Villa – Brentford; This should be easy, right?

I’m being facetious of course. I don’t think for one minute that this is going to be easy.

I took the trouble to listen to Dean Smith’s presser today.
I don’t normally bother, as for some reason I’ve always preferred the printed word. But whatever, I did find it interesting and very informative.

First, it is noticable that Smith has genuine respect for Brentford, it’s owner and it’s staff and especially Thomas Frank. Frank has done well in getting Brentford promoted and Smith sung his praises, saying he has a good exuberant character, as well as just being a good tactitian and a really good coach.
I’m certainly not going to take anything away from Frank, but I do wonder how much of their recent success is more down to the staff doing the hard work behind the scenes? After all, they barely seemed to miss Smith when he left and things carried on pretty much as normal.
You can’t be a poor manager/coach if your club gets promoted to the Premier league though, so I’ll just leave that there.

Smith saved me some work, in that he explained that Brentford haven’t changed in the way they play since being promoted. They’re defensively solid, well organised and carry plenty of threat with Ivan Toney in particular.
So they aren’t going to be a pushover and have started the season pretty well, having beaten Arsenal (which made me laugh) and got a very decent point at Palace.
I would however think things will balance out over the season and while I actually hope they don’t go down, I think they will struggle.
It’s early days though and we know we had a poor pre-season, so we’re basically still gaining fitness.
Smith said he expects us to improve, particularly with the players we have due to come back and he does have a point.

Which leads nicely to squad news, where Watkins was due to train today and if he was okay, he’d be available. He’ll only get minutes at best then, in my opinion.
Bailey and Traore won’t be available, but should be ok to be selected after the dreaded international break. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword this break, in that they’ll be able to gain fitness without missing games. I just hate international breaks.
Sanson is training, but he’s had no match time, so he’s apparently going to play a couple of games this week. But he won’t be anywhere near the first team, you’d have to assume. I actually wonder if Smith rates him and while the Frenchman has had a torrid time, I do remember an article that suggested he’s a troublemaker. So much so that two agents dropped him. We know the manager can seemingly take a strong dislike to certain players and my guess is that Sanson will be one of those. No doubt we’ll see.
Keinan Davis is having his brace off tomorrow, so he’s a month away from even starting training. I predict a January loan for him, given that Smith thinks we’re okay with Bailey and Traore being able to play up front, if needed.

Which leaves Wesley, who’s had a medical at Brugges. I’m not sure if there is a clause to buy there, but I suspect Smith will be hoping there is and the Belgians take the option.

Smith’s comments on the Barrow game were interesting too.
People have apparently been on the phone asking about Cameron Archer.
I saw an article last night, which suggested that Walsall should take the lad on loan. I think that’s a great idea, but having listened to a few of their games, they don’t sound a very good side and they might not be the right sort of place. Still, I’d be happy to help Walsall out, as would Smith, but he was very non-comittal and hinted that the striker would stay involved with the first team squad.

Smith spoke highly about El Ghazi’s goal contribution last year and while that seems to suggest he wants to keep the wingman, I wasn’t at all convinced that he wouldn’t let him go. If Roma are happy to cough up a rumoured £15 million, I’d snap their hands off, but I don’t believe that figure in the slightest, if they have any interest at all. If they’re only going to hand over say, £10 million, I’d rather keep him as a squad player.

Likewise with Weston McKennie. Smith sort of poured cold water on us having any interest in him, but he could easily have flat out denied that. He quite simply didn’t so I assume we do.

Prediction time then and I’m struggling to call it.
Part of me sees a few goals, because both sides know how to score. But then both sides are pretty good defensively too.
Brentford are pretty good at setpieces and that’s something we’ll have to be aware of. Austin Macphee, who I’m relieved to see has NOT left the club, as I wrongly stated previously, will be well aware of that though and hopefully have the lads well drilled. I’m already seriously appreciative of what he brings to the table.

I think we’ll have enough to beat Brentford on our own turf, with what should be another full house.
A 2-1 Villa win.

Up the Villa!


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  1. JWeston
    JWeston August 31, 2021 at 10:39 pm . Reply

    Steve Cooper the ex Swansea City coach as a coach in at Villa and Dean Smith’s old mate David Kelly in as a striker coach.

  2. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 September 1, 2021 at 7:13 am . Reply

    I see Sanson played 45 minutes in the EFL Cup last night where the U23’s registered their first win (1-3 away to Wycombe) in six attempts.

    I wondered where Sanson was going to get the game time Smith talked about in his last press conference.

    Archer (Sanson assist) and Bidace (2) were the scorers.

    Useful competition to be in.

  3. Adam
    Adam September 2, 2021 at 8:00 am . Reply

    So now apparently the Argentina boss has said he plans to keep Martinez and Buendia for the 3 matches instead of the reported 2 matches Villa had agreed to let them go for. So they will miss Chelsea and now Everton. Great! Things keep getting better.

    1. Neil Hughes
      Neil Hughes September 2, 2021 at 7:26 pm . Reply

      Greenish was right then. Moving to Man City and he’s starting for England tonight. Wouldn’t surprise me if Southgate encouraged him to move, if he wanted to play for England. No respect for Southgate now.

  4. Sidforever
    Sidforever September 3, 2021 at 6:32 am . Reply

    Absolutely Badger. And to think Southgate was once privileged enough to wear the Villa shirt!

  5. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 September 3, 2021 at 10:05 am . Reply

    So Buendia wasn’t even in the match day squad for Argentina’s game against Venezuela which makes it even more annoying that he will miss at least one if not two matches. If Scolari is not going to even pick him for the squad then he should allow him to return to Villa.

  6. OLL again
    OLL again September 5, 2021 at 10:12 am . Reply

    Congratulations to Aston Villa Ladies for starting their WSL season with a 2-1 win over promoted Leicester City. Match reports about the men’s game are cliché-ridden to the point that they would appear odd without the familiar phrases, none more so than “Struck the woodwork” which has not happened for 50 years. The women’s game is an opportunity to move away from the cliché.
    For example, this from BM’s report on yesterday’s match could have been worded better.
    “The home side were much livelier in the second half but still needed Hampton to deny Jess Sigsworth, spreading herself well in a promising one-on-one situation.”

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 September 5, 2021 at 6:57 pm . Reply

      Don’t know what you mean OLL (-:

      Thought Villa rode their luck a bit but great free kick to equalise though.

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 September 5, 2021 at 6:58 pm . Reply

        Bu**er forgotten how to do smiley faces 🙂

  7. Sidforever
    Sidforever September 5, 2021 at 9:04 pm . Reply

    Interesting to see what is happening in Brazil.

    Authorities march into pitch due to 4 Argentinians coming from UK not isolating for numerous days.

    Could we now be looking at Buendia and Martinez being absent for a further 20 days!

    If so, we should really make it explicit that we will not support the Argentinian football authorities again. It’s looking like we have been well shafted.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 September 6, 2021 at 6:59 am . Reply

      What a farce.

      I can see clubs like ours and Spurs refusing to allow any players to go to red listed countries otherwise our season is going to be totally disrupted with potentially disastrous consequences.

  8. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 September 7, 2021 at 5:29 pm . Reply

    So, it seems, there are calls for ‘sympathy’ for those clubs that did not release their Brazilian players and that they shouldn’t be sanctioned for five days (missing one match). Whereas Spurs and Villa who let their players go will be penalised by way of quarantine rules.

    You can guess which clubs are majorly affected!

    It makes me f**king mad.

    I’m getting seriously pi**ed of with football.

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