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  1. ZL-

    Kortney Hause

    Utter beast, with the 3-5-2 we can invite a lot of pressure down the flanks for crosses so think there is room for him. As others have said he can count himself unlucky to not have more gametime given how flawless he has been when called upon. I reckon the criticism has always been his ability on the ball but perhaps as the middle of the 3 centrebacks he can leave konsa/mings to do the heavy lifting on the expansive passing side, as they both have experience at rb/lb
  2. I appreciate the sentiment of this but I think given the attackers that hadn't taken a pen where Archer, JPB and Carney, I wouldn't be surprised if Dean was mindful of the abuse Saka and Sancho got as young lads who decided to step in the Euro's and he wanted to protect them from that even if that mean choosing a less capable PK.
  3. I do agree and wouldn't like people to see criticise if he came up short vs the champions league holders but would personally like to see him in case of any surprises to the upside. Certain young players are completely unphased by the opposition and can make a name for themselves vs big opposition (think Grealish vs Liverpool in FA cup semi final).
  4. Jaden's injury was badly timed as 90 minutes vs Chelsea (even if their reserves) would have represented a real challenge and litmus test to his capability in the prem. Tomorrow may come round a bit too soon but it would be great to see him or Carney get the chance to test themselves against top class opposition over the course of an entire game.
  5. Has performed well this season but if I'm completely honest I don't think we missed McGinn when he went off on Saturday. Whilst I do see his blood and thunder advanced role being very effective in setting the tone for our midfield especially against teams who will seek to dominate the ball. However a common theme that was very evident in the first half of vs Everton was our lack of composure in the final third (which Dean has named checked as an area we were looking to improve) and I think a big reason for that is McGinn's low pass %, I know he tries ambitious balls but I think in games which we are dictating more of the play simply he does not have the composure in the final third to be effective as our furthest forward midfield (and with Ings and Watkins covering more of the defenders, efficiency in the final third from midfields gonna be increasingly important).
  6. ZL-

    Douglas Luiz

    Really impressive performance from Dougie on Saturday was in contention for my MOTM. He might not ever be the intimidating physical presence in CDM that many have clamoured for but I see enough tenacity in his game and awareness to at least match the sort of defensive contribution JWP would give us which many of us were swooning for. Glad to see the player we were worried about being bought by Man City has returned, certainly feels as if the midfield configuration was the issue more than the personnel. With a 3 man midfield Luiz won't be overloaded defensively and gets more time to showcase the parts of his game that gives him an edge which is the progressive passing and incisive balls from deep which I felt we saw for the first time in a long time vs Chelsea. Would like to think being a key member of the Olympic Gold winning team has put a spring his step, he still is very young for his role but long may this form continue for him to pick up his place as one of Villa's most exciting players.
  7. ZL-

    Tim Iroegbunam

    I believe Tim always been earmarked for the first team but thought potentially might have to spend the season with u23s learning the way we play first. Seems clear that he's class above and may get his chance sooner than we all thought...
  8. ZL-

    Tim Iroegbunam

    Without rehashing the beaten to death CM debates here. Now the end of the window has come without additions in CM, it becomes more clear the theory of leaving space open for the youth players is a likely tact from the villa management. Tim was absolutely magnificent last night, took the game by the scruff the neck, showed presence and good technical skill in the middle of the park but his killer weapon is unpicking defences from deep, which apart from McGinns low success high balls, don't really have. He appears to be more of an 8, which we can't stop churning out at the moment, but think that was also due to the dominance of the performance rather than need to sit back. Do think one or two of our surplus of box to box CMs in youth will develop into holding midfielders - makes sense they develop the overall part of their game first and later on pick up the positional discipline of the 6 role. Let's not forget Tim was in the first team for WBA end of last season, I have no doubt once he has spent adequate time in the u23s learning the way we like to play, he will be next up to break into the first team. If this guy had 10 appearances for a Ligue 1 team playing the way he does we would all be buzzing.
  9. ZL-

    Cameron Archer

    Exactly my thoughts, the way he hustled for the ball and was able to run the channels just as well as being the focal point was very Watkins-esque. I could see both Ings and Watkins being great mentors for him and given we are going to need more strikers if we play two up top I think keeping him around will be far better for his development than on loan as he is similar enough to Watkins he would suit the system. Like many others this was a name I wasn't expecting much of as had put him down as one of the last batch of the pre-NSWE youngsters. Seemingly Shakespeare and the staff also were surprised, he has gone from strength to strength from Moors loan to impressing staff at a pre-season tour as well as being consistent for the u23s. Fair play to the kid for forcing through, - looks like he has an elite mentality, even after the hattrick seemed completely unfazed and already thinking about his next goal!
  10. Club chief responds to Aston Villa transfer interest in Cheick Doucoure (todayuknews.com) With Vestegaard nearing a Leicester exit it would seem likely JWP is fully off the menu which would add credence to this transfer. The above doesn't tell too much but it's at the minimum an implicit acknowledgement of a bid. I'm getting a similar vibe to Craig Butler's comments about 'making sure everyone is happy' before we closed the Bailey deal...
  11. One thing I don't buy is that the Ings transfer came up so unexpectedly that it has thrown a spanner into our tactics/formation as we need to adapt to potentially having to play 2 strikers. Tammy was rumoured all summer and by very reputable sources I think we've wanted 2 top striker for a while. Whilst I agree the benefit for depth is very necessary if Tammy came we would be in the exact same situation where it would feel unfathomable to not start either Tammy or Watkins (Tammy for sure wouldn't join if it was anything else). Whilst the 4-3-3 definitely picks itself a lot easier with 1 striker I feel Jack leaving has kinda given us the option to rebuild the team strategy as everything was created to be conducive to Jack, and I think Shakespeare has really advocated at the minimum for the option of 2 striker formations. 4-3-3 may be the de-facto formation for the likes of Klopp and Guardiola with an embarrassment of riches, the likes of Leicester, Chelsea and Leeds which I think are seen as more tactically reactive managers, regularly switch between back 3, 2 striker systems, standard 4-3-3 etc and I for one will be open to us having that tactical flexibility until we carve out a more specific identity with our new look side.
  12. ZL-

    Tim Iroegbunam

    Might seem like jumping the gun for someone we've not even kick a ball for u23 yet but I think with all this talk at the moment of a marquee signing at CDM it was acknowledging Tim. He wouldn't have joined already broken through WBA first team for money alone, Mark Harrison is constantly harping about evidencing the pathway to youth players and I feel Tim would have been given some assurances in his chance to break into the first XI in due course / our coaching team liking his profile for us. Given that I think his presence impacts the profile of player we go after for CDM. Papa Sarr is a good example, the same age as Tim despite accomplishing far more. I can not see us signing another 18 year old in that role for the same window. Douglas Luiz is only 23, so whilst I don't think that means we need to bring in an aging head purely for experience as we will still seek to invest in players with re-sell potential. I do like the profile of Cheick Doucoure and seems fairly experienced for his age but to me the age and profile of JWP (26) lends itself far more to both providing immediate impact for the first team as well as keeping the pathway for players such as Tim open (and continue to attract top level youth talent as they see evidence of this pathway).
  13. Other than JPB, Jacob Ramsey I think may have come out of this pre-season with his reputation most furthered. Dean and the staff clearly very much rate him despite some of his performances stalling in what was a very shakey midfield during a very shakey league performance time from feb - may. The main issue for me with Jacob is I'm not sure which midfield role he is best suited for seems to have equal parts of a 6, 8 and 10. Perhaps 10 is least likely but would certainly be servicable there.He seems to have bulked up a lot this summer ready for the more physical CM roles but the issue with him in either 6 or 8 is I'm very much unsure of who he would be a good partner with. If we do manage to get another CM of JWP level I think it could actually be well placed for Jacob to be the partner, he desperately needs a more experienced head to guide him through the game in CM and the style Dean wants to have at 6 where they are equally comfortable with the ball as well as sitting could suit the all round nature of Ramsey as he could fill in should JWP progress the ball upfield or similarly could bomb on knowing JWP taking a position in front of the centrebacks. The marquee CM signing really could be the best thing for Jacobs development as I think he's already ready and doesn't need a loan yet will continue to get lost in a midfield with McGinn or Luiz next to him.
  14. If he does break-through properly it will be a credit to our coaching team. @useless will be more familar with his history but if I recall correctly he was rejected by over 11 clubs at academy level and I believe was spotted on some phone footage in local London cage football match? Street football talent when properly harnessed has yielded some of the greatest footballers in recent years; Rooney, Sancho, Foden, Sterling all spring to mind from England as well as a large part of France's golden generation (Pogba, Mahrez even though Algerian heritage come to mind). https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/2020/08/23/street-football-still-best-academy-game/ - This article summarises it quite well. The biggest issue has always been coaching the boring part of the game that makes a professional footballer and with Jaden starting academy football so much later than his peers I felt he would have been too raw to be anywhere near the first team for some time. Very impressive to see the maturity in his game in the pre-season games so far and a testament to the ability of our current youth coaching team.
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