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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

 

Player Match Ratings: To be continued at Wembley?

Two Championship heavyweights traded blows last night before Super Jack landed a knock-out blow in the 85th minute that was good enough to win any game. Cardiff’s defeat is their second on the trot and they may now find pulling back Fulham who are on such an impressive run to be beyond them. There is therefore now a decent prospect of this fixture being repeated on 26th May subject to both teams emerging victorious from their two-legged semi-finals and avoiding each other in these. Aft

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Villa’s lion mauls wolves!

The pride of the Black Country arrived at Villa Park yesterday expecting to record a further win. They snuck out of the ground later with their tails between their legs having been clearly outplayed on the day by the pride of the Midlands. Cardiff and Fulham fans would have expected Villa to drop at least a point last night. They were to be disappointed. This looked a tough game for us but perhaps we underestimated the team’s will to win a little and by doing so over-estimated the impact ou

John

John

 

Formation and Players

Aston Villa -  Formations and Players - Part 1                  I would like to start with this blog, with these words, "The Numbers Don't Lie." Steve Bruce has used five formations this season, with varying amounts of success. He has used 26 different players with varying success. This blog will look at which formations and player selection work. The formations used are 4411, 3421, 433, 442, and 4231. The table below looks at the formations and Points per g

villianusa

villianusa

 

Player Match Ratings: A 2-goal lead was not enough!

We dropped another two home points yesterday having gone two goals ahead within the first ten minutes. Our opponents drew level after only 26 minutes of the game to burst our bubble. Their goals came from a lumbering striker who was not good enough for the team that are rock bottom of the league today. His two finishes were reminiscent of Shearer in his pomp and I am sure he never expected his name to be linked with a player of that quality albeit for a fleeting moment other than by someone who

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Villa pass the Trotters test!

This was not a great game or performance from us but the mark of sides that get promoted is that they are able to grind out results when not at their very best and this is what we managed to do this afternoon. We now stand seventh in the table having won our fourth successive league game. We are unbeaten in our last eight games and are just a point behind the three clubs immediately above us that occupy three of the four play-off positions. We are also only 4 points off Wolves who occupy th

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Conor fells the Forest!

A super well-placed Conor Hourihane free-kick gave Villa the win in yesterday’s game between the only two of the five English teams that have lifted the European Cup that currently play outside of the top flight. Forest won that trophy in 1979 and 1980. Villa continued the Midlands domination of that cup competition in 1982 to become the fifth consecutive winners from England with Liverpool also having won the trophy in 1977, 1978 and in 1981. These two Midland clubs have sadly fallen from grace

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Boro’s reserves beat our own!

We made 11 changes from the team that won 3-0 at Barnsley on Saturday and paid the penalty for that with a cup exit (our first ever League Cup defeat against yesterday’s opponents). Not that we are alone in making significant changes in this cup competition and resting first team players at the drop of a hat as Middlesbrough made 10 changes themselves. The League Cup was a really important trophy for around 40 years from the mid 60’s but it’s importance has faded to the extent that only 11,

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Villa’s goals have dried up!

This was an improved performance on the one that we witnessed on Saturday but it would have been difficult to have been worse than that! The team selection was a little more positive as were the substitutions made at half time that gave us two strikers at long last albeit against a team who were down to ten men. We enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession and created several chances but were sadly unable to put any of them away. Another goalless home draw makes it seem a long time since w

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Villa stung by the Bees again!

Despite selling players like there is no tomorrow in the last two transfer windows and being second from bottom of the table both before and after this game our visitors have not tasted defeat in their last three games against us. The Bees drew at Villa Park last season and did the same yesterday. This result has put as huge a dent in our confidence and has placed similar doubts upon our promotion prospects as had our 1-1 home draw against Brentford last September.  We need to approach

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Four more home goals!

Villa scored four goals at home for the second time in four days yesterday despite making 11 changes from the team that defeated Norwich on Saturday. Our League 1 table-topping visitors also made the same number of changes. It seems clear from this that both clubs are prioritising promotion rather than cup glory this season although a visit to Wembley might yet be needed to secure promotion for both teams via the play-offs. This was a much better game than I had anticipated it would be

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: We’re not bottom anymore!

We scored four goals at Villa Park for the first time in three years yesterday. Conor Hourihane scored our first hat-trick for two years and his own first. This our first win of the season took us from the bottom of the table up to 16th place. We also left the ground with smiles on our faces rather than frowns after this goal fest.   We conceded two goals and at times looked too shaky for comfort at the back. That is enough of negativity which was far outweighed by the positives yesterday.

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Last season’s fallibilities return!

We encouragingly played like Champions-elect during the first half yesterday but failed to put enough of the chances that we created away and as was proved so often last season a one goal lead is not always enough for us. That Cup of Traditions tournament was made for us, wasn’t it? Villa performances are all too often games of two halves during which Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde take turns in coming out in claret & blue shirts. Those pre-season games were of only 45-minutes in duration and th

John

John

 

What can Villa learn from last seasons automatic promotion achievers?

Aston Villa have been installed as favourites to win promotion to the Premier League this season after bolstering their squad with some high-profile summer signings. Chief among them is former England captain John Terry, a real coup for the club as the Chelsea legend had plenty of offers from around the globe. Steve Bruce has also brought in Ahmed Elmohamady and Glenn Whelan and the Villans are looking strong going into the 2017/18 season. Newcastle Utd and Brighton secured automatic promotion l

limpid

limpid

 

Three early fixtures which could shape Villa’s season

The Championship can be a cruel mistress, any fan of any club will tell you exactly that meaning that, regardless as to how much things can change over the course of the season, a quick start can do wonders for anyone’s campaign. Villa fans know only too well what a poor start to the season can do for your fortunes across the following nine months-or-so after the debacle of last term. A few wins early doors can do wonders for a side’s form and confidence and could be the difference whe

limpid

limpid

 

Player Match Ratings: Graham’s game ends all square

This game was very, very friendly and not a lot can be deduced from it. Before the game I expected our visitors to be battling to stay in their present division this season and for us to be striving for promotion preferably without recourse to the play-off lottery. I witnessed nothing to change that opinion yesterday as this game gave little clue concerning how successful each team may or may not be in achieving those objectives.   It was fitting that the two football clubs that are most as

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: Villa end the Seagulls title bid!

Aston Villa with nothing to play for save their pride and their fans played their part in defending the integrity of the EFL by not surrendering meekly to a team that needed a win as had Huddersfield last weekend for example.   We were reduced to ten men in the 63rd minute when the referee decided the penalty they converted was not quite enough punishment for Baker so it then appeared Brighton were set for the win that they needed to clinch the title. However, their wild goal celebrations p

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: When Harry met Gabby!

This was a dire game. Our visitors from the dark side of the city showed exactly why they are in real danger of relegation and we showed why we were unable to sustain a promotion challenge this season. But sometimes winning is everything!    Small Heath needed a win but they were not good enough to get one or a draw! We needed to put on a show for those 38,000 Villa fans that paid good money to witness this local derby but we lacked either the ability or the desire to put our opponents to t

John

John

 

Player Match Ratings: We lose on Villa Park’s 120th!

This was no way to celebrate 120 years of football at Villa Park. On Easter Saturday 1897 in our double winning season we played our first game at Villa Park beating Blackburn 3-0. On Easter Saturday 2017 at Villa Park, we lost 3-1 to promotion chasing Reading and face a second season outside of the top flight next season.     Reading recorded their first ever win at Villa Park yesterday after 105 years of trying yesterday. They claimed a 3-1 win which was in stark contrast to the 7-1 defea

John

John






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