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About barry'sboots

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    Villa, running, football, holidays and three young boys

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  1. When you watch the extended highlights, it is all Villa and largely Jack and SJM. We were better than them. For 5 games in for a new side, admittedly with offensive issues, versus an established PL side which has invested heavily (that front 3 has a net cost of £100m with options on the bench at a cost in excess of our record buy!!), as have Everton, I was pretty pleased. I think we do have an issue with our structure. All of the wingers we have are traditional wingers. The better sides nowadays have wide players that are capable of coming inside and scoring goals - less out and out wingers and more inside forwards with pace and strength. Probably the best Villa performance in the last 5 years or so was our victory against Plop in the FAC SF when Jack and Insomnia both played (certainly Jack did) as inside forwards and got close to Tekkers. At the minute Wes is so isolated - the wingers are out wide and Jack and SJM are both coming from deep. If we are going to play 4-3-3, I think the wide players need to get closer to Wes at times. This is easier for the RW as Guilbert can then cover the flank. Not as easy for the LW whilst Taylor is playing. Equally, I would prefer us to play 4-2-3-1 with Jack at "10" so he can get closer to Wes and affect the game more in the opponents half. When you watch the highlights reel from any Villa game this season, or last for that matter, you will see that 90% of anything we create comes from Jack - the same yesterday. He is getting a lot of stick in this forum and, whilst I know he wasn't perfect, he still created most of the good things we did. He is a real handful in and around the box but seems to want to drop deep all of the time to pick the ball up. I saw an article where he was saying he is not a LW but would play "10" although he prefers "8". I don't know whether this is because he enjoys being on the ball more or because he thinks he has a better chance with England at "8" - England have no other options at 8 as far as I can see!! I would personally prefer to see him at "10", interacting more with Wes and the wingers, with McGinn slightly deeper where his engine will still allow him to get forward. I also want to see Targett in asap. Whilst Taylor has done okay defensively and is decent back up for a newly promoted side (upgrade him and Elmo next summer hopefully), he offers nothing when we are in possession and this means that El Ghazi is often up against 2 with no support unless Jack or SJM come out to him. We look unbalanced in offence. I would also prefer Hause at 3 than Taylor - when he played LB last season his crossing was as good as I have seen for a Villa FB and he is also a good defender. I think we do have options and personnel to play differently: Personally, I would love to see us try a 4-4(diamond)-2 and get Hourihane in at 10 playing off Wes and Davis (those two would be a real handful for a CB pairing) or Jack at "10" with Henry or Douggie Luiz coming in as a replacement for Jack at "8" (I think they both have more energy than CH in this role). We could also play a 3-5-2 with the same CM three and Konsa or Hause stepping in to a back three, Targett or Trez on the left with Freddie on the right and get Wes and Davis playing together up top. However, I think Smith is pretty rigid around his 4-3-3 as we saw last season when Jack and Henry were both out and he only really had one box to boxer in SJM but he still insisted on playing 4-3-3. I hope I am wrong and he can find the way to flex when needed this season.
  2. They didn't match West Ham in the last round of games!
  3. I thought we matched a top half side - looked sharper than them until they went down to 10 men - who have spent a lot of money over the last few years. Having said this, I am disappointed in Smith's lack of flexibility. He is determined to stick to his 4-3-3 and our wingers just aren't doing it. I would go 4-4(diamond)-2 and get an extra body in midfield ((Lansbury's energy for me) and push Jack higher off Davis and Wes - who would be a handful for 2 CB's. Really needs Targett to come back in for this as Taylor offers nothing going forward!
  4. I thought he looked as good as Haller who cost twice as much!!!
  5. I think Taylor is a huge issue for us at the minute. As solid as he has been, he offers little when we are in possession and a modern team needs full backs that can also be both an outlet for the midfield - when you are trying to retain possession - and a partner for the winger in a front 3. He offers neither of these! As such, we are a man down when trying to retain possession and the left sided player in the midfield three is forced to come out wider and support the winger.
  6. Just watched this. Look at all those outrageous dives.
  7. One of the best games Jack has had in his Villa career came in the FAC SF against Plop where he played inside left and NZogbia played on the right. He could play that position?? Needs Targett though as Taylor would never exploit the space Jack would create by coming inside. Equally, we could play a diamond with Nakamba at the base, Luiz and SJM either side and Jack at "10" off Davis and Wes. That would be really strong. Again needs Targett for width. I can't see Smith doing this as he tends to stick by his 4-3-3 through thick and thin!
  8. Don't see the Ox playing as a central midfielder? I think Mount is better able to perform that role. I agree that Jack is not playing at "10" but I think he is a better "8" than the three above. Rice is clearly a "4". Haven't seen enough of Winks to know his best position. Henderson has a great engine but is technically bereft in comparison to our Jack!
  9. I agree with this. It seems like SJM is the one who tends to push further forward. He has taken a number of shots this season and clearly scored v Spurs and seems to leave the carrying to Jack. Personally, I would prefer to see SJM sitting deeper - he still has an engine that would allow him to join the offence - with Jack as an out and out "10". There are a lot of comparisons with Maddison, often criticising Jack's goal and assist stats, but he is clearly playing a different role for Leicester where he is an out and out "10" in front of two CM'ers. I would personally also love to see a diamond with Marvelous at the base, Dougie and SJM either side and Jack as a "10" off Davis and Wes - I think that front 3 would create panic amongst most defences! Perversely, I thought Jack playing as an "8" would make it easier to get into the England team as Southgate does not have an equivalent - Henderson, Rice and Winks are all sitters (or "4"s for me) and are not great ball carriers whereas Mount, Maddison, Barkley, the Ox and Lindgard are all "10"s of a sort. A midfield of Winks, Jack and Maddison would be really progressive and would play front foot football!
  10. The problem with both Elmo and Taylor are that they are, as someone has said previously, "momentum killers". Elmo will often receive the ball in an advanced position when he is ahead (further forward offensively) than the opposition winger/full back but will always check back rather than driving on. He can clearly deliver, as the clips above show BUT typically only does so when we are dominating possession/camped in the other half. If this is is not the case, his crosses are typically from deep - as the first one was above (for Jack's missed header) or as for AEG's goal in the play off final. What I saw of Guilbert was much more dynamism, energy and drive and an ability to interact/interchange with his winger. Taylor rarely gets forward and, on the occasions he does will often look a bit clueless. Again, if we are having a period of dominance, as above, he can join in, but neither are good at turning defence into attack. If not Targett, I would prefer Hause here. He was solid defensively and the crosses he was putting in when he had the run at left back were as good as any I have seen from a Villa full back in recent years. Their lack of dynamism also means that we can sometimes struggle to retain possession - as for the Spurs game - as you are effectively 2 men down in the midfield. I am hoping they are both replaced, as I think both Guilbert and Targett will give us more energy/allow us to play at a higher tempo. However, I should say that I am not been overly unhappy with either Taylor or Elmo's performance and am more comfortable with them as back up/in the squad than I thought I would be at the back end of last season, I just think we would be a better team with Guilbert and Targett playing.
  11. Similar set up to what we played when we beat Liverpool in the FAC with Jack & Insomnia behind Tekkers and Delph & Cleverly in SJM and Jack's roles?
  12. I would agree. Jack is not as dominant as he was in EFL games - but this was always going to be the case in the PL against the best CM'ers in the world. He has still looked decent though whilst getting up to speed with the league. Maybe not as eye catching as SJM but his role carries a bit more responsibility as he is being asked to come from deeper and carry the ball more. Both will get better as they grow into the league and, even more importantly, Dougie Luiz gets up to speed at the base of the midfield and allows them more freedom/interacts better with them.
  13. I agree, but we would need to change shape at the minute to achieve this to a diamond probably with: ------------- Nakamba ------------- Dougie ------------------ McGinn ---------------- Jack ------------------ Wes ------------------ Davis/Trez I would love to see us give this a go BUT would defo need Targett and Guilbert in to provide pace and width on the flanks. I just can't see Smith trying this though - he is very dogmatic with his 4-3-3. Its also interesting in the current team that he seems to want Jack to sit deep and SJM to be the one that gets forward. If we are sticking with the three, I would probably prefer it the other way around (to see Jack pushing on more) as I think his interplay is better and SJM brings more energy/box to box to the deeper position.
  14. I'm with you. I'd love us to try a diamond with yesterday's midfield + CH at "10" and Wes plus one of Trez or Davis. This would clearly need Targett and Guilbert in the team to provide the width. I think CH playing off Davis in particular could provide lots of goals (remember his hat trick a couple of seasons back against Norwich when that combination - not used since - was very good offensively).
  15. Completely agree. Decent back up BUT I can't believe anyone is advocating continuing with them. They give very little in possession and, as you say, consistently kill momentum. Guilbert and Targett (and even Hause at LB) >>>> Elmo and Taylor!

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