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  1. Until teams are allowed to challenge decisions I will not believe that VAR is anything other than an instrument to carry on the status quo whilst parading as open and transparent. Similar to cricket and tennis, football MUST allow teams to make their own challenges, maybe 2 per half and keep them if proven correct. Oh, and mic the refs so they have to talk through a decision on the big screen.
  2. I’d agree with this. Handing Bournemouth a goal headstart would have resulted in them sitting deeper and playing on the counter, content to give up some possession to achieve that tactic. It’s just opinions, but goals change games. To give them a 2 goal lead was dreamland for them. I mentioned elsewhere how Bournemouth were one of the best counter attack teams last season. The dynamic of every game is different based on the opposition and expectations, both home & away. Bottom line is that a home tie with Bournemouth would have been in our top 4-6 targets of games to win. Individual errors meant we lost. In my mind we’re -3pts where I thought we would be after 2 games. We have to learn quickly, I’m fairly confident we can do so.
  3. I think this lineup could be solid whilst still allowing our current biggest threats to thrive. Any width would obviously have to come from the FBs, but it might serve us well in the shorter term.
  4. The mistakes have to be cut out first, that much is obvious. I hoped all the players might hit the ground running, but like many I had it in my mind that it could be a couple months before the group of new players started to look like a team. What we can’t afford to do is lose too many in that period of time that knocks the confidence, it’s a tough balance to find and nobody will do us any favours. Every fixture is a tough fixture in the top flight, and we should approach every fixture in a pragmatic way, for me. Flexibility and respect to all opponents might help us garner the points we need in this early period of the season. Everton will be better than Bournemouth, I’d snap your arm off for a draw now after our opening 2 losses. Whether we, as fans, like it or not there are fixtures where I think we need to be solid, and if that means a 4-5-1, 5-4-1 then so be it. And I’m not necessarily talking about just the fixtures such as ManCity & Liverpool etc. I think there are teams, for now, such as Everton, where we have to be pragmatic and understand that the likelihood of out scoring them is unlikely, and so set out to stop them scoring and frustrate them. We’re the new boys in this league and Everton will expect to beat us, as will most pundits. Use that underdog status to let other teams feel the pressure of expecting to score and win, even at Villa Park against teams we might think we should be beating. Yes we can go after some teams at Villa Park, the like of a Norwich or a Newcastle for example, but I don’t see many others at all, at this time, that we can afford to approach thinking that we should be on the front foot pressing them for wins. Let’s not destroy our confidence by being overconfident.
  5. If the description of the potential McGinn penalty really was that, “McGinn pushes the ball too far forward and then barges into Rose”, then we really might as well scrap the VAR now. Because that’s not what the reality of replays show.
  6. I think Sheffield Utd have more about them than Norwich, much more fight to drag a draw from the jaws of defeat, or a win from a draw. They’re better defensively, also. It’s those reasons why I think they have as good a chance of staying up as a few others.
  7. There aren’t any obvious candidates for relegation this season IMO, other than Norwich. I honestly think you could look at 10 teams and not be sure that they could avoid a relegation fight. It’ll be tight, where 2 wins on the bounce might propel a team 5 or 6 places come January.
  8. We will really see the true new Villa when all of our new players are up to speed and have had a couple of months under Dean Smith. They have to get used to both the speed and intensity of the league. What we saw on Saturday was encouraging, it showed we can and will score against the top teams. I’ve no doubt that had Nakamba and Douglas been fit and up to speed you’d have seen a different 2nd half on Saturday. That spurs midfield is extremely strong and athletic, and then they get to bring an Erikssen on! We’ll not be up against midfields like that too often. That said, we have to improve and will improve. As long as we can obtain enough points to stay in the mix over the next 2-3 months we’ll be fine IMO. We should keep improving with the squad we have.
  9. First half we were ok, fortunate to come in at 1-0. 2nd half we we useless, let’s not try and dress it up. We have to use this fixture as a benchmark for what’s required moving forward.
  10. I think one or two are merely pointing out some legitimate selection concerns. I hope I’m wildly wrong but I foresee a big potential problem with our FBs, both are ageing and both have been deemed as not good enough for Premier League a few years ago. Like I say, I hope I’m wrong.
  11. I fear we will get over powered in midfield and not offer enough going forward from FB, so will be camped in our defensive third too much. As per Norwich last night I fear we might be too similar to the championship team of last season. Hope I’m wrong but I’m surprised at that starting 11, and not in a nice way!
  12. Norwich didn’t spend a single penny on DM or defence on a team that conceded 57 goals in the championship. Villa have spent in the region of £80m on 6 or so players whose job is to stop goals against. Time will tell if it was money well spent.
  13. Pukki looks to me like a rabbit in the headlights, he’s completely screwed the chances he had. I don’t know if Liverpool underestimated Norwich but they’ve offered up quite a few chances that quite a few Prem teams would have taken advantage of.
  14. Norwich have made a huge mistake if they thought they might have enough with the team that got promoted. They cannot defend and they will struggle to score, pukki had a one off in the championship last season and will do well to bag 8 Premier League goals from what I’ve seen tonight. That aside, they’ve looked good going forward and will get relegated with pretty much the entire pot of money and parachute payments. I have to assume that’s what they’ve planned for.
  15. 1st Man City 2nd Liverpool 3rd Spurs 10th Villa Relegated; Norwich, Palace, Sheffield Utd

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