Villa – Brentford; A proper test

Our performances so far this season have been poor, there’s no getting away from it.
Yes, we’ve mostly got the right results and I could happily live with that.
I haven’t looked at the table yet, but I think we’re 5th with a game in hand on at least a couple of the teams above us.
You quite simply can’t knock that.

But I think I’m in the majority when I say that it isn’t good enough.
Even though it’s very early in the season, I find it at least a little concerning that we can’t dominate what on paper ought to be inferior teams.
And I’ve seen nothing to convince me that we’ll be able to dominate teams more akin to our level either.
My big fear is that even if we were to get to a play-off final again this season (I really don’t believe we’re going to get automatic promotion as it stands) , we’d bottle it because of Bruce’s tactics, a la Fulham.

Which is where Brentford come in.
They play very good football and with our defence, I suspect they will be well capable of playing through us if they’re on their game.

There is the fact that we often tend to up our game against the better sides (and I’ve often wondered if a subdued atmosphere against lesser clubs mostly works against us) but Brentford are a bit of an exception and we have a very poor record against them.

There aren’t any major injury problems on either side, the usual apart.

So it mostly revolves around how Bruce is going to play this.

We all know that Bruce has criticised himself for not changing it up enough last season.
Yet it’s blindingly obvious that he also has massive favourites and he’s loathe to change them up.
I’d suggest Adomah is a good example.
Yes, he’s been great for us and you should stick with players who have done the business and give them every chance.
But there comes a time when a player needs taking out of the spotlight for a while.
Will Bruce do that with Adomah?
I very much doubt it.

So I don’t expect any changes really.
Which means I don’t see much change in how we approach the game either.

We’ll have a defence with players playing out of position in front of a dodgy goalie (when we let Steer go out on loan????).

With McGinn, we might well have the midfield sorted in the middle, with Grealish and Hourihane involved.

There’s still the nagging doubt about Kodjia, but scoring doesn’t seem the major issue.
It’s creating the chances in OPEN play, or rather, not, that concerns me.

I see Brentford definitely getting a goal.
Which puts us at a one goal disadvantage, because I worry that Bruce will try to contain Brentford and we might struggle to score.

Winning this would be a great result, even though it really shouldn’t be anything special, given that we’re at home.
And I’d go so far as to say that a draw will be a better result than that against Ipswich.

We really don’t want to see our home record go this early into the season.

I’m going for an optimistic 2-1, but more realistically predict a 1-1.

Which probably says a lot in itself.
The resources available to both clubs are incomparable, as much as we’ve been in trouble lately.

Game 4 of my predicted 10 or so.
We either keep scratching the results or Bruce changes his game.
Which only leaves him one option, I’d say.
Because I don’t see him changing anything much.
He doesn’t know any different.

81 Comments

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  1. Robbo August 23, 2018 at 12:03 pm . Reply

    Massive lack of class in his comment. Should have been honest enough to call it for what it was. It should have been a yellow for McLeod’s foul on McGinn, then the whistle went, then the stamp. It could have ended his season. Ref, lino, 4th official all within 15 yards – how wasn’t it seen?
    To claim Jedi’s push was a forearm smash is frankly ridiculous.

  2. Holte66 August 23, 2018 at 12:42 pm . Reply

    The players have shown that they are capable of high tempo and high pressing, so now they need to continue this standard going forward. I was actually disappointed in Brentford yesterday. Whether it was an off day for them or perhaps we didn’t allow them to play, who knows. I think most of us agree that Jedinak is not a good CB. Tuanzebe needs to be given a chance there or get someone on loan. I would also prefer De Laet at RB with Hutton or someone on loan at LB. Jedinak should be a defensive midfielder or back up CB. Maybe new wingers will offer more speed to support Kodja. I was hoping Green would make the step up this season but he hasn’t set the world alight when he has come on for Adomah. Saturday we have a must win game. Anything less than 3 points against a poor Reading team will not be acceptable if we are serious about promotion.

  3. Bill Pearson August 23, 2018 at 5:27 pm . Reply

    Has anyone heard that Maupay got a 3 match ban? It would be justified if true.

  4. Bill Pearson August 23, 2018 at 5:31 pm . Reply

    Yep, its true here it is,

    Neal Maupay will miss Brentford’s next three matches after accepting a charge of violent conduct for his clash with Aston Villa’s John McGinn on Wednesday.

    The 22-year-old striker, who scored twice in the 2-2 draw at Villa Park live on Sky Sports, appeared to stamp on the midfielder in the 42nd minute – but it went unnoticed by the referee.

    The EFL has subsequently taken retrospective action after the incident was caught on camera and the Frenchman accepted he had broken the rules.

  5. nath August 23, 2018 at 7:05 pm . Reply

    last nights game was a massive step up by villa, first half we pressed the shit out of the side, most fans were worried about before the game, brentford are a good side like wigan, millwall last season, they all have great teamwork, as i said before good teams beat a good team of individuals. the thing i was impressed with villa, was how we managed to stop them from playing their game for most of the game, until our legs went at least near the end of game.

    i was impressed with wigan, we only just managed to beat them. but some fans saw that as not acceptable, but look how they ripped stoke a new arsehole. this was because stoke have players who are playing for themselves and not for the club. they lack the teamwork. we are heading in the right direction. we just need time to allow the new players to settle and we will come good. so i hope we managed to cling onto the leaders coattails until we reach our peak.

    Yannick Bolasie i have liked him loads from afar, wishing we had such a talented player, have we signed him now ?? he has been off form for a while i hear but he should be miles to hot for championship defenders. the other guy we signed looks a tidy little player also. we are going to be big player in this league, i think it would be harder to fuck up this season, if we can speed up the bedding in period or not be too far away

  6. nath August 23, 2018 at 7:24 pm . Reply

    on the players side, kodjia was back from his hibernation, with a vengeance. its not just hes scored 3 in 2 but his hold up play is back also. goal keeper is showing good signs, he made some decent saves at important times of games, mcginn is going to be the signing of our year. i feel grealish is playing within himself but its only a ,matter of time before hes back as well. last season grealish carried us, so if we can have these players keep this form up and grealish can rediscover his. promotion here we come

  7. Bill Pearson August 23, 2018 at 7:34 pm . Reply

    test

  8. Mark August 23, 2018 at 10:30 pm . Reply

    Can’t understand the negative comments from some on this forum. We are only 4 games in and already some are moaning. Just think what situation we would have been in had it not been for the takeover. Whilst I am not a massive fan of Bruce, I still can’t think of any other manager, that is available, that can make us progress. He is, however, so frustrating in failing to address what is blatantly obvious to all. In that, I mean there are at least three players he continually plays out of position. Hutton, whilst doing okay at left back, should be on the other side. Jedinak is absolutely hopeless as a Centre Back and Tuanzebe is surely better in that position than he is at right back. I find it confusing that one or two say that Tuanzebe was the best player against Brentford. Just look at both of their goals and you can clearly see he was ball watching for their first and should have done better for, what was nearly the winner. Also, whilst Nyland had a better game, he is still extremely dodgy, in my opinion. Surely the addition of the loan signings is going to improve our performances. Let’s see where we are at Christmas before the ‘Bruce Out’ banners are displayed.

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