Villa – Everton; Yet another tough one. and the protest


What happened to the days where we used to be able to look at a game and a prediction would involve one of three choices, in win, draw or lose?
They seem so distant and every way I try and look at a game these days, it’s hard to get away from the fact that we’re odds on to lose.
We’ve lost more games than we’ve achieved points and it’s all thoroughly depressing.

Still, Garde’s latest comments made me laugh in a similar way that our magnificent self-deprecating away support no doubt laughed when they read them.

“We will need the perfect game defensively and then we will need to be more threatening in attack.”

(Actually he said “offensively” instead of “in attack”, but I find American English er, offensive when we’re talking British footy. Perhaps I’m being pedantic there, but it doesn’t really matter.)

We all know decent defensive performances are at a premium this season, after all.
Still, I like a bloke with a sense of humour and in fairness, we did reasonably well against Stoke for most of the game, so I suppose it’s not impossible.

But I think Everton are a bit of a different proposition to Stoke.
If you agree that our midfield is a weak point in our side (I know, which area isn’t?), the thought of Ross Barkley having a good game and marauding through the middle practically unchallenged is scary. Best of luck to whoever gets the job of having to try and tie him down.
It’s the midfield that is going to be key for me and I just don’t think we’ll be able to live with theirs.
Perhaps that’s what Garde means when he talks about the defence?

Team news says that forward Arouna Kone is fit after illness and John Stones may be ready for a return after a hamstring problem, on the visitor’s part.

The good news for us is that Jordan Ayew is back and should be nicely rested (if you believe that sort of thing) and hopefully eager to make up for his moment of madness.
Jack Grealish, Carlos Sanchez, Libor Kozak, Adama Traore and Jordan Amavi are all still out.

Given that Ayew will 99% walk straight back into the side, it’ll be interesting to see which of Gestede or Gabby get to play with him. An ideal world says neither, but it’ll be one of them and if Gabby gets dropped, that’ll tell me all I need to know about him.

Not that our attack will be the major concern.
Lukaku will be our worry and if Everton can create in the way they do, I can see him getting at least one.

Will we bring any kids in for this one?
No chance, in my opinion.
Mister pragmatic Garde will bring Richards back in, if his quote about dropping him for not being able to play more than once a week was true.
Bacuna might get dropped, but I doubt it, myself.

Here’s a few facts about the teams;

Villa’s only win in the 10 most recent meetings was a 3-2 home victory in May last season.
Remi Garde’s side are the division’s lowest scorers with 21 goals, including just six in the first half of matches.
Gabriel Agbonlahor has scored seven Premier League goals against Everton, more than against any other opponent.

Roberto Martinez’s side have only won three of their past 13 league matches (W3, D6, L4).
They are on a seven-match unbeaten run in Premier League away fixtures – although five of those were draws.
Their only away defeat all season came at Arsenal in October.
Everton are the division’s fourth-highest scorers with 46 goals in 26 matches.

So a home win looks a bit unlikely doesn’t it?

Roberto Martinez was at the Stoke game and must have went home a happy man.
He’s another one with a sense of humour, as he’s actually commented that he thinks we’re very good starters in games.
I’d take another look at that second stat Rob, me old mate.
I know he always talks up the opposition, but come on.
Still, you have to laugh.

My prediction then and I’m going to agree with Lawro and hope for a 0-2 loss.
But the truth is I worry for us here and if Everton are really up for the game, I can see a good hiding in the offing. And I mean a GOOD hiding.

I have to mention the 74th minute walkout.
Quite simply, I hope it’s a massive success and enough fans walk so the ground looks empty and we get decent coverage in the media.
Which will also mean we’ll still have to be in the game.
If we’re getting soundly beaten, it’ll just take away from the effect.
So my prediction has probably never needed to be more wrong.

I suspect I’m going to severely miss talking about this particular fixture next season.
The most played fixture in English top flight footy isn’t something to be sniffed at, is it?


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  1. saddened
    saddened March 2, 2016 at 9:34 am . Reply

    I think the protests are gathering momentum, which is the only good news coming out of Villa Park…. Man City and Tottenham next ……..ooops, I can see a cricket score !

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 March 2, 2016 at 12:30 pm . Reply

      They’ll probably declare at half time 🙂

      1. originallondonlion
        originallondonlion March 3, 2016 at 12:15 am . Reply

        We’ll have the keeper standing up, nearly everyone in the deep, with one Slip and no Point. …not sure why you were reminded of Cricket.

      2. originallondonlion
        originallondonlion March 3, 2016 at 12:27 am . Reply

        That is a canny explanation you have proposed. It follows Sherwood’s refusal to field any of the players he had never seen play and who had not impressed him in training, which was a less subtle 2 fingers to Riley and Amstadt for buying them.

        I suppose also the first team squad won’t be a loss if they get injured, but the youngsters would be, so he might as well get some appearances for the wages.

        I have a vague recollection of getting thumped 6-0 by Forest and Vic Crowe(?) resigning. Other than that I can’t think of a Villa side with less fight and less ability for the division they were in, in the 50+ years I have been watching them.

  2. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 March 2, 2016 at 12:49 pm . Reply

    Whilst some in here, including me, were unsure about the effectiveness of a 74th minute walk out it seems to have finally galvanised the fans to start a constant stream of pressure on the Board and Lerner. As important is that the media, at last, seems to have picked up on it as a story worth following and the BMail seems to have finally abandoned its policy of trying not to offend the club. It now needs to get four square behind the fans and give the whole club a real bashing.

    The only person I have any sympathy for in all this mess is Garde. OK he may not be the right man for the job but he inherited a pile of s**t and then the board dumped yet more on him by completely undermining his position in the January window. He has maintained his dignity throughout and has subtly made it perfectly clear the mess we are in.

    If the board had an ounce of integrity they would all resign including Chairman Hollis. They haven’t got a clue between the lot of them how to run a football club.

    1. Saddened
      Saddened March 2, 2016 at 2:28 pm . Reply

      I agree H60, I thought the ‘out the door on 74’ was a complete joke when I heard it, but it has got the media attention we needed and seems to have steered them away from just mocking the club as a whole and moved towards the directors….
      On another note, our chairman looks like he is about to either cry or chuck up, cannot see the point of him at all !

  3. pat57
    pat57 March 2, 2016 at 2:26 pm . Reply

    BBC Sport –

    BBC Radio 5 live football reporter Pat Murphy, who has been covering Villa for more than four decades, added: “The mood is turning ugly.

    “I remember the demonstrations against Doug Ellis, but he must seem a great chairman in retrospect.

    “This is the worst team I’ve seen in 41 years of reporting on Villa.”

    Enough said.

    1. BWS
      BWS March 2, 2016 at 3:12 pm . Reply

      Ellis a great Chairman? As much as I respect Mr Murphy’s opinion that’s just pushing the boundaries of good taste.
      Let’s not forget who it was that sold the club to Lerner and was the main reason Sir Ron left when we were at our zenith and then the pretentious arse hole names a stand after himself, you couldn’t make this shit up.

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 March 2, 2016 at 8:08 pm . Reply

        I think Murphy was trying to be ironic – at least I hope he was. Ellis is as much to blame as Lerner for selling to him in the first place. For all Ellis’ rhetoric about finding the ‘right’ buyer, the reality is, he was only interested in the cash and a lifetime Presidency!

        Sorry Mr. Ellis – you are part of the problem, not the solution.

        1. BWS
          BWS March 3, 2016 at 8:10 am . Reply

          Checklist for potential buyers
          A Buffoon✓
          Sixty million in the bank✓
          Will let me sit in my ivory tower✓
          Will let me play at being president ✓
          Will let me swam around VP like I still own the place✓
          Have no knowledge of English football✓
          Have no idea how to run a football club✓
          As a consequence will make the previous owner look good✓

  4. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson March 2, 2016 at 3:39 pm . Reply

    Plus his underhand move on the Bendals to gain control, Ellis not my cup of tea as owner. All this up evil should have come about when Mon was in , we wouldn’t be in the shit now.

    1. BWS
      BWS March 2, 2016 at 4:35 pm . Reply

      Agreed Bill this seed was sown in 1982.

      1. Saddened
        Saddened March 2, 2016 at 5:25 pm . Reply

        I was 12 years old and met Doug ellis as a season ticket holder, he shook my hand and asked me my name, i politely said nice to meet you Doug….. He looked at me like he had stepped in some dog shit and told me to ‘Its Mr Ellis to you young man” I was one of his customers and he didn’t give a monkeys.

        The bloke was an egotistical, hideous Chairman, who destroyed our club and destroyed the fantastic memories of Rotterdam..Then his leaving gift to us was to sell the club to a man with no football experience, and who nearly broke the Cleveland Browns… He is as much to blame for our demise as Randolph !

        1. BWS
          BWS March 2, 2016 at 5:42 pm . Reply

          Saddened never a truer word was said.
          Stood on the Holte from the age of 12 and was lucky enough to see the best of Villa under Sir Ron, we sort of flirted with success in the 90’s and 2000’s but we never reached the hights of our time under Saunders and a part of my love for Villa died with his departure. Never forgave Ellis for his role in that and to name a stand after the clown beggars belief.

          1. Hitchens 60
            Hitchens 60 March 2, 2016 at 8:17 pm . Reply

            Totally agree BWS. Stood in the Trinity Road Stand at the age of 11 for my first match watching the great Gerry Hitchens and the legendary Sir Stanley Matthews was playing that day. Having suffered through the ’60’s and 70’s as a regular attendee and season ticket holder at Villa Park, those great days under Sir Ron were magic. I remember him buying Dennis Mortimore from Coventry. – he said ‘I’m buying a great Christmas present for all the Villa fans’ and what a present it turned out to be.

            Ellis, Lerner – you self important losers – take note. You don’t understand the meaning of class – Sir Ron – now he was real class.

        2. BWS
          BWS March 2, 2016 at 5:59 pm . Reply

          Whilst we’re going wildly off topic I’ve another axe to grind – the press and this lukaku 18 goals in a season for Everton business, I thought League football started in 1888 not 1992
          Everton have had some prolific strikers through the years, back in the day Dixie Dean weighed in with 63 in a season and Latchford in the 70’s and Sharpe in the 80’s both banged in excess of 30. I do hate modern football and all of its bullshit hype.

  5. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 March 2, 2016 at 8:33 pm . Reply

    There have been questions asked of Garde as to why he hasn’t played some of our younger players from the U21’s etc. it’s been suggested he doesn’t think they are good enough or he wants to avoid the negative psychological effect of them playing in a losing team.

    There may be an alternative reason! Most fans probably agree that Garde was dumped on in the January transfer window when the Board refused to support a strengthening of the squad. As a result Garde has determined that if the Board think the squad is good enough then, to make point, he will only use the first team squad that existed when he joined the club. It’s a very subtle two fingers to the Board; hard on the fans but I don’t really blame him. The sad thing is – I think it’s completely lost on those muppets who run our club!

  6. pat57
    pat57 March 3, 2016 at 2:05 am . Reply

    Birmingham Mail –

    ‘Micah Richards believes his Aston Villa side is still able to maintain Premier League status despite losing to Everton last night. Villa sit rock bottom of the table, eight points adrift of Newcastle United in 19th – who have two games in hand.’

    So that’s the reason for the poor performance, they’re all on drugs! (or they think we are)

    For older readers it must be LSD (£sd that is) 🙂

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