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    Player Match Ratings: No Fortress at Villa Park!

    By John

    Two home defeats in four days has been very, very hard to watch. The season is in tatters and all we have left for is to secure our safety. We currently have a 7-point cushion between the bottom three and ourselves but that gap will not last forever if our results do not start improving. Barnsley now have as many wins away from home this season as we have wins at home and away. Yesterday’s visitors are also thirteen points above us. They play as a team. We play as a bunch of individuals. Th
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Player Match Ratings: Catch us if you can!

We now have our place in the top six. The battle is to stay there. Derby and Bristol City may have a game and two games in hand of us respectively, but we have the points on the board. City must also visit Villa Park and neither of these teams are currently winning games for fun, are they? The likes of Preston, Forest and Wednesday are behind us, so they would need to have a better finish than we do to the season, in order to overhaul us. As Ron Saunders once said at the business end of a very s

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John

 

Player Match Ratings: Rams to the slaughter!

Jack’s back and so were the Villa yesterday! Alan Durban, Kevin Hector, Roy McFarland, Alan Hinton, Archie Gemmill, Roger Davies and Francis Lee. Your boys took one hell of a beating! Captain Jack invigorated the team on his return and led by example. We have not looked nearly as good as we did yesterday, in the 13 league games that we have played without him, since injury deprived us of our talisman. One player does not make a team, but one player can help a team to play like one! Thr

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Our season ends in February!

Two defeats within a week have consigned us to a fourth season outside of the top flight. Fans bought half season tickets a couple of months ago in the hope of witnessing a strong second half of the season. They will now be resigning themselves to the fact that half of the games that they paid for have now become meaningless end of season fixtures for our football club.     We started well but we just don’t make good starts into goals and half time leads, do we? Instead we concede goals fre

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Sharp Blades stunned by Villa!

This was an unbelievable, outstanding, incredible, amazing, astonishing, sensational, surprising, unexpected, remarkable, dramatic and thrilling comeback! With eight minutes of normal time remaining Sheffield United were temporarily on top of the league and were a seemingly comfortable three goals ahead. By the end of the game that lead had disappeared before their very eyes, their promotion hopes had been blunted, and they found themselves shell shocked and sitting back in third place wher

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John

 

Player Match Ratings: We win again (but only just!)

This should have been a more comfortable win. We had the chances to have put the game out of sight before our penalty gave us a two-goal cushion. As we all know a two-goal lead can more than occasionally not prove enough for us. This so nearly proved to be the case again yesterday.    Our visitors who had for 75 minutes looked like a team that were on the bottom of the table and destined to give us a rare routine victory were injected with belief by a goal out of nothing by Sears. Afte

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Two down but we get one point

We gained a point from a losing position rather than lost points from a winning one for a change yesterday.   We were nothing short of appalling in the first half and made it all too easy for Hull. Given our form of late, more than a few of us could see this one coming. Chester’s timely goal came just before half time and it gave us some grounds for hope where there had previously been none. If there was anything positive to be taken from this game, it was that we awoke in the second h

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Another embarrassing cup exit

The news that had spread around Villa Park before yesterday’s game that Abraham may well have played his last game for Aston Villa deflated our spirits and the game that followed did nothing to lift the gloom. Dean Smith tasted his second defeat at Villa Park yesterday. Swansea recorded their first ever cup win against us. We produced the sort of shambolic performance that was reminiscent of those that we had grown accustomed to witnessing during our relegation season. We were knocked out o

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Flame but Jack’s spark missed

There were flames and a pre-match firework display yesterday but we missed the spark of invention around the box that Jack had until his injury at WBA been providing us with, during the game itself. Dean Smith indicated after the match that he anticipated being without Jack for the rest of this month. His two-month absence will deal a potentially lethal body blow to our promotion hopes. It has already badly dented them, with us having taken only 6 points from a possible 15 from the games he

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Adieu to automatic promotion?

Leeds stretched their lead over us to 15 points with their late, late winner yesterday. I can’t really see us closing that gap during the second half of the season. That would leave us with just one automatic promotion place to aim for namely the one currently occupied by Norwich who are currently 14 points ahead of us. To claim that place we must rely on Norwich not being this season’s Cardiff and, on our ability, to overtake them along with the likes of WBA and Derby. It might just come down t

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Villa battle back for a Desmond

We extended our unbeaten run to 7 games yesterday and Stoke’s own unbeaten run now stands at 9. The deluge in which the game was played was not conducive to flowing football and both teams cancelled each other out in the first half. The goals like the weather were not going to dry up though and the second half rained goals. I had feared that the visitors might extend their run of victories at Villa Park to 4 each time they went ahead but we are made of sterner stuff than we once were,

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: A ten goal thriller at the Villa!

What a game that was! It’s not very often that Villa draw a game 5-5. The last time we did so was way back in 1966 when we came back from 5-1 down to draw 5-5 at White Hart Lane. Tony Hateley scored 4 of our goals against Spurs on that day. On this occasion it was Tammy Abraham that did the same.        When the dust has settled, we can reflect on the positives and negatives to be taken from this game. We scored 5 goals but conceded 5 as well. We pulled goals back to equalize on three occas

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: 4-2 on the Noses big day out!

Joe Gallagher, Trevor Francis, Kenny Burns, Kevin Dillon, Mark Dennis, Pat Van den Hauwe, Julian Dicks, Noel Blake, Tom Ross, Jasper Carrot your boys took a hell of a beating!     This game turned on the 35th minute when Gardner’s cross flew past Chester and Adams got a foot to it only for the ball to thud against the post rather than give the knuckle draggers a two-goal cushion. What could possibly go wrong for them after that? We could go straight up the other end and hit an equalizer whi

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Chester secures the win

James Chester was back to his best last night firstly preventing a Bolton equalizer and then scoring our decisive second goal to send us temporarily to the top of the bottom half of the table and just 4 points behind the top six.          We had the perfect start last night with a 4th minute goal that it might have been hoped would lead to a confidence inspiring goal glut against a Bolton side that are currently on the crest of a slump. The visitors instead threatened to draw level and we s

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Our season starts here!

We tried placing round pegs in round holes rather than in square ones yesterday and it worked!     It was nice to hear applause at half time and again at full time from a packed Villa Park on Saturday as the team left the field. It is very early in Dean Smith’s tenure at Villa Park and he has only had a couple of training sessions at best with some of his new players but there were still some early encouraging signs.         We pressed our opponents in their own half and showed a willi

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John

 

Player Match Ratings: Another two points surrendered

At half time it was a question of how many goals that we would win by rather than whether we would win. They appeared to be just what we had needed to face last night namely a team that had less confidence and were in worse form than ourselves. At the end we proved to be just the team for a club at the bottom of the league to have faced. At half time it was Alex Neil’s managerial future that looked likely to be under more threat than Steve Bruce’s at the end of the game. What a difference a refe

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Villa frustrate and disappoint

One moment of magic from John McGinn could only temporarily dispel the gloom from Villa Park yesterday. The beat team won, and we were a long way off being the best team. Our visitors gave what will be one of their best performances of the season whereas we produced one of our worst in what is fast becoming a season to forget.    Sheffield Wednesday inflicted our first home league defeat of the season upon us for a second successive season yesterday. They started brightly and found it

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Loan stars goals win it!

Goals from Tammy Abraham and Yannick Bolasie on their home debuts gave us a much-needed win last night. This was not a scintillating performance from us. Our visitors rarely threatened our brittle defence and we eased to a routine victory without looking particularly good.    The win was comfortable enough and it was achieved without us having to hit our stride. We didn’t look fluent last night, and we have a team of individuals that have yet to become a team but when that does happen

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: 2 valuable points thrown away!

One goal is often not enough and so it proved yesterday. Up until Reading’s late equalizer it had looked like we had done just enough to get a win and “just enough” appeared to be all that we had thought that we would need to do. Our defence is however porous, and we were not capable of closing out yesterday’s game. We have not managed to keep a clean sheet in the league so far this season. That is a feat that we achieved 16 times last season. Our defence, which was so well organised back t

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Hello, Hello, Kodjia is back!

Another late, late goal at Villa Park averted a travesty of justice last night. It gave us the very least we had deserved from a game that we had dominated until our visitors belatedly came into it during the last quarter with us by then having apparently punched ourselves out. This was our best display of the season by some distance, but it had appeared until Kodjia’s second equalizer of the game that we would somehow emerge pointless from it. We have shown a never say die attitude already

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Villa victorious!

A second win of the season and a second successive home win against Wigan who have been hard to beat at Villa Park in past meetings maintained our 100%-win record yesterday. It gave us two wins at the start of a season for the first time in 19 years. We have played better than this but for a second time in this fledgling season we showed our resilience by coming back to win after going a goal down. We sit third in the early league table with a game in hand of the early league leaders. Six p

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: One more victory for promotion

Villa won this tie at the Riverside and finished the job last night. It was a close call between the two teams, but we were so determined to emerge the victors that we were not to be denied. Boro have played us four times in the Championship this season and have not scored against us. If anyone was going to score last night, it was Villa that had looked the more likely to do so. Boro had a little more possession than we had last night but they rarely threatened to do anything with it. Our g

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Dominant Villa share the points

Our unlikely hopes of automatic promotion were finally extinguished beyond any doubt yesterday. We will end the season in fourth place but will hopefully end it with a Wembley win to show for our efforts this season. Ex Blue-Nose Cameron Jerome gave Derby County a 14th minute lead yesterday that despite Villa enjoying the lion’s share of the possession they had looked increasingly like holding onto until Lewis Grabban hit our late equalizer and put their invitation to the playoff lottery on

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Villa earn a playoff spot!

A second successive home win and clean sheet has left us just 270 playoff minutes plus stoppage/extra time away from promotion. We did not need to be at our best last night to emerge the victors and we were not. We had by far the better of the game and ran out comfortable winners, but we took our foot off the gas noticeably in the second half and other teams might have made us pay the penalty for that. This was our third game within a week, so it might have been tired legs rather than a cas

John

John






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