Villa – Wolves; I know it’s a derby, but I’m fairly confident.

I’m fickle.
There, I admit it.

After what I thought was a poor show against Liverpool, I was left with no faith whatsoever in us winning at Spurs, but the Villa did what they often do and took all the points, just when I’d have put money on them losing.

By the same token, I’m almost worried to have a bit of confidence in us beating Wolves at home, but on paper it ought to be an easier task.
Where going back to what the Villa often do, means we have every chance of losing this one, just because I expect to win.
I’m being a bit repetetive, but seriously, how often have we been let down over the years?

I am well confident though.

I watched Wolves against Everton and thought they were somewhat lucky to win. Consider that Brighton have spanked Everton 4-1 at Goodison and again, on paper, it tells you that that Wolves victory didn’t mean a lot.
And then consider their lowly position in the league and the game is looking even easier.

Except we all know it doesn’t work like that.
Wolves will be fighting for their lives and it’s a derby. Enough said.

Squad news and for us, Martinez will be back in goal. Mind you, I said that against Spurs and the Villa did their usual trick in proving me wrong.
After slating Olsen blind in his previous games, I actually feel sorry for him now, because he did very little if anything at all, wrong last time out.
Martinez is head and shoulders our number one and a major part of our side, so he is going to have to come back sometime.
There’s going to be a big flag going round the Holte as he walks out and hopefully the plaudits he’ll receive from the fans keep in sparkling form.
Other big news is that John Mcginn is doubtful, because of a hamstring problem . Leander Dendoncker, who might be the natural replacement is also doubtful, as is Douglas Luiz. Add in that Jacob Ramsey is close, but probably not ready for a full 90 minutes and we suddenly look to have a midfield problem.
Hopefully one of the trainers will get the magic sponge out. Or more likely these days, painkilling jabs will prove appropriate.

Wolves have no new issues, but still have Chiquinho, Pedro Neto and Sasa Kalajdzic all out. Boubacar Traore and Jonny Otto are closer to starting after being on the bench last time out.
New signing Matheus Cunha will probably feature.

After seeing our possible injury issues, I’ve suddenly lost a bit of confidence.
Then again, Emery seems to have got us on a bit of a roll.
I can’t say I like the football for the most part, but there’s no doubt it’s effective.
We look more organised, better balanced and look like the players’s confidence has risen purely because they know exactly what they’re expected to do. It’s no doubt down to Emery’s attention to detail.
Add in that Emery seems to have back up plans and knows how to adjust to the game as it’s playing out and I have to say that it’s an overall combination that should prove too much for Wolves.

I see goals, but think it will be close.
I’m going 2-1 to us.


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  1. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 5, 2023 at 7:10 am . Reply

    Negativity is driven by the difficulty in managing emotional reaction to the enormous difference in performance levels from match to match.

    In this case though it was heightened by such a poor first half against the dog heads after the consistency shown over Emery’s first six games, even though that included two defeats where we played well and probably should have got more.

    We’re not alone though – Spurs fans have gone through exactly the same ‘roller coaster’ over their last two games.

    So, Sid is right, we have shown far more consistency to date under Emery against difficult opposition than for a long time.

    Were the players guilty of seeing Wolves as an easy win because it was like a malaise had settled over the team – no energy, no drive, no spark – even Emery looked bemused by what he was seeing,

    Final word – I’m really not convinced by Bailey – it wasn’t just last night – remember the two woeful mis-kicks against Liverpool – and I just don’t see the quality of wide player we should be getting for the money he costs.

  2. William Pearson
    William Pearson January 5, 2023 at 8:52 am . Reply

    A lot for and against on Bailey and I’m for, why he has quick feet fast mind but needs to get his brain in order on making split decisions, as for Watkins ? Give up on him as he spends more time watching a game than playing in it, he’s not the only one that does that , we need players that if picked to play bloody play and get stuck in . Why did we only draw? We missed McGinn , he’s not the best but he’s everywhere on the pitch we just didn’t have that man in that game. Still we drew and hopefully our manager seen enough to know who’s who by getting rid and filling that gap..

    1. RSS
      RSS January 5, 2023 at 2:36 pm . Reply

      Good call Bill, for all the cries of McGinn not being at his best he was conspicuous by his absence last night.
      Cash (and I really do rate him) was a fish out of water playing on the right side of midfield and didn’t give us the cover McGinn would have offered coming across to cover the centre, hence leaving us light in midfield.
      Watkins had a mare, Collins had him in his pocket, a virtual spectator, I’d have hooked him off earlier.
      Bailey, I’m with you bill, quick, tricky, good control – ok he ain’t got his shooting boots on at the moment but he’s worth persevering with (there’s a player in there somewhere).

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 January 5, 2023 at 2:42 pm . Reply

        I remember similar comments about El Ghazi – ‘there’s a player in there somewhere’. I really liked El Ghazi and he didn’t cost half what Bailey cost us.

        And at least he could shoot!

        Still not convinced mainly, I admit, on a value for money basis.

        1. RSS
          RSS January 5, 2023 at 3:05 pm . Reply

          Gerard Deulofeu is rumoured to be on Vlla’s radar (B’ham Live) now talk about a player that’s hit and miss.
          When he’s good he’s very, very good,
          And when he’s bad he went missing for best part of 90 minutes.

          1. Hitchens60
            Hitchens60 January 5, 2023 at 4:15 pm . Reply

            Should fit in well then RSS 🙂

            1. RSS
              RSS January 5, 2023 at 4:26 pm . Reply

              Right at home Hitch 😂

  3. Holte
    Holte January 5, 2023 at 8:59 am . Reply

    Apologies if I keep ranting on about Bailey and Digne but even after a good nights sleep, my opinion is still the same.They aren’t an upgrade on the players we let go. Is Bailey better than Traore or Trezeguet? Is Digne better than Targett? If someone shows me stats at Villa (not previous clubs) to show they contribute more then I will back down.
    Hitch, you’re right about the chances missed. They could have earned us an extra 3 points.

  4. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum January 5, 2023 at 9:01 am . Reply

    I’m with Alfie and Sid. I can see an awful lot of positives and we have to remember our position. Spuds fans 5th and always moaning… It’s part of being a fan, Luiz or whoever is a God one week and loser the next. FWIW he looked injured last night so obviously no worthwhile cover.
    If we didn’t rant, what would we write? This time around things do feel a bit different…UTV!!!

  5. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 5, 2023 at 5:39 pm . Reply

    Villa Women sign Jordan Nobbs from Arsenal – that’s a big statement of intent. To be able to persuade Nobbs to join them shows that Villa Women have real ambition.

    She’s 30 with 69 caps for England and still a hell of a good player.

    1. OLL again
      OLL again January 5, 2023 at 9:03 pm . Reply

      ‘Villa Women get Nobbs’. Now there’s a headline for the Mail.

      1. RSS
        RSS January 5, 2023 at 9:12 pm . Reply

        Very good 😁😁

      2. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 January 5, 2023 at 9:14 pm . Reply

        Or in current topical style – how about David Gold’s Sunday Sport – for those that remember it!

        1. RSS
          RSS January 5, 2023 at 9:23 pm . Reply

          Was that a broadsheet or a tabloid???

        2. RSS
          RSS January 5, 2023 at 9:27 pm . Reply

          There’s some classics on here (all bonified, honest)

          1. Bum Bum
            Bum Bum January 5, 2023 at 11:21 pm . Reply

            God, i remember number 5!
            Don’t fancy Ed Milliband’s bit on the side either.

            1. RSS
              RSS January 5, 2023 at 11:48 pm . Reply

              Mate you need to see her through the prism of red Ed’s rose coloured glasses. 😂
              Do you think they’ve been fact checked???

              1. Bum Bum
                Bum Bum January 6, 2023 at 7:48 am .

                I wouldn’t fact check her with yours mate!!! Grim, but on the other hand very, very funny!!!!

  6. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 6, 2023 at 11:23 am . Reply

    The rumour that Villa are in for Real Betis left back Alex Moreno for £15m is gaining traction.

    I think we’ve all identified left back as a position that needs improving.

    If Emery gets Moreno, I suspect Digne will be surplus to requirements as,it would seem, is Matt Targett at Newcastle!

  7. Holte
    Holte January 6, 2023 at 12:29 pm . Reply

    Sad news about Gianluca Vialli. A great player. RIP.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 January 6, 2023 at 12:34 pm . Reply

      Indeed and only 58. Taken too soon

  8. OLL again
    OLL again January 6, 2023 at 1:43 pm . Reply

    Stevenage coming up.
    They are a well organised team who are looking good for promotion. I am sure they will be working on some outlandish set-pieces. Probably quite a tall side as most teams in League 2 seem to be. Speed of transition and fitness are where EPL sides have an advantage – so long as they keep the tempo up.
    I don’t know what changes Emery will make but I suspect Danny Ings will start. If Stevenage intend to park the bus then Coutinho might be needed to find a way through.

  9. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 6, 2023 at 5:20 pm . Reply

    Shocking isn’t it?

    Villa have failed to progress past the third round of the FA Cup for the last six seasons – there have been some shockers but it seems mostly we been drawn against United!

    Villa are quite capable of throwing their own banana skin on the pitch and then standing on it.

    Emery has a superb record in Cup competitions; let’s hope he can bring that Cup form to Villa on Sunday.

    Game’s on BBC red button, iPlayer and BBC sport website.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain January 6, 2023 at 7:53 pm . Reply

      Well at least we have managed to avoid the annual 3rd meeting with ManUre!
      I’d really like Emery to give the FAC a big push this season – it’s not impossible for someone outside the “Champions League 4” to win it, and we’re way too long overdue.

  10. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 7, 2023 at 9:14 am . Reply

    WSL again – rumoured that Lucy Staniforth – another Lionesse – is joining Villa from ManU. Another quality midfielder.

    If true Villa are really going for it in the WSL which is great to see.

    Now hope to see a couple of top quality signings for the men

  11. VillaAwayInDiv3
    VillaAwayInDiv3 January 7, 2023 at 6:12 pm . Reply

    All the players recently and last season coming to the womens team seem to be the classic last big payday signings….Daly has worked out well so hoping these others do as well.

    1. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum January 7, 2023 at 7:58 pm . Reply

      Toni Daley?

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 January 7, 2023 at 8:08 pm . Reply

        Rachel Daley

        And Jill Scott joined us last season and got back into the Lionesses squad / team for the Euros on the back of her performances for the Villa.

        I think signing Nobbs / Staniforth (if the latter happens) is a massive sign of intent by the club.

        In the WSL think of the Sky 6 multiplied by four – that’s how difficult it is to break into the elite group.

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