Villa – Sheff Utd; Six goals and I missed all ours!

Bloody typical isn’t it?
The missus and myself left the game early, because we were frankly near frozen after being away for a couple of weeks.

We were just walking past the Holte when we heard the roar and someone said Mings had scored.
We’d just got past the Aston Social where someone said Abraham scored.
And then the daughter called me to say Green had scored for 3-3.
Cue me kicking myself for doing something I’ve hardly ever done, in leaving early.

Not that I’m overly bothered.

Okay, we’ve shown massive resilience in coming back from 3-0 down, but make no mistake about it, this team is utter, utter rubbish and I found myself wondering how people bother paying good money in the cold to watch this stuff.

Well, maybe I might have been willing to watch a three goal comeback, but it really shouldn’t be like this.

For as much of the game that I saw, I commented that when Alan Hutton looks our biggest threat, you just know there’s something majorly wrong.
I’m sure I’ve said that previously, a few times.
We’d offered absolutely nothing and I bet their goalie’s hands were as cold as mine.

Kodjia was awful, as was our whole midfield.
Even McGinn couldn’t show his usual effort.

What worries me is that we show no desire whatsoever and were second best to the ball nearly all the time.
I’m sure Abraham must wonder what he’s doing at the Villa at times, as he had no service whatsoever and looked disinterested to me.

The referee was abysmal too.
He must have given Sheffield fifteen frees compared to our one or two, yet it was never that sort of a game.

No doubt the talk will be about how we pulled a draw from the jaws of defeat.
But what I saw just simply isn’t good enough and our defence still looks poor, as much as I thought Mings did okay.

The worrying part is, I don’t really see what Smith can do about it.

You’re having a laugh.

I can’t see me rushing to watch another game down the Villa.
At least not until I get used to the weather again.


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  1. Avatar
    sidcowanslovechild February 9, 2019 at 7:21 pm .

    We weren’t as bad as everyone is making out. We were the better team for good portions of the game and really should not have conceded 3.

    We were very poor at times though. Jedi kept giving the ball away, but I’m going to cut him some slack as it’s his first game back.

    It might be coincidence but when the crowd (those still there) got behind the team for a corner the come back bagan. We stayed behind them and they scored 2 more.

    I’m not blaming the fans or excusing some poor performances but if we can make a difference it’s by not getting on players backs and being loud and positive.

    It may not make much difference but it is certainly better than the alternative

  2. Avatar
    Hitchens60 February 10, 2019 at 12:38 pm .

    Copied the following from MOMS; thoughtful and balanced view of Dean Smith the manager?

    It’s now one win in his last 11 league games for Dean Smith, and that was an unconvincing win against bottom of the table Ipswich. It’s certainly not a good look and he’s evidently failed to address the weakness of Villa’s defending as a unit.

    It’s hard to buy this social media narrative of some fans who are quick to make excuses for the Villa fan. Apparently, (all of a sudden) Villa’s current players are cr*p and we’re nothing without Grealish.

    If you are to believe Smith’s appraisal of Grealish as “the best player in the division”, the good news is, no other team has a Grealish. Also, most other teams don’t have the talent that Villa actually do have in their squad.

    The same fans would be hard pressed to pick one Sheffield United player to get into the Villa first XI too (almost all would have Tammy Abraham over Billy Sharp).

    There is certainly enough decent players in the Villa squad to manage into a Championship play-off team.

    So what’s up with the players? Who seemed to have regressed since the impressive 3-0 away wins at Derby and Boro.

    Do they not buy into their former Brentford boss, now? In the same way that Villa’s decorated early 1980’s players were less than impressed suddenly being managed by ex-Shrewsbury Town boss Graham Turner?

    The Blades were only recently promoted to the Championship too, but are fantastically organised both in defence and attack by their boss Chris Wilder. They only conceded against Villa due to some poor individual errors.

    Smith has never been convincing with the defensive part of his game as a manager. As MOMS pointed out when he was appointed, he’s never finished higher than 9th in the league with either Walsall or Brentford.

    It’s been argued he never had the resources, but did Chris Wilder have such resources when he got Oxford United promoted from the Conference to the Football League? Or when he won the League Two title with Northampton? Or, when he won the League One title with the Blades?

    He has quickly developed a proven winning pedigree as a manager, Dean Smith does not at the moment, and this is fast becoming a concern.

    His attacking football ideology is nice, but Smith, on the evidence so far, has shown that his teams only win when they play very well. If they are not on song, then tactically they are left too open and vulnerable to ever win a game by playing poorly.

    As we all know, in football, teams are successful, because on their off days, they know how to win ugly too.

    Improvement is needed from Smith before any doubts in him begin to grow.,

    Last sentence is probably reflective of mutterings in some quarters!

    See, we do actually listen Ted 🙂

  3. Avatar
    Sidforever February 10, 2019 at 1:40 pm .


    You mentioned Bruces’s pulling power. Let’s be fare he has managed virtually 1 in 9’of the English top four division clubs.
    Sheffield United
    Huddersfield Town
    Wigan Athletic
    Crystal Palace
    Birmingham City
    Wigan Athletic
    Hull City
    Aston Villa
    Sheffield Wednesday

    I would expect he does have contacts but that does not overcome his failure at all clubs.

    With the movement to directors of football individual managers have less pull. I reckon this is supported by a typical manager lasts less than 2 years and a typical player contract being 3 / 4 years. Thus the DOF will have the biggest say on incomings. Bruce’s methods are the way of dinosaurs and they became extinct.

    It would be more Smith as ying to Purslow and co, we need a new centre half and they have a list of appropriate players who they go out and try to secure one from.

    The biggest pull would be the club. Villa’s name has that pulling power. Many up and coming players would see us as a good stepping stone. Plus with new wealthy backers, great infrastructure, this will help them to believe it is only a question of time before we go back to the premiership.

  4. Avatar
    TED February 10, 2019 at 8:10 pm .

    I’m astonished after all the stick I got, saying perspective and questioning Dean Smith I read the above now apparently agreeing.
    The article from MOMS is proportionate and constructive.
    One win in eleven games, no improvement in January just because he allegedly supported Villa he is defended.
    Smith is not good enough, press conferences he laughs, and thinks his record is acceptable, is he joking? Why are fans not challenging him? The press are.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 February 11, 2019 at 7:51 am .

      Ted, the difference between the MOMS article and your posts is that the article asks a number of legitimate questions without concluding that Smith is ‘not good enough’.

      You allege that fans are not questioning him ‘because he is a Villa fan’ – not true as the MOMS article makes clear, as does the majority of posts on this site.

      As Badger points out – to call for his head after 4 months is lunacy.

  5. Avatar
    Bill Pearson February 11, 2019 at 8:50 am .

    RIP Ian.
    For all them that didn’t know Ian,
    A utility player, Ross’s debut was for Liverpool on 14 January 1967 at Sheffield Wednesday in the First Division. He then moved to Aston Villa for £60,000 in February 1972, where captained their side that gained promotion to the top flight and also won the League Cup.

    After falling out of favour at Villa, he had spells on loan at Notts County and Northampton Town before joining Peterborough United in December 1976. Here, he amassed over 100 appearances during two-and-a-half seasons, in which he also served the club in a coaching role.

    He joined First Division Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1979 primarily as a coach, following his former Peterborough manager John Barnwell. He remained a registered player but never played a first team game for the club. He stepped in as caretaker manager after Barnwell’s eventual sacking in January 1982, taking charge of five games, losing all. Ross left the club soon after, joining Hereford United in a similar role, though here he did make 15 first team appearances during the 1982–83 season.

    He moved to Iceland to manage Valur, KR and later Keflavík before returning to the UK and later took up the reins at Huddersfield Town in 1992–93. He subsequently managed Berwick Rangers in 1996
    From Wikipedia. .

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 February 11, 2019 at 9:45 am .

      Remember him well at Villa, Bill but wasn’t aware that he went into management.

      RIP Ian Ross

  6. Avatar
    Holte66 February 11, 2019 at 10:57 am .

    Very sad news about Ian Ross. I was 8 years old when i went to my first game in 1975 to watch Villa beat Sunderland 2-0, and Ian scored from penalty spot. RIP Ian.

  7. Avatar
    Hitchens60 February 11, 2019 at 2:29 pm .

    See that Callum O’Hare got MOM for Carlisle at the weekend.

    I think he has a big role to play for Villa next season and the experience at Carlisle will help him enormously as did JG’s loan period with Notts County.

    1. Avatar
      Badger123 February 11, 2019 at 2:51 pm .

      That might be just as well if JG leaves as suspected.

    2. Avatar
      Hitchens60 February 11, 2019 at 5:12 pm .

      Badger – if JG is to be sold in the summer (assuming we don’t get promotion that is 🙂 ) then we must settle the deal early in the window so as to allow us time to sensibly reinvest the funds. I fear a last day deal and us haring around buying the wrong players

  8. Avatar
    Holte66 February 11, 2019 at 6:51 pm .

    O’Hare has the ability to be our next playmaker and this loan spell will harden him in the way U23’s doesn’t. I can’t see Grealish being at Villa next season because he will have definitely been told last summer that he can go if we fail to get promoted, otherwise he wouldn’t have signed an extended contract. I would expect a £25 million clause based on talk last summer. More importantly is that Smith builds a team that isn’t so reliant on Grealish. Hourihane, Bjarnasson and Lansbury all have failed up till now. McGinn is top drawer but a different type of player. Whelan and Jedinak are both past their prime and I will be shocked if they are offered new contracts. Fact is that we can’t replace him like for like while we are in the championship, so Smith needs to act quickly as Hitch says to enable us to have a decent pre season

    1. Avatar
      Badger123 February 11, 2019 at 8:19 pm .

      Actually, I’m not 100% convinced Grealish will leave in the summer.
      It would make sense, but I’m not convinced he would want to leave, in his heart of hearts.
      It all comes down to money and while he might want to go to a club seriously challenging, you never know.
      If we can match the money offered (a big ask, but we’d seriously push the boat out for him, as there’s nothing better than “one of our own” for the fans) he might just stay.
      Better a legend at the Villa than a failure at a top club, I’d suggest.

      Yes, I think there’s a £25 mill resale clause.
      6 players at around £4 mill.
      You’d think that would be enough for Smith, plus any money we can get for the garbage players.

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