Villa – Man Utd; It’s now or never, nearly

It seems strange having a game on Thursday and indeed, I nearly forgot about it.

I think overall, there’s not really much to say, is there?
We need points and while losing tomorrow won’t mean guaranteed relegation in itself, you don’t need me to tell you that if we don’t get some sharpish, we’re simply running out of games.

I haven’t seen any of Man Utd’s games since project restart, but a friend of mine watched one and said they looked very impressive.
Which doesn’t bode well, does it?

Add in our horrendous record against them (something that brings me the nearest to hating another club as it gets) and things look even worse.

I think if this were a normal home game, with the fans’ support, I’d be very confident of at least getting something out of this game.
Even so, I’m reasonably confident that we might get a point in an empty Villa Park.
I don’t think I can go as far as predicting that we’ll win it, but if we can display a performance similar to the Liverpool one, we at least have a chance.
I certainly don’t think we’ll be steamrollered, put it that way.

The trouble is, it’s difficult to see where the goals will come from.
Our setpieces aren’t very good and we attack with far too little pace.

It’ll be interesting to see how Dean Smith sets up for this one.
Will he try and contain Utd, maybe with the hope of getting a point, with him thinking that we probably won’t get anything against Arsenal, but Palace, Everton and much more winnable?
I suspect he will and expect to see a very similar games as we saw against Liverpool.
The thought of us going defensive at VP doesn’t appeal, but it is probably the most logical approach.
As much as I’d like to see us really take it to Utd, I just don’t see it happening.

So basically we’re probably going to need some luck and I honestly struggle to remember the last time we had some of that, certainly in a good sense.

I haven’t heard any squad news lately, but am assuming Targett is still out.
Not that it matters much, as I doubt we’ll see many changes, if any at all.
Smith really doesn’t have much to choose from does he?

I’m going to go for a 1-1 result, in the hope that we actually get a setpiece right for once.


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  1. Holte66
    Holte66 July 9, 2020 at 10:45 pm . Reply

    Get rid of the lot Roy and now! Does anyone think keeping things the way they are will help us survive? More chance with a clear out plus more time to plan for championship with recruitment.

  2. nath
    nath July 9, 2020 at 10:46 pm . Reply

    i think we need a badger poll, so we can have our say without getting named called. in case we don’t agree with the popular crowd. we havent a poll in ages

  3. nath
    nath July 9, 2020 at 10:49 pm . Reply

    i do not see the point in clearing the club and starting again. we have the basis of a good young squad. we are not ready for the premiership and some players may need shifting and some we need to recruit. but if we start buying 12 to 15 players and new manager coaches etc we will never amount to anything

  4. Roy Bracy
    Roy Bracy July 9, 2020 at 11:38 pm . Reply

    What do people on here think about the message from the premier League match centre.
    That the penalty given was the wrong decision and it was a foul on Konsa free kick to villa.
    In fact the man u player ran his studs down Konsa leg so should also have been booked.
    This is going to cost villa millions, maybe the owners should sue the premier League, this might stop the old boys club at the top of the furious 😬😬😬😬 open a can of worms and take them to court!!!!!!

    1. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum July 10, 2020 at 6:55 am . Reply

      It’s gotta be the end for VAR. 3 game changing mistakes admitted by the Premier League last night.
      And it looks like Soljkar has turned into a typical ManU idiot with his claim it was a penalty.
      Badger, I said we’d be down after this match and we are. The maths is irrelevant.
      Smith has shown he can’t cut it in the Prem. The whole management team has to go ASAP.

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 July 10, 2020 at 7:21 am . Reply

        Last night was typical of Villa’s luck (or lack of it) this season. Three wrong VAR decisions two of which went against our club. If you look at the stats Villa now have a significant negative VAR score which may well prove to be the difference between relegation and survival, (No prizes for guessing the teams with positive scores).

        VAR is a joke! Perhaps the club should sue 🙂

        Soljkar is a bigger joke with his Fergusonesque comment.

        I’m still not convinced on throwing the baby out with the bath water. We’ve been doing that for several years now and it hasn’t got us anywhere.

        I hope the owners carry out a detailed review of the last two seasons and determine where mistakes have been made and are savvy enough to put them right rather than a knee jerk reaction. For me the two areas that need close scrutiny are our transfer dealings and the recruitment and development of younger players – the first can be fixed quickly, the second takes time.


  5. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 July 10, 2020 at 10:57 am . Reply

    Just as an aside I thought Smith was good in his post match interview. He didn’t make excuses but was justifiably upset by the penalty decision which changed the flow of the game. He identified Mings mistake which led to the second goal and admitted that made it too much for Villa to get back.

    In addition to these critical defensive mistakes, we’re also failing to take our chances. We had two good chances to score before the penalty incident and didn’t take either – similar to the Liverpool game.

    We have a more than decent mid field but are lacking real quality at the front and in defence (although I do think players like Konsa will improve with experience). To me Mings has lost his energy and the more aggressive side of his game – head elsewhere?

  6. Bill Pearson..
    Bill Pearson.. July 10, 2020 at 12:44 pm . Reply

    It has to be Smith’s fault and no excuse will change my mind, Grealish as been played out of position week after week, in fact the whole team had to work around the ideas Smith had, play behind from left to right wings stop deep in defence, all though the season had to play with the hope Grealish can create chances, we have had no plan in any game, no player going forwards. It the worst team of players I’ve ever seen , no guts , I’ve thrown the towel in till I see our owners do something positive like getting rid of a gang of unskilled footballers.

  7. Roy Bracy
    Roy Bracy July 10, 2020 at 5:53 pm . Reply

    Glad you didn’t take to the canals Bill they’re no longer worth it,but if fall into the league one then you can reconsider 😂😂😂
    On Smith after thinking maybe he should stay on but get the players he wants like Brentford and walsall.suso and Terry go.

  8. Holte66
    Holte66 July 10, 2020 at 5:54 pm . Reply

    I’ve had discussions with a fellow Villa fan and we both agree that Smiths game plan is limited. Admittedly we have poor players to mix things up but why wait till 3-0 down before changes? It always seems like we are too slow to react. Also the decision not to play the likes of Barry or Vassilev when clearly they can’t do any worse than those currently playing. And PLEASE don’t say they are too young. What must their confidence levels be like when they can’t break into a team like ours? They probably will end up like O’Hare and all the others. Sent out on loan until they are completely forgot about.
    Our entire strategy from top to bottom is a complete shambles. Smith needs to go and make sure he can fit O’Kelly, Terry and Suso in the taxi.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 July 10, 2020 at 6:31 pm . Reply

      And how will everyone react if they sack Smith, Kelley and JT and Suso stays?

      The reality imho is that Suso should go first and we should dump the whole idea of a DoF. DoF is OK for the top, wealthy clubs but where there are limited budgets and buying the right type of player is key then the manager should have total control.

      I’m not saying Smith is blameless but no one can work efficiently handed the wrong tools!

  9. nath
    nath July 10, 2020 at 6:29 pm . Reply

    i look around and lots of angry villa fans. i was angry, but my beef is with var and the on field referee. i said at the time no way penalty and now i calmed down, it is one of the worst decisions i have seen in a long while, would we have won the game probably not. but let me tell you,we was in that game up to that incident. i get why villa fans are angry and hitting out at anyone,smith mostly.

    we matched utd well in the opening stages, we have to take our chances when they arrive , we had them, but we ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH. thats why some fans think smith tactics are poor. but the truth is tactics will only work if the players are good enough to carry them out, when your players are lacking mistakes happen as we are constantly stretched. utd once they were gifted the opening goal. never looked back, they rode out everything villa had and then as villa players dropped their tempo, utd step theirs up and with ease won the game.

    we are not in the same league as most of the teams in premiership, their players are pros at this level. ours are prospects and some are finding out its hard at the top. we are too easy to play against. i said this all season and its so true. watch pool without the ball they work harder much harder than us. understand if you allow teams to have so much ball you will have trouble keeping clean sheets. then you have too score more to win games. we need to grow as a team and that means returning to championship. work on a system like sheff utd. master that system and improve the players in each position. then we will return and stay in the league of the elite

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 July 10, 2020 at 6:33 pm . Reply

      Spot on Nath – Smith will be the scapegoat and Suso will stay!

      1. nath
        nath July 10, 2020 at 6:45 pm . Reply

        everybody has compared our season to sheff utd. well if thats the case then smith needs time. sheff utd are reaping the benefits of being together long time. each season they add a player or two. but its always quality over quantity. they have players which we had and deemed unworthy.

        i trust smith to build a squad out of what we have and a few incoming transfers. the youth will also get a chance. the squad he will have next season will be good enough to return first time of asking. then we have a far better chance to recruit to that squad and be better again,

        need to build onto not restart fresh as we always do. one of my favourite films is kellys heroes. oddball says Have a little faith baby

        1. Hitchens60
          Hitchens60 July 10, 2020 at 7:10 pm . Reply

          Nath – Smith’s troubles started when he fortuitously (that’s the only word for it) achieved promotion last season – at least one year too early.

          So then everyone thought we would succeed in the EPL – me included. Of course, rather unsurprisingly, the reality has proved to be somewhat different. So it’s all Smith’s fault including getting promotion last season!?

          I’ve nailed my arse to the fence and it’s far too painful to rip it off now 🙂 even though I suspect I’ll be in a significant minority.

          1. nath
            nath July 10, 2020 at 7:46 pm . Reply

            i think we all got caught up in the euphoria of promotion. we all were short sighted. many clubs tried and failed, buying a team in short period to gel them.smith we trusted know most of them and settling in would happen quicker. well no short cuts while smith knew them individually they all needed to settle to each other.

            the foreign lads wesley luiz and trez all needed much longer and its only now we can see the player in luiz. he looks a right gem such a shame its happened too late. but if we can keep him and get wesley gelled too promotion will be a walk in the park

  10. Holte66
    Holte66 July 10, 2020 at 7:35 pm . Reply

    Is the assumption that Smith has no say regarding player incomings? Why would anyone agree to a role where someone says I’m buying Wesley, Nakamba etc and your job is to coach them into a great team. I don’t believe it for a minute. Suso scouts players via a football manager stats type selection then gets Smith to accept or decline. They are all as guilty as each other. We all wanted Smith as a Villa fan to succeed but his love for our club is influencing supporters that he is blameless. Would the verdict be the same if it was anyone else in charge? I doubt it somehow. Of course Smith shouldn’t be dismissed and keep people like Terry and Suso. That would be the worst case scenario. Fact is a change is needed and whether that just means Suso and Terry then I would accept it as long as the recruitment of players is purely Smiths say. That way he will have nowhere to hide if things don’t improve.

    1. nath
      nath July 10, 2020 at 7:51 pm . Reply

      i heard smith had the final say. but he was definitely not the guy who idenitied tre z and wesley the french full back was already signed. i think smith trusted somebody judgement. they all sought the players they liked and thought would fit. then the player had to fit financially. then each of them had to agree, so you could say they all were responsible

  11. Holte66
    Holte66 July 10, 2020 at 7:45 pm . Reply

    One other thing is the fact that we have looked more and more clueless on the pitch as the season has progressed. This can only be blamed on the coaching. Our movement and finishing in the final third has gone from bad to worse. Who is in charge of coaching our attacking players? We assume Terry has been mostly responsible for the defensive side of our team. That’s why nearly everyone is saying he should go because he has failed and produced the worst defence in the league. When you consider we brought in Drinkwater and Baston due to injuries to McGinn and Wesley, this highlights all we need to know about how badly run the club is.

    1. nath
      nath July 10, 2020 at 7:59 pm . Reply

      we got worse i think that could be down to the fact they are all demoralised. if you played any sport and you are losing often it gets a little tedious. i think the players were starting to fight amongst themselves towards the end of yesterdays game. i saw a few pointing fingers at each other. i also heard mings had a little coming together with mcginn. this is normal when the ship sinks you get this sort of stuff.

      i think a few of us want the excuse be the manager fault or some other reason. but i think the only reason is we are sadly lacking in skill at this moment in time. david is good at raising his game once or twice aga0nst Goliath. but we needed to get the rub of the green ealier in season while the confidence was sky high. but we got screwed over again and again by var and refs, confidence dwindled to empty and now you can see the squad is at all time low,

      i thought no crowd would help villa but it has had the opposite affect.

  12. nath
    nath July 11, 2020 at 7:39 am . Reply

    i would love for somebody to revisit each game and count the blatant errors like the lansbury goal which robbed us of a perfect victory. or draw. its not a excuse that we have got no change out of the officials its a fact.

    we the fans are now at the end of our tethers, but look back at each game if it wasn’t the ref and var, our own players also added to our downfall, by gifting goals at important stages in games.

    at this moment the players are now at a stage, where they are starting to point fingers at their teammates. exactly how a team is made the band of brothers will rise from this chaos. we threw too many players at the beginning. we did not have the same team mentality as other teams in the league,cause they never been in trouble together until now they are up to their necks and sinking fast. characters had not had time to build, without the ball its easy to see this. we are poor probably the worst in this league. that is mostly down to us being a new team. this part of the game you can not take short cuts. individuals can win a game, but teams defend best together.

    i hope there is a inquest in what went wrong. but i hope the truth is seen and we are not a bad side we just needed more time, luck and for the ref var not to cheat us. if we take this like a man and learn from this , we can be back stronger more prepared and flourish next time we grace this league.

  13. Bill Pearson..
    Bill Pearson.. July 11, 2020 at 9:26 am . Reply

    RIP Jackie Charlton a legend in my eyes.

    1. nath
      nath July 11, 2020 at 10:12 am . Reply

      🙁 really sad news. top bloke i remember him managing ireland he always picked villa players. when england failed to reach america we all supported him and ireland. they upset the Italians there in blazing hot weather. really sad news bill

  14. Holte66
    Holte66 July 11, 2020 at 10:29 am . Reply

    Sad news. RIP Sir Jack.

    1. Steve
      Steve July 11, 2020 at 2:21 pm . Reply

      I love Jack to bits but since the restart he has been playing within himself which is disappointing. I thought he would be busting a gut and leading by example as a villa fan.

      1. Steve
        Steve July 11, 2020 at 2:23 pm . Reply

        As for Jack Charlton very sad. I saw him do a talk once very funny.
        Great man RIP

    2. Roy Bracy
      Roy Bracy July 11, 2020 at 4:43 pm . Reply

      Looking at Brentford who built that team? Smith over a few seasons. Maybe stick with Smith but have him select players he wants to play his systems.

  15. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 July 11, 2020 at 2:14 pm . Reply

    With today’s likely results (assuming Watford go on to win) Bournemouth and Villa to join Norwich looks more and more a foregone conclusion.

  16. Roy Bracy
    Roy Bracy July 11, 2020 at 2:32 pm . Reply

    Relegated to the championship 😬
    Start the rebuild now give some of the youngsters a game so that they can see what their missing and it might inspire them to get back and stay in premier League.
    No point playing has beens now.
    RIP Jack 🙏 that’s how you should defend as a defender.sad day all round 👼

  17. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 July 11, 2020 at 2:41 pm . Reply

    Strangely, I’m not overly fussed tbh. My only concern is that our owners stay committed to the cause.

    Agree though, we need to start planning for next season and some big decisions to make. If there is a move to clear out coaching staff just get on with it now.

    No excuse for Smith not to give some of the younger players a go now.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 July 11, 2020 at 2:42 pm . Reply

      I think I just contradicted myself 🙂 🙂

  18. Bill Pearson..
    Bill Pearson.. July 11, 2020 at 2:48 pm . Reply

    No Hitch not at all, we’re down and it hurts, our youngster are gone so cannot think of them , the best would be to have a massive clear out from top to bottom no excuses. It’s all over now No way will we stay up as I’ve said since last year.

  19. Holte66
    Holte66 July 11, 2020 at 3:12 pm . Reply

    Now that we are almost certainly down, we need to introduce a few of the youngsters. I’m guessing that Smith knows who will be off before next season, so don’t play them and focus on the future. And that includes Grealish. He isn’t going to be with us in the championship, neither will Mings, McGinn and probably Luiz. Trezeguets agent has already suggested he will be moving and he is dog shite! Has O’Hare signed for anyone yet?

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 July 11, 2020 at 3:18 pm . Reply

      I have a suspicion we will struggle next season as we rebuild again – will that be something like the sixth time in four years – we’ll that’s what it feels like.

      Perhaps we could get Bruce back 🙂

  20. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum July 11, 2020 at 4:24 pm . Reply

    You can put me in the ‘quite rather f***ing livid’ catagory. A complete shower of shit from top to bottom. It’s actually embarrassing being a Villa fan now. We’re just a laughing stock.
    For instance, Westwood, not good enough for Villa but challenging for a European place next season. Why do so many players underperform at Villa and excel elsewhere? The list is effing endless.
    Livid. Tunbridge Wells.
    The team needs booing from start to finish… if there was a crowd there. Sorry, no sympathy for Smith at all. Look how we’ll Brentford are doing…

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 July 11, 2020 at 4:48 pm . Reply

      Actually hard to argue with any of that Bum Bum.

      1. Bum Bum
        Bum Bum July 11, 2020 at 6:20 pm . Reply

        I cannot abide underachievement, and lack of effort and an inability to do the job you’ve asked for. Nobody is perfect but the lot of them from top to bottom should hang their heads. These guys all earn a fortune we can never dream of and they give us this. Appalling.

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