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  1. Whatever happens in the future, these young lions will always have last night. They all made their first team debuts together and worked tirelessly for each other and for the shirt that they wore. Whether they go on to play again for our first team (which I believe more than one, has the potential to do), make a footballing career as a professional elsewhere or do not quite go on to make the grade, they will always smile and be rightly proud of how they performed last night against the current league champions. This really was Roy of the Rovers stuff! What a tremendous display our young l
  2. Yesterday’s game brought us another clean sheet, another 3-0 win and another 3 points! This and our last game have reinforced my growing opinion, that we now have a determined, entertaining team that work for each other and has developed a winning mentality. That is rather a nice Christmas present for us Villa fans. For the first time in many a year we have a team that can go into every game, no matter where we are playing and who we are up against, with the knowledge that they will give them a proper game. Clubs like Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Spurs and Chelsea, will
  3. The positives were that we kept a clean sheet, we made numerous scoring opportunities and that we avoided a fourth consecutive home defeat. The negatives are that we once again undid splendid work away from home by dropping hard won points back at Villa Park. We also proved that 27 shots were not quite enough to hit the back of the net once! We demonstrated that when regular starters are unavailable it really has a significant impact on our ability to get a positive result. The players that came into the team to replace injured or suspended first teamers did well enough, but this and the
  4. Villa were denied a late opportunity to twice comeback from a goal behind yesterday, after VAR reared its ugly head again. Following 90-seconds of scrutiny, someone who apparently must be obeyed at Stockley Park, decided to instruct the match referee to take another look at the penalty decision that he had given in stoppage time! VAR very rarely fails to support a decision made by a referee and it should only do so when a clear and obvious error has occurred. Yesterday precedent was ignored by VAR. The decision to award a penalty was obviously not a clear and obvious error, as March clear
  5. We picked up exactly where we had left off, in the second half of our previous home game against Leeds yesterday. At the end of the first half, we were three goals down and that had made it 0-6 during our last 90 minutes of football at Villa Park. We really do need to not take a half off during home games, as we have now done in our last two! It was therefore to be a matter of damage limitation in the second half, as it is not often that teams recover from a three-goal deficit. We were better in the second half, although it could be argued that it would have been difficult for us to be an
  6. Our 100%-win record and unbeaten run of 8 games, came to a grinding halt last night. As has happened on each of the previous occasions, that we had won our first four games of the season, we went on to lose our fifth. We missed the chance to climb to the top of the table and we also failed to set a new club record, last night. It could have been so different though, had the referee not applied the “Vidic rule” that a player should not be sent off too early, whether it was merited or not, in a game against Aston Villa (Struijk was the beneficiary on this occasion, as his foul on Douglas
  7. Kenny Daglish, Kevin Keegan, Ian Rush, Graeme Souness, Jurgen Klopp, John Barnes, Alan Hansen, Mark Lawrenson, Robbie Fowler, Bruce Grobbelaar, Phil Thompson, John Aldridge, Michael Owen, Danny Murphy, Steve McManaman, Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, John Bishop, Jimmy Tarbuck, Yosser Hughes. Your boys took a hell of a beating! This was a night to remember and to tell your grandchildren about. It is a great pity that we could not have been there, and it is almost as much of a pity, that the Liverpool fans could not have been there to see this one. This result like the one in 1976, that I
  8. Our makeshift second XI demonstrated exactly why they are our second choices last night. They seemed to be going through the motions and failed abjectly to press any individual claims for a starting place, that they may have had prior to last night, in all but a couple of cases. This was a bitterly disappointing performance and we got what we deserved from the game, a humiliating cup exit. Eleven team changes proved to be our undoing. We might have got away with playing 3 or 4 of our first team, but there was no experienced player who was on the field to take this game or even a couple of
  9. Villa started the new season with a win, a penalty save and a clean sheet. This win also gave us three successive home wins for the first time since 2007. What is not to like about that? Chris Wilder really lives up to his surname when he visits Villa Park. Once again, he was raging about decisions made, or not made by the referee and by VAR, after the game. Does he reserve these displays of umbrage for his annual visits to Villa Park, or does he react the same way everywhere else? Villa started well and had the better of the early minutes. The first of the decisions that left Wilder
  10. I wanted to assess the effectiveness of our recent transfer policy as it is so often criticised here. If we catagorise the players into the 3 types for argument sakes to start with it would help determine this. Hogan, Bree and Hourihane could be seen as regular starters, I am going on pre-season and listing them as squad players instead. This isn't what we want, its what we have. 1. Regular starters (Johnstone, Hutton, Chester, Terry, Taylor, Adomah, Lansbury, Jedinak, Whelen, Green, Jack, Kodjia, Gabby, Elmo) 2. Squad (Steer, Bree, De Laet, Samba, Elphick, Richards, Amavi, Cissokho
  11. It would have been fitting to have won a second successive home league game on a night when the sad passing of Dalian Atkinson was impeccably marked on the tenth minute by home and away fans alike but it was in May 2015 that we last managed to win two home league games in a row. Last night’s 1-1 draw mirrored the score when the two clubs last met at Villa Park in 1987. That point eventually played a part in securing automatic promotion for us and let’s hope this point can do the same but we may well need to make up for points dropped at home with away wins as we did that same season at Hu
  12. Yesterday’s win was our first since March. We really had to break the losing habit quickly and we did it in our first home game of the season to provide a much needed confidence boost to both players and fans. Alan Stubbs said following this defeat “We won’t be the last team to come here and get beat”. I hope he is proved right and that Villa Park soon becomes a fortress for us. Rotherham gave a workmanlike performance yesterday but they offered little threat and we will face tougher tests this season at home and away. But we have to beat teams like this if we are to challenge for pr
  13. This was admittedly only a friendly but this game gave little cause for optimism for the season that is ahead of us. This performance was uncomfortably similar to many of the displays that we gave last season and those around me were openly questioning what differences there actually has been on the pitch itself rather than off it. We had the best of the game until they hit their equalizer on the hour mark. But our defence suddenly looked shaky as it had done more often than not last season. The visitors hit a second on 74 minutes and added another two minutes later to run out comfortable
  14. Last night Villa fans in their hundreds decided to get up, stand up on 74 minutes before exiting into the night. Our “custodian” obviously did not do so not least because he had as is usual not bothered to attend the game. No doubt as in the past his decision to stay away was influenced by his lack of interest in the club he once claimed to be the “custodian” of as well as by the likely welcome he would get and has so merited should he have done so. Well done to those who organised, publicised and took part in the 74th minute protest last night. To those who stayed in their seats or
  15. This was a shambolic, embarrassing and disappointingly rancid performance. The light we had thought we had spotted at the end of a long dark tunnel was all too easily extinguished as was our recent run of improved performances and fragile confidence yesterday. We started this game with a better goal difference than Newcastle and level with Norwich. We had an opportunity to move to being a slender 5 points from safety with a win. Given our dire home record against yesterday’s visitors most of us would have taken a point although we really knew we needed all three but to lose and to co
  16. The Villa lion showed the visiting canaries that there is still some life and fight left in him yesterday. A defeat would have left us doomed to relegation but this was a 6-pointer that we won due to hard work and determination on the pitch. There was not too much to choose between the two teams in the first half. Norwich are currently on the crest of a slump having now lost their last five games and the first goal was always going to be crucial given the brittle confidence of both teams. It was thankfully Villa that got it and crucially it arrived on the stroke of half time. We added an
  17. So we head to the FA Cup Final next weekend on the back of two confidence sapping defeats. Those two defeats reminded both us and our new manager that there is an awful lot of work to be done if we are to avoid another season of relegation worry next year. Burnley clearly wanted this win more than we did. We had players who had given their all to keep us up and to get us to the Cup Final in recent games who seemed for a second time to have nothing left to give. Our players would have been aware that one knock might see them miss a Cup Final appearance but our visitors had no such distra
  18. I’m sure it was David Cameron that I passed as he was buying a half Villa/West Ham scarf ten minutes before kick-off on Witton Lane! But joking aside we deservedly claimed all three points yesterday from a must not lose game that had turned into a must win game following Sunderland’s shock earlier win at Everton. This vital win was only our fifth league win at Villa Park this season. But three of these wins have come since our new manager took charge of what was then a fast sinking ship. Yesterday’s winner was also our 18th league goal since Tim took over for a team that had only m
  19. No, we are probably not quite safe yet. But, it seems highly unlikely that the bottom two will be able to catch us now. We might have enough points on the board already. Another point or three would probably do it for us. But with the sort of results we have seen recently nothing can quite be taken for granted yet. Our objective is now to stay ahead of a minimum of one of the four teams that are immediately below us. I think given our recent terrific form we are more than capable of doing that. Everton came into this game unbeaten in their previous 6 league games, having won 5 of these a
  20. How joyous was this semi-final victory and how proud of our team do we all feel? We left the stadium having witnessed the best display a Villa team has given in 19 years at Wembley. This was an occasion to be celebrated and one that will live in our memories. What had threatened to be a season of despair may yet prove to have a glorious conclusion. We proved the press, pundits and bookmakers wrong yesterday. We did not play like the long-odds underdogs they considered were just there to make up the numbers. We fought like lions and fully deserved our victory. We had the resilie
  21. This is a call to arms for all Villa fans - young and old, big and small, rich and poor, negative and positive: WE NEED YOU! Everybody is hurting right now. Nobody wanted to see us slide this far and things undoubtedly look grim. But what are our options? Run away and die? Accept defeat and relegation with 11 games of football still to be played? Or do we, the fans, the lifeblood of this grand old football club, come together as one? Do we become resilient and unmoving in the face of this increasingly desperate situation? As Aston Villa fans, we've always done the latter - through the good d
  22. Our makeshift defence was breeched three times last night by a QPR team that had looked destined for the drop until scoring four at WBA and taking a fourth point over the Easter period yesterday. We fell behind to them twice and defeat in this six-pointer would have seen us replace them in the third of the three relegation places. That would have been very hard to come back from with just six games remaining of the league season. A Villa team that was ravaged by injury always faced a tough test against a Rangers side that came to Villa Park with renewed belief that they might yet avoid t
  23. We had the opportunity to win a fourth game on the trot yesterday, to win three league games in a row for the first time in 5 years and to win two successive home games for the first time in a year. We had arrived buoyed by our recent performances and with perhaps too high a level of expectation. But those records have stood for a while for a reason and Tim Sherwood had warned us that there might be days like this when he took over. Swansea had the better of the first half yesterday and we were relieved still to be level at the break. We seldom produce a good level of performance througho
  24. Villa fans will be heading for the Wembley arch next month after our second ding-dong derby win in a week against WBA. But the only arches that Albion fans will see are the Golden Arches at McDonald’s as they queue for their Unhappy Meals. I’m lovin’ it! We were late coming out of the traps for this game. Albion were up for it from the start this time, they had the better of the first half by some distance and we were fortunate to go into the break still level. But the second half was a different story in much the same way as was the case in the previous round. After a brief chat with the
  25. Our first penalty of the season brought us our first goal in the last 15 minutes of a game this season and our first league win of 2015. It stopped the rot and brought to an end our embarrassing runs of 7 successive league defeats and of 12 league games without a win. Let us hope that league wins prove to be like London buses for us and that having waited ages for one three come along at once. We hit 2 goals for only the third time this season and took our goal tally up to 15. Our first win in 7 league games also gave our new boss his first league win and took us out of the bottom 3.
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