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Everything posted by GrassyNoel

  1. Long may it continue. Next time it'll be Real Madrid.
  2. So true and has been for so long. Amazing how badly wrong some have got it until now.
  3. Big. Very, very big. Massive signal to other clubs that we can keep our best...NSWE are the real deal.
  4. “No matter who you vote for, the government always gets in.”
  5. At the behest of the mods... Full article here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/sport/ollie-watkins-ticks-most-boxes-for-a-modern-striker-except-top-flight-experience-q0tbvgwfn?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1599616897 Posted in response to a request for the full article which is not behind a paywall i.e. is free to anyone who simply registers with The Times. ———————— Eyebrows will be raised at the fee but there is no doubting the talent of the player: Ollie Watkins is about as sure a bet as there is in the Championship. It was a blistering season for the Brentford forward, who is quick, skilful, athletic, intelligent and a scorer of all manner of goals. The 24-year-old ticks most boxes in a modern forward — apart from top-flight experience, hence those questions about that hefty £28 million fee. It was the £20 million sale of Neal Maupay to Brighton & Hove Albion last summer that prompted a shift into a central role, which neither Watkins nor Brentford could have envisaged being so successful. The pace and trickery to terrify defenders was always there but in the past 12 months Watkins has also shown the knack of finding a yard of space inside the penalty box, of being in the right place at the right time consistently. Watkins will be under pressure to deliver goals in the Premier League He uses his frame well to link play with his back to goal, but Watkins is at his most dangerous playing on the defender’s shoulder, splitting the opposition’s back line with clever, incisive runs. And he can finish. Of his 26 goals last season, 11 were scored with his right foot, seven with his left and eight with his head. None came from the penalty spot. It helps, of course, that Watkins spearheaded the most fearsome forward line in the second tier last season, in a team filled with movement and creativity. Chances for Villa in the Premier League will be more precious. But those who know Watkins — who spent a half-season on loan at Weston-super-Mare in the Conference South in 2014-15 — say he has the temperament to be a success in the top flight. Brentford’s remarkable return in the transfer market, meanwhile, has now yielded almost £150 million in player sales since 2014. Exeter, whom Watkins joined as an under-11, can expect a windfall too: the 15 per cent sell-on clause inserted in their sale amounts to more than £4 million.
  6. What the hell happened to the Mail? Tragic.
  7. Not signing a proven, top class forward last summer and placing all chips on Wesley was a howler. It wasn't quite like playing with ten men at all times but felt that way sometimes. A lot of us felt it at the time, then the football fan rationalisation starts to kick in where you convince yourself it'll be OK. We should never, ever have been in that position.
  8. Yeah but Brady & Co have probably put them on a 1M per man bonus if they win. Long memory that Brady!
  9. Can’t say it better than this. It was bang on the other night. More please.
  10. And what bugs me is I can never see a team like Chelsea getting relegated. All sorts of action would be taken the moment it seemed even remotely likely. Villa, on the other hand, now seem to aim lower.
  11. 100%. Of course you take promotion whatever way it’s presented but I didn’t like coming up via the playoffs. I wanted us to be worthy by dominating the league and the best teams in it. For me Sheffield United played the best last season, and they murdered us at VP first 45. Looked the real thing. Enjoyed the comeback sure enough but it left me uncomfortable also. I wanted that to be us doing the hurting.
  12. Nah, maybe not. Why not do you think? Financially we could compete, but is it too much work for a manager like him? Is he more of a “take over a good team and tinker“ type? Villa / Birmingham just not glam enough?
  13. Mourinho 10/1 for the boot. Could him and Terry do bits at Villa? Would he be welcome? Depending on survival of course.
  14. Definitely not the minute things go bad, we struggled first season when Graham Taylor got us promoted - this doesn't feel like that though. I can't get Graham Turner out of my head. Or Mike Walker for that matter.
  15. How come though if we have, say, four not-quite-good-enough managers, we HAVE to stick with the last one because apparently we can't keep chopping and changing? I say you can and you should until you get the right one. Don't just stick with what you have in the hope it works out and call it "long term planning and building" when it is clearly failing. Might just be being petulant but I am truly sick of Villa being a joke.
  16. Also illuminating... http://clubelo.com/AstonVilla
  17. A bit was made of Smith being a chess player, metaphorically and literally, when he joined us. I'm no GM but do play a bit and I'll tell you this - any player that goes balls out on attack might pick up wins against lesser opponents, but as soon as you come up against better players it becomes an absolute liability of an approach. It's certainly entertaining to watch this sort of game, but if you don't know how and when to defend once the wheels come off an attack, you are done. In fact, you soon realise you don't even go on the attack until you are safe to do so - all foundations laid and defence organised. It may seem like the top players play with overt aggression but that's an illusion, there's way more going on than attack. Liverpool and Man City have styles of play we can drool over because they have taken care of all the prerequisites first. Just trying to emulate that style without really understanding the foundations is doomed, like a club player mimicking Kasparov but without the insight.
  18. What's the matter with you lot?! We were 4-0 down at this stage last game - massive progress!! /s
  19. When we’re properly established in the Prem I want to see us gunning for cups. Until then, be shrewd and plan accordingly.
  20. Al Ghazi really getting on my nerves at the moment. Not sure it’s entirely rational on my part.
  21. Absolutely this. PTSD is strong and real in (some) Villa fans (like me).
  22. Interesting read... https://medium.com/@DavidAnderson_1/brentford-fc-thomas-frank-v-dean-smith-66ba178fd80d
  23. Personally I’m enjoying all the opinions here. VillaLad was far from alone in questioning whether Smith was really up to the job last year, before our run, even if the questioning was just notes of caution. At least one prominent podcast was wondering if results with Brentford gave us pause for thought.
  24. Smith’s Brentford also had a habit of dropping points from winning positions I’ve heard. I’ve nothing to back this up though, other than alleged Brentford fans on Twitter. If true, interesting.
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