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  1. Agree 100%. I'm proud to have Mings captain. I just wish he's cut out those mistakes and fulfill, what I feel is, his greater potential.
  2. That's definitely a good observation about Mings trying to cover others. He's has a natural leadership instincts, no doubt. I also agree re Hause. Dient put a foot wring last season when called up and I always find he's our biggest threat from set pieces.
  3. For me this issue is fans often try to label or pigeon hole players as one thing or an other. Mings is both an excellent leader and a player with great qualities, but he is also a player who loses focus and concentration during games, which has proved costly on a fair few occasions. Mistakes will always make more headlines than solid performances, particularly as a defender. But let's not pretend Mings's mistakes are something we should just accept because he also shows qualities during games. That mistake on Saturday night cha need the rhythm of the game as was a mountain for us to climb. It changed our dynamic and the game was effectively lost from there. Mings needs to cut these lapses in concentration out of his game and I hope the coaching staff are taking him to task over it. If they're not then that's a wider issue that would be concerning. I feel Konsa's ceiling is much higher than Mings and personally feel, similar to Rashford, Mings's positive public perception enhances the reputation of his footballing performance. Are we better with Mings in our team? Yes. Does he make too many costly mistakes for my liking? Also yes. Mings has never had the pressure at Villa of fighting for his place, a position he earns himself despite the mistakes over time, but with more competition for places and if we continue to recruit well he should be challenged more firmly for his position, in my opinion.
  4. Ollie is our most important "defender". His high intense press is so crucial to us in getting the ball back from the opposition and transitioning into an attack.
  5. Well City will dominate possession in most games so that’s less surprising. What I meant was in comparison for how much (how often) he received the ball for Villa against our other players will far outweigh that against City. He’s used less as they have top talent all over, whereas he was our main top talent so everything went though him.
  6. He’s looking good at City, but barely touches the ball anywhere near as much as he did with us, which whilst that misn’t a surprise given the wealth of talent at City, it’s still something that will irk a player like Jack who always demands the ball. He gave the ball quite sloppily on a couple of occasions which was uncharacteristic of him and despite being 3-0 in the first half Pep was going ballistic at him for it. He’s not used that before as he had carte balanche to do whatever he wanted without reprimand at Villa. It’s things like that which will push him to developing as a player.
  7. Can't see it being anything other than the same starting XI that faced Newcastle. Midfield needs to definitely stay the same as there was far more balance last Saturday than against Watford. Just feel so beaten down by our constant injuries to key players so not expecting to see Watkins or Bailey at all. Expecting Smith to be fairly aloof in the press conference about both but would be surprised if either made an appearance. Extremely tough game against a well drilled very confident team who will want to show their old manager what he's missing. Need performances and influence from Buendia and as lively as Anwar looked last night, he's up against top level opposition now so needs to be much more present and involved.
  8. I agree and also suspect (and hope) I won’t. My comment is based purely on what I’ve seen not what I am yet to. This (lack of creation of chances) was also a huge Achilles heel for us last year without Grealish so is something I’m hoping we get better at when we can eventually field our strongest starting XI of the new era.
  9. Result was all that mattered today. If we’d have lost today after the shocker last weekend then it’d start to get ugly very fast. We’re off the mark for the season which is great. Didn’t play great atall, as noted by Smith, but got the job done. Midfield had a much better balance to it. Ramsey stood out with a very mature performance given how little starting roles he’s had. McGinn got my nod for MOTM as I thought he bossed the midfield at times, got stuck in and kept the flow moving as best we could. Mings was up for the battle with Wilson and came out on top. However he was miles better in the air for us than on the ground. Lost his man and stopped playing to the whistle for Wilson’s one-on-one which if that would’ve gone in really could’ve been a spring board for another poor result. He recovered well and contributed to both goals. But he worries me with his lapses in concentration and focus. Contributed more in attacking areas than normal which I’m guessing is the work of the new set pieces coach. Hope so. Mings should be more of a threat than he usually is so hopefully we see more of this from our captain. We naturally lacked pace and intensity to our play as we were missing the likes of Watkins and Bailey who will help out counter attacks. It was a tad end-to-end in the first half when I’d’ve liked more control but we slowly started getting a grip on things and Ings’s goal was just sublime. A real finish that was. Pure instinct and a perfect execution. Credit to Mings for the set up. Sexond half I felt we were much more measured and only looked vulnerable after going two goals up. I’m always disappointed when I see El Ghazi starting but he can take a spot kick for sure. All credit for that and for staying so composed after a lengthy delay to the penalty. Bruce claiming “nobody in the stadium thought that was a penalty” wasn’t really true but either way it was a clear pen and it certainly wasn’t the “natural position” that Bruce claimed. Stone wall. I was grateful to Anwar for that. He does score important goals for us. Buendia was largely ineffective. Doesn’t have any pace of note and couldn’t quite get into the game enough for a £40m playmaker. I’m putting it down to him getting used to the new squad and system and hoping he comes good but I’ve not seen anything to get excited about yet. But I am impatient, like most. A few hairy moments after we scored our second goal and we got let off by VAR for the penalty. Crazy by Martinez really. Lucky to get away with that. Would’ve been nice to bag a third goal but we didn’t really look like doing so but saw the game out well enough bar the odd decent chance for Newcastle. A better team would’ve made today a lot harder for us. Was grateful for the win and hope we can get players back fit and push on from here. I worry about our lack of ability to carve open the opposition and create chances. We’ve barely tested the keepers in the last two games and it does feel our pace and intensity has dwindled since last season but I’m hoping that’ll change the more the team gels and when we get Watkins back and Bailey and Budenia up to speed. Traore will help with the craft too hopefully. As well as Ramsey played I’d still like to get a natural and experienced no.10 in and also a DCM which has clearly been a target for us. We need quicker links between defence and attack to keep up momentum for counter attacks and a no.10 would do that. Not sure who but we do need to replace Barkey’s position. Great to win today. As I stated at the start of my synopsis, the result was all that mattered after last weekend. And great to do so in front of a full house at VP.
  10. Whilst I don’t expect this to happen at £50m, it seems very likely that JWP is interested in the move, else this would’ve been squashed a long time ago.
  11. Was hit or miss in the Championship. Same goes for in the Prem. Im just always deflated when I see him starting.
  12. Blimey, where to start. Terrible start to the season. I mentioned the other day how I feared we’d start poor due to a disrupted pre-season; change to back room staff, Grealish saga, and cancelled pre season games. It showed. But let’s not let the staff and players off the hook, this was garbage. We lacked any sharpness and intensity all over the park. I felt the worse when I saw our starting three were Young and El Ghazi supporting an isolated Ings. Not good enough I’m afraid. Watford played without much more tempo and desire. We were second to every ball in the first half and sadly left too much to do in the second. I don’t even think we looked good in the second 45 but it certainly wasn’t worse than the first. Targett was torn to shreds down the left and wasn’t given any support from Young. Cash had a terrible game by the standards he set last season. Buendia tried to do way too much when a simple pass was on. Ings was well off the pace I felt in the first half but granted he had zero to feed off. Our main issue was our central midfield. We were simply walked over by Watford. Nakamba and McGinn can’t retain possession well enough and we were left exposed throughout. But this is no surprises, it’s been our Achilles heel for a few years and was this weakness exposed today. We’re desperate for someone who can control the midfield. I’m a huge believer in the team that controls and wins the midfield will invariably win the game. Luiz is better than Nakamba but neither win the midfield well enough. Sanson is still a mystery and is more of an #8 anyway so we must address this. Bailey looked bright and has some power on his crosses. Really like how he’s clearly not the one-trick pony that Adama was for us with just pace and looks to assist at any opportunity. Not sure what the solution is ahead of Newcastle as I fear the same set up will leave us exposed again. Watkins should help us massively as his press and energy from the front should mean we have times when we win the ball higher up the field. Desperate for his return next week. Ramsey looked bright and he usually does when he’s a sub. Rarely does when he’s a starter bizarrely. We moved the ball better in the second half but still couldn’t carve open clear chances. This has been Smith’s Achilles heel whenever we’ve been left without Grealish. It needs seriously addressing. Disappointed today. Very disappointed. Not too surprised in all honesty and I do think it’ll take a while to settle as a group. Issue is if we haven’t picked up points in these early games then the team may gel just in time for the very tough games which could get messy. On to next week. Put this down as a training exercise (for fitness and for how not to start the season) and get a full VP behind the boys next week for what feels like a huge game already. Seasons can hinge on certain moments. It may sound a tad dramatic and reactive to say but if we win next week then there’s instantly positivity back. Lose and pressure mounts and things can turn ugly fast. Get them sorted Deano.
  13. Fair enough. I meant it’s a huge blow to the start of our season and the fact that the season hasn’t started yet is why I used the term “pre”. Either way, it’s a huge dent to our plans for the start of the season having lost both JT and R’OK so close to the first game(s).
  14. Mings. No question. No doubt.
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