I'll start with the polite, I hope you all had a nice Christmas and your families are well and healthy. But now I muse move swiftly along to the match against Burton Albion today. Because that is what is really important.

And I wasn't sure if we had ever played Burton Albion in a competitive game before, so I had to check. And it turns out that this will be the first time. Maybe this is one of the moments you'll remember forever; that day we scored seven or that day we got spanked. The first time we ever played Burton Albion.

Maybe. I mean, on paper we should win today. In fact, it's my bet of the day if I was having a bet. And yes, I'll be having a bet even though the odds are not good. That's how much of a banker bet this match is for me today.

But more on that in a minute, we have news. You've probably all read that Gary Gardner has signed a new contract. The manager has explained it in such a way that he wasn't earning as much as the others and he thought it fair. Me, I'm all for Gardner getting an extended contract because I'm not one of those that was abusing Baker a couple of seasons back and now singing his praises. I'm all for Gardner getting a new contract for lots of reasons but one will never be that he wasn't earning enough.

That can be a reason, but I never want to hear it from the manager. These players are all paid too much and I don't just mean Aston Villa players, but football players in general. But the game is broken and it's okay that it's broken apparently. But I'm very happy that Gardner has signed a new contract because one day I believe he will be a very important player for us, just like Baker will be.

Team news and updates

And there is a chance that neither will make an appearance today. They're both fit, but the manager has hinted at changes over the Christmas break to keep players fresh. I'm not a big believer that this is really an issue with all the gear and information Clubs have today but if managers like to say it, why not let them say it.

Sure, I accept that players and us as humans can become tired, but there are foods and treatments and most importantly there is desire and will. But 90 minutes can be very stressful to the body and they need to have breaks or just play 45 minutes instead.

And I suspect there will be some more news between now and kick off as well as the odd link to be shared.

Bet of the day

And we'll find out the team in a few hours and I've played a bit today with the post to make it a little fuller. So I'll be back then, but I have a bet of the day for you and it's a little different, but I think it's a good one.

First, it's not an accumulator, my bet is all singles and it's on the following teams; Chelsea, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Derby and West Ham. Now, you can bet what you want, but I'm going to put £10 on each team to win. And I'll be placing my bet at Unibet here mostly because I like the platform and the odds are very good too.

Probably worth pointing out that I mention Unibet because I've joined their affiliate scheme. It works likes this; if you click the link above and don't have an account with Unibet and you sign up, deposit money and bet with them, I'll likely make money. It's something I have chosen to do and it's not me selling a post or you seeing ads pop up because you've visited this site. It's a decision I have made and have full control of. It's just a way to generate additional money in a way that I hope isn't too intrusive.

Author: Damian
Damian started The Villa Blog as a passion project quite a few years ago while he was living in South Africa. Now living in Sweden, it continues. He's originally from Chasetown and grew up when supporting Villa meant there was a real chance of silverware at the start of every season.
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  • Yep. That's the spin of the wheel, as you said Luke Shaw WAS worth 32m

    I'm looking forward to see our boy play Thursday. All 3 males in the Deano family will be there. Doesn't happen often enough these days.

  • Yes mate, before the PL increase in revenue Shaw was worth 32 million and that from a club who's owners are willing to sell. Thankfully it seems as if we have a owner who wants to give us the best of getting those glory days back, so is willing to fight to keep our best assets - I salute the Doc on this for at least trying and backing his words with actions.

  • PS: I hope you enjoy game mate, nice to here it will be family day out. My next visit is now Derby, unfortunately tied up on weekends with few weddings to go to for the next couple of months, so it's going to be difficult to get away.

  • january will show the doc worth, he needs to go up in first try ,3 clubs coming down will have drop money to come,the chinese clubs will have money, we have spent heavy have as one put it a ferrari club been driven by a mini engine ,with missing links all over the place 9 players bought in summer how many will be any good in pl or get money back on

  • Ahhh yes those Italian electrics :)
    Agree we need to be up first time of asking and I think Xia will spend whatever is needed to try to do exactly that, he'd be a fool not to. Really just a question of who is available who will improve us and who wants to come for the right reasons.

  • Amavi worth more than 30m? Have a day off will you my god dont be fckin daft

    If we was offered 30m I'd defo sell and make us more solid where it really matters at the moment and that is in midfield.. We need a solid holding mod and and Creative midfielder and a wide player also

    How do we know we don't need the 30m I'm glad people know our owners worth because I don't, for all we know he could have just gambled with this clubs future by spending 50+m and not able to sustain the loss of we don't go up this season.

    Let's hope that is not the case

  • Simple question James because clearly multi dimensional thinking is not in your forte...how do you know we need the Amavi money??

    And you've rated our squad crap, well we've rejected a bid for 25 million so you calling people daft because they think he's worth more does not mean much to me....maybe you'll cotton on that others do actually rate our players...

  • firstly i dont know whether we do or we dont need the funds hence why i said how do you know? i am not the one making statements saying we dont need the 30m am i

    and how do you know the doc is actually being factual.. that could easily be a negotiation tweet to raise the value of the player

    and just because a club may cough up dont make him worth 25m

    if you pay 30m for a full back who aint even proven you are stupid

  • Now you're are being daft, so you think the Doc will do his negotiating via the tweet :):):) and make himself look like an idiot when in his tweet he says

    Dr. Tony Xia


    Don't bother reading this. I can tell we have rejected an offer of £25M for @@JordanAmavi He will grow bigger at @AVFCOfficial ! https://twitter.com/juliebayleyifa/status/813714544384212992 …
    12:13 PM - 27 Dec 2016

    639 639 Retweets

    The important bit is "he will grow bigger at AVFC". Clearly the Doc has bigger plans then some of our own fans...at least he will not sell our best assets without a fight, or sell when in the best interest of AVFC - which is clearly not right now.

  • FatKev
    I think Albert's predecessor Traore was also what you could describe as "ineffective" ;)

    Albert gets a raw deal imo, good player with skill and pace to beat most and works very hard, spends half his time covering for our average RB who is constantly out of position, still a better crosser of the ball than anyone on the right, finds good positions and he was unlucky not to score on Boxing day. He has also had to work with a variety of ever changing forwards in the line up. I think he will get better but is doing okay for me, he's a threat more than you can say for most in midfield.

  • Fatkev,

    Vancouver makes a good point about Adomah having to cover for Hutton when he goes awol...something that does need addressing.

  • Bigfatron,

    Well lets looks at it from 2 seasons ago...Gana was sold for pretty much what we paid, we will get positive on Ayew and looked to at the very least have tripled our money on Amavi (if not more). Gustede will also go for pretty much the same price so the only miss so far seems to be Veretout - far far better return on what we paid than the return we've had under the likes of O'Neil and McCleish. so the so called criticism of the frenchies now seems to be unfair. Add to that the likes of Chester, Kodja, Jedinak who have been good purchases. We are short of the one or two players in the middle and we really will get motoring - we are not that far away.

  • not sure jedi is a good buy 4m for a player that couldnt get in a bad palace side, and remember jedi is playing along side some of worst midfielders in history christ bremner would probably still look good alongside westwood bacuna and gg , bremner must 60 now if not more
    as for the doc lerner first few seasons he was god could do no wrong ,foreign owners have an awful habit going tits up in this country ,pool scum villa swansea cardiff even aresnal its all about profit

  • Upto now the Doc has been true to his word. He said Ayew was going nowhere in the last window and low and behold Ayew stayed put when many where telling us he was off. He said Amavi is also staying and likewise he has stayed, and he has retweeted again to say ignore the tabloids and put yourself at ease we've rejected a 25 million bid for the coming window, he will grow with the club - clearly meaning he expects the club to be promoted. Now is not the time to sell our best assets.

  • Like to see Jenkinson in 1st Jan to hopefully solve the RB issue and whatever Bruce feels he needs to do regards Keeper or back up keeper.
    I think getting a player in 1st Jan would be a welcome change certainly give me more confidence we are better organized and heading in the right direction.

    MF additions I want Bruce/Round to make sure they have the right players that will improve us before pulling the trigger, we don't need a future star, overpriced journeyman or no better than what we have.
    A Box to box MF'r or two and a more mobile DM would work for me, not sure we need a winger as with MF better we should see more width from FB's and in theory creative MF should probably come from Grealish, Ayew or RMC.
    I'd take Lucas, rumored to be available from Liverpool on loan or Delph back in a heartbeat, think either would improve us.

  • Should add Morgan Schiderlin is having a rough time at united seems Maureen is ignoring him, be nice to get a tried and tested MF star into our side ;)
    Xia seems eager to make a clear statement of his intentions again going by today's tweet, I don't think he will pass up the last chance to improve the team regardless of possibility of being accused of overpaying. There are plenty of good MF players currently not in 1st teams or playing for clubs a lot smaller than ours.
    Keep the faith
    UTV !

  • VV. Bud. There's certain lines you don't cross. Double whites in the middle of the road. Picket and police forensics are a few examples ,along with bringing the snake back to VP

    night all early tee time:)

  • :):):)
    Enjoy, snow on the ground here

    Delph would improve us I have no doubt :;)

  • Vancouver,

    The RB situation is a interesting one. Hutton only
    has 6 months left on his contract so getting Jenkinson
    would be great if we can, if not then I don't want another
    sub standard player...better to wait until the end of the
    season and go back abroad and get that attacking fullback
    - similar to what we did with Amavi - when we are in the PL.

    In the meantime I'd put Bacuna / Lyden there if Hutton is a disaster
    however, he seems to putting in just about a ok performance.

    Midfield is the area we need to get in a couple of players
    at the very least. What we need are midfielders who have pace and
    are runners or can run with the ball to give us variety in attack
    - our off the ball movement is very poor at the moment.

  • We couldn't possibly bring the venomous snake back to VP regardless of whether he would improve us.

  • A shame Micah couldn't learn how to play at RB again. I guess he needs to learn how to play football again first.

  • Yes mate, forgot about him another domestic player who's been a total disaster and is now more a liability then an asset.

  • Apparently having read a report somewhere, he is out until Feb...his knee or something like that...the sooner we off-load Richards the better.

  • Yes Delph would be welcomed back with open arms by all Fans!:):):):):):):):):):):):)

  • With 40k going boxing day it may open a grw peoples eyes how poor we play and that football not points matter
    We need to fill ground every week, but the team has to deliver as well
    Bruce at least acknowledges how poor we are, he has to address this soon
    We must lose this **** football and get an identity,
    Now if we had a dof that influenced that he would be worth his dalt

  • Albert was not unlucky not to score, it was a terrible shot in acres of space with no pressure
    As for cover he floats back to defead but only as a shadow
    He does not drive forward or really offer himself enough in my eyes
    A winger should give you a hard on he does not raise a semi

  • wingers should be able to swap wings being electric with both feet
    The twat we swapped for albert was defiantly electric but i have to admit delivered little.
    he was a player that could excite, but he made it clear he wanted out so had to go

  • We have a lucky manager we need a visionary coach to breath so imagination and life into our football
    I liked Gill, as a player We need a carbone or deano
    Ross fails on all fronts for me
    Aywe has no spark with his arrogance
    I hope our scouts can find that spark every tram looks for

  • We only have jack, but football is not his only love

  • Fat kev,

    Agreed but these players can't turn into silky technical players that all of a sudden can play good football that's the main issue.

    We really did waste a lot of money on crap this season I thought it was bad last season it this one tops anything I've ever witnessed at villa

  • #322563 FatKev

    With 40k going boxing day it may open a grw peoples eyes how poor we play and that football not points matter

    Mate, playing good football and getting points come hand in hand...it's a myth to think in the long run you can play poor football and continue to pick up points. I agree, 5 years since our last sell out and being in the fizzy pop league out of the top 6 and we sold out, with Leeds a couple of days later looking to head towards that way too. Clearly the owner is doing his best in breathing some life back into the club.

    As for McCormack, saw him on Saturday and thought he was getting up to match fitness, he still needs more time but contributed with the pass that lead to our first goal, and scoring the second. He will score because his ball control and having the knack of finding space is done on instinct.

  • Mon

    Depends on what you define as crap football

    Pulis has been serving up dire football for a living yet he's kept West Brom out of trouble again this season

  • Mon

    Depends on what you define as crap football

    Pulis has been serving up dire football for a living yet he's kept West Brom out of trouble again this season

  • James,

    Pulis is happy to have a identity of playing hoof football, that's what he served at Stoke until it went stale and likewise he is delivering the same at the Baggies. As a small club mentality if survival is your only concern, he is the man to have. In a way that's the option we've taken with Spud because of his track record to get teams up from this division. However, to progress we will need to develop our game once we are back at the top level.

  • I agree but I'll be fascinated to know how the doc plans to achieve it

    Let's face it if you want top 4 you need to be spending 80m every season and big wages on top to get the better players so is the doc prepared to do that?

    I seriously doubt it in my opinion.. People can say well he spent big this season in a lower league but para money and prem money coming into the club and different points tells you this season is a bit of a bubble this season

  • James,

    I think our problem has always been that we've done things 50-70 percent of the way but not fully committed. The likes of top 4 do not spend 80 million every summer window. They spend initially then get in that one or two players of quality every window. Even under Fox and Tim, we spent 50 million but missed out on the one or 2 players of experienced quality we needed to gel the new recruits coming in, so went in with half a job complete. Gana is one of Everton's players of the season so far listening to their fans - look what he's doing with some experienced quality around him.

    I'd expect the Doc to spend initially once we are back, if spent correctly we can add to that every window - what we don't need are complete rebuilds which has come a common occurrence over the years.

  • Well man city have mate pretty much and that is really the only sort of team from our position that has achieved top 4 from relegation fodder

    150m this season... Which is frankly ridiculous

  • To add, what I am saying is that it is not just down to the spend, but having a proper plan. United have probably outspent all of the top 4 since Fergie's retirement, yet are struggling to get into the top 4 let alone win the PL.

  • James,

    M.City are one example of spending money agreed, but they were aware from last season that their squad was aging and it would need a overhaul. Spurs did not and finished in the top 4. Neither do Arsenal and neither have Liverpool this season. The key is getting in a manager that will drive the club forward, and more obviously avoiding complete rebuild season in season out. Even Chelsea do not spend huge money if you look at what they've received and what they sell, and they are running away with the league.

  • arsenal have over achieved every year vs spend etc.. and liverpool arent a top 4 regular mate either are spurs for that matter.

    lets face it spurs really replaced a poor united but i agree united are doing all the wrong things but we have mirrored their behaviour at this level... spending city type money at this level and obtaining a crap squad

  • You can say Leicester overachieved because clearly it was a one season wonder, but Arsenal have produced season in season out to finish in the top 4 so it's not just down to luck, but being managed right.

    As for our spend, considering we had a change of ownership, manager and the disaster of the last few years some mistakes did clearly happen agreed on that too, however where we differ is that I don't think the squad is the disaster you're making it out to be. The one clear mistake was going over the top on strikers, and not getting in the midfielders we needed - hopefully in the next window that will be addressed.

  • leicester cant be classed as an overachiever lol it is a footballing anomaly / miracle mate nobody could even explain how that happened

    to spend 50+mil in the champs and be mid table is as good as a disaster at present as i can think of

  • James,

    Whatever terminology you want to use it was an over achievement for the season...Arsenal finishing in the top 4 for the last 10 years is not an over achievement, but more a norm.

  • its not the norm its an over achievement each season - they dont offer the wages the other top clubs are offering for one and thats why arsenal fans expecting titles is unrealistic

    as soon as wenger goes i see another utd style decline for them if they get it wrong on the next appointment

  • Any football fan that does not acknowledge that to be amongst the elite season in, season out depends on the amount of the readies you are prepared to splash out on wages and transfer fees is not living on this Planet.

    If that is not a fact of life why is it that the successful and valuable clubs are also the ones that pay top wack for players?

    Forbes' top 10 world's most valuable football teams:
    1 Real Madrid £2.52bn
    2 Barcelona £2.46bn
    3 Manchester United £2.3bn
    4 Bayern Munich £1.85bn
    5 Arsenal £1.4bn
    6 Manchester City £1.33bn
    7 Chelsea £1.15bn
    8 Liverpool £1.07bn
    9 Juventus £900m
    10 Tottenham £704m

    What do they have in common, well look at the last 10 years of Champion League results?

  • No one is disputing that Tommy, please stop stating the obvious. It's how it is spent...we spent more then Spurs, Everton and Arsenal under O'Neil's tenure yet consistently fell behind them.

  • mon 4-5-1

    Not quite right about Everton and Spurs as we did finish above both on a number of occasions in those 3 years.

    Arsenal is a good example of what I am saying. In recent years they have failed to match other top Clubs in transfer fees and have fallen short of top spot. Ask any Arsenal fan.

    I am one of the few that agreed with O'Neill when he asked for more cash to step up another rung. Another £50m at that time and where would Villa be now? I can assure you not in the Championship but possibly in the Champions League.

    Of course, it could have failed and we would only still be managing a Top 6 or even 8th finish in the Premiership. I wonder what Aston Villa would be valued at now finishing in the Top 6/8 compared with today?

    I think Mr Lerner would be in profit or have I got my sums wrong?

  • the last season he had we was 4th most the season i agree another pot would have gotten us there with oneill i think

  • Tommy,

    2006/2007 - Spurs 60 points
    Everton 58 points
    Aston Villa 50 points

    2007-2008 Everton 65 points
    Aston villa 60 points
    Spurs 46 points

    2008 - 2009 Everton 63 points
    Aston Villa 62 points
    Spurs 51 points

    2009-2010 Spurs 70 points
    Aston Villa 64 points
    Everton 61 points

    At the time we out spent Spurs and Everton with Everton finishing above us 3 out of the 4 years and
    Spurs 2 below and 2 above. In our last season with O'Neil Spurs and City has overtaken us by then with
    the club hemorrhaging money, where as we were still needing another 100 million to get 2 more points
    then the previous season and were already in decline.

    What exactly were you advocating at the time, because had we followed your path we may now have been another Leeds.

  • how can we be another leeds with a just under 1bn owner ? that just would not happen

    i am more concerned with becoming another leeds now than under lerner as i have zero idea what the doc is capable of financially

  • Because our wage bill was well over our income, the owner was already sustaining us on a daily basis and that's not including the money need for further transfers. Then we had the fair play rules come into place, another overhead with the way we were manged and heading...time to take head out of the sand mate, it was clear where we were heading.

  • when o neil had taken over a villa side that deadly really hadn t spent any money for years oleary spent about 7/8 m a season taylor very little, yes o neil bought duds but carew young downing milner friedal dunne where all top class, villa fell down with no youth players coming through everton sold rooney 33 mto utd lescott they made 5 times what they paid,spurs sold berbatov carrick to utd for over 50m ,o neil had aaron hughes luke moore to sell

  • Agree, the issue was that youth was not mixed in with experience we'd bought in so the model was never sustainable.

  • You boys can argue all you like but let me telll you a little secret, after the dross that was served up against Burton on Sat we are about the distance from Mars away from spurs and everton at this moment in time.

  • Even further if Dr No had not got rid of RDM

  • James,

    I think you've answered my original point.

    as soon as wenger goes i see another utd style decline for them if they get it wrong on the next appointment

    So as much as it's about money, it's about getting the right man in to do the job. Arsenal are the exception where they have a surplus of 200 million to spend built on a model and not by over achieving for 10 plus years - lol. And yes I agree, that model will change once Wenger has gone and further success will be dependent not just on the money they spend, but more importantly the manager they get.

  • everton have spent a fortune since moyes left,his squad op players had bought into his vision, moyes was fit to hold onto baines jakellkia but they seem to have some decent luck in buying players stone made huge profit,lukaku will double his money and then barkley

  • meant to put a lot people think round was credit for everton but like aresnal and wenger right manager is whats needed

  • Absolutely agree, the manager is the glue that keeps the club together.

  • Agree, they been very prudent with their money until now. They've just spent 6 million to recruit Koeman, that does not include the compo they spent to get him from Saints - I believe it was around the 3-4 million mark so they spent 10 million on the manager, and have given him initial funds to build.

  • mon 4-5-1

    What exactly were you advocating at the time, because had we followed your path we may now have been another Leeds.:):):):):):):):):):)

    We should be so lucky!
    5th Leeds United Points 41
    10th Aston Villa Points 34

  • You've missed the point again Tommy...;);) They have an owner who is banned and are at the moment punching above their weight...we have an owner who is willing to give us a chance and some hope...try and spot the difference.

  • Big, strong, difficult to beat, with enough attacking options to change a game when it needs it. That is how I would describe us at the moment. Not too dissimilar than under Graham Taylor's reign, when we were barely functional some games, but got promotion. If it wasn't for silly tactics and decisions/subs from Do Matteo, we would have at least another 10 points on the board, putting us right up there.
    This is not Bruce's team, yet he is managing to get results out of them. A midfielder, maybe even a couple, coming in and I think we will be more than fine. Halfway through the season now, and as always, you will see teams start to fall away, as they don't have any sort of squad. It is a hard and gruelling season, and we are more equipped for it than anyone.

  • Dvilla7

    I presume that like me you were at that crap game.

    There are people that Post on here that say they were at a match when it is obvious to all they were not. If they were I want to know what they do with their White stick when the game is on?

  • Lol..first game you've attended this season Tommy and your now telling us what??

    Try and move on from the obvious, I think anyone who attended the game has come on and said we've played crap, so once again it looks like the fairies are play tricks on your mind. There are many variables why we played crap, and not just the one you think is required...100 million plus in the fizzy pop league to put a pass or two together, get a grip man.

  • I will also add, that from those in the top half of the table at this time, we only have to play three of them away, those being Newcastle, Fulham,and Huddersfield, which on paper at least, should help us.

  • BFR. 94

    Quite right , the other thing is starting tomorrow we play 7 of the current 9 teams above us at VP

    Im guessing we will need to win 5 of them.

    UTV. ;);)

  • hi all,

    yes we are picking up points,and slowly catching up with the pack.
    but our football leaves a lot to be desired.even bruce has said as much about our performances.

    we need to be far more consistent,and should be putting some of these clubs to bed far easier than we are.
    thats why we need to be busy in the window.simply because our current squad is not good enough.especially the midfield,which is still the worse one i have ever seen at villa park.

  • Hi JCV,

    mate, we lost Veretout, Sanchez, Gil, Gana and Adamah and replaced them with

    Jedinak, Adomah.

    Clearly it was an area that neglected and left us short - I think the last minute departure of Gana was a big blow. Fingers crossed we get in one or two midfielders in the coming window.

  • mon,

    hi mate,hope you are well.
    and yes,strengthen the midfield would be a great post xmas present.;););)

  • I am fine thanks mate, WFH today don't expect to go back into the office until Monday so it's nice and quiet. Hope you had a good catch up with the family over the festive period, now back to the serious stuff for tomorrow, fingers crossed we get the points and then get in the players we want early in the window. Delighted with the intent shown by the Doc so far, keeping hold of Amavi.

  • Guest - VILLASOUTH

    Hutton. Baker. Chester. Amavi
    adoma Tish. Bacuna grealish
    I think we lost it in midfield the last 2 games we lost. Tish and bacuna as a more attack minded combative midfield would be my choice with jedi holding and protecting. We could control the game from here.

    I'd start mcormack as kodjia will be off next game so give Ross some responsibility and confidence. Can always bring kodjia on if needs be. Or ayew for adoma.

    hope he gives tish a chance with gardner out. So depressing that westy is preferred. He offers nothing and in the championship it's not as if you can see all the years of premier league experience he has!

  • Being linked with Matty James of Leicester,hardly played for them this season,so another reject could be on his way to Villa!;););)

  • Plus he has had a bad injury surely one of our young boys would be a better option

  • Thank god for 4g
    Virgin media tv srvice down no tv no technician available till jan 1st
    Now broadband down no technician till 6th jan
    Just phoned up to cancel all my subscriptions
    Amazing tech on way back up and running by 1.30 am
    So here i am on mobile my only lifeline
    I think its time to get pi$$ed:)

  • Apart from Green in goal, I don’t know much about any of the Leeds team apart Chris Woods who I think is a decent striker. When I have seen them on the box I notice they have two giant CB’s, in fact, they are generally a big side; that is in size.

    On paper, we should stuff them and its is only since Garry Monk took over this season that they have looked a half decent side. Leeds are like most of the opposition in this league apart maybe from Newcastle very ordinary and that is why I think Villa can make the play-offs even though we come into the ordinary bracket.

    A win tomorrow and at least one new creative midfielder being brought in during the window and it could be Wembley in May.

  • Hoping to beat Leeds well tomorrow
    We must turn it on donetime

  • Rudys off by the looks. If he's not involved tomorrow I'd say that's it.

    Watching the Spurs game. Could we give them a bye? :):). Just joking.

  • Gestede on his way to Middleborough for 6.50m according to reports. Excellent bit of business based on him being basically a fish out of water in a villa shirt. Never have we played to his strenght but ,let's be honest, will he be missed
    I would buy the striker from Brentford that we have been tracking according to sources. He is a total centre forward IMO and that something we don't have

  • Although Bruce thinks we don't need another striker but discount Gabs ( can't be taken seriously) , Gestede (going) and Ayew(not good enough) then that leaves Mac and Kodja and neither are a conventional centre forward
    We all know we need to bring in a couple of effective middlemen but that C/F is still a requirement

  • Think Rhodes will be moving the other way mate.

  • Thought Rhodes was a great prospect when he first burst on the scene, and, was destined for the top.
    Hasn't kicked on as i thought he was going to. Feel he would be overpriced if the £12 mill is correct

  • Muz. Hi mate. I'm not arguing the case but it's 1 in 2 half the price of Amavi ( I like the player) seems cheap. Back to the darts:)

  • Is Rhodes a C/F who can hold up the ball and bring players in to the game, a bit like Benteke could do
    We will see. There is not doubt he can score in this division but 12m is a bit too much IMO

  • Just to Rhodes scoring record percentage wise in this league is better than Kodge and Mac. And just for james he's just short of 27

  • good job you confirmed that I thought you meant Gary for a second there :):)

  • Deano,

    Mate, i thought Rhodes would be a top premier player, but his career seemed to stagnate and now he cant get in a struggling Middlesboro side.
    He has a decent scoring record at Championship level, its just my opinion that £12 mill is a rather inflated fee for him.

  • Very early for me, but could not sleep. I don't think it was the thought of tonight's match that was exciting me it is more likely indigestion.

    But whilst I'm on the theme of tonight's game it could show if this squad is as mediocre as some of us feel or are these players about to show their real football abilities which many think they are capable of?

    Bruce and the players now have had a dozen games to gel so there can no longer be any excuses for a poor performance. What I do not want to see is yet another crap showing and again the Villa winning. Of course, that would be preferable to playing crap and losing but only just.

    That's worn me out so might have a snooze in the chair!

  • I think that's a little harsh , e never seem to be happy do we at least we are getting results and none of them are Brucies players, in short I think he has worked wonders, yeah the performances haven't been great but we are at least getting the results RDM certainly couldn't

  • Tommy,Premier league teams can play crap in any given game,but to win a game when playing poorly is a positive.I think the Boys will be up for it tonight because Leeds are one off the better teams in this league,also they have a score to settle.Will be a tough game,will be interesting to see the line up.They have two big C/Backs,so need Gestede to put some pressure on them and also create space for the like of Kodjia and McCormack,Grealish should start tonight as apart from McCormack,we had little creativaty in midfield.

  • Leeds do the double I fear season over already

  • How sad it is and how unreal it feels now seeing as how things have changed so drastically within even the shortest space of time - There was a time I personally used to look forward to play (as Villa) the likes of Everton, Southampton, Watford, West Ham, West Brom, Stoke etc..and really be optimistic and looking forward because we knew those teams werent better than us and if anything we were better than them and those places were where our points were coming from, and then relishing encounters with the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal because we knew we were capable of beating these teams and were wishing our team would one day soon reach a level where we would be seen as better or at least equal to these, but Just look now and see how nervous I feel just because we're playing leeds and I need a win but REALLY not confident at all? Ah...what a Sad Sad and extremely depressing realisation...Oh what a lesson in life...So sad...Hope everyone's had an excellent Christmas and looking forward to a wonderful New Year.

  • I remember a time when Chelsea where seen as a team on par with your west ham and wes brom list and then money took over. I used to be so wound up with all the money in football , city , utd, Chelsea etc now I'm quite enjoying it as it looks like we have a few quid.

    Ohhh how fickle I am UTV!!!

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