Villa – Brentford; A new beginning

As one sorry chapter in Villa’s history has come to an end, so another one begins and hopefully it’ll be better.

Today’s game then, is against a Brentford side that are managed by Thomas Frank, who has been touted as a possible target for us.
Why he’d want to come to the Villa, I’m really not sure and I doubt we’ll be looking at him, to be honest. Does that mean I wouldn’t welcome him? Not at all. We could do worse.

For now though we’re being run by Aaron Danks, who I have doubts about. His experience is just too much academia based and short of actual physical experience in the game proper, as far as I can see. No doubt he’s Purslow’s choice.
Still, we have to try and get behind him because a result today would help to relieve the pressure the team must be under, having suffered awful form and being a solitary place above the relegation zone.
At least we know the atmosphere won’t be anything like as toxic as it would have been if Gerrard hadn’t been sacked.

Squad news and there’s not much change.
Luiz has had his red card rescinded, meaning he’s not banned for three games and is available.
The other news is that Lucas Digne is on the verge of a return and he could feature, although it’s more likely that he’ll be given another week or so.

For Brentford, Christian Norgaard is back in training, but it’s probably too soon for a return. Pontus Jansson, Aaron Hickey and Thomas Strakosha are all out until after the World Cup.

What to think then?
Brentford sit tenth in the league and it’s important to note that they, along with most teams this season, are very inconsistent. In fact I’d recommend that people have a good look at the table to see how poor the Premier league is this year.
Fortunately, that means that any team that can string a couple of wins together can quickly climb the table.
Do I think that team might be us then?
Unfortunately not. Not straight away, anyway.
While we might experience some sort of new manager bounce, Danks isn’t going to be in charge for long, so I’m not sure how much urgency the players are going to feel.
Add in that the players look totally bereft of any confidence and I feel that a draw might be a decent result today.

How we’ll set up is anyone’s guess and there has been talk that McGinn and Ramsey might be “rested”. I’m not convinced that would be a good move, as we already look way to lightweight, but maybe a clean sweep, where we clear out a few long non-performing players for at least a while, is exactly what we need and it could be a chance for some sidelined players to get a chance to stake a claim for a prolonged run in the side?
I’m thinking particularly Sanson, who has looked okay in any brief stints he’s had and Nakamba, who to my mind has done next to nothing wrong, one poor game apart.
If Danks instructs the players to play forward, instead of back when they have options, that would be a good first move.

So I’m not expecting much today and of course I want the win, but of more interest to me today is the attitude of the players.
Will we see some extra fight?
Or will it be the same old, same old, which could indicate that it’s more about the players themselves and not managerial problems where we need to look closer?

If it does turn out to be down to the players, that’s going to be really disappointing, as it will mean we’ve been set back years and will literally have to go again.

I’m going to be optimistic and say we’ll dig in and get a draw.
That’s not very ambitious, I know, but I’m convinced we’d have lost if Gerrard was still in charge.

1-1 then, with the strong hope that we see some improvement.


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  1. William Pearson
    William Pearson October 23, 2022 at 3:48 pm . Reply

    I’m thinking Courtino, putting him on to my mind was not a bold move, Gerrard favour player, will he have the heart to play for the club .? We will see ..

  2. Texas Villan
    Texas Villan October 23, 2022 at 3:51 pm . Reply

    I think the opposite, Bill. Play a player who’s down while there’s no pressure and build up their confidence.

  3. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum October 23, 2022 at 3:57 pm . Reply

    Danke. Bloody Bluenoses, coming over here, winning our matches!!!!!!
    Oooooooooooo, I feel like heading out to a discotheque!!!!! 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳😁😁😁😁🤣🤣😅😅

    1. RSS
      RSS October 23, 2022 at 4:06 pm . Reply

      Dankes for the memory (-:

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 October 23, 2022 at 4:08 pm . Reply

        Class RSS

  4. RSS
    RSS October 23, 2022 at 4:13 pm . Reply

    ‘They’ve had two outstanding managers in the last two years and for whatever reason it hasn’t worked out so I think they may have to look at the way the club is run or the model – is the recruitment all in line?
    No Micky boy, you’re besty just wasn’t up to the job.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain October 23, 2022 at 4:24 pm . Reply

      And that’s something that all of SG’s media mates are going to have to swallow.

      The players prove they can play if they’re given a set of instructions that they can understand and which allow them to play in the positions that they are used to training for.

    2. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 October 23, 2022 at 4:27 pm . Reply

      Interesting RSS that none of the ‘pundits’ want to be seen as criticising ‘perfect Stevie’.

      The reality is that he is a poor manager and completely stifled the team. One of his biggest failures was failing to get Coutinho playing at his best.

      Of course one swallow doesn’t make a summer but, it’s no surprise that that’s the best we’ve played since Deano was manager

      1. Ardent Villain
        Ardent Villain October 23, 2022 at 4:44 pm . Reply

        I dont remember whether it was BFR or RSS on here a week or so back, reminding us that football is essentially a simple game.

        Unfortunately, so many football ‘experts’ make it over-complicated. I used to watch my sons at training sessions with ‘expert’ professional coaches a dozen or more years ago: the ‘experts’ spent hours over-coaching any natural talent, flair or even enjoyment out of the game for all the 12-18 year olds that they were supposed to be ‘training’.

        Remember SG last year, constantly going on in interviews about those who could or would not ‘understand’ or ‘buy into’ his ‘project’? I’m guessing that he spent so much time over-complicating the game that the players basically gave up trying to understand the management-bullshit, but were scared to death of playing their natural game if they didn’t think that fitted his ‘project’…

        1. Big Fat Ron
          Big Fat Ron October 23, 2022 at 11:32 pm . Reply

          That was me Ardent; I’ve been wrong about a few things lately but not that one, haha. Everything we saw today was what we’ve been saying for a long while.
          Two holding mids: check
          Buendia in ‘the hole’: check
          4 attackers allowed to ‘play’ with no shackles: check

          It’s not hard, is it? Newcastle will be a real test, though, and I’d take a draw if offered now!

          Come on Mauricio, imagine what you could do with the Aston Villa squad! They’re only 8 points from top 6 and we’re not even in November.


  5. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum October 23, 2022 at 4:14 pm . Reply

    Can’t wait for motd2 later!!!! It would be funny if Coutinho blossomed now!!! Effing awesome day!
    Thank you AVFC. Now you’ve shown what u can do let’s keep it up!
    Roll on Utd!!!!!!

    1. Big Fat Ron
      Big Fat Ron October 23, 2022 at 11:35 pm . Reply

      Shearer couldn’t bring himself to criticise Gerrard. I though he was going to puke when he said maybe the players didn’t like Gerrard.

      1. RSS
        RSS October 24, 2022 at 12:08 am . Reply

        Bang on BFR, the look on his face, unbelievable.
        Wtf is going on?
        The proof of the pudding but this concept appears to beyond the SG appreciation society.

  6. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 October 23, 2022 at 4:23 pm . Reply

    What this win does is give the owners some breathing space in appointing a new manager – I would be surprised if any announcement before the WC break.

    It also shows that we have a really good squad of players – if allowed to play. Gerrard stiffed them with Southgate style anti football.

    I have been very critical of Bailey but was a revelation today; play like that every week and we have that £30m player.

  7. Ardent Villain
    Ardent Villain October 23, 2022 at 4:25 pm . Reply

    I also have to admit that I may have underestimated Bailey; maybe he was just told to go out and do what he’s good at?

    1. Big Fat Ron
      Big Fat Ron October 23, 2022 at 11:33 pm . Reply

      Yep, me too.

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