Villa – Blues; The big one’s back again!


Well, it’s certainly a big one for the blues fans and definitely their cup final this season, regardless of what happens, isn’t it?
Because if they do beat us, even if they were to get relegated this season, they’d still think beating us was more important.

Now I know it sounds like I’m coming from some superior place, but beating Birmingham city isn’t that big a deal to me any more, it really isn’t.
And no, I haven’t gone mad; let me explain.

While of course, I’d love us to beat city and indeed give them a right good thrashing that would send them home with their tails in between their legs, it just isn’t the same when you’re playing in different leagues.
We’re expected to beat them, so what’s to be gained if we win? There’s the fact that it keeps them quiet and in their rightful place, of course.
And there’s the fact that if they win, we never hear the end of it, whatever league they’re in and it’s a stick they can beat us with.
So basically it’s more about bragging rights, to which I would expect many of you to say “that’s all it’s about”.
Which is fair enough, I suppose.
But if we were to lose, I’d just see it on a par as losing to Milwall or Orient.
Simply progressing to the next round is more important, regardless of who we beat.

So onto the game itself and I expect nothing other than the City team to go all out to win this.
Gary Rowett (the Villa fan?)’s got them going pretty well, especially when you look at the precarious position the club’s in. They’re currently sat at seventh in the championship, with a game in hand over the clubs above them.
The fans I’ve spoken to are very happy, tell me they’re playing well and many seem to think the play-offs are in the realms of reality. So it’s all good on their part.

Whereas, things aren’t so good for us.
We’ve acquired less points than I think we’ve deserved up to now and indeed are sat on only four out of six games.
That’s simply not good enough and there’s an air of malaise beginning to set back in, which even led to booing on Saturday.
I believe it’s way too early for that sort of stuff yet, but it’s by the by.
Suffice to say, we’re not at the top of things and it’s probably a perfect time for the enemy to be playing us.

Squad news then, and Birmingham have Neil Eardly out with a shoulder injury.

As for us, the bad news is that Gana, who seemed to be borderline for Saturday’s game has flown back to France for further treatment to his Hamstring.
Which begs the question what on earth happened there then?
Anyway, it’s definitely not good as he’s been massively missed.
Okore’s knee is still troubling the player and Traore is still doubtful, which might be a good thing as perhaps he’d just get kicked to bits again?
Otherwise, I think we’re ok, which still leaves Tim Sherwood with options.

So what to think?
I’m sure I read a passing comment that Rowett left quite a few of his main players out for their last game (but might be wrong), so they’re probably going to come with their strongest line-up.
If that is the case, I’d expect Sherwood to react similarly, with only a few changes.
Clark will probably come in, but I wonder if that might be part of a 3/5 at the back?

I’m not sure what could happen in the middle and I’d expect it to be similar to Saturday.

I’d expect a change up top though, with Sinclair rested and Gestede to start.
Not ideal for me, but we all know Gabby is guaranteed a start for some reason.
Which would mean what, we sit back, let them come at us and counter, hitting the ball long to Gestede or relying on Gabby to run at them?
Surely not?
And hopefully I’ve got that all wrong.
Still, we have to be pragmatic and the result is all important, I guess.

What’s my prediction then?

Well, as I’ve said, they’re on a high, whereas we’re somewhat at a low ebb.
Things haven’t gone for us lately (although a fair bit of it has been self-inflicted) and there’s massive pressure on the Villa team, something I feel will go against us, more than anything else.

Which just makes this a massive game. We need to restore some confidence and only a win will do.
Lose this and the fans will be on the manager’s back and that can only be a bad thing.

As I suggested, it’s not just about beating the blues.
This game could make or break our season and to me, that’s just more important.

Unfortunately, I’ll be delightfully surprised if we win this, as I think we’re going to lose.
They have things going for them and we don’t, which sometimes is what it comes down too, it’s as simple as that.

1-2, but I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

I’ve added a poll.


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  1. marvin
    marvin September 22, 2015 at 8:58 pm .

    We finally have a foot hold in the midfield – much better.

  2. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson September 22, 2015 at 9:03 pm .

    Gestede playing for them, what did they ever see in him god knows.

    1. KentNielsen77
      KentNielsen77 September 22, 2015 at 9:04 pm .

      His boots have got trampolines fitted to them – every touch like a shot.

      1. KentNielsen77
        KentNielsen77 September 22, 2015 at 9:05 pm .

        Love his forehead though.

  3. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson September 22, 2015 at 9:06 pm .

    Shut my mouth. Good un

    1. KentNielsen77
      KentNielsen77 September 22, 2015 at 9:09 pm .

      Who shall we slag off next bill? They’ll hopefully score too. Ha ha

  4. Colonius81
    Colonius81 September 22, 2015 at 9:15 pm .

    anyone have a decent stream!

  5. Morgan Villa
    Morgan Villa September 22, 2015 at 9:17 pm .

    We look better in a 4-4-2 all other formations dont seem to work and we play terrible football.

  6. B6
    B6 September 22, 2015 at 9:39 pm .

    Credit where it’s due, fair play Sherwood. He changed it by bringing on Grealish and Ayew and it changed the game. Well done lads.

    #HELENIUS September 22, 2015 at 9:40 pm .

    Credit where credits due, great sub’s from Sherwood and a deserved win. Now, let’s keep Gabby out the side and take Westwood with him. Utv

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath September 22, 2015 at 9:45 pm .


    2. Bill Pearson
      Bill Pearson September 22, 2015 at 9:47 pm .

      Blue noses having fun just put the windows in at the Villa Tavern pub, having to find people to shore them up. Bastards.

  8. marvin
    marvin September 22, 2015 at 9:43 pm .

    Great to have the win but Sherwood needs to figure out his squad. With the games coming up we don’t have the luxury of having him make major mistakes like the first half today. I just hope he learned something today. Credit to the supporters – in great voice today.

  9. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 September 22, 2015 at 9:47 pm .

    Only saw the second half but it seemed we were playing 5 at the back with 3 CH’s which made us look pretty solid. Ayew – exceptional movement – some solidity in mid field as 5 at the back seemed to give Bacuna in particular confidence. Great goal from Gestede – cross from Amavi was up to his normal standards.

    So on the second half performance – very encouraging and. I enjoyed not watching the first half with a very large glass of red wine 🙂

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath September 22, 2015 at 9:54 pm .


      1. Colonius81
        Colonius81 September 22, 2015 at 10:13 pm .

        can someone put a new post up?

        1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath September 22, 2015 at 10:21 pm .

          I have!

  10. Ardent Villain
    Ardent Villain September 22, 2015 at 9:48 pm .

    Jeez, reading some of the half-time comments on here, some of you lot really are fickle!

    For the first time in over 10 years we have a manager who actually has a ‘Plan B’ – and wasn’t afraid to make the required changes much earlier than the ‘traditional’ 65th or 70th minute.

    Sure, his opening formation was bizarre, and we ended-up playing about half an hour of head-tennis – and my only gripe with Sherwood is that he’s still experimenting too much and doesn’t seem to know his best team/formation yet.

    But the team that came out in the second half and actually tried to keep the ball on the ground showed some superbly skillful play.

    IMO this side could be extremely useful when everyone’s back from injury – provided that Sherwood can finally work out his best formation, and preferably leave Agbonlahor out of the squad.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath September 22, 2015 at 9:53 pm .

      IV just put new post up. But his plan A was shit fancy putting Clarke in midfield what’s that all about. Gabby and Lescottshould never play for us again they were appalling. All Sherwoid did in the second half was start with the team he should of done in first half!

      1. KentNielsen77
        KentNielsen77 September 22, 2015 at 9:58 pm .

        Plan A was shit, if there was actually a plan in the first place.

      2. Ardent Villain
        Ardent Villain September 22, 2015 at 9:58 pm .

        Yes, the opening line-up was really weird.
        Agree that Agbonlahor is a complete waste of a shirt.
        Yes, Lescott had a dire 45 minutes although not sure I’d write him off permanently quite so quickly.
        Most of our managers from MON onwards would have left the changes until there were only 15 minutes left; Sherwood realised his mistake and did what was needed.
        I thought a lot of our play in the second half was excellent – Grealish and Ayew really showed class.

        1. KentNielsen77
          KentNielsen77 September 22, 2015 at 10:13 pm .

          Richards, Ayew, Amavi, Grealish, Veretout excellent second half. No doubt Gabby will waltz back in to the side at the weekend.

          1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
            OohAhPaulMcGrath September 22, 2015 at 10:21 pm .

            I hope we’ve seen the last of Gabby. He can’t even do it in derbies anymore

    2. Morgan Villa
      Morgan Villa September 22, 2015 at 10:02 pm .

      I have been concerned since Southampton, we just have not looked like a side. That second half was a different story. Ayew turned the game around, it appeared to me on the attack we were 4-4-2 on the defence we moved to 3-5-2.

      I hope this continues but i do feel this season will be a difficult one on what i have seen so far.

      Gabby needs to be dropped

    3. #HELENIUS
      #HELENIUS September 22, 2015 at 10:32 pm .

      Not fickle, factual. It was shit first half, like most of the season and picking the likes of Gabby to start is bad management. For the first time this season Sherwood’s made decent sub’s, but I’d note. Then again law of averages says hes gota get it right sometime. So, remember, its facts, not fickle!!!!

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