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Everything posted by barry'sboots

  1. 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!!
  2. Looked much more like the Lescott we knew and did not like for Youngy's last goal!!
  3. 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??
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. I am sure that I saw it somewhere at 1.37 each!
  7. 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.
  8. 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????
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. I would go: ----------------------------- Steer ---------------------------- ------------ Konsa ---- Axel ---- Mings --------------- Cash ------- SJM ----------- Dougie ---------- Ash ---------------------------- Ramsey ------------------------ -------------- Ings -------------------- Watkins --------- If Konsa is fit. If not, revert to a 4-3-3 with Bailey --- Ings --- Watkins up top.
  12. I'm pretty sure he believed that the AFA would deal with the process/paperwork. He'll know better next time!!!
  13. I really can't understand the hate. I love watching Grealish play. He is definitely the best Villa player I have seen (I am 54) and is right up there with the best premier league players at "10" or "11" for me. Such a talent. I was gutted that he chose to leave this summer, particularly to Citeh, but I can't bring myself to hate him for that. I am just disappointed that he chose to leave when it felt like everything was moving in the right direction for the club and I really think we could have gone on to big things with Jack at the core of it. His departure has definitely set us back and, maybe, given the negative net spend and reluctance to buy/upgrade in two or three areas, spooked the owners a little and made them realise how difficult it is going to be to crack the Top 4/break the Sky 5 (can't bring myself to say "Sky 6"/include Arsenal!!). I will not support him or hope that all his dreams are fulfilled but I will continue to enjoy watching his precocious talents (except when he plays us!). I partially blame Safegate for Jack's desire to move as well. Jack has said that playing for England has always been a huge aim for him and Safegate's reluctance to start Jack in big games because he was not regularly playing big games in Europe was, I am sure, a part of Jack's decision making process. However, that reluctance seems to have melted away since Jack's move to Citeh, even though he has yet to play a European game for them, let alone a big pressured one - somehow he is now deemed to be a first XI England player. And where are Declan Rice's huge games in Europe?? (I do get that Safegate has fewer options in that space) This is a real disgrace imho and potentially shows that the alleged bias that Safegate has against the Villa is true - shocking that an England manager can operate in this way. Or maybe Gareth just thinks if he's good enough for Pep ...! Those saying don't allow release clauses clearly do not understand negotiation. If Jack ran his contract down he could have left for nothing/minimal amounts. By signing a new contract (which he may not have done without the release clause) it has, at least, guaranteed us £100m if he left and the chance to re-build without him. I will always be thankful to him for that. It was only because Kane had his stupid brother as his agent that he did not have a similar release clause, instead relying on a stupid gentleman's agreement with a non-gent! Easy to avoid on a new signing/contract but on a contract renegotiation with a top player and a smart agent it is virtually impossible to avoid such a clause if the player wants it. At least, in this case, it is a far bigger clause than the £8m in Delph's contract!! Those saying they would never want him back are probably some of the same that are saying what an astute signing Ash has been the second time around. Ash cost us money (circa £11m I think) and then, from memory, let his contract run down and went for £17m?? He then proceeded to dive against us! Most on here have forgiven him these sins and welcomed him back at 36 years of age. As such, I would think that Jack at 30 years old, assuming he is still of the same talent and fit, should be more than welcomed back. In summary, I will continue to enjoy watching Jack but will not support him, particularly when he wears a Citeh jersey, but I will never hate/boo him. I will always be grateful for the £100m legacy. I definitely hope that we are in a position to re-sign him in 5 years time or, even better, to turn him down because we have better players!!
  14. I think JWP would definitely have improved our midfield and he would have been a really good signing. I am confused by the club's approach to this and, to a lesser extent, to ESR. I don't believe that they were ever properly in for them. How they could sell Jack for £100m and then expect to bring in JWP for £25-30m is beyond me. It just shows, imho, either a general naivety or a PR stunt?? Similar with ESR, a move which just seems equally bizarre given his affinity to Arsenal and his subsequent rhetoric. Curtis Jones at the rumoured £15m amount falls into a similar category for me. The club have stated that they want to buy proven English PL quality as it comes with very little risk. However, you just don't get that unless (a) you are prepared to pay through the nose (as Arsenal have for White); or(b) there are special circumstances like Danny Ings contract position and his desire to move on.
  15. If you are using Gareth Southgate's opinions as a fair barometer of a player's worth, I think a few on here might disagree with you!?
  16. I did listen to a podcast that said that Bailey has played at wing back in Germany. Buendia/Traore could, in theory, play at "10" in a 3-4-1-2?
  17. I agree. I think the bigger challenge with Chuk and his cohort is whether we can progress this youth whilst still progressing the team in the league. If we are competing around the European spots and we have three or four to integrate from the youth then we could keep them together. I am not in favour of them learning on our $ though - I think they need to prove themselves good enough to dislodge very good senior pros as Elliot has done at Liverpool and Mount and James have done at Chelski. My fear is that we will leave obvious gaps so as to create a pathway and in so doing the team's performance/progression will dip. Personally, I would have shipped out JJ on loan this season (and possibly JPB and Carney next season) to get them 30+ games at the top of the Championship. If they proved themselves then they dislodge a top senior pro and we look to exit/realise value. As it stands, I see JJ as very much part of our midfield plan and I am not sure this progresses the team this season.
  18. I think they did need Jack. All of their players are quite samey but Jack brings something different. He is the one that can unlock a defence with a dribble and can carry the ball in a way that none of the others do. They maybe didn't need him in the PL but I think he gives them something extra in the big CL games.
  19. I agree. If you look at the top sides they all have a clear and visible pattern and structure to their play and a balanced midfield that is geared around their attacking options and their general style of play: Citeh - at their best when Rodri/Fernandinho sit and they have so many "8"s and "10"s that can play around him. Chelski - have Jorginho (European player of the year), with Kante buzzing around him and Mount as well and loads of bench options. This works well in their 5-3-2 with attacking full backs and pace and guile up front which is only enhanced with Lukaku returning. Utd - have Fred and McTominay with Fernandes in front of them and Pogba possibly joining in somewhere. They are probably shy of a better DCM option as well, that would allow Pogba to play alongside that person/have more freedom. This area is definitely their weakest component - I think they are a strong DCM away from being real challengers. Liverpool - have Fabinho sitting with hard working players around him - more of a defensive 3 but allows the front three to really go for it and gives the full backs licence to flood forward. Might change slightly with Elliot in that three. Leicester - have Ndidi holding with Tielemans typically alongside and a number of others, including Maddison, that can also play in a three. West Ham - have Rice holding with Soucek sitting alongside and a few options in front of this solid pair. I feel like their playing styles are all much clearer and their midfields are all better balanced and structured to suit their playing style. I am still unclear as to what we are actually looking to achieve in midfield. Dougie was our star player following Restart but his form dipped badly in 2021. He is still young though and is highly talented. He is certainly different to the midfielder that those top 6 sides have at the base of their midfield with the possible exception of Jorginho, who is more metronomic/ball playing but benefits from having Kante alongside him. SJM has looked better since the start of this season. His partnership with Dougie looked great at the start of last season when we were hammering Liverpool and Arsenal (a) and Barkley was firing as a "10" in front of them. I am still not sure whether he is better sitting, alongside a holder, or the furthest forward of the three. Nakamba is limited but probably works in games where we expect to be under the cosh BUT does not operate very well against a high press. Sanson - who knows. Looks like a box to box "8" from what I have seen and could work well in tandem with SJM as two "8"s alternating duties. JJ has looked decent at the start of this season, but like SJM I'm not sure we know his best position as yet. Ideally, for me, he would have gone out and got 30+ starts in the championship but we need him given the lack of signings. Chuk - looks a great prospect and I'm glad that he is around BUT we really can't be relying on him to start many games this season at his age. I don't think we have a strong enough "2" in there to play behind a front 4 with Ings at "10", although maybe if Dougie and SJM can recapture their form of the early part of last season they could. Personally, I think a CM three of Luiz; SJM and Sanson/JPB will be our "go to" midfield in a 4-3-3. I hope that Dougie and SJM can re-capture their form of early last season or else we might be in for a tough time.
  20. As many have said already, I am not aware of a strong 6 in there in the Bissouma mould? Raikhy, from what I have seen, is more of a Luiz type "6".
  21. As I said, whilst I rate Ings, I would have gone for something cheaper - Edouard at £14m (as I understand Palace have paid) and considerably lower wages - and sold El Ghazi for £10m + and put the difference into, say, Damsgaard. That is if money/net spend is an issue. I understood that Bailey is just as happy off the left but I think Buendia and Traore are firmly right sided so, when Bailey is injured as he has been, El Ghazi is our only option out left (I don't think, given his track record, that Smith will trust JPB to be a regular starter this season) and we saw how ineffective he could be at times when Jack was injured last season. We looked good last season when Barkley (albeit very briefly) was firing at "10" but I thinks good "10"s are few and far between and I see us as more 4-3-3.
  22. And its this kind of response that is equally frustrating in the opposite direction. People aren't allowed to question anything/debate their ideal incomings without others getting upset. I'm not quite sure what the purpose of a discussion forum is if people can't make these comments/debate/question strategy either in transfer dealings or manager's tactics. And if this discussion frustrates you, because you don't feel its a valid question, I'm really not sure why you come on to these threads. Maybe we should have two separate parts to the site - one for all of those that are really happy with the direction of travel and have no concerns/questions about the management's decisions (I think this would be pretty bland with everyone just saying that things are great??) and one for people who want to discuss it/throw out a challenge for debate, although it seems to me that the former would probably miss bashing the latter under this scenario. He's asking a valid question imho - Mackenzie was brought in because of his track record of unearthing gems yet all we have bought this summer is established stars or youth prospects, with the latter largely known to Harrison from his time at West Brom. This summer's recruits of Buendia, Ings, Bailey, Young and Tuanzebe could have easily come off one of those fantasy lists that you dismiss so nonchalantly. Bailey is the only one that people might not know particularly well, unless they follow European football, but I have seen plenty on similar threads on VT in the past referring to him as a very good target. Maybe we have misunderstood his brief/have false expectations of what he can achieve?? And perhaps the mass media coverage and analysis/scouting sites mean that market is now almost perfect and unearthing a gem is no longer possible. Brentford's model - albeit at a slightly lower level - and Leicester's recent track record would suggest that this is not necessarily the case. I genuinely think 99% off the people on this site want the best for Villa but clearly large numbers see things differently.
  23. I think there are a couple of issues with the Ings signing. 1. It was done on the same day that Jack's sale was announced and was kind of lost; and, more importantly for me, 2. We have Watkins and it is unclear how the two will play together - not sure 4-4-2 works with our squad; don't want to push Ollie back out wide etc.. He is clearly a top "9" but I disagree with your rankings as I would have Ollie ahead of Ings - whilst Ings is a really good finisher, Ollie is more mobile/dynamic and brings more to the table for me. I think most of us wanted a second option BUT probably would have been more comfortable with, or more expectant of, a younger player that would have been prepared to come and sit behind Ollie as second choice and would have allowed us to keep the same shape that has really been Smith's hallmark. I see that Edouard moved last night to Palace for £14m. That was the one that I wanted and was linked with us last summer at £30-40m! Ings is obviously here now and we will hope that he can be a 20 goals + a season striker. It will be interesting to see how Smith fits them both in. Again, this is an issue for me as I am not sure that Smith is capable of tactically flexing to facilitate this but we will see over the coming months.
  24. I think most of us on here see it as "not that bad". The discussion on here from many of us is that we had hoped for a bit more/that it would be a "great" window that would really position us to compete for the top 6. The narrative from the club is that we want to challenge for CL. I think we are only a couple of players away from being in a position to do so, but, as always, it is those last few steps that always seem to allude us (think MoN signing Heskey in 2009 when we weren't far away from crashing the CL). I think we were in the position to do that this year with the owner's wealth, a decent FFP position following the sale of Jack and the underlying squad. However, it appears that someone (the owners, Smith, Purslow, Lange or the collective) has decided on a more conservative approach. Equally, I'm really not sure about your selections, mainly as I don't see Buendia as an "8"/"10". I think he is too lightweight and this appeared to be the case in GW1 and is as per the comments of most Norwich City fans who all seem to say that he is better on the right drifting in to a central position when on the ball. Equally, a number are pointing at a 4-4-2 but I am not convinced this will work with our midfield options and "wingers". Personally, I would have loved an upgrade on El Ghazi and feel it was the right time to get value for him - 2 years left on his contract and coming of a reasonably high scoring season last year. The drop from Grealish to El Ghazi was a significant part of the problem when Grealish was injured last season and we are in the same boat now if Bailey gets injured, as he has been, unless, as you say, Watkins moves out there to accommodate Ings at "9". Whilst El Ghazi is technically good, I think he lacks the intensity to play in the top half of the PL for me. JPB may be a better bet - he looks a real prospect - but I would have liked to see him loaned out as I don't think Smith will trust him with regular game time. I think if we are relying on JJ and Chuk in CM - although they look great prospects - we will not be competing that high up. For me JJ and JPB, as I say above, need 12 months in the championship to get regular game time and to learn on someone else's $. I would keep Chuk around and then look to loan him similarly next year, unless he shows something more than he did against Brentford. I recognise the need to create a pathway and not block the youth BUT, if we are going to act like a top club, I think the youth have to demonstrate that they are ready to dislodge a senior pro as Elliot has at Liverpool and Mount and James have at Chelsea.
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