Villa – Fulham; A game of football.

I don’t know what it is, but I’m finding it increasingly harder to write anything about the Villa lately.
International breaks, where England get ridiculously easy draws in the qualifiers, yet crumble at the first sign of any half decent opposition don’t help things in the slightest and I’ve detested the things for years, but somehow there’s more to it than that of late.

I think a lot of it stems to our current position and our current form.
We’re in a position now where we cannot be relegated.
Obviously that’s great, but if you then consider how poorly we’ve been playing for literally months now, we’re not going to make Europe either. I’m sure many will think that’s a good thing, because it’s too soon and we haven’t got the squad.
I totally get that and it’s probably the majority opinion that we haven’t even got the squad for the Premier league, which shows even more how well we’ve done this season.
But I looked on in envy at Wolves last year when they were in Europe and I’m not convinced you should give up on trying to qualify, even if you might prove not good enough.

But that’s an aside.
It seems to me we’ve nothing to play for and our football is basically demonstrating that.
And it’s boring.
Go on, think about it. When was the last time you enjoyed watching a Villa game?
Where’s the free flowing football that we saw earlier in the season, where you actually expected a goal, not just hoped we’d get one?
Where’s the zest, the drive, the basic excitement about our game?
It hasn’t been there for ages for me and it’s beginning to tell on my patience.

Sky’s constant messing about with the kickoff times doesn’t help. Football at 4.30 on a Sunday just feels wrong to me and always will.
But if I’m honest, I don’t even look forward to a Villa game anymore, probably because I know exactly what I’m going to get.
The same tired tactics from a manager who doesn’t even like to sub, let alone bring new players in.
The same players who have persistently underperformed for weeks, yet hardly ever get dropped.
The same one up front, which for all the effort just isn’t producing results.

It’s just boring.
Smith would probably counter that he’s introduced Ramsay. Indeed he has, but has he looked anything like useful?
Be honest and not sentimental and the truth is no he hasn’t. At all.
So take him out of the limelight and get another youngster in.
What is there to lose?
We’re playing like we don’t want to achieve anymore this season, so we might as well just do SOMETHING different.

We’re playing Fulham. Put Davis right next to Ollie and hoof it to them. Just for the hell of it.
Does anyone even care if we win or lose this game? What does it matter?

We all know it won’t happen.

So what to talk about then?
There is nothing. We all know who is going to play and how we’re going to play.
The only possible thing to talk about is if Jack comes back in or not.
If he does, we might be a better team, although I wouldn’t expect him to hit the ground running.
And if he doesn’t, we’ll just be, well…..

I’m going for 2-1.
But I don’t have a clue who will win.
It’s just a case of which team is worse, to my mind.


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  1. DSVilla
    DSVilla April 4, 2021 at 7:13 pm . Reply

    Didn’t see that result coming. Davis made a huge difference and we actually got players in their penalty area and scored goals. Who would’ve thought it?

  2. Sidforever
    Sidforever April 4, 2021 at 8:05 pm . Reply

    If Grealish is out for longer, then Smith should have learnt a lesson today. Watkins and Davis should be paired.

    The game changed with Davis’ introduction. Looks like the plan B we have called for may become more regular.

    Smith will come under a lot of pressure next season if the team serve up dross like the first 80 minutes. He needs to use more of the squad and be able to change the style of play effectively.

  3. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 April 5, 2021 at 7:40 am . Reply

    Finding the art of winning again – that’s also important.

    We had lost it, playing sterile, fearful football more about not losing than winning.

    Even with Grealish back, I’d stick with Davis and Ollie up front.

  4. Sidforever
    Sidforever April 5, 2021 at 10:14 am . Reply

    Looking at the remaining fixtures and our recent form = 6 points. I hope I am wrong but don’t see many more.

    1. Big Fat Ron
      Big Fat Ron April 8, 2021 at 5:04 pm . Reply

      I was thinking exactly the same, Sid.

  5. OLL again
    OLL again April 5, 2021 at 6:08 pm . Reply

    I was about to start a new bomb squad. Smith the 1st name on it for lying about Grealish’s injury. As it is the airheads who comment on the Birmingham Mail imagine that Grealish has injured shins because he wears tiny shin pads, whereas that is the cart before the horse. Because he is prone to shin splints the pressure of full size pads will make him sore so he wears tiny pads that can hang loose.

    Today’s result has spared Smith, that and the belief – I have no proof – that Lange bought Sanson, Smith didn’t want him. At least today the 3 under-performing players El Ghazi, Sanson and Luiz were taken off. From the bench Ramsay and Trez were automatic choices but Davis was an option. Smith at last gets it right. Luck or judgement – I think you can guess.


    For Holte66. Try changing your email address and name to 66Holte. That’s like what I have done to get round the moderation.

    1. Holte
      Holte April 9, 2021 at 7:32 pm . Reply

      Test from Holte

  6. Tom
    Tom April 6, 2021 at 1:58 pm . Reply

    Agree on the Sanson theory. Something just doesn’t fit the by nature of the signings we made pre season.
    It really feels like Sanson was that BLT sandwich that was on the clearance rack for 25p, after taking a few bites, you can’t help but feel you should have paid full price for the ploughman’s triple pack at £2:95.

  7. Sidforever
    Sidforever April 6, 2021 at 5:21 pm . Reply

    Badger based on the comments regarding Sanson. Have we ever bought a decent French player? I’m racking my brains and I think they have all failed at Villa!
    Dicier Six – odd moment
    David Ginola – past his best
    Mathiue Berson – sunk without trace
    Didier Agatha – waste of ink on contract
    Robert Pires – final payday for nothing
    Charles Ngzombia – wasted tens of £ms on him
    Ally Cissoko – a defender who could not defend
    Jordan Amavi and Vertout- both contributed to our relegation
    Frederic Guilbert- guaranteed yellow card
    Morgan Sanson – I’ll reserve judgement until after next pre- season.

    So basically, we have truly been shafted by the French. Perhaps Brexit and the need for more home grown players will stop us from shopping at the bargain basement across the Channel. Insanity is doing the same thing again and expecting a different outcome. 10/10 failures to date and one with the jury currently out.

  8. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 April 6, 2021 at 8:13 pm . Reply

    I’m going to beg to differ – not that I think Sanson has shown any real quality yet but then neither has Luis nor McGinn of late. There seems to be something amiss with our mid field – and is it really just the absence of Grealish?

    Whether Smith supported his acquisition or not is pure conjecture.

    When Sanson left Marseilles for a knock down price it incensed Villas-Boas to the point where he openly criticised the club owners – albeit obtusely – by accusing Villa of making a derisory offer which subsequently led to his departure. To my mind, for a manager to publicly criticise his employers, suggests that Sanson is a much better player than we have currently witnessed.

    Players do take time to settle at a new club and it’s important that they’re played in their best position within a set up that suits them.

    I return to my opening point that something’s just not right with our mid field?

  9. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum April 8, 2021 at 8:55 am . Reply

    I always thought Jordan Veretout could have been a brilliant player, was with us when we were at our worst. Isn’t he doing quite well now?

  10. Big Fat Ron
    Big Fat Ron April 8, 2021 at 5:20 pm . Reply

    I’m glad there’s a discussion about our midfield going on. I was going to post before McGinn shone (again) in the internationals.

    McGinn is not out of form. We have an exceptional player who is capable of goals and assists in double figures. His ‘engine’ is one of the best in the league. This is a player who should ONLY be deployed in THE FINAL THIRD. At the moment, Smith has a Ferrari in the garage but he’s using it to ‘drive Miss Daisy.’ This guy is in his prime now. His engine won’t last forever. Barklay and Sanson aren’t fit to lace his boots and should NEVER EVER occupy an attacking midfield position ahead of him. After the internationals, I think the penny started to drop with Smith and he played him further forward against Fulham. When asked if that was ‘an option’ he said yes but he can also play deeper. NO! No. No. No. Just because he’s a great footballer and a top professional, doesn’t give you the right to waste him. I have nothing more to say on McGinn. We have a gem but he’s wasted. Bin Barkley. Bin Sanson. Play McGinn in the final third in EVERY GAME with licence to shoot to score, play through balls and generally run the opposition defence ragged, creating space for the forwards. Very, very simple.

    Next: Douglas Luiz. How is it that a player who’s capable of scoring from long range and goals in the box hasn’t scored a single goal in what’s supposed to be a good season? Again he’s played too deep.

    The answer: Marvellous Nakamba. We’ve hardly lost any games when he’s played. Play Marvellous in front of the defence. Then play Luiz and McGinn behind the front three. The ideal front three would be Jack, Bert and Ollie. Job done. Our best players in their best positions. That front five would scare the shit out of most teams in the league.


    Ezri, Mings, Cash, Targett
    Mcginn, Douglas
    Jack, Ollie, Bert


  11. Bill Pearson..
    Bill Pearson.. April 8, 2021 at 7:41 pm . Reply

    I’m with you 100% BFR. Mcginn been wrongly used so as 1 or2 more .Dean Smith hasn’t seen the woods from the trees and been playing safe . Our final third hasn’t been addressed and again it’s took someone else to show a players protentional. I don’t hold much in reading that the club is looking for a replacement ,but if it happens its Smith own fault. We have thrown games away because the managers not been skilled in seeing players skill and most probably made them play in positions not suitable to them.

  12. DSVilla
    DSVilla April 8, 2021 at 9:34 pm . Reply

    A bit of speculation about Gerrard as new manager for next season. I don’t buy this but I genuinely believe that our owners will be considering this. I’m not slagging off Smith in any way, but they will have an opinion about how we play, where we are going and how we attract the best talent.

    I really think we will have a new manager come the start of next season.

    1. Big Fat Ron
      Big Fat Ron April 8, 2021 at 10:31 pm . Reply

      I’d be staggered if this proved to be the case, DS. I praise Smith when it’s due and am more than happy, like everyone else, to point out where I think he’s missing a trick. But to give him the bullet would be callous and, on balance, unwarranted. If we finish top 10, that’s a good season. So next season will need to be at least top 6, which is not beyond Smith IF the right players come in. I can’t imagine how Smith would feel reading that speculation. It will destabilise everything and we could fall away badly now.

  13. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 April 9, 2021 at 7:17 am . Reply

    I see the Jedi is back at VP as Loans Development Coach working with youngsters sent out on loan.

    To demonstrate that our new approach / investment in the academy / U23’s is working, we need to start seeing the ‘highly rated’ younger players stepping up to the first team – including Louie Barry, Chukwuemeka and Kesler.

    On Smith, I think it would be a poor decision to replace him at this time; not even sure why it’s being contemplated beyond lazy journalism. Be honest, at the start of the season how many of us thought we would be sitting 9th in the table with 9 games left and still being linked with Europe?

    Yes, we haven’t been playing at our best for some time but that’s been exacerbated, first by the Covid outbreak then Cash being out and lastly JG’s extended absence.

    Even Liverpool’s football has been massively affected by the loss of key players this season.

  14. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum April 9, 2021 at 6:15 pm . Reply

    Is anything in the year end related to the amortization issue?
    I like your line up, Ron of the Biggest and Fattest.
    Deploying the pit bull like Meatball in the final 3rd would disrupt the most organised of defences.

  15. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum April 10, 2021 at 7:50 am . Reply

    Aren’t we playing Pool today?

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