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  1. 38 points
  2. 35 points
    Another all-English final as well. Amazing stuff.
  3. 32 points
  4. 31 points
    It all starts today for me. Heading to Philadelphia with my daughter this afternoon for an overnight flight to Manchester. See the family tomorrow and then Villa Park for a massive game on Saturday, returning back to the US on Wednesday after the return leg. Hopefully we will be planning to do it all again for the trip to Wembley. Got a feeling this is going to be a special few days. Can't wait.
  5. 28 points
  6. 28 points
    i've had some great news last night mate. i signed all paperwork and I am now Academy Regional (Staffordshire) Recruitment Manager for Crewe Alexandra. My first paid role in football after 2 years. I know exactly who you rate Andy. And they are great suggestions.
  7. 28 points
  8. 28 points
  9. 27 points
  10. 27 points
    Just want to thank every Villa fan on this forum for a great season. Through the highs and lows, the arguments, the laughs, the fun, it's been a pleasure. Proud to be able to chat with such incredible people, and I hope I get to meet many of you at some point in my life. Now, let's back the team all the way back to the prem. We can do this!
  11. 27 points
    Anyone that takes part in the playoffs and enjoys it is a wrong un. I don't like it. I don't like how much is at stake. I don't like that it's them. I don't like that I make us favourites. The whole thing just has me all of a bother.
  12. 26 points
    It was foretold long ago that a hero would rise...
  13. 26 points
    just got in Heard uncle Albert dribbled past 10 men and rounded keeper for goal .. class !!
  14. 26 points
  15. 25 points
    For those who don't read the introductions; Afternoon all. Congrats on making the playoff final. You have every reason to be confident here as you are massive favourites. The feel amongst us Rams is that we almost have no right to be here but we're enjoying the ride! Word of warning though. At the moment we are nothing like the Derby you have played previously. On our day we can beat anybody, although our defence is a bit of a calamity at times (especially from set-pieces). Our best forum if you want to pop by is dcfcfans.co.uk May the best team win!
  16. 25 points
  17. 25 points
    My Mom will be 84 in August. She's just text to tell me that the course of treatment she's been having for the last six months has worked and the NHS has saved her eyesight. I'm sat at my desk crying tears of joy.
  18. 25 points
  19. 24 points
  20. 24 points
    Absolutely wonderful this... Click into it to see the full image.
  21. 23 points
    I don't think it's outlandish to say that Albion could and should have had another 8-10 cards over the two legs. I genuinely believe that would be a fairer reflection of the play. Johansen could have had four over the two ties, Brunt could have had two of each colour last night. It's all very well other managers and teams talking up the idea of Grealish as a diver or someone who is in the ear of referees - but the result is that he and his teammates are getting kicked all over the park at the moment and getting no protection at all. We absolutely need a stronger referee in the final. For Albion's part, they can be aggrieved at not getting the penalty at Villa Park, they can have legitimate grumbles about El Ghazi's possible handball, but the Grealish penalty at Villa Park was absolutely nailed on, both sendings off were not just the right decision but both players could already have gone for earlier offences and the general refereeing of the two games meant that they were allowed to play an overly physically style that under other referees they simply wouldn't have gotten away with. There are a couple of decisions they can legitimately be unhappy with - but the weakness of the refereeing in both legs is what kept them in the tie. I thought their fans were brilliant last night, got right behind the team from the first minute to the last and I thought they defended really well and really intelligently, but they deserved to go out on the lack of ambition they showed over two legs and their approach to the game - Albion have been a footballing side for most of the season, but under the pressure of the big occasion they went full Pulis - Albion fans should be more disappointed about that than they should be in anything else. I'd expect Shan to go. I know they're in a fair bit of financial trouble and I think they'll be in the championship for a while - which is a pity. Whilst I very much hope we don't have it for a while, it's a derby game with a great atmosphere, a fierce rivalry and none of the idiocy that comes with the morons from the heath. I like the rivalry with the Albion, they're generally okay. For us, the thing that struck me about last night was how much of a genuine emotional attachment there is between the fans and the players - particularly those players who are only here on loan - when I look at Mings, Tuanzebe and Abraham, I'm struck by how much they seem to be enjoying it here, how much they genuinely seem to be having the time of their lives, how tight the friendships seem to be within the squad, how much they've embraced the club and the pride they have in the shirt. This looks like a club that any player would want to play for - there will be players at other clubs who watched this last night and wondered why their fans don't care about them like that, why their backroom staff don't feel the same passion - being a Villa player looks like the best job in the world. That's going to help us next season, whichever league we're in and no matter what else happens they'll be in dressing rooms talking about their time at the Villa for the rest of their lives. We didn't play well, we're not quite clicking, not quite fluent - but we're determined, there's a steel born of confidence and we keep finding ways to win. Any of the teams in this playoff competition are capable of beating any of the teams in this playoff competition on any given day - there's not a bad team left in it - but I'm not afraid of anyone, we'll give anyone a game and if we do find that fluency, we have the capacity to overpower an opposition. When we're good, we can be very good indeed - the best in the division - when we're bad.....well, when we're bad, we're capable of heroic nights of epic proportion like last night, and that ain't a bad combination. It's been a season of big games, last chances and heroic characters - one more obstacle remains. Bring it on.
  22. 23 points
    Can't appeal a second yellow card...
  23. 23 points
  24. 23 points
    no reason. Just because.
  25. 22 points
  26. 21 points
    Does history tell us that? I am not so sure it does and reading your posts I think you may be looking for potential negatives that are not there. There is no point looking any further back than what these players have shown as what a Villa team did 3, 5 10, 15, 20 years ago has no relevance to this squad. Recent history shows that over the last 2 and half months we went into almost all of those games knowing we had to win if we were to have any chance of getting into the play offs. We handled that pressure including managing to win after going a goal down away at Sheff Wednesday and a goal and a man down to Rotherham and absolutely annihilating fellow play off contenders and teams above us at that time in Derby and Middlesborough. Just two games ago we went a goal down against West Brom at home, had them putting every man behind the ball and frustrate us for 70 minutes and still found a way to come out of that game with a win. In the last game we found ourselves in a penalty shoot out after dominating a team over two games that finished 4th and failing to find a decisive break through. We could have felt we'd blown our chance but we still found it in ourselves to handle the pressure of penalties in a very hostile atmosphere. Recent history tells us that when the pressure is on we don't bottle it. We embrace it and find a way to win. We all need to have faith in these lads as they have earned it.
  27. 21 points
  28. 21 points
  29. 21 points
  30. 21 points
  31. 21 points
    Cramp. He said the exact reason in the exact same interview.
  32. 21 points
    For any opposition fan who says Mings is a nasty player because of the incident against Reading and the one against Man United when he was at Bournemouth, think again. Calm throughout and acted as mediator in the face of their cheating. Credit to this club and Bournemouth. God I hope we keep him!
  33. 21 points
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/dean-smith-dads-dementia-means-he-does-not-know-im-villa-manager-dvhkfj22t behind pay wall so here's full story
  34. 21 points
    Hasn’t the declining number going into Administration been more to do with Harry Redknapp being less involved in Management ?
  35. 20 points
    not a great performance but non the less, i'm happy...... and so are the players...
  36. 20 points
    Hopefully the last few episodes focus on the Iron Bank investigating the Dondarrionn family's multiple false life insurance claims.
  37. 20 points
    Absolutely completely 100% things are better under Smith. There is no doubt whatsoever. It is very easy to simply look at out results prior to this run and draw a conclusion that those poor results were due to Grealish being out, but that is a very lazy analysis and misses most of what else was going on. Particularly if you fall for the media love-in of the previous manager. Of course losing Grealish was a loss. Any team would struggle with the loss of such an influential player. However we also lost our best central defender in Tuanzebe at roughly the same time, leaving us with only one recognised CB (Chester) - who was also carrying a serious injury, and in actual fact - us needing to continue to play him may (and I stress the word may) have had a very serious impact on his future. At the start of the season, we lost our no 1 keeper, and were left with only 2 recognised CB's (one of whom the manager of the time was determined to only play at RB) and we had a new, very shaky keeper behind them. Despite all that, we didn't lose many as the whole team was set up to defend. Smith came in and changed the approach to a more pressing style, meaning our back line didn't have an additional 2-3 players in it. Weaknesses in the defence would now be more noticeable. So not only did we lose Grealish, who kept a lot of the pressure off the defence, we lost our best defender and the other one was crocked, we were left having to play a patchwork defence in front of a shaky keeper. The keeper did not have a rapport with the defence and the defence did not have confidence in the keeper. Many of these defenders had not played regularly and were now being played out of position. Add to that we also lost Kodjia and Adomah to injury during this period. We frankly were a mess at the time, the chaos of the summer and the frankly baffling recruitment decisions of the previous regime left us with gaping holes at the back and we needed to limp through to the Jan window for re-enforcement, we had injuries all over the pitch to contend with. However, even during this run, improvements in playing style and attitude were obvious. Bar a couple of games we were never outclassed and actually during the bad run, we "only" lost 4 games, and a couple of those losses were completely undeserved with one being blatant cheating. We drew a lot of games in that run, mostly due to our defensive frailties. Then we did some spectacular recruitment in the Jan window. I include the recall of Steer and Elphick from loan in that. Mings is an absolute beast, and Hause after a poor start has been really good for us. We spent pennies as well (not counting Klanick)! The turn around in form, and the start of this run corresponds to a number of factors - absolutely Grealish being a key one of those, but the arrival of Mings and Hause in defence, and Steer in goal has given us a very strong back line, giving the whole team more confidence and the ability to play with more freedom, knowing that the defence could now handle the pressure. I would go as far as to say that Mings is just as vital to the team at the moment as Grealish. If we had Grealish come back, but no changes at the back, we would definitely have improved, but we would certainly not have won 10 in a row, and I would suggest that we would not have made the playoffs, certainly not with a couple of games to go. I haven't mentioned him yet, but Super John McGinn has also been excellent throughout. To say that we are a one man team in Grealish is not true. With Grealish, McGinn, El Ghazi and Abraham up front we have a number of players who can and will hurt the opposition, and now, with all of those guys playing defenders cannot double up on any one of them - also leaving space for Adomah to exploit. Smith has done a fantastic job of changing our mindset, creating a system, and playing players that fit the system. He has made sensible substitutions during games, 9/10 times these have worked great. He has put the right players in the right positions and given them the confidence to play their game, safe in the knowledge that the players behind them will be solid and have them covered. He has also coached these players to improve their game (El Ghazi is a great example of this). Whilst all this was going on, we were restructuring off the pitch as well, sorting out the finances, repairing the damage that our previous charlatan owner did and bringing in people who actually know what they are doing (a novelty for us after the last 5 years). January was the first chance for them to show what they can do, and they passed that test with flying colours. If we don't win the playoffs, (anything can happen during these games) then I have absolute confidence that next year we will be very strong contenders for automatic promotion, if not the championship title - even if we lose Grealish (which I would not begrudge him) I have the confidence in Dean Smith and the management of the club to recruit well.
  38. 19 points
  39. 19 points
    I can picture it now....
  40. 19 points
    In an episode that had an army of the dead, dragons, swords being magically set alight, giants, a lady who died because she aged a ton when she took a necklace off, the giant being killed by a junior school girl, a bloke in a wheel chair that can see through the eyes of other animals whilst taking control of them, storms being conjured by some sort of ice wizard king, it was a girl moving quietly that tipped you over the edge?
  41. 19 points
    Had Leeds just carried on playing I'd agree with you. But it was the fact the Leeds player made out he was going to put the ball out, he even raised his hand like Hourihane did to indicate he was doing it, and then suddenly carried on. I hate players putting the ball out, I'd prefer if everyone played on all the time. But that was particularly scummy.
  42. 19 points
    Not at our best but still comfortably the better side. I thought we played well within ourselves and let the game be a lot more uncomfortable than it needed to be. The Dutch really only had one weapon, set pieces to their giant centre half which we struggled a little to deal with, but we looked dangerous on the break and should have scored more. It was the kind of day where we came expecting to win, the crowd, the players, the opposition, everyone expected a Villa win - I prefer the games where we have to try or where we sparkle, but I'll take this one. I thought El Ghazi looked excellent again, Grealish ambled gracefully through and we looked largely untroubled - we weren't quite fully at it though, we looked like we were playing at 80%, like we had an extra gear. Even McGinn was off his best; he played at 100% at most. Well within himself. Nice for Kodjia to get the goal, although I thought in some ways we looked better with Davis on. It looks like Abraham will be back for the playoffs so it's good we have the options. I love that if we're one up in a key game, we can get the ball into the corner and let the Jack-and-John show take over; they're hard to get the ball off and they have enough devilment to cause you a problem if you try too hard and get the wrong side. Mings looked good, Taylor and Elmo were adventurous and Jedinak is enjoying a fine Indian summer. I think you have to give a lot of credit to Dean Smith and his backroom staff in the way we're set up, the way we use the ball and the good work we do at both ends of the pitch. Results elsewhere mean we're now guaranteed a playoff place and we've beaten our record for league wins - there's a lot to be proud of today and a lot to look forward to in the next few weeks. In flashes we looked excellent - it's good that we finish with Leeds and Norwich - it'll keep us sharp going in and help us maintain our levels. Kinda hard not to be a tiny bit excited isn't it?
  43. 18 points
    I am on holiday with Mrs Lifeboats in Cyprus. A few days ago we were pondering a visit to a tourist attraction. "Don't worry," declares Mrs Lifeboats "I saw that yesterday. I know where it is". She is to navigation what Myra Hindley is to babysitting and I should have known better. So off we trot and 15 minutes later we arrive at the local bus station. I am thinking something must be wrong because Mrs Lifeboats regards all forms of public transport as disease ridden cess pits. Is she really taking us on a bus ride? "Err.........I saw this yesterday and thought it must be a tourIst attraction because of ALL THE BUSES THAT KEPT ARRIVING FULL OF PEOPLE.
  44. 18 points
  45. 18 points
    My pet peeve is when a manager makes a substitution that works and people say “aha! So you were wrong to start Player X.” I bet Alex Ferguson doesn’t worry too much that he picked the “wrong strikers” for the Champions League final in 1999 because it was his subs who scored. I can see a strong argument for starting Hourihane and a strong argument for starting Whelan. Good. That’s how it should be.
  46. 18 points
    This is your problem right here. You STILL haven't accepted how far we have fallen and that it might take a bit of work to put it right again. Deluded and entitled.
  47. 18 points
    "...and that, Bran, is what shall come to pass if you don't stop climbing those bastard walls!"
  48. 18 points
    Still think Rotherham was our best win of the run. To go a goal down and a man down away from home and pull out a win, especially with Bristol City breathing down our necks was incredible. It's the kind of thing Manchester United used to do to us and other teams.
  49. 17 points
    Proposed last night. She said yes. Obviously. Drove up into the Beacons for some star gazing, got down on the knee and then realised it was so dark for a few seconds she didn't realise where I'd gone Still, she figured it out soon enough. However this morning I noticed for the first time she puts milk in her tea first so I may regret this commitment.
  50. 17 points
    P10 W10 Goals scored: 23 Goals conceded: 6 Is absolutely incredible. The defensive stat is in a way even more remarkable considering the shambolic state of our defense before Smith arrived. We are colossal at the back and unstoppable up front. Think today was the first time in this run that we were held to a single goal. I have never seen Villa play football of this calibre. Gone are the days that I used to envy other teams and what they were doing. It's our turn to be envied. Not going up last season was a massive blessing in disguise. We'd have been slugging it out at the bottom with Steve Bruce likely getting sacked in December and replaced by Mark Hughes or something. More importantly we wouldn't have been taken over by NSWE and crucially would probably never have hired Dean. Now if we do go up, we have an embedded style and culture and actual ethos on how to win games. We also have an established player recruitment strategy and crucially we know where we stand financially. At the very least we are on much surer footing. What an amazing turnaround in less than a year.
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