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About chips'ngravy

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  1. Not sure about Elmo but Smith mentioned it regarding El Ghazi post match on Saturday. Something to the effect of having to monitor him as it was Ramadan.
  2. Far more sinister than I ever realized
  3. One of the best atmospheres I've ever experienced at Villa Park. All sides of the ground singing and stood up all game in the Lower Holte. Went mental when Hourihane scored hugging the pissed up bloke next to me and nearly suffocating his 8 year old son in between us in the process. Was emotionally drained after the match. Absolutely bostin day all round.
  4. I think we should go with the side we most likely think will win the match and if that means Hourihane and Green to start then I'm happy with that. No need to over think it. Anyone else think El Ghazi might not start? 15hrs without so much as a glass of water is hardly the ideal preparation for a game of this importance.
  5. I feel confident for a number of reasons. Firstly, there's a unity within our squad that was perhaps sparked by the dickhead that punched Grealish at Blues. We stand up for each other and leap to one another's defence in a way that has been absent for a long time. I like it and I think the fans do to and that has helped forge a bond between us all. Secondly, going down to 10 men and conceding a pen and, subsequently, a goal against Rotherham was another pivotal point in our season. Smith was bold in bringing on Kodjia and going 2 up top whereas previous managers would have stuck a defensive midfielder on and tried to nick an equaliser. It paid off and we now know how to play in such a scenario and that we can not only win but still dominate possession. Thirdly, if a team wants a scrap we can give as good as we get. Leeds away showed us that, again another example of our togetherness. As far as Albion are concerned, yes they have some dangerous players in Rodriguez and Gayle, but they don't have a plan in the way we do. Over 2 games I would back a side with the Smith approach every time. Plus we have match winners all over the pitch. Having said that, bad luck, injuries, sendings offs can all effect the result on the day so I don't want to sound over-confident, but if you were betting on anyone you'd have to back us.
  6. Watched Brentford Leeds last week and I thought they looked shot to pieces. Bamford lacks the decisiveness of a top striker and the likes of Roofe, Roberts and Clarke all seem to be suffering a loss of form or confidence. I'd expect us to beat a deflated Leeds whatever team we put out, and having listened to Smith's pre-match interview I think there will be changes.
  7. So much to be happy with and impressed by at the moment but the one thing that really stands out for me is our approach to seeing out a game. Gone is the overly cautious slow retreat to our 18 yd box line that invites pressure and inevitable equalisers. In its place we're seeing the kind of philosophy that makes it impossible to concede i.e. attack, attack, attack! Even against Rotherham with 10 men we were up in their box in the 96th min. The same yesterday too. Absolutely loved the McGinn moment where everyone thought he was running down the clock in the corner and then jinked through their 2 players only to be denied by another fantastic save. It would be easy to underestimate how much of a threat Bristol City carried. There were moments in the game where they looked extremely dangerous. It was down to our unrelenting ability to take the game to them that kept that at bay. Smith's approach can only be applauded. It's not only winning football but entertaining football too. Long may it continue.
  8. Why would you play Hutton, with the positional sense of a blind lamb, when Elmo has been playing really well? Kalinic over Steer? Again, just why?
  9. Didn't have a great game but he'll have better days. Get the feeling if his first few touches are good then he'll have a good game. Very much a confidence player. Still early days for him as a starter.
  10. Thought he played well and looked a threat on a number of occasions. Genuinely surprised at the amount of negative comments about his performance. I think he'll only continue to improve given the game time.
  11. No excuses for not excusing yourself when we do.
  12. It certainly didn't seem to be in the offing on the evidence of that match. Admittedly, we've played pretty poorly in a number of games since Christmas but there have been a number of games where we haven't had the right break in front of goal or have missed chances you'd otherwise have expected us to put away. On many occasions these have come at pivotal moments in the game. West Brom, on the other hand seem to be getting all the luck going. Last minute goals, deflected 20 yarders and handballed efforts. As poor as we were against Brentford we had 2 great chances to score which would probably have been enough to win the game had we taken either. By all accounts we were the better side for large parts of the game against West Brom with Tammy missing another sitter at 0-0. It's not hard to envisage a situation where with a bit of luck we could be in a lot better position. I think the 4 above us will drop enough points for us to still have a chance. Bristol City surely can't keep on winning? And Derby, Forest and Blues' form is all patchy. Obviously, the counter argument to this is that our own form is terrible. But that could change quickly with the return of Jack and the rub of the green here and there. Confidence is a fluctuating state. I can't see us winning 7 or 8 in a row, but 3 and then a draw followed by the same, and once more for good measure? Probable, no? But not impossible. Yes, to all intents and purposes it feels like the season is over and we're too far off the pace now, but it's still February and we have games against our direct rivals in the coming weeks. As a natural born pessimist this is probably the most positive thing I've ever written. I'll go and have a lie down now.
  13. Brentford have the sixth best home record in the league whilst our away record is very similar to our home record...bang average. At best I can see another high scoring draw. I expect them to be full of energy in midfield in stark contrast to our lethargic approach. Not confident at all, in spite of our comeback. Fingers crossed I'm proven wrong.
  14. It is very reminiscent of 2016/17. Comparing the stats from when Bruce took over with Smith taking over this season gives us an idea of where we are likely to finish. Bruce took over on match day 13 with us 9pts off the play-offs and took an average of 1.47 pts per game up to match day 31. Smith took over a game earlier and has a pts per game of 1.61. That would see us finish on 68 pts. Almost certainly not enough for the play-offs. To get into the play-offs we'd need to up the pts per game total to around 2 which translates as needing about 9 wins and 3 draws from our last 15. Not looking likely at the moment based on recent evidence.

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