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  1. A game saving goalkeeping performance by Emi Martinez kept us in last night’s game and a timely first Premier League goal for Keinan Davis, gave us a late point and pulled the relegation trap door wide open for the Baggies. An early well taken Anwar El Ghazi penalty put us ahead within the first ten minutes last night and we really should have been able to kick on from there, to put the result beyond any doubt. That was not to be though and half-way through the first half, another soft penalty, this time for the visitors left the game all square. Having let our opponents back into the gam
  2. This game started so unbelievably well, when we went in front after just 20 seconds. Could this be another slaughter of the league champions? Not this time, the visitors became increasingly dominant and were ahead at half time, albeit having been brought down to ten men in the dying minutes of that half. Could we take advantage of the man advantage and stage a comeback? We might have done, had we not squandered that advantage 11 minutes into the second half. After that normal service was resumed and the champions elect were the team most likely to add to the scoring, we had shot ourselves
  3. Have we ever played as badly as this and won 3-1? I do not remember us doing so, myself. Villa were just lacking the deckchairs and the sand, to have been able to have been officially declared as being on the beach, for all but the last quarter of an hour yesterday. This was only the second time that we have fought back from being a goal behind to get something out of a game this season. It is also the first time that we have done so and won. There seemed little likelihood of the stalemate being broken until we gifted them the lead after 61 minutes, much to the despair of the Geordies,
  4. An outstanding start to the season is looking increasingly likely to be followed by a wretched end to it. Our early season form had us dreaming of a top six finish, but our present dismal run, that has brought us only 4 wins from our last 14 games, has us looking increasingly likely to drift into the bottom half of the table and to finish nearer the bottom six, than the top six. The goals have dried up, to the extent that we have only scored once in our last four games. We are now not even creating any decent chances, having gone almost an hour yesterday without having a shot on goal.
  5. We dominated the first half yesterday and our visitors from the Black Country, could have been two goals down after only 15 minutes, had it not been for the woodwork. The second half was totally different. Wolves having started the game slowly, increasingly took charge of the game and it was us rather than them, that were clinging on to a point for much of the second half. The first half was a marked improvement on our midweek display. The team seemed to understand, that although the fans were again missing, this match meant a lot to both sets of fans. If only we could sustain the sam
  6. We have lost every game that we have started without Jack since we returned to the Premier League and we do not get many points from games when we go a goal behind. Given that and the absence of Matty Cash, defeat was not perhaps entirely unpredictable after 23 minutes had elapsed yesterday. The Foxes were out of their blocks quickly at the start of yesterday’s game and we were anything but. They were much sharper, and it seemed evident that their early dominance was likely to lead to goals and so it proved. Two goals on 19 and 23 minutes, left us with a mountain to climb and we did n
  7. 1-0 to the Arsenal has been sung at Highbury since the days of George Graham. Their team used to go a goal ahead and then shut up shop, leaving it to their watertight back four (that comprised of Tony Adams, Steve Bould, Lee Dixon & Nigel Winterburn) to secure their win. Yesterday, we turned the tables on our visitors from North London. Had we been at Villa Park, it would have been us that were singing that song, as our own magnificent defensive performance, secured our first double against our visitors since the inaugural 1992/93 Premier League season and cemented our place in the top ha
  8. It was hard to take the smug self-satisfied grins on the faces of David Moyes and Jesse Lingard, at the final whistle. Moyes certainly did a job on us last night and Lingard took a full year of frustration at Old Trafford out against us for 91 minutes. Moyes conceived a game plan to win this game and his team executed it to the letter. A crucial part of that plan was to nullify the positive influence that Jack invariably has on our level of performance. He did that by having Coufal man-mark him and by having him and Fredericks double team him, when he had the ball. The visitors clear
  9. There seemed to be quite a gulf between these two teams last night, but I suppose there is. After all, we are now eighth and our visitors have now slipped to fifth from the bottom. There are also now ten points between us, and we have played two less games than they have. We moved back into the top half of the table again last night. In doing so, we moved above Arsenal and Chelsea, with two games in hand of both clubs. It has been a long time since we have been above both of those clubs, at this stage of the season. This really was a walk in the park for us. We had an extra gear ha
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
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