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Midfield balance is all wrong.

McGinn and Grealish in the middle just does not work in the PL.

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3 hours ago, KenjiOgiwara said:

Remember watching my local team getting promoted in Norway, and they played very much like Villa did in the championship, id est very possession based. The first match promoted was horrific. I remember talking to a lot of the fans post match walking home how we would improve once we got a bit more confidence in a new league, cause it seemed like we didn't believe in ourselves to the degree we did in a division lower.

I think the same stuff applies to Villa. 

And the team definately improved later one once things settled down. Which is why it's important to give the lads some time to adjust and not write bullshit like a top 10 is a requirement, cause nobody actually believes that. 

Good post.

I know it's not really related to what you've said, but I believe that Smith's position will only last as long as we are on a trajectory toward contention for Europe.

For me, Wes Edens will have similar ambition with us, as he did with the Bucks. They were at an all-time low as a club, and he took them to title contenders.

The outcomes expected were set and once Edens believed the Bucks were no longer en route to the destination of NBA champions, he made the necessary changes.

It varies with every club as to how a campaign goes after being freshly promoted. For us, I think there's quite a few hurdles that Smith and team will have to navigate.

Swansea came up for the first time in history, played the way they'd been playing in the lower tiers, and were one of the highest possession teams for an extended top flight stay.

Fulham came up and played football that could easily have earned victories, having more shots and possession frequently, yet they lost, and Jokanovic was sacked.

Establishing a team successfully in a fresh campaign is tough even with continuity and familiarity among the team and of the league to be competed in.

We have had less than a year with Smith at the helm, you have to congratulate him for implementing his strategies and tactics that got us promoted, and quickly too.

I think we're in for a challenging season and while I don't want to set limitations on the club and what it can achieve, I think understanding a lot needs to go right is also wise.

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57 minutes ago, A'Villan said:

I believe that Smith's position will only last as long as we are on a trajectory toward contention for Europe.

For me, Wes Edens will have similar ambition with us, as he did with the Bucks. They were at an all-time low as a club, and he took them to title contenders.

The outcomes expected were set and once Edens believed the Bucks were no longer en route to the destination of NBA champions, he made the necessary changes.

It takes a while to work out what the trajectory is, though.

Football results are more affected by luck than in high-scoring sports like basketball. And when you have a lot of young players and new signings, it takes time for a system to bed in, so there will be statistically poor performances while that is happening.

Distinguishing a good manager from a lucky manager, or a bad manager from an unlucky manager, can take at least a season.

For those reasons, I'd be surprised if DS is sacked before the 2020/21 season, regardless of what happens this year, because it's hard to see how even a world class manager stops this squad from flirting with relegation. If he underperforms next season (either trying to win the Championship, or trying to kick on in the PL after another busy transfer window) then maybe his position comes under threat mid-season, but otherwise I see him here for the next 2-3 years at least.

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I'm not sure if it's available over there, but NBC Sports in the USA has a show called the "Big Interview" and this week it was Dean Smith.

About 40 minutes in depth. Very good - He's a great guy.

(I was able to find it through reddit on a dodgy flash site with tons of pop ups.)

Edited by TheAuthority
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1 hour ago, TheAuthority said:

I'm not sure if it's available over there, but NBC Sports in the USA has a show called the "Big Interview" and this week it was Dean Smith.

About 40 minutes in depth. Very good - He's a great guy.

(I was able to find it through reddit on a dodgy flash site with tons of pop ups.)

Amazing interview...  Deano is a really amazing, humble, down to earth guy.  

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4 hours ago, KentVillan said:

It takes a while to work out what the trajectory is, though.

Football results are more affected by luck than in high-scoring sports like basketball. And when you have a lot of young players and new signings, it takes time for a system to bed in, so there will be statistically poor performances while that is happening.

Distinguishing a good manager from a lucky manager, or a bad manager from an unlucky manager, can take at least a season.

For those reasons, I'd be surprised if DS is sacked before the 2020/21 season, regardless of what happens this year, because it's hard to see how even a world class manager stops this squad from flirting with relegation. If he underperforms next season (either trying to win the Championship, or trying to kick on in the PL after another busy transfer window) then maybe his position comes under threat mid-season, but otherwise I see him here for the next 2-3 years at least.

Agree with this. I didn't mean to insinuate that if we are not in European placing this season or next that he will get the axe. Just that we won't be here to make up the numbers.

Unless things go catastrophic for Smith, and we explore and identify a seemingly better alternative, I think Smith will be afforded time and confidence to lead us toward progress.

I also don't really care how we fare statistically per se, while numbers don't lie, they are inanimate and only establish a measurement for something which is organic, football.

Numbers are just  away of understanding and reasoning. Conveying knowledge. A means of portraying a concept as worthy of recognition and representing events or ideas.

So it's not really at the forefront of my interest in regards to the football we play, because it measures an outcome, where the process is what's important and will bring success.

I was using the Swansea and Fulham examples to show the contrast and uniqueness of clubs and the outcomes they achieve. Parallels will occur but only to some degree.

For example, our fall from grace brought about challenges that people who've spent their careers at the top level failed to rectify, and with competitive resources and personnel.

That's why I'm a  big fan of the phrase it's more chemistry than biology, which remains true even in football which is a physical contest, it's about interaction and coming together.

So far I've been quite impressed with our start to this campaign, exception being against Palace, who Hodgson said in no uncertain terms were aware of our threat and rated us.

Smith isn't going to win every tactical duel he has, but I think we were much more aesthetic and competitive in our first three games compared to our fourth.

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15 hours ago, Tomaszk said:

Speaks sense as usual in the YouTube clip the club posted. We've yet to play well and he knows. His measured manner will be a positive throughout his time here.

Hopeful of some decent performances in the coming games, we really need something from West Ham. In all likelihood we'll probably be following it with a loss at Arsenal, and I don't like thought of going in to Burnley at home with 3 points from 6 games. Heavy pressure for early in the season.

Midfield needs to get on the ball and move it with authority. Our only spells of sustained possession have come when Bournemouth were sitting back on their 2-0 lead. We're too spread out everywhere and the wide men need to come in closer to Wes at times. It's too much of a flat front 3 unless Jota is there floating off his wing.

Taylor still an enormous issue for me, he's not allowing us to build anything down that side of the pitch. I'd be looking at every possible alternative including Guilbert moving over and Elmo back in at RB.

yeah you make that clear in the majority of your posts. he's the best LB we have unfortunately and frankly the least of our problems this season. we haven't exactly built much down the right or centre either...or is taylor at fault for that too?

Bruce was lambasted for playing a RB ad LB. guilbert has played just 45 mins at LB vs a league 2 side and you're talking about throwing him in there vs premier league opposition??

aside from the clear agenda you have with taylor, i agree with the rest :) i think the lack of authority in midfield is how deep jack is, we have CDMs that are comfortable on the ball and it's just not necessary for him to be back there

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34 minutes ago, tomav84 said:

yeah you make that clear in the majority of your posts. he's the best LB we have unfortunately and frankly the least of our problems this season. we haven't exactly built much down the right or centre either...or is taylor at fault for that too?

Bruce was lambasted for playing a RB ad LB. guilbert has played just 45 mins at LB vs a league 2 side and you're talking about throwing him in there vs premier league opposition??

aside from the clear agenda you have with taylor, i agree with the rest :) i think the lack of authority in midfield is how deep jack is, we have CDMs that are comfortable on the ball and it's just not necessary for him to be back there

I'd pick Hause, Mings, Guilbert, Elmo, McGinn, Hourihane, Steer, John Terry, Ian Taylor and Hercules the lion all ahead of him for West Ham. How you get the idea I have issue with him I don't know.

He ain't the best we've got, Deano has it wrong for me. Same as he went for Elmo early on over Fred G.

He can defend but we need more on the ball, it's affecting us badly. If he scores the winner in a 1-0 win but played the same game he has been I'd still drop him for Burnley in two weeks. Arsenal is the sort of game he could be useful in. A game at home v a team we could get something from? No.

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11 hours ago, KHV said:

Midfield balance is all wrong.

McGinn and Grealish in the middle just does not work in the PL.

Disagree mcginn playing as a second striker doesn't work in the PL. He needs to be playing deeper than Grealish which he isn't doing right now so it leaves the defense and attack very isolated. 

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On 11/09/2019 at 20:57, KenjiOgiwara said:

Remember watching my local team getting promoted in Norway, and they played very much like Villa did in the championship, id est very possession based. The first match promoted was horrific. I remember talking to a lot of the fans post match walking home how we would improve once we got a bit more confidence in a new league, cause it seemed like we didn't believe in ourselves to the degree we did in a division lower.

Which team? 

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On 12/09/2019 at 04:47, TheAuthority said:

I'm not sure if it's available over there, but NBC Sports in the USA has a show called the "Big Interview" and this week it was Dean Smith.

About 40 minutes in depth. Very good - He's a great guy.

(I was able to find it through reddit on a dodgy flash site with tons of pop ups.)

Very impressive interview. Difficult not to like Dean! 

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His assessments of our performances are always spot on. I don't remember ever having a coach who sees exactly what the fans do and doesn't embellish things.

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5 hours ago, Keyblade said:

His assessments of our performances are always spot on. I don't remember ever having a coach who sees exactly what the fans do and doesn't embellish things.

Probably because he is a fan and is just as miserable as the rest of us are.  🤣

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Don’t panic, don’t panic!

Let the system play out. By rights, we shouldn’t even be in the PL this season - Purslow basically said it himself. We’ll be fine. There’s so many new faces to settle in. Give them at least until New Year’s Day before saying we’re getting relegated...

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On 11/09/2019 at 23:01, KHV said:

Midfield balance is all wrong.

McGinn and Grealish in the middle just does not work in the PL.

Ha, this has been on my mind since the Burnley game and I can't shake it. Our midfield is not dominant enough and not keeping the ball enough.

I love McGinn, and whilst he has hardly had a 'bad' start he really isn't getting on the ball anywhere near enough and making enough of an impact consistently. A good piece of play blinds fans to what is often passive performances at this level so far. Grealish has also clearly struggled to get going.

Whilst there's an element of getting up to speed I personally believe it's not a combination that is going to work as expected. I wouldn't be surprised if we see Grealish moved left but given a free role there with Nakamba coming in. I'd actually prefer that as our wingers are an enormous weak link and it's not really working in the middle very well.

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5 minutes ago, Dr_Pangloss said:

Ha, this has been on my mind since the Burnley game and I can't shake it. Our midfield is not dominant enough and not keeping the ball enough.

I love McGinn, and whilst he has hardly had a 'bad' start he really isn't getting on the ball anywhere near enough and making enough of an impact consistently. A good piece of play blinds fans to what is often passive performances at this level so far. Grealish has also clearly struggled to get going.

Whilst there's an element of getting up to speed I personally believe it's not a combination that is going to work as expected. I wouldn't be surprised if we see Grealish moved left but given a free role there with Nakamba coming in. I'd actually prefer that as our wingers are an enormous weak link and it's not really working in the middle very well.

You wouldn't want to give a team that's never really played together, under a relatively new coach, any time to gel and allow for chemistry to develop, would you?

We've been in every match for the majority of the 90 minutes, except for Palace, which was not good enough. I'm not saying you're wrong, I've just not arrived where you are yet.

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@Dr_Pangloss this is a quote from Grealish in  The Athletic article released this week. I’d be amazed if he ends up on the left unless he is forced there through injuries. 

Quote

“Some people say I should be a left winger. No thanks. I hate that position! I’m a No 8. I’ll play No 10 if asked, but I haven’t played there for three years,” he says. “I like my current position and I’m excited for the rest of the season. I speak to the manager every day about football and we want to make Villa an exciting team playing on the front foot. I’m confident we will get there.”

 

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18 minutes ago, Sam-AVFC said:

@Dr_Pangloss this is a quote from Grealish in  The Athletic article released this week. I’d be amazed if he ends up on the left unless he is forced there through injuries. 

 

Fair enough, but is this what is best for the team?

No doubt he'll rather play on the left and stay in the league than play as #10 and get relegated.

Not as simple as that obviously

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34 minutes ago, Sam-AVFC said:

@Dr_Pangloss this is a quote from Grealish in  The Athletic article released this week. I’d be amazed if he ends up on the left unless he is forced there through injuries. 

 

I didn't say to play him as a winger. I said to play him on the left with a free role, that's very different.

Now if he considers himself a number 8 than that's a problem because McGinn is a number 8 and more of one than Grealish. Could be why it's not quite working. What's interesting is when Smith came in he immediately had Grealish further up the pitch and getting into the box more. That seems to be unwound a bit and Grealish's perception of himself as a number 8 likely to be contributing to that.

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39 minutes ago, Dr_Pangloss said:

I didn't say to play him as a winger. I said to play him on the left with a free role, that's very different.

Now if he considers himself a number 8 than that's a problem because McGinn is a number 8 and more of one than Grealish. Could be why it's not quite working. What's interesting is when Smith came in he immediately had Grealish further up the pitch and getting into the box more. That seems to be unwound a bit and Grealish's perception of himself as a number 8 likely to be contributing to that.

But they contradict eachother, surely he either plays on the left or has a free role? 

If you did line him up on the left but then say you have a free role how often will he be on the left? It would leave us horribly imbalanced and it would leave Taylor exposed which i do not think would be wise.

Not gonna happen anyway.

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