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  1. Villa were certainly open to changes. It’s why they pushed for Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse but quickly became aware that a deal would be too expensive. They expected more interest in Douglas Luiz, too. Strong messages that Manchester City were ready to activate a buy-back clause found their way to members of the Villa hierarchy, and for some time they were preparing for such an outcome. Villa were also open to moving Luiz on elsewhere and at the right price, but there wasn’t enough interest. When he returned from the Olympics as a gold medallist, Smith welcomed him back with a presentation in front of his team-mates to celebrate the success. A move for Ward-Prowse had passed by then and Villa had decided that he was staying. Roma continue to be linked with Luiz and if they come in strong during the January window, Villa will be in a good position to get a higher transfer fee should his form remain at this high level. Whether they will want to let him go is another matter. The 23-year-old is an unsung hero from the last two games. His corner kicks have been superb. His driving runs have helped, and crucially, he’s maintaining his discipline when the going gets tough. The balance in the middle is just right for Villa. McGinn is at the top of his game and Jacob Ramsey offers a significant presence, too.
  2. Cizzler

    Matty Cash

    What if he just doesn't feel Polish? Why does he need to play international football at all? I agree he's got no shot at RB for England. Trent can barely get a game. But why bother playing for a nation he has no real allegiance to? Scott Sutter played a couple of games for Switzerland, said he hated it. It isn't going to further his career/ put him in the shop window any more than playing for Villa does, they're not going to win a trophy. Don't see the point myself.
  3. It's not like Liverpool would even sell him for £13.5m anyway, so why does it matter. Just numbers plucked out of the air by a random website. Harvey Elliot is two years younger and, if we're honest, most Villa fans wanted Ramsey sent out on loan until about 3 games ago. I'm not really surprised at the disparity. Nor am I surprised that the media haven't picked up he's playing well. We're mid-table in the league and he's got 0 goals 0 assists. There are just a lot more interesting players for the pundits to discuss. He is playing well though, so kudos to him and I hope he keeps it up.
  4. Eh, it really doesn't. I'm literally trying to say the opposite - I don't think we have better players all over the pitch. Our squad depth is better (e.g. if Targett, Mings or Watkins got injured/lost form, we now have better replacements) but I don't think we have a better first XI than last season. That's just my opinion. Our first choice back 5 is the same 5 players, our midfield three were all here last season and (in my opinion) our first choice front 3 is worse. Really don't get why I need to "say I want Grealish back" for my post to make sense. Obviously I'd like our best player back. I have seen Bailey play, thanks. He's a massive step down on Jack Grealish. Which is fine, most players are. I'm still excited by the signing. Realistically, City signed one for £100m and we signed the other for less than a third of that. I'm talking about improving vs. last season. Ramsey was starting most of the end of last season, with Barkley on the bench anyway. Sure, there might be some natural progression in Ramsey's game. I hope there is. He played the best I've seen him play vs. Newcastle, so fingers crossed for him. I guess we'll see how much Ings and Watkins play together. I agree Ings has started well. If Ings starts ahead of Watkins/or they end up forming a productive partnership - I'd agree, that's not a squad depth signing. We'll see what happens when Watkins returns. Not sure how stating I don't think we will improve on last year's performance based on our current activity equates to a 5-0 defeat, but ok. I'm hardly saying I think we'll struggle or be relegated.
  5. This is the first window since NSWE came in that we've not improved. I honestly think our first XI is worse than the start of last season. We've improved our squad depth at ST, CB and LB, replaced Barkley with Buendia (who naturally plays wide right) and taken a massive step-down at LW. We've not spent a penny. Dean Smith can talk up the youngsters in our squad as much as he wants, but they are miles off being good enough to challenge the top 7. I can't see anything but a mid-table finish for this team. Which is a shame, as it looked a real chance to kick on.
  6. Managed fine in a back 4 with Leeds when they strolled the Championship.
  7. He's not a DM. He's decent on the ball for a CB without being amazing. I like him as a player, but he's a CB or nothing for me. Last night was just one game and I'm not surprised he's rusty. However, I wouldn't be surprised if hasn't kicked on much since his loan here. He's barely played. He was never good in the air and it doesn't look like that's changed. As someone said above, I'd still rather have him as a third/fourth choice CB than Engels. He at least has the potential to push Konsa and Hause.
  8. Benrahma played wide left. Fornals played through the middle.
  9. It’s still bizarre he didn’t start one game the year we went down. Sherwood and Garde both deciding Scott Sinclair was a better player… I reckon this is the first Villa XI since he was here he wouldn’t walk into. Wouldn’t mind him going to Spurs at all though - yes, he’s a nightmare to defend against, so quick and strong but his end product is still appalling. 7 goals and 15 assists in 105 games for Wolves. That’s a goal contribution every 5 games for a winger in a team that finished top 7 in two of those three seasons.
  10. Cizzler

    Matty Cash

    I agree we haven't seen enough of him going forwards, but it's a strange one. He played as a winger for Forest when he broke through. A lot of the talk from Forest fans when he signed was that he'd be a liability defensively in a back four - but decent going forwards. He doesn't seem to trust himself to overlap the RW. It's a big season for him as we will definitely be signing a RB next summer and, as Targett has seen, if your levels drop you will lose your place.
  11. Surely Targett will play? Needs all the game time he can get.
  12. It's literally nowhere near the top 4 teams though. It's miles off. Even if Buendia plays wide left (which I doubt he will) only 1 (or 2 of them at best) would get in. On top of that, their strength in depth is leagues ahead. We have El Ghazi - they have Jota, Werner, Greenwood or Foden. That's why this summer has been so disappointing - we are a worse team than last season yet all the top 4 (and Leicester) have strengthened. Let me know if you disagree: Liverpool (arguable 2x -> Watkins for Fimino/ argument for Konsa > Konate. I've never seen Konate play, so won't comment): ---------------------Firmino-------------------- Mane-------------------------------Salah Robertson-----Konate-----VVD-----TAA -------------------Allison--------------------- Chelsea (1x -> possibly Martinez? They play a back 3, but if they lined up like-for-like) ---------------------Lukaku-------------------- Havertz--------------------------------Mount Chilwell-----Thiago Silva----Rudiger-----James -------------------Mendy--------------------- United (1x -> Martinez > De Gea): ---------------------Cavani-------------------- Rashford--------------------------------Sancho Shaw-----Varane-----Maguire-----AWB -------------------De Gea--------------------- City (1x -> would take Watkins > Torres/Jesus/everyone unless the play Jack/KDB false 9). If they get Kane, this is 0): --------------Torres (possibly Kane)------- Grealish--------------------------------Mahrez Cancelo-----Dias-----Stones-----Walker -------------------Ederson---------------------
  13. Cizzler

    Louie Barry

    If he's good enough to play, he'll play - how on earth is it taking the piss.
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