?? smith was appointed because his style was desirable. if they want to change back then why sack bruce.

          about players being cheered sarcastically leaving the game its not clever. hourihane isn’t a bad player i agree with hitch. what is highlighted in games lately is he is so out of form and low on confidence. but where his the cover ?? mcginn is suspended and who will come in for him ???

          i just hope we get a result soon or we might have to relocate, rebuild the stadium a few miles down the road maybe we built on curse land. i believe in the owners and they will give the manager time players and we will improve if the fans buy into this and stop gambling on change.

    2. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 February 17, 2019 at 7:09 pm . Reply

      I accept your point about Grealish Bill but, as I think we are all saying, it’s down to Smith to build a team capable of playing his style of football and exciting the fans on a regular basis – promotion then becomes the bonus. I just believe that Hourihane has a role to play in that team.

      Only time will tell – I honestly believe that the one facet all Villa fans have learnt through years of under performance and misery is patience – even though sometimes our frustrations bubble to the surface.

      For the first time we have truly wealthy owners who, it would seem, are also experienced in managing sports teams as well as being savvy businessmen – keep the faith.


  4. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson February 17, 2019 at 6:01 pm . Reply

    Aston Villa have reportedly beaten off competition of Italian giants AC Milan to retain the services of Mungo Bridge.

    The 18-year-old, who has played in Villa’s 18s side but also made the step up to the Premier League 2 this season, is said to have been interesting the Serie A club.

    Milan, managed by former Italian midfielder and Rangers star Gennaro Gattuso, were reportedly willing to match whatever Villa offered by the way of a professional contract.

    The Sunday People, though, claim that centre back Bridge has opted to remain at Villa

  5. CharlieAitken...Villa legend
    CharlieAitken...Villa legend February 18, 2019 at 2:55 pm . Reply

    Stay with Smith IMO. Silly to judge him until he gets the players who can play the football he wants.

  6. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 February 19, 2019 at 8:16 am . Reply

    If you read Smith’s management cv, he’s always been appointed to teams that were under performing – Walsall were actually bottom of the league and he kept them up.

    The other consistents are – he radically rebuilt each team in the first summer window (14 or 15 players at Walsall and 18 at Brentford) lowering the average age and concentrating on younger players – he also did it by being canny in the market and creating increasing (rather than decreasing!) asset values. Both teams played attacking skillful football and he left both in a far better position than when he joined. As an aside he does try and take key players from his previous side – assuming we could afford them?

    A couple of downsides are – it seems that his teams can go on poor streaks of results but then that can happen and he has never managed to finish higher than ninth.

    To me what this says is that not to give him time to rebuild the team would be absolutely farcical and would raise serious questions over the strategy being adopted by our new owners – I just don’t believe that.

    The summer is going to be very interesting and busy – Fred Gilbert is just the beginning.

    CHARLIEAITKEN...VILLALEGEND February 19, 2019 at 12:12 pm . Reply

    I really hope that Mings signs on a permanent basis. I think he has all the attributes to become a great Villa captain

    CHARLIEAITKEN...VILLALEGEND February 20, 2019 at 9:13 am . Reply

    Dont know what the procedure is on this site but my comments are not displaying!

    Is there something that I need to do?

  9. CHARLIEAITKEN...Villa legend
    CHARLIEAITKEN...Villa legend February 21, 2019 at 11:02 am . Reply

    Yes I use different devices…Ipad, tablet, phone.

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