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    Villa, running, football, holidays and three young boys

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  1. Is that the longest wifi code ever??
  2. Agreed. He is definitely undercooked from being injured over the summer and missing pre-season. The challenge is how he gets "up to speed" now the season is up and running??
  3. I thought it was a good game. Even first half. However, we didn't look right in the first half - Ings and Watkins were too far apart and they were often isolated with nobody up with them. And Everton were equally poor offensively, other than when they could play Gray into the game. Rondon makes Davis look a really good back up option! I was personally hoping that Bailey would come on earlier for a CB and we would switch to a 4-3-3. I felt that Bailey or Watkins would be able to get the better of Godfrey (a CB playing out of position). Bailey did this once he was on, albeit from LWB. We were lucky with the Konsa/Gray incident - could have swung the game massively to them. Not perfect by a long stretch but promising. If Smith can get his team right - and we can keep Bailey fit - it could be an interesting season.
  4. I'm with you on this. I was very surprised when he came in. I would have gone for Edouard at 14m - cheaper (transfer and wages), happy to play second fiddle and much younger. That's not to say I don't think Ings is a very good striker.
  5. We'd get massively overrun in midfield. You are the antithesis of Southgate! For me, Dougie with SJM and JJ alongside - earn possession/the right to go on the offensive!!
  6. Looked much more like the Lescott we knew and did not like for Youngy's last goal!!
  7. We have but without Bailey and Watkins for both (largely) and SJM, Ramsey and Mings v Brentford. Rip the heart out of any team and they will struggle??
  8. Decent start for them but the only top half team (from last season) that they have played so far is Leeds and that was a draw and they are also now without DCL. This is definitely a winnable game.
  9. Good summary. I think the 3-5-2 was good. Not sure how we fit Bailey and Buendia - our two big summer signings - into this (?) but I would like to see it for the next couple of games due to the strength of the opposition. The only thing that would add is that I was very disappointed with Mings and Ings - the former is too casual to be a really top defender and the latter, whilst a great finisher, is not mobile enough for me and contributed next too nothing v Chelski.
  10. I am sure that I saw it somewhere at 1.37 each!
  11. I thought he was decent against Brentford. As many have said, one swallow doesn't make a summer. The big issue for me when we don't have Watkins and, hopefully, Bailey in the front line is that we seriously lack pace and, to a lesser extent, energy/dynamism. AEG, Buendia and Ings are all relatively slow and the opposition needs stretching to create the space that I think Buendia needs to operate effectively. Jack wasn't lightning but he was pretty quick with the ball at his feet - as evidenced by the goal he set up for Watkins against Arsenal.
  12. From the Birmingham Live site 17 Sept 2020: "Fast-forward 10 years and three rounds of ownership later and Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens have European football firmly on their minds. "We will not be satisfied until we achieve our goal of bringing sustainable success to Aston Villa at the top tier of European football," the pair said in a statement upon the unveiling of new sporting director Johan Lange." I read "top tier of European Football" to be Champions League????
  13. God, that is a bit defeatist. I get that breaking into the top 4 is a real challenge, but Leicester should have done it in both of the last two seasons, narrowly falling short. Our management have stated that this is their aim. Our recruitment (senior and youth) is taking us closer to that second tier. If Jack had stayed, I would be really confident of challenging for 5th to 8th position with this squad, assuming Ings wouldn't have been signed as I don't believe we had the ffp headroom for another major signing but maybe taking a gamble on a younger developing "9". Jack's departure has definitely knocked us back but we have enough talent to be challenging the Leicesters and West Hams of this world and be on the fringes of the top 5 (I can't put Arsenal in there anymore/make it a 6), and if the recruitment continues to be strong and the youth develops as we hope then we could mount a challenge from there. The biggest challenge for me is that I am not sure that Smith is an elite coach. He has really struggled to get a spark when we have been without Jack, and this continued into the start of this season with the disastrous selection at Watford. He seems to procrastinate in games - Ollie should have been on much earlier against Brentford. I hope that he goes on to prove me wrong but, if he doesn't, that we can get an elite level coach that can continue to improve us and the players. The other potential issue, I believe, is ensuring that NSWE don't get too disappointed by the loss of Jack - as an American and just having convinced Giannis to stay at the Bucks and win a title with them, Edens may not have realised how different the "soccer" pyramid is in Europe and how hard it is to stop players moving up that pyramid. I hope that Jack's departure hasn't tempered his ambition to qualify for the CL.
  14. I doubt an overdraft would be used for long term expenditure such as this. I suspect that the overdraft may just be the way of balancing out peaks and troughs in the cash flows - ins and outs - over the next twelve months.
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