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  1. 52% of the audience agree with him. Also I see Coutinho has ended up at Bayern. He must have a hell of an agent because I just don’t see him as this Galactico figure that his recent moves and fees seem to indicate. He was a good player for Liverpool but I think he was struggling to hold down a place in their best XI at the time of the sale and I’m not at all sure he’d be anything other than a bench warmer at Anfield now. The (£140m?) fee Barca offered must still get laughed about in the Liverpool boardroom. He’ll probably win stuff at Bayern this season but I can’t see him becoming the player they build their team around nor will he be someone who dominates games like a Galactico should. Seems fitting that he’s probably going to get James Rodriguez’s old parking spot at the training ground.
  2. I know we don't talk about Wolves here any more but pointless gossip time; half the Pyunik Yerevan (tomorrow night's opposition) are hanging around in the Bullring in Birmingham right now in their team gear. Looks like they've got the afternoon off or something and are just hitting the shops. We can go back to coverage of the top six now.
  3. No talking about Wolves in the main thread!
  4. That's not really true any more, certainly not at any scale which actually matters. Overseas fans are a huge factor, they all pick who they want to support. Even in the 90s growing up in the West Midlands there were a lot of Newcastle and Blackburn fans around for two or three years while they had good teams, Manchester United and Liverpool have drawn support from all over the country and that will creep in with Man City and Chelsea if they keep winning trophies at their current rate. I chose Villa because they were the team all the kids on my street supported, my dad was a Rugby player and my Grandad was obsessed by snooker (my other granddad died ten years before I was born) so I never really had a club pushed on me at home. Kids these days are starting to support clubs like Barcelona because it's an easy thing to do because of the internet. European football will probably look like the NFL in 20 years time. My son is still Villa though. That was decided when David Platt scored against Belgium in 1990 and even though I was only 11 at the time I realised I'd probably have kids one day and I'd get to pick who they supported.
  5. There’s a lot of pressure on Wesley to perform. I’m not sure he’ll be prolific but it seems the team will be set up for either Grealish or McGinn to run ahead of him and score like John did today. Spurs away won’t define our season though, they are pretty much locked into the top four as far as I’m concerned. We made them sweat. Big game against Bournemouth coming up though, I think we definitely need to win that.
  6. Gave Spurs a run for their money but just couldn't hold on. I think we'll take confidence from this even if we didn't take any points.
  7. Can’t see us holding out.
  8. Spurs really turning the screw now. Eep.
  9. Takes years. Most people in this county have picked their team by the time they are ten so most of the glory hunting City fans either haven’t got pubes yet or live overseas and aren’t really rllmuks demographic. Also: woo Villa! Having to make do with Talksport on the train but even if we end up losing today the first half will fill us with confidence.
  10. Suddenly I'm nervous. Can't see Villa getting much today at Spurs, we could have six or seven guys making their debut away at a settled, balanced and extremely talented team. I just hope we don't get smashed.
  11. Kemar Roofe off to Anderlecht took me by surprise. I’d have thought of him as a key player for Leeds and he’s gone to Belgium?
  12. Quite a lot of Villa fans wanted him to have another year in the Premier League, I don't think he has the legs for it myself but he is a classy player. I'm not sure what Hearts issues are but Whelan will keep the ball ticking over nicely, he's an accurate passer and he seems very good at cutting off passing lanes and intercepting the ball. If you've got young midfielders coming though he'd be valuable on the pitch and at the training ground. Dunno if you can offer the wages he'd be able to get in England, but just the prospect of living in Edinburgh for a year or two must be a big factor.
  13. North Korea away can't be any worse than St Andrews mate.
  14. I'm still so on the fence about next season I'm starting to get splinters in my arse. I can't remember the last time a Villa team were such an unknown quantity, we will be going into the campaign with unproven players all over the pitch and I think it will be really difficult for any of the media outlets to write an informed preview on us. The things against us can be summed up pretty quickly; lots of pressure on Wesley to hit the ground running or it's going to be difficult to see where the goals will come from (I'm guessing we will need to score 45-50 to stay up) and we could have six or seven people making their debut next Saturday. The good? Well, we've kept as much of the spine of the team as possible. Mings, Grealish, McGinn and El Ghazi were all key players in the run to the playoffs. I was pretty sure we'd not be able to keep Tammy Abraham or Axel Tuanzebe as they'll be getting first team games at Chelsea and Man Utd next season so the replacements for those guys were brought in before pre season started. The team spirit seems good and Smith seems committed to the idea that you buy players to fit the system and everybody should be able to slot into their role and know what to do, which is why having the bulk of the signings completed before they players came back from holiday was important as they'll have had weeks to get their shit together. It's not Fulham buying half a new team on deadline day. There's talk of us playing three at the back but I've got a feeling we will continue with the variations of 4-3-3 (ie 4-1-4-1 or 4-5-1) which bought us a lot of joy in 2019, the forwards don't really press but do work hard to block off passing lanes and then we squeeze if the other team have the ball in our half. It's definitely going to be more difficult to pull off in the Premier League but hopefully a lot of clubs will underestimate us. We've got a relatively kind start to the season, Spurs away on the opening day where we will almost certainly get beat but then Bournemouth and Everton at home, Palace away, then West Ham (H) Arsenal (A) Burnley (H) Norwich (A) and Brighton (H) before we have a run of games including fixtures against Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea. I think getting 12+ points on the board in that early run of games will probably be crucial to our chances because if we can carry confidence into the winter then who knows? I'd certainly take 17th if offered right now and I do wonder if we do stay up what will happen next summer in the transfer market if we've got players deemed surplus to requirements who've only used one year on their contract. The club clearly intend to get back to being a top half of the top division side which is where we've spent most of our history but with the money in the game today that's easier said than done.
  15. It seems Tom Heaton is on his way to Villa. GK was a problem position for us last season so hopefully this will be a good move. Sam Johnstone must still feel really sad about signing for the Baggies when he did.
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