Villa – Leeds; Should be a good game, this

I don’t really have major dislikes for clubs.
I’m not at all keen on the Blues, of course, but that’s natural and automatically comes with being a Villa fan. It doesn’t mean I’d love to see the club fail to exist though. I’m quite happy with them being constant second best to us, something that never fails to make me smile.

I’m not keen on clubs that win too much either, which mainly means Man Utd, Liverpool and probably Arsenal too. To my mind it’s just that they’ve had way more than their fair share over the years.

And then there’s those clubs that have just spent stupid amounts of money, which would be Chelsea and Man City. It’s a shame as I really have nothing against these clubs at all, but the amount of money spent makes me resent what they have won so much that I actually disregard it entirely.

I’m even ok with Spurs at a push. They have a history of playing decent footy after all.

And then there’s Leeds.
I don’t really have a problem with them either, but the way they’ve become Sky’s favourites for some reason just makes me nearly hate them with a passion. Which is quite odd, given that I have massive respect for Bielsa, after giving us that goal the last time we played them.
The way the commentators fawned over Leeds as they were being beaten by Wolves on Monday made me feel sick, so much that I nearly turned it off. I’m glad I stuck with it though, as reading the reports suggested that Leeds were the better team and deserved to win. My eyes told me they didn’t. At all.

I really don’t understand this love-in (and it’s not just Sky), as they’ve done nothing at all since blowing it so spectacularly under David O’Leary and Peter Ridsdale.

This sort of favouritism just makes me temporarily dislike Leeds, simple.

It seems Gabby Agbonlahor thinks the same too.
Which is fine, except I think he’s going to be a pundit for the game and he’s nailed his colours to the mast and declared Leeds and Bielsa to be a myth. I happen to agree with him, but he’s got a far bigger profile than me and winding the Leeds fans up like that is just asking for trouble to my mind.
Any neutrals will now be wanting Leeds to beat us too.
Hence I wish he’d kept his trap firmly shut.

Watching Leeds on Monday, I couldn’t fail to notice how hard they work. Their strength and stamina is superb and how they last so well is beyond me. Given that I think our fitness is ok, but not the best, it’s an area where I can see us possibly struggling. You would hope that us having had a longer break might help.

It seems it’s not a bad time to be playing Leeds, as they do have injury problems.
Calvin Phillips was ruled out for six weeks with a shoulder injury and that means Pascal Struijk is likely to be moved from the centre of defence into the holding midfield role.
Bielsa would then have to juggle his defence, with Liam Cooper facing a fitness test on his groin knock after he suffered a recurrence of the injury in the warm-up to the Wolves game.

With Diego Llorente also out, the most likely solution to fill in for Struijk at centre-half is that Luke Ayling will move from right-back into the centre to partner Robin Koch, with Stuart Dallas switching from left-back to the opposite flank.
Gjanni Alioski would then step up to cover Dallas at left-back.

Bielsa could look to youth players, with Oliver Casey an option at centre-back, while Leif Davis could be a contender for the left-back position.

At least, that’s what the Daily Express thinks (hat tip).
In other words, Leeds have problems.

As for us, it’s no change and Dean Smith will no doubt pick the same starting eleven.
The only question again is Trezeguet or Traore and you’d expect it’ll be a case of “if it isn’t broken, why fix it?”

So taking Gabby’s and my dislike of Leeds out of the equation, what to think?

I have to say I really hope we stuff Leeds.
It’s nothing personal, but it’s how I feel.
I’m going to be cagey though and not predict anything daft.
Leeds have the energy and drive to maybe beat anyone on their day. But I think you could possibly say that about any team in this league.
I think given Leeds’ injuries and the fact that we’re playing at home (not that it seems to make any difference lately), I’m going to go for the win.
I don’t see many goals though and think it might be by the solitary one.
Winning this would mean 5 out of our first 5 and that makes me wonder how long it was since we last did that?
Which is also the very good reason for me to have a nagging doubt that we won’t do it. Quite perversely after such a good start, the odds are possibly against us.

Fingers crossed though and if we do win we go top.
Now that would be good.

UTV!

64 Comments

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  1. Avatar
    originallondonlion October 23, 2020 at 10:01 pm .

    Well beaten by the better team on the night. Given a lesson in finishing by Patrick Bamford! I never thought I wolud write that.

  2. Avatar
    nath October 23, 2020 at 10:11 pm .

    first off respect to leeds they were the better team by miles, man for man without the ball and they were man for man better than villa’s individual game. they were stronger and fitter and villa couldn’t handle them. they sent numbers forward, too many villa players sacked their tracking back as the game entered the second period. leeds on the other hand never gave villa any time on the ball and never allowed villa players any time to get in the game.

    lastly iam so annoyed as good as leeds are and where we were dog shit 🙁 i am never this angry, but we just never showed our ability in that game. we allowed leeds the upper hand at the start, then start of the second half we just dropped our work rate even more. when we needed more than first half showing.

    villa were a bunch of individuals second half grealish too often when solo and into traps in fact leeds set traps all over the pitch and where too clever. villa player need to look in the mirror and stop believing the heap which was rightly placed on them. they went into this game believing it would be easy. they never got the right mindset to challenge leeds.

    such disappointing watch . lastly i so wanted to kick the sh it out off bumford great acting to get mings sent off, leeds players were clever like this all game. they knew how to foul and get away with them and we were pulled up for everything. a game to forget quickly villa

  3. Avatar
    Bill Pearson.. October 23, 2020 at 10:15 pm .

    Flat back 4 didn’t work, long balls to the left and right got us in trouble, I’m amazed that we didn’t change the game by holding back on our wings, Grealish was greedy ,our midfielders lazy not covering spaces, I could see 3 -4 of our players bunched up around 1 Leeds player. All in all very poor game by our 11 players.

  4. Avatar
    Little8 October 23, 2020 at 10:18 pm .

    Back too normal knew it was too good to be true seven against Liverpool none against Leeds well pissed off that was our only chance to ever be top this season glad I didn’t pay for that

  5. Avatar
    DSVILLA October 23, 2020 at 10:34 pm .

    We were passive. Our full backs tucked in as usual but they kept players wide and brought them
    Into play quickly.
    Just played tactically to suit them.

    Never on the front foot

    Just awful really.

    I can’t think of anything positive at all

  6. Avatar
    nath October 23, 2020 at 10:36 pm .

    leeds have two great systems with the ball and without. with the ball they sending 6 or 7 players into the last third in every attack. this happens in lightening fast and all game. they also switch the ball creating two on ones situations to start the attacks and thats the queue to their players to venture forwards.

    without the ball they swarmed all over villa better players and gave them nothing most of the game. as much as they piled forwards with the ball, they all get back to defend and the work rate they show with and without the ball put our game to shame.

    they forced their game on us and we couldn’t create much cause we had not time on the ball, we lacked options cause of leeds work rate always man marking and i thought they would tire but we tired and we got sloppy not them.

    i am still excited for this season, but today was alarming cause i do not rate leeds and other than their work rate i think they are a team that can be got at. but not today and not by us we made them look far better than we thought they were. maybe thats why i feel shit. watching bumford look like a top striker does that too me.

    next game is soton innit that wont be easy too, they play similar too leeds ,iam sure they will rub their hands watching this game . villa were far too easy second half to attack the back four and our goal was at the mercy off bumford and co to often. nil 3 could have been 4 or 5 very easily

  7. Avatar
    DSVilla October 23, 2020 at 11:21 pm .

    Leeds have one style of play. It’s fun and great to watch. You either go toe to toe and out perform with better players or you sit back, absorb (if you are disciplined enough) and counter attack at the right time. We were lazy. We didn’t compete. They ran 1km per player more than us and we got spanked.

    There’s no positive from this game unless we learned a lesson.

  8. Avatar
    Hitchens60 October 24, 2020 at 7:22 am .

    We let our success go to our heads and we got the bloody nose Smith predicted.

  9. Avatar
    Bum Bum October 24, 2020 at 7:48 am .

    Not happy with last night.

  10. Avatar
    nath October 24, 2020 at 8:51 am .

    day after the nightmare. i still am angry on the performance only cause i know they can do much better and if they did perform they could have won with ease. putting to bed the old arguments with the Yorkshire mob.

    basically we were too individual, grealish had a brilliant run from lands end to holte end, somewhere on his journey he had the chance to pass the ball. its the difference between very players and world class. knowing when to shoot and when to release the pass. watkins was square and had a tap in also barkley was arriving into the box but grealsih wanted to walk in the ball.

    its not just grealish our game last night was all too individual, without the ball it was pressing in ones and twos. i know leeds were on their game. but having got too half time even, worked your way into the game, through sheer hard work. they then allowed leeds the same start to second half and the first. once a momentum or trend is set its very hard to change the flow. leeds got a lucky escape with konsa corner chance,

    every time we had a corner it ended with leeds lightening attack so was not a surprise that their first goal was a lightening counter. then we fell apart like the titanic the unsinkable sunk in 10 15 minutes. we looked at sea after the first goal went in and leeds could have totally embarrassed us. lots to learn from this game. if you are not on your game the minimum requirement is effort.

    leeds won the game through sheer work rate,then their countering skills scored the goals. bumford goals were all avoidable. we made him look world class that guy will be laughing until Christmas with our presents. the last one he had the whole defence stood around him and not one was touch tight. you challenge no you challenge oh hell let him shoot. he had time to switch stance and pick his spot.

    man for man leeds defended. man for man we had the better team on paper. unfortunate reputations and ability alone do not win games. we fell last night and from a great height. we built up the players and they will have to pick themselves up fast. soton have more ability than leeds and they play similar. could be a case of dejavu

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