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Found 85 results

  1. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  2. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  3. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  4. One goal is often not enough and so it proved yesterday. Up until Reading’s late equalizer it had looked like we had done just enough to get a win and “just enough” appeared to be all that we had thought that we would need to do. Our defence is however porous, and we were not capable of closing out yesterday’s game. We have not managed to keep a clean sheet in the league so far this season. That is a feat that we achieved 16 times last season. Our defence, which was so well organised back then with John Terry in it is now crying out for reinforcement, but time is fast running out for us to bring players in. There was the usual late, late goal at Villa Park yesterday but this time it was our visitors who scored it. We are now four points worse off against the opponents that we have played this season when compared to last season’s results and that is how far we are behind the early pace setters Leeds and Boro. We cannot rely on making up ground lost early in the season on those teams that are in the automatic promotion places now. We need to close the gap between us quickly before it grows into a chasm. This was a case of after the Lord Mayor’s Show. Our best display of this new season against Brentford was followed by this poor display. We still have our unbeaten record, but this draw feels like a defeat. We seemed to approach this game expecting to win it. We need to go at the throat of teams from start to end to earn a victory and not sit back waiting for it to happen. We regularly need to hit fourth gear rather than coast in second. Any team has a puncher’s chance of getting something from a game when there is only a goal in it. We may have had the possession, but we didn’t do enough with it. It is no good raising your game against the better teams in this division and dropping points against the rest. Three points is three points after all and at the final reckoning a win no matter who it came against will remain three points. That 3 points will go towards the final points total that we will need to achieve to finish in the top two. That needs to be our target as we know the play off lottery offers no guarantee of promotion. Reading will be happy with a point for their coming battle to remain in this division. They showed little ambition up front until we went a goal ahead but score they did as have every other side we have met in the league to date. We cannot be satisfied with a point. We dropped points last season in games like this one at Villa Park. We have got to start producing our best on a consistent basis against every team that we face this season because if we do not teams will punish us for not doing so. We cannot afford to take any opponent lightly in this league nor should we or we will risk facing another season in it. My player ratings from a game that brought us a disappointing third successive draw are: Orjan Nyland – 7 – We may have found a keeper after all. Blocked a close-range effort from a corner by Moore on 44 minutes and then saved a 46th minute Bacuna freekick at his left-hand post. Made a tremendous double save on 82 minutes from Baldock at close range and then from Meite who hit the rebound. Dived to his right and Baldock hit his disputed penalty into the centre of the goal for their late equalizer. Axel Tuanzebe – 6 – Another competent performance in what is unlikely to prove his most effective defensive position. James Chester- 6 – One rare error from him cost us dearly yesterday. James had looked a clear favourite to reach a ball into the box first in the 3rd Minute of stoppage time but was outpaced by Sims. Their substitute took the opportunity to crumple to the floor with time running out for his side after Chester had won the ball but our captain in going to ground unnecessarily gave the referee a decision to make and he gave the benefit of any doubt to them. James was otherwise his usual steady self on those occasions that our visitors ventured towards our goal. He was unlucky to see a 12th minute header thunder off the crossbar from a nice Elmo cross. Mile Jedinak – 6 – Allowed a Sims cross to go past him and only a terrific double save from Nyland prevented Reading from scoring as a result on 82 minutes. Otherwise gave a decent enough performance but this should not be accepted as being his long-term role. Alan Hutton – 6 – Gave his usual consistent level of performance. Ahmed Elmohamady – 7 – Stooped to head home El Ghazi’s perfect cross on 51 minutes and had a good all-around game. Birkir Bjarnason – 7 – Made a good saving tackle on the edge of the box on 9 minutes winning the ball when an opponent was in a threatening position. Gave a very good solid performance throughout. Jack Grealish – 6 – Substituted at half time having picked up a dead leg. Hit an effort back across the face of the goal on 41 minutes. John McGinn – 7 – MOTM – Looked a class above. Used the ball well and kept very involved. Made an early run into the box but his 1st minute shot was held by Mannone. Anwar El Ghazi – 7 – A promising debut. Looks a wide threat, comfortable on the ball and showed a few tricks. Hit a pin point cross for our goal. Made a nice run into the box on 11 minutes and his shot was deflected into the side netting off Mannone. Anwar made way for Albert on 67 minutes. Jonathan Kodjia – 5 –What a difference a couple of days can make. From a man of the match 2-goal performance in midweek to this sort of below par display again. Johnny Danger needs some sort of competition for his starting place and was sadly something less than dangerous yesterday. Did not have a great deal of service perhaps but he can do better than this. Flashed a shot over the bar on 62 minutes when others were better placed had he looked to find them. Lost the ball when looking to go it alone on 85 minutes when Hourihane was waiting unmarked inside the box. Substitutes: Conor Hourihane – 6 – Came on for Jack at half time and did well. We need to try to find a place for him in the starting line-up. His goals come in handy after all. Hit a shot from the edge of the box on 50 minutes that Mannone collected comfortably and was found by Adomah inside the box in the 69th minute but he hit his shot wide of the far post. Albert Adomah – 6 - Replaced El Ghazi on 67 minutes. Made a couple of decent runs and looked lively. Cut inside and hit a 73rd minute shot that was easily gathered by Mannone at the near post and then scuffed a shot 3 minutes later. Neil Taylor - Replaced Kodjia on 91 minutes. Not on long enough to gather a rating. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  5. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  6. Another late, late goal at Villa Park averted a travesty of justice last night. It gave us the very least we had deserved from a game that we had dominated until our visitors belatedly came into it during the last quarter with us by then having apparently punched ourselves out. This was our best display of the season by some distance, but it had appeared until Kodjia’s second equalizer of the game that we would somehow emerge pointless from it. We have shown a never say die attitude already this season though and we managed to lift ourselves up from the canvas as time was fast running out to land a heavy blow that maintained our unbeaten record. We have now drawn our last three home games against The Bees and this point may prove vital at the end of the season when the promotion places are decided. Our visitors have not lost at Villa Park since 1946 and they have clearly become a bogey team to us. They have made an impressive start to the season and may well end it in the top six. Whether they do or do not, they will be unlikely to be more relieved than they were last night to have emerged with a point from any of their remaining fixtures. Our defence does currently remain a cause for concern. Maupay was left in space for their opener and had it not been for Nyland the visitors could have had more than two goals despite Villa having enjoyed the lion’s share of the game. We need to get back to last season when our defence was a strength rather than a weakness. Signing a left back and a central defender is likely to achieve that dare I suggest JT once again for the central defensive role? We started strongly, pegged them back in their own half for long periods and denied them the opportunity to put their own stamp onto the game. There were encouraging shades of our best home performances of last season about last night’s game. We now sit in fifth place with 8 points from our first four games. A win on Saturday will give our team which is steadily being reinforced something to build upon. Maupay’s first goal was against the run of play and he should not have been on the pitch by then having cynically stamped on McGinn to have scored their second which might have won it for them. Had it done so it would have been a case of twilight robbery. My player ratings from a game that our visitors are likely to have been more relieved to have taken a point from than disappointed to have not taken all three from are: Orjan Nyland – 7 – A much improved display. This game can give him the confidence he needs. Conceded two goals but he had no chance with the first and did well to turn a 71st minute Yennaris shot around his right-hand post before Watkins beat Tuanzebe on 82 minutes and hit a shot that Orjan parried which then fell to Maupay to force home for their second on the line. Kept them within range with crucial saves on 84 and 89 minutes when blocking a Yennaris header from 6 yards out and then a close range Maupay shot. Axel Tuanzebe – 6 – Substituted on 70 minutes. Did very well for a central defender who was playing as a full back and put in a couple of decent crosses. Did well to rob the ball away from Maupay on 11 minutes inside of the box. May well grow into this position but more likely to do so more easily and quickly in a central role. James Chester- 7 – Solid and dependable once again. Headed a McGinn free kick that took a deflection off a defender over. Mile Jedinak – 5 – A wayward backward header on 49 minutes from a couple of yards inside his own half fell to Maupay who under pressure from Chester as he ran forward was unable to get a shot in before Nyland came out to claim the ball at his feet. Otherwise did well enough in his extended outing as a holding midfield player playing as an emergency central defender. Headed a 30th minute McGinn corner back across the goal but nobody was near the goal line to put it in. Alan Hutton – 6 – Beaten to the ball on the line for their second. Alan was his usual reliable self. Ahmed Elmohamady – 6 – Did well enough but he is playing too far forward for me. Glenn Whelan – 7 – Did well tidying up at the back. Gave a good solid performance last night. Jack Grealish – 8 – Was upended on a regular basis throughout the game as is too often the case. Nevertheless, Jack still showed his class and would have been able to do so more frequently had he had a modicum of protection from the match officials. Hit a 15th minute shot from the edge of the area that Bentley saved low to his right and had a shot blocked by him 4 minutes later. Jack picked up the ball and ran into the area on 56 minutes, but his cross was blocked by Bentley at the near post. John McGinn – 8 – Another fine display by our Scottish Iniesta. Played a nice one two with Adomah on the 2nd minute and stretched to hit his shot just over the bar. Combines very well with Jack. Albert Adomah – 6 – A better performance than of late. Couldn’t quite get a touch at the near post to a nice 19th minute Elmohamady cross. Jonathan Kodjia – 9 – MOTM – Two vital goals and gave his best display by a country mile since injury interrupted his career. Showed his strength and ability to shield the ball. McGinn played a lovely ball through to him on 36 minutes and he hit a fierce shot which Bentley saved having got himself into a shooting position on the edge of the box. Hit his first on 39 minutes beating Konsa on the edge of the box having been found by Adomah and cutting inside the box from the left before pulling the trigger and hitting the ball in between Bentley and his near post. Turned a nice 59th minute Adomah cross straight at Bentley. Added a second equalizer in the last minute of stoppage time. Elmo played a ball into the box that took a deflection off a defender’s head before Jonathan powered a header past Bentley and into the net. Substitutes: Andre Green – 5 – Came on for Tuanzebe in the 70th minute. Not his best 25 minutes in claret & blue but he will make bigger impressions on games this season and needs to continue to get regular game time albeit mostly now it seems from off the bench. Conor Hourihane - Replaced Whelan on 83 minutes. Not on long enough to gather a rating. I would have him starting games. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy - Replaced Tuanzebe on 85 minutes. He was not on long enough to earn a rating either. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  7. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  8. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  9. A second win of the season and a second successive home win against Wigan who have been hard to beat at Villa Park in past meetings maintained our 100%-win record yesterday. It gave us two wins at the start of a season for the first time in 19 years. We have played better than this but for a second time in this fledgling season we showed our resilience by coming back to win after going a goal down. We sit third in the early league table with a game in hand of the early league leaders. Six points from our first two games is an encouraging start and it is something we can and need to build upon. Cardiff gained promotion last season by winning close games on a regular basis and by maintaining a winning run that built their confidence. They developed the habit of grabbing late winners and although their football was not pretty it proved annoyingly effective. We have started this season a little like that. We might have lost or drawn a game like this and the last one last season, but we didn’t. Let’s put a run of wins together and stick to those automatic places like a limpet throughout this season. Wigan looked a decent team yesterday and wins will not come easy against them for this season’s promotion contenders. They will consider themselves unfortunate to leave Villa Park pointless. I hope that a few more teams will feel that way before this season concludes. My player ratings from a game that brought us another win as we await more new signings to further strengthen our team are: Orjan Nyland – 5 – Beaten to the ball on the edge of the box by Powell who won their challenge to prod home Jedinak’s woeful attempted back pass on 41 minutes. Had little chance with their second. Will be working on his kicking and on crosses after this. Needs to be allowed time to acclimatise to his new team and to a new league. Axel Tuanzebe – 6 – Substituted on 65 minutes as we were searching for a winner. Gave a competent enough display filling in as a full back but he would be more comfortable and needs to play in the centre of our defence. James Chester- 7 – His usual reliable self at the back and was unchallenged when he climbed to head home a nicely placed 13th minute free kick from McGinn to give us our opener. Don’t you just love his new scoreboard photograph by the way? Mile Jedinak – 5 – One careless moment tarnished what was otherwise a decent enough defensive display. His awful under hit back pass gifted Powell their equalizer. His place is in the midfield and he should only be used as an emergency central defender. Headed a McGinn free kick wide on 66 minutes. Alan Hutton – 7 – Connolly got in front of him to head the ball home on 55 minutes and give Wigan the lead. Got forward well, earning his “Scottish Cafu” chants with a particularly adept 27th minute turn. Ran to the edge of the area before hitting a 46th minute shot that Walton saved comfortably enough and gave his usual fully committed performance. Ahmed Elmohamady – 6 – Seems to be an automatic choice. Headed away from the post to safety on 28 minutes. He does produce consistent performances, but this is a position that I feel we should still be looking at strengthening with some urgency. Birkir Bjarnason – 7 – Played in the holding midfield role and popped up at the far post in the 94th minute to give us our late winner. A McGinn cross was cleared only as far as Hourihane who hit a sweet cross around the defender who was in front of him that Birikir hit home at the far post. Jack Grealish – 8 – Was given little to no protection throughout from the referee who gave Wigan a licence to make uncompromising challenges upon him at will. Jack was his usual impressive self on those occasions that he was not hacked down. How super nice it was to see Jack still in a Villa shirt. John McGinn – 8 – MOTM – A very impressive debut. He works hard, likes to make a challenge and looks good on the ball. His corner led to our equalizer and his left footed free kick found Chester for our first. Kipre attempted to clear John’s 63rd minute corner but it cannoned off Dunkley’s head into the back of the net for our second. Hit an effort just wide on 73 minutes having had a 33rd minute shot from outside of the area saved by Walton. Looks likely to be another impressive Scot who has appeared for The Hibees before joining us and he follows in the illustrious footsteps of Alex Cropley and Des Bremner. Andre Green – 6 – Made a couple of decent runs and will get better with a run of games. Hit a 69th minute shot from the edge of the box that Walton kept out. This can be a big season for him. Jonathan Kodjia – 4 – Looks a shadow of the player he was before injury. He improved during the second half, but it would have been difficult to have been less effective. Should have found his match fitness by now which was the reason we gave for his lack lustre displays at the end of last season. Headed a nice McGinn cross over in the 52nd minute and had a 61st minute shot blocked by Walton. Headed a 68th minute Adomah cross wide. Badly in need of a confidence boosting goal or two. Substitutes: Albert Adomah – 5 – Came on for Tuanzebe in the 65th minute. Has not looked the same player that did so well for us up until towards the end of last season for some time now. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy - 6– Replaced Green on 74 minutes. Looked keen as well as full of running and pace. Conor Hourihane - Replaced Kodjia on 87 minutes. I had expected that Conor would start yesterday. Although he was not on long enough to gather a rating he did have time to hit the cross that produced our late winner. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  10. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
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