Villa – Ipswich: Must win? Is it even a can win? I don’t have a clue anymore.

The headline says it all doesn’t it?
Put it this way. If we can’t beat Ipswich at home we’re in serious trouble.
I’ve just been looking at the Championship table and it makes for some very depressing viewing. When I see the likes of Blackburn are above us, it just highlights even more how badly we’ve done recently.
That’s not some sense of entitlement or disrespect on my part against Blackburn, but given that they’ve had practically no resources to work with for years now, our current position borders on scandalous.
Then add in that only two clubs in the league have conceded more goals than us and it rams things home even more.

There is some good news though and Ipswich are one of those teams who’ve conceded more than us.
They’ve had a poor season up to now, having only won three games this season and sitting rock bottom of the table.
We all know that doesn’t mean much though, as we’re almost a charity to any club that’s doing poorly or has been on a terrible run.
And then of course, we have new manager syndrome and a certain Paul Lambert to throw into the mix.

The other piece of good news is that I’m currently on holiday in Sri Lanka and guess what? It just so happens to be on the international AVTV list, so I may actually be able to watch the game. Not that I’m holding much hope that the hotel wi-fi will actually be able to handle a video stream, but I’ll at least be able to listen to it.

Squad news and Mile Jedinak and Glenn Whelan are both fit, which is interesting, because although I can see a reason to play Jedinak to shore us up against high balls, do we really need him today against Ipswich? I’m not convinced, but Dean Smith may think differently.
Jack Grealish is close to outdoor running, but it’s far too early for him.

What to think then?
For me, this is the shoe-in of all shoe-ins and losing today really is unthinkable.
Fortunately, I don’t think we will and although it wouldn’t surprise me if we make things awkward for ourselves, I can’t see past us winning.
I’m guessing it’ll only be by the odd goal, but I’ll take that.
It’d be great to actually go out and thrash Ipswich today, but I really don’t see that happening.
What I’ll be looking for mostly is the level of intensity we bring to the game, especially after Smith has asked for it.
If it’s not forthcoming, I can only see us struggling for the rest of the season.

Villa to win, 1-0


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  1. Avatar
    Jimbovilla January 26, 2019 at 4:58 pm .

    Good job we create slot of chances for Abraham he needs them, should have had 4 or 5, not surprised we were nervy with recent run of form. Now let’s get a couple of good signings, midfielder, left back and maybe another centre back

  2. Avatar
    nath January 26, 2019 at 4:59 pm .

    3 points is a godsend performance not great and this team do need major surgery, they are unable to play one touch stuff. do we solider on this year with what is left of this squad before starting smiths way next year with the young and hungry.

    its hard to say one player is bad,when we have too many that are being carried. still 3 points in the bag grealish nearly back in the fold. roll on next game

  3. Avatar
    Pat 57 January 26, 2019 at 5:03 pm .

    Well the good news is we’re probably safe from relegation.

    Not sure I’d want us to go up the way we’re playing. Some strengthening now and in the summer and we should roll over everyone next season.

    Here’s hoping!

  4. Avatar
    Holte66 January 26, 2019 at 5:16 pm .

    It’s clear that major surgery is required in the summer. Lots of players coming to the end of their contracts and a chunk of them ageing overpaid players. It’s a good opportunity to make our squad more youthful and hungry. If there is a chance to sign Tuanzebe on a permanent deal we should definitely do that plus another CB for when Elphick goes in the summer. If Bree is not going to be considered we will need a new RB and LB because Hutton will be gone and Elmo and Taylor are pants. We need to add creativity to our midfield especially if Grealish goes, plus a box to box midfielder. We probably will need a new striker too with Abraham going back to Chelsea, unless Hogan or Kodja have a future which I doubt. Basically it might be easier to name players who could still be in the team next season, and this is what concerns me because 3 teams relegated from premier league, plus the better teams from championship who don’t get promoted this season, you would assume will be in better positions to try and get promoted next season. Realistically it could take 2-3 years for Smith, if given time to build a team strong enough to get promoted and stay up.

    1. Avatar
      nath January 26, 2019 at 5:35 pm .

      i very much doubt utd will let tuanzebe go. they had him at the club like grealish has been at villa. youth captain and they rate him highly even with change of managers, they wont let him go. unless we throw big money and still i dont think we could convince them to sell him, but we do need to scrap the current back 4 players none of them look comfortable on the ball, none can work in tight areas or even pass from a to b. smith system cant function because they are so hesitant back there, teams know they are the weak link

    2. Avatar
      Pat 57 January 26, 2019 at 5:41 pm .

      Holte, Nath I think you’re both right. We’ve had many years of mismanagement and short-termism both at a board and managerial level and I honestly think it will take time to fix. The team is nowhere near where it needs to be.

      However, I think that Smith and JT have the skills and the knowledge to turn the oli tanker around, it will just take time. So long as I can see some improvement as the rest of the season progresses I’ll be happy.

  5. Avatar
    nath January 26, 2019 at 5:59 pm .

    i hope we still kick on this year and i wont quit on villa until its mathematically impossible. we are in a terrible run of form and doesn’t help when we have to very influential players missing. without tuanzebe we just cant move the ball out of defence into midfield without a drama. passing is slow and always behind the man. its not going to improve until we change personal in dm and cb and full backs areas.

    is there any wonder why under bruce last year grealish dropped really deep to pick up the ball. he did so because they are unable to play out themselves. they require a midfielder to drop back to assist them. when smith came in he wanted grealish to stop doing this, instead do his work in the final third. smith unlike bruce trusted tuanzebe to do this job of linking def with mid, he instantly played him in the middle which is his favoured position. he can pass it and carry the ball with pace and strength.

    losing one of these players would have affected the team, but losing both has totally knocked us out of any rhythm we had. hope we get some smith type players in this window, if not next season we will have them in and the team will be able to play out of defence

  6. Avatar
    Bill Pearson January 26, 2019 at 6:24 pm .

    Again from what Villa did McGinn out shined in the game again, give me 9 more players like him we would never lose a game. 5 days left and still no word to say we have another player, I don’t think for one minute we will get the chance to be in the play off. Even Badger went to bed, mind you he might have been on a promise, don’t blame him. Hitch when he comes on will probably give a fair assumption of the game even though I watched it .it’s in the lap of the gods now.

  7. Avatar
    nath January 26, 2019 at 6:38 pm .

    just watched the sears goal again, initially i thought it was a cracker moment he struck it and goalie was just admiring it and i second that. it was indeed a cracker and goalie was nowhere near it. i am not sure you can blame goalie as it curled away from middle to top corner

  8. Avatar
    Hitchens60 January 26, 2019 at 8:27 pm .

    Hi Guys – sorry been cooking dinner – no rest for the wicked or me …….

    Summary – my Ipswich mate thought we were lucky; I thought we created more than enough good chances to have won this game without all the drama.

    Agreed – Taylor and Elmohamady are absolute pants and shouldn’t be playing.

    Criticsm – Smith for his substitutions which made no sense at all. Hutts and Adomah linked really well on the right and caused Ipswich problems throughout – Elmohamady was a complete waste of space. Then why take of Whelan for Kodjia. Contrary to some views Whelan and Hourihane played well – breaking up play and good ball distribution. In my view the two best Villa players today were Abraham – who is absolute class – and Whelan (OK McGinn works his socks off but also missed three very good chances). Then, Smith have taken Whelan off substitutes The Beard for El Ghazi – bonkers.

    Overall – Villa played OK in patches and caused real problems going forward but too many missed opportunities. In the remaining patches they were beyond ordinary and the defence (Chester in particular) seemed determined to give Ipswich chances – why don’t they just put their boot through the ball if there is risk involved? No way are we promotion material with this team.

    I enjoyed my day out with my son and grandsons (and my Ipswich mate!). Wasn’t a great match or a particularly good performance but we did actually win.


  9. Avatar
    Bill Pearson January 26, 2019 at 8:54 pm .

    I said Hitch you would give us a better in site of the game. I watched it on stream and couldn’t believe the way we played. Badger went to bed second half disgusted, I said he was on honeymoon but did the right way is that team going anywhere I’ll lay a bet on that. Bad day at the office Hitch.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 January 26, 2019 at 9:01 pm .

      Just to reinforce my point that we should have put this game to bed – 23 shots / 13 on target but just 2 goals. We did, at times, look capable of ripping them to pieces but it was inconsistent and both McGinn and Abraham missed good chances.

      We obviously miss Grealish but, as important, we don’t seem to have a player with the driving mentality of a John Terry. Collins played well for Ipswich and, not only that, he also appeared to be driving the team on

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