Villa -Stoke; What to think?

Ah man, I’m sure I read somewhere this was a 5pm kick-off.
It’s not and it’s a rare 3pm kick-off, which means I probably won’t get to see it.
My AVTV subscription and extras is beginning to look a waste of time, but I’m quite happy for games to be played at the proper time, even if it means it’s my loss.

I’m up for this game, as a fan, but let’s look at the script.

Squad news first and the big news is that Grealish is ruled out.
That, on the face of it might seem like a big miss, but I’m actually intrigued to see how we work without him.
I honestly believe that the team does not revolve around Jack, as much as I rate him.
Indeed, I believe that Jack can work against us, in slowing the game down too much at times.
I’m ready for egg on my face, don’t worry.

Henri Lansbury (hamstring), Neil Taylor (hamstring), Birkir Bjarnason (groin), James Bree and Mile Jedinak are all out.

Given that most of these are what I perceive as goners, come the winter window, I’m not scared about this either.
Adomah is a doubt, which is more of a concern to my mind.
I like the bloke and the way he plays the game.

Stoke look in good nick, at a quick glance, not that I’m bothered.

Cutting to the quick then and it’s just a feeling.

Stoke are going well.
They are unbeaten in eight games and haven’t been been beaten away since September the 1st.

I don’t care about all that rubbish.
They’re going to meet a proper team tomorrow.

And we’re going to beat them 3-1.

Purely because they won’t be able to live with the way we play.
We’ll blitz them, simple.

The faith is very strong.

Please let it be so.


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  1. Avatar
    nath December 15, 2018 at 5:04 pm .

    might not have won this game, but it will feel like a win as we didn’t lose against a very difficult side to play against. we were below par today and up against it for most of the game. stoke were stronger and will be disappointed with their point, we have got to track runners from midfield. today was again our downfall.

    for me this was a well hard point won, bring on leeds next. we have had one hell of a run of fixtures and we done well in them all,

  2. Avatar
    Bill Pearson December 15, 2018 at 8:02 pm .

    Norwich drew tonight , looking at the table two teams are getting away. we can easily get play off but now worried missing a creative midfielder and keeper. Hope January things get better for Villa I don’t want another season in the Championship. Noticed Hutton was out of position again for the goal. Hey ho keep going Villa get us out please.

  3. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron December 15, 2018 at 10:19 pm .

    The 4 points we dropped against Forest and Albion were more damaging than today. Stoke are notoriously tough, so probably would’ve taken a point before the game. Had we taken the 3 points vs Forest and Albion, we’d be joint 4th, comfortable in the play off spots and looking at 2nd as a real target. We’d also be in a position to bring ourselves withing 5 points of the leaders, Leeds, if we beat them next Sunday.

    Basic maths, I know, but the point is the one I made immediately after the Forest game. In this league, if you’re serious about getting out, you can’t be losing wining positions in the last 5 minutes, and you definitely can’t be scoring 5 at home and 2 away and not winning. Dean Smith knows this. I’d take a draw against Leeds and a win at Swansea, then expect a string of wins with the easier run of games in January. Only then do we have a chance.

    Massive January window coming up…

  4. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron December 15, 2018 at 10:43 pm .


  5. Avatar
    Bencey83 December 16, 2018 at 9:22 am .

    Out of interest, does anyone know the stats for how many goals we’ve conceded from down Hutton’s wing? Stoke’s highlights seemed to be all down his side. Is it just me or is this a common theme? Also, did anyone else register that we had a clean sheet when he was suspended?

  6. Avatar
    Holte66 December 16, 2018 at 11:34 am .

    To be fair to Hutton it was Elmo who put in a ‘lazy’ tackle on McClean for their penalty. FWIW both full back positions and the GK are the main reasons for our goals conceded. The only major plus this season defensively is Tuanzebe who I really hope we can sign permanently. We all knew that we had to try and keep within touching distance of top 6 till the transfer window before Smith could solve the problems we have, and I think considering the teams we have played, we have done much better than I expected a few weeks ago. We have another really tough game coming up and a win will keep us right in the mix. Last season we stumbled against lesser opposition which is a lesson that we hopefully will have learnt.

  7. Avatar
    Bill Pearson December 16, 2018 at 11:47 am .

    I’ve looked at the replay twice and yes Holte your right, Elmo is downe to a clumsy tackle and Hutton was out of position again. Question now is how many times have teams caught us out from the wing play with cross balls, its bad enough having kittens with the goalkeeper. We have to solve this problem and soon.

    1. Avatar
      Holte66 December 16, 2018 at 1:31 pm .

      I like Hutton for his attitude and commitment to the cause but defensively he is caught out on too many occasions. Taylor is another one who costs us too often. Elmo despite his foul on McClean is usually steady at RB. The keeper, a LB and a CB must be priorities in January. If we can get quality players in these positions then I have no doubt we will be the best team in the league.

  8. Avatar
    Bill Pearson December 16, 2018 at 1:59 pm .

    Looking around other site’s Hourihane being singled out as saying that was his worse game. Many are convinced that Whelan and Hourihane cannot play together. Houlihane reverted to the square ball and Whelan went missing. They certainly missed Jack that’s for sure.

  9. Avatar
    nath December 16, 2018 at 2:21 pm .

    we are not too far away are we from being the top side in this league. so small marginal errors will become more highlighted. like forest i thought stoke played on a weakness they highlighted on the villa team. it was deep runners not being tracked by our midfield. there is nothing we can do other then just be patient. its very hard to address. there is also some irony, as we have also improve our movement and its our movement when we have the ball which is opening teams up. but for the forest game and now stoke they both set traps and opened us up to deep runners which were not picked up.

    i wouldn’t worry too much smith and his backroom will have spotted this and been working on this part. both forest and stoke both played blinders and only got a draw, leeds do have great movement themselves so they will also try to catch us out in this department,

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