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Player Match Ratings: Woah, we’re half way there!

Its only half time, despite Bon Jovi’s confidence, but if we can hold on to what we’ve got at the Hawthorns on Tuesday night, then we’ll make it to Wembley on 27th May. We take a one goal lead with us on Tuesday night and that didn’t really look very likely at half time, did it? Albion arrived yesterday, with avoiding defeat as their primary objective. Is Pulis providing Jimmy Shan with tactical advice as well as Michael Appleton? The first half looked like a carbon copy of the game th

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: We’ll play our first XI next time!

It has been 3 months and we have gone 12 games since we last tasted defeat. It is still disagreeable to see visiting fans celebrating a win at Villa Park and it is even worse for their team to be picking up the Championship trophy afterwards, as was the case yesterday. The last time we ended a game pointless, was against the team that we next face over two legs for a place in the playoff final. Our clear objective is now to ensure that we remain unbeaten in our next three games. Six of the

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: The History Boys make it 10/10!

We witnessed history being made yesterday. In years to come the question will be asked, do you remember when our great club broke their record of consecutive league wins in 2019? That record had remained unbroken since 1910. That’s beyond living memory, so we had to refer to the record books to read about that winning run and that grand old team. In the years to come, you will be able to say that you were there and that you witnessed this incredible run. You can tell your children, you

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: That’s 8 great consecutive wins

We were missing three of our biggest hitters for this game, but the absence of Jack, Tyrone and Kortney could not derail our fast finishing promotion train. These three players had played crucial roles in extending our run of successive league wins to 7 before yesterday’s game. Their absence was a real cause for concern before Saturday’s kick-off, but we proved that we are not quite a one-man team after all, despite rumours to the contrary. It has been 44 years since Aston Villa last r

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Too close for comfort!

A fifth successive league win has taken us above Middlesbrough and into fifth place.    We played some scintillating football in the first half and were the better team by some distance, but we ended it just one goal to the good. A two or a three-goal lead would have better reflected our first half dominance and it would have put the game beyond our visitors. We were unable to play with quite the same panache that we had produced in the first half during the second. We almost appeared

John

John

 

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

John

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

John

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

John

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



  • Posts

    • Summary from the Tuesday night - Jake Doyle-Goals Doyle-Hayes (Cheltenham) Home to Bradford (3-2) - Played 90 minutes. Scored. WhoScored.com rating of 7.75. Hepburn-Murphy (Tranmere) Home to Peterborough (2-2) - Unused substitute. O'Hare (Coventry) Home to Wimbledon (2-1) - Played 90 minutes. WhoScored.com rating of 6.39. I'm sure either me or somebody else will post footage of the goal as soon as it can be found...
    • Agree with not sacking Smith, and that we would tear up the Championship... but relegation means losing Grealish and Mings, and probably Engels and McGinn (for tidy profits of course, but still). It would set our progress back two years. Avoiding relegation this season would be far better for these lads.
    • C'mon mate, that dig is clearly aimed at Joelinton 
    • I'm pretty sure he did see it, but Ogbonna clocked what was happening as Wesley started the run. Was very smart defending, actually.
    • I think Jota has a good footballing brain, and is being made to look worse than he is because teammates aren't always making the right runs for him. He plays with a lot of disguise, and you can see gaps opening up for him that he wants to play a pass into, but Wesley, Guilbert, McGinn, etc. aren't quite tuned into his wavelength yet. When Wesley did make the right against Everton, Jota's through ball was perfect. A similar position opened up for him against West Ham, but Wesley was a bit late to spot the gap and Ogbonna closed it off. I agree with all the concern about his pace and ability to beat his full back one-on-one, but I think for £3m we've done pretty well here. A very tidy player.
    • I think this is a bit harsh. Grealish was a 6 or 7. A lot of bad passes from him, but he also set up our best goalscoring chance, which a better / in-form striker would have buried. And Jota's 80% pass completion was the best of any of our front six. Not saying he had a good game, but no way was he a 2/10. A 5 or 6 for me. What really did strike me about this game is that Mings and Engels have better range and accuracy of passing than our midfielders. They look a cut above the rest of our squad at the moment. My big concern is that Palace and now West Ham have both shown that you can nullify our wingers with a bit of homework. I think Jota and El Ghazi have been worked out, and need to find some more variation in their play. In El Ghazi's case he needs to play with his head up and threaten the pass or the one-two, instead of always going for the driving run. At the moment it's so obvious what he's going to do when he gets the ball, and he doesn't have enough of a technical or physical advantage over the defenders at this level for that to work. In Jota's case, he needs to release a little quicker, make the outside run more often, and use his right foot occasionally - just often enough to put some doubt in the full back's mind so that they give him a bit more room on his left (Arjen Robben is the master of this). I would say that West Ham are a very solid unit, and will definitely finish top 10 this year, so 0-0 is a respectable result. I also think any team with a good DCM like Rice will be a problem for us, because our attacking threat largely depends on how well Grealish and McGinn play.
    • Said it myself Demitri, I am 1,000,000% confident our squad would be hell for the championship to play against. Then I do think once we return it would just be refinements in our squad, adding quality all over because no huge rebuild to do. If we did go down it may not be such a bad idea for this squad we have now to have to fight for something as in a promotion win at wembley together. Let's hope it doesn't come to that, but I'm all for Smith to be our guy for a long time be it stay up or go down, simply  because he's the best we've had since John Gregory in my eyes. If Smith did end up losing his job this season, there is no 100% guarentee that a new Coach/manager could even bring any success or keep us in the premier this season. Stick with Smith stay up or go down, I don't see any other choice to be honest.
    • Yes Kodjia of old would of created something out of nothing, not the Kodjia today, he's done I think and will be off soon I think.
    • I'm not a big fan of formations as the solution to a football team's ills. It all feels a bit Premier Manager (the original version on the Amiga, where you could win the Premier League with Wycombe Wanderers after 4 seasons). I can't see us playing a back 3 any time soon. We never did it last season, our back 4 has just kept a clean sheet, and there's no sign that Dean Smith has much time for it. There's also no way we're starting with a front 2 until Kodjia is fit. So that leaves us with 4-3-3, 4-5-1, 4-1-4-1, 4-2-3-1, 4-3-2-1 (etc.) as our options. They're all more or less the same formation, depending on who you pick. The only scope Dean Smith has to really change how the look of this side is to bring more of our central midfield talent on to the pitch at the same time. A few ideas: Play McGinn at left back. I have no doubt he would be better than Neil Taylor, but would we be sacrificing too much in the middle of the park? Also, would he be happy playing out of position while he's still trying to develop as a central midfielder? Play Hourihane at left back (as he did for Ireland last week). This does bring his set piece and crossing into the game, but is he good enough defensively? He would definitely be happy playing out of position because at the moment he just wants minutes in the Premier League. Play Grealish out wide. I could definitely see this working (and this is probably where Spurs would have played him had they signed him) but do we want our most talented player stuck on the wing, where he might have much less influence over the game? Play Hourihane out wide. I don't see this working. He's too slow. Play Luiz out of position - I think the only choice with Luiz is whether you play him deep or advanced CM. Far too slow to play on the wing. Play Nakamba out of position - he's a natural DCM from what I saw against West Ham, so no. He'd be my first pick now actually, always in that DCM role, as I don't think anyone else has his natural instinct to break up the play and make the easy pass. If you want to shoehorn Nakamba, Luiz, Hourihane, Grealish, and McGinn into the starting 11 it's going to have to involve one or more of these suggestions (even the so-called midfield diamond always results in someone occupying the wide spaces). I don't see any of this happening tbh, since it's not in Smith's nature to play people out of position.
    • Ahhhh, the guy from Space jam, that's where I know him from. Has he been in anything else?  




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