Villa – Brentford; Belated thoughts on a great game.

Straight after the match, I took the dog for a walk.
Okay, the reality is he took me for a walk and we ended up doing about an hour and a half around Witton lakes and the surrounding area. It was actually a very nice walk on a sultry evening, to be fair.

The intention was to come back in and do a review, but I sat down for five minutes and then fell asleep at the computer.
Hence no post.
I just don’t have the energy I used to.

Never mind, as it gave me some time to reflect on our performance.

And first I have to say that was the best game I’ve seen in a long time.
I don’t just mean from a Villa point of view too, although our first half blew me away.
This was a game played exactly how it’s meant to be played, with both teams going for the win.

Straight after the result, I felt elated that we’d got a point, even though I thought we easily edged the game.
But coming back is always difficult, isn’t it?
Yet we did it twice against a very good side in Brentford.
I’ve seen suggestions that they’ll be up there, come the end of the season, but I have doubts, as their squad will probably fail them somewhere down the line.
There’s no doubt they’re a very decent side though and they caused us problems at the back.

I’ve also seen suggestions that they had a bit of an “off” game.
I’d say that’s rubbish and our pressing just didn’t allow them to play the game they like.
Which is what impressed me massively.

If we can keep that sort of effort up, we’ll have no problem in being in the play-off places and will even blow most teams in this league away.
I say “if”, as I’m sure we have a bit of a motivation problem against the “lesser” sides.

Whatever, after having had a day to think about it, I now partly feel like we were robbed of two points, because of Maupay’s stamp on McGinn.
I felt at the time that he should have seen red and that’s now been justified with him having been retrospectively banned for 3 games.
Quite right too, the dirty bxxxxxd.
A stamp as late as that has no place in the game and as much as Dean Smith (totally wrongly and he’s gone down in my estimation) tried to defend him, it was simply indefensible.

It is what it is though and in a game which many thought we might lose, I’ll take the point.

Tuanzebe stood out for me and if we move him to CB, I suspect he’d look even better.
The thought of him playing out against most sides is a nice one.

Jedinak doesn’t suit in defence, but he’s doing a job, just as he will throughout the season.
It doesn’t seem signing a CB is a priority. More on that in a minute.

Kodjia looks might he might have got back into the groove and I’m really pleased about that.
If he’d have missed that first goal, how many of us would be calling him greedy, yet again?
The angle, on average, looked too wide and most would have said he should have squared it (was there anyone there? I don’t know).
But that’s what greedy strikers can do and I say keep it up, Jonathan, if you’re confident.

Going back to that not signing a CB point, I think this says something fundamental.

It’s my strong belief that Bruce has been told that the owners want to see a more adventurous game.
Why else would Bruce not be concentrating on beefing up a weakened defence with Terry leaving?

If I’m right, I expect a very exciting season, especially with El Ghazi and probably Bolasie signing on for us.

Concede some, but score more should always be the name of the game.


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  1. Bill Evans
    Bill Evans August 23, 2018 at 10:55 pm . Reply

    Agreed. This was the best I’ve seen our boys play in years and some of our close passing around their penalty area was a delight. Grealish and McGinn both have superb ball control and appear to have formed a great partnership.


  2. Pat 57
    Pat 57 August 24, 2018 at 12:41 am . Reply

    Is Abraham on the way as well?

    Let’s hope so.

    Although only a draw Villa played some of the best football I’ve seen from them.
    Feeling optimistic.

  3. nath
    nath August 24, 2018 at 7:02 am . Reply

    i think bruce is going to play axel tuanzebe at centre back. he wasnt at our pre season camps, he isnt used to first team fully, so bruce is easing him in at right back first, maybe to get him fully fit first. managers dont like to keep swapping cb during games. i personally think tuanzebe is good enough at cb with chester guidance he will flourish, jedi offers a good solid base during this time. whilst tuanzebe is getting ready. but playing jedi at cb is giving us same problems as last year with no speed back there.

    midfield is totally the best in this division by far and they are not fully up to speed yet, just wait until grealish ups his input. mcginn gets used to his players , the new wingers settle in. bonus must be kodjia return to form and in the goals leading the line well. it just leaves the defensive unit which is a combo of goalie and defence to get sorted. this will take time. but i have faith in bruce surely a ex defender can sort this issue out

    i appologise if this bulshit is not up to scratch i rushed it and late doing so addios

  4. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson August 24, 2018 at 8:00 am . Reply

    Badger I’d be inclined to believe your right in saying the owners have asked for more attacking play, seeing that game Wednesday would attract more business. I think we’ve jumped the gun on wingers it should have been the defence , we need stability in that CB position, also the right and left back positions .Wednesdays game has made me more pleased than I’ve been for year’s, I can now see a football team being put together than ever before. I’m not saying we don’t need wingers I’m saying we have youngsters that would fill that position. Yes I’m content in knowing we are on the right track with Bruce all he needed was an owner backing his team.

  5. Holte66
    Holte66 August 24, 2018 at 8:45 am . Reply

    Tomorrow’s game should not be taken lightly. Remember how last season when we played blinders then lost against QPR and Bolton. Simply put we cannot afford those type of calamities again if we want promotion. I’m hopeful that lessons have been learnt, but Reading were 2 up away to Blackburn before conceding 2 penalties. The loan signings will add competition for places which can only be a good thing. There hasn’t been much talk of players leaving except U23s, but I wouldn’t be surprised if maybe Lansbury or Tshibola are loaned out, and with a bit of luck McCormack too.

    1. Sadenned
      Sadenned August 24, 2018 at 11:54 am . Reply

      Cant agree more Holte- the game tomorrow cannot be a banana skin, we simply have to win to prove we have progressed from last year – no more stupid mistakes.

  6. Dave. C
    Dave. C August 24, 2018 at 1:29 pm . Reply

    Bolasie at West Brom, grrrr!!

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 August 24, 2018 at 3:07 pm . Reply

      Where did you read that DC?

      1. Saddened
        Saddened August 24, 2018 at 3:24 pm . Reply

        Looks like he’s being unveiled at Villa today !!
        I hope so anyway

    2. Pat 57
      Pat 57 August 24, 2018 at 3:22 pm . Reply

      I’m puzzled too. Below is from the B’ham Mail 5 hours ago –

      ‘Aston Villa are still confident of signing Yannick Bolasie but he’s unlikely to arrive in time to face Reading tomorrow.’

      Can’t find anything about Bolasie and the Baggies.

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 August 24, 2018 at 4:55 pm . Reply

        Me neither Pat – sounds like fake news – well I certainly hope so.

  7. Sidforever
    Sidforever August 24, 2018 at 3:26 pm . Reply

    Well said Badger.

    All I can think is that Bruce is building his own Hercules. Very strong at attacking but with one weakness- the defence. Tuanzebe to centre back is a must, the pace he has is frightening. This will stop teams catching us out with balls over the top or into space. Jedinak is not able to deal with the express side of the game. We really need a left back.

    I am feeling positive.

  8. Dave. C
    Dave. C August 24, 2018 at 5:13 pm . Reply

    Hope I’m wrong lads but I heard a Baggies fan on the Adrian Chiles show on radio 5 this morning, they were talking about tonight’s game against Boro, the fan was talking about the attacking options that West Brom has and one of the players he mentioned was Bolasie, I almost crashed my van in anger!!

  9. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson August 24, 2018 at 6:01 pm . Reply

    Well Dave, its going round he’s failed his mot , if you ask me only he knows what’s happening.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 August 24, 2018 at 6:42 pm . Reply

      I suppose that’s a possibility Bill given his recent injury problems. Clearly there is something holding up his loan and maybe Pulis is playing a canny game and ‘Boro had actually pulled out of the deal.

      Love a conspiracy – don’t you!

  10. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson August 24, 2018 at 7:21 pm . Reply

    Hitch it’s very strange we haven’t heard a thing, he looked happy enough at the match, yes this signing a little bit of a mystery Hitch, there more to this than we care to know,.

  11. Texas Johnny
    Texas Johnny August 24, 2018 at 7:47 pm . Reply

    There was talk of agreeing a buy clause at the end. I doubt we’ll be wanting to pay a whole lot for a 29 year old with injury/form problems. I’d bet that the negotiations hinge around that, and % of wage contributions.

  12. Holte66
    Holte66 August 24, 2018 at 7:59 pm . Reply

    Sky sports news understands that a loan deal will be concluded over the weekend. Obviously a few contractual issues to iron out.

  13. Pat 57
    Pat 57 August 24, 2018 at 9:50 pm . Reply

    Boro 1-0 Baggies. Poor game with two poor teams. So boring I actually started watching a La Liga game on my computer.

    Boro slightly better but the goal was a blatant handball. Wouldn’t be scared of either of these teams if they play like this.

  14. Guest
    Guest August 25, 2018 at 2:12 pm . Reply

    Christ people get a grip, we salvaged a draw by the skin of our teeth and everyone is a little over the top in their praise.

    Let’s see them play like that week in, week out shall we, and perhaps try keeping a clean sheet too, Bruce is still the wrong man for the job and we still have a long old season ahead.

    We beat Wolves 4-1 last year and then lost at home to QPR a week later, which was largely down to Bruce’s selection and tactics, has he learned anything from last year? I doubt it, same cautious approach, same habit for playing players out of position.

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