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  1. The summer of 2015-16 was one of transition for us. We'd sold Benteke and Delph, and we needed a big shake up. I think it's quite right to say we were excited by our spending - and I wanted to look back (18 months on) with fresh eyes. To be it is obvious that we just gambled on potential and didn't really look where we could have built a team. We basically played a game of cards and lost out on all hands we played, other than one or two. Give it another 12 months and I would think we will have none of those signed left. It speaks volumes. Even those who have been a success will leave, although I do feel players such as Ayew, Amavi and Veretout will possibly do well elsewhere. So looking back 18 months. What are your thoughts on the 'pick and mix' signings we made? Is there any hope for those we still have? Jordan Ayew - one of the only players to make his mark in the season we were relegated. Has not had a real impact this year and has been linked with a move to Swansea, or to China. Based on last season I think this signing was a success. Jordan Amavi - looked decent when in the team last season, although had a lot to learn. Suffered a horrible injury and has just won his place back - impressed a lot but still plenty to learn. Based on what he has shown and his potential, I think this signing was a success. Adama Traore - great pace but lacked any idea what to do with the ball. Ended up being traded to Boro for Adomah in a deal which has suited us. Overall though this signing was a failure. Jordan Veretout - never really did the business on the pitch, was unsettled and struggled to make an impact. Has been out on loan, doing well by all accounts, but likely to be sold. This signing was a failure. Idrissa Gueye - one of our better players last season, although his form was hit and miss. Signed for Everton and has been one of their better players in 2016. This signing was mixed success. Rudy Gestede - came in after scoring lots of goals for Blackburn, but could never find that form for us. Even when we dropped a league he struggled. Scored some key goals but not enough. This signing was a failure. Scott Sinclair - finalised his signing after a fairly successful loan period. Couldn't really find decent form for us and would frustrate by not finding team mates and running into trouble. Shipped off to Scotland. This signing was a failure. Joleon Lescott. This signing was a failure. Micah Richards - most were excited that we had got Richards in, but he struggled badly. When played in the middle he would be caught out often and had a terrible turn of pace. Big with words, poor with actions. This signing was a failure. Jose Crespo - a strange signing, bit of a gamble. Looked well off the pace and ended up getting injured and sold. This signing was a failure. Mark Bunn - for some reason I forgot we signed Bunn at this point. A solid number 2, but never good enough for the top spot. Because it was on a free and a good back-up, this signing was mixed success.
  2. So, we're eleven games (12 inc cup) in to the season so now might be a good time to assess our transfer window signings. Admittedly it's not been a great start to the season but is tgat due o the signings or the person who signed them? We signed nine players so assess each one and then decide whether it was an overall hit or miss. Elphick - born leader, not born footballer. Poor more often than not. MISS (3 out of 10) Gollini - looked good, looked awful. One for future but shouldn't have been our No.1. MISS (5 out of 10) Tshibola - more time in treatment room than on pitch but looked promising when on. HIT (7 out of 10) McCormack - injured a bit, definitely rusty but often our only creative threat. Slow start but HIT (7 out of 10) Chester - looked ok, outplaying Elphick and settled quickly. HIT (6 out of 10) Jedinak - the new Lescott in terms of performance, sold by team just as his legs/ career had finished. MISS (2 out of 10) De Laet - looked average when playing then unfortunately injured. Not his fault but MISS (can't rate) Kodjia - looked strong, battled well and scored a fantastic goal. HIT (8 out of 10) Adomah - bit early to fully judge but doesn't seem to offer as much as Ayew would in same position. MISS? (5 out of 10) So overall it was a mixed bag in my opinion. However there is no reason that we still shouldn't be doing better than we are, even accommodating the poorer signings listed above. Elphick can be replaced by Baker, Jedinak by the awful Gardner (least he can run) and we're just going to have to ride the Gollini wave (flap?!) as Bunn is even worse. No transfer window is going to be 100% success so I think we did ok but it was always going to prove difficult to arrest the decline and the lack of focus on the midfield has, and will continue yo be, the undoing of us. We'll survive after Xia throws a bit more money at the problem in January but promotion is incredibly unrealistic.
  3. 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?
  4. Draft set for Thursday night 8PM GMT https://www.playtogga.com/?REF_CODE=C2ZTK4B332
  5. Its that time again, some memorable games over the years. Tonight sees Brighton vs Sheffield Wednesday. Would prefer either one of these teams to go up than Derby or Hull. For me I want Championship: Sheffield Wednesday League One: Bradford League two: Pompey (their fans have suffered enough)
  6. It's on BT Showcase and Rio Ferdinand is wearing a bow tie.
  7. its that time of year again - good old addidas just changed white for black and charge £40 for it
  8. Think there is a fair bit of value in Villa & Sunderland 18/1 Barney Rubble! Get On!..
  9. Well, a year on from our non-event at Wembley it's the turn of Crystal Palace to try and upset the odds. I have to say, I expect them to put up a much better fight than our useless bunch of ***** did. Would love to see them turn Man United over. Anyone fancy them to win it?
  10. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong.
  11. Sunday Premier League Chelsea v Leicester Everton v Norwich Man Utd v Bournemouth SS1 Newcastle v Spurs Southampton v Palace Stoke v West Ham SS3 Swansea v Man City SS2 Watford v Sunderland Albion v Liverpool MOTD 10.30pm
  12. Arsenal v Villa Sunday May 15 15:00 Emirates Stadium Please do not mention streams in this thread. Please note that there is no distinction between legal or illegal, video or audio. If you aren't sure, it doesn't go in this thread. You will receive warning points if you ignore this.
  13. Right - pick your team of the season but the caveat is that you are only allowed 1 player per team. Go!
  14. Not familiar with the Pastebin format? Read these instructions before you post The Pastebin solution seems to be working great, despite it being a slightly longer way for you guys to paste them in. We'll be sticking with this until further notice. -- How to post a prediction -- Copy my prediction from below (including my name). Only copy from my post, DO NOT COPY FROM OTHER POSTERS. Open Pastebin.com, and paste my prediction into the text box. Edit the scores + your name (don't close the Pastebin page yet, you'll need to submit it). DO NOT post my prediction straight into VT and edit the scores. Make sure you use Pastebin.com You DO NOT need to signup or change any of the dropdown boxes on the Pastebin page. Change my name (Chewie) into your name EXACTLY as it appears in VT. It is CaSeSeNsItIvE! Delete ONLY the numerical scores and then replace them with your own. DO NOT... DO NOT change the team names. DO NOT add any other text into the prediction itself. DO NOT replace the hyphen with your own weird version. DO NOT add or remove spacing. The format should be TeamA 0-0 TeamB - that's TeamA[Space]Score[Hyphen]Score[Space]TeamB Now that your prediction is edited (in Pastebin), you need to hit [Submit] and paste your prediction from there into the VT editor. Make sure that you post the prediction AND the Pastebin URL (e.g http://pastebin.com/k9LKLQ90). People are STILL messing up the format and then not pasting the Pastebin URL. Follow this step, it is not difficult! See my example below as to how your post should look. -- Here is my prediction, copy and paste the below (minus the URL), then edit your name and the scores only -- Chewie Norwich 0-2 ManUtd Villa 1-2 Newcastle Bournemouth 1-1 WestBrom Palace 1-2 Stoke Sunderland 1-2 Chelsea WestHam 3-1 Swansea Leicester 1-1 Everton Spurs 2-1 Southampton Liverpool 2-1 Watford ManCity 1-1 Arsenal WestHam 1-2 ManUtd Norwich 0-1 Watford Sunderland 1-2 Everton Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea http://pastebin.com/k9LKLQ90 -- This ends the instructions for posting a prediction, you can skip the below if you don't care about the leader board -- Arj Guy tops the table with 13 points, only rubberman and andykeenan also manage double points. A poor week by their standards for Daniel and Villaphan04. And andykeenan's decent week compared the rest makes the next gameweek extremely interesting. After pulling out into the lead Villaphan04 drops to second courtesy of Excels sort function. Daniel drops 9 points away from 2nd. Bets were placed in last weeks thread, both lost. I'll make the usual bets using two predictions of my choosing before the matches start (the predictor will take 20% if they come out a winner), prediction entries close at kick off of the first game on Saturday. It's another bumper gameweek with 56 points up for grabs, now is the time to make it count lads. Good Luck!
  15. So the season is nearly, finally over. Will the club bring out the annual season review in the summer? Will they dare to? How could they sell it? "Aston Villa 2015-2016 Season Review. The 2015-2016 season was a year of transition for the Lions, as we now get prepared for an exciting season in the Championship. Enjoy once again our stunning opening day victory over newly promoted Bournemouth. After a difficult few weeks you can now enjoy our great 0-0 draw at home versus big spending Manchester City under the first game of Remi Garde. Then see over in January how Garde's boys really tried to turn the season around including wins versus Palace and a epic FA Cup victory over plucky Wycombe Wanderers. Re-live our record breaking season in all its HD glory, including the fantastic 11 games unbroken losing streak and the historic defeat at home versus Liverpool. Marvel at the rapid deterioration of Joleon Lescott and again wonder how Kieran Richardson ever played for England. Yes this and much, much, more is the essential purchase for all claret and blue fans this summer. Bonus extra for all season ticket holders- A free brick wall to place your head when you watch the full 90 minute programme. DVD Extras Paul Lambert,We are Fine- A retrospective look at one of Villa's most charismatic managers. Gabby Agbonlahor's off season Kehab and Chips workout. Join everyone's most wackiest and loveable Villa player in this summer's most anticipated exercise programme. Plus interactive game- Where in the world is Randy Lerner?"
  16. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong.
  17. Newcastle are the only team to have not beaten us in the league this season. As a result they look likely to join us in our journey to the league below next season. It was at Villa Park that their relegation fate was decided 7 years ago and their fate was all but sealed yesterday when they failed to claim the three points they had expected to leave with. A win for their neighbours Sunderland who are at home to Everton on Wednesday will seal their fate and will see them along with Norwich visiting Villa Park again next season. Everyone had guessed that this would prove a straightforward win for our visitors yesterday because doesn’t everyone beat us these days? However, we avoided the shame of setting a new club record of twelve consecutive league defeats yesterday by keeping a very, very rare clean sheet. A goalless draw was the limit of our ambitions from the very start of this our final home game of the season so I guess this was a case of mission accomplished for our temporary manager Eric Black. His team selection did nothing to suggest we were looking to take the game to our visitors. We looked to stifle them rather than to take them on. We left creative players such as Grealish, Adama and Gil sitting on our bench throughout the game despite having a total lack of threat up front from start to finish. This was a game that produced a workman like performance from Villa which is a description that has rarely been associated with our team’s performances this season. For some reason our visitors chose not to press us and they looked little better than we did which is quite a condemnation these days. If anything we looked more committed than they did which was surprising given they still had a decent chance of staying up before this game. They had chances to win the game in the second half but failed to take them. Colback flashed a shot over the bar on 46 minutes, Mitrovic chipped a ball over both Bunn and the bar 15 minutes later and then headed wide of the post on 74 minutes. We didn’t have any chances at all. This point moves us to 17 points from 16 at long last. It is too little too late but there was a feeling of relief at the final whistle because avoiding defeat has almost become a cause for celebration having been becalmed on 16 points for so long. Both Newcastle and Villa have fans that do not deserve to be relegated but I would not say the same about either of these two club’s owners. This game was a poor one. It will be one we will soon forget and one that Newcastle fans will try to forget but may struggle to do so. What it did show was our fans at their very best. Fans marched before the game to again show their feelings about how this club is being run. Well done to everyone who took part in this as well as in past protests and to those that have organised these protests for us. Villa fans sang loud and proud during the game and the inflatables, banners and balloons made a striking impression during the game and particularly on the 74th minute. These are the things that are worth remembering from yesterday. We now need to stop dithering and appoint a new manager. We cannot wait indefinitely to do so in the hope that a new owner will be in place sooner rather than later. We need to bring in players and let others who either want to leave or we want to leave go. We need to start preparing for the challenges we will face in three months from the likes of Rotherham and Leeds. My player ratings from a game that brought us something other than another league defeat are: Mark Bunn – 6 – Could not hold a low 70th minute shot from Wijnaldum but Bacuna was first to the loose ball and cleared it with a little help from Clark’s back. A far quieter day at the office than he would have been expecting. Alan Hutton – 5 – Worked hard as he always does but his crosses were again woeful as was that attempted shot. Kevin Toner – 6 – It was asking a lot for this young prospect to fill in for the missing Cissokho. He did look solid enough at the back and he will grow in confidence the more games he gets but he unsurprisingly looked less than fluent when trying to move forward. For me his future is clearly in the centre of defence and unlike others at the club he has one. Joleon Lescott – 5 – One of his better performances in what has been a sorry season for him and for us both on and off the field. Ciaran Clark – 7 – MOTM – Beaten too easily to a 74th minute cross by Mitrovic whose header was fortunately off target but showed courage to get his head in the way of a fierce goal bound shot from Wijnaldum in stoppage time. Our best defender by a distance yesterday and if he stays he might well get the captain’s armband next season. Leandro Bacuna – 4 – Will this be Leo’s last appearance at Villa Park or will he come back in a Milan shirt in a few years? Carlos Sanchez – 5 – Broke up play reasonably well and made none of those glaring errors that he is prone to. Ashley Westwood – 5 – Did his bit in keeping the midfield together but offered little to those playing in front of him. Idrissa Gana – 6 – Put his foot in and kept busy. I guess he will be among the few players we would like to keep but no doubt he will be one of the first that we get derisory offers for. Jordan Ayew – 5 – Jordan had a quiet one. He was starved of the sort of service that players left on the bench may have provided him with. He has the ability to shine with better players around him I guess he will not get the opportunity to do so with us anytime soon. Scott Sinclair – 5 - Scott showed to anyone who might have had any doubts about it that he is not comfortable in playing as a target man. He did however manage our one shot on target in the 65th minute when Ayew played a nice ball to him and he hit a shot from just inside the box that forced a save from Darlow tis a pity he had strayed just offside. Substitutes: Rushian Hepburn-Murphy - Replaced Sinclair on 90 minutes so was not on long enough to gather a rating despite 6 minutes of Rafa time. We will return – Up the Villa! John Lewis
  18. Villa v Newcastle Saturday May 7 15:00 Please do not mention streams in this thread. Please note that there is no distinction between legal or illegal, video or audio. If you aren't sure, it doesn't go in this thread. You will receive warning points if you ignore this.
  19. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong.
  20. Watford v Villa Saturday April 30 15:00 Please do not mention streams in this thread. Please note that there is no distinction between legal or illegal, video or audio. If you aren't sure, it doesn't go in this thread. You will receive warning points if you ignore this.
  21. A rare two goals at home still produced “nul points” for us because we have a defence that is as watertight as was The Titanic. If this was the performance of a team with the weight taken off their shoulders it was not markedly different from the performances they produced before relegation (which our “custodian” deemed inevitable after only 5 league games) became a mathematical certainty last weekend. Southampton scored four and could have had a couple more if the woodwork had not denied them. We all arrived expecting another defeat and that is what we got. This was our 12th home defeat of the season, our 25th loss from 35 league games and our 10th successive defeat which brings us just one more defeat from equalling the worst run of losses in the history of our football club. Everyone wants to play us at the moment. Even Newcastle who could well be joining us in the league below next season will anticipate getting nothing less than a win and an easy three points from our next and final home game of the season. So we had better get our chants of “Going down with the Villa” in early doors! Our caretaker manager selected a team no doubt with the hope that we could keep it tight at the back. That worked well didn’t it? We scored twice but the visitors still ran out comfortable winners. There is little point in picking players like Bacuna and Richardson (who would no doubt have played had he not had a knock) that have lost the crowd and done little to nothing to warrant selection this season. Why not play the kids alongside Gil, Jack and Traoré? Its not as if doing so could cost us our place in the division is it? These players would enjoy the full backing of the fans in the way that Ayew does. Failing to play our more creative players along with the young players to give them some first team experience smacks of ignoring what the fans want but that is sadly not unusual at our football club. It was great to see those thousands of banners held up before the game and on 74 minutes to show that the vast majority of fans are unwilling to accept how our football club is being run as it lurches from bad to worse on almost a daily basis. Well done to all involved in this protest! My player ratings from a game that gave us another disappointing and predictable result are: Brad Guzan – 4 – Came out to block a Long shot with an outstretched arm on 57 minutes, kept out a Davis effort at his near post on 59 minutes and then held a Rodriguez shot from outside of the box 2 minutes later although it was hit straight at him. Brad was beaten on 71 minutes by a shot from the edge of the area from Tadic which took a slight deflection off Westwood. He then pushed away a Davis cross with one hand on 79 minutes but did less well a minute later when he pushed weakly at a cross with one hand that fell to Long who spared his blushes by hitting the ball over. Did well to take the ball away from Mané inside the box as the substitute threatened to add a fourth on 84 minutes but he again exposed his fallibilities on 89 minutes when he presented the ball to an opponent with a quick ball played just outside his own area but fortunately Cissokho was able to take the ball off Long inside the area. Alan Hutton – 6 – Kept trying to move us forwards. Had an 85th minute effort helped over the bar at his near post by Forster and had a header from a Grealish corner headed off the line late in second half stoppage time. Micah Richards – 3 – Substituted at half time. Joleon Lescott – 2 – A ball was played for Long on the 2nd minute that went over the head of Richards and then bounced off Joleon and back to Long whose shot fortunately cannoned off the bar. He then left the same striker in space 12 minutes later and the ball was headed in for their opener from Bertrand’s cross. Rodriguez tried to turn in a dangerous cross on 56 minutes which was deflected wide of the post off Lescott. He was left covering space rather than the unmarked Mané when he gave them their fourth on 94 minutes. Aly Cissokho – 5 – Worked hard and Aly was solid enough at the back. Leandro Bacuna – 2 – Really should have been on target with a header from a nice cross from Westwood that he turned wide of the post on 22 minutes. He then gave the visitors a two-goal cushion after 39 minutes with a thoughtless as well as an aimless back pass from well within the visitor’s half. Long then easily outpaced Lescott to reach the ball first. Guzan did well to dive at Long’s feet and to push the ball away from him but the striker then squared the ball for Tadic who was unmarked when hitting the ball home. Had Richards hurried rather than ambled back he might have been able to have challenged the scorer. Ashley Westwood – 7 – MOTM – You wait almost a whole season for a league goal from him and then like the Clapham omnibus two come along together. His two goals were the highlights of our performance yesterday and his second was particularly well taken. Got on the end of a 38th minute Ayew cross but the ball went straight into Forster’s hands. Ashley then scored in the first minute of first half stoppage time when a good run and cross from Ayew was missed by Gana but ran on to him and he did well to find the corner of the net. His second came on 85 minutes when Gestede was unable to connect with a Grealish cross and the ball ran on to him just inside the box. Ashley proceeded to curl a splendid measured shot into the corner of the net. Idrissa Gana – 5 – Appeared to lack a little of his usual interest early on but got into the game increasingly as it wore on. Carlos Sánchez – 3 – He has not been the rock in our midfield that we had hoped for when he signed for us and that continued to be the case yesterday prior to his substitution. Scott Sinclair – 4 – Made a couple of decent runs. Hit a shot wide of the post on 35 minutes from the edge of the box and he had a shot saved by Forster’s feet after the ball had run to him in stoppage time after Gestede had lost it on the edge of the box. Jordan Ayew – 5 – Why would anyone bring off Jordan when the team should have been chasing the game? That was clearly a view shared by many giving the resulting chant of “You don’t know what you’re doing”. Had an 8th minute effort comfortably saved at his near post by Forster but was our biggest threat to the visitors until he was withdrawn. Substitutes: Kevin Toner – 6 – Replaced Richards at half time and gave a steady enough display that should lead to him starting our remaining games for me. Rudy Gestede – 4 - Replaced Ayew on 59 minutes and headed a 66th minute cross from Cissokho over which he had to stretch back to reach. Jack Grealish – 5 - Replaced Sánchez on 68 minutes. He needs to start our remaining games. Jack gave a couple of reminders of the player we knew from last season and was unlucky that a few of the things that he tried that did not quite come off. Get straight back up next season Villa! John Lewis
  22. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong.
  23. Villa v Southampton Saturday April 23 15:00 Please do not mention streams in this thread. Please note that there is no distinction between legal or illegal, video or audio. If you aren't sure, it doesn't go in this thread. You will receive warning points if you ignore this.
  24. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong.
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