Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'r&r'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Administration
    • Welcome Forum
  • Football
    • Villa Talk
    • C: Middlesbrough h
    • C: Blackburn h
    • Other Football
    • Supporters Clubs
  • Off Topic
    • Off Topic
    • Games and Gaming
    • Tech Room
    • Travel
    • North American Sports
    • Site Issues
    • Hall of Fame
  • Match Forums
    • Season 2018/19

Blogs

  • A Badly Cleaned Blackboard
  • The Optimist
  • Lancs' Laments
  • Aston Villa Review
  • Trinity Road
  • My Geeky Youtube Channel
  • Deadly Doug Ate My Hamster
  • A Rant from the Sofa
  • John's Blog
  • VillaTalk blog
  • HalfTimePost: Villa Rants
  • leviramsey's Blog
  • Sam's Blog
  • MakemineVanilla's Blog
  • Analysing The Squad
  • GaryDavis
  • The Villa View
  • Pride of Witton

Categories

  • Articles
    • Match Reports
    • Match Previews
    • Club Stuff
    • Reserves
    • Youth Team

Product Groups

  • Donations and Subscriptions
  • Other Site Options
  • Retired

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Twitter


Google Hangout


Skype


Website URL


PSN


Location


Interests

Found 58 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. We now have our place in the top six. The battle is to stay there. Derby and Bristol City may have a game and two games in hand of us respectively, but we have the points on the board. City must also visit Villa Park and neither of these teams are currently winning games for fun, are they? The likes of Preston, Forest and Wednesday are behind us, so they would need to have a better finish than we do to the season, in order to overhaul us. As Ron Saunders once said at the business end of a very successful season, “Do you want to bet against us?” Yesterday’s fourth successive victory has taken us into the play off places. Who would have thought that likely just a couple of weeks ago? The win has left us just a point behind Middlesbrough, who must now fear being overtaken by the team that knocked them out of the play offs last season and completed the double over them yesterday. They are in our sights now and so is promotion! Eight games of this season remain, or could it be 11? The international break has come at a time when we are on a tremendous run that looks like it could sweep us into the end of season play offs. We must use this break to our advantage. Let’s hope that players who are on international duty return to us fit and that a couple of those who are currently on the treatment table, near fitness during this period of club inactivity. We currently have the look of a team that is putting together a late run to make the play offs, that other clubs will not relish meeting in them. Clubs that enter the play offs on the crest of a run of good results, often take the promotion spot from teams that have finished above them over the course of the season. We could be that club this year. If we can play as well as we have done in the last 4 games, in our final 8 games of the season and then do the same in the 3 play-off games, it just could be on, after all! The high winds and second half rain were not conducive to good football. Tony Pulis must have welcomed the conditions then and our visitors from Teesside might well have been reminded of a summer’s day back at home! They may have come to Villa Park to park the bus, but they left it in the club car park and their usually solid defence was breached three times. Villa were not to be distracted by the weather conditions. We dominated this game from start to finish. If it had been a boxing match, it would have been stopped before we applied the coup de grace on the 88th minute. I don’t want to tempt fate, but it seems that our defence might now have reached the point where a two-goal lead can prove to be enough to secure a win. My player ratings from a game that left us surprisingly and unexpectedly optimistic, about our play off prospects are: Jed Steer – 6 – Not unduly troubled by the visitor’s attack but appeared both confident and assured. Ahmed Elmohamady – 7 – Another solid performance from Elmo, who is doing more than a bit to make our defence look increasingly and reassuringly solid. Kortney Hause - 7 – Solid, unflustered and looking increasingly confident, alongside Tyrone in the centre of our defence. Tyrone Mings – 8 – His towering presence in the centre of the defence is increasingly impressive. He has so much time on the ball, is unrushed, confident and is the rock on which our defence is currently built. His was an inspired signing! Neil Taylor – 7 – This was a no-nonsense defensive performance, which is exactly what we have been looking for from him. Keep it up Tayls! Glenn Whelan – 8 – MOTM – Didn’t put a foot wrong yesterday. I can’t recall him playing better in our shirt than this. He was the cog in our midfield engine and allowed Jack and John to move forward knowing that he was on hand behind them. Hit a 52nd minute shot from the edge of the box wide of the left-hand post. It must have been nice for him to hear the crowd acknowledging his tremendous performance yesterday. Andre Green – 6 – Substituted after 65 minutes having not over troubled Friend on the right. John McGinn – 8 – Scored one and made one, what’s not to like? Headed a 1st minute El Ghazi cross over. Hit a nice ball to find El Ghazi in space on the edge of the box for our first. Grealish played a ball inside for Abraham that ran past him for John to pick up and run with to the edge of the box before hitting our second into the right-hand corner of the net. Jack Grealish – 8 – Hit the foot of the near post on 62 minutes, having ran inside the box following a short corner. Gave another captain’s performance, led by example, teased opponents with his skills and his presence created space for his teammates. Had a 36th minute shot from the edge of the box deflected wide on 36 minutes. Anwar El Ghazi – 7 – He looks a little like Ronaldo to me from a distance (I must get my eyesight checked), he doesn’t play much like him yet, but this was a bright, encouraging performance from Anwar. Hit our opener on 28 minutes, when he was found unmarked on the edge of the box by McGinn. He proceeded to run into the box and slot the ball past the keeper and into the far corner of the net nicely. Grealish made a strong run forward from inside his own half, before finding him just inside the box but his 50th minute shot was hit just wide of the far post. Tammy Abraham – 7 – Worked hard, stayed busy made some nice forward runs and led the line well. The only thing that was missing was his 22nd goal and that will come another day. Hit a 61st minute ball from Elmo over on 61 minutes and a shot from the edge of the box wide of the right-hand post 3 minutes later. Substitutes: Albert Adomah – 6 – Replaced Green on 65 minutes and hit our third 23 minutes later, when he tapped home from close range after Randolph had been unable to hold a shot from Davis. Jonathan Kodjia - 6 – Replaced Tammy on 72 minutes. Keinan Davis - 6 – Made a rare first team appearance yesterday, coming off the bench to replace El Ghazi on 75 minutes. Elmo found him on the left of the box on 88 minutes, from where he got into a shooting position before curling a shot towards the far post that Randolph obligingly spilled for our third. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  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. 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.
  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. Jack’s back and so were the Villa yesterday! Alan Durban, Kevin Hector, Roy McFarland, Alan Hinton, Archie Gemmill, Roger Davies and Francis Lee. Your boys took one hell of a beating! Captain Jack invigorated the team on his return and led by example. We have not looked nearly as good as we did yesterday, in the 13 league games that we have played without him, since injury deprived us of our talisman. One player does not make a team, but one player can help a team to play like one! Three first half goals won it for us at Pride Park in November and four first half goals won it for us at Villa Park yesterday. We have scored 7 goals against Frank Lampard’s Derby and have kept two clean sheets against them this season. If we could play them every week, then promotion might still not be quite beyond us! Villa rather than our visitors looked the serious promotion contenders yesterday. If only Jack had been able to come back a month earlier, we might have made a late run for the play offs. As it is, we are 6 points behind sixth place Bristol City. That gap could be pegged back to three points as they still have to visit Villa Park, but they do have a game in hand. Derby also have a run of 4 successive home games to follow this defeat, which still leaves them 3 points ahead of us. A more realistic and achievable target is therefore making it another double on Sunday! Our visitors were not at their best yesterday, but they seldom are at this stage of the season, are they? The scintillating first half performance that we produced yesterday, would have blown away any championship team though. We eased through the second half with the game already won but lost another central defender through injury during it. Tommy Elphick can now be added to Axel and Chester, on the treatment table, on the day that we got our Jack back. Could Chester be fit for selection by Sunday, I wonder? My player ratings from a game that left us remembering how good it feels to see a Villa home win and how hard it can prove to stop smirking after a victory such as this, are: Jed Steer – 6 – Had a quiet afternoon but his presence may be giving some much-needed confidence to the defenders who are in front of him. Ahmed Elmohamady – 7 – He retains the ball. Sometimes he plays the ball back behind him to do so but he doesn’t give the ball away too often. He does what it says on the tin and did so yesterday very well. He got an assist with a well-placed cross for our second. A good solid overall performance from Elmo. Tommy Elphick - 7 – Solid again alongside Tyrone before he was stretchered off on 67 minutes. He was unfortunately on crutches after the game. Appeared to catch his foot on the turf when moving towards a pass from Mings. This was cruel luck for Tommy, who has been twice the player he was before his loan spell, since returning to the club from Hull. Tyrone Mings – 8 – He looks increasingly composed and comfortable with each game. Headed an El Ghazi cross wide of the far post on 57 minutes. We must pull out all the stops to try to keep him at Villa Park next season! Kortney Hause – 7 – He wins plenty of ball in the air, doesn’t he? He understandably tends to drift towards the middle of the defence, which leaves room on his flank. Looked solid yesterday and played some nice balls out of defence. Looked comfortable when switched into the centre of our defence following Tommy’s substitution. Glenn Whelan – 8 – Glenn turned back the years yesterday and produced a very good solid all round midfield performance. He also hit the corner that Jack volleyed home to make it four before the half time whistle. Albert Adomah – 7 – Albert was involved, keen and made a positive impression during this game. Hit a shot over the bar from inside of the box on 20 minutes. Conor Hourihane – 8 – Back to his best yesterday at long last. Conor popped up here, there and everywhere. Grealish played a nice ball forward to El Ghazi whose cross was hit wide of the far post by Conor on 5 minutes. Four minutes later, Jack floated a superb ball for Abraham to run onto. Tammy’s attempt on goal was blocked by Carson, only for the ball to run onto Conor, who turned home our first. He then swept home our third and his second on 44 minutes, placing the ball past Carson from the edge of the box with some aplomb. Jack Grealish – 9 – MOTM – So much for needing a couple of games after a lengthy injury break to get back to his best! Jack was simply tremendous on his long-awaited return to the first team. He hit a magnificent, unstoppable volley from the edge of the box to give us our fourth goal in the 2nd minute of first half stoppage time from Whelan’s corner. He then hit a 55th minute shot from the edge of the box that Carson pushed away for a corner. He teased and worried Derby until leaving the field to a standing ovation on 71 minutes. Hopefully he will get a little more protection from match officials following his return from injury, although it only took 17 minutes for him to receive a first clumsy challenge that went unpunished yesterday. Anwar El Ghazi – 7 – Good to see him tracking back a couple of times and he did well when doing so. Made a strong run before hitting a cross that Tomori blocked a minute into first half stoppage time. The ball then cannoned off Wisdom into the side netting and we scored from the resulting corner. Took a touch on a 79th minute Hourhihane cross before hitting a shot that Carson blocked near the far post. A step up on his recent performances. Tammy Abraham – 8 – Hit his 21st goal of the season to end a barren run of three games without a goal. Whelan found Elmo on the right on 37 minutes and Tammy stretched to prod home his cross at the far post for our second. Claimed an assist for our third, when he won a high ball and ran on towards the box before playing the ball to Hourihane to score our third. Hit a 76th minute shot from the edge of the box, having been found by Grealish which forced a good save from Carson. Great to see him nodding his head in reaction to this encouraging win on the final whistle. Substitutes: Neil Taylor – 6 – Came on for the unluckily injured Elphick on 67 minutes. Fitted in well enough, enabling Hause to move into the middle of the defence. Tom Carroll - 6 – Replaced Jack on 71 minutes and got some more first team minutes behind him during what was a less than pressured finish to the game. Andre Green - Came on for El Ghazi on 80 minutes. Andre was not on long enough to gather a rating. 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. 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.
  10. Two defeats within a week have consigned us to a fourth season outside of the top flight. Fans bought half season tickets a couple of months ago in the hope of witnessing a strong second half of the season. They will now be resigning themselves to the fact that half of the games that they paid for have now become meaningless end of season fixtures for our football club. We started well but we just don’t make good starts into goals and half time leads, do we? Instead we concede goals freely and find ourselves too often having to try to pull home games out of the fire in the second half. There was to be no stirring late comeback this time. We had 63% of the possession, 11 shots to their 10, 9 corners to their 2 but they had the two goals and ran out comfortable winners. We probably shaded it before they scored, but the first goal was always going to be crucial in this game. When it came and was followed by another 4 minutes later, that effectively ended the game as a contest. Albion were content to hold onto what they had, and we were too easily beaten. Our primary second half ambition seemed to focus on damage limitation rather than on a concerted attempt to try and throttle those annoying Throstles. Even so, had we managed to put away one or two of the chances we made, we might have witnessed an unlikely comeback again. We are 7 points behind Boro and Derby who are sixth and seventh. We play both of these sides at home in what is left of this season. On paper we could therefore draw within 4 points of each by winning those two home games but let’s face it we cannot buy a win. We have only won 6 of our 17 home league games to date and have one win from our last nine games. Rodriguez’s hand stole 2 points from us in December and it was in that game that we had last looked like serious promotion contenders. This time it was his foot and a second goal just before half time that was deflected past Kalinic that prematurely ended our season. On both occasions the referees acted as Albion’s twelfth man. My player ratings from a game before which we paid tribute to Gordon Banks, who was England’s best goalkeeper and to Ian Ross who was a rock-solid Villa defender and the captain of our 1975 League Cup winning team are: Lovre Kalinic – 5 – Saved low to his left from Murphy on 23 minutes having earlier dropped and then gathered a routine 20th minute ball into the box at the second attempt. Stood no real chance with Robson-Kanu’s 41st minute header which looped over him from a Holgate cross after Green had allowed him too much space wide on the right. Beaten again 4 minutes later from the edge of the box by a Rodriguez shot that took a deflection off Elphick and went in off his left-hand post. He had been dazed by a 21st minute collision with Livermore that resulted in his substitution at half time. Alan Hutton – 4 – What he provides going forward was not compensated by his defensive lapses yesterday. Murphy left him in his wake too often and too easily. Tommy Elphick - 6 – Made an important 4th minute challenge on Holgate. Hourihane’s 48th minute corner found him at the far post and his header was deflected onto the top of the crossbar off Dawson. Tyrone Mings – 7 – MOTM – Booked for strongly yet correctly pointing out to the referee that he had played the ball out of play, off Rodriguez so it should have been a goal kick rather than a corner after Hutton had allowed the forward to run clear of him. Solid and composed in the centre of our defence again. Might need some persuading to make his loan deal permanent in the summer but we should make that a priority. Kortney Hause – 6 – Looked decent yesterday and will get better with the increased match fitness that more first team games will result in. Headed a 30th minute Hourihane free kick well over the crossbar. Glenn Whelan – 5 – Glenn wasn’t our least effective midfield performer yesterday. John McGinn – 6 – Picked up the booking that has always appeared inevitable that will result in a 2-game suspension for our most effective and consistent midfielder. Hit a 30 yard shot that Johnstone dived to his left to push away for a corner. Conor Hourihane – 4 – Doesn’t contribute much other than his ability to hit a corner and a free-kick well. Stretched to reach the ball in the build up to their second but Rodriguez came away with it and then moved to Hutton’s left without the defender attempting to put in a challenge before hitting the ball past Kalinic. Andre Green – 5 – Hit a 2nd minute shot wide of the post from the edge of the box but didn’t make much of an impact upon this game. Ahmed Elmohamady – 6 – Did well, particularly in the first half. Glanced a near post header from an 81st minute McGinn corner just wide of the far post. Tammy Abraham – 6 – He was in the right place at the right time twice but this time he was unable to put his chances away. Even Tammy showed he can’t do it every time yesterday. Hause got a firm header on a Johnstone kick that Elmo controlled near the left-hand edge of the box before finding Tammy unmarked near the penalty spot. His touch was poor, and Johnstone smothered his side footed attempt on goal. Climbed well between 2 defenders to head an 84th minute Hause cross just wide of the far post Substitutes: Jed Steer – 6 – Came on for the injured Kalanic at the beginning of the second half. Jacob Ramsey - 5 – Replaced Hourihane on 61 minutes. It was asking a lot of this youngster to expect him to come on and make an impression in this game with the die already cast. Understandably took some time to settle into the game. McGinn played a nice ball that found him within the box on 94 minutes, but he attempted a cross which was blocked when he might have been better having a pot himself. Hit a shot wide of the post from the resulting McGinn corner. Jonathan Kodjia - 4 - Came on for Green on 71 minutes and has looked keener to try to make an impact on games in the past when coming off the bench. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. This was an unbelievable, outstanding, incredible, amazing, astonishing, sensational, surprising, unexpected, remarkable, dramatic and thrilling comeback! With eight minutes of normal time remaining Sheffield United were temporarily on top of the league and were a seemingly comfortable three goals ahead. By the end of the game that lead had disappeared before their very eyes, their promotion hopes had been blunted, and they found themselves shell shocked and sitting back in third place where they had been at the start of this astounding game. Our visitors bossed the first half on our own patch. They picked up where they had left off at Bramall Lane 5 months earlier and showed how much they wanted to finish the game in top spot by dominating the early stages of the game. We were caught on the back foot and had looked a very poor second best. This extraordinary result was achieved despite the match officials showing that they could match Mr Magoo and Arsene Wenger by not seeing that Sharp was offside when Dowell hit the ball in the build up to their second goal before compounding that error by not noticing that he had gone on to kick the ball out of Kalinic’s hands. That goal had been allowed when we were threatening to get back into the game and looked to have extinguished our hopes as did later decisions to ignore late penalty appeals by Mings and McGinn, but we were determined not to be denied by inept officiating. This exhilarating late, late show admittedly only earned us a point, but this outstanding comeback showed both resilience and character. We might yet look back on this night, on which we snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat as a turning point in our season. It could possibly have as positive an impact on our remaining games as it threatens to have a negative effect on our visitor’s promotion chances. Stranger things have happened, this comeback being just one example. We just need to play for the whole of each game like we did at the end of this one from now onwards! My player ratings from a game that took us within one win off the final play-off spot are: Lovre Kalinic – 5 – Dived to his left on 5 minutes to block a Baldock shot from the edge of the box. Could only parry Dowell’s 53rd minute shot from outside of the area onto Madine’s head. His header struck the far post and Sharp kicked the ball into the net and out of Lovre’s grasp for his second. Gathered a 77th minute McGoldrick shot from just inside the left edge of the box at the second attempt. Alan Hutton – 5 – Picked up a loose attempted headed clearance just outside the box on 56 minutes but his shot went harmlessly over the bar. Sharp peeled off Hutton to head home a 62nd minute Dowell cross but sometimes a hat-trick is not quite enough! Tommy Elphick - 6 – Made a good challenge on Madine as he looked to turn in a 51st minute Baldock cross. Solid alongside Tyrone. Tyrone Mings – 8 – MOTM – Silenced his vocal critics from South Yorkshire with a towering performance and what had appeared to have been a late nicely headed consolation goal from an 82nd minute Hourihane corner. Pulled down by Basham as he made ground inside the box to reach the ball, but his penalty appeal was ignored by the referee. Comfortable on the ball and played the ball out of defence very well. Neil Taylor – 4 – Made Baldock look like the Brazilian Cafu at times on a night for him to forget. Not a great exhibition of defending again. Mile Jedinak – 4 – Unsurprisingly looked short of pace on his return to the starting line-up. John McGinn – 6 – Screwed a shot wide from the edge of the area on 83 minutes. Held by Stevens on 93 minutes as he looked to reach a ball played into the box by Hourihane, but his penalty appeals fell on deaf ears. Worked hard as usual. Conor Hourihane – 5 – Hit a 71st minute free kick from the edge of the box that Henderson parried away. Not contributing much other than his undoubted dead ball prowess. Anwar El Ghazi – 5 – Nice to see him tracking back a bit. Still lacking the end product that he produced at WBA though. Jonathan Kodjia – 5 – Some nice touches and looked keen to be involved at times prior to his substitution. Tammy Abraham – 7 – He had drifted well behind the goal line as the corner came over for their first, so he was unable to prevent the ball going over the line when Sharp put in Madine’s far post header back across goal. Elphick hit a shot from the left of the area that Henderson didn’t hold and instead pushed into Tammy’s path at the far post with the inevitable consequences on 86 minutes (goal number 20!). Didn’t enjoy a lot of service but worked hard and his late goal sparked what had seemed fanciful hopes of a draw. Substitutes: Andre Green - 6 – Replaced Kodjia on 65 minutes and completed our remarkable comeback with a sweet far post header from a McGinn cross on 94 minutes. Worth a start in my opinion. Glenn Whelan – 6 - Came on for Jedinak on 66 minutes and made a difference to the game. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  14. 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.
  15. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong.
  16. This should have been a more comfortable win. We had the chances to have put the game out of sight before our penalty gave us a two-goal cushion. As we all know a two-goal lead can more than occasionally not prove enough for us. This so nearly proved to be the case again yesterday. Our visitors who had for 75 minutes looked like a team that were on the bottom of the table and destined to give us a rare routine victory were injected with belief by a goal out of nothing by Sears. After that goal our insecurities and defensive frailties were exposed, and we were left clinging on to the win as our opponents suddenly realised a point might be there for the taking after all. Had it not been for the timely intervention of a post and the hand of Tommy, we might even have somehow managed to lose this one. Nevertheless, win we did for the first time at Villa Park in two months. This win needs to be followed up by our signing of much needed reinforcements before the transfer window slams shut next week and by a win at Reading next weekend who like Ipswich also occupy one of the relegation places. This timely win has moved us back into the top half of the table and above Small Heath who now occupy a more accustomed place in the bottom half themselves. We are also within four points of sixth place and another ticket to the play off lottery. My player ratings from a game during which we rediscovered that winning feeling are: Lovre Kalinic – 6 – The clean sheet that appeared likely for much of this game would have done a lot to boost Lovre’s confidence. Stood no realistic chance with their goal which was sweetly struck by Sears from 30 yards and flew past him at speed into the top corner of the net. Gathered a 45th minute Chalobah shot in the centre of his goal. Should have had that yellow card when he was booked for time wasting when waiting for a substitution to be made rescinded, but the referee is always right even when he’s wrong! Alan Hutton – 6 – He again looked at his best when he was getting forward. James Chester - 5 – Did well enough, given that he is carrying an injury. Tommy Elphick – 6 – Quaner ran between Chester and Tommy before going past Kalinic and hitting a shot which Elphick blocked with his trailing arm as he fell with Chester behind him covering on the line on 73 minutes. He was the best of our defenders yesterday. Neil Taylor – 5 – Will he still be our first choice when this transfer window has closed? Glenn Whelan – 6 – Did what we have come to expect but was more effective than of late at doing it, he understandably tired in the second half. John McGinn – 8 – Hit a shot wide of the post on 4 minutes after Abraham had found him inside of the box. Turned superbly leaving Skuse for dead before running towards the and hitting a 31st minute shot that was too hot for Bialkowski to hold but Adomah was ruled offside when he hit the spilled ball into the net. Turned inside the box on 33 minutes and hit a shot that was not firm enough to seriously trouble Bialkowski who made a comfortable save at his left-hand post. Hit a 41st minute shot from outside of the box that Bialkowski was unable to hold onto but Collins was on hand to put the loose ball out for a corner. Hit a 53rd minute Hutton cross wide of the post and then hit a 64th minute Taylor cross over the bar. John was prevented by Judge from getting on the end of a Hourihane corner which resulted in the penalty that produced our second goal. On another day he could have scored a couple of goals himself. Importantly John continues to avoid the 10th yellow card that would bring him a 2-game suspension. Conor Hourihane – 6 – Hit a 35th minute free kick from outside of the box that Bialkowski held at the second attempt as Abraham came in intent on adding a second. Hit another on 43 minutes that the keeper saved more routinely. His dead ball delivery was again impressive. Albert Adomah – 5 – A marked improvement on last week’s display. Looked more interested, had an impact upon the game and could have gathered some much-needed confidence had his 31st minute finish not been ruled offside. Worked well with Hutton but can do better. Anwar El Ghazi – 5 – Looked brighter than of late and more energetic but he is lacking an end product. He has shown that he can be more of a threat to defences than this. Tammy Abraham – 8 – MOTM – Where would we be without his goals? Tammy weighed in with another brace yesterday. Hit our early 6th minute opener when he got in front of the visitor’s defence to be first to and to prod home Hourihane’s perfectly placed free kick. Coolly sent Bialkowski the wrong way from the penalty spot on 61 minutes, stroking the ball into the right-hand corner. Forced a save from Bialkowski on 36 minutes with a header from a McGinn cross and another on 65 minutes when he tipped his shot over the crossbar. Had a tame effort saved on 85 minutes but almost added a late third on 88 minutes when his shot was blocked at close range by the busy Bialkowski at his left-hand post. Substitutes: Ahmed Elmohamady - 4 – Replaced Adomah on 68 minutes and demonstrated why he is currently spending his time on the bench rather than starting when he came on. Jonathan Kodjia - Came on for Whelan on 78 minutes. Looked busy and better than he has done of late in the time he had on the field, but he was not on long enough to gather a rating. Mile Jedinak – Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Replaced El Ghazi on 85 minutes to stiffen our defensive resolve, so that we would hold on to what we had. Not on long enough to earn a rating. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  17. 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.
  18. We gained a point from a losing position rather than lost points from a winning one for a change yesterday. We were nothing short of appalling in the first half and made it all too easy for Hull. Given our form of late, more than a few of us could see this one coming. Chester’s timely goal came just before half time and it gave us some grounds for hope where there had previously been none. If there was anything positive to be taken from this game, it was that we awoke in the second half to come back from two goals down to claim a point. A point was not enough however, and Hull showed that they are not quite as good as their 6-game winning run might have suggested when they were belatedly put under some pressure yesterday. What they do have is the confidence that a good run of results brings in comparison to the lack of it and the anxiety that we currently suffer from due to our own ongoing dismal run. Unfortunately, although there was plenty of time left after our equalizer to complete the recovery and to take all three points, we didn’t really look like doing so and the team seemed to lack the belief that they could go on to win the game. It seemed many of them, unlike the fans were perhaps a little too readily content with another “Desmond”. What has happened to the Villa that won at Derby, Boro and deserved to win at the Albion? We have clearly missed both Jack and Axel but to take just 7 points from our last 7 games is simply not good enough. We now find ourselves in the bottom half of the table and 7 points adrift of sixth place. Had we managed 14 points from our last 7 games (which didn’t seem quite so unlikely back then) we would have 46 points rather than 39 and would now be 6th rather than 13th. We would also be within touching distance of the top 2 rather than having all but written off any lingering hopes of making the play offs. Let’s hope we can win another one of the games that appeared winnable a few short weeks ago next weekend. Hopefully we can use that to start the winning run that we need to start sooner rather than later, if not to start a late promotion run to give us some pride back. Not giving our visitors a 2-goal start would go some way to achieving that against bottom of the table Ipswich. My player ratings from a game that left us top of the bottom half of the table once again are: Lovre Kalinic – 5 – Beaten low at his left-hand post by Bowen’s first from the edge of the box on 27 minutes and he will be disappointed by that as were we. Had little chance with their second, with the unmarked Evandro’s well hit shot deflecting off Taylor on the line into the roof of the net. Blocked a 25th minute header from Burke at his near post. He then prevented us from surrendering all 3 points to the visitors on 90 minutes with a superb save from a point-blank Martin shot. Alan Hutton – 5 – His cross produced our second goal. James Chester - 6 – Gave us a lifeline when he got his head to Hourihane’s 45th minute free kick. Did incredibly well to hook Elphick’s deflection on a Grosicki shot off the line in the 8th minute after Hourihane had lost possession at the start of the move. Tommy Elphick – 6 – Produced another steady enough performance in the centre of our brittle defence. Neil Taylor – 5 – Produced an improved second half display. One strong second half challenge was rather memorable, and he did very well to get back to clear a dangerous cross from the 6-yard box on 73 minutes. He stuck out a leg in an attempt to poke the ball clear on the edge of the area, but it invitingly fell straight to Bowen a couple of yards to his left from where he hit their opener. Birkir Bjarnason – 4 – He put himself about but has looked a pale imitation of the player he was earlier this season since his return from injury. Headed a 49th minute Hutton cross wide of the far post. A couple of times yesterday as he chased after and wrestled down opponents in the middle of the field, he looked more like a Keystone cop from the silent movie era rather than an international footballer. Might be worth another shot in the deeper role that Conor has been trying to fill. Substituted on 75 minutes. John McGinn – 8 – MOTM – Ran the show and battled gamely on but others around him declined to follow his excellent example for far too long. Kept trying to move us forward, worked tirelessly and shone brightly throughout the game. Hit a 56th minute shot wide from an Abraham cross and hit a shot from outside of the box over 12 minutes later. Conor Hourihane – 5 – Hit a perfectly placed free kick for our first but he clearly cannot fill the deep midfield role where he looks uncomfortable and a bit of a fish out of water. He works hard but lacks the pace of some opponents he comes up against and is unfamiliar with what is expected from him in this role. His place in the team should be in the opposition half, where he has been effective rather than in our own where he is not. Albert Adomah – 3 – Only began to look partly interested in the second half after what I’m sure will have been a quiet word from the boss during the interval. He was substituted on 59 minutes as understandably Dean’s patience with him had been exhausted some time earlier. Made little to no contribution during the first half. Yannick Bolasie – 3 – See Albert’s rating above. Yannick mirrored his none performance and I found myself checking half way through the first half that he was still on the field given the scarcity of his contribution to the game. Tammy Abraham – 7 – This game should have been a celebration of Tammy’s decision to continue his loan spell with us but our sorry performance last week as well as in the first half yesterday unfortunately put paid to that. Suffered from a lack of service in the first half but always looked for the ball and hit our 64th minute equalizer when after having his first attempt at a low cross from Hutton blocked by a defender, he stepped over him to hit the ball past Marshall at the second attempt. Substitutes: Anwar El Ghazi - 5 – Replaced Bolasie on 59 minutes. He was on the bench today having given a couple of the sort of performances that Albert and Yannick produced today since his terrific display at The Hawthorns last month. This was a somewhat brighter display. Jonathan Kodjia - 5 – Came on for Adomah on 59 minutes and provided a little of the energy that we had been lacking. Andre Green – 6 - Replaced Bjarnason on 75 minutes. Showed some pace and desire on his return from his loan at Portsmouth but he also hit an 86th minute cross over from close range when a winner looked his for the taking. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  19. The news that had spread around Villa Park before yesterday’s game that Abraham may well have played his last game for Aston Villa deflated our spirits and the game that followed did nothing to lift the gloom. Dean Smith tasted his second defeat at Villa Park yesterday. Swansea recorded their first ever cup win against us. We produced the sort of shambolic performance that was reminiscent of those that we had grown accustomed to witnessing during our relegation season. We were knocked out of this competition in the 3rd Round for a third consecutive year. Abraham was the perfect fit for us up front as were we the perfect football club for him. If it turns out that he has played his last game for us, then we will not only have a defence and a midfield to worry about but also a forward line that has been neutered. The depth and quality of our squad had already been found wanting by the absence through injury of Jack and Axel. It was further put to the test by leaving James Chester, Conor Hourihane, Yannick Bolasie and Jonathan Kodjia out of the starting line-up. Who was to know that among those that were selected there were several players that would choose to take the afternoon off as well? Our defence once again conceded goals for fun yesterday and our midfield did little to halt the progress of their opponents through it or to create much themselves in and around the penalty box. What was different was the absence of any threat up front from us. With Abraham in the team there is an expectation that we will score goals as freely as we concede them. Without him, that would be highly unlikely to be the case and yesterday was a worrying sign of things that may be to come. Sadly, the strikers we had on the pitch yesterday did nothing to suggest they would be able to score goals with any sort of regularity should Abraham make a move to a football club in the Black County that is suffering from chronic delusions of grandeur. This sorry capitulation was very hard to endure. We gift wrapped Swansea (who failed to make a similar number of changes to their team in order to try to even things up) a place in the 4th Round and they must have had to pinch themselves to believe how easy we made it for them to score 3 goals without reply yesterday. We are now free to concentrate on the league and this abject performance, which led to merited boos at the final whistle will also give our players a weekend’s break from the rigours of football on 4th Round weekend! My player ratings from a game that extended our FA Cup years of hurt into a 62nd year are: Lovre Kalanic – 6 – Let’s give him a little more than 90 minutes to prove his true worth to us. Peter Shilton would have struggled behind this defence (although he is getting on in years now)! Lovre conceded his first goal 2 minutes into his debut when he blocked a low cross but unluckily the ball rebounded into Baker-Richardson and was deflected in off his shin. Turned a 32nd minute shot from outside of the box from Roberts past the post for a corner. Beaten low to his right for their second and third goals. Made decent saves on 76 and 83 minutes to prevent the score looking even more humiliating. James Bree – 5 – Will have and has had better games than this one. Alan Hutton - 4 – He’s not a left back and he’s certainly not a central defender either. Playing him in this position lost us the forward runs that he makes from wide positions and it did nothing to make our already suspect defence look any more solid. Fer ran for and crossed a loose ball following a challenge with him to Fulton to score their third as Alan stood statuesque in the centre of the penalty area. Tommy Elphick – 6 – Headed a 74th minute Lansbury corner wide of the far post. Neil Taylor – 4 – Looked far from comfortable on his return to the first team. Glenn Whelan – 4 – I would have anticipated that Glenn rather than Bjarnason would have been rested for this one. John McGinn – 7 – MOTM – It was surprising that John played the full 90 minutes yesterday (he was the only player to really do so). He is another player that I think would have benefited from a rest, Dean said post game that he would get one when his next booking presents him with a 2-game suspension and therefore an enforced rest! Showed his usual tenacity and work ethic along with his understandable frustration on 92 minutes when Lansbury played a free kick to him and he blasted it over the bar. Albert Adomah – 4 – A couple of times early on, I thought that he might just produce something of his old self yesterday, but this ended up being another disappointing afternoon. Curled a 54th minute shot over the bar and Mulder kept out an 80th minute attempt by him. Callum O’Hare – 6 – Taken out of the firing line on 55 minutes. Like Doyle-Hayes, I think we have a player here, but they both need games and experience. This was an experience that Callum will have been able to take little good from. Showed promise at times along with his inexperience on other occasions. Would benefit from a loan in much the same way that Jack once did in my opinion. Anwar El Ghazi – 4 – He looked like he really didn’t want to be there most of the time yesterday. Can do and needs to do better than this on a consistent basis. Was ball watching and failed to pick up Dyer who ran behind him onto Fer’s nice through ball before slotting the ball past Kalanic. Scott Hogan - 5 – Lacking in the confidence that scoring goals would give him, but he is not looking likely to go on a scoring run any time soon, so it is a bit of a Catch 22 situation. Lost possession on the edge of the box which led to their opener. Turned a 1st minute El Ghazi cross wide of the near post and 5 minutes later hit an Adomah cross goalward which hit Mulder on the line rather than the back of the net. Kodjia touched the ball back to him on 62 minutes but his attempt was blocked at the near post by a defender. Had one of these gone in it might have shaken us out of our lethargy. Substitutes: Jonathan Kodjia - 5 – Replaced O’Hare on 55 minutes and didn’t live up to his nickname in the time he had on the pitch. Henri Lansbury - 6 – Came on for Whelan on 60 minutes and appeared to want to take the opportunity he was offered to show that he could do a job for us in the future. Hit a 64th minute shot from outside of the box that flew wide of the left post. Did well enough on a day that too many of those around him did not. Keinan Davis – Replaced Hogan on 72 minutes. Held the ball up well again but he won’t score with the regularity that we need someone to and needs to play alongside another striker. Not on quite long enough to gather a rating. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  20. 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.
  21. There were flames and a pre-match firework display yesterday but we missed the spark of invention around the box that Jack had until his injury at WBA been providing us with, during the game itself. Dean Smith indicated after the match that he anticipated being without Jack for the rest of this month. His two-month absence will deal a potentially lethal body blow to our promotion hopes. It has already badly dented them, with us having taken only 6 points from a possible 15 from the games he has already missed. We have taken rapid steps to remedy our goalkeeping and central defensive issues already during this transfer window. I feel we now need to do the same in finding someone who can give us some sort of midfield creativity when Jack is absent. This was to be a sorry start to the New Year for us with another two points dropped at Villa Park. The number of games played during the festive season has clearly taken its toll on our team which has also suffered from injuries that have had a noticeably adverse effect on our performance level. We started well yesterday but couldn’t put the game out of the reach of our visitors and we once again dropped points after being in front. Had we not done this quite so often, our promotion prospects would be looking considerably rosier now. We have 3 draws and a defeat to show from our last 4 home games. That is not promotion form. Tammy’s goals have kept us in touch with the play off places, but we have not closed in on sixth place and are instead treading water 5 points off it. We have failed to take advantage of the recent slip ups of Leeds and Norwich and it is Sheffield United and WBA who are now within reach of these two clubs in the battle for automatic promotion. Whilst we look on now focusing on 6th rather than 2nd place. We started well against an anti-football, cynical, time wasting QPR side who were aided and abetted by an inept refereeing display and who after this fixture remain above us having taken 4 points off us this season. Having drawn level on 75 minutes with 11 minutes of stoppage time still to be played once 90 minutes had been reached, QPR might have anticipated their goal being put under constant siege as we pressed for a late winner, but they got the point they came for all too easily without undue cause for concern. My player ratings from a game that produced goals but not the three points that we needed are: Jed Steer – 6 – Held a 69th minute shot from Freeman at his near post and made a good stop with his legs on 86 minutes from an Eze shot. Offered us some level of assurance between the sticks on his recall from Charlton. Had no chance with their first and their second flew past him into the top corner so on a day of only 4 on target shots 50% of them produced goals for the visitors. James Bree – 6 – Did well enough in his natural position. James Chester - 6 – Clipped the ball over their bar on 5 minutes. Played with a tad more confidence alongside Tommy. Tommy Elphick – 6 – Welcome back! Tommy will offer us some reasonable cover in the second half of the season. His Hull loan seems to have helped him to get back on track and he looked better than he had last time around yesterday. Alan Hutton – 4 – Looked good enough coming forward again and he always gives 100% but his primary job is to defend, and he wasn’t up to scratch in that area yesterday. Lost an aerial challenge for the ball during the build up to their equalizer and left oceans of room on his flank too often. A glaring example of that was when he ambled back into a central position and Wszolek was allowed to run unchallenged and cross for Eze to hit their second past Steer and into the top corner of the net. Birkir Bjarnason – 5 – Still in need of game time to build up his match fitness following his injury. Hit a 60th minute shot over from the edge of the box. Seemed to know what needed doing but often did not quite have the legs to do it. John McGinn – 7 – A Bjarnason cross was deflected off a defender to John whose 20th minute shot from the edge of the box rattled the crossbar. His accurate cross a minute later produced our first goal. On hand in his own box to head a 33rd minute cross out for a corner. Had a shot saved at the keeper’s left post in stoppage time Conor Hourihane – 5 – Failed twice to get any challenge in during the build up to their second goal. Hit an 81st minute free kick onto the roof of the net. Albert Adomah – 5 – Can do better than this. Jonathan Kodjia – 5 – Hit a shot wide of the near post from inside of the box on 44 minutes but demonstrated again that he is not a natural wide player. Tammy Abraham – 8 – MOTM – How many goals does he need to score to be on the winning team? Scored his first on 21 minutes when he nodded in a perfectly placed cross from McGinn and added a second on 75 minutes when he touched home another splendidly inviting cross this time from El Ghazi. Ran onto a sweet ball played through from McGinn on 23 minutes and hit his shot over the bar. Also had a 9th minute shot blocked at the near post by Lumley after Adomah had found him well. Substitutes: Anwar El Ghazi - 6 – Replaced Kodjia on 61 minutes. Hit a perfect cross which Tammy turned in for our 75th minute equalizer. Yannick Bolasie - 6 – Came on for Adomah on 61 minutes. Hit the ball across the face of the goal on 78 minutes and headed an El Ghazi cross onto the roof of the net in stoppage time. Had earlier headed a Hourihane corner towards goal that was scrambled away from the goalmouth. Glenn Whelan – Replaced Hourihane on 91 minutes. He was not on long enough to earn any rating and it was a surprising decision to see him coming on rather than Hogan or Davis with a winner being surely our objective in the last 10 minutes of the game. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Leeds stretched their lead over us to 15 points with their late, late winner yesterday. I can’t really see us closing that gap during the second half of the season. That would leave us with just one automatic promotion place to aim for namely the one currently occupied by Norwich who are currently 14 points ahead of us. To claim that place we must rely on Norwich not being this season’s Cardiff and, on our ability, to overtake them along with the likes of WBA and Derby. It might just come down to a winner takes all clash with Norwich at Villa Park on the final day of the season. We currently stand 11th in the league table and that doesn’t make great reading does it? We are also just 5 points away from a play off place and with half of the season left to be played I still expect us to finish sixth or better. Neither team really deserved to win this one, but we did lose it and that can be attributed to our porous defence which was a weakness to begin with and is now even more so due to injuries. Leeds won for the first time at Villa Park since 2002 yesterday and they did so having been two goals down after just 17 minutes. The lead was never a comfortable one though was it? There always lingers a doubt that we can claim a clean sheet and the third goal always looked like it might be crucial. So, it proved. Although we started the second half well and had the visitors on the back foot for the first 10 minutes of it, they claimed the third goal of the game and had drawn level 5 minutes later. It was more than cruel for their late winner to be scored in the 5th minute of stoppage time though. Had the referee decided that we would play on until they score when the 90 minutes were up? Our 7-game unbeaten run came to a sorry end yesterday and our new boss tasted defeat for the first time at Villa Park. We must now bounce back on Boxing Day in our middle of the table clash with Swansea so that we don’t give ourselves and our hopefully reinforced defence too much ground to make up in the New Year. Given we have now gone 3 home games without a win, perhaps it is to our advantage that this one will be away? My player ratings from a game that did little to lift our festive spirits and instead had us reaching for them are: Orjan Nyland – 6 – Did well to help a 22nd minute Chester back header over the bar when it might otherwise have produced a fortuitous goal for the visitors. Left too much space between his left-hand post and himself on 37 minutes and was relieved to see the free kick from Hernandez fly just wide. Did well to tip a 63rd minute Klich shot from the right-hand edge of the box over the crossbar. His poor clearance from a 67th minute Chester back pass fell dangerously to an opponent around 30 yards out. Parried a 79th minute Alioski shot away. Ahmed Elmohamady – 4 – Gift wrapped them their late winner with a tame back header that played an Alioski cross straight to a delighted Roofe inside of the box in the 95th minute who proceeded to hit the ball into the corner of the net. He had earlier made an 8th minute challenge on Harrison that prevented him making contact with a Roofe cross at close range. James Chester - 6 – The best of our defenders yesterday which is not saying a great deal. Nobody went with Jannson as he headed in his 61st minute equalizer having ran in between James and Hutton to glance the ball in. James Bree – 5 – Needed to try to make a move towards Clarke as he ran all too easily past Elmo inside the box before hitting their first into the far corner of the net. Playing out of position through necessity. Must be worth a shot starting in his natural position. Alan Hutton – 5 – He really isn’t a left back, is he? Glenn Whelan – 6 – Started well enough. John McGinn – 8 – Had another impressive game and gave everything he had. Why does he get booked so often when opponents who do the same or worse to him escape punishment so often by the way? We need to get up this season to keep him. Conor Hourihane – 7 – Hit our 17th minute second with a sweetly placed left foot shot from outside of the box after Kodjia had done so well to make room for himself on the edge of the box before playing the ball inside to him. Yannick Bolasie – 6 – a nice back heel by Whelan led to the ball cannoning off Kodjia and running on to him on the edge of the box but Jansson’s 47th minute challenge averted the danger just as he was about to pull the trigger. Produced one superb piece of Cruyff-like skill out wide on 51 minutes that left 2 defenders bamboozled. Jonathan Kodjia – 6 – Headed a 13th minute Hourihane corner wide of the far post. Won the ball on the edge of the area and flashed a shot just over on 48 minutes. Tammy Abraham – 8 – MOTM – Tammy really didn’t deserve to end up on the losing side yesterday. He back heeled the ball to Hourihane on the edge of the box who in turn played it inside of the box for McGinn the loose ball was behind Tammy but he stretched his leg to make good contact with it and hit home his 9th goal in 8 matches on the 5th minute. Worked very hard throughout. Substitutes: Anwar El Ghazi - 5 – Replaced Kodjia on 62 minutes and made no positive impression on the game. Birkir Bjarnason - 6 – Came on for Whelan on 73 minutes. A welcome return following his injury lay off. His 85th minute corner almost produced a third, but a fine reflex stop by Peacock-Farrell spared Forshaw conceding an own goal. Will need a couple of outings to build full match fitness. Scott Hogan – Replaced Bolasie on 83 minutes. Not on long enough to earn any rating. Up the Villa and Happy Christmas & 2019 to all Villa Talkers! John Lewis
×
×
  • Create New...
Â