Wigan – Villa; Another 3 points, surely (hopefully)?

I’ve got to be honest and say I’ve hardly read any Villa news at all this week.
Too much to do and not enough hours etc, but I actually feel a bit guilty in not keeping up.
It’s a funny thing being a footy fan, isn’t it?

Anyway, what to say?
Surely this has to be another 3 points in the bag, doesn’t it?
Wigan’s home form is the outright worst in the Championship, with them having only won 3 games at home. Yep, even worse than Rotherham.
They don’t score many either and a 0-1 is most likely to nick the result.

So what do we know?
Wigan have binned manager Warren Joyce after just 4 months and assistant Graham Barrow takes charge.
Will that mean a new manager bounce? I doubt it, myself.

Will Grigg and Donervon Daniels are both out with knee injuries, but Sam Morsy returns from suspension and Shaun MacDonald could feature.
Apart from Will Grigg, I haven’t heard of any of them, so I don’t have a clue if that’s good or bad.

As for us, the good news is that Henri Lansbury, Scott Hogan and Jack Grealish have all trained this week.
Will any of them start is the question and I’m not convinced they should. Why change a winning team, after all?
Although I suspect Steve Bruce might have other ideas.
Hence I’d expect Lansbury and Hogan to show, if they are truly fit.

“Hitchens” informs me that Jedinak is going to play at Centre Back and Bruce sees that as his future position (ta). That’s interesting and rightly begs the question of where it leaves Elphick. Up a certain creek, I’d suggest, although he won’t be easy to move on, with his no doubt inflated wages.
He’s very decent, albeit expensive back-up though.

Prediction time then and I’ll be incredibly disappointed if we don’t come away with the win.
Whatever side starts or how we play really doesn’t matter, as I expect us to just have too much quality and confidence, even if we make hard work of it.

I probably really shouldn’t say it, but I expect nothing less than 3 points.

Villa to win 2-0.
And Hourihane to get one


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  1. VillaAwayInDiv3
    VillaAwayInDiv3 March 18, 2017 at 7:32 pm . Reply

    With all the crazy results of late I recon theres not a good team in this league….there are a few really bad ones though….

  2. Tekkers48
    Tekkers48 March 18, 2017 at 9:52 pm . Reply

    Five wins in last six. Five clean sheets in the last six. Two away wins in our last Three away. Surely the corner has been turned. As Ooh Ahh pointed out earlier, if we keep this form until the end of the season we will be cursing the early games were we threw points away. But on a positive note we are starting to look like a Brucey team. One that now knows how to grind out results. It’s what this league is all about. I truly believe we will be properly be prepared for a new season for the first time in years. Settled team !

  3. nath
    nath March 19, 2017 at 6:59 am . Reply

    i love for us to get into playoff. but sheff wed won’t lose enough points for us to slip in. i think its more about keeping this form all the way to the finish. that will be the springboard for next season and beyond. i thouht reading would be the team that misses out. but i think the teams will finish in the same positions now. newcastle winners, brighton runners up, leeds huddersfield reading wednesday, with leeds winning playoffs i think we can finish 8 that will be a good season if you consider were we have been. if we have finished this season like are current form is now. this will be the turning point for us.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 March 19, 2017 at 7:21 am . Reply

      And it’s a fact that teams tend to.take their end of season form into the new season (as long as they don’t lose their best players!)

      1. nath
        nath March 19, 2017 at 9:27 am . Reply

        totally agree about carrying the form into next. its like the opposite to recent past only we carried our bad form into new seasons lol

        i think this squad will stick together, their will be a few sold but i can’t see any major surgery, just the routine ones maybe a few squad boosters oh and forgot a goalkeeper

      2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath March 23, 2017 at 2:47 am . Reply

        Do u think we would keep Kodja

        1. Hitchens 60
          Hitchens 60 March 23, 2017 at 8:20 am . Reply

          Well, SB has said they would only sell for mega bucks which would fund a replacement. SB has also made strong statements over retaining the best of our development players. I am hoping we will see a much stronger and resilient policy towards transfers under Xia / Wyness.

  4. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 March 19, 2017 at 8:47 am . Reply

    A question – setting aside the argument over whether or not we should be providing experience for other teams players – would you now have Sam Johnstone back in goal next season (even if it were a loan), rely on Jed Steer or buy a more experienced GK?

    I do think we need to use the loan system more effectively next season. I don’t get the negative argument – every other club looks to benefit from it. However, the players we get either have to improve us or give us good quality cover.

    1. nath
      nath March 19, 2017 at 9:30 am . Reply

      jed steed is capable of championship. but if they can buy or loan sam johnstone i think he is more than good enough now and is improving with each game. sam is just ahead of jed if we had these two next season thats enough for me.

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 March 19, 2017 at 6:43 pm . Reply

        Can’t argue with that Nath. On the wider issue of loan players – you only have to look at Bristol City loaning Abrahams from Chelsea – 22 goals and may well be the reason they stay up. Quite happy to have a bit of that!

  5. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 March 19, 2017 at 6:49 pm . Reply

    Villa fans, me included, have said they would like to see Gil back at Villa Park next season but it appears Gil would prefer to stay in Spain – if that’s the case probably better to let him go.

    When we signed Vertout, he was touted as a real prospect but looked lost in the Prem. Has performed well on loan and I think he would be a great addition to he squad next season – maybe more so than Gil. Should we be trying to retain one or the other but not both?

  6. badger123
    badger123 March 19, 2017 at 8:41 pm . Reply

    I doubt we’ll see either of them at the Villa again, Hitch.

    In other news, well done Villa for reciprocating the £20 for Reading fans, after they did the same for ours.

    Conversely, boo razz Villa. The OS is still utter crap.
    “Get your highlights” said the e-mail.
    Except the video wasn’t available and the site is painfully slow, even on a Sunday afternoon.
    It’s frankly embarrassing that an outfit the size of the Villa can’t maintain a decent website.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 March 19, 2017 at 9:42 pm . Reply

      What has the Villa OS and Bham Mail web site got in common?

      Yep – they are both awful (avoids using bad language!) 🙂

    2. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 March 21, 2017 at 7:47 pm . Reply

      Badger – agree that Gil is unlikely to return (given his alleged comments) but I’d take a small (‘cos I hate losing 🙂 ) bet that Vertout will be back if Dr. T feels there is enough fan support to push for it. Not sure what that says about SB influence?

    3. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath March 23, 2017 at 2:48 am . Reply

      It’s even more embarrassing that we can’t maintain a decent team either!

    4. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath March 23, 2017 at 2:49 am . Reply

      Xia is having a laugh thinking we will go global. If they can’t a basic website right they’ve no chance

  7. Benno
    Benno March 20, 2017 at 10:15 pm . Reply

    In terms of a keeper, I know Johnstone has been doing pretty well lately, but I still feel a more experienced keeper is what we need. Its definitely a key position if we want to come up next season.

    1. brian bainbridge
      brian bainbridge March 21, 2017 at 4:21 pm . Reply

      The Birmingham mail website is so shite ,being from Liverpool I cant get the paper and I like to keep up with what’s going on in my second city but it takes me all night to get the bloody news ha.

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath March 23, 2017 at 2:50 am . Reply

        Agree they have the worst site on the planet. Their sports pages are of sync and don’t bake sense

  8. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 March 21, 2017 at 10:01 pm . Reply

    Bit like the Marie Celeste on here 🙂

  9. Saddened
    Saddened March 22, 2017 at 12:00 pm . Reply

    H60 – where is everyone ??

    1. badger123
      badger123 March 22, 2017 at 12:31 pm . Reply

      Just not much to discuss really, I suppose.

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 March 22, 2017 at 1:58 pm . Reply

        Mmmm – nothing really negative to post you mean Badger 🙂

        There are some interesting points to consider – loan players McCormack, Sanchez, Gil and Vertout all still on the books – keep or sell? Should SB take the opportunity to take a serious look at some of our development squad over the last eight games – players like Jordan Lydon. What do we think of the Jedi in defence and playing Amavi / Hutton as old fashioned wing backs – will / should Amavi stay?

        No Giddy, no Bill – ah well will just have to talk to the missus!

        1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath March 23, 2017 at 2:52 am . Reply

          Where’s Bill and Giddy gone to

          1. Hitchens 60
            Hitchens 60 March 23, 2017 at 8:14 am . Reply

            Oohah – understand (from Bill) that Giddy was upset by something posted on the site. I think Bill might be on a cruise but guessing really.

            1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
              OohAhPaulMcGrath March 27, 2017 at 12:11 am . Reply

              Ok mate thanks. No idea what could upset them maybe it was that spell of positivity coming from me 😄

    2. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 March 22, 2017 at 1:59 pm . Reply

      No idea mate.

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 March 23, 2017 at 8:16 am . Reply

        That was in answer to Saddened although I suspect his was a rhetorical question 🙂

    3. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath March 23, 2017 at 2:51 am . Reply

      Seasons over for us I guess. It’s gone quiet since we had nothing to play for since Jan

  10. badger123
    badger123 March 23, 2017 at 8:51 pm . Reply

    It looks like Carlos Sanchez might be moving to Fiorentina permanently.
    I still feel it was a mistake letting him go.
    He would have been great back-up for Jedinak when he was injured and could have moved in if the Aussie does move to CB;


    Seriously under-rated, trying to cover (and getting blamed for) a porous defence, imo.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath March 27, 2017 at 12:14 am . Reply

      Interesting I thought he was on too. Maybe the club don’t want him or he is happier in Italy

    2. BCVILLA
      BCVILLA March 27, 2017 at 10:06 pm . Reply

      My eyes lit up when I read the link – $24m for sanchez. The article quickly corrected me.

      He was very hit and miss for me; was able to intercept/tackle to break down the oppositions play but also very prone to losing the ball himself.

      I’d love to have Gil back, though he seems set on staying in spain. Veretout I wouldn’t mind having back, if he lives up to the potential he had before his season with us.

      McCormack can do one.

      Overall? – if none of them come back it wouldn’t be the end of the world. It would save us from having to buy more players (provided they are good enough for us) but IMO no big loss. Especially the first three being remnants of an era we could do with seeing the end of…. the worst season in my lifetime (or at least memory). Richards, Gabby etc. to be included in that as well.

  11. Adam
    Adam March 25, 2017 at 1:52 am . Reply

    Bad challenge by neil taylor tonight. Think hes in for some bad press. Probably best to rest him for a while.

  12. nath
    nath March 25, 2017 at 6:27 am . Reply

    i second that above comment from adam. really bad challenge from taylor. hard for anybody to say he intentionally went to hurt the opposition player. in my opinion he looked too have that in the way he went into the tackle. not sure if there was some bad blood before this game between them two or this was due to that game. but anyways my concerns are just for villa. he had settled in well upto now. is a improvement on amavi defensively which i didnt think he would be.

    will he been banned domestically anyways ??? if not like adam he should be taken out of spotlight. tackles like that play on minds of guilty and injured if meant or not

    i think sanchez should be sold, i like him good player but isnt a villa player, he needs flair around him. take the money and cut your loses

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 March 25, 2017 at 5:01 pm . Reply

      Nath, watched the game – happened in a flash but it looked pretty awful and obvious red card. No real appetite to watch endless replays -it is what it is and Taylor has to live with it. Like you I’m only concerned about Villa and what concerns me is that this might have a significant long term effect on Taylor’s ability to play LB – just when it looked like we had solved that problem.

      However, I’m not sure I agree that he should be withdrawn from the team for a period – the old adage of falling off a horse – get right back on – comes to mind.

      Finally, I don’t believe Taylor can be banned domestically and to do so would raise a question of subjectivity over the level of seriousness of a tackle or other red card offence in an international fixture (that would warrant an additional domestic suspension)

      1. nath
        nath March 25, 2017 at 8:06 pm . Reply

        i have seen the tackle and i was sickened by it, i liked to say he missed timed the tackle, got it horribly wrong. i didnt see the entire game. i heard it was a bad tempered game, was there any niggles between these two before that challenge. it looked like taylor was intending to take out the guy from everton.
        how did you see this, was it accident missed timed or more professional foul or worse

        1. Hitchens 60
          Hitchens 60 March 26, 2017 at 8:02 am . Reply

          Nath, as I say haven’t watched the replays but, if anything, Taylor seemed very quiet in the game – almost peripheral and, no, I didn’t see any niggles between them. It happened within a minute of Bales slide through O’Shea in the penalty area which probably deserved a red card as well.

          1. nath
            nath March 26, 2017 at 1:50 pm . Reply

            thanks for your response 🙂

            well accidents happen, i heard a few ex players say that it was a bad tackle but wasn’t intentional. i thought their might have been some build up, but maybe it was the bale incident which charged up the passion more. taylor maybe went in alittle late but nothing more than a freak accident.

            lets hope this incident doesn’t affect us. it could happen to any players. i wish coleman a speedily recovery.

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath March 27, 2017 at 12:17 am . Reply

      Didn’t realise it was Taylor that made tackle. He’s been good for us hope it dosnt affect him. Sick of these stupid internationals anyway they should be banned we all know who will qualify or not before a ball is even kicked just like the rip off CL

  13. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 March 26, 2017 at 3:13 pm . Reply

    Nath, I won’t defend the tackle it was very bad and Coleman suffered the worst outcome. Often we see bad tackles that players avoid. I think Thor suffered as a result of an appalling tackle – bit of course not televised.

    As irresponsible and unacceptable is some of the social media responses – a reason I don’t use platforms such as Twitter.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath March 27, 2017 at 12:19 am . Reply

      Typical if Taylor was a Utd player media would say nothing. Look wheat happened when Keane finished the career of Man City player (can’t remember his name) nothing said about that

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 March 27, 2017 at 2:29 pm . Reply

        Didn’t Keane admit (in his book?) he set out to maim one player – can’t remember who it was; maybe same as you think Oohah. I don’t believe for one moment that Taylor set out to deliberately hurt Coleman.

        1. BCVILLA
          BCVILLA March 27, 2017 at 10:15 pm . Reply

          Alfi Haaland – horrible outcome and intentional after haalands tackle on keane in a previous game i believe.

        2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath March 29, 2017 at 1:59 am . Reply

          Yes it was Man City player haaland. Keane is a thug imo. Remember when he took out Southgate in a game as well. Horrible man

  14. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 March 27, 2017 at 2:34 pm . Reply

    See (according to the Telegraph) we are in talks with Manure to sign Johnstone permanently for £3m – thoughts?

  15. badger123
    badger123 March 27, 2017 at 11:24 pm . Reply

    I’m not entirely convinced Hitch.
    Yes, he’s done ok lately, but his earlier failings weren’t very encouraging.
    That said, he’s young and confidence probably affects him a lot.
    I’m happy to see how he does over the rest of the season and don’t see why there should be any mad rush to sign him up.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 March 28, 2017 at 7:32 am . Reply

      Fair points Badger – does it say something about a paucity of decent keepers bring available? The one aspect I do like is trying to build a side with good young players who have talent and will (hopefully) go on to be quality players in the future – makes a refreshing change to buying has beens at over inflated prices or wages (or both!) – McCormack being the latest and hopefully the last.

    2. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain March 28, 2017 at 4:14 pm . Reply

      He’s very [-very -] young for a ‘keeper, but I’d say he shows a great deal of promise.

  16. nath
    nath March 28, 2017 at 7:56 pm . Reply

    Johnstone if we can sign him would be a decent signing. yes hes young yes he will make mistakes. but like hitch stated much rather us give youth more of a chance than some fat cat looking for a final payment or a sucker club too bleed .Johnstone will only get better like a fine wine. all goalkeepers have bad patches its a confident goalie that are usually the best. he has proven himself to me, because he has had a sticky patch and had the balls to come through it with a team he had only just joined midway through a season.

    i would like us try to sign him permanent, we dont want to be helping utd to ready their number two ready for their number 1 running off to spain anytime soon

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