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  1. 69 points
    I’ve got hearts on fire and burning heart from Rocky going on in my head lol the songs while moving leg again first Time in nearly 3 weeks I feel like Rocky balboa lads been pushing myself since 5am to move Leg and worked thanks for all your kind words. It means a lot
  2. 58 points
    Congratulations Villa - on holiday in Majorca, bought a Sky subscription just to be able to watch the game on my mobile phone while at the beach, fell out with the Mrs, who screamed at me, saying, “I thought you were a Hibby”, and went mental when SJM leapt like a fine Scottish salmon to head the ball out of the flailing arms of the statuesque Rams keeper - cue the most lusty rendition of the SJM song ever heard in the Med! Now very much looking forward to following Villa next season in the Premiership. Occasionally I look back at the original post at the start of the season when you were thinking of signing John McGinn. I think it says something like, “Anyone know much about him?”... Aye, you do now! UTV!
  3. 55 points
    So, another weekend has come and gone. A weekend that most people in the world won't have ny memory of in a few years time or so. But for 69 swedish Villans it will probably stay in their memories forever. Although, some will probably never remember some parts at all. But we've had a great time. For me it started on Wednesday. Flight to Manchester, with what I suspect was a couple of manure-fans going over to watch their game against barcelona. I think I know which one of us who was the happier later that night. Their I met a friend from the really grim north of Sweden, Gällivare which is north of the pole circle, and then a train to Rotherham. A nice little town. There we met two more friends from Stockholm to get to the hotel. A hotel I'd booked and of course I never checked out how close to the arena or train station it was. It was at the other end of Rotherham. We spent some time in taxi's that night. Suffice to say I won't book the next hotel. But in the end, after the game, we didn't think much about it. You saw the game, you know how it was. We were just chuffed. I have to say that I felt a bit robbed by the ref when he gave them a penalty which we thought never was a penalty and upon that sent Mings off. I guess we all did. But in the end it didn't matter much. But I guess this was shortly after that: Oh, and I met Drat in a pub just before the game. Then it's Thursday and time to go to good ol' Brum and meet up with around 20 newly arrived swedish Villans. Two beer on the train, and then we're off. That's pretty much about it. A rather quiet night with a few beer. A few new ones who settled in. No scandals. Then on Friday it all kicked off officially. The rest arrived and by the time they did, around 10, we took a taxi to VP and then Aston Tavern and never looked back. We were all having dinner together at the hotel and were told to expect one or more secret guests. And they came: So we had a few beers with these guys. I bought them all one. I think they got a bit pissed, actually. I know Shaw did. But they were great to hang out with. And after they left we left for Craven arms. I don't know why, but we always go there at least once. For me, I don't think this was the best idea, but it wasn't the worst that night. I came, took a piss, had a beer, and then it wasn't hard for my friend to talk me into going back to the hotel. The thing was that I'd promised another friend that he could stay in my room that night. He was meant to stay at couple of friends place but they weren't at home, or something, and I was alone in a single room. Of course I said yes, but somewhere along the night I forgot about that. Can't understand why. He called me about 5 times, knocked on the door, and in the end he just walked down to the reception and got a new key. When he came into the room I was lying on the bed fully clothed as if I'd just taken two steps in and fallen down on the bed. And was pretty much how I woke up but with a nagging thought in my head: "Where the hell is my jacket?" I had a vague memory of me thinking that I'd left my jacket on the room which I was quite sure that I hadn't. And I hadn't. It was gone. With my match ticket and slightly less important my passport. I felt a little panic for a while, but I was quite sure that if I'd left it anywhere it was at the hotel and then there could be a chance that someone had found it and left it in the reception. Someone had. One of us said that they'd called out in the speakers to ask if someone had forgot his jacket. I never heard that, of course. But Saturday, match day, no problem with the jacket so back to Aston Tavern to knock on the door. They didn't open untill 11, so of course we were a bit too early. But we got in in the end so we could drink our beer. Then up to Holte pub and, well, you know. Then it was time for kickoff. But before that I met the great Blandy, great even though his taste for music is less than great. Always nice to meet you, sir. 2nd time ever, but still. That's when I had my 2nd burger and that plus breakfast was pretty much what I had that day. I think I've taken the phrase "Eating Guiness" a bit too far. Anyway, game on! And again, you were there, you know how it was. We could've won 4-1, and apparently it was because their fans were sat on Witton. As good an excuse can ever get. And McGinn was still runinng. The best thing for me apart from the 3 points was that we showed that we could play quite well without Jack and Mings. And here are the Villa Sweden after the game: And I think you can guess what happened next. Holte Suit, Hyatt's hotel bar, then I went up to my room to change my shirt before I left for some pub or somewhere to eat. My mistake was that I sat down on the bed. And then I lay down just for a few minutes. Sunday, rehab day. Not much to tell. 8 of us left for Leicester as my friends son, the former Villa youth keepr Viktor Johansson, plays for leicester now and they had a game against liverpool that day. Unfortunately the scousers won 6-0. Not that good. Back again, and then I had a bus leaving for Stansted at 1 am and a flight 8:15, which of course was delayed, and now I'm back home. A bit tired. The thing is that this might seem like a lot of grown ups just on the piss, but there are som many funny things happening, and so many injokes that would take too long time to explain and it would still be hard for you to understand the fun in it, but we always have a great time. Always. Most of these people I only meet this one time a year, maybe two, a few more often as we live close, but we spend so much time together when we're over, more or less every awaken second, and we shair so many stories and do so many funny and silly things during these weekends that some of us are more or less like best friends. And when we meet there are always big smiles and I can't remember anyone ever getting angry at another person. We're simply just having a great time. And we'll be back in a year. Just wanted to share this with you all. It got very long, and if you're still reading I'm quite impressed you're still awake, but I thank you! UTV
  4. 55 points
    Piss off glory hunter!!! ?
  5. 52 points
    Looks like he has no problems with gates, that's #1 recruitment criteria for forwards at Villa!
  6. 50 points
    Morning all, I'm a Hibs season ticket holder so thought I'd join your forum to give you an insight in to John McGinn and what to expect if you manager to sign him which I sincerely hope you do. John McGinn is probably the most loved Hibs player within the support and the club and has been since he joined 4 years ago. During this time we've seen him develop from a rough diamond with potential to a genuinely top quality midfielder who IMO should be Scotland's first choice midfielder right now. John's biggest attribute is his spirit, you get these players every so often like your Gerrard's, Schole's etc that have the ability to lift a team and drive them on. John will bring that in abundance, if a game is going against you he will single handedly give everything he's got to drag the team back in to it through grit, determination and fight. On the flipside, if you're winning a game well John has the classy side of his game as well, excellent strength, ability to spray 50 yard passes with ease and a very decent turn of pace. He also has a wicked left foot on him and the majority of his goals tend to come from drives from outside the box including two 25 yard strikes in a 2-2 draw at Celtic Park last season. He will dominate the midfield in most games he plays and Scott Brown who's been the Celtic captain for 10 years said last season McGinn was the most difficult midfielder he's ever played against in Scotland. The bigger the game, the bigger the performance you'll get from McGinn and he will never ever be accused of hiding. In my opinion John McGinn will be an English premiership player within 2-3 years whether it be with Villa or another club. From a Hibs fans perspective Villa would be a cracking move though. Best of luck for the season ahead and hopefully you guys get promotion!
  7. 48 points
    Dean Smith when asked, "Why were you shouting at your players to get up whilst 2-0 up? Surely you could have sat back and played it safe? Why take the risk?" " My philosophy is this : 1-0, 2-0 or 5-0 up: never ever settle for it, you must be hungry for more. If you do sit back not only are you inviting the opposition to get back into the game but you are showing them mercy. You have to look at the bigger picture, I don't only want us to destroy our current opponent's. I want to breed fear into our next ones "?
  8. 47 points
  9. 47 points
    Absolutely, utterly delighted. I've really admired Smith's work for some time now, both at Walsall and Brentford and anyone who witnessed our games against the later in recent times should be the same. Some were taken in by the glamour of Henry but I firmly and have always firmly believed Smith is a far better suited appointment to where we are as a club. That has nothing to do with him being one of us. The way Smith approaches the game is what I've been desperate to see at VP for years even before the arrival of Bruce. I can't wait to see what he will do with Hogan! At last we've a manager with a real philosophy based on coaching and passing the ball, that takes control of games rather than trying to strangle the life out of them or scrape through them. With Terry's knowledge of the players and club and unquestionable defensive coaching potential I really do think its a great combination. On the Smith the Villa fan thing, a couple of thoughts. What an incredible moment this must be for the guy having once swept the Holte End and won't be nice to have a manager to gets the club and the fan base, who embraces what the club is, was and could be again. A manager who will share our expectations, hopes and dreams rather than down play our chances. Exciting times.
  10. 46 points
    These are days you remember. The sun shone, we sang songs and we were royally entertained by a team deservedly rewarded with an eighth straight victory. Individually they impressed - El Ghazi was a livewire all day, taking on the left back time and again and beating him. Taylor was busy and determined behind him. Bruce was right, Jedinak can play centre back - it just took a better manager to get him there, Tuanzebe played like he hadn't missed a beat, Elmohamady is a revelation at the moment, Hourihane Hourihane'd, McGinn McGinn'd and Whelan Whelan'd wonderfully. Adomah is learning to live without pace and making it look easier all the time and Tammy Abraham has the calmest twenty one year old head you will ever see. Individually schmindividually - this is a team, a team blessed with a fantastic attitude; positivity, determination, courage, responsibility, togetherness, belief and lots and lots of hard graft - what's more, Villa Park feels like it's part of that team, I can't remember a time when the team and the fans felt so closely joined together. This team tries; it's full of players that play for Villa like you and I would play for Villa if we were any good. The atmosphere at Villa Park is special - we're all in this together - genuinely together, not in a sloganeering way, genuinely together. What's more - the attitude and the atmosphere is developing the ability to transcend personnel - if I'd told you three months ago we'd be beating a playoff team with Jedinak at centre half, Steer in goal, Elmohamady, Lansbury and Davies you'd have thought I was crazy - but each of those players has slotted in and given us something good. The whole just seems to take on any new part and make it better - the team is making the players more and the team is taking the supporters with it. On the game, I thought the first half was fairly even, both sides had chances - they missed a header and had a goal ruled out for offside that looked marginal (with the comic sight of Weimann refusing to celebrate until a Villa player told him he didn't have to anyway) we forced a couple of saves from their keeper including one which from where I was sat was clearly impossible. Bristol City and their angry manager would have gone in at half time thinking they were a match for us and might take advantage of our missing players. We came out for the second half and upped it a gear. A gear Bristol City haven't got. A gear no one else in this division has got. From the start of the second half until they scored on 78 minutes we were brilliant - we could have had five or six. I have no idea if the penalty was a penalty, but once they're given you get on with it - their reactions were very poor and do them no credit. Seven bookings on the day and eight if you include the manager. Our players don't go in for that - they're too busy working their socks off and creating chances - Davies had a couple, McGinn on a run in from a short corner, Hourihane a header and a shot, Jedinak off the line, shots from El Ghazi - it's almost too much to remember the detail. And today, and right now as a Villa fan, the detail doesn't matter - the feeling does - the feeling that this team won't give up on us, they won't shy away from the work, they'll give you what they've got and expect the same from you - the feeling that we've forgotten how to lose, that we can't lose, that we won't allow it to happen. It's not like any other love, this one's different because it's us. It might well take us all the way. Days to remember, dreams to be had.
  11. 46 points
  12. 45 points
    Can open a gate, great start.
  13. 45 points
    Just a moment to give credit to the real orchestrator of this day.
  14. 45 points
    Just gonna leave this here.
  15. 45 points
  16. 44 points
    Congratulations Villa...sorry to see you go Best way to do it..Get out of here as quick as possible, as I enter the 20th sodding year of it FFS!..Still I'm not bitter....... (much) I suppose Steve Gibson will just have Us and Frank lampard F.C to sue now. You deserved it...bet the last 15 minutes were a laugh and a half though, I honestly thought you were going to get 3 or 4, ..Those 2 goal leads are a bugger. Any road upwards, best of luck next season...I'll pop back and post when we get back Can you get a modem for a f.ookin' Ouija board? all the best andy
  17. 44 points
  18. 44 points
  19. 44 points
  20. 43 points
  21. 42 points
    You'll get cramp before you've even finished off Tuanzebe, I reckon.
  22. 42 points
    When Dean Smith arrived, it was generally agreed that he had inherited a squad with some serious flaws. In addition it was widely thought that it would be difficult to get these players playing a more attacking style. He’ll need time was the general consensus. However he did quickly get us playing much better in regard to both performances and results. Recently we have had a lot of injuries, including 2 of our best players and performances have inevitably suffered. Incredibly some people are now, after only 14 games in charge and with barely any opportunity to bring in players, are questioning Smith. I find this unbelievable. I also hear people questioning why we haven’t signed players in one position or the other. It really beggars belief that anyone with an interest in football can’t see that it isn’t as simple as a trip to ASDA. People are even questioning why there aren’t any rumours, as though rumours from the internet are equivalent to hacking into the club’s private email account. I know we live in a world where people expect everything now, but a bit of common sense please.
  23. 41 points
  24. 40 points
    The meeting happened last night and whilst it wouldn't be fair of me to offer up the details prior to the notes being released, I'll give you a couple of bits about the feel of the meeting if I may. Firstly, Christian Purslow and Paul Tyrrell came to us a few minutes late from another meeting, and Mr Purslow left a few minutes early at 21:15 to go to another meeting - these are very busy people - getting promoted comes with a lot of work - work they're doing right now - work that consumes their time. We were in the room for nearly three hours. That's a lot of time to give to us, you can pay lip service to fans in a much shorter time if you want to. These two gave a huge chunk of their evening to a group of fan representatives and insisted on answering every single question on our agenda - for me, that says good things about them and hopefully good things about how the club thinks of fans. He's an impressive fella our CEO, he's clear, he's sharp and he'll let you know what he thinks. He doesn't sugar anything for us and he 's very protective of those areas of the club where he needs to be protective. I've been in meetings with a few of these chaps now and some of them could be accused of trying to be a bit matey, a bit "ahhh football eh lads!". Not this one; Purslow is all business. I think he'd throw me under a bus if was the right thing for the club, I think he'd fight the entire league on our behalf, I can't imagine him being intimidated by any agent or player. He's never been anything but polite, charming and erudite in these meetings, he's exactly as you see him in interviews, but there's something about him that says stone cold killer. I like this a great deal in the man that runs my football club. When the notes are out, there are a few parts where I'll add my feelings and impressions on some of the things that were talked about - there's some quite positive stuff. In short, it was three hours where the club talked through every issue - no distractions in the answers, no stories about the old days, or in-jokes, just straightforward professionalism and answers that were always clear and to the point. There's nothing earth shattering to come - but lots of small bits of progress that hopefully point in the right direction.
  25. 40 points
    So, an interesting meeting - I'll not repeat the answers in depth as the club are writing up notes which will be published in the near future, what I will do is give you my initial feelings on the new man in charge and some of the things discussed. Christian Purslow, Chief Executive, head honcho and lest we forget, investor (He describes Eden and Sawiris as partners). He's very professional, he's clear, concise, organised and serious. If you imagine what a Chief Executive of a slick company would be like; he's like that. He's smart, posh and carries a certain gravitas. I was going to put that I like him, but I'm not sure that's quite right - he's a very serious man, easily the least likely of all of those in the room to make a fart joke and he's capable of both not answering a question whilst answering it and answering a question whilst not giving the answer at all very adeptly. In short, i'd buy snake oil from this man readily, he's convincing and trustworthy, if he'd spent an hour telling me pancakes were pillows I'd have believed him. If saying I like him might not be the perfect description, I think it's definitely right to say I like the idea of him running my football club. He spoke clearly on how he believes a football club should be run and that there was a lot of work to do in order to get ours where he'd like it. He told us he'd inherited numerous areas he'd like to improve. "A lot needs to change; a lot will change." That'll be focused on the football and he's clear that in order to function well a club with our infrastructure needs to be at a higher level - within that, he was very clear that he won't be making any false promises and that we won't be taking crazy bets chasing that dream. In terms of playing structure he wants us to be able to buy and develop players, to find ways to add value to our squad, good players, developed by good coaches that either help us or provide value - what he was describing was the opposite of what we've seen in the last few years where we've signed older players on big money to try and do a quick job and then found ourselves holding the (very expensive) baby and with nothing to show for it. The future is described as being one of "strategic, not tactical signings". I for one find all of that immensely reassuring. I think it's the right way to go. I think we've needed it for a decade or more. We now have a Sporting Director, a Commercial director, a Finance director and a Legal Director - all reporting to Purslow and all accountable for their business areas - he was keen to stress that for him this means that where there's a problem, he can have one conversion and address it. I suspect he doesn't mess about. There were a couple of points made that he wanted to be clear on and for us to pass on: Stadium renaming - it isn't happening. It's not been discussed, it's not being discussed, it's not up for discussion, the story hasn't come from the club. Breakaway League - you may have seen the story that said fourteen Championship clubs were considering breaking away from the league - it's also bunkum - like everyone in football, we're looking for the best TV deal for us and for the league that we can get, but breaking up a league we founded? Not happening. On FFP, without too much detail, Purslow is still talking confidently - we won't break the rules, we're not looking at loopholes - we're looking to be sensible but we're likely to be active in January at a sensible level - without knowing where we'll be next season, spending a massive amount on individual players would be reckless, but there's the opportunity to do things in January. He spoke about the importance of showing that we're moving in the right direction in relation to the FFP rules. He helped write them, I'm hoping he knows. Tony Xia remains a shareholder and will be for the foreseeable future - the removal of the Recon label from Bodymoor Heath was part of the deal around the sale. We would consider selling naming rights on the training ground if the right type of company were interested. Throughout, probably the thing that impressed me most was that he spoke about standards, his personal standards and those that this football club should expect to have - he isn't happy with the way those standards have been maintained in some areas, he's working on those. I very much got the impression that this is a man who wants the very best for this football club, because the very best is what he wants to be associated with. When he talked about sponsorship, shirts, our media output, our PA system and indeed anything around the way the club does things, he talked about wanting to be a leader, wanting to find people who were at the right level to partner with the club, wanting the right personnel within the club. There was a confidence in the sanctity of our place in football - this is not a man who will ever devalue the idea of Aston Villa and for me that's very good news, I have a great deal of confidence in the quality of our future sponsorships and partnerships. We were also introduced to Paul Tyrrell - the clubs new man in charge of communications or marketing or media or all of that (you would be correct in thinking I didn't quite catch his job title) - he's an altogether different character, but made a very good first impression. There are lots of questions which will be in the notes which Paul answered around media content, AVTV, social media and so on, so again I won't go into detail in advance of the club releasing the notes, but he's a likeable man with good experience in the game at Everton and more recently Derby - he seems to have a genuine love for the game and for the stories of football, he speaks well about the areas of his expertise and is clearly a man who knows a thing or two about running the media output of a football club. He seems genuinely excited by the job and the club and I'm hopeful he'll make a difference. There's quite a lot more to come on the notes, I may have said too much, I may have missed out something obvious - once the notes are out, I'll add more. In short, on this evidence, Purslow is quite impressive and we're starting to put together a staff that can serve both him and the club well.
  26. 39 points
    Class. Jack Grealish is a player with class, he has that silky touch, the sway, the vision and ability to do things that other players can't. He's also rapidly shaping up to be a young man with class - character, calm determination, the ability to inspire and to lead and to not lose his head when other are. There is much to be proud of for him today. Our opposition showed a complete lack of anything resembling class, from the idiot running on to throw a punch at a player, the thousands applauding him for it, the steward trying to stamp on a players ankles, a manager and a club statement so desperate to say "individual" and "throw the book at him" but so lacking in taking any kind of responsibility for their own supporters or arrangements, right through to the sad angry youngster posting pictures of a grave. They're a shocking club, with shocking support, that have shamed the name of this city for a long time. It's not an isolated incident, it's not one idiot, it's the culture of the club, their ethos and it's time they were properly punished. We were second best for large parts of the game, we didn't play at all well, we got it tactically wrong for most of the game and heck, we even rode our luck at the end - but we didn't sacrifice our dignity or our class - we didn't lower ourselves to their level. I hope we never will. 0-1 is not the extent of our victory.
  27. 39 points
    woke this morning with my left arm and hand starting to move freely.... Finally taken exactly week longer than left leg.. Can make a fist and walking currently with a frame lol. hopefully fingers crossed going home February 4th. Can't wait as so bored in hospiral. UTV
  28. 38 points
  29. 38 points
  30. 37 points
    I was there on the 7th of August 2016 to watch us lose 0–1 at Hillsborough. Almost 5000 villa fans given a rude awakening on a sunny Yorkshire Sunday afternoon. All of a sudden it didn’t seem like it was gonna be as easy to get out of this league as I had originally thought. It didn’t get much better. Di Matteo’s side kept snatching draws from the jaws of victory and by the time I next watched us away it was at Preston on the 1st of October. We were schooled by Daniel Johnson and Callum Robinson and lost 2-0 with Ross McCormack missing a late penalty. Ciao Roberto. Midweek at Reading and Steve Bruce ushered in a brave new dawn thanks to a last gasp Jordan Ayew penalty. So Sally can wait. Things picked up but despite the cavalry arriving in January (Hourihane, Lansbury, Hogan(!) and Taylor(for Ayew!)) our season fizzled out with a Jimmy Danger injury away at Blackburn. Meanwhile, Huddersfield Town somehow found themselves taking ‘our’ place in the big league. In came the men. Terry, Snoddy, Elmo and Whelan: proper blokes to get us promoted. It was an old fave in Gabby that got us a point at home to Hull on the opening day of 2017/18 before we were humiliated 0-3 by Premier League bound Cardiff City the following week. The season went by and we were there or thereabouts. We broke some Bristolian hearts on NYD and Snoddy stepped up in the last minute at Bramall Lane. The ‘best team ever seen in the championship’ were dismantled 4-1 at VP but we conceded 3 to QPR three days later. When all was said and done we shut Boro out over two legs to reach the play off final. I couldn’t go as I was an usher at a mate’s wedding. Blessing in disguise. The guard was about to change. Snoddy had earned his place in a premier league side, we couldn’t afford Terry and Johnstone was poached. New owners crucially allowed us to to hold on to Grealish, even though he said his goodbyes away at Hull. Another chastening afternoon in Sheffield followed and the writing was on the wall for Bruce despite a McGinn wonder goal giving us a taste of what might be to come. It all came crashing down in a whirl of cabbage and a missed Whelan penalty. In came ‘one of our own’ Dean Smith and after a good run folllowed by a bad run folllowed by an incredible run we find ourselves at today. Hutton at home to blues. 5-5. A Christmas gift to Leeds. You can’t say it wasn’t entertaining. Enter Tyrone. With our defence tightened up and the return of the prodigal one (announced in style with an any-other-season-goal-of-the-season volley) we went from also rans to the ones to watch. Derby, Blues, Forest, Boro, Blackburn, Wednesday, Rotherham, Bristol City, Bolton and Millwall. Wow. Up stepped heroes old and new to make history - McGinn dragged us through at Forest and Jimmy Danger bailed us out at Rotherham. Team spirit won out repeatedly. We got past the Tesco Bus and here we were at Wembley again. For me, from the first whistle, it was never in doubt today. We ‘stepped up’ as the Sky advertising hoardings had demanded and Frank Lampard’s Derby County didn’t. My MOTM for the first half was El Ghazi. He probed and looked up to the occasion . He was rewarded on the stroke of half time with the most important goal of his career so far. Second half we stepped it up another gear and man of the match/ season/ my life John McGinn was everywhere. Big game performance from a big game player. Derby got a goal out of nothing but I didn’t feel overly worried. Today was our day and it didn’t seem like we’d do anything other than get back where we belong. Overall, it was a fantastic Wembley performance - something we’ve seemed unable to do over the last few years (that beautiful day against Liverpool apart). Steer was solid - has earned his place in the team come August for me, tough decision for Deano with Kalinic available though. Elmo continued his impressive run of form - solid as anything and complementing attacks nicely. He seems to have forgotten how to be the liability that cost us over Christmas. Should be a decent squad option in the prem. Taylor see above. Much maligned but an important part of our end of season run. Will be replaced but can stay in the squad for me. Mings and Tuanzebe. Sign them up, that is all. Great partnership. The midfield was great. Hourihane justifies his inclusion and I’m excited to see him as an option off the bench next season. Grealish did what he does - many of the tears I cried at the end were for him. Our captain! McGinn also did what he does, what a man. Tenacity personified and got a goal to boot. El Ghazi should be signed, he’s ready for the Prem. Adomah will be replaced an rightly so but he put in a decent final shift today without looking overly threatening. Tammy didn’t get much of a look in but did the hold up thing well and I hope it’s not the last we see of him in claret and blue. I’d like to give the final word to Dean Smith - seems a thoroughly great guy and in the midst of my happy tears at full time, the sight of a Villa fan lifting the trophy having galvanised the club and masterminded this incredible run kept them rolling down my cheeks. TL;DR It’s been a slog in the championship. I’ve enjoyed it mostly. We deserved it today. It was one of the best days of my life. I cried a lot at full time. UTV.
  31. 37 points
  32. 37 points
    So... the man who often gave an impression that he would live forever is no longer with us and so ends a chapter in our history that for many of us is as long as our support of this great club. I'm unusual in that my formative years as a young fan were spent in the warmth and comfort of the the William McGregor Suite in the old Trinity Road Stand (a topic I won't dwell on at this time for obvious reasons...) rather than the wonderful chaos of the Holte. Doing so gave me a different perspective on the game but also on Doug. I saw him up close, in person, away from the camera lens that he loved so so much. Truth be told he wasn't all that different when there was no camera, he loved an audience, he loved to tell a tale of his own greatness (real or otherwise... frequently otherwise) and he liked to be king of his castle. I can't say I ever warmed to him all that much. Many platitudes have and will be made regarding Doug, some true others as befitting the man are at best bordering on revisionism. People say he loved the club more than anyone else, he didn't. People will say he was Villa trough and through, he wasn't although he came to be in a way. Those old enough to have lived through the Doug years know the good and the bad of the man and his tenure at the helm of our great club. I won't pay a tribute to him I don't mean, but what I will say is that with Doug's passing ends an era. For those of us of a certain age, Doug has always been there for good or bad, at the forefront or in the background. With his passing for me, it feels like the last link to the club and the era of Villa that I grew up with and for that at least I'll always remember him fondly. When I heard the news this morning, the first thing I thought was that is absolutely peak Doug. We appoint Smith, he is set for a hero's welcome and Terry for a big welcome back against Swansea and Doug passes away bringing the spotlight back on him. I can't help but thing Doug would enjoy that somehow, he really did love being the center of attention. RIP Doug you old rascal you'll certainly be remembered.
  33. 36 points
    This fixture always brings back memories. It was the first away fixture I ever went to around 50 years ago My dad took me. The old chap is 90 now, with early dementia. Poor old bugger cant remember how to use the remote for the TV But he can remember the whole team that played that day
  34. 36 points
    So... with Smith's second game a little over 24 hours away I find myself excited ahead of a game, it has been quite some time since I felt that way. It isn't so much an excitement of anticipation of the game itself, its more that its the next step on a journey. Unfortunately we are at the time of year when those steps are going to be coming thick and fast and there won't be that much time on the training ground. The excitement and anticipation is more about progress, about seeing coaching in effect, about seeing a team working towards something rather than just striving for something, there is a marked difference between the two. Smith had a few days with the players, 1 or 2 in some cases but it to me at least was clearly evident that things have changed at BMH and that signs of change were already out on the pitch at Villa Park. We played higher up the pitch, we started on the front foot with a clear attacking mentality, players were in their correct positions, wingers were higher up the pitch, the defence was higher up the pitch. We worked har harder and faster to win the ball back, I thought to a small degree we used it better as well. Not bad for a few days work most of which was non ball work. Promising. But what is more promising is listening to Smith talk, I could listen to him for a considerable amount of time I'm sure. This compared to a manager I've not been able to bare listing to for more than 12 months. That isn't really about them as individuals its about what they say, their attitudes to the game, they couldn't be further apart in their views. I won't dwell on the man before Smith, I've nothing new to add about him and I want to look to the future and the future is so musher brighter when you hear a manager after a in talking about areas that need to be improved such as ball retention. I would like to think even the most ardent of Bruce supporter or supporter that was reluctant for us to make another change can see the vast difference in their respective approaches to the game. For me I think Bruce looks even more outdated ever time Smith speaks and talking about when he speaks, its so lovely to hear a local accent from the guy running our team! I thought Smith got everything right on Saturday including the subs, some of the stuff I've seen on here and elsewhere in relation to Grealish is utterly ridiculous. If him being substituted somehow makes his departure more likely then I hope he goes on January 1st. Not because I want him to go, far from it, but if we were in a situation of such a scenario then we should remove him or any player from the club at the first opportunity. Thankfully I don't buy this thinking at all. Back to Smith, what I've found interesting about his public appearances so far, other than hearing about his views on the job/game, is how he has handled the 'Villa fan' thing. It would have been so easy to jump on it, to tug on the heart strings, to talk about our shared passion. Smith hasn't gone near any of that, in fact I'd say on at least two occasions I've heard him down play it, distance himself from being a Villa fan even. That to me is interesting for a number of reasons. First of all, it shows a self belief. He isn't playing to the crowd, he isn't buying himself time by saying "I'm one of you", he isn't making a big deal of it the way someone like Gregory did when he arrived. This is a guy saying I'm a professional, there is a history there but I got this job and I took this job on merit not because of who I supported as a kid, that is some self belief and backbone and he is right he didn't get this job for any other reason than his coaching performance and pedigree. I'm hugely impressed by that about him because lets face it somewhere inside there is that kid from the Holte, the kid that went to Rotterdam. Just imagine being him right now, but he would rather talk about phases of play, resting in possession, setting traps, working without the ball, ball retention...... that is what I've wanted from someone in charge of our team. Not talking about having a right good go, rolling sleeves up and working hard' because those things alone don't win football matches any more on a consistent enough basis to be successful. I'm excited about tomorrow, not because I think we are going to win. Not because I can't wait to be entertained or I think we are going to play like Barca. But because it will be interesting to see more evidence of coaching, to see signs of improvement, of development and to get a glimpse of hopefully what we will become under Smith. Unfortunately due to our start to the season results are all fairly crucial now if we are to have any chance of getting back into promotion contention but I honestly think how we play is more important than the results. If we get that right the results will follow. Exciting times to be a Villa fan, I've not really felt that since O'Neill arrived even if I was briefly win drunk under Bruce before the reality of his approach sobered me. Anyway... I'll shut up now! It's just nice to feel passionate about Villa again after what I think have been largely two dire years irrespective of the wins.
  35. 36 points
    That was weird. I mean just weird. We looked weird in our set up and selection, Wigan played a weird sort of tactic, the referee was mungo-bongo, some of the goals were weird and we won in the 93rd minute. Weird. In terms of our line up, on the opening home day of the season, we elected to play with four players out of position. Tuanzabe, Jedinak, Elmohamady and Hutton all having a little go at their hobbies from the outset. We looked like it for a bit, then we scored and settled, and then we had a moment and then we looked horrible for a while. Wigan seemed to play a long ball game into midfield and then aim balls into the box for their strikers to run away from - there's some talent and movement there, but I'm not sure how it works. Anyway, I'm not so worried about them, we've enough trouble trying to figure out how we work - because make no mistake, we were poor for huge parts of today's game and we've started to take liberties with lady luck. I think it's probably easiest to go with the players as individuals: Nyland (4) I'm hoping he was nervous. His kicking was poor and he looked ropey on crosses. There was a high ball in the box in the second half which he worryingly ran under until it was behind him. I can't really comment on his shot stopping as I don't recall him having to stop one, he looked calm enough and a reasonable organiser, but if you can't claim a cross or distribute the ball at this level you're going to struggle. I hope he's better next time out. Tuanzabe (4) I'm told he's a good young centre half. I'm not sure about that, I don't think I've ever seen him play there; I can however confirm that he's not a right back. He's not got a lot a aggression and he seems to want the game slowed down to a pace he likes - that's not going to happen. He didn't offer a massive amount going forward (but then he's probably a centre half playing at right back) and he was at times a liability defensively. We've got loads of right backs, I'd like to see one of them get a go. Jedinak (5) He's great in the air, he's a commanding presence, he's positionally good - he has lots of the tools you need to be a good centre back. It's just the ball he struggles with. When you're a defensive midfielder, playing one or two horrible passes a game will sometimes get you trouble - when you're a centre back they'll get you goals conceded. If he could pass, he'd be a good centre half. He can't. Chester (8) I thought he was man of the match, somehow marshalled a nervy keeper, an unpredictable partner, bambi, and the Scottish Cafu through ninety minutes whilst pulling off a number of decent tackles and interceptions and steering Wigan strikers into less dangerous areas. We must imagine Sisyphus happy. Hutton (7) Looked like a man a little too keen to taste glory again at times and maybe overdid things, but he was solid and added much to our forward play - I particularly enjoyed the first half spin drag past their right midfielder which got him a round of applause from the whole ground, including the opposition manager. Bjarnason (6) He's not quite as assured a defensive midfielder as Whelan and sometimes doesn't pop up where you expect him. We looked a little less secure with him there. What he does offer is additional mobility and the knack of arriving at the back post in the 93rd minute. Good boy. Grealish (7) He's a class act on the ball, he was good today without ever quite adding anything to his extensive highlight reel. What was good to see was that he seems to be on the same wavelength as his new midfield partner. There is promise in the idea that he might not have to shoulder the whole workload. Space may be appearing near Jack soon. McGinn (8) Sound the klaxon, release the balloons, break out the bunting; we have a player. A very promising debut indeed. There was industry, he's a terrier charging after the ball with his head down, nibbling at the opposition and not allowing them time, there was endeavour with some great direct running through the heart of the pitch, carrying defence into attack, and there was artistry in some very good set piece deliveries both from free kicks and corners. Goes about his business with gusto and is hard not to like. Bravo. Green (5) Didn't really threaten all game; I don't think he had a shot and I also can't say as I really remember a cross. He was diligent, he stuck to his work and he did his bit defensively, but I'm not sure that's what we were hoping for. More to do. Elmohamady (5) He makes me sigh. He's so risk averse that he won't take a player on, he's got a good right foot when he wants to put a cross in, but if there's an easier option he'll take it every time. He's not got the desire to play on the wing for my money and he's a little too soft for a right back. I'm not a huge fan, but he's the manager's favourite so I suppose I need to get used to it. Kodjia (4) The shadow of Jonathon Kodjia. There was no threat in him today. Admittedly the centre half spent a good portion of the game trying to pull his arm out of his socket (with full permission from the weird referee) but Kodjia seemed content to get near to the defender and offer his arm. When we wanted him going forward he was on his heels, when we wanted him coming back, he was away. His copy of the script didn't seem to have arrived and when he's a little off his best he's a long way from good. I worry for him; over the last two games I think he's earned a place on the bench and he looks like a player who might be part of our past rather than our future. Subs RHM (6) Gave us more danger in fifteen minutes than Jimmy did in eighty six. He looks a live wire and I think he merits a start, at least in the cup. Adomah (5) he looks a little out of sorts and I think would welcome a return to the left hand side. Not quite at the races today. Hourihane (6) can consider himself a little unlucky not to have started, but might have to get used to it - there's a challenge for him now to up his game. What he did do though was to whip in a lovely little ball at the end for Bjarnason to get onto and win us the game - a reminder that he might just be capable of meeting that challenge. The crowd was good, the referee was awful, it was fantastic to be back at Villa Park, but everything was just ever so slightly out of kilter. I wonder if this might be a dream. Still, overall, it's hugely pleasing to have six points from our opening two games, but there are questions about the managers selections, about our cohesiveness as a unit and about individuals that have played. The gap between our better players and our lesser players is huge and to succeed this year we'll need to get everyone onto the same page - we're not there yet. Onwards.
  36. 35 points
    Another all-English final as well. Amazing stuff.
  37. 35 points
  38. 34 points
  39. 34 points
  40. 34 points
    John, John, the whistle has gone! You can stop mate!! Please!!!!
  41. 34 points
    Deano, you've made me truly fall back in love with the Villa. It'd gone stale. Even when we were winning games last season, apart from Wolves, it just didn't feel right. Now, though, I'm hook, line and sinkered all over again. Thanks.
  42. 34 points
  43. 34 points
    Don't be alarmed by the radio silence on here now from Hibs fans, we are all in mourning, the mood around E.R at the moment is like somebody has died! In 25 years I've never been so gutted about a player moving on but that is for purely good reasons. He will be an asset to Villa and I reckon a legend one day. Couldn't be happier he's chosen to go to a huge club in England and really test himself. It also says a lot about Villa the fact that Celtic matched both Villa's offer and personal terms, John and his family are all Celtic fans and he's still chosen to sign for you guys. There's no risk about this transfer from your end, Super John McGinn WILL be a huge success. Just out of interest, how easy/difficult is it to get tickets for Villa Park these days? I hope you don't mind but I'm adopting Villa as my English team now and would be keen to come down for a game or two once the season is in full swing! UTV. GGTTH.
  44. 33 points
    VT lads on tour @Michelsen , @Stevo985 , @mjmooney And myself
  45. 33 points
  46. 32 points
  47. 32 points
    Been walking since weekend without pod and don't plan use again and can do squats for exercise and helping to get legs stronger. Finally managed go out and to hairdressers for first time since before xmas other day boy did my hair need a cut was starting to look like Stig Of The Dump) walking getting easier daily for me and feet feel sore first thing in morning only. Lost so much weight now down to 12.5stone now after eating better since hospital and feel so much better for it and following healthy eating plan by having cheat day today watching game on Sky tonight Going to go to Man City vs Spurs game in April for the game of my choice Man City and my scout friend sorted for me and aiming go Villa game end March/Early April and hopefully to Port Vale or Crewe scouting next month or April. Had cancel my FA Talent ID Level 2 for end month that i booked last October so going rebook by end season or for next season as going try go up different level's (,3 and then 4 within nec few years) and they only do the course during a football season.
  48. 32 points
  49. 31 points
  50. 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.
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