Villa – West Ham; An interesting game?

So I’d just arrived at the bar in anticipation of some long-awaited proper football for me and a bit of egg chucking for the missus when I saw a young chap in a claret and blue shirt.
As you do, I thought I’d have a bit of friendly banter and said “I nearly told you I liked the shirt then”, thinking he was a West Ham fan. “We’ve got your lot tomorrow, haven’t we?”
To my surprise, he answered with a northern accent and proceeded to tell me they’d got Brentford.
I’d even looked at the badge on his shirt but it still took me a while to realise he was a Burnley fan.
The shirts are far too similar to me. There should be only one (ours, of course, as we all know any other claret and blue shirts are just imposters!).
We’re in Gran Canaria for a bit of sun, but it was all a bit of a letdown yesterday. I lost a tenner backing Arsenal (a holiday one-off, as I normally detest betting), England lost (not that it bothered me, but it upset the missus) and to cap it all it poured down for about an hour.It wouldn’t be so bad normally, but the bars here are not at all waterproof, which sort of destroys the “it doesn’t rain in the pub” argument. I suppose it could be a lot worse, going from what I’ve been hearing of the weather back home.

Anyway,I told Mr Burnley fan that we’d got spam tomorrow and his reply was that it should be a good game, which I thought was interesting as it obviously means we’re seen as a good watch for the neutrals.
I suppose it makes sense, as we do tend to score goals, but I wish I thought we were that good when I’m watching us.
I found the Liverpool and Arsenal games quite entertaining really, although the Preston-Milwall game that was on a different screen stood out as a real bruiser, quite reminiscent of a 70’s game.
Proper footy, where the ref just let the game flow, as opposed to Ashley Young getting a red for having his foot stamped on by Mo Salah (or at least that’s how I saw it).

I’m rattling.
Squad news and the good part (if you like the look of him, as I do) is that Nicolo Zaniolo will be available after he seemingly gave Monchi a plausible explanation about his involvement in an illegal betting scandal. Given that he was sent home by Italy, assumedly for not being in the right frame of mind, you have to wonder if Emery might think the same. I don’t think he will, personally.
Otherwise nothing has changed.

West Ham are in a reasonably good position with Full-backs Aaron Cresswell and Ben Johnson close to being fit, but probably not quite ready.

It should indeed be a decent game and it will be interesting, not least because we’ve won ten on the trot at home, something we haven’t done since 1983 while they have beaten us at home the last three times running. So one of those stats has to give.
I’ll be off back down that bar for the game and am quite looking forward to it. I might even have another conversation with the bookie’s runner. But which way to go?
A point apiece would see us move above Newcastle into 5th and Spam into 8th above Man U.
And if I do actually have a bet, I think that’s how I’ll go.

Villa 1-Spam 1

I do have a sneaky feeling though, that we will win this.
And if we do, I might just begin to believe that we’re better than I think we are.

Up the Villa!


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  1. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum October 22, 2023 at 6:04 pm . Reply

    What a fucking beauty!!!!! Ollllieeeeeeee!!!!!

  2. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 October 22, 2023 at 6:05 pm . Reply

    What a goal!

    1. Sidforever
      Sidforever October 22, 2023 at 6:18 pm . Reply

      Another great goal – Bailey

  3. Badger123
    Badger123 October 22, 2023 at 6:05 pm . Reply

    Ollie! I’m so happy for him.
    Have that spam, 3-1

  4. Texas Villan
    Texas Villan October 22, 2023 at 6:06 pm . Reply

    That was one helluva goal.

  5. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum October 22, 2023 at 6:19 pm . Reply

    OMG!!!! Bailey!!!

  6. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 October 22, 2023 at 6:20 pm . Reply

    Bailey – just how good is this side when you consider the players we’re missing?

    Lost control at one point but pulled it back with a brilliant Watkins goal.

    Happy Days.

  7. The Ron Saunders Stand
    The Ron Saunders Stand October 22, 2023 at 6:42 pm . Reply

    Not far off perfection.

  8. Badger123
    Badger123 October 22, 2023 at 7:24 pm . Reply

    West Ham spanked and totally out-footballer will be the theme of my post, when I can get to log in.

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand October 22, 2023 at 7:33 pm . Reply

      Would love to see Bowen in the real claret and blue.
      A quality footballer.

  9. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 October 22, 2023 at 7:32 pm . Reply

    The stats suggest a very even game except for the foul count – something like 15 (Spam) against 8. Sometimes it’s this sort of stat that says the most.

    Reality is, without the massive deflection from Torres, WH really never troubled Martinez and he was unlucky not to record a clean sheet. I’m ignoring the save after 45 secs – although it was brilliant – as t the player was clearly offside.

    Big game next against Alkmaar away – but aren’t they all at this level?

  10. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum October 22, 2023 at 7:35 pm . Reply

    That was one mighty fine performance. And just think who we have to come back, never mind a couple of potentially great signings come January!

    Oh, did I say when I predicted a 2-1 win it was a typo. I meant 4-1!!! 😁😁😁

  11. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 October 22, 2023 at 7:53 pm . Reply

    I’ve supported and watched Villa since the fifties – first game at VP 1960. There have been highs -1982 but too few – there have been lows – too many to mention but I venture to suggest this is the best Villa squad I have ever watched (given the changing demands of modern football and with no disrespect to Sir Ron) with a coach on that Sir Ron would, I’m sure, have respected and maybe even admired.

    Like Sir Ron, he demands the best, coaches onan individual basis and is, I think, an outstanding manager.

    Luiz was outstanding today but Emery pinpointed some areas of ‘over confidence’ and challenged him to improve further. This a player that could well be worth £100m in the current inflated transfer market – not that we would sell him.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain October 22, 2023 at 8:16 pm . Reply

      I’ve been saying for a couple of seasons that Luiz is one of the best – quality players we’ve had at VP in at least a generation.

      Dean Smith and then the Scouser, kept playing him in the wrong role – he’s not ever been a ‘defensive midfielder’ – he’s a far more attack-minded player.

      And he’s still got room to improve – hasn’t yet quite managed to eliminate a few stray, over-casual, passes in many games, including today.

      As you say, if somebody wants to come in for him now they would reakistically have to be offering around £100m – and I doubt we’d let him go…

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 October 22, 2023 at 8:47 pm . Reply

        True Ardent but tbf to Dean Smith, he didn’t have the players that Emery has which allows him to release Luiz unlike Gerrard who hadn’t got a clue what he was doing.

        That, again, I think is down to Emery’s ‘pulling power’ in the transfer market. Something Dean Smith doesn’t have.

        But he got us up, he’s staunch Villa and he acquired Konsa and Watkins for us – I’ll always be grateful for his contribution.

  12. OLL again
    OLL again October 22, 2023 at 8:54 pm . Reply

    In over 60 years I haven’t seen a Villa team passing the ball with such precision and comfort as in the first half. We slipped off the high standard a bit in the 2nd half, but West Ham’s goal led to our 3rd. Because the Hammers committed men forward and we picked them off on the counter.

    Pre Emery there were some players – Konsa a prime example – who treated the ball like a time-bomb and got rid of it as fast as possible. Now every body looks comfortable on the ball and sure of their options.

  13. Ardent Villain
    Ardent Villain October 22, 2023 at 9:32 pm . Reply

    Wham are a typical Moyes team: big, strong and physically very fit. Over the last few seasons they’ve consistently out-muscled us each time we’ve played them.
    Until today. And somehow we managed to do it without picking up a single yellow card (is that the 1st time this season?) I’m still wondering how…

  14. Roy Bracy
    Roy Bracy October 22, 2023 at 9:44 pm . Reply

    I wonder if we’ll be last tonight on match of the day

  15. little8
    little8 October 22, 2023 at 11:02 pm . Reply

    Omg we are flying woo hhooo Up the mighty VILLA

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