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Ratings & Reactions: Watford v Villa


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  1. 1. Who was your Man of the Match?

  2. 2. Manager's Performance

  3. 3. Refereeing Performance


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  • Poll closed on 16/08/21 at 22:59

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Personally I'm not too worried about the result and performance yesterday. We played a newly promoted team in front of their own fans for the first time in 2 years who had every thing to go for, and our terrible pre-season prep with players away on international, staff leaving, losing out best player, all combined with us not being at the races today. No panic, was it good enough? No. I can understand the team selection, but it didn't work, and I think Dean made that clear in his post match interview. There is lots of time to put things right, and if we are still lacking we can always strengthen in January.

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1 hour ago, foreveryoung said:

Looked a complete mess to me watching the game in the first half. Second half looked better, but if we don't wanna put to much blame on Smith, it no doubt looked like we have had zero pre season with the new guys, an as I said earlier in this thread, If we did, I really don't think it's been very productive.

I know it's only our first game, blah blah, but all the teams that are going to do well, won there games, an I worry for us this season I really do, we looked totally 'unprepared' yesterday.

West Ham lost 2-0 at home to Newcastle on the opening day of last season. Just putting that out there.

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12 hours ago, KentVillan said:

Something I think has been lost in all this fall out from the Watford game is that really we threw it all away in a fairly short spell in the first half - which included a *really* flukey second goal for Watford.

The match stats are 62% possession for Villa. 11 shots on goal, vs 13 by Watford.

It was bad, no doubt, but second half we were clearly the better side by some margin.

You can rightly criticise the starting lineup, and the way some of our players performed.

But what I can’t understand is this idea that Smith is just clueless, when he literally fixed what was wrong as the game progressed. That doesn’t seem to me to indicate a manager who’s run out of ideas or doesn’t know how to set his team up!?

Image result for elvis thank you very much gif

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15 hours ago, Wurzel said:

Personally I'm not too worried about the result and performance yesterday. We played a newly promoted team in front of their own fans for the first time in 2 years who had every thing to go for, and our terrible pre-season prep with players away on international, staff leaving, losing out best player, all combined with us not being at the races today. No panic, was it good enough? No. I can understand the team selection, but it didn't work, and I think Dean made that clear in his post match interview. There is lots of time to put things right, and if we are still lacking we can always strengthen in January.

January will be much too late.

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I think our midfield problems yesterday were compounded by having Young and El Ghazi on the wings.  Watford had nothing to worry about down the flanks, so they packed the middle of the park and also kept Sarr further up the pitch.

I think our midfield pair will look much better once we are starting Bailey/Buendia/Traore/Watkins, and defenses have players putting pressure on them.

El Ghazi having 10+ touches and zero dribbles or chance creations is unacceptable and sends a wave of pressure back down our “spine”.

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2 hours ago, TRO said:

On the basis of yesterday, Jack going, won't be as easy to recover from than we first thought.

Never thought it would be. Can't replace the most talented footballer we've ever had easily. We'd have been hovering around the relegation zone last season based on the results without him in the team.  This season maybe one of reconciliation. 

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Before the game wasn’t confident as playing a newly promoted side away with fans back in the stadium for the first time in 18 months was going to be tough, had stoke away vibes and when saw the starting line up with El Ghazi and Ashley Young playing as wingers I just didn’t see where the creativity was going to come from. Hopefully we will never have to see them two starting as our wingers for the rest of the season. 
 

Not sure how Watford’s pre-season was but could tell in the first half Targett/Cash just looked off the pace. After the first goal went in was frustrating that the second goal happened after a deflection as it was a very much up hill battle from there. 
 

Can only be a positive that the midfield issue and this performance happened whilst the transfer window is still open rather than next month so hopefully a CM is signed in the next couple of weeks. Touchwood for Newcastle should have Watkins, Buendia, Ings and Bailey all available to start and we should see a much much better performance in front of a packed Villa Park. 

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2 hours ago, TRO said:

On the basis of yesterday, Jack going, won't be as easy to recover from than we first thought.

I can't believe anyone thought it would ever be easy. Our record without him is very poor.

But hey ho - at least we aren't relying on one player any more !!!

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The good news is I don't think we will have to pick such a weak XI again.  I so hope we can get Ward-Prowse in, then you've got Doug, Ollie, Bailey and Traore in the mix to start.  Yesterday was a bit like having to patch up holes in the team and it showed with the performance.  Hopefully we can get an early goal on Saturday so the fans don't get restless as it's a slippery slope with us sometimes.

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A bad day at the office and I'll be surprised if we play that badly again this season so I suppose it's better to get it out of our system now.

Really impressed with the cameo from Bailey but fear we may not find a system that accommodates Bailey, Buendia, Ings and Watkins.  I feel that it may be need to be Ings or Watkins and not both.

It'll be interesting to see how our midfield shapes up in the coming week - I think we may bring in an enforcer type of player but we also have Luiz and Sanson to come back.  Sanson has the potential to have the impact of a new signing if he can settle and keep himself fit.

Targett's performance was very concerning after such a solid season last season - hopefully he can put it behind him and quickly move on, but his fitness does appear to be a concern.

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6 hours ago, andym said:

I think i'd describe our midfield issue as a lack of 'control' rather than anything else.

We simply haven't got anyone who can set the tempo and look after the ball, who can 'run the game'.

McGinn is 100mph all the time, so even when we need to take the sting out of the opposition, he's trying high risk passes that see the pressure straight back on us. Ramsey and Sanson seem similar style, Nakamba and Hourihane are simply not good enough.

Luiz is the closest, but he easily slips into being too casual.

We are constantly having to chase the ball in the middle of the park because we give it away too much, and it impacts at both ends of the pitch.

I agree.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, KentVillan said:

Tbh, if the refereeing has been relaxed again in terms of contact and heavy tackles, then I’m more inclined to agree with @TRO on this.

My argument was always that the game had evolved away from physicality, but it seems they’re allowing more of it back in. In that case, maybe we could do with an enforcer. That clearly isn’t Nakamba though.

but that enforcer or combative midfielder, needs to be able to play too.....control is the key word,as Andym describes.

Edited by TRO
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2 minutes ago, villan501 said:

1 poor performance dosnt define a season  but Smith needs to utilise the signings in their preferred and best positions.

 

AEG for me is finished he's pathetic as a pro he's brilliant for 1 game in 5  kt good enough.

 

Smith also now has to try a new brand of football, Jack leaving allows us to speed our attacks up.

 

4 4 2 is a no no imo with our personal.

 

I think if I was manager yo get all players in I'd go 4 1 4 1. I'd also sign a  big DM with only priority to break up attacks and pass it forward.

Judging by yesterday (and not last season) its knowing how to defend is the key issue....we are obssessed with wingers and attacking.

We need to get Grit in to our play.

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10 minutes ago, TRO said:

Unless we can ditch this Pusillanimous approach....Europe is pie in the sky.

Doesn't mean it's not the target. 

Yesterdays problem was not a new one, we haven't found a way of playing without Grealish. It looks like the ownership have replaced his goals and assists but neglected his other asset, the ability to carry the ball between defence and attack. 

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, cheltenham_villa said:

Doesn't mean it's not the target. 

Yesterdays problem was not a new one, we haven't found a way of playing without Grealish. It looks like the ownership have replaced his goals and assists but neglected his other asset, the ability to carry the ball between defence and attack. 

No it isn't a new one, hence my comment.....I agree they have endeavoured to replace the grealish attributes and forgot about the rest of the team.

but that was a team problem yesterday....No one was in the groove.

They looked laboured in all their work.

Edited by TRO
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