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  1. John

    Tommy Docherty

    Former Villa boss Tommy Docherty died today following a long illness, aged 92. The Doc managed us from 1968 – 1970 and for me did a lot to get the fans flooding back to Villa Park and to raise the profile of our great club, at a time when we were at a very, very low ebb. RIP Tommy – HEITS.
  2. I've nailed my colours to the mast. I don't think Smith is doing a good job but for me the squad is the major issue we have faced all year and especially now. I thought i'd look at some of the players for our rivals who have played the majority of games for them to compare. I have no idea of formations and have just selected names based on appearances. West Ham Pablo Fornals 24, M(CLR) Mark Noble 33, M(C) Sébastien Haller 26, FW Aaron Cresswell 30, D(CL),M(L) Issa Diop 23, D(C) Angelo Ogbonna 32, D(C) Felipe Anderson 27, M(CLR),FW Robert Snodgrass 32, AM(CLR) Ryan Fredericks 27, D(R),M(R) Manuel Lanzini 27, AM(CLR) Lukasz Fabianski 35, GK Michail Antonio 30, D(R),M(CLR),FW Watford Abdoulaye Doucouré 27, M(C) Craig Cathcart 31, D(CR) Gerard Deulofeu 26, AM(LR),FW Etienne Capoue 31, D(C),M(CL) Roberto Pereyra 29, M(CLR),FW Will Hughes 25, M(CR) Craig Dawson 30, D(CR) Kiko Femenía 29, D(LR),M(R) Ismaila Sarr 22, AM(LR),FW Andre Gray 29, FW Christian Kabasele 29, D(C) Troy Deeney 32, FW Adam Masina 26, D(L),M(L) Nathaniel Chalobah 25, DMC Adrian Mariappa 33, D(CR) José Holebas 36, D(L),M(L) Bournemouth Callum Wilson 28, FW Philip Billing 24, DMC Ryan Fraser 26, M(CLR) Dominic Solanke 22, FW Jefferson Lerma 25, D(R),DMC Harry Wilson 23, AM(CLR) Nathan Aké 25, D(CL),DMC Steve Cook 29, D(C) Lewis Cook 23, M(CL) Diego Rico 27, D(L),M(L) Adam Smith 29, D(LR),M(R) Joshua King 28, AM(CLR),FW Now realistically, how many of our players would start regular games for our rivals? Jack 100% walks into any of those teams. Mings, maybe? Bournemouth weren't interested in keeping him but while he hasn't been amazing, Mings probably would start most games for them. Is there anyone else? Maybe peak Mcginn but I'm not sure his performances throughout the year would see him in all the time. Current Luiz maybe but certainly not most of the season. For me, this is why I can't turn on Smith, because while he isn't doing a great job and is clearly struggling, the quality of our players are so inferior compared to our rivals, I can't realistically demand we should be doing better than them all.
  3. Ok this is a really tough one. We've had a bunch of poor managers and I'm sure loads of you will disagree with my ranking. I'll rank them from worst to best. 8th RDM. There's nothing much to say. Bottom half of the table in Championship with one of the biggest budgets. 7th Garde. Shocking. Can't remember anything else but losing. 6th Sherwood. Got his manager bounce effect and managed to have us escape relegation but next season proved what a poor manager he is. 5th Bruce. Stabilized us somewhat after RDM and brought in some decent players but at the end of the day didn't achieve anything. 4th Smith. Here the mob will come chasing after me. Finishing 5th and winning the play offs with one of the best squads in the league is no great achievement for me. Worst defensive stats in the league after 140 million spent doesn't look very impressing. Likely to get relegated. 3rd McLeish. Football was dog s***. Highly uninspiring coach. He managed not getting relegated which is why I have him 3rd. Me placing him third just tells you what we've been dealing with for this decade. 2nd Houllier Football was somewhere better than under McLeish 1st Lambert. This may shock some people but yes, Lambert. Managed to avoid relegation for 2 seasons with a dog s*** squad. To me it's still impressing. With the little resources he had and what he managed to achieve is why he is number 1. We often talk about Smith's difficult task of rebuilding the squad. Lambert had to do the same thing. But with peanuts. He was forced to recruit players from the lower league.
  4. allani


    I am sure that this should probably go in an existing thread but I couldn't work out which was best because it covers a few different topics. A non-Villa friend asked me how I felt after today's match and this was my response. ********************** In 2015/2016 when Villa were relegated from the Premier League we scored 27 goals in 38 matches. The season before we managed 31 in 38, The season before was 39. In 2012/13 we went on a bit of a spree and managed 47 (1.23 goals per game). The season before was 37 again (so that was 5 seasons at an average of less than 1 goal per game). Despite Top 10 finishes in 08/09 (6th), 09/10 (6th) and 10/11 (9th) we were still only scoring around 50 goals a season. In 2016/17 we scored 47 in 46 matches in the Championship. Last season we somehow managed to end up as the third top scorers in the division despite playing (for long spells) pretty dull football - especially away from home where Bruce's "safety first" approach really shone through. Indeed you probably need to go back to 2007/08 when we finished 6th in the Premier League and scored 71 goals in 38 games (only Man Utd and Arsenal scored more than us that season) to the last time when Villa played decent football that was fun to watch. In our last 4 matches we have scored 15 goals (3-0, 4-2, 5-5, 3-0) and it is suddenly fun to be a Villa fan again. Yeah but it is only Championship football I hear you cry. True. But those matches have been against the teams who are 3rd (away), 5th (home), 7th (away) and 9th (home), all are in decent form themselves and will probably all be in the hunt for promotion. Dean Smith is an absolute breath of fresh air. He wants to try and win every match. He wants us to attack the opposition and try to be creative. We haven't seen this for more than 10 seasons. To be honest I almost don't care what happens in terms of the final table - playing like we are is exciting, fun, entertaining... We will probably get turned over a few times, we will probably concede too many goals, we'll probably drop stupid points here and there - but I don't really care. Football is fun. Thank you Dean Smith. I hope that results keep going our way. I hope the board backs you with a couple of defenders in January and a keeper who can catch a cross. I hope we get promoted and I hope that we try and play the same way in the Premier League. I hope this sets the tone of the approach that this club will take under your management and beyond. Realistically we are light years behind the guys at the top but if we play attractive, entertaining, attacking football with the ethos of trying to win matches rather than not to lose them then I will be a happy fan.
  5. Welcome Dean, an exciting appointment!
  6. I have added a variety of names who do you want? I voted for Rodgers, but would be happy with Wilder, or Flores
  7. It has been reported in the Birmingham Mail that Ron Saunders has been placed in a residential care home near Solihull. He has been there since May. Ron, who is now 85, has dementia. His son Ronnie gave an interview to The Portsmouth News. Ronnie said that, “It crept up very slowly, he now struggles with every aspect of his life, everything he does.” He continued, “I saw it starting 20 odd years ago, there were certain things dad did that made us realise.” Ronnie added, “We knew his brain was quite damaged. We feel quite lucky he has lasted this long because we never thought he would. Mum couldn’t cope with him anymore his brain had gone.” The family have spoken to Dawn Astle (Geoff’s daughter) about the links between football and dementia. What a cruel illness dementia is. It hits a family so very hard to see their once strong family member become dependant on the care of others and to forget so much of their past. We really should have a Ron Saunders Stand by now. I felt that we should have had one many years ago when Ron could have been there at the ground to see it unveiled. Ron was the greatest Villa manager during my time as a Villa fan and he built our league championship and European Cup winning team. I thank him for what he did for us and my thoughts are with his family at this so difficult time. https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/heartbreaking-story-one-aston-villas-15020929
  8. TRO

    Thierry Henry

    stop press!!! Corals suspend the betting on Thierry Henry to replace Steve Bruce.
  9. If we don't win promotion Bruce is surely out. If we win promotion, I can't see Tony sticking with him in the Premier League. Who would you like to have (realistically) to replace him?
  10. I now feel there has been enough time to assess Bruce, now that we know pretty much where this season is ending. I still count this (not everyone does I know I know) as his first full season and he's pretty much got us play-offs barring something daft. This squad, whatever happens will change wholesale next season, and actually I don't mind that, I think we've witnessed a very good effort from a team composed of loan signings and others all of who do not know their future after this year - it was only ever to be a one season squad. The manager, has to take credit for achieving play-offs (not certain yet yes yes yes) and he will take enormous credit if he gets us promoted (I do think we have a great shot) - and he should stay at the club next season if he achieves that. If he doesn't then, he has said so himself, it's time for a different model and cutting our cloth accordingly - and I for one, do not mind the prospect of this one bit. It's actually how I'm insulating myself from the crushing despair that may come our way in a few weeks. So what next? This is a topic about what next in the prem, or what next in the championship. I'll leave the prem ideas to others, what I'm quite excited about is a new manager working with our talented youngsters including I hope Grealish, dashed with a bit of experience (Jedi, Chester if they stay, Kodjia might too after that injury) and us building a style of play that we can take into the prem and stick with, not building a squad for one season only, ever again.
  11. Think out of respect for Steve Bruce and the Bruce family we should have a separate thread for condolences to our manager and the Bruce family at this difficult time. Sad News sending my deepest condolences to the Bruce family at this difficult time horrendous few weeks for them. Dont worry about the football Steve that can take a back seat at the moment. Such sad news.
  12. I just can't handle debating whether Bruce should be sacked or not for another 4 months til the next season kicks off. This doesn't have to be all about loving Steve Bruce but anyone who wants to discuss him or his tactics or anything relevant, without calling for him to be sacked before the season starts (which I find a totally ridiculous notion)...... I say welcome.
  13. didn't see this posted already ? but the Mail had a nice article about Ron Saunders in it over the weekend
  14. Someone had to start one. And to avoid clogging up the Bruce thread with speculation and names, if Bruce is to go soon (which could be likely if things don't pick up), who would you like to see replace him?
  15. This can be a general managerial thread. I don't know if its me, but I can't stand a number of the managers now in the Premier League. They are just big babies who throw their toys out of the pram. We've seen Mourinho, Klopp, Pep, Wenger and Karanka act like complete bell ends in the last few weeks alone. Walking out of interviews, being obtuse to reporters and in Wenger's case, pushing people. That's why it wouldn't bother me to see Chelsea or Spurs win the league now I know there has always been the occasional managerial outburst but it seems more frequent now?
  16. Shattering news confirmed by the evening mail - Link
  17. I believe it was @Grasshopper who made a post listing the managers at the top clubs in England, and pointed out that English managers aren't as good. While I am in agreement that the best of English managers aren't, it got me thinking that is it also down to a lack of opportunity at the top end? And why is there this lack of opportunity? It's easy to name the managers at the top 6 as very good managers - they all are - but they were all given an opportunity at a big club to show that off. Were the jobs that they did previous to getting a job at their first big club really that impressive? Was it simply down to their leagues not having 5/6 teams competing at the top and therefore they could take more gambles?
  18. So, we've had 11 permanent managers thus far in this century. Some have fared better than others, some have worked under difficult circumstances, some under difficult chairmen and it's fair to say some have been better than others. Which leaves it to you fine people of VT to judge. What I'm looking for from you is these eleven managers, in order, by your opinion of who did best for us through to who did worst. John Gregory 2000 - Jan 2002 Graham Taylor 2002 - May 2003 David O'Leary 2003 - July 2006 Martin O'Neill 2006 - Aug 2010 Gerard Houllier 2010 - June 2011 Alex McLeish 2011 - May 2012 Paul Lambert 2012 - Feb 2015 Tim Sherwood 2015 - Oct 2015 Remi Garde 2015 - March 2016 Roberto DiMatteo 2016- Oct 2016 Steve Bruce 2016 - present Enjoy!
  19. Been a bit of a crap one, hasn't it? Started out with the board refusing to back a new manager, followed by humiliation and relegation. Between it all were the protests - which were (if I do say so myself) something to be proud of. Then we get Tony, RDM and the absolute chaos of his management. Following that Bruce and a revival. Been one hell of a year and one we won't forget - for bad reasons mainly, but some good in there in parts. What are your main memories?
  20. About time he has his own thread now,set to be announced as manager tomorrow. Welcome aboad Steve!
  21. Should rdm be rightly dismissed from the role who would you pick and why? Personally I'd go for Rowett as he has shown a capability of building and motivating a team to compete in this league with far less resources. I think he would relish the opportunity of working with far superior players and would have us competing pretty quickly. He has shown he can work with a basket case club under difficult circumstances and he would be highly motivated to do well for us
  22. Do you want Di Matteo sacked? Please vote as per poll. The previous poll 10 days and 2 matches ago had 17% sack him now, 30% in 2-3 games if nothing improves and 53% to give him longer.
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