Villa – HŠK Zrinjski Mostar; Who?

I could try and be really clever and profess my knowledge of all European clubs and rattle off a load of guff about it’s history and players etc.
But the truth is I’ve never even heard of them and I very much doubt anyone reading this has either, unless they avidly follow European footy. Even then, you’d have to be pretty focused.

First off, I’ll just post Wiki’s first few lines about the club;

HŠK Zrinjski Mostar (Croatian: Hrvatski športski klub Zrinjski Mostar, lit. ’Croat Sports Club Zrinjski Mostar’) is a professional football club, based in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The club plays in the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and has been one of the top teams in the country over the last few years. With eight championships won in the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zrinjski is one of the most decorated football clubs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The club plays its home matches at Stadion pod Bijelim Brijegom in Mostar.

Well, that’s a lot more than I knew before I read it, anyway.
Am I showing my lack of knowledge if I openly admit I’ve never even heard of Mostar?

So basically, they’re a tin pot club and this ought to be a double figures win, eh?

Hmm, I thought that against Legia last week (well, a straightforward win anyway) and we all know what happened there.

Squad news and it’s not good really. Moussa Diaby, Boubacar Kamara and Jacob Ramsey are all out, although it hasn’t really been pointed out why.
It just amazes me how easily players seem to get injured these days. I recall loads of tackles years ago which probably would have literally snapped today’s players in half, yet they were often just brushed off with an attitude of “I’ll have you for that”.
I’m laughing to myself, but well, that’s how it seemed anyway, although the truth is I’m probably looking back with my rose tinted glasses. The point is players definitely seemed more robust 30 or 40 years ago.
It has to be over-training or something, I’m sure.
Fish and chips washed down with half a dozen pints and 20 fags never hurt the likes of Franny Lee, did they? (RIP and who knew he created a bog roll empire?).

So the big question for me has to be will Emery rotate or will he play it safe after last week’s fiasco? He has to go as strong as he can, I reckon, because we don’t want to underestimate our opponents. Except I think the manager will rotate again. I think Duran will come in for Ollie.
And then I don’t want to think about what else he might change as I get the shivers even beginning to think about last week’s defence, or rather lack of it.

I’m not even going to make a prediction this week, except I think we ought to win.
But anything is possible and I’m only leaving myself wide open to even worse disappointment if we get beat.



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  1. 1874 was a good year
    1874 was a good year October 15, 2023 at 4:33 pm . Reply

    Nicolo, Arrivederci and good luck, you’ll need it. So glad that we didn’t buy him.

    From GOAL – “Zaniolo’s offences are being reported to be more serious in nature than the other two and has been accused of violating Article 4 of law 401/98. This means that the police suspect that he had been an active figure in organising and spreading betting illegally.”

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 October 15, 2023 at 5:23 pm . Reply

      That might be Nicolo Fagioli not Zaniolo – we’ll just have to wait and see what transpires.

  2. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 October 17, 2023 at 7:39 pm . Reply

    See Southgate still picking his ‘mates’ Maguire and Phillips, even though neither actually play any football.

    His hypocrisy continues to achieve new levels of incredulity.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 October 17, 2023 at 7:53 pm . Reply

      Add Stones to that list!

  3. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 October 17, 2023 at 8:04 pm . Reply

    And surprise, surprise poor defending by Maguire and Stones!

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain October 17, 2023 at 9:56 pm . Reply

      As long as England manage to win, Southgate & co are untouchable. The media will turn on them when they lose…

  4. Holte
    Holte October 18, 2023 at 4:49 pm . Reply

    Harry Kane has bailed Southgate out so many times already. It’s really difficult trying to enjoy England with him in charge. I’m enjoying some winter sun before work next week and decided I would rather go and order a crepe and miss the first half.
    Thank goodness we are back to proper football this weekend.

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand October 19, 2023 at 3:37 pm . Reply

      When you walk in form work the misses is watching Pride and Prejudice and asks “Do you want to watch the match?”
      You reply “no, you’re okay babe, you carry on.”
      Sorta sums up Southgate’s England?

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 October 19, 2023 at 4:39 pm . Reply

        First time I’ve watched England for ages – to describe them as boring woukd be an understatement.

        However, I did enjoy watching Bellingham – what a player this kid is. Imagined him in a side playing the sort of silky attacking football of the Italians – who, on he night – were their own worst enemy!

        We have the talent, to play it, pity the manager doesn’t!

  5. Badger123
    Badger123 October 19, 2023 at 5:57 pm . Reply

    I’ve just realised England had a game the other day (Wednesday?).
    I honestly couldn’t care less. That is what Horseface has done to England. We’ll just lose to any decent team we play, as we always do.
    They bore me witless and tbh, I have to push myself to be interested in the Villa, match days apart.
    The whole game seems too sanitized nowadays and well, it’s not a game anymore is it? It’s a business, full stop.
    I’ll still be there to watch, but the rest of it holds little interest.
    I’m sunning my butt in the Canaries again and haven’t even plugged the firestick in.
    I’ve not missed it either.

    Sticking with the Villa, it seems the club are going with Zaniolo’s version of events and he’ll be available. I keep reading that he hasn’t done very well for us, but I think there’s a very decent player there.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 October 20, 2023 at 8:15 am . Reply

      I like Zaniolo, the player and think he’s improving as he gets used to the Prem.

      I also think he’s been a little unlucky on, not yet, being on the score sheet.

  6. Holte
    Holte October 19, 2023 at 9:19 pm . Reply

    I just watched Canadian Pete on his latest post about the new regime. Unfortunately for me, I disagree with his views that to be successful we might have to price the hard working fans out of their season or match day tickets with the view that it’s becoming a corporate driven experience or only middle class or above. Chris Heck is still new in his role but I hope he realises quickly there is a huge difference between the English and American sports fans. One thing he was correct with was the fact we have a huge history and the clubs aren’t as far apart in terms of location as any American teams so they can never understand why we despise the likes of Man Ure or Citeh.
    Badger is right and the game is becoming more and more sanitised. It started with the introduction of Sky followed by seating only because of Hillsborough. The corporate areas get bigger with Wembley being the biggest embarrassment. The Villa upper terrace and lower grounds hasn’t gone down too well with the majority. One hope is with the new North stand and hopefully not too far off a new Witton expansion to make it a 60,000 which is what’s needed to keep price of tickets affordable for the majority and not the few.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 October 20, 2023 at 8:22 am . Reply

      I don’t really agree with mixing ‘Corporate Type’ tickets in with terrace seating – particularly in the Upper Holte. Fans accept the corporate boxes but roped off areas and lanyards in terrace areas just wind fans up.

      This looks like a cynical attempt at rinsing a market sector knowing that it’s difficult for thar section of fans who don’t go regularly to matches to get tickets for games.

      Rather like the overpricing of the Everton tickets, I think they’ve got this wrong.

    2. OLL again
      OLL again October 20, 2023 at 10:31 pm . Reply

      So did I. I was about to post on here folks should watch Holy Trinity Show latest because he rattles a few cages – but you beat me to it. I think he is right about the direction Chris Heck will take Villa, and do so with the full support of the owners. It will p*** off many of the traditional fan base but the Management think they can pull in higher spending fans and will not change course unless and until they are proved wrong.

      1. Bum Bum
        Bum Bum October 21, 2023 at 11:26 am . Reply

        All the well behaved self conscious middle classes sit there silently while the atmosphere gets worse. Maybe we can give them rattles to shake? Partitioning off the Holte is a vile operation.
        A mate took his son to Old Trafford for his birthday last week. No chance in hell of getting matchday tickets, but Utd were more than eager to fleece them at the massive gift shop. Even his 10 year old said ‘It’s a bit pricey Dad, I think I’ll keep my birthday money for something else’!!! 😂😂😂. Us Brits are a bit more cynical when it comes to things like this.

        P.s. I also thought Canadian Pete missed the point with some of his corporate business ideas. When sport looks more like a business than a game, that’s when we walk away. Especially nowadays when the players wages are so obscene and owners fleece the clubs and just walk away.

  7. BFR
    BFR October 21, 2023 at 5:22 pm . Reply

    No end to the madness…

  8. Sidforever
    Sidforever October 22, 2023 at 7:54 am . Reply

    Bum Bum
    Interesting point you make. I must admit I think Canadian Pete got it right. You say ‘we walk away’. Pete confirmed that and then explained traditional fans are pushed out and replaced with a more financially fluid customer. Net effect is the atmosphere in the ground drops.

    I guess it comes down to what we want. Aged 15 I saw us (in TV) win the European Cup, love to see it again but it is likely to come at a cost, Roy Keane’s ‘prawn sandwich’ brigade will be coming.

    1. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum October 22, 2023 at 9:11 am . Reply

      When Sky can dub crowd noises onto the braodcast, what does it matter?

  9. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum October 22, 2023 at 9:17 am . Reply

    Anyway, don’t we have some sort of football game going on today???
    I think Wet Spam are due some payback this afternoon.
    On another note, although he was a generation before, I must admit I had a lump in my throat over the passing of Bobby Charlton. I know it’s overused but he was an absolute God of the game for both Utd and England. A life well lived.

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