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2021/22 expectations


Jareth
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This season is such a difficult one to call.

We've had quite a disrupted pre-season, as have many teams, which is not ideal. Another concern for me is that we've lost some important characters in the dressing room and it's going to take a while for a new dynamic to appear. We've lost Terry who you'd think was a big voice in the dressing room and a link between the players and Smith, Grealish the same, and also we've lost experienced pro's like Taylor, Elmo and Heaton. Last season we saw the benefit of having a settled dressing room with new signings being able to integrate quickly and hit the ground running. The environment must be somewhat less stable now with so much upheaval, although we still have some big characters and the addition of Young should help.

Because of all the changes in personnel and the need to adjust our setup/tactics accordingly I think it's fair to expect a bit of inconsistency at the start of the season, there's going to have to be some patience required.

Other clubs have issues too though (ignoring the top 4), Spurs have a new manager and may lose Kane, Wolves a new (and fairly unknown) manager and little investment, Leeds little investment, Palace New manager and plenty of player turnover, Everton new manager and weird recruitment, Newcastle no investment, West Ham little investment, Southampton little investment and lost their best striker. To me there are very few teams starting from a solid base. Even if some of those teams invest before the end of the window, there's no time to integrate those players. So I feel there's an opportunity for anyone who can find some consistency in the first half of the season to set themselves up for a European run.

I think we could finish anywhere between 6th-12th, if I had to narrow it down I'd say 8th-9th, and that would be progress once more. However, we really need European football sooner than later if we want to continue to progress.

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On 09/08/2021 at 07:46, villa4europe said:

its not stagnating though is it...we need time and patience, the club has shown signs that we arent going to try and buy a CL place because they know that they cant, instead we're going young and trying to develop a team capable of getting a CL place

it will take years, its going to be a marathon and i think our owners know that 

next season we need to show signs of progress, improve our consistency all whilst changing our style of play , id take a year of flirting with EL before maybe settling for 8th or 9th depending on what other teams around us do

this idea that we have to get EL or we have to get CL next season, its just unmerited pressure and unrealistic expectation, what we have to do is give these kids a launch pad for us to succeed further down the line, if that means losing a few games because we have a midfield under the age of 20 then so be it, in the long term it will be more beneficial 

when we finally get EL the likes of kesler, barry, chuk and ramsey x 2 will be playing in it as starters and that will be amazing for their development and thats what will then push us on for the CL - that is how i see the villa 5 year masterplan or whatever you want to call it, its definitely not stagnating

The same thing has been said repeatedly on this forum by many for a while now.

So yes, being content with another 10th/11th/12th place finish is standing still.

All this 5 year masterplan stuff was also being spoken of during the Learner years. NasWes don't strike me as guys that are content to sit around with their thumb in their arse while we 'slowly slowly' progress by one place up the league each season. Even Christian Purslow thought we should have finished in a European place last season given the blistering form we were in until Grealish was injured. 

So for me, I think this season we should be looking at qualifying for Europa League atleast. Whether that's finishing 5th/6th or winning either of the cups - I don't mind, but I honestly don't think that it's an unrealistic expectation whatsoever.

Let's see what Dean can deliver!

 

 

Edited by AvfcRigo82
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3 minutes ago, AvfcRigo82 said:

The same thing has been said repeatedly on this forum by many for a while now.

So yes, being content with another 10th/11th/12th place finish is standing still.

All this 5 year masterplan stuff was also being spoken of during the Learner years. NasWes don't strike me as guys that are content to sit around with their thumb in their arse while we 'slowly slowly' progress by one place up the league each season. Even Christian Purslow thought we should have finished in a European place last season given the blistering form we were in until Grealish was injured. 

So for me, I think this season we should be looking at qualifying for Europa League atleast. Whether that's finishing 5th/6th or winning either of the cups - I don't mind, but I honestly don't think that it's an unrealistic expectation whatsoever.

Let's see what Dean can deliver!

 

 

Do you really think our squad is the 5th or 6th best in the league? 

I think that should be the aim. I want us to challenge for Europe this year but there's probably 9, maybe 10 teams that will say the same. Are we better than at least 5 of them? 

I'm not sure we are at this point. I love Deano but I also trust our owners. If they feel like we're not progressing quick enough then I've no doubt Dean will be under pressure or lose his job. 

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1 minute ago, DCJonah said:

Do you really think our squad is the 5th or 6th best in the league? 

I think that should be the aim. I want us to challenge for Europe this year but there's probably 9, maybe 10 teams that will say the same. Are we better than at least 5 of them? 

I'm not sure we are at this point. I love Deano but I also trust our owners. If they feel like we're not progressing quick enough then I've no doubt Dean will be under pressure or lose his job. 

I'm not sure it's about being 5th or 6th best in the league mate.

If we can grind out results like we managed to last season and not fall apart after one player gets injured then I think we have a good a chance as those other teams in and around us of doing something, or atleast win a cup.

I want to see Dean kick us on.  

 

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People won't like to hear this but finishing 10th-9th would be a good season.

Talk about finishing in Europe is a little OTT. Sure it could happen but we're in a transitional period and it will take time for all these new signings to get fit and settle. Replacing Grealish won't happen over night. Will take time to find a new way to play without him.

22/23 season is when I expect us to make an European push.

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6 minutes ago, villalad21 said:

People won't like to hear this but finishing 10th-9th would be a good season.

Talk about finishing in Europe is a little OTT. Sure it could happen but we're in a transitional period and it will take time for all these new signings to get fit and settle. Replacing Grealish won't happen over night. Will take time to find a new way to play without him.

22/23 season is when I expect us to make an European push.

im the same

ill add if ramsey and chuk get 20+ appearances, including 10+ starts, bidace makes 10+ appearances, barry has a great loan at ipswich, kesler same at swindon, 2 more players make debuts (maybe younger ramsey not sure on the other) then there should be plenty to be excited about even if we are 10th

ill also add if thats the case i want us to look good in the cups, cant set an expectation on it due to the luck of the draw but if we know we're hovering around mid table again then give the cups a push

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25 minutes ago, AvfcRigo82 said:

I'm not sure it's about being 5th or 6th best in the league mate.

If we can grind out results like we managed to last season and not fall apart after one player gets injured then I think we have a good a chance as those other teams in and around us of doing something, or atleast win a cup.

I want to see Dean kick us on.  

 

I think we have a chance at doing something special this year. If Buendia, Bailey and Ings do what they can, then there aren't going to be many teams with a better attacking unit than us. 

But at the same time, I think it's so difficult to overtake some of these teams. I think the usual 4 plus Leicester are untouchable at the moment. We should aim to be best of the rest but Arsenal and Spurs still have so much more strength than us. 

I want a good cup run and a comfortable top half finish, which means we challenged and pushed for those european spots.  I'd be slightly dissapointed with 11th/10th depending on how we achieve it.

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16 minutes ago, villalad21 said:

People won't like to hear this but finishing 10th-9th would be a good season.

Talk about finishing in Europe is a little OTT. Sure it could happen but we're in a transitional period and it will take time for all these new signings to get fit and settle. Replacing Grealish won't happen over night. Will take time to find a new way to play without him.

22/23 season is when I expect us to make an European push.

Probably. I think going up, staying up, consolidating and pushing on (this season) is a good trajectory. It's unreasonable not to anticipate there will be a season amongst the many where the club will suffer injuries or unexpected set-backs and won't therefore stand still, or drop back, but that said pushing on up the league has to be the aim and ambition. Exactly how far Villa manages to push on up the league is of course unknowable. Top 4 is completely out of the question IMO, but top 7 or 8 is definitely possible and would represent further progress. 6th would be excellent. Beyond that is basically dreamland, and the sort of season that we'd remember for ever.

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32 minutes ago, AvfcRigo82 said:

If we can grind out results like we managed to last season

I think that is the very thing we failed to do last season and is a weakness that Smith has. We either win games in style or we lose games. I don't recall too many games where is was a 50/50 game or the opposition had the upper hand and Villa emerged as victors. We need to continue to win our games we are dominating but we must start grinding out results when we are on the back foot

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, villalad21 said:

People won't like to hear this but finishing 10th-9th would be a good season.

I agree, as that would be an improvement on last season. However, with the investment in the squad during the summer I feel we should be pushing for 7th / 8th as a reasonable target for Smith to deliver.

Edited by blandy
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9 minutes ago, DCJonah said:

should aim to be best of the rest but Arsenal and Spurs still have so much more strength than us. 

Arsenal don't really. They're in transition and lost their best keeper last season. Spurs were a dumpster fire when Kane was injured so if he leaves... not to mention I think Nuno is overrated

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Just now, Peter Griffin said:

I think that is the very thing we failed to do last season and is a weakness that Smith has. We either win games in style or we lose games. I don't recall too many games where is was a 50/50 game or the opposition had the upper hand and Villa emerged as victors. We need to continue to win our games we are dominating but we must start grinding out results when we are on the back foot

We ground a lot of results out last season. Southampton away, Arsenal at home, Brighton away was another one although it was a draw. That's just off the top of my head but in that period after the covid outbreak we were getting results while not playing very well at all.

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1 minute ago, Peter Griffin said:

I think that is the very thing we failed to do last season and is a weakness that Smith has. We either win games in style or we lose games. I don't recall too many games where is was a 50/50 game or the opposition had the upper hand and Villa emerged as victors.

Nah. There were plenty. But even if we ignore the games like Chelsea, Arsenal at home, Leicester away, Wolves away, Spurs away, even, I don't think that's the point. Because winning games in style is an absolute asset and something to genuinely enjoy and be proud of. Entertaining and winning is the best of football. That we could also get points from draws and wins where not playing the same attacking football was also a bonus for me. 

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The loss of Grealish is a major setback. I believe Buendia was purchased to play alongside Jack - and of course step in when Jack isn't available. TBF Buendia is as close to a jack replacement as you will get so was a great signing.

Non the less we have a mini upheaval on our hands - nobody is quite sure how we line up v Watford, and whatever the line up Im betting it will have evolved into something quite different by Oct/Nov.

Im just hoping by the end of this season we are a decent team - just requiring a final sprinkling of fairy dust, which can be added next summer.

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6 minutes ago, Kiwivillan said:

Arsenal don't really. They're in transition and lost their best keeper last season. Spurs were a dumpster fire when Kane was injured so if he leaves... not to mention I think Nuno is overrated

Smith Rowe, Saka, Lacazette/Pepe, Aubamyang isn't a bad forward line you know

I would actually say it's as strong as anyone in this league

Edited by villalad21
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4 minutes ago, sparrow1988 said:

We ground a lot of results out last season. Southampton away, Arsenal at home, Brighton away was another one although it was a draw. That's just off the top of my head but in that period after the covid outbreak we were getting results while not playing very well at all.

I think we're better at grinding out results under Smith than we ever were under MON. Also coming back from lost causes even if we didn't end up getting the result.

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Just now, villalad21 said:

Smith Rowe, Saka, Lacazette/Pepe, Aubamyang isn't a bad forward line you know

I would actually sat it's as strong as anyone in this league

 Garbage last season for what they cost and wages some of them on. Can tell you hardly any fantasy football player owned Arsenal assets most of last season for good reason

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40 minutes ago, villalad21 said:

People won't like to hear this but finishing 10th-9th would be a good season.

Talk about finishing in Europe is a little OTT. Sure it could happen but we're in a transitional period and it will take time for all these new signings to get fit and settle. Replacing Grealish won't happen over night. Will take time to find a new way to play without him.

22/23 season is when I expect us to make an European push.

But based on your past comments during Smiths reign, you’ll be highly critical of Smith if we are averaging 9th-10th won’t you?

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Posted (edited)

Point won after falling behind in a game

1. Manchester United – 31 points
2. Leicester City – 20 points
3. Wolves – 16 points
4. Liverpool – 13 points
5= West Ham – 12 points
5= Arsenal – 12 points
5= West Brom – 12 points
8= Chelsea – 11 points
8= Leeds – 11 points
8= Tottenham – 11 points
11. Newcastle United – 9 points
12= Everton – 7 points
12= Southampton – 7 points
14. Burnley – 6 points
15= Manchester City – 5 points
15= Aston Villa – 5 points
15= Crystal Palace- 5 points
18= Sheffield United – 4 points
18= Brighton – 4 points
20. Fulham – 2 points

That doesn't suggest that we are grinding out too many results. Only 4 teams below us and 3 of those were relegated. The only reason Man City is in the bottom half of that table is that they rarely fall behind in a game hence very little opportunity to come back from a loosing position.

 

EDIT: Sorry, only two of the teams below us were relegated 

Edited by Peter Griffin
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