Demitri_C

Dean Smith

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As bad as yesterday was I trust Smith to turn it around. 

Our squad is a joke, when you can only name 2-3 permanent senior players everyone would keep you know how badly we have been mismanaged.

I'm struggling to think of another club in the league with such a limited core of players.

Bruce signed a lot of players and only Hourihane and McGinn have shown anything worthy of signing them.

Taylor, Lansbury, Elmo, Hogan, Whelan, Bree and Bjarnason. Some have done Ok but you look at that list and it's a very poor return and Bree aside have zero future. 

Di Matteo signed Chester, Kodjiaand Adomah who have served us better although some of the money he wasted was even worse.

We have quality in our team but going forward we have not planned correctly. If we got promoted the majority of this team would be not good enough. The youngsters aren't ready due to lack of opportunities and we'd have to blow a load of money to stand any chance.

At least Smith is talking sense regarding getting rid of loans and bringing permanent players to the club and hopefully those who can grow into top players like the likes of Maupay, Woods, Watkins etc did for Brentford although it remains to be seen how much input Smith had into that. Hopefully the relationship with Pitarch works just as well though 

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6 hours ago, Tomaszk said:

I would suggest though that Deano figures out a way to get his system working without Jack Grealish because if we don't go up I don't think he'll be here at the start of next season. The thought of losing him and McGinn makes me feel ill.

This is the criminal side of the management team for me though. We’ve now played 5-6 (possibly more) games without Grealish and haven’t come up with a way to play without him. Instead we’ve just pressed on playing the same way as when he was in the squad and dictating games.

Its a massive worry, no team can rely entirely on one player.

Smith either needs to change the formation and way we play until Jack is back or he quickly needs to bring someone in who can also play the same role.

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7 hours ago, Zatman said:

Smith got left with overpaid overhyped Bruce signings. Except Jack, Tammy and Tuanzebe nobody is good enough to step up next season in top flight

It's amazing after the quality we have turned out since Smith arrived, we are now blaming the players again. There were one or 2 games where every player scored a 9 or above, so I think we have some quality, just needs to be consistent, an that was the problem under Bruce, thought Smith would knock that on the head.

Don't get me wrong we have still got players that need to be shipped out, but this team can play if they need to. The attack side of the team was close to the best in the league until recently, where has that gone, a question for smith to answer me thinks.

As someone has already mentioned though, this team has not looked fit at all after the Christmas period, an that could be a huge factor.

 

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We tried the quick fix by giving 2 years to a man with a proven track record and throwing a ridiculous amount of money at the problem. This has now created a whole new mess. 

I'm confident Smith is the right man for a new approach, but if we aren't prepared to try a new way and give it time then we might as well have stuck with bruce and hoped for the best. 

 

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1 hour ago, Demitri_C said:

Smith clearly don't rate jedinak but I would rather see him than whelan.

Yesterday he looked out if his depth with his dreadful subs. Your chasing a goal and you bring a cb and dm on???

I mean seriously thats Sunday league management.

Spot on , i think smith gets a bit of an easy ride he is getting it horribly wrong.It was crying out for keinan davis to hold the ball up , and he made defensive changes

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10 minutes ago, DCJonah said:

We tried the quick fix by giving 2 years to a man with a proven track record and throwing a ridiculous amount of money at the problem. This has now created a whole new mess. 

I'm confident Smith is the right man for a new approach, but if we aren't prepared to try a new way and give it time then we might as well have stuck with bruce and hoped for the best. 

 

You right here chap. We are already talking about bringing in a whole new team for Smith to coach. We can't risk this. I agree Mcginn is probably gonna be the only decent player left at this club by the end of the season, which is the reason I thought we brought Smith in. To coach 80% of the squad we have into better players.

Grealish money is not gonna buy 3 or 4 quality players as someone mentioned earlier in this thread. It's gonna buy you another 3 or 4 taylors, Bjarnasson's and Bree's.

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He needs to show tapes of the team vs Derby, WBA, Swansea at home and a couple of others and contrast the difference in workrate and challenge them to press on the same manner of just a couple of months back. 

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37 minutes ago, foreveryoung said:

It's amazing after the quality we have turned out since Smith arrived, we are now blaming the players again. There were one or 2 games where every player scored a 9 or above, so I think we have some quality, just needs to be consistent, an that was the problem under Bruce, thought Smith would knock that on the head.

Don't get me wrong we have still got players that need to be shipped out, but this team can play if they need to. The attack side of the team was close to the best in the league until recently, where has that gone, a question for smith to answer me thinks.

As someone has already mentioned though, this team has not looked fit at all after the Christmas period, an that could be a huge factor.

 

Yep, not a single shot on target yesterday. Absolutely ridiculous when you look at the calibre of our attacking players

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1 hour ago, richp999 said:

Whilst I agree with you, it was pretty much this squad that got to the playoff finals last year. 

They should be doing better. 

Terry, Johnstone, Jedinak, Tuanzebe, Snodgrass and Grealish are all pretty big misses from last year’s squad. That’s half a team. 

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15 minutes ago, Dale said:

He needs to show tapes of the team vs Derby, WBA, Swansea at home and a couple of others and contrast the difference in workrate and challenge them to press on the same manner of just a couple of months back. 

I can only assume that the fitness levels aren't there to do this anymore, it has been a gruelling schedule in terms of number of games played over the past 3 weeks. Ultimately this can only be fixed in pre-season. 

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6 minutes ago, Dr_Pangloss said:

I can only assume that the fitness levels aren't there to do this anymore, it has been a gruelling schedule in terms of number of games played over the past 3 weeks. Ultimately this can only be fixed in pre-season. 

This would be my guess. Think that you need to put Adomah in for one of the other two. Bolasie and El Ghazi aren't disciplined enough to close or track effectively. I think Green was better at this stuff, but no point in bringing him back unless he will play. 

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Now is the true test for Smith and his team.

As expected we saw instant improvement in the way we played when he took over and the results also improved a bit, if not as much as needed.

But now we have come unstuck.

It is in some ways very similar to Bruce's first half season. Just like then we now have a glaring hole in the squad due to negligence by the previous manager. Then it was MF now it's DF.

Bruce was allowed to fix it by throwing money in it in Jan, and Smith needs to get at least a LB and RB (+CM) in.

But it's also a test of Smith. He's never been at a club like this where there are expectations, pressure and big money at stake, nor has his coaches bar Terry, who is in his first season as coach and still has a lot to learn.

Can the handle it?

This was the gamble we took when we signed Smith, other managers would have represented other gambles so it's not a critique of him and I think Terry might help with this issue.

Really hope there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes at Villa now because it's all starting to fall apart, again.

And we can't afford that.

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I think the crux of Smith's style of play is that fundamental to it's success, it needs a dynamic midfield that can retain possession when needed, play the ball through the opposition and maintain a high and intelligent pressing game. It requires center backs that are comfortable on the ball, who can step out on occasion with the ball and create space for the midfield.

We have two central midfielders capable of that style if football and one of them is injured.

That's a big concern for me, we need to offload Bjarnason because he's toss, and we could do with getting shot of Jedinak and Whelan, but their contract situation means we'll be stuck with them until the summer. I'd sell Lansbury too because he's so injury prone, and he hasn't really done anything in a Villa shirt, I suspect his wages would be a problem for any other Championship clubs that would be interested. 

So, in short we're stuck with lots of midfielders and no options. That's not Smith's fault, but what troubles me is that I don't think he can shoehorn them into his system, he might have to compromise and play to their strengths a bit more which would totally compromise his system. 

Center back is also a problem position. We're hugely missing Tuenzebe. He is excellent on the ball and rapid off it, so he's able to cover his teammates at times. But Tuenzebe is the only defender we have who looks comfortable in Smith's system. Chester was been really quite poor this season, he seems to struggle with making the forward pass like Tuenzebe has, he's being dominated physically and looks low on confidence. Elphick is ok but very much seems like a stopgap and Hause looked woefully under prepared when he came on yesterday. 

Our full back options are also cack, Hutton 'does a job' but his quality on the ball is poor even in the championship. Taylor is our best left back and that's a problem because at best he's okay. 

I've watched back the goals from yesterday, the second goal was the one that should really worry us. We cleared the corner, but our fullbacks were on their opposite sides, Bree attempted to get back on the right when the opposition had the ball, meaning that there was a massive gap that three Wigan players exploited. Hourihane didn't notice the danger and nobody in the back 4 was organising the situation. Taylor made a pathetic attempt to stop the cross which was good and the Wigan player had a free header at the back post when we had almost our entire team behind the ball. FFS that is unacceptable. 

Bolasie wound me up too, he didn't do Taylor any favours, in the second half he didn't track back every time. 

Fundamentally I think there are problems with personnel, our squad are not as good as many think it is, and it isn't all that suited to Smith's style of football. 

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6 minutes ago, sne said:

Now is the true test for Smith and his team.

As expected we saw instant improvement in the way we played when he took over and the results also improved a bit, if not as much as needed.

But now we have come unstuck.

It is in some ways very similar to Bruce's first half season. Just like then we now have a glaring hole in the squad due to negligence by the previous manager. Then it was MF now it's DF.

Bruce was allowed to fix it by throwing money in it in Jan, and Smith needs to get at least a LB and RB (+CM) in.

But it's also a test of Smith. He's never been at a club like this where there are expectations, pressure and big money at stake, nor has his coaches bar Terry, who is in his first season as coach and still has a lot to learn.

Can the handle it?

This was the gamble we took when we signed Smith, other managers would have represented other gambles so it's not a critique of him and I think Terry might help with this issue.

Really hope there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes at Villa now because it's all starting to fall apart, again.

And we can't afford that.

Personally I never expected promotion this season under Smith, but what I do expect is for a distinctive playing style to emerge and a structure in place that will pay dividends next season. So for me, the success or failure of Smith this season hinges on that.

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4 minutes ago, Dr_Pangloss said:

Personally I never expected promotion this season under Smith, but what I do expect is for a distinctive playing style to emerge and a structure in place that will pay dividends next season. So for me, the success or failure of Smith this season hinges on that.

I don't expect promotion either, but I expect us to give it a good go. even considering the glaring squad issue.

If we were to miss out on the play off I'd say we've under performed pretty badly tbh.

And considering the state of the squad and how much it will change after the season it's hard I imagine to create something lasting withing the squad when it comes to style.

Only 3 or 4 of the players starting now will be with us next season.

This makes Smith's job to create a style here much harder sadly.

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2 hours ago, Tony said:

The cb sub I get. As smith said they were pushing Chester on to his weak foot and he brought someone on to add balance who is naturally left footed, additionally to try break the first line of their press. I get the idea, it just didn’t work. 

That don't wash for me. Chester did not look in incredible danger and elphick was not playing that bad. The hause one was poor management. Whelan was even worse. That idiot even conceded the own as well.

Terrible subs from smith

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1 hour ago, mattyvilla said:

Spot on , i think smith gets a bit of an easy ride he is getting it horribly wrong.It was crying out for keinan davis to hold the ball up , and he made defensive changes

I think the reason why he probably made them substitions was because he felt the 3 weren’t trying hard enough. Trying to prove a point.  Obviously totally ridiculous giving we were 1-0 down and needed another man up front. 

Prove the point by dropping them for next game, not cutting your nose off to spite your face

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19 minutes ago, Demitri_C said:

That don't wash for me. Chester did not look in incredible danger and elphick was not playing that bad. The hause one was poor management. Whelan was even worse. That idiot even conceded the own as well.

Terrible subs from smith

To be fair, the logic in what he was trying to do with the subs was sound, its just they didnt work.

He said bringing Whelan on was to add some bite to the midfield to ensure we got the ball / hunted the ball more, and could retain it (because Hourihane and BB were basically cravens and hid whenever possible), but unfortunately it didnt work.

Bringing Hause on, DS said it was to give us a ball playing defender to bring the ball out of defence and build from the back, which was also sound logically, as Tuanzebe used to do it for us, but this also didnt work as he was obviously nervous, and was thorwn in to the lions den a little.

So yeah, i can understand WHY the subs were made, but they didnt work.

He probably brought Elphick off for Hause, as Chester is captain, not sure what ppl would have read in to him bringing off the captain, so yeah, damned if he does and damned if he doesnt.

Also, anyone who says "bring on more strikers", having 4 strikers on the pitch doesnt mean you score more goals, you still have to get the ball to them and create them chances, and for that you have to build through defence and mid field, unless you are just gonna long ball it.

 

My only real concern tbh was the style of play, we have regressed the last few games, i obviously dont know the reasons why, but for any of us to accept this is a "project" and give some support, we at least need to see the style being consistent, even if we lose with that style :)

Edited by MaVilla
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34 minutes ago, PompeyVillan said:

I think the crux of Smith's style of play is that fundamental to it's success, it needs a dynamic midfield that can retain possession when needed, play the ball through the opposition and maintain a high and intelligent pressing game. It requires center backs that are comfortable on the ball, who can step out on occasion with the ball and create space for the midfield.

We have two central midfielders capable of that style if football and one of them is injured.

That's a big concern for me, we need to offload Bjarnason because he's toss, and we could do with getting shot of Jedinak and Whelan, but their contract situation means we'll be stuck with them until the summer. I'd sell Lansbury too because he's so injury prone, and he hasn't really done anything in a Villa shirt, I suspect his wages would be a problem for any other Championship clubs that would be interested. 

So, in short we're stuck with lots of midfielders and no options. That's not Smith's fault, but what troubles me is that I don't think he can shoehorn them into his system, he might have to compromise and play to their strengths a bit more which would totally compromise his system. 

Center back is also a problem position. We're hugely missing Tuenzebe. He is excellent on the ball and rapid off it, so he's able to cover his teammates at times. But Tuenzebe is the only defender we have who looks comfortable in Smith's system. Chester was been really quite poor this season, he seems to struggle with making the forward pass like Tuenzebe has, he's being dominated physically and looks low on confidence. Elphick is ok but very much seems like a stopgap and Hause looked woefully under prepared when he came on yesterday. 

Our full back options are also cack, Hutton 'does a job' but his quality on the ball is poor even in the championship. Taylor is our best left back and that's a problem because at best he's okay. 

I've watched back the goals from yesterday, the second goal was the one that should really worry us. We cleared the corner, but our fullbacks were on their opposite sides, Bree attempted to get back on the right when the opposition had the ball, meaning that there was a massive gap that three Wigan players exploited. Hourihane didn't notice the danger and nobody in the back 4 was organising the situation. Taylor made a pathetic attempt to stop the cross which was good and the Wigan player had a free header at the back post when we had almost our entire team behind the ball. FFS that is unacceptable. 

Bolasie wound me up too, he didn't do Taylor any favours, in the second half he didn't track back every time. 

Fundamentally I think there are problems with personnel, our squad are not as good as many think it is, and it isn't all that suited to Smith's style of football. 

Top post PV,

I'd add that the chaos at the back is also what happens when there is an inconsistent line up. We need a solid settled back four. Much of this has been enforced of course with injuries, new signings and players coming back from loan which is effectively again like new signings. We will struggle against sides who are up for the battle, are tight and know each others game well like Wigan and Leeds and unfortunately Hull next time out until we get a settled side.

 

 

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1 minute ago, MaVilla said:

To be fair, the logic in what he was trying to do with the subs was sound, its just they didnt work.

He said bringing Whelan on was to add some bite to the midfield to ensure we got the ball more, and could retain it, but unfortunately it didnt work.

Bringing Hause on, DS said it was to give us a ball playing defender to bring the ball out of defence and build from the back, which was also sound logically, as Tuanzebe used to do it for us, but this also didnt work as he was obviously nervous, and was thorwn in to the lions den a little.

So yeah, i can understand WHY the subs were made, but they didnt work.

Also, anyone who says "bring on more strikers", having 4 strikers on the pitch doesnt mean you score more goals, you still have to get the ball to them and creaate them chances, and for that you have to build through defence and mid field, unless you are just gonna long ball it.

Add bite to a midfield when your losing? There is more bite from a man without his dentures in than whelan. He is garbage. Davis would have been a better option. His bullying and creating space is exactly what we needed. Apply pressure on their defence to help Tammy.

Elphick was not playing badly I don't get that sub still. Chester wasn't doing great but Jesus he was 100cx better than hause who I don't want to get on his back as he didn't look match fit to me. Another poor bit of management from Deano there.

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