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      Just visiting?   27/12/16

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About this blog

Mainly unboxing videos now, but a few blogs about my beloved Villa.

Entries in this blog


I've an awful flu-like chest infection right now, so there are two boxes waiting to be unboxed. I'm frustrated.

So for now I am giving away a prize, which is great if you love Star Wars!

Subscribe to my channel to be in with a chance of winning!




From Leicester to Leicester

It was the 14th of February this year, when the Sherwood love affair with Villa started. The following day saw the first signs of Sherwood's influence, when he visited the dressing room at halftime to help inspire the team to a 2-1 win over Leicester in the cup.

Before that, we were heading for yet more disappointment - with another frustrating first half performance, the sort we were used to under Lambert. But after leaving his seat in the stands and giving a morale boosting talk, a different Villa appeared for the second half. We ended up winning 2-1 and putting on a much better display for the fans.

Fast forward seven months and Tim has a new team under his control, bringing in 11 new players during the summer - transforming the club from top to bottom.

Last week saw us play Leicester for the first time since the display in the cup back in February, and this time saw one of the best first half displays we have put on for a long while. Culminating in a 1-0 half time lead thanks to Jack Grealish who scored his first goal for the club.

The second half was a different story, compared to the encounter in February. We managed to force a 2-0 lead, thanks to great work from Agbonlahor to set up Gill, but it was all downhill from there. 

Gill was almost immediately replaced by Ayew - who has struggled to fit into English football so far, and the team lost it's shape - leaving us losing important battles in midfield.

And with Bacuna not being offered any support, it was only a matter of time before Leicester took advantage, with Bacuna's errors helped Leicester get back into the game.

It was only after this that Sherwood made defensive changes, but it was too little too late and the game was lost thanks to a last minute goal from the pint sized Leicester winger Nathan Dyer.

It was in stark contrast to February when Sherwood's team talk helped produce a fantastic win for Villa. This time he had no answer to Ranieri who used his experience to outwit Sherwood and win the game, when we should have taken the three points.

The loss to Leicester was followed up by a performance most fans will want to forget, in losing 1-0 to West Brom. Once again the tactics could come under fire, as Villa spent most of the game being out-battled in midfield, playing long balls to Agbonlahor and for Sherwood to be unable to react to the stubbornness of Pulis' defensive minded team.

Sherwood has done well in his short time as boss, but he needs to learn to cope when teams bring their plan a and plan b, and he needs to be able to react a lot quicker when things aren't going to plan.

Sometimes it seems as though we have 11 players on the pitch, but there is no communication and we are looking at 11 different players, instead of one team. It's sometimes hard to see where players are filling in, and to see where the fluidity is coming from to help us attack.

Even so, it's far too early to call for Sherwood's head. He has had 5 months using one set of players, and nearly two months with his own team. He does need to find a style which works, and yes he does need to stop making silly decisions which cost us points, but he also needs time to mould these players into what he needs them to be - and that might just take a little longer than we hoped.

And now, we head into tomorrow and another battle against the great unwashed. Here's to a positive performance from Tim and the team.



From: Paul Lambert

It's an exaggeration to say he's built a really good squad of players. He has assembled a decent enough squad given the resources he has had, although you could argue that he has wasted a lot of time pursuing a "young and hungry" policy when he should have been mixing a few more experienced players into the squad, as he has now started to do.

For me, the really puzzling feature of his performance as a manager is his apparent tactical ineptitude. When he first came to the club, I was excited because I thought his tactical ability was one of his real strengths, but so many times we have seen puzzling selections, formations and styles of play. Yesterday was a good example. Defending so high up the pitch was a recipe for disaster against a side like Arsenal - how bizarre to let them score 5 times, all essentially from counterattacks! Also, although we had a good share of possession, the midfield spent a lot of time passing rather miserably to each other, with very little idea of how to get forward or run into space, as was rather well shown by the MOTD2 analysis last night.

Then there is a question about his understanding of what is going on, For him to say yesterday that "for 60 minutes or so we were in the game", and it "wasn't a 5-0 game" is worrying. We weren't ever really in the game, Paul, and it was a 5-0 game, indeed, we were lucky not to concede 6, 7, or even 8 as might have quite realistically happened.

And the scale of the defeat had much to do with your selections and tactics.

Source: Paul Lambert


From: Paul Lambert

This season in my eyes was never supposed to be a relegation battle. The squad he has assembled is too good to be anywhere near being relegated. To be 3 points off the drop at this stage of the season is unacceptable. He has completely failed in his job as Aston Villa manager. We're going backwards under him, in a season which was supposed to be about progression. I didn't expect us to finish in the top 10. But a comfortable 15-12th kinda season without the fear of being relegated is what I expected. He's had 2 and a half years to get this team organised and playing how he wants them to play, but we're looking more and more clueless by the game. We have no identity, the players don't look like they know what they're supposed to be doing and his tactical knowledge is just woeful. The guy has got to go.

Source: Paul Lambert


Dark days are coming

I've seen some really bad things happen at Villa, in my time as a fan. Losses in league cups to lower league teams (Scunthorpe, Sheffield United) but I have never felt so deflated and depressed as I do at this moment.

Don't get me wrong, Bradford deserve their massive achievement 100% and I wish them all the best for the final.

But whilst this is their finest hour, this is also my clubs darkest hour and I am not sure we can pull this around in time to save our premiership status.

It is easy to put the blame on people, O'Neill, McLeish, Houllier or even Lambert (who isn't faultless when it comes to tactics). But we really need to look at the build up to today, and the little things that have happened to cause such an incredible drop over the past three years.

From the moment he took over as the custodian, Lerner stated that he would do everything to achieve the goals he had for Villa and the ultimate aim was champions league football.

The first three years were incredible, we saw a league cup final, three 6th place finishes, inspirational moments and a team that looked well on its way to being something special.

All of a sudden Lerner decided he could no longer afford to support the wage bill, finance high earning players or make any large investment in the team. With this O'Neill stepped down and the motion was set in place.

Now, what I do not get is for a man who came in saying he had a 5 year plan, why did he not have this plan worked out so that the investment was steady, why did he let things run riot, how did he not notice there was a problem sooner?

Well, I think he made the gamble that we would get champions league football and when that failed he just cut funding dead, on the spot, gave in with the avalanche plan and looked to recoup costs.


Everybody knows what happens when you try to stop a runaway train, you get a derailment and mass casualties.

Players were sold, they were not replaced with quality, managers came and went for high fee's - it felt like names were being pulled out of a hat and given a chance to manage us. From Houllier to McLeish, how can any person of logic make this choice? These appointments were like chalk and cheese, you cannot go from one set of ideals to another and expect miracles.

We have been badly run, from the top for the past three years. And just like the minor success we had with the over-the-top investment, there is a disaster around the corner waiting for us if we do not put this right with investment in the team. 

 This team, over the past three years has had its heart ripped out, it is now lifeless and drifting into the championship.

We need to invest in quality, players who can change games and make things happen, we miss Milner, Barry, Young and Downing and there are no players at this club who can change a game.

I cannot see this happening though, Nero is fiddling whilst Rome is burning and with just nine days to put things right, a restriction on wages, a lack of quality is going to see us have some very dark days at this club.

All thanks to the errors made right at the top.


From: Darren Bent V.2

It's become a matter of great discussion, about how important Darren Bent is to our future prospects and success. For what it is worth, if we had Young and Downing supplying from the wings, I would have Darren Bent in the team every single week. The problem is, we do not create the chances Darren thrives on, and thrived on under the attacking threat from both Downing and Young.

Simply, without the ammo, Darren is less of a threat.

In my eyes, we cannot risk playing somebody who offers so little to us as a team, especially when Benteke can bring others into the game (something I have seen little evidence of Bent doing).

So, I fully back Lambert with the dropping of Bent, we simply cannot afford to rely on somebody who has limits, especially when others are scoring plus add more to the team.

Darren bent is nowhere near the quality of Young. He is also not our best player imo. I also dont agree that most clubs would love him. Opinions eh?

Spot on!

Bottom line is that if Lambert doesn't fancy Bent then of course he should be sold. We are not in any position to be having players on 70k a week spending most of their time sitting on the bench. Not many clubs bar the elite are.

As others have said we currently look a better side with Bent out the team than in it. For that reason I don't see him getting much game time any time soon. In fact I suspect that Bent simply isn't part of Lamberts medium to long term plans and he'd be more than happy to have the 10+ mill and 70k a week in wages to spend on other players.

Source: Darren Bent V.2