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Are we missing the bigger picture?

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Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by AstonThriller on Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:22 pm

My fellow Villains. Having thought about our current plight a little, and done a little research on the championship over the previous few seasons I wonder if we're missing the bigger picture right now? Firstly though we've spent a lot of money and brought in a lot of players we must remember that Westwood, Cissokho, Bacuna, Ayew, Grealish, Gestede, Bunn, Richards and Amavi are still part of this squad and no doubt carry the scars of the worst season this club has ever had. SIX of those players played yesterday and most have made a number of appearances so far this season so is it any wonder we're still fragile?

Then we have the new players trying to settle in. Chester, Mccormack, De Laet, Adomah, Jedinak and Kodjia weren't here in pre-season. In-fact Adomah hasn't even started a game yet while Jedinak and Kodjia have only played three games thus far. Which Ironically is one less appearance than our other signing Tshibola who hasn't got going yet either. So the reality is out of all the players we've signed only Elphick, Chester, Mccormack and Gollini have really had a run of games and even the latter two have had injuries in that run.

The truth is despite the money spent we're still to see the best team on the park at the same time. Against forest we saw a good performance but still Adomah, Tshibola and Jedinak were missing. Then against Brentford Grealish, Adomah, Tshibola didn't play whilst Mccormack had to come off at half time. So more and more RDM is having to rely on several players from last season who consistently bottled game after game, hence we've been unable to get over the line in these last few games. Compare us with Toon, Norwich, Huddersfield, Brighton etc who are putting out settled sides week after week and perhaps that tells us why we are where we are?

I'd also like to add that learning the art of not losing, is just as important as learning how to win.

Stats from the top six Championship sides last season

Burnley= 26 wins, 15 draws, 5 defeats = 93 points
Boro= 26 wins, 11 draws, 9 defeats = 89 points
Brighton= 24 wins, 17 draws, 5 defeats = 89 points
Hull= 24 wins, 11 draws, 11 defeats = 83 points
Derby= 21 wins, 15 draws, 10 defeats = 78 points
Sheff Wed= 19 wins, 17 draws, 10 defeats = 74 points
Link

LOADS of draws in there right? The fact is every point counts at the end of the day. So while we're struggling to put our best team on the park, and struggling to find the best formation for the players who are available, picking up points wherever we can find them is vital right now. Because logic would tell us that eventually we've got to start winning games...if you're not getting beat then more often than not you're gonna sneak more than your fair share of wins across the season.

And just to close the fixtures have quite interesting we're we are concerned..

Sheff Wed= Play-off finalists away
Rotherham= poor side
Huddersfield= form team in the league who had just beat Newcastle
Derby= another play-off team away from home who have only conceded seven goals this season
Bristol= have had a good start but it was a poor game from us
Forest= A team scoring for fun but we should have won
Brentford= Are currently in the top six and had just beaten Brighton away
Ipswich= an established Championship side away from home who were in the play-offs two seasons ago and were just pipped by Sheff Wed last season for the last play-off spot

So in reality our situation is quite unique in that we're playing some of the more tougher teams in the division in-terms of past performances and form, all while trying to find our own identity. And yet we should have nine or more points from that lot.

The key thing is getting our best team on the park guys!!..once that happens then we will be in a position to really see what our prospects are moving forward. The form at home, I believe, could be absolutely vital, win 15 games there and we should be well on our way.


Last edited by AstonThriller on Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by Saunders82 on Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:51 pm

@AstonThriller That is a brilliant post, it puts everything into context, yes were are all peeed off that we can't see out games for the win or score more goals when we are on top thus giving us the win, but I'm with you in that we will turn the corner soon. Another fact to add to your post these teams we have played are mostly towards the top of the league so we could assume they will be there or there abouts during the run in, if/when we do get it all together then we will be meeting these teams at a crucial time turn those draws into wins and they will be priceless. IMO and Ive said this elsewhere RDM & the Dr will try to strengthen the areas we are weak in during the January window, the players that were not willing to come during the summer as the were looking at other deals will now think more about it especially if we are looking likely to get promotion.
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by Trotters on Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:15 pm

Another great post, @AstonThriller.

Quite surprising the number of draws in last season's Top 6 and your thoughts certainly offer a valid alternative to the doom and gloom.

Great to read!
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by Gordonsleftboot on Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:16 pm

Good post, Aston. I fully agree with you. Like everyone else I feel frustrated by the performances and results to date, but that is because expectations were raised. I hate seeing how the club has performed over the past 5/ 6 years and reluctantly accept that it will take time to repair the confidence of some and bed in the others. I guess the team that emerges will include members of the two camps - new and former players - with some in both camps disappointing.

Its far too soon to talk about change. RDM and his team has to be given time.
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by Fpuppys on Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:43 pm

At, great information there, just to add to that Burnley sat in 16th place last year at Christmas so there is some hope there, I just worry that the longer we spend in the bottom half of the table without a win could be very costly to players mentality as shown last season.
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by Dions_Bald_Head on Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:48 pm

Great post. This isn't the PL which is much less forgiving - draws are less calamitous in the Championship & table positions fluctuate more dramatically. No panic for me yet.
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by AstonThriller on Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:47 pm

Cheers guys. I'll also like to add that after 25 games Burnley were in 5th place and were ten points behind first place Boro who had played a game less than them HERE

So all is not lost guys. We're behind after a mere eight games, being ten behind with twenty-one to go is a lot worse I'd say and Burnley would of course go on to win the title after going on a 23 game unbeaten run. Unbeaten runs are vital in this campaign and if we can keep this going it can take us a long way in the end.
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by Andyh on Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:07 pm

Great posts AstonT.
I must admit to being pretty p'd off with recent results, but you have eloquently put into context stuff that we don't consider because of the old 'heart ruling the head'.

The ONLY thing I would say to counteract some of your observations is the number of games we are going through without winning.
Yes, draws are important but we cant go on long runs of draws with the odd loss without some wins.
I think the club and the team has forgotten 'HOW' to win and we really need to get that knowledge into the team as quickly as we can.

But, like I said, yours are excellent posts...patience is the key!
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by Villa_Dan on Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:28 pm

Post makes sense but my opinion hasn't changed that RDM has to get them winning games by the end of this month. A loss to Newcastle and failing to beat Barnsley will see us slip further behind.
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by AstonThriller on Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:44 pm

No doubt the wins have got to come soon. Just wanted to give another perspective that not losing is also important for us right now. Going onto the pitch knowing teams are gonna find it very tough to beat you can only build confidence at the end of the day and hopefully that translates itself into some wins.
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by mefromhere on Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:10 pm

I said at the start of the season that I think we'll lose single figures in terms of games this season.

If we do that then only 1 team in the last 10 (I think) seasons has failed to be promoted.

We are a club who spent all of last year losing game after game. Building some confidence by not losing is good! The manner of our draws isn't great I'll admit that but picking up points every game is progress for us
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by AstonThriller on Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:28 pm

@mefromhere wrote:I said at the start of the season that I think we'll lose single figures in terms of games this season.

If we do that then only 1 team in the last 10 (I think) seasons has failed to be promoted.

We are a club who spent all of last year losing game after game. Building some confidence by not losing is good! The manner of our draws isn't great I'll admit that but picking up points every game is progress for us

In the last ten years a team who has lost under ten games and not been promoted has happened four times . Reading, Cardiff and Brighton twice. Brighton were so unlucky last season it was tragic really. Only lost five games and had same number of points as Boro but got done by goal difference. No doubt though if we lose under ten games we should be well up there as I think the competition is tougher than its ever been in this league.
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by mefromhere on Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:40 pm

My main point being that draws are better than losses ... we can build momentum and start to get wins.

Adomah will add balance to the right. Grealish will play on the left and then it's Kodjia +1. We'll be more of a team and less of a play all the forwards and hope!
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by AstonThriller on Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:57 pm

@mefromhere wrote:My main point being that draws are better than losses ... we can build momentum and start to get wins.

Adomah will add balance to the right. Grealish will play on the left and then it's Kodjia +1. We'll be more of a team and less of a play all the forwards and hope!

Totally agree with your reasoning my friend and I also have high hopes for what Adomah can add to this team. Also think Tish could be vital too with his pace and ability to get up and down the pitch.
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by Trotters on Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:04 am

Adomah is a proper winger from what I've heard whereas Grealish isn't so the balance of a 4-4-2 goes out the window....you've essentially got the right side playing 4-4-2 and the left side playing 4-3-3.

RDM'a issue so far is that it seems he wants to play all of his strikers in some kind of Hungary 1950's formation. That doesn't work in 2016. Well, not when you have Westwood on the middle all on his own. Laughing

Use Amavi and Adomah as the wingers and you're in business; proper width and they'll protect your fullbacks (if you use "wide" players like Ayew and Grealish they cut in - as they should - like old fashioned inside forwards so your fullbacks are left exposed meaning you need 3 in midfield)
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by AstonThriller on Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:49 am

@Trotters wrote:Adomah is a proper winger from what I've heard whereas Grealish isn't so the balance of a 4-4-2 goes out the window....you've essentially got the right side playing 4-4-2 and the left side playing 4-3-3.

RDM'a issue so far is that it seems he wants to play all of his strikers in some kind of Hungary 1950's formation. That doesn't work in 2016. Well, not when you have Westwood on the middle all on his own. Laughing

Use Amavi and Adomah as the wingers and you're in business; proper width and they'll protect your fullbacks (if you use "wide" players like Ayew and Grealish they cut in - as they should - like old fashioned inside forwards so your fullbacks are left exposed meaning you need 3 in midfield)

I disagree where Grealish is concerned tbh. He might not be Ryan Giggs in his pomp but imo most of his good work is done down the left-hand side. Yes he does cut in and drift inside a lot but as Spinks said on the Franksy show the other day him and Adomah would add variety to our attack instead of just being two predictable wingers that teams will figure out soon enough. As long as both help out their full-back I'd have no problem seeing Grealish and Adomah on the wings with Tshibola and Jedinak in the middle.

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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by Trotters on Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:03 am

And it would add a bit of variety and unpredictability but a lot of the time when Grealish is tracking back, he's coming through the middle/right and playing catch up. His man (either the opposition right back or right wing) is Han Solo and waiting for the ball. If I was the other manager and Grealish or Ayew were on that flank, I'd be focussing most of my attacks on Cissokho who'll be isolated.

Still, we're getting into the finer points. Fact remains, RDM has seemed willing to leave the centre of midfield completely to chance and that's been killing us. You asked on the other thread about the defence with Richards and having a clean sheet for once. I do believe a lot of that is down to very good luck (!!) and that we actually had two players in that central midfield slot instead of just the one.

I have to say though that I'm still highly confused by RDM's tactics.
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by AstonThriller on Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:57 am

Tbf though Trotter Ipswich only had chances in the last five minutes or so, the defence was pretty solid for most of the game imo. That's why I think we should stick with that back-line against Newcastle because even though Ipswich were swarming us it's not like they had three one on ones and had clear cut chances. They had two freekicks, a couple of headers off the line from set-pieces and that shot from just inside the box that hit the post. And while our defence before Saturday have crumbled this time they stood up and came through it and hopefully it will give them confidence.
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by De Kuip on Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:54 am

Great OP. I know it's really stating the obvious but I can't help thinking just how vital the Jan window could be. We absolutely cannot rely on the dregs of last season to do a.job.  yeah one or two as cover but when there's a critical mass of them we revert to type. I think we still need at least another 4 in Jan - rb/am/dm/cb cover.
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by Trotters on Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:56 am

We need to be properly motoring by then though. If we're mounting a genuine assault on the promotion spots then quality will come. If we're still lower half then potential signings will take whatever Xia/Wyness says as empty promises.
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by AstonThriller on Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:37 am

Totally agree guys. We must be in the play-off spots or no more than three or so points away from it by the time the January window opens and if that is the case we'll have an advantage over most of our rivals when it comes to spending power in market. Granted Toon and perhaps Wolves might bring in a few players themselves but Huddersfield? Barnsley? Brentford? Blues? nah, can't see them spending big to get over the line so we would be in a good position if we get into that top six position sooner rather than later.
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by Villa_Dan on Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:56 am

For me, we need to be at the worst 10th to make decent signings.

If we are lower than that come January then we won't strengthen - we will weaken. Amavi and Ayew will be out the door I reckon.
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by AstonThriller on Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:34 am

@Villa_Dan wrote:For me, we need to be at the worst 10th to make decent signings.

If we are lower than that come January then we won't strengthen - we will weaken. Amavi and Ayew will be out the door I reckon.

Would that really be a massive loss? Thus far they haven't lived up to expectations in this league tbh.
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by FoxyAV on Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:42 am

@AstonThriller wrote:
@Villa_Dan wrote:For me, we need to be at the worst 10th to make decent signings.

If we are lower than that come January then we won't strengthen - we will weaken. Amavi and Ayew will be out the door I reckon.

Would that really be a massive loss? Thus far they haven't lived up to expectations in this league tbh.

But then nor have a lot of other players. We'll know by January though.
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Re: Are we missing the bigger picture?

Post by DelboyVilla on Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:04 pm

My worry with the big picture is that we are all pinning our hopes on a 21 year old injury prone midfielder with less than 20 first team games solving our problems in the middle of the park?

Or maybe it is expecting 2 midfielders who have never performed well at any level for Villa as backups to the above and a 35 year old??

Maybe one more midfielder and one less striker would have been better business?

And the defence?

However with a bit of clever tactics we are definitely good enough to go up this season!

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