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  1. Smith has said he's one of the Academy. Hone his skills, learn his trade and develop properly. I'd be surprised if we see him at all next season, never mind this one. We definitely need another striker, it's just whether we are able to get one. Half the league need a striker and I can't see us going for someone else unproven. A last gasp effort for Benteke (not out of sentimentality but because he's about the only option for a proven scorer left) will be about it IMO.
  2. I'm all for including lesser nations of course.. I'm not a huge rugby fan but I'm putting the same logic to cricket.. also an elitest sport, played very well by a select few countries and a big big step down to the lesser nations. When the cricket World Cup had the number of teams reduced I wasn't happy.. how do you expect the likes of Netherlands, Scotland, Zimbabwe, etc.. when you limit it to only 2 qualifying spots (which were always going to go to West Indies and Afghanistan) to get better if they can't take part in the biggest competition. But then the World Cup happened, and it was fantastic, every game was close and even the lowest ranked team Afghanistan held their own and although they lost every game they were more than competitive in every match. Contrast that to this World Cup, where there's an abundance of lower ranked teams, and they are just not holding their own. It annoys me that the dull matches in this RWC have proven the ICC correct. I don't want it to be the case, but limiting the World Cup to genuinely the best teams improves the quality of the tournament. In the case of Rugby and Cricket that unfortunately means a lot of nations have the ladder kicked away.
  3. That's a very fair comment. We are not in a position to have 22 starting quality players though. Competition in every area of the pitch is fantastic but we also need to be realistic with our squad expectations. I think over time we will develop the squad, but for a first season back with survival as the target, I think Taylor is... adequate. For now. I think there are more important areas we will need to strengthen in January, especially as Hause is capable at left back also.
  4. This Rugby World Cup has proved the international Cricket Board correct, and that really annoys me as I want to see more nations given a chance at the CWC. But at the Cricket World Cup this year there was no massively weak team, and every game was closely fought. This whole first round of matches in this Rugby World Cup just seem pointless; New Zealand vs Canada and Namibia.. ffs. And now Scotland need a bonus point win vs Russia to have any chance when they come to play Japan, making qualification potentially come down to who can beat the whipping boys by the most. That's not World Cup standard of sport. Yes it tests squad depth over a longer tournament but this is meant to be the best players in the world up against each other, and every game should be a high level contest. Pointless watching 90% of these first round games.
  5. Kyle Walker Peters is way better than Aurier. But Spurs feel they need someone more proven. Which i don't understand because all Aurier has proved is how crap he is.
  6. Against top of the league Swansea, away... no less. The Championship is amazing, isn't it?
  7. There's a lot of humble pie owed from that thread.
  8. Our midfield was so much more effective with Conor in the team. Goal capped it off but I thought his performance generally was excellent, he wanted the ball and was always looking to make things happen. That gave us John, Jack and Conor all looking to do that and Norwich just couldn't cope. Nakamba was excellent with breaking up play and with 3 players always showing for the ball and looking positive he always had options. Most positive I've seen us play in a long time, Norwich had no idea how to cope with those three, as poorly as they played and as many injuries as they had, the system still showed it's very hard to deal with, they still had 11 players on the pitch the same and no-one got close to Jack all match, and the closest they got to Conor resulted in a penalty. The biggest question is going to be whether we need to drop Conor for a more defensive minded player in games where we'll be more overrun. Harsh how he's playing but you can't drop Jack or John. A nice headache for Smith to have, and I think we'll see his solution to it vs Man City.
  9. I thought Neil Taylor had really stepped up and that Targett was going to have to wait quite a while for his chance. Then Targett played, and I realised the gulf in quality. Taylor was a decent Championship player who 'stepped up' to being a very good Championship player. Targett is a Premier League quality player and that really shows. Taylor is good backup IMO, but falls short of the quality we require in a starting 11.
  10. We signed this guy with the intention of being a Championship player, and nothing we've seen (pre-season and last night) has shown has shown him to be anything other than comfortably Premier League quality. I'd say he could be one of our shrewdest signings for years, but.. John McGinn. He's up there though.
  11. This song has become synonymous with Edgbaston too (among other cricket grounds but the atmosphere of the Hollies stands makes Edgbaston really stand out), so I love that it's being sung at VP too. It's just a song that oozes atmosphere, if you change the lyrics then you get some people not joining in, and that song works well because absolutely everyone joins in.
  12. Expected result, but I was generally happy with the performance. A few mistakes and Wesley is a concern.. but I saw enough in that performance to be optimistic for the season. They needed a wonderstrike from a 52m player to break us down. Once they got one momentum did the rest and our inexperience and nerves showed. Targett in at left back next match. And Wesley to stop falling over and be the strong centre forward we assumed we were getting.
  13. Norwich look exactly like they did last year.. good going forward and decent energy in midfield, but lacking organisation at the back. They grew into last nights games after a disastrous first half, but they're gonna have to score a lot of goals this year you feel. Didn't make a disgrace of themselves against a very very good Liverpool team though. We'll know more about their prospects this season when they're up against slightly lesser opposition.
  14. I think I've heard the same! Interesting indeed ! Just kidding, not a clue what's going on. I get my Villa news from here.
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