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    Match Thread: Villa v Leeds

    I think Onomah has been just fine. As a team though we have this habit of playing these lazy, soft 5 yard passes, which consistently don't reach the intended man. Get your body round the ball and pass it properly Villa, because none of you are good enough to play these deft little layoffs. Snodgrass, despite all his ability is guilty of this time after time!!

    Lewis Grabban

    Didn't I read an article from some Bournemouth journo who said he plays much better with a big man upfront with him? Dunno, maybe I dreamt it, but if Grealish isn't quite ready to face QPR, I'd potentially start him upfront in a 2 with Davis.

    Pre Match Thread

    Any new news on Jack, Albert or Andre? Fingers crossed at least Jack might be back. Watched the highlights of their game against Forest and they seem to stand off players and have difficulty tracking movement. I know some people have suggested dropping Hogan, but I think him buzzing around their goal will be a nightmare for them. ------------------------ Johnstone ----------------------- Elmo -------- Chester ------ Terry -------- Taylor ----------------------------- Jedi ----------------------------- Snoddy -- Hourihane -- Grealish -- Grabban --------------------------- Hogan ---------------------------

    Pre match thread

    I'm certain we'll win this one... on the bizarre basis that they won at our place. Football has a weird way of balancing things out - we weren't at the races that day, they scored a worldie etc, things ran for them and I expect the gods to reverse the fortunes on Saturday, it's what happens sometimes. We do need to win too. A loss at the end of such a long winning streak - fine. Then a home draw - not ideal but not the end of the world. To fail to win in three, when you're at this end of the table, then that's when doubt creeps back in and we can't have that.

    Josh Onomah

    Such a shame that what was a very promising start looks to be fading into a forgettable overall campaign for the lad. I do think that some of the early criticism of him was unfair, but recently he hasn't done himself any favours. I can't help but think though, that it's just a drop in confidence and he just needs a good game or two to get back to being an important player for us. In the game away at Preston earlier in the season he was superb. I know there are other squad players who perhaps are more deserving of a chance right now, but I'd be tempted to give him a boost and start him on Tuesday. Him and Jack link up really well, and if the latter is back then it might be worth seeing what they can do together for a full game.

    Pre Match Chitty Chatty Bang Bang

    Let's go back to the formation which the players were settled on and try and keep as many in their natural positions as possible. Tuanzebe probably deserves another start at RB. Put Thor back in the DM slot and keep our fingers crossed that Jack is back. There's arguments to give Lansbury and Grabban a start, but I'd try and avoid too many changes, in the hope we click back into gear with a more familiar feel about the team. As for the problematic left wing position... I think it's time for a hero to rise to the challenge --------------------- Johnstone ------------------ Tuanzebe -- Chester -- Terry -- Hutton -------------------------- Thor ----------------------- Snoddy - Hourihane - Grealish - Gabby ------------------------ Hogan ----------------------

    Pre Match Thread

    Tuanzebe in at RB makes a lot of sense, given the threat that Sessegnon poses. Admittedly I'm basing that thinking on a 2 minute YouTube video of him nullifying Alexis Sanchez in that position for Man Utd. Fulham are a totally different prospect to blues, they'll look to pass through us rather than go long. With that in mind, I'd go horses for courses again and stick Birkir back in the DM position. Him and Hourihane pressing in the midfield feels like a sensible way to go. Also, Fulham have scored a ton of late goals this season so I'd stack the bench with midfielders to come on and give the team fresh legs in the middle, should we manage to get into a winning position.

    17/18 Promotion Charge

    This may sound a bit defeatist but I would take a draw with Fulham right now. I rate them as our biggest rivals for automatic promotion. They're on the same run as last year which saw them storm into the playoffs from nowhere, only they've come good earlier. A draw means they don't make up any ground, whereas I think Cardiff and Derby will drop more points in the coming weeks - including to Fulham.

    Albert Adomah

    Link to a tweet from the club showing the players training today: Right at the end you can see Albert scoring... doesnt't look injured to me

    Albert Adomah

    Probably 50:50

    Albert Adomah

    In the past that racial sterotype has definately existed - and I think it still creeps into modern perceptions. However there's two unavoidable factors which exascerbate the situation: 1) Black athletes can typically pack on more muscle than white athletes - it's a genetic fact. This is a great attribute for sporting roles which require strength and power, but equally that muscle adds weight and therefore they expend more energy moving the same amount as their less muscular couterparts. Lukaku, Benteke, Heskey etc - all have been brandished with the lazy tag, but it's simply the pay off for carrying the extra muscle needed to perform their role. 2) Again, genetically speaking, black athletes have a greater propensity to develop 'fast-twitch' muscle type. It's this which gives those athletes such explosive pace. However, that explosiveness also burns a lot of energy and requires a period of 'rest' afterwards, even if it's a minute or so of less intense movement. Not every black footballer bases their game on one of the attributes above - there's plenty of energetic, high stamina black players out there (Kante being the most obvious example I can think of), but you will naturally get more black players with those aforementioned attributes than white players having them, which sadly leads to the misunderstanding that black players are more lazy.

    Alan Hutton

    I swear you could nuke Villa Park and the only thing left would be the cockroaches and Alan bloody Hutton, not a mark on him, stood right in the ash blasted remnants of the centre circle. He is too old, too average and on too much money. To give him a contract extension would be madness, utter, utter madness. I grant you that he puts a shift in and seems to care - and right now, he's a slightly better option than a very average Neil Taylor. But I'm shocked at how much currency that's earnt him with the fans!! His falacies are still there for all to see if you look closely. I'm all for this little swansong and i hope he writes himself into folklore with a promotion winning contribution, but once that's done, it's got to be good-bye.

    January transfer window 2018

    Bill Oddie?

    January transfer window 2018

    Sunderland fans' opinion on him seem to be that he's a frustrating player - in that he can be very good, but often comes across as lazy, comparisons to Darren Bent made.

    January transfer window 2018

    Hmmm, not quite as glamorous a signing as Lamborghini Man or Ferarri Boy, but yes he'd do a job.