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Darth Villa

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About Darth Villa

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    The Dark Side (aka Doug Ellis Stand)

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  1. I think Axel will start from the bench, we've looked solid and don't need a change baring fatigue or injury. It's a great option to have in reserve and IF we make the play-offs then he should be fully fit by then and I couldn't see anyone physically beating him, Mings and Hause in any combination.
  2. He's bulking up a bit too, somebody check to ensure he knows that Gabby is NOT a suitable role model for footballers or any athlete for that matter. Seemed a yard or two off the pace tonight (being kind) but he's learning and has massive potential given the raw attributes he possesses. Let's hope he turns into another Ashley Young rather than Gabby mk2..
  3. I agree you can reasonably debate the impact of MON's actions at length (personally I think he wasted a ton of money and were still paying for it) but for me his intent was definitely to do the club a great deal of harm and that is what I take issue with. That point aside, totally agree it was another great away win and makes the Boro game on Saturday even more important, we can only hope but it's such a great feeling to have something to aim for again!
  4. Professional, controlled performance, some questionable tactics by Forest with diving players and a few who confuse football with Rugby. Pleased for Hause, nearly delivered a costly error but overall did well and great goal. As for McGinn, he's like a man possessed at the moment and we're all the better for it. Still much prefer having two units at CB, gives so much more confidence. Taylor and Elmo were both mostly respectable too - the Forest goal was pure fluke and overall Steer is earning his place even if he doesn't have a massive amount of work to do - I like his physical presence and area management, he's got guts. Jack seemed a bit quite but was still hacked a few times and had to endure Gomes with his awful moaning mind games down his ear. His maturity continues to shine through each game. The play-offs now seem within reach but that applies to several other teams too, we can finally enjoy games again and have something to play for. Best of all, that irritating little Northern Irishman who used to manage us before trying to end us was unhappy, that was pleasing to see and we didn't have to use any cabbages to get our message across either!
  5. I thought the cabbage had seen off Steve Bruce but he seems to hang around this forum like a lingering killer fart.. We've been operating beyond our means for many years and last summer the Empire nearly crumbled over a tax bill, that is simply not sustainable, not acceptable. Our new owners have identified a long-term, reduced cost, patient strategy that they believe will work as they've used it at other clubs albeit for different sports. We will stabilise financially, hopefully retain player's truly worthy of their salaries (of which we have very few in our squad) and bin the rest in favour of potential growth, not simply one last pay cheque. It might not be what we're used to but I'm going to advocate giving these proven, sports business owning multi-billionaires a chance. After all, they're keeping us afloat today and working towards a sustainable tomorrow, all whilst keeping Captain Jack on board.
  6. This approach ^^ of using the ownership change or a forced sales of a key player I.e. Grealish seem to be the only logical way to justify why we're not going to fail FFP, in my opinion. Purslow has indicated previously that the change of ownership effectively refinanced the club and so we start with a clean sheet. Equally, Smith was talking about Jack's long-term contract yesterday and building him up as the captain for the year's ahead. It is difficult to trust new owners given our Randy and Dr X experiences but it looks like that's what we're having to do I.e, take Purslow at his word that we're fine and we should know more come the summer based on the type of signings we make. It's a bit worrying but equally we do seem to have owner's who are more on the ball these days.
  7. It was an excellent game, working as a team, good positioning, movement off the ball, players responding to criticism and fans / players harmony restored.. and that worldy from Jack to cap it all off. BUT.. All this seemed to flow from the return of 1 player, granted he's arguably the best player in the division but it was fundamentally just one player that seemed to unlock all the negativity, the frustration of the fans and the arse flapping of some key players we've had to endure during Jack's absence (Hourihane had a great game, as did Whelan, who kept everything ticking over in the middle of the park and both have had stick lately). My concern is the psychological impact that losing Jack had on the squad, and what would happen again if he got hacked to bits on Sunday by the Neanderthals at the Sty.. Equally, Jack seems to unify a lot of the apparent "negativity and cliques" that we've heard being alleged based on the remarks of Elphick and others lately. The other key learning point for me was seeing Mings and Hause work together as CBs when Elphick went off - having two agile, committed units (albeit both lefties), that were both comfortable on the ball just highlighted to me what we've been missing for a long time - they had the physical attributes and technical abilities to ensure Derby would not get past them, these are the type of defenders we need more of in the Summer. Which makes me worry about playing Taylor at left-back against the noses, let's hope Elphick's injury isn't as bad as it looked... Can't complain overall, it's a win that was long overdue, everyone is happy and we still have McGinn to return so we can at least sense some positivity now even if it does look a tad too late for the play-offs (hope I'm wrong about that!).
  8. ITK? You state "they are not happy" but I'm not clear whether you mean the fans, owner's or both? Can you elaborate further?
  9. We're definitely taking a gamble but no more or less than any appointment since MoN, I don't think Smith will jeopardise the club's financial future like Bruce did but agree that he may not be the man to get us back to the promised land either but it's just too early to tell. If we're still in this rut come May then I expect he will have to go (and rightly so) but if we get Jack and Axel back and turn it around then I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for the summer. Don't you think we need to at least try to break the cycle and do something different or are we to remain on the "he's crap, get rid" merry go round?
  10. I think the Graham Turner comparisons may well be valid in the case against Smith and his impact at the higher levels but we're currently a mid table Championship side, so I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt as so far we've changed managers and seen the same performances - let's see what happens if we change the player's so that we collectively apply the same effort throughout the team that Tammy and Mcginn show now. My near term concern is what happens if we get a poor result at the Sty, that could prompt an onslaught of cabbages not seen before... That aside, totally agree about having a boss and towing the line to put food on the table (I have to do that too) but I suspect some of our players will never get a better contract than we've offered and that's why we have soo much deadwood in the squad.
  11. Hi @hippo, I don't for one second believe that the team-talk goes the way you've indicated and that wasn't what I was trying to imply in my original post either. What I was trying to get at was the "promotion or bust" FFP pressure from the owners seems to have evaporated, I believe that is perhaps subconsciously allowing some players to adopt a less than 100% effort attitude (as injuries have limited replacement options) and when combined with contracts coming to an end we have a distinct lack of motivation for the "physical dynamic" needed to play the high tempo pressing game that Smith aspires towards. I believe Smith still wants to win and tries to instil this in the team, he's one of us after all. The players (some of them anyway) just don't give a toss anymore as most of them will be gone in the summer
  12. Cheers @AvfcRigo82, I do believe they'll give him the summer unless the position becomes untenable i.e. if we don't win another game and slip towards the relegation zone then it could make it impossible to keep him (a staggering statement after only 4 months!). My belief is that our new owners are committed to a different model and will endure short-term pain for long-term gain but if Smith loses the plot completely (hence my interest in JT fall out rumours) then they'll have no choice (which would be a crying shame). Ultimately, I think we'll pick up enough wins, in the near-term my fear is the response from "fans" if we get turned over at the Sty - that could see cabbages flying everywhere...
  13. Thanks @AvfcRigo82, I guess we're both in the same boat with regards to trying to make sense of the alarming drop off in performances. My belief is the club have decided this year isn't happening and therefore they're not bothered as we seem to have a plan for surviving FFP. This in turn is filtering through to the player's, who aren't the most committed and motivated individuals on their best days either. I just hope we have plan's for next season that are well advanced as I don't know how long Smith will get if we don't start seeing progress once he's got his "own" player's in over the summer.
  14. @AvfcRigo82, forgive me for asking directly but can you elaborate on the JT fall out rumours? It strikes me that rumours will inevitably surface now, given the poor performances and thanks to our obvious frustration as fans but if something like a genuine falling out has occurred then it could have a bigger impact and help explain the drop off these past 10 games or so. I just keep hoping it will get better next season but a nagging voice in my head (and not the wife for a change) keeps telling me I'm exhibiting Dr Xia levels of blind optimism.
  15. Awful performance, shocking officials and nothing different from any of the previous 10 games. I know Smith wants us to play differently and I believe many of the players won't be here next season either but seriously, I paid to watch a full season of football not a bunch of overpaid muppets who've decided it's all over in February!! Felt Mings did well again, Whelan tries but has no legs, Hourihane is the latest scapegoat but to be fair he is weaker than a 5 year old and therefore deserves all the stick he gets. Dean Smith has turned into Steve Bruce, we're negative, slow and have no pattern - can someone tell me WTF has happened? He seems to have lost the dressing room now and that's never a good place for a manager to find themselves. I cannot see where our next win is coming from..
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