Villa – Man U; Can we get revenge?

It’s been another busy day, with me being back at work. The idea was to knock the weekend working on the head, but at least it’s only ocasionally now, so I can live with it.
Anyway, it’s meant this post is a bit last minute, but never mind.

I don’t know if I’m looking forward to this game or not.
A big part of me definitely is, because I know we’re easily capable of beating them, but at the same time I’m nervous, because just as Monday showed, United have an awful knack of beating us, even when we’ve thoroughly outplayed them.

And the big question is can we exact revenge, which would be so, so sweet. It might even be worth more than a third round cup win, but that’s debateable, I suppose.
The omens are very much against us, because (and here’s one very sad statistic for you) we haven’t beaten Man United at home in twenty two games in a run that’s lasted since 1995. That’s 27 years and the longest an English side has gone without winning against another club. Ever.

Straight into squad news and the big one is obviously that Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne are both available for the game.
Will they both start?
I’m not sure Coutinho will, as although he’s fit, I doubt he’s properly match fit. My guess would be that he’ll get minutes, but the club will also want to show off what will be this winter’s marquee signing, so he may well start.
I’d expect Digne to start, mainly because Matt Targett will have no reason to feel hard done by. He’s been frankly poor for a while and you can see why Gerrard may have taken a dislike to him.
Jaden Philogene-Bidace, Marvelous Nakamba and Leon Bailey are all out. Trezeguet and Traore are both at the AONC (and you have to wonder if they’re even wanted anyway) and John McGinn is suspended for one match because of yellow cards.

Man U have Harry Maguire, Phil Jones, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo all back in contention. Luke Shaw, who fouled us for fun and mostly got away with it on Monday and Scott McTominay, the goalscorer are both serving one match bans and Paul Pogba is out. Some say that last one is a good thing for United.

So what to think then?
The truth is I don’t know.
McGinn is the obvious big miss and although I wouldn’t call him particularly physical, the midfield definitely looks lighter without him.
My main concern about Coutinho coming in is not that I don’t think he’s good enough, but more that I think we need more physicality in the middle. We have enough creativity as it is.
Then again, I thought we had bigger concerns than Left back, but Gerrard has decided Digne is wanted now. Maybe it was just the case that he was available and Gerrard thought he was too good to miss out on. I think he’ll come straight in, to offer a bit more threat in the attack side of our game.
The rest of the team picks itself and the only thing is do we persist with Danny Ings?
I personally wouldn’t but I’m not sure what the options are. I said on Monday that Coutinho comes in for him, but I don’t think that is the plan and the Brazilian won’t be up to a full game just yet anyway.

I haven’t worked Steve Gerrard out yet and find it difficult to try and guess how he thinks. Hence I’m not going to try for this game.

All I know is our run without winning at home against Utd is embarrassing. As is the fact that we haven’t done the league double over them since the 1954-55 season. When you consider that we’ve played them many times in that period, it’s just horrendous and surely has to end some time soon.
I see no reason why this game should not end those sad stats and I think it will. I can’t remember a better chance and unless something ridiculously stupid happens, we should be up to beating the Reds.

I’m going for 2-1 to us, although I’d love to say it will be higher than that.



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  1. Big Fat Ron
    Big Fat Ron January 15, 2022 at 7:39 pm . Reply

    Two Tweets of huge relevance:

    “Aston Villa attempted 516 passes vs Man Utd, their highest total in a single match in the English Premier League this season”

    “Aston Villa had nine shots on target against Man Utd, the most they’ve had in a Premier League game this season.”

    Stevie used the word “ruthless” after Monday’s shafting. When that comes, I think he may well make Villa formidable.


    p.s. I don’t think he’s giving Chuky enough game time but wonder if it’s a case of if you don’t commit to the cause, you ain’t playing. Very risky tactic if that’s what’s happening.

  2. Big Fat Ron
    Big Fat Ron January 15, 2022 at 7:47 pm . Reply

    I haven’t seen the goals but read we caught playing out from the back. OK, so who wants kicking in the nuts first? Stevie? There is no merit at all in playing out when it puts you under pressure and concedes goals. I’d work on Emi’s long kicking instead and train to start fast attacks in the final third after launching it upfield. Play out when it’s on, not just for the sake of playing out.

    I posted footage of Schmeichel launching it for United back in ’91, and coincidentally watched highlights of Villa 2-0 vs Ipswitch in ’93, when we scored one of the best ever counter attacking goals from out own touch line. Watch and enjoy. Oh, and note the long range shooting from Saunders. Need more of that, too.

    So there’s a time and a place.

    Stop slavishly playing out. It’s not clever. It’s f****** stupid!

    Anyway, UTV.

    Did Phil Jones grace VP btw? :’)

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 January 15, 2022 at 7:57 pm . Reply

      BFR – first goal was a terrible mistake by Emi from a free kick easy collect but he dropped the ball and it bounced through his legs (it happens) – although we did give Fernandez too much room. Second goal was a poor pass from Sanson in our own half although I think Mings could have done more. Two defensive errors – two goals – too many.

  3. Sidforever
    Sidforever January 15, 2022 at 7:58 pm . Reply

    I think SF is moving us in the right direction. I thought Buendia was very good and Coutinho is a magician.

    I believe we are one defensive midfielder and a centre half away from being a top team.

    I would look to sell Ings in the summer. But his wages would probably result in a loan unless the barcodes want him.

  4. OLL again
    OLL again January 15, 2022 at 7:58 pm . Reply

    Just read through the in game posts – the mood changes eh!

    All five of our back 4 played well – but there is nothing they can do to defend two howlers from Martinez and Sanson. Martinez has enough credit in the bank but I am afraid Sanson has not showed me he is a premiership player.

    On the other hand Buendia stepped out of McGinn’s shadow and played his best game – he ran the midfield. Jacob Ramsey too tasked with stepping in to do some of Nakamba’s work and some of McGinn’s work had his best game and finished a well worked goal.

    Digne did not start too well but he is faster down that wing than Targett and his headed clearances are more powerful, he looked an improvement overall. Coutinho – a quick brain and quick feet and dream debut.

    Verdict – after the comedy warm-up act we were better in the main event and but for De Hea would have won.

  5. DSVilla
    DSVilla January 15, 2022 at 8:02 pm . Reply

    First 30 mins we were completely outplayed. From there on we were very good. Two bad mistakes for their goals from two players who had decent games otherwise. Our goals were both good play from us so that was nice.

    I said on here some time ago that Ramsay was going to be a very good player for us when many were writing him off. Not many players can come into the first team and star from the off.

    Ultimately it’s good to stop the rot. Another defeat would have had us in a bit of bother. I feel we outplayed Man Utd in both games. We were undone by defensive failings so if we can cut out those we will be a very good team. We still have a long way to go but I’m feeling a bit optimistic.

  6. DSVilla
    DSVilla January 15, 2022 at 8:09 pm . Reply

    Thought Hause did well when he came on too. He hasn’t had much game time but looked decent on the ball with fairly positive passing too

  7. William Pearson
    William Pearson January 15, 2022 at 8:20 pm . Reply

    Ok before Badger comes in, I knocked Ramsey on his abilities in midfield, I take it back , instigater in both goals , and ok we drew but the better team . We have the making of t a great team ..

  8. Big Fat Ron
    Big Fat Ron January 15, 2022 at 8:58 pm . Reply

    Everton is a MUST win next week. They’re shit but if we lose we’re pretty much on the same points and the season’s over. Win and top 8 is still on…

Right or Wrong? What do YOU think?

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