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  1. 96 points
    Hi all you villains Just thought I'd give you my thoughts on the imminent transfer of our most gifted player into your ranks. Conor has been the best signing we have made in decades when we pinched him from Plymouth. His vision is superb, his attitude immense (if you can get the video of the Leeds match in full you will see him launching into a team mate who sold him short, I kid you not his neck veins are half an inch thick in his rant.) He does not suffer fools and non performers. When we first got him he used that wand of a left foot to great effect, but not much else (in terms of getting involved in defensive duties) Since then he has been taught how to tackle as well, that it is ALL the teams responsibility to throw themselves in, and he has become a much better all round player for it. He's now not afraid to get stuck in (hence his booking yesterday) You've bought a gem, and usually you'll get some rancour and sour grapes from the team you get them from, but in this case we wish Conor all the very best. We know Barnsley is a small club with a small fan base surrounded by much bigger teams, we live with that, we cannot match your spending power nor wage payments. If Conor turns out for you guys next season at Oakwell, he will be warmly applauded, he has been a huge part of our achievements in the last 60 weeks, bottom of league 1 to Wembley winners twice in one season and promotion to the Championship, plus in 8th place at the moment. I'll never see a repeat of that but as he plays for you I will always take a keen interest in his performances Thanks Conor for the memories, you will become the favourite at Villa Park just as you did at Oakwell
  2. 77 points
  3. 70 points
    First off, apologies. This is going to be long, but I’m sure you’ll find it interesting. Last night I was very, very fortunate to represent VillaTalk at what Aston Villa described as “an exclusive training session” at Bodymoor Heath. A selection of media, supporter groups and websites including Vital Villa, avillafan, Heroes and Villains, and obviously VT, were asked to send someone who would be given full training kit and put through their paces by some of the strength and conditioning coaches at the club. There was also mention of “kit launch” in the invitation too. And who doesn’t want to be first to see the new kit? Now, I haven’t kicked a football in over 20 years. Some of you will know that I had a nasty football injury as a teenager and until medical science caught up a few years ago I was unable to do anything but light activity. Quite how I wasn’t enormous at that point is a miracle, but nonetheless I had surgery, started to get active, but bottled out of playing football in case I got a recurrence of the injury. This time, though, I just couldn’t refuse. Scott (OBE) and Simon (Limpid) put it to me that they’d like me to go on behalf of VT. Not as a little treat for being a good Mod, or because of my X Factor-esque sob story, but because of my career history. Again, those of you who know me will already know my background. I studied fashion back in the 90s and went on to spend 6 years working for Puma in Nuremberg (hence the name on here). During that time I headed up the design of performance products for the brand, with a huge focus on football. I designed the Italy kit which won the World Cup in 2006, and Usain Bolt’s kit in Beijing 2008. A few years later I was back in the UK and recruited by Umbro where I was eventually Creative Director. I was honoured to work on kits for England, and also Manchester City during the first few years of the Abu Dhabi ownership period. It was a phenomenal experience. My initial response was - I can’t do it. I was worried about the fitness aspect (Scott glibly put it as “You may have to dress up and run around a bit”), and also felt that having been to several kit launch events of my own over the years it would be nice for someone else to get the chance. My mission though, should I choose to accept it, was to go in as a stalking horse on behalf of VT. These events are invariably a high quality charm offensive. We’re all honoured to be working together, lots of things in common, great opportunity, love the club, love the brand, etc. The ask of me was to cast an educated eye over the proceedings and see what it might reveal, and if there are any indicators of positive change within the corridors of Aston Villa. So that’s the background. It gives you an idea of how I’ve formed my views, and why I was so fortunate to be chosen. It’s been a long time since I was at Bodymoor Heath. Last time I was there I was collecting autographs from the likes Derek Mountfield and Graham Taylor. It’s fair to say the place in unrecognisable apart from the beautifully crafted gates that welcome you into what is now a world class facility. On arrival at 5.30 we waited at the lower car park, and were able to see some of the younger lads training in the distance. By younger lads, they were maybe 6 or 7 years old. Either that or they were very, very far away. After a few minutes we were told to drive round to the main building where everything was waiting for us. Even the road that takes you through to the training HQ brings it home to you the scale of Aston Villa Football Club. I’ve worked at the training grounds of Manchester City, Lazio, Bordeaux and others but this place is something else. Quintessentially English with it’s open space and imposing trees, but unmistakably modern once you get down to business. For all of the failings of the previous custodian, this is quite the legacy. Walking through the main doors, I felt a little like I was on Sky Sports News. Sadly I wasn’t getting out of a Ferrari and carrying a Louis Vuitton washbag, but nonetheless the presence of a club photographer gave me a split second of “what if”. Overseeing our reception alongside the Villa marketing team was Michael Taylor, the Senior Marketing Manager for Under Armour in the UK. I’ve known Mike for a number of years, but haven’t seen him in a while so it was nice to get a familiar face amidst my nervousness about if I’d have a cardiac arrest at some point during the evening. The other important factor in Mike being there is that he’s good at his job. He’s well thought of and well connected within the industry, so from an Under Armour standpoint, and more importantly from a Villa one, it’s reassuring to know that he’s key to the relationship. He’s a football fan and a talented marketeer, which bodes well for the management of our profile in the coming years. The assembled group were led upstairs for refreshments and sandwiches. The sarnies looked good, but I declined for fear of puking up on the pitch like Tommy Johnson all those years before me. From there we were taken into a briefing room which was decked in imposing imagery featuring the club crest and the UA logo. Fight like lions was emblazoned across it, and at the bottom reference to UA’s current campaign “I Will”. We were given a full understanding of why we were there (to celebrate the beginning of the UA relationship, and experience a taster of life as a professional athlete) and the agenda for the evening. Keith Wyness then took the floor to say a few words. He comes across as a confident man, reassured by his own experience. He talked passionately about the club, about the desire to get things back on track as quickly as possible and, importantly from my perspective, that this is a football club and not a brand. The crest is valuable and meaningful, and alongside a strong team on the pitch, and supported by UA it will have global resonance. Our new CEO was followed by Mike who gave us a clearer understanding of the Under Armour brand, its history and its current position. Aggressive growth plans across all sports, and a clearly defined portfolio of football clubs who share common values with the brand. Yeah, yeah, they all say that. But looking at the roster it was clear to see that it was populated by storied clubs with a lot to look forward to - Spurs, Southampton, Colo Colo, and more. It was nice to see us positioned alongside them. Mike told us about this being the 20th anniversary of the brand, and 10th anniversary of being in the UK. He even fronted up about the challenges they faced when the US speed skating team complained that their kit wasn’t functioning at the Olympics in Sochi. They ditched the kit and wore an old one, which must have been embarrassing for the brand. He explained how they’d learned from failure and were moving forward having extended their contract with the team. 20 years in, he said, and we’ve only just started. Sounds like Villa, but a bit older than just 20, I thought. Right then, niceties over. Time for training! We were led to the U21 changing room along a corridor with doors to gyms and physios, and bearing posters with helpful information for players about the danger signs of depression, and the importance of understanding what’s in any supplements they might take. In the changing room the attention to detail was superb. Lockers with specially created signs featuring our names, and full Under Armour training gear, and boots, to wear during the session. Sadly it didn’t carry the Villa crest so it wasn’t clear whether this was exactly what the players will be using, but it would certainly give an indication of the quality we could expect. Looking around the room it was encouraging to see I wasn’t going to be the most out of shape person there. It was disappointing to see that there were a few lads there who really look after themselves. The coaching team were led by Ben Petty, and our first exercise inside the huge, covered 4G arena was to warm up. We were taken through our paces in what would constitute a typical opening session for the Villa squad. It was hard. I certainly wouldn’t fancy having a go at it after a week of partying in Dubai, that’s for sure. But I guess we’ve already established I’m no professional athlete! Simple jogs, followed by jogs with more complex movement, running technique, sprints, and finally sprints pushing the metal frames you may have seen, and for those brave enough the same again with added weights. Credit to Gregg Evans of the Mail who absolutely blasted his way through it. Next were some ball drills. Not a medieval torture device, but high tempo pass and move. There was a mix of ability around the group of perhaps 20 of us. Some looking like they’d be pretty competent semi-pros, others only looking like they’d be good enough to play for England. Again, it was interesting to note the level of complexity that was brought into the exercise. Pass and go, change direction, pass to their left foot, pass to their right. It was a lot more cerebral than you’d perhaps expect. Finally we got the chance to move over to the pitch for some 7-a-side. From what I'd seen, and for the effort that had already been put in, this had nil nil written all over it. Already half broken, I took the wise choice of going in nets. I was fortunate to have been partnered with some fairly handy players and kept a clean sheet in a 4-0 win. I was excited to find myself kicking a ball again for the first time in over 20 years. And what a place to do it... Time for a final warm down with the physio, and some booklets giving us information on post workout recovery. This is part of a pack that is usually given to the younger players. Back in the changing room I had the chance to evaluate the kit. It's good quality. There's no doubt about that. I wore base layer shorts and top under some perforated training shorts and a regular training tee. We were given socks, pads and boots too. The boots performed well. UA's "speed" proposition, they were comfortable, light, and provided good traction. The heels of the boots use the same technology as that which creates a moulded bra cup - which means perfect shaping without seams. There was nothing overly fancy or tricky with the gear, but it was clearly designed and made to a high standard. My only feedback to the guys was the shorts were a little long - a few of the lads, myself included, had folded the waistband over, and the socks were quite hot because of the cotton footbed. Being honest, socks are one of the hardest parts of a kit to design. Trying to find the perfect balance of cushioning, traction, feel and moisture management is nigh on impossible, and everyone has their own preference. As an indicator for the kit, I think you can buy with confidence. And the players can wear it with confidence too. From what we saw (and we only saw pictures, the actual kit wasn't there, which was a shame and felt like a missed opportunity) the kit is detailed, innovative (the match shirt weighs in at just over 107g) and unlike some of the other big kit suppliers - it's not a template. Talking to Mike afterwards he assured me that Villa will be getting the full treatment and won't be just a team on a to-do list. Good. After all we've been through it's the least we deserve. The night was wrapped up with some exposure to the campaign that will be run - Fight Like Lions, and a talk from Jon Fear of Vital Villa. He's featured in the campaign, and I have to say it's impactful, and meaningful. I'm looking forward to see what you all think too. In closing, there are two clear messages which align between Under Armour and the club. Villa will stand for Pride, Passion and Purpose. Under Armour say "I Will". They're about the athlete, the preparation, and the willingness to achieve. Something we desperately need at VP. If you combine Fight Like Lions, with the idea of I Will, you get a potent combination. If the evening was an indicator of life under new ownership and with our new kit supplier, I'm pleased to report it looks very promising. Attention to detail in both the experience and the product. A strong mission, bold messaging, and an emphasis on carrying it out. A belief and a desire to get us back to where we belong. It's time to leave the past behind, to accept it and move forward into what we know is possible. Are you up for it? I am. I Will. TLDR; privileged Villa fan has another privileged experience, this time at Aston Villa. Enjoyed himself, very excited by what he saw. Feels like it really, truly is a fresh start. And one that brings with it a great deal of hope.
  4. 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!
  5. 52 points
    Looks like he has no problems with gates, that's #1 recruitment criteria for forwards at Villa!
  6. 49 points
  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. 48 points
    To be honest, I am not a fan of Villa club, at least not yet. I became interested in the villa’s take over by Tony Xia, not only because I am a Chinese who lives in the UK for many years and a football fan myself, but more importantly I am a long time supporter of Chinese football in general (20 plus years) and wish my home country can win world cup sometime in my life (quite ambitious I know lol). So I joined this forum and wanted to see how people react to the take over. I found, not surprisingly, most people don’t seem to have a clue of how business is run in China (why would you? J), or more relevant-ly, how Xia may run Villa in the future. I therefore decided to write something about Chinese football. I have followed the Chinese top 2 division leagues in the last 15 years. Here I will try to tell you about how football as a business is run in China, based on that I will leave you to do your own prediction of Villa’s future. When talking anything about China, my own experience is most Western people won’t understand the way we do things – and I found it is mostly due to the huge difference culture we have. So I will also try to include some explanation of the difference in way how people do things, which hopefully can make your reading much easier. Happy to take any questions you may have – I always enjoyed to talk about football with my colleagues and friends from different countries and background.
  9. 45 points
    Just gonna leave this here.
  10. 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.
  11. 38 points
  12. 37 points
    My wifes just had a baby and im reading this lol
  13. 36 points
  14. 35 points
    HOLD THE PHONE! Rob, I have just received this anonymous headed letter from Aston Villa! Maybe this is another cunning piece to the puzzle. What do you guys think? Who is it from? Who did this? Why do they know where I work? How do they know, I know Rob? THE MYSTERY CONTINUES!
  15. 35 points
    You missed a bit in the living room. Otherwise all good.
  16. 34 points
    VT lads on tour @Michelsen , @Stevo985 , @mjmooney And myself
  17. 34 points
    He has pumped in the best part of £100m over 8 months. He has appointed experienced people in the right places and backed his managers to a ridiculous level. Turning on Tony Xia is pathetic.
  18. 34 points
    I really struggle to see the negatives here. In a world where the footballing mercenary is more prevalent than ever, we have a player that has done pretty much most things one could expect in the game and is determined to play for us once more. He's a national hero in Bulgaria, captained his country, captained Celtic and, of course, has captained this fine club. He's fought off a life threatening illness and has subsequently worked tirelessly of his own accord to bust a gut just to put on an Aston Villa shirt again. I very much doubt he needs the money and I'm sure a lucrative career in broadcasting could have been an easier option, but when was the last time we saw anyone so determined to play for our club? We have local boys that couldn't have given less of a shit last season, yet here is a man would literally give everything his mind and body will allow just to try and make the grade. That's a leader, a fighter and a captain that you want in the dressing room. Whether he sets foot on the pitch in a competitive match or not, this is a man I want to help us fight our way back into the Premier League again.
  19. 33 points
    I'm actually impressed at how we're leaving no stone unturned in our quest to become the ultimate shambles
  20. 32 points
    I'm a dad, we have no idea. And:
  21. 32 points
  22. 32 points
    In Pat Murphy's article on the BBC he says: My question is, how the heck did he get a stream?
  23. 32 points
  24. 31 points
    Saturday was the first time I'd been to a match with my Dad for 10 years. We used to have season tickets together, but as he got older and moved further away from Brum he stopped going. As a 40th birthday present, Mrs NV surprised me with tickets for me and Dad to sit in the Directors Club for the match on Saturday. My best pal and his Dad joined us - all four of us used to go to matches together back in the day. It was an incredible day, memories that will last forever. In fact, I'm gonna do a write up on the whole day with more pics, because it was absolutely class. I love football, I love Villa, and I love my Dad.
  25. 31 points
    Mauricio Pochettino ? TIM SHERWOOD
  26. 30 points
    Depending on how long you have been married mate that's just natural, don't worry about it happens to us all......
  27. 29 points
  28. 29 points
    A few years ago i posted an article about this young man (whom i coached for 5 years), who was an orphan from Liberia that at 14 had faced more adversity than i ever will. He is now a hugely successful young man having graduated from the prestigious wofford college here in SC. He posted this on his social media this morning, and i must admit i got a little emotional, he is an inspiration to me to be a better man as with what he has been thru he has every reason to not be the great person he is today. The wins and losses are great and all, but the impact you can have on yougn people is why i do it. So proud of him! oh and he aint outbenching me
  29. 29 points
  30. 29 points
    From the Rolan thread, a player in the French league. You're basically saying you don't watch French football here. Can't have changed much in 2 days. Which is it?
  31. 28 points
    Some good news... been asked to be best man at a wedding in Poland. Barely spoken to the lad since school but he said he has no-one else he can trust so I've got the honour. Best thing is, i don't have to sort the stag do out as some sap is doing that. Result!
  32. 28 points
    going home tonight my fiancee is going be my full time carer until walking without use of a pod. Onwards and upwards once home hope to be able post more on VT using my laptop instead of phone as much prefer that. UTV. Goal now is to get out scouting again by end of season.
  33. 28 points
    So sorry to hear the news Chris. I had one myself 15 months ago so I know what a shock it is. You always think of it as something that happens to someone else but in our case we were that "someone else". Recovery will be a long hard road but each day/week can bring slight improvements that can in time become big ones. Keep doing the physio day in and day out, it really does work. It is very tough to start from square one again with things like hand, arm and leg movement, I always said "onwards and upwards" and so it proved. Aim to get as near as possible to how you were before your stroke in the fullness of time. Improvements can continue to occur for two years after the stroke and I can vouch for that happening in the first 15 months. Writing, typing, gripping, balance and in time walking (with the help of a crutch and then a walking stick) are things that will hopefully start again/improve with constant exercise. Missing Villa games was tough for me as was being unable to do my VT match player ratings but I now get down to games again can drive and use buses. I walk very slowly but I have found fans around the ground and staff/fans inside the ground to be very kind and understanding. Try to maintain a very positive attitude Chris. You will have the support of your family (to whom this will have been an equal shock) and of your friends. Hard working and caring hospital staff and physios will be giving it 110% to get you back to as near to where you were as is possible. Please feel free to message me as someone who has "been there" at any time should you wish. Get better each day mate!
  34. 28 points
    So, I’m running the London Marathon this year for The Neuro Foundation after my son got diagnosed with a condition called NF1. I’m fundraising and doing a charity race night with a raffle. I thought I’d try my luck and message Keith, Villans Ho and Dr Xia on Twitter. Big Keith only messaged back didn’t he!! They're sorting me a raffle prize from the club. I know it may seem small and inconsequential but to me it means a hell of a lot. This club are doing things right again!
  35. 28 points
  36. 28 points
    Standard Jack interview questions: 'Carlos, Welcome to Aston Villa. Great to see you here. What are your thoughts on the move? You must be very happy to make the move?' 'You must've been impressed with the stadium, you can tell it's a great place to play can't you Carlos?' 'What about the facilities eh? The training ground? You must be looking forward to training there?' 'You must be looking forward to playing Arsenal/Chelsea/Liverpool/Man U at VP?' 'For people who haven't seen you play can tell us about what your key strengths are?' 'We have/had another famous (countrymen) here (probably mention JPA), it must be great to be/play for the same club as him'
  37. 28 points
    I disagree. We are in a worse position than in summer 2006. The squad is far worse- that team had international players who did not play to their abilities. This side is shite. Other teams since 06 have moved miles ahead of us- Man City, Liverpool, Spurs, Everton etc. In a few seasons time West Ham will be playing in a 60,000 stadium, and Man City and Liverpool in expanded grounds, plus Spurs may have a new ground. By standing still we are going backwards. Other than a few good years under MON, a nice training ground and a pub, Lerner has not moved Villa forward one inch. Where was the sports marketing we were told at Villa? Why is it still difficult to buy Villa shirts outside the midlands in shops? Why did the nike deal fall apart? Why is the North Stand redevelopment been shelved? Why are they treating the lions clubs like shit? Why do we still lack people with football experience at board level? Why does there appear to be any well thought out plans at the club regarding player recruitment? Why is our owner so ambivalent over the real chance we could go down and for himself to lose even more money at the club? Why? WHY?
  38. 27 points
  39. 27 points
  40. 27 points
  41. 27 points
    I have found some of the criticism of Sherwood actually unbelievable. Villa fans have amazingly short memories even for football fans. We were dreadful under Lambert and we were a totally sunken ship. Admittedly the couple of games before the Spuds game today weren't great, but we were still playing better than we played under Lambert all season and we are reaping the awards with results like this. We are Aston Villa, unfortunately we're not very good and so we're not going to beat everyone but we are now fighting everyone we face and are picking up goals and points along the way as a result. The guy is an inexperienced manager who has come into what I think is the toughest job in the league with a squad who were totally shot to bits. In hardly any time at all, he has turned it around, filled everyone with confidence and got Benteke scoring. Our team was previously a group of no-hopers and in only a couple of months we are now able to beat a team like Spurs and deserve it. I think what he has achieved so far is incredible and is above and beyond what I was expecting and he deserves buckets more credit and respect than he gets IMO.
  42. 27 points
    jeebus is bennett the new bannan? lay off him a bit please chaps, we needed another LB but I'd say this signing isn't a replacement or signing a back up. It means we have two young LBs competing for the shirt to prove themselves to be good enough to make an impact at this level. bennett improved the more he played, why do we need scapegoats on here so much? clark got a tanning he didn't deserve, whilst Con is clearly mental bannan also gets far more shit than he deserves and i keep seeing more and more comments that are bang out of order towards bennett. calm down. let's hope Luna proves to be a great signing
  43. 26 points
    Sitting at the hospital waiting for my wife. We were so excited as she had a positive pregnancy test about eight weeks ago. Sadly it had stopped growing and there was no heartbeat on the ultra sound. So now she has to have a "D & C" which is basically taking out what was there to avoid the risk of infection. I'm naturally disappointed, but it was heart wrenching to see her so upset. That's far worse than my sadness about what could have been. She's an amazing woman and I'm heartbroken for her.
  44. 26 points
    I've done a quick background check. Looks like a market.
  45. 26 points
  46. 26 points
    I think Sherwood had a chance to make the club what he wanted it to be, but left it completely broken - what Garde inherited, in terms of confidence and belief was a near impossible task. Sherwood is a brilliant three month manager, he befriends players, he makes them feel positive and he gets them firing, he's a very good motivator in the short term - but there's nothing behind it and once players realise that he doesn't have a clue how to set them up to win games, how to mould a squad or how to behave tactically in game, their faith in the the other stuff goes - by the time Garde took over, our players had already decided they were relegated. Sherwood relegated the team. Garde sat here and completed that whilst not being given the opportunity to change it. That's not to say that Garde shouldn't be criticised, and his failings are, strangely (but typically in terms of the way the club operates) the exact opposite of Sherwood's, he didn't get the players fired up, he didn't give us that buzz that might have got performances, he didn't find ways to motivate the unmotivatable - he set the team up properly, he did the right things tactically, but he was working with zombies and he failed completely to bring life back into them. Sherwood broke the team; Garde failed to fix it - there is a difference between those two things for me, and I attribute a lot more blame to Sherwood for our season than Garde. The person who really comes out of this with some credit in my eyes is Lambert, who somehow managed to keep a team not too dissimilar to today's in the top league for four years, with occasional excitement, on a shoestring budget - the more I see what's come since, the more respect I have for the job he was doing.
  47. 26 points
    Poor bloke. Let down by the club and players. I have no idea if he was any good or not, I'm damn sure he never had a chance with the shambles here.
  48. 26 points
  49. 26 points
    Looks exciting but needs to cut out the hand balls...
  50. 26 points
    There's a guy in my office who's a bit strange. Top bloke, nice guy, but a bit weird. His mindset is a bit like Karl Pilkington. Really English, moans a lot, stuck in the past, that kind of thing. Let's call him Dave, because that's his name. Aaaaanyway, before christmas he developed a bit of an obsession with a rubik's cube someone had bought him. He brought it in and tried to solve it. Other people in the office tried to solve it. Obviously nobody got anywhere close. I tried and failed miserably. What I didn't tell this guy, was that I can do rubik's cubes and I was just pretending to be shit at them. So one day just before christmas, I was working late, nobody was in the office, so I completed his rubik's cube and left it on his desk. To my delight, the conclusion he came to after he asked around the office and couldn't find the person who'd solved it, was that one of the cleaners must have done it, and be some sort of closet genius. Christmas came and went. My first day back in the office was yesterday. Now Dave organises a christmas quiz in our office every year on the last day before everyone breaks up. I always miss it because I'm always off before xmas, but I understand people like it and it's pretty challenging. Anyway, I was thrilled when he showed me a piece of paper yesterday. On it were all the questions that he'd compiled for the quiz but had rejected on the basis that they were too hard. There were 37 of them. I counted (the actual quiz has 60 questions I think). He asked me a few, most I couldn't answer, nor could most people. I came to the only conclusion possible, I worked late. And by worked late I mean I waited until everyone went home, took this sheet of paper from his desk and spent 45 minutes googling the answer to every single question and then scribbled them on this sheet as if I'd done it in a rush. I got one or two tactically incorrect, but always along the right lines. Put the paper back on his desk and went home. This morning, success. My plan has come together perfectly. He's made the connection that I was dying for him to make. The person who answered these questions MUST be the same person who solved the rubik's cube. Now he's super excited and is telling everyone that there's some sort of Good Will Hunting working as a cleaner at JLR and he's determined to find out who it is! So now I need to figure out a way to keep the theory going... So yeah, that's amused me for the morning. These are the kind of things I have to do in this place to keep me sane.
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