Villa – Leeds; I really hope we win this.

There’s something about Leeds that I really, really don’t like. It’s only a recent thing, as they’ve never even been a threat to us in the vast majority of my time supporting the Villa. Yes, they’ve won trophies and some even more recent than us, but otherwise I’ve always found them to be meh.

Until they got promoted and were then immediately loved by all the media for absolutely no reason that I could see.
I think I just detest media darlings.

It’s quite an interesting game for me, this one as we really have been very similar this season.
We’re four places and four points above the Whites, having both played the same number of games.
Our form over the last six games is similar too. We’ve won two, lost two and drawn one, whereas they’ve won two and lost three.
Hopefully being at home will be to our advantage.

Squad news is not much different for us.
Traore probably won’t be involved because he only finished the ACON on Saturday. It’s doubtful he’d have been involved anyway, in my opinion. He might make the bench as an option, I suppose, because it’s probably too early for Leon Bailey to be involved and he won’t be risked. Trezeguet has joined Istanbul Basaksehir on loan and I don’t think he would have featured either.

As for dirty Leeds, the good news is that cheating striker Patrick Bamford is out because of an ongoing foot injury.
It couldn’t happen to a nicer person.

The stupid break we’ve just had has been kind to Leeds, as Jamie Shackleton, Adam Forshaw, Crysencio Summerville and Charlie Cresswell have all recovered from injuries.
It’s probably a game too soon for Junior Firpo, while Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips are also close to a return.

It’s yet another game where I’m not sure what to think.
Leeds don’t score that many goals, which suggests they’re missing cheating Bamford’s contribution. That’s good for us.
But then we struggle to take our chances.

They concede decidedly more than us, but I don’t see many goals in this game.
I’m tempted to say it all depends if we can get off to a flying start and apply the press from the off.
Leeds have superb workrate, as we all know, but I haven’t watched them for a while, so don’t know if they’re suffering any sort of burnout or not.
Our problem is we sometimes struggle to play at a good pace and that crisp, fast passing we saw when Gerrard first arrived is all too often missing.

It all boils down to the fact that I don’t see many goals in this game.

I do however think we should have enough to beat them, given our home advantage.
I’m going for a 1-0 win.
I’m even going to say John McGinn will get the goal.
God knows why; I just have a feeling.

So you can bet that’s wrong then.



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  1. William Pearson
    William Pearson February 10, 2022 at 7:43 pm . Reply

    Good shout Holte, Konsa was poor so was unfortunately Mcginn who only came into play late second half. Doing the round on other post its showing that our midfield and defence was lacking . The state’s show Leeds well on top 16 shots on goal 8 on target, Villa 8 shots 4 on target. As for Mings guilty not putting his foot through the ball, Guilty letting the smallest player head the ball , but other player’s share the Blaim . How would you play with the opposition shouting your name Tyrone Mings is shit !! Nerves had a part to play you could see that with Mings pushing forwards and unlucky not scoring twice. He also cleared off the line twice. Yes he worries me but it’s the team you should look at not one player.

  2. OLL again
    OLL again February 11, 2022 at 10:34 am . Reply

    A few comments about Watkins’ form now in the posts, so here it my take on him.

    His principal strength is his phenomenal engine. So long as forward balls are not played directly to where he is standing with a central defender right behind him, but instead played wide forcing Watkins and marker both to run – Olli is likely to control the ball. He is quite selfish and does not pass to a colleague as often as he should having won the ball.

    Watkins has been the most affected by the loss of Grealish because he only scores two types of goals. Rarer of the two is an unchallenged header. More common is a shot from left of centre. However those shots come from passes from the left also – not crosses from the right of goal, from which he hardly ever gets a shot on target. McGinn and Buendia if they receive a ball in the middle both favour going forward down the right, as obviously does Cash. Coutinho so far has been nearer the middle of the pitch than Watkins when looking for a pass so if he made it – that would come from Watkins’ right. That leaves only Digne who is likely to supply Watkins the best ball for him.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain February 11, 2022 at 1:13 pm . Reply

      OLL – simple question for you:

      Do you think Watkins is good-enough to be regular 1st team choice if we’re going to achieve the ‘next level’ (i.e – at least consistently challenging for top 6, say- ) ?

      1. Bum Bum
        Bum Bum February 13, 2022 at 9:28 am . Reply

        No Grealish at Citeh again. Is he throwing it all away? He was absolutely trollied in the week, and all captured by phone again…

        1. Hitchens60
          Hitchens60 February 13, 2022 at 10:45 am . Reply

          Sounds like he’s ‘lost’ at Citeh.

          At Villa, Smith protected and looked after him. It’s a much harder world where he is now.

          Possibly regretting his move?

        2. Bill Pearson
          Bill Pearson February 13, 2022 at 12:58 pm . Reply

          I agree he’s lost respect in the game now. Pep didn’t know what to say when asked made it up by saying he was injured in a friendly training, the lad not grown up in life and like Best, will throw talent away from us fans .

    2. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 February 11, 2022 at 3:06 pm . Reply

      I think OLL you are reinforcing the point I made that Watkins hasn’t adapted to the style of football we are now playing – then I added – ‘yet’

      So a little addendum to Ardent’s question – so can he adapt?

      1. OLL again
        OLL again February 11, 2022 at 8:56 pm . Reply

        Ardent and Hitchens
        The art of football management is playing to your strengths and trying to cover your weaknesses – and the mirror image tactics against your opponents.

        I have seen enough of Watkins now to believe that the only thing that could improve is his willingness to pass to a colleague. The rest of his game is based on his aptitudes. Coutinho and Chucky are the two players who look like they could, and maybe prefer to, make left of centre runs to supply Watkins. That is the key change Gerrard could try to make.

        An important aptitude Watkins has is wearing down and pulling out of position opposition CDs. That enables Ramsey to make the central runs. Overall I think Watkins is good enough to hold down a place unless we buy or bring through a player with Kane’s skill set who could replace him.

  3. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 February 11, 2022 at 3:09 pm . Reply

    Team news for Sunday.

    Coutinho should be OK – mainly cramp and tiredness against Leeds but Buendia is a definite maybe 🙂 Reading between the lines I don’t think he’ll start.

    Our new ‘Mr Sick Note’ Traore has yet another hamstring injury and is out for (another) few weeks. Can’t see him being at Villa after the summer.

    Maybe we might see Bailey on the bench.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain February 11, 2022 at 3:35 pm . Reply

      Yup, think Traore will be shipped-out to anyone we can find to take him…

  4. Adam
    Adam February 13, 2022 at 5:25 am . Reply

    Cameron Archer, maybe he could be our very own 20 goals a season striker?.. beautiful goal against Peterborough. I think that and a top drawer defensive midfielder is what’s needed for us to really push on. I’m not sure if Watkins will be that striker but I love his work ethic and it makes it hard to drop a player like that.

  5. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum February 13, 2022 at 9:16 am . Reply

    Dion Dublin thought the way Watkins makes space is a massive contribution. He may not be banging them in at the minute but he’s an important part of the team.
    Mings on the other hand looked like he was playing with a hangover.
    Why does McGinn have games where he’s anonymous?
    The first yellow for Konsa was not a foul in any way. Shocking.
    Gonna be an exciting game today. We desperately need Marvellous back though in Luiz’s role.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 February 13, 2022 at 10:54 am . Reply

      Bum Bum totally agree on Watkins. if you watch the third goal he made a great run pulling the defence to the left which gave Ramsey the space to run into. Watkins was also well positioned to take a pass from Ramsey for a tap in but Ramsey is so confident at the moment he just smashed it into the net.

      We have this 19 year old lad Tim Iroegbunam who is getting a lot attention – plays as a defensive (or box to box) midfielder and reckoned to be technically very good. Is training with the first team and has been in the match day squad now for 11 games. Gerrard has spoken very positively about him and appears to trust the kids so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him given a chance pretty soon.

  6. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson February 13, 2022 at 1:05 pm . Reply

    I see Archer had the Preston fans after the game singing Cameron Archer Baby,
    they love the lad. as ive said hes ready and dot need to be loaned out.

  7. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson February 13, 2022 at 1:08 pm . Reply

    ((Don’t )

  8. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 February 13, 2022 at 1:11 pm . Reply

    Team news – Coutinho and Buendia fit – only change is, as expected, Chambers for Konsa which is imho an upgrade on Tuanzebe.

    Bailey on the bench.

  9. VillaAwayInDiv3
    VillaAwayInDiv3 February 13, 2022 at 2:37 pm . Reply

    Got a touchline of coaches and non can see that booting it up is a crap idea….

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