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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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18 minutes ago, barry'sboots said:

And many on here are continually looking to make mole hills out of mountains!

That was a shocking display - particularly first half - and we find ourselves coming from behind already.  We went into that game undercooked/underprepared and not set up properly, imho.  I believe that, had we been, we would have secured at least a point and been off to a decent start. 

Momentum/confidence can play a significant part in football and we don't have it.  Similar struggles against Newcastle and the very positive Brentford at their new ground (another of our historic bogey teams I believe) followed by three tough fixtures against Chelski, Everton and Man U could see us firmly in the bottom half and playing catch up.

I get TRO's point about grit.  My interpretation of this is that he wants to see a strong (physique and character) leader in the centre of the park and I don't disagree with this.  This is even more important if you are looking to play Buendia as a "10" which I certainly wouldn't have done in this first game against a side that is always looking to physically assert themselves. 

I'm all for the more grit to our play. I think Saturday's defeat was more to do with us underestimating how much Watford would be up for it. We can't let an opening day defeat define our season. I think the players will be chomping at the bit to put things right in front of a packed Villa Park and what better opponents than Newcastle under Steve Bruce. I prefer to fall on the side of optimism and firmly believe come Saturday night, the majority of us will be smiling, again.

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3 minutes ago, sheepyvillian said:

I'm all for the more grit to our play. I think Saturday's defeat was more to do with us underestimating how much Watford would be up for it. We can't let an opening day defeat define our season. I think the players will be chomping at the bit to put things right in front of a packed Villa Park and what better opponents than Newcastle under Steve Bruce. I prefer to fall on the side of optimism and firmly believe come Saturday night, the majority of us will be smiling, again.

I don't know how you can underestimate the opposition in the PL, especially as everyone would have been aware of Friday night's result??

I hope that you are correct and the players make amends next Saturday.  I also hope that Deano gets his team selection right as that will give us a better chance.

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3 hours ago, TRO said:

I don't care if he had a good season last season....he still has certain attributes missing from a complete full back....he is not blessed with athleticism,and turn of pace, but there may be a good reason, that we don't know about, why he played so badly....lets be honest Cash wasn't much better......latter on I watched Spurs and Tanagana was the epitome of what to expect from a full back.

If Targett just had an off day, fine....we will see.

Players don't have to have a bad game, for fans to see certain things that they ideally would like to see better.

Targett was solid all last season against players better with certain attributes yet he has one poor game and you compare him to the performance of an inconsistent FB at Spurs who just happen to have a good game?! Jeez....Watch the spuds kid for the whole season and we'll see how the perfect FB in your eyes pans out. 

I find it quite remarkable how everyone creams over players for timing and positional play but as soon as they have a bad game its because of lack of strength and physicality. Then you get players like Cash who have more strength and pace, they have a bad game and it's because their positional play and timing is crap.

Let's be fair about this. To have the perfect balance of player as in positional play, timing, strength, pace, aggression we either take time to develop and refine those qualities in what we have, or spend ridiculous amounts for players, that even if top draw will still undoubtedly have bad games here and there. 

No doubt players under performed the weekend, several worse than others. There has however been a ridiculous over reaction to certain players having a bad game, as with Matt Targett. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, avfc1982am said:

Targett was solid all last season against players better with certain attributes yet he has one poor game and you compare him to the performance of an inconsistent FB at Spurs who just happen to have a good game?! Jeez....Watch the spuds kid for the whole season and we'll see how the perfect FB in your eyes pans out. 

I find it quite remarkable how everyone creams over players for timing and positional play but as soon as they have a bad game its because of lack of strength and physicality. Then you get players like Cash who have more strength and pace, they have a bad game and it's because their positional play and timing is crap.

Let's be fair about this. To have the perfect balance of player as in positional play, timing, strength, pace, aggression we either take time to develop and refine those qualities in what we have, or spend ridiculous amounts for players, that even if top draw will still undoubtedly have bad games here and there. 

No doubt players under performed the weekend, several worse than others. There has however been a ridiculous over reaction to certain players having a bad game, as with Matt Targett. 

 

 

I can only comment on current games, not what happened last season, which in itself is a very broad brush....I still think Target has good points and not so good points and yes last season he was better, but not off to a good start.

Tanagana was just an example of whats required, as opposed to writing reams of text...i have no idea of his consistency.

We will see in the next few games, if indeed it was nothing to worry about.

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I'm not too worried tbh.

- Some of those players had next to no pre-season and are still bedding in.

- We lost Watkins, who is instrumental to both our pressing and hold up play.

- 2 of those goals probably wouldn't have been goals any other week.

- It's the first game.

 

You can't really draw too many conclusions when we're still finding our feet. Yes, it's a poor result, but hopefully it'll be a big shock to the system and Smith will drill it into everybody that you need to be at the races from the word go.

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On 14/08/2021 at 17:06, Tumblerseven said:

Managers performance poor? Literally changed the game with his subs.

Took of targett made us more solid.

Subed in traore who got pen.

What the hell do you want from him seriously....

Not a completely abysmal first half and to go 3-0 down before we start playing?

Would you rate his performance as good in a game we lost 3-2 (which flattered us) against a newly promoted team?

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It was a bad performance all around,  don't think any of our players came out of it without some criticism. Our subs looked lively but I think Watford sat deeper at 3-0 and maybe that flattered  us a bit more than the first half.

Our swashbuckling team of last year is going to have to learn to scrap through games when the opposition have some joy , we can't just surrender and start lumping balls up field to the strike force we had on from the start, it just won't work ( we did this last season as well) . 

Quite why we are resorting to this tactic is beyond me, maybe a lack of options for shorter passes? 

Anyway let's not paper of the facts , we was well beaten by a team who has just been promoted.  We are in a battle from the off and make no mistake about that. 

 Every point we can get counts. All this talk about Europe is way wide of the mark and Smith should be saying , as he did last season  , 40 points is the aim. 

 

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3 hours ago, barry'sboots said:

I don't know how you can underestimate the opposition in the PL, especially as everyone would have been aware of Friday night's result??

I hope that you are correct and the players make amends next Saturday.  I also hope that Deano gets his team selection right as that will give us a better chance.

I said we underestimated their attitude and intensity. In other words, we didn't match their commitment, and I agree, it's unacceptable, but first games of the season are notoriously unpredictable so I'm inclined to sway towards the belief that we just wasn't in the right mind. Let's see how next weekend plays out before we start rushing to judgements. 

I, for one, believe we will further progress as a team this season. 

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3 hours ago, avfc1982am said:

Targett was solid all last season against players better with certain attributes yet he has one poor game and you compare him to the performance of an inconsistent FB at Spurs who just happen to have a good game?! Jeez....Watch the spuds kid for the whole season and we'll see how the perfect FB in your eyes pans out. 

I find it quite remarkable how everyone creams over players for timing and positional play but as soon as they have a bad game its because of lack of strength and physicality. Then you get players like Cash who have more strength and pace, they have a bad game and it's because their positional play and timing is crap.

Let's be fair about this. To have the perfect balance of player as in positional play, timing, strength, pace, aggression we either take time to develop and refine those qualities in what we have, or spend ridiculous amounts for players, that even if top draw will still undoubtedly have bad games here and there. 

No doubt players under performed the weekend, several worse than others. There has however been a ridiculous over reaction to certain players having a bad game, as with Matt Targett. 

 

 

Spot on, my friend. How many players have we seen, through all the years watching football, have an absolute howler of a game ? We don't know why Targett was so poor, but after the fine performance of last season, he surely gets the benefit of the doubt. 

The manager deciding to replace him at half- time makes me think that he wasn't 100% himself. As I've said previously, it was our first game of the season after what's been a somewhat disruptive pre - season. Now I'm not saying that excuses the performance on Saturday, but it might go some way to explaining it.

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Same old problem, we buy players in that are either on a par with what we have or only so slightly better that they make no difference, so we end up with a steady turnover of new names that do nothing more than blend in to the same standard football, no one we have signed is going to raise the team. We are supposed to have owners whe have the power to buy like the top clubs so why do we settle for buying players that the big teams wouldnt dream of buying.

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7 hours ago, barry'sboots said:

I think you are spot on.  BUT none of these things should have come as a surprise to anybody, least of all Smith?  

That midfield always looked underweight against a physical Watford side (they are always big, strong and athletic).  We all knew we were probably undercooked offensively given: (1) the lack of pre-season games; (2) the number of injuries/players missing; (3) the  loss of Jack and the circus around this; and this should have dictated a pragmatic solid formation initially with a view to staying tight and possibly looking to go on the offensive a bit more in the last quarter with Bailey providing impetus.  We should have gone in with 3 midfielders and Buendia on the right wing and I would have probably started JPB on the left with Ash possibly at left back, given his pre-season has been better than Targett's.  Nuno showed yesterday the value of organisation, even when you are playing a superior side - you have to set your side up right and I'm just not sure Smith has ever shown that he can do this when he doesn't have Jack/has to come up with a different way of playing.  I am particularly worried now as there is no obvious eleven/formation and he is going to have to find plan B, C & D and he has never done that in the past. 

El Ghazi is Hourihane on the wing.  Great shot, albeit becoming very predictable, but offers nothing else.  If we can get anything above £10m for him we should bite Roma's hand off and re-invest in a genuine option (Damsgaard or Correa look suitable but I haven't seen enough to judge) to compete with Bailey.  AEG, imho, is bad enough on the left wing BUT has never done anything when played off the right - Smith should know this as much as we all do!  JPB would have been a better option on the evidence of pre-season!  If we sell AEG and get another left winger in, I would let JPB go out on loan and get 30+ starts in the championship.  He would only benefit from those games.

I'm not sure where Targett has been in pre-season and why he was selected over Young for this game, given his lack of preparation and Young having looked good in pre-season.  I completely agree with keeping Freddie around as well.  I would always ideally want 8 defenders for four positions.

I would love us to get in a strong DCM and ideally JWP - a proper leader.  A DCM with cover from Nakamba and two from four of SJM, JWP, Sanson and Luiz would be quality for a 4-3-3.  This would also allow Ramsey to go out and get 30+ games in the Championship. 

A lot to do in the next couple of weeks.  I know it is early days but it is frustrating to be dropping valuable points this early.  I believe that, set up right, we could have at least come away with a point from this game.  

 

Good post....no likes left.

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4 hours ago, Stevo985 said:

Not a completely abysmal first half and to go 3-0 down before we start playing?

Would you rate his performance as good in a game we lost 3-2 (which flattered us) against a newly promoted team?

How about pick the right team in the first place??

Targett has hardly played a through pre-season - I am not sure why - and Ash has looked decent so probably deserved to start?

Why would anyone think playing El Ghazi on the right is the right way to go??  I don't rate him on the left but he is a "chocolate teapot" on the right!! And consistently so.  This is not just my view - I think 90% on here would recognise the lack of output on the right and a large number would agree overall.  

Given that we are undercooked - and we all know and understand the reasons why - why would you start with Buendia at "10" against a very physical side - they were always going to overrun that CM.

We should have had the 3 man midfield and Buendia on the right with JPB on the left and Bailey and Traore for the last 30.

Some seriously bad calls.  He did correct them at HT/with subs BUT he wouldn't have needed to if he hadn't made the errors in the first place??

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I think we should have selected a different team and a different shape - something that better protects our weakness in midfield.

Regardless, I think we'd have lost the game - too many individuals didn't perform to the level we've come to expect from them - our chaotic pre-season has been a very big factor in that, and sometimes I guess, human beings have off days.

 

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1 hour ago, Podster said:

Same old problem, we buy players in that are either on a par with what we have or only so slightly better that they make no difference, so we end up with a steady turnover of new names that do nothing more than blend in to the same standard football, no one we have signed is going to raise the team. We are supposed to have owners whe have the power to buy like the top clubs so why do we settle for buying players that the big teams wouldnt dream of buying.

I think most of us - and most of the football world - would disagree with this.  Our recruitment has been good again - Bailey and Buendia are a level above what we had (excepting Jack), Ings is great competition for our already strong "9", Ash and Tuanzebe are brilliant cover for LB and RCB where we had holes. 

Hopefully, the last two/three pieces will be in before the window closes and will be equally good.  We are still restricted by FFP and have to live within these limitations.  If we use some of the headroom that the sale of Jack has created to buy a strong DCM, another wide option and either a strong "8" (JWP) or "10" (Cantwell) depending on how we want to play we will have two good options for each spot.

From thereon, subject to performance, youth development and outgoings, we should only be buying one or two major signings every summer and, at this stage, we should hopefully be looking at £50m plus players in an ideal world.

The biggest challenge we have, imho, is whether Deano can use them properly and get a tune out of a team without Jack.  I thought his selection and formation/tactics were poor on Saturday but were belatedly remedied at half time - but this was obviously too late.  I hope that he can get it right moving forward.  I think there are only a few elite managers around - Rodgers, Tuchel, Klopp, Conte, possibly Nuno (I don't include Pep in there as I I don't think you can tell when he keeps getting the teams with the best players/biggest budgets and then still manages to consistently screw it up in the big games?) - and I think Deano is some way behind that level?  

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On 15/08/2021 at 11:25, TRO said:

I am tired of listening to the "out fought" argument since Doncaster in the cup ,under O'Leary.

we need players who can do, what we are asking/expecting them to do.

...and, let's not forget, what they are paid handsomely to do!

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On 14/08/2021 at 17:07, hippo said:

3-2 Hides a multitude of problems IMO.

Budenia was very poor must have had a about 6 touches in the first half. When he got the ball he just seemed to stand still with and let players surround him. Can't believe he was fully fit

Ings - very poor - sure not much service - but struggled to even make nuisance of himself.

Our iffy players Nkamba, AEG, Cash - all had days to forget.

Worst of all we seemed to have no idea what were doing or supposed to be doing. People go on about missing jack - this much worst than last season without jack. I think we have tried to be to clever replacing jack - all this bollox about replacing him with 3 players - less reliant on him - complete tosh (even if it were true)  - We need somebody dynamic - not tidy players who place a couple of decent passes each game. We need someone that terrifies defences, makes things happen.

Someone like Bailey then?

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2 minutes ago, sidcow said:

Someone like Bailey then?

Well yes he was the one bright spark.

Bit concerning that our best player was the one who has only trained with us for two days !!!!!! - 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, barry'sboots said:

I think most of us - and most of the football world - would disagree with this.  Our recruitment has been good again - Bailey and Buendia are a level above what we had (excepting Jack), Ings is great competition for our already strong "9", Ash and Tuanzebe are brilliant cover for LB and RCB where we had holes. 

Hopefully, the last two/three pieces will be in before the window closes and will be equally good.  We are still restricted by FFP and have to live within these limitations.  If we use some of the headroom that the sale of Jack has created to buy a strong DCM, another wide option and either a strong "8" (JWP) or "10" (Cantwell) depending on how we want to play we will have two good options for each spot.

From thereon, subject to performance, youth development and outgoings, we should only be buying one or two major signings every summer and, at this stage, we should hopefully be looking at £50m plus players in an ideal world.

The biggest challenge we have, imho, is whether Deano can use them properly and get a tune out of a team without Jack.  I thought his selection and formation/tactics were poor on Saturday but were belatedly remedied at half time - but this was obviously too late.  I hope that he can get it right moving forward.  I think there are only a few elite managers around - Rodgers, Tuchel, Klopp, Conte, possibly Nuno (I don't include Pep in there as I I don't think you can tell when he keeps getting the teams with the best players/biggest budgets and then still manages to consistently screw it up in the big games?) - and I think Deano is some way behind that level?  

I think we are all hoping that first game was a one off....but it begs the question have we really moved on from the quality of likes of Tom Cleverley or Ashley Westwood......I think most of us thought we had.

Its tricky now, because we not only have FFP as well as the transfer fee itself.....but are we advanced enough to attract some of these better players, I would hazard a guess Bailey is using us as a stepping stone as Idrissa Guye did.

The DM we talk about, can be picked up ,for semi modest fee's...Leicester have done it with Ndidi and Kante ......but we have to be on the ball with the scouting, you would think Rob Mackenzie could find one, if anyone can.

Blending them all is the biggest challenge imo too....The second biggest challenge for me is signing the same type of midfielder( in terms of attributes) and expecting a different reaction.

Edited by TRO
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57 minutes ago, hippo said:

Well yes he was the one bright spark.

Bit concerning that our best player was the one who has only trained with us for two days !!!!!! - 

now that is concerning.

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