Date: 18th February 2019 at 7:40am
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Following Aston Villa’s defeat in the derby against West Bromwich Albion last weekend, it’s understandable that our current poorer run of form has seen some wildly different reactions from fans.

With head coach Dean Smith not immune from criticism after recent results and performances, views have been somewhat polarising, but plenty of fans feel this season is, unfortunately, another write-off but that we’ll be all the better for it come next summer when we can really wheel and deal and get the squad set how Smith wants.


Writer: Cambs Villan

We had last season when short term loans and contracts were employed and as we later found out, gambled the whole financial stability of the club on getting promoted. Older players and more importantly none of the under 23 team out on loan to get experience.

It is nearly impossible unless you are a prodigious talent to jump from under 23 to first team. Harry Kane, John Terry and David Beckham had to do that. I wanted Steve Bruce to succeed, but in holding back the younger players, he didn’t help himself.

Dean Smith has now put some of the brighter talents out on loan. DS has come in and the players responded early on, especially playing Axel in his correct position. Since Jack and Axel got injured, we have struggled. Both of those players were key to the DS system. People have focused only on Jack being missed, but Axel was a huge miss.

There was never going to be a massive change in terms of players coming in during January. It is not the best time to sign players and we still have Financial Fair Play to consider. That has not gone away. We would not have the money to blow, even if we had wanted to. He brought back 3 players who never should have left and 3 players 26 or under plus a goalkeeper.

I believe that the point that DS was making after the Brentford game, was that he wanted young, hungry players. There are a lot of those players out there and our scouting system needs to find them.

It is great playing Jacob Ramsey, but he needs support, to achieve his full potential. Using Conor as a scapegoat and booing him, is, in my opinion, a disgrace. I might not be happy with an individual or the team’s performance, but booing defeats the object IMHO.

People moan about the midfield, but who else is available that they haven’t already crucified, because Hourihane, Whelan, Jedinak and Thor have all been rubbished.

The club is moving in the right direction IMHO, maybe not quickly enough, as I thought that we would at least get playoffs this year. However, I am prepared to be patient and not make any short-term knee jerk comments, as others do as it seems from game to game.

I have seen this club go through lots of ups and downs having seen my first game in 1961 at the age of 9, but we must be patient because booing the team and individual players achieves only one thing. More confident for opponents and our players becoming risk averse.

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14 Replies to “Villa Are “Moving In The Right Direction” But Fans Needs To Be “Patient””

  • For me, the biggest issue is that we have stuck consistently to 4-3-3 despite us only having one midfielder – McGinn – that can play as one of the two box to box midfielders. Losing Jack and Henry (and possibly Carroll) has been a huge issue. Hourihane is a sitting midfielder and to play him as a more advanced midfielder in a 4-3-3 is just wrong – he doesn’t have the energy or dynamism to fulfil this role. Smith needs to try something different – maybe a 3-4-1-2 now we have plenty of centre backs and no decent full backs! McGinn + Whelan or Hourihane in the middle.

  • Smith will only be able to successfully de-Bruce his squad come the summer, although one or two are worth keeping.

    Mings and, maybe, Hause will offer good options on permanent deal and, perhaps, three CBs might be the way forward, especially as the two mentioned above are left footers. We do need a specialist LB/LWB though.

    I do think we would benefit from a more dynamic player sat in midfield to make best use of McGinn’s industry and a striker looks essential, particularly if Kodjia is sold off in addition to losing Abraham.

    I cannot see really big cash being splashed out because I doubt any big incoming fees are likely.

    It is not all doom and gloom because a clear out was obvious.

    • It is all doom and gloom! This position is horrendous! Name 3 positives at Villa right now! Rich owners but capped in what they can spend…outstanding training ground about to be ripped up for a railway…parachute payments about to run dry…we’ve got an England defensive legend as assistant manager and the 3rd worst defence in the league(what a joke!)…we blew £24m on two strikers we barely played…Kodjia was great last year and now we play him on the wing, then plan to sell him as he’s not performed, despite losing Abraham…Grealish, for all his hype has succumbed to yet another major injury but when he was fit did not tear the league up – joint 32nd for assists. Behind Bolasie! We’ve got Hourihane and McGinn 4th and 7th on the same list, Whelan and Jedi who both experienced promotion as captain, Adomah who dragged us to playoffs (not Grealish) when Kodjia was injured – why are we not doing better??? Can’t even blame the transition from defensive to attacking style as Solskjaer is managing it at Utd. It is very much doom and gloom mate!!!

      • The training ground being ripped up for a railway is the thing to protect us from FFP, 3rd worst defence in the league is not down to JT, that is down to Bruce leaving us with NO DEFENCE until January, Kodjia is a lazy and greedy muppet and even in his ‘good’ season cost us more points than he gained us with his inability to pass for tap ins, always has to be the glory hunting hero. Grealish influence on the pitch is what we miss, assists and goals are stats not the be all and end all of a player……….and why are we not doing as well as last season?? Ask the players you mentioned!! Adomah hasn’t played a decent game since last Feb and Smith wasn’t in charge then! The problem is the Bruce squad, it is the players attitudes that are awful, none of the Brucey favs are happy or even trying. The difference between Ole and Deano is obvious to me, Man United players HATED Mourinho and are glad he’s gone so now full of effort, our players LOVED Bruce and now he’s gone they are just going through the motions………think about it! This article is well written if you can let go of the anger long enough to understand it 🙂 we are all angry about our league position, but it’s not down to Smith, he hasn’t even made his mark on the squad yet ffs

        • I’ve no problem with the article and your reply makes a lot of sense too. But I’m still very angry ha! ????

        • Well said mate.

          The comments regarding the training ground, well I am in construction and I am involved with providing protection from contaminated land. The HS2 now affects only the academy pitches, the club have purchased land adjacent on the opposite side of the road which will now become the academy. The club was after around £10m in compensation for full relocation so I would assume we actually received considerably less.

          Anyway, regardless your comments are bang on. This piece is extremely well written and the most accurate and honest account I’ve seen yet.

      • Revolutionalast, I agree 100%. I would also add, I like the way the Chelsea owner runs his club by sacking managers if the team is not performing, he sets the bar very high. Also, to all the other Villa fans who thinks Aston Villa are “moving in the right direction”. well, If Aston Villa can only win two matches in ten games in this crappy division, how are we moving in the right direction? John Terry is a backstabber, and would probably happy to see Dean Smith gone.

  • Feels like we have now fully transitioned into a once-great-club-now-condemned-for-the-long-term. A forest, Leeds…We’re not getting out of this league this year, so parachute payments disappear. Another 3 clubs come down significantly richer than us when it’s already so difficult to get out. We’re as dependant on Abraham as we were on Benteke and we know what happened when we lost him. The article also says how much we need Axel who also isn’t ours next year. So rebuilding yet again in the summer. What pulling power does Dean Smith have over 6/8 teams in the championship, having never placed higher than 11th? I’d literally never even heard of him. Will we attract/afford another Abraham? Just feels like we’re cursed: even Hogan is playing well now!
    Utterly depressing!

  • Things do take time and we are far from a balanced side, but in order for the manager to stay on side with the fans….He does need to shows signs of improvement along the way, that improvement could be individual players not making the same mistakes and errors week in week out.
    Time alone…offers nothing…..incremental improvement does.
    Dean does have an injury problem right now, but when fit, he needs to show that low level performance from players will not go ignored…..He has to show to the fans he is in control….right now, I am not sure he is.

    • If only time were all it took: we’ve been waiting since 2010 when Martin ONeil walked out, and from where I’m sat, it’s got steadily worse, not better!!!

      • I agree. When Wolves hired their manager, he got them promoted immediately playing wonderful football. I am not sure if Dean Smith and John Terry could achieve that at wolves.

  • With the shambles of a squad inherited by Smith, it was clear it would take time for the de-Brucing exercise to run it’s course. Along the way, Mings and, possibly, Hause may offer longer term solutions, but we also know a lot of players must go.

    An option of three central defenders might be worth considering, although a LB/LWB is necessary. In addition, a more dynamic (and mobile) DM, a LW (left footed) and a striker are musts.

    I cannot see a great incoming revenue from player sales, so we may have to be more conservative with our recruitment and, as the Maestro would utter ‘box clever’…..

    No need for too much doom and gloom. We have had a lop-sided squad of Dad’s Army applicants, so Smith’s job was never going to be any easy one, although a bit more work on the defence is needed – calling Mr Terry, calling Mr Terry.

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