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John

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About John

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  • Birthday 09/01/57

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  1. Scott Hogan

    Hopefully Scott will be available for our last 5 or 6 games of the season then. Hopefully by then these games will not be as crucial for us as they could be if our results do not improve dramatically before then. This is much better news than had looked likely when he came off at Newcastle.
  2. Quality players signed for Villa at the end of their careers

    How about a mention for Peter Broadbent, George Curtis, Dave Gibson, Trevor Hockey, Cyrille Regis, Kieren Richardson and Phillipe Senderos?
  3. Chris Samba

    He was top quality once but that has been a few years ago now. If we are having a look at him then he has an opportunity to impress us and we can then choose to sign or not to sign him for the rest of the season depending on that. I don't have a problem with us having a look at him in training.
  4. Pre Match Thread

    Ipswich, Forest, Cardiff, Wolves and Brentford were also not setting the league alight before they beat us. We are just the team to play if you cannot see where your next win is coming from. Given that I hope that you are right and that us lot win this one.
  5. Pre Match Thread

    We are without a win since Boxing Day and have only managed two points from the 9 games we have played since then. We welcome Derby County who sit 11 points ahead of us in the league table on Saturday at 15.00. Derby trail the play-off places by 11 points and we are just 6 points behind the relegation places. That gap could be down to 5 points should Wigan manage to get something from their game at QPR tonight. Having gone unbeaten at Villa Park until the 11th of this month we have now lost two home games on the trot. It is not looking promising, is it? Derby last won at Villa Park in 1988 (2-1). Their last win at B6 prior to that had been in 1969 when Brian Clough’s team beat us 1-0 on their way to promotion to the top flight. Our visitors have lost on each of their last 9 visits to Villa Park and their 2 wins in 1969 and 1988 have been their only 2 league wins at Villa Park since 1938. We really do need to get something from this one. Two home wins from this and from our 6-pointer with Bristol City next Tuesday would do much to banish those relegation concerns that have developed of late. Another win next weekend at bottom-placed Rotherham would put us on 45 points and would pretty much ensure our safety. We need the confidence that 3 wins would bring but it is asking a lot of a team that has not won a game this year and I would currently settle for 5 - 6 points from these 3 games. It looks certain that we will start Saturday’s game without Hogan. Kodjia might well also be a doubt but our strikers have not been finding the back of the net for us very often when they are available. We need a battling performance on Saturday and a minimum of a point to show for it. Sadly, although I hope to be proved wrong I would not want to bet on us getting anything other than a third successive home defeat and a sixth loss on the trot on Saturday afternoon.
  6. Mile Jedinak

    I really cannot see that happening when eventually Jedinak is available for selection again. Lansbury and Hourihane must be the first two names on the team sheet midfield wise with Mile playing in front of the two central defenders for me. Who else gets a game in the middle is open to question but I don't see Brucie making the insane move above that would only add to the terrible feelings we are all currently suffering from.
  7. Micah Richards

    No change there then! Steve Bruce gave Gabby a chance to prove us wrong (when we still had some hope of a top 6 place) and that didn't work given that why not give Micah the same opportunity (when we now have no chance of making the play off's)? It most likely will not work either but I think Gabby was the player least likely of the two (for me at least) to wear a Villa shirt again at the start of this season.
  8. Season Ticket Renewal

    That is how I read it as well. I guess there will be price increases after the 7/4 deadline but if that also applies to ST holders who bought their tickets with the expectation of benefiting from a price freeze in 17/18 by doing so it would seem we may have been sold a pup but hopefully that is me jumping to a conclusion and the club will clarify this situation later. It is positive that current season ticket holders will get the first home game of the season free (I thought as we had no home game this season we had lost our bet with the club on that one). I have to add that the expectation I had was that the price freeze would benefit us mainly if we got promotion this season (as I had not anticipated a price increase if we had a season like we are currently having). As we are staying where we are and given the dire seasons we have sat through in recent years I would not expect any major increase in prices after the early bird deadline has passed and certainly nothing above the inflation rate since the last pricing was decided upon. Hopefully more news will follow that will be more positive then that we have to date.
  9. Prematch Thread

    We last beat Newcastle at St James Park in 2005 (3-0). Since then we have drawn 4 and lost the other 6 at their place. Newcastle fans will relish the prospect of winning this one because they have grown to rather dislike us of late (I almost look forward to seeing their banners). I would like to say that we tend to play better against the better teams, that Newcastle will not be as up for beating us as some teams in this division have been and that neither team has won one of the last 3 games between the two teams. Current form and the fact that we have gone 11 games since we last beat Newcastle suggest a win is highly unlikely for us. A fourth draw on the trot between the two teams would do nicely but is I fear only slightly less unlikely than a win without say a three goal start for us. It looks like another sorry defeat then but I hope this prediction is as wide of the mark as have been my recent predictions of Villa wins.
  10. Prematch Thread

    Last I heard Kirkland was doing some coaching at Port Vale. He was class in the past but injuries have taken their toll on him it seems. It is a pity Steer is still out with injury because Johnstone has nobody really pressing for his place. I cannot say too much about going for a young keeper as I suggested we sign Daniel Bentley from Southend in the summer myself who is now at Brentford. I think all in all we have no alternative than to go again with Johnstone and to hope that he finds his confidence soon because I think he does have some ability.
  11. Prematch Thread

    I very much doubt that Bunn would do any better.
  12. Season Ticket Renewal

    I have been a season ticket holder for as long as they have sold them for the Holte End so I guess for some 30 years and a fair bit (I'm not sure when they first started selling them for the standing areas does anyone know?). I bought one then because I had previously gone to every home game in any case so it saved me money for more beer and it still does. My friends and I sit together so I would not want to lose my seat and going down the Villa is a habit that we would all find very hard to break after all these years as men and boys. I also want to show my support to the Doctor who has ploughed a lot of money into our club this season without getting much if any reward for doing so. I hope this team will gel for next season and we will get back where we belong for season 18/19. I plan to be shouting my support as a season ticket holder from my usual seat once again next season. For every bad game such as the one against Barnsley on Tuesday there is a good one (the semi-final win against Liverpool at Wembley). For every bad season such as last season there is a good one (95/6 was one of those). The bad games and bad seasons have been more frequent than the good ones of late but football at Villa Park although it can be good, bad and ugly is not to be missed.
  13. Two home defeats in four days has been very, very hard to watch. The season is in tatters and all we have left for is to secure our safety. We currently have a 7-point cushion between the bottom three and ourselves but that gap will not last forever if our results do not start improving. Barnsley now have as many wins away from home this season as we have wins at home and away. Yesterday’s visitors are also thirteen points above us. They play as a team. We play as a bunch of individuals. They wanted to prove something to the players they recently sold to us in the same way that Brentford and Forest did. Our visitors started strongly but we then started to create chances and look the better team before referee Eltringham intervened by awarding a dubious penalty. As a team that is short of confidence and belief that was the last thing we needed. Having conceded another, we then pulled a goal back just before half time. That should have provided us with a platform and a momentum to seek a win or at the very least a draw from this game in the second half. Sadly, we gave an inept second half performance and it was the visitors who got the crucial next goal that sealed the game for them with over half an hour of the match left. Had we pulled another goal back we could have pressed for a late equalizer but we instead surrendered meekly. Steve Bruce went back to four at the back for this one but our problems go beyond that. We do not play for each other as a team. Our new signings like other signings before them appear to have been swallowed up by the growing malaise that our club has been subject to over recent years. Players that have impressed and scored goals for fun at the clubs they were bought from see their form drop and their goals dry up when they join us. The boss has a much bigger job than he and we thought that he had when we went on that early “new manager bounce”. He has to turn this club around by the end of the season and install a positivity in the players we have that can make next season markedly different to this and the last one. We need to make a strong promotion challenge next season but that currently looks to be beyond us. My player ratings from a game that was frankly nothing other than an embarrassment are: Sam Johnstone – 5 – Guessed the right way but Armstrong’s firmly hit 25th minute penalty beat him. Bradshaw turned a 43rd minute cross just past his outstretched hand and into the corner of the net for their second. Got down to hold a 78th minute Moncur shot near the post. Alan Hutton – 5 – The last of a host of defenders to try to clear the ball out of the area on 58 minutes but only succeeded in finding Bradshaw who hit his second of the night. Headed a 67th minute Lansbury cross wide. James Chester - 6 – Solid enough. Nathan Baker – 6 – Our return to a back four was a return to his central pairing with Chester which is one of the few positives we have seen this season. Did well enough. Jordan Amavi – 5 – Made a welcome return to the first team. Started very well but he was unable to maintain that high level of performance throughout the game. Harshly adjudged to have brought down Watkins inside the area to concede the penalty that gave them their opener and needed to try to get closer to Yiadom when he crossed for their second. Albert Adomah – 5 – His fierce 15th minute shot from outside of the box was tipped over the bar by Davies. Lifted an 84th minute shot well over the bar. Conor Hourihane – 5 – Headed the ball into the arms of Davies on 32 minutes from around 8 yards. This was still some way below the form and influence on games that he had shown when he was with the visitors. Henri Lansbury - 6 – Had an 11th minute shot from inside the box saved by Davies and picked up the ball and hit a 21st minute shot that took a deflection before being gathered by Davies. Jack Grealish – 5 – Showed a couple of glimpses of the ability that he has but not for the first time this season let this game pass him by without looking unduly concerned that it was doing so. Jonathan Kodjia – 6 – MOTM – Hit a 26th minute shot from the edge of the box that went just wide of the far post before turning in Adomah’s 44th minute cross for our only goal. He then hit a 55th minute shot from the edge of the box a couple of feet wide of the post and made a decent run into the box 10 minutes later but his attempted cross was blocked and put out for a corner off Davies’ leg. Looked likely to give us a late consolation goal on the 90th minute but he lifted the ball onto the top of the net. Needs to look up for colleagues when making runs and to work on his relationship with Hogan. Scott Hogan – 5 – Headed a 13th minute Amavi cross a couple of feet wide of the far post. He makes some promising runs but was again starved of service. Substitutes: Birkir Bjarnason – 5 – Replaced Hutton on 73 minutes. Failed to make any impact following his introduction. Andre Green – 6 - Replaced Lansbury on 73 minutes and looked lively unlike others around him. Leandro Bacuna – Replaced Grealish on the 76th minute and was not on long enough and did not do enough to gather any rating. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  14. Two home defeats in four days has been very, very hard to watch. The season is in tatters and all we have left for is to secure our safety. We currently have a 7-point cushion between the bottom three and ourselves but that gap will not last forever if our results do not start improving. Barnsley now have as many wins away from home this season as we have wins at home and away. Yesterday’s visitors are also thirteen points above us. They play as a team. We play as a bunch of individuals. They wanted to prove something to the players they recently sold to us in the same way that Brentford and Forest did. Our visitors started strongly but we then started to create chances and look the better team before referee Eltringham intervened by awarding a dubious penalty. As a team that is short of confidence and belief that was the last thing we needed. Having conceded another, we then pulled a goal back just before half time. That should have provided us with a platform and a momentum to seek a win or at the very least a draw from this game in the second half. Sadly, we gave an inept second half performance and it was the visitors who got the crucial next goal that sealed the game for them with over half an hour of the match left. Had we pulled another goal back we could have pressed for a late equalizer but we instead surrendered meekly. Steve Bruce went back to four at the back for this one but our problems go beyond that. We do not play for each other as a team. Our new signings like other signings before them appear to have been swallowed up by the growing malaise that our club has been subject to over recent years. Players that have impressed and scored goals for fun at the clubs they were bought from see their form drop and their goals dry up when they join us. The boss has a much bigger job than he and we thought that he had when we went on that early “new manager bounce”. He has to turn this club around by the end of the season and install a positivity in the players we have that can make next season markedly different to this and the last one. We need to make a strong promotion challenge next season but that currently looks to be beyond us. My player ratings from a game that was frankly nothing other than an embarrassment are: Sam Johnstone – 5 – Guessed the right way but Armstrong’s firmly hit 25th minute penalty beat him. Bradshaw turned a 43rd minute cross just past his outstretched hand and into the corner of the net for their second. Got down to hold a 78th minute Moncur shot near the post. Alan Hutton – 5 – The last of a host of defenders to try to clear the ball out of the area on 58 minutes but only succeeded in finding Bradshaw who hit his second of the night. Headed a 67th minute Lansbury cross wide. James Chester - 6 – Solid enough. Nathan Baker – 6 – Our return to a back four was a return to his central pairing with Chester which is one of the few positives we have seen this season. Did well enough. Jordan Amavi – 5 – Made a welcome return to the first team. Started very well but he was unable to maintain that high level of performance throughout the game. Harshly adjudged to have brought down Watkins inside the area to concede the penalty that gave them their opener and needed to try to get closer to Yiadom when he crossed for their second. Albert Adomah – 5 – His fierce 15th minute shot from outside of the box was tipped over the bar by Davies. Lifted an 84th minute shot well over the bar. Conor Hourihane – 5 – Headed the ball into the arms of Davies on 32 minutes from around 8 yards. This was still some way below the form and influence on games that he had shown when he was with the visitors. Henri Lansbury - 6 – Had an 11th minute shot from inside the box saved by Davies and picked up the ball and hit a 21st minute shot that took a deflection before being gathered by Davies. Jack Grealish – 5 – Showed a couple of glimpses of the ability that he has but not for the first time this season let this game pass him by without looking unduly concerned that it was doing so. Jonathan Kodjia – 6 – MOTM – Hit a 26th minute shot from the edge of the box that went just wide of the far post before turning in Adomah’s 44th minute cross for our only goal. He then hit a 55th minute shot from the edge of the box a couple of feet wide of the post and made a decent run into the box 10 minutes later but his attempted cross was blocked and put out for a corner off Davies’ leg. Looked likely to give us a late consolation goal on the 90th minute but he lifted the ball onto the top of the net. Needs to look up for colleagues when making runs and to work on his relationship with Hogan. Scott Hogan – 5 – Headed a 13th minute Amavi cross a couple of feet wide of the far post. He makes some promising runs but was again starved of service. Substitutes: Birkir Bjarnason – 5 – Replaced Hutton on 73 minutes. Failed to make any impact following his introduction. Andre Green – 6 - Replaced Lansbury on 73 minutes and looked lively unlike others around him. Leandro Bacuna – Replaced Grealish on the 76th minute and was not on long enough and did not do enough to gather any rating. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  15. Pre-match thread

    We lost our last home game with Barnsley 1-0 in 1998. That is the only time in 18 league and cup meetings between the two sides that we have lost. We have won 13 of these matches (the last of our 4 drawn games was our league meeting at Oakwell earlier this season). So to look on the negative side we have now gone 2 games against them without a win and we last won at Villa Park or anywhere else come to think of it on Boxing Day. We really need to score a goal and start another unbeaten record. Our target now is another 14 points and the safety that will bring. This will be a tough one as Barnsley like Brentford and Forest before them will be up for it having lost top players to us recently. No doubt about it then 85-0 to us!