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  1. 35 points
    Another all-English final as well. Amazing stuff.
  2. 32 points
  3. 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.
  4. 28 points
  5. 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.
  6. 27 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!
  7. 27 points
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 26 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.
  11. 26 points
    It was foretold long ago that a hero would rise...
  12. 26 points
    just got in Heard uncle Albert dribbled past 10 men and rounded keeper for goal .. class !!
  13. 25 points
  14. 24 points
    Thanks mate, my friends think I'm crazy travelling halfway around the world for a football match. But it's Villa, a team I've supported since I was seven years old in the 70's, I feel a bit of history is about to be made. Go Villa!
  15. 24 points
  16. 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.
  17. 23 points
    Can't appeal a second yellow card...
  18. 23 points
  19. 23 points
    no reason. Just because.
  20. 22 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.
  21. 22 points
  22. 21 points
  23. 21 points
  24. 21 points
  25. 21 points
  26. 21 points
    Cramp. He said the exact reason in the exact same interview.
  27. 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!
  28. 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
  29. 21 points
    Hasn’t the declining number going into Administration been more to do with Harry Redknapp being less involved in Management ?
  30. 20 points
    not a great performance but non the less, i'm happy...... and so are the players...
  31. 20 points
    Hopefully the last few episodes focus on the Iron Bank investigating the Dondarrionn family's multiple false life insurance claims.
  32. 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.
  33. 19 points
    Frankly it's a complete disgrace. He should feel totally ashamed and come out now and apologise to the fans. There is absolutely no excuse for wearing such a horrendous top, I can only pray it was a gift from Nzogbia and not something he's actually purchased himself.
  34. 19 points
    Since SJM followed in the footsteps of the great Des Bremner in making the switch from one great club to another in the summer I have followed his progress very closely whilst finding myself becoming more and more of a Villain each week! My brother and I are going to travel down to Wembley from Edinburgh for the play off final a week on Monday to support SJM and Villa getting back to where they belong, in the Prem. Even if it is just to sample the atmosphere in the pubs pre match. On the off chance are there any Villa fans on here that could source or point me in the right direction of how I could source 2 tickets for the game? I know it’s very much a long shot but we would absolutely love to be there. Either way it’d be great to meet some of you guys down there for a pint! UTV!
  35. 19 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.
  36. 19 points
  37. 19 points
    I can picture it now....
  38. 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?
  39. 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.
  40. 18 points
    Sooooooo ... my plans have changed. Guess I'll see you at Wembley
  41. 18 points
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 18 points
    "...and that, Bran, is what shall come to pass if you don't stop climbing those bastard walls!"
  45. 17 points
    Gives himself a 6.5 for the season. Get's in the car and says "Hello I'm Anwar"! So humble he makes me want to cry. He's always affable as well and he looks so much more relaxed both on and off the pitch to when he first came, there's still some untapped talent in there IMO even though he has been bloody decent for a while now. If that Bristol performance is his peak then that's more than enough for any league, but I still want to see him do it more often. Remains an absolute must buy for me, no matter what league we are in. He's my favourite player though so I may be biased.
  46. 17 points
  47. 17 points
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-6992541/Why-Jack-Grealish-tears-scoring-goal-dreams-punched-Birmingham-fan.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490
  48. 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.
  49. 17 points
  50. 17 points
    The play to the whistle stuff is nonsense for two reasons. Firstly, 10 minutes prior we'd put the ball out while on the attack for an injured Leeds player. Secondly, it wasn't just Leeds playing to the whistle, the player deliberately made it look like he was going to put it out, even motioning with his arm that he was doing so and THEN played on. It was deliberate deception. No he didn't break the laws of the game, but that's not always a defence. If a team had an unopposed drop ball and instead of giving it back to the other team they hammered it into the top corner they wouldn't have broken any rules either, but there would still be uproar. Even if we hadn't given the ball back previously, if Leeds had simply played on and not put the ball out I wouldn't mind. I'd be annoyed, but that's it. It's the deliberate deception that sets this apart. If that had been Grealish doing that I'd be ashamed, and to be honest I think most of VT would too.
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