Aston Villa (A) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

Well, if Monday was us playing with the “gloves off”, the only thing we came away with was cold hands.

Had Bruce’s changes to personnel and set up made sense then it could’ve been seen as a positive move that the players reacted well to, however all I saw was a team lacking in balance or ideas.

Why play Carroll up top when there’s not a player on the pitch capable of putting a good cross into the box? Why leave Hayden out when our midfield is lacking in legs? Why continue to bemoan the same old ‘mistakes’ yet appear to do nothing to rectify those between games? Why keep playing Almiron on the wrong side? Why admit that Joelinton prefers to play just off the front, only to shift him out on the wing ever since he started to show glimpses of promise?

So many questions, so little answers from a Steve Bruce who has spoken and acted like a man who’s lost the plot since that defeat at Sheffield United.

With Burnley beating Liverpool on Thursday night, Fulham looking a far more competent side, West Brom beginning to click under Big Sam and Brighton earning a big win at Leeds last weekend, we have now been well and truly dragged into a relegation battle.

A few surprise wins over the next 7 days could ease those fears considerably, but with Aston Villa, Leeds and Everton up next, it’s hard to see where the points are coming from if we don’t see significant improvements.

After all, the first of these three crucial clashes will feature a team who have improved drastically since Bruce left them taking on another who are being destroyed bit by bit since the same man took charge.

Team news

  • Allan Saint-Maximin – Back in training and set to be involved at Villa Park – although Bruce insists it’ll be too early for him to be thrown in from the start.
  • Federico Fernandez – Bruce reckons he’s a “while off” from returning after a hamstring concern.
  • Ciaran Clark – Another reliable centre-back who’s struggling with a knock, meaning he’s likely to miss out against his former club.
  • Fabian Schar – Missed out at Arsenal but Bruce reckons he’ll be fit to return for this one; and it’s just as well with Fernandez and Clark injured.
  • Ryan Fraser – Will be back after serving a one-game suspension in Monday’s 3-0 defeat at Arsenal.
  • Dwight Gayle – Has been ‘unwell’, hence his absence at Arsenal on Monday, however it seems he may return to the matchday squad for this one.

For the hosts, midfield dynamo John McGinn is suspended, left-back Targett has been passed fit after being forced off at Man City, winger Trezeguet looks set to return to the squad and both Wesley and Hause remain long-term absentees.

Predicted line up

(4-4-2): Dubravka– Krafth, Lascelles, Schar, Lewis – Almiron, Hayden, Shelvey, Fraser– Wilson, Carroll.

OUT – Darlow, Clark, M Longstaff and Joelinton?

IN – Dubravka, Schar, Hayden and Fraser?

Starting in goal, I’ve got a feeling Bruce is going to recall Dubravka. It would be so harsh on Darlow, who has barely put a foot wrong, however some feel he should’ve done better with Aumayenag’s shot and his kicking kept us on the back foot at times.

At the back, Lascelles seems highly likely to partner Schar. Given their recent form and the fact the latter is rarely played in a back four, I wondered if we’d see Dummett join them on the left-side of a back three – however it seems he’s now got another injury issue after Bruce decided to play him twice in three days so soon after barely kicking a ball in 2020.

At right-back, I’d far prefer Manquillo to Krafth, but he’s not got a look in since he got COVID and Yedlin is rarely picked at right-back unless we’re playing a five-man defence, meaning Krafth and Lewis seem likely to continue. The former Norwich man is struggling badly, but I’m not sure what other options we have if it’s a back four Bruce sticks with.

I wouldn’t rule out Lascelles, Schar and Hayden in a three with Ritchie and Yedlin at wing-back, but that would see Bruce immediately ditch a formation he’s vowed to play more! He is a walking contradiction, mind…

In the middle of the park there has to be changes. Shelvey should be the one to go, but I think Bruce will stick with him and simply bring Hayden back in for Matty Longstaff.

Out wide, Almiron deserves another start after being our best outfield player at Arsenal and the only one to carry the ball forward, but Joelinton will surely come out of the side after offering absolutely nothing.

Ritchie could well come into Bruce’s thinking (not my first choice but he’ll be seen as ‘reliable’), however it could and should be Fraser who returns to the side after serving a one-game ban. He needs to be MUCH better after letting us down last time out, but players like him could be key to our revival, meaning minutes under his belt to get match fit could be key – especially when Carroll was starved of crosses at Arsenal.

Joelinton returning to that second striker role behind Wilson is a possibility, but I fancy Bruce to give Wilson and ‘big Andy’ another go up top.

The Opposition

Here’s a few ones to watch in Dean Smith’s much improved Villa side:

Jack Grealish – Arguably the best players outside the ‘big six’ on recent form and the driving force behind this much improved Villa side. Considering we’ve weak at right-back, we’ll have a big job on our hands to contain the twinkle-toed playmaker.

Ollie Watkins – At one stage last summer, some wondered if we’d sign him from Brentford and Villa would bring in Wilson from Bournemouth! At it turns out, Wilson’s numbers have been better so far this season, but Watins’ six goals, four assists and lively all round play have seen him fit into this Villa side very nicely.

Bertrand Traore – I’ve seen the former Lyon winger play a few times this season and there’s been no in between. That said, he’s looked a real handful with pace, impressive technique and tricky feet more often than not, bagging three goals in his last four league games before their 2-0 defeat to Man City in midweek.

Ross Barkley – A player Bruce wanted to sign on loan over the summer, only for Villa to outdo us. Has everything we lack in the middle of the park, offering power, drive and quality in the final third and will only add to their attacking threat now he’s fit again.

Prediction

To say I’m fearing the worst ahead of this one would be an understatement.

Last season, this felt like a game we could win, with them fellow relegation rivals and struggling for goals, but how the tables have turned a year on.

They’re strong at the back, having kept eight clean sheets, are competitive in midfield, are full of creativity and no longer over reliant on star man Jack Grealish.

They may miss midfield workhorse John McGinn – a man Steve Bruce won’t let anyone forget he signed – and haven’t long overcome a big COVID outbreak, however they showed ZERO signs of fatigue or rustiness in their unfortunate defeat to Man City earlier this week,

At this point I would say that we are due a response to recent defeats or benefit from ASM’s return, but with the latter likely to be a late sub at best and two of our most reliable centre-backs set to be sidelined, I can’t see anything other than a comfortable home win that could get ugly if we don’t buck our ideas up.

PredictionAston Villa 3-1 Newcastle

HWTL!

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

73 thoughts on “Aston Villa (A) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

  1. Kimtoon: it is getting to the point where I just think Bruce is dumb. Every time he opens his mouth he puts his foot in it. Why bring up a Manager that left 18 months ago. He throws his players under the bus and calls the fans keyboard warriors. I am stating the obvious, but he should be thankful that the fans can only attack him on their keyboards otherwise he could make a couple of barrels of coleslaw and sauerkraut with the number of cabbages that would be thrown on the pitch. Add a SE Asian option of a bucket of Kimchi and he could open his own Deli. He’ll need a job when he gets sacked and the Steve’s could make the sandwiches. They’d probably get the order wrong though.

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  2. Just read the full quotes. What a moron calling Rafa “the mighty Rafa”? It is like he is deliberately winding the fans up with his choices of words. Also, demanding “respect” because he has managed 500 games invites fans to look at his record which is the worst in PL history. And this with us facing Villa next where their fans (they are not all tw@ts) know exactly what we have got with this manager.

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  3. I see we are bringing in another coach – hopefully he specialises in midfield & set pieces.

    But, let’s be honest, if they are bringing in another coach, that does not suggest they are on the verge of sacking Bruce.

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  4. I looked up cabbage recipes and to tell you the truth none of them are very appetizing. The kimchi and sauerkraut are the most interesting and that is saying something. Had Corned Beef and Cabbage on St Patrick’s Day in Chicago – makes liver and onions look exotic. It is literally beef and cabbage boiled in a pot with a side of boiled potatoes. I think they put some fennel and pepper in it.

    Then there’s stuffed cabbage. Blah. Cabbage soup. Could you think of a more boring soup? Borsht. Which is red cabbage soup with beets I think. Pickled red cabbage. Actually that is OK so is the German Red cabbage as a side.

    ENOUGH OF THE BLOODY CABBAGE RECIPES ERIC!!!!

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  5. Given my research into cabbage recipes the most obvious and best use for all cabbages is to throw them at Steve Bruce. I think the best thing would be to put one in a plastic bag in a shed for a month and let it partially rot. Put Bruce in some stocks on the Town Moor and sell them for 5 quid apiece with proceeds going to the Bobby Robson Foundation. That would be a good farewell to Brucie.

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  6. I see there seems to be a global shortage of vaccines coming in the next 2/3 weeks. Both Pfizer and O/AZ both reducing supply to everyone… This is why I do wish the government would stop making targets. The media are obsessed with the target and that’s all they’re bothered about and it’s not a guarantee they’ll hit it now from no fault of their own.

    There’s no way we’ll be back to anything like normal by summer.

    Up till Friday 10,000 pubs, bars and restaurants had closed for good. Care homes are reporting mass deterioration in their residents mental and physical health due to loneliness, cancer diagnosis are down 75,000 on this time last year and school children are having their education destroyed and their lives potentially damaged forever. All at the same time government borrowing in Dec alone was £35bn. In 2020 government borrowed £270.8bn, which is £212.7bn more than last year and by March it’s likely to be £350bn.

    I think we need a different approach.

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  7. Stuart79: Up till Friday 10,000 pubs, bars and restaurants had closed for good. Care homes are reporting mass deterioration in their residents mental and physical health due to loneliness, cancer diagnosis are down 75,000 on this time last year and school children are having their education destroyed and their lives potentially damaged forever. All at the same time government borrowing in Dec alone was £35bn. In 2020 government borrowed £270.8bn, which is £212.7bn more than last year and by March it’s likely to be £350bn.

    Shocking, isn’t it? The Tories have a lot to answer for.

    Your indignation at borrowing such vast amounts of money must mean you understand what it’s all about, so maybe you can tell us who the government is borrowing from. Or what having such a debt means.

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  8. Your conspiracy theories are your business, Bris. I don’t believe them but I still wouldn’t discourage you from airing them.

    I know you believe the government can just allow the BoE to print (you know what I mean before you complain about the term) as much money as we need without any repercussions but that’s simply not true and history bares that out. Outside investors would run for the hills of simply lend at higher interest rates (which feed through into the lives of normal people) if they believed we were just to relying on the printing presses of the BoE and not even pretending to repay it. It’s also reasonable to expect a run on the pound – after all – the more there is of something the lesser the value which will accelerate inflation and further push interest rates higher…

    I accept you don’t think that’s true – even if history shows different but I have to ask. If just getting your central
    Bank to pay for everything was such a brilliant and faultless process – there’d never be any poverty anywhere in the world and every country would be at it. I don’t see any country doing it which tells you something…

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  9. And on today’s match. I think Barclay, Watkins and Grealish will rip us to shreds unfortunately. I expect us to have less than 40% possession and Darlow to be MOTM as usual.

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  10. Oh, where to start. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. All the way through. All the usual spruiking from the neoliberal song book.

    I don’t have any conspiracy theories. I’ve no idea where you get that from.

    Printing money is the wrong way to think of it – there’s no actual money being printed, but ok, let’s not quibble. Recently the BoE has been directly financing government, so it isn’t borrowing from anybody, it’s like the left pocket of government borrowing from the right pocket. Even when they issue gilts it’s not what you or I consider borrowing to be – it’s closer to a term deposit. There is no need to pay it back. In fact, mostly, those who buy gilts don’t want it paid back. It’s a secure investment that they would prefer to keep hold of. Anyway, paying it back would be a terrible thing to do. Let me explain that more …

    In every transaction there is somebody who pays and someone who receives. For every deficit there is a surplus somewhere else. When the government has a deficit, the private sector has a surplus. The private sector is people and business. So if the government wants to recoup its ‘debt’ it means taking money out of the economy, ie your money, business’ money. That’s not my opinion. That is fact. That is standard double entry bookkeeping.

    Continuing … there is no evidence to support your inflation theory. There has never been a case where more money in the economy has caused inflation – anywhere. Inflation is caused by over-reaching on resources.

    Outside investors have nothing to do with the interest rate – that is set by a few guys who sit around with their pink gins every few months and decide what the rate should be.

    Your view about over supply of money is a hangover from when the currency was pinned to the gold standard. It hasn’t been the case since 1972.

    The central bank has always “printed” money. It mainly prints money for the sake of big business. For 40 years governments have been working on the principle of socialism for the rich and austerity for the poor. Poverty is a government choice. Unemployment is a government choice. It is policy that creates these things, there is no natural mechanism at play.

    Actually, it’s the banks that create money, not the government. The government underwrites bank loans. Banks simply magic money into existence by a click of the mouse. The money they loan is not based on the deposits they hold. Banks loan to people with money. People with money buy assets and make themselves richer. Poor people can’t afford that sort of thing. So, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And the banks are creating more money than they have ever done in the history of the planet, and have been doing so every year for a long time. And guess what, a huge supply of money and there is no inflation.

    The reason there is poverty in the world is because there are people who are getting rich at their expense. Oh. Is that the conspiracy theory you think I’m pushing? If it is, then I don’t think you know what a conspiracy theory is (which frankly wouldn’t surprise me). Double entry bookkeeping – considered to be the origin of capitalism by some – very important. The balance of all transactions = zero. If somebody is losing money then somebody is gaining it in equal measure.

    A bit simplified, but hey, necessarily so. I’m happy to explain further if anybody wants me to. It’s much more interesting than the football at the moment.

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  11. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is supposed to be approved soon. Stuart, Biden’s Govt are being accused of UNDER-promising over here. They are saying 100 mil doses in 100 days. So far there have been 17 million vaccinated in a country of 330 million. added together, that is not bad when you consider there are 75 million kids who will not get the vaccine.

    As usual there has been conflicting information. The chief Doc has pretty much admitted they are underpromising but Biden set up a panel to oversee the vaccination and one of them I saw on TV had dire warnings about the next 2 months. He backs his own credibility by showing what he had previously said, which turned out to be true. I hope he is wrong and that he is not figuring in Trump’s ignorance and ineptitude. Before you jump all over that as politics Stuart, Trump is unlike all other leaders in the West because he called it a hoax and also did not put in place a National plan. In fact he ridiculed people for wearing masks and social distancing.

    Biden put in a National plan his second day in office.

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  12. What I do not get about these mask and social distancing deniers is that they say it is about personal freedom. The mask protects the wearer but more the people around them. How can you make it a personal freedom thing when it effects others? It is just a stupid argument.

    It is even more stupid when you see stuff like Delta Airlines banning more than 500 customers for life for not wearing masks. Is it worth missing your flight for a mask? Biden has also now said masks MUST be worn in airports and on planes. I think they can kick you out or even arrest you.

    I dont understand any of this as it seems pretty simple to wear a mask and is a minor inconvenience. It is all of this daft stuff on the internet that is to blame.

    I am not on Facebook or Twitter as I feel I am better off without them. I get enough targeting through the google algorithms without adding more. Plus, I have no interest in pictures of peoples’ cats or their meal last night at The Olive Garden. If my friends go somewhere cool on holiday they just text me a photo. I suppose I am just an old fart.

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  13. Bruce asks for a bit of respect yet shows none for other managers and that’s not just Rafa by the way. Referred to Nuno as the guy at Wolves and Howe as the guy who took Bournemouth down is never going to endear him to us the media, other managers or their clubs fans.
    He’s a complete moron who can only belittle others to feel good about himself it seems.
    Talk about a walking talking ego, i thought he was a nice fella, just short on tactical nous/skill, seems i was wrong.

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  14. Eric Sykes:
    What I do not get about these mask and social distancing deniers is that they say it is about personal freedom. The mask protects the wearer but more the people around them. How can you make it a personal freedom thing when it effects others? It is just a stupid argument.

    It is even more stupid when you see stuff like Delta Airlines banning more than 500 customers for life for not wearing masks. Is it worth missing your flight for a mask? Biden has also now said masks MUST be worn in airports and on planes. I think they can kick you out or even arrest you.

    I dont understand any of this as it seems pretty simple to wear a mask and is a minor inconvenience. It is all of this daft stuff on the internet that is to blame.

    I am not on Facebook or Twitter as I feel I am better off without them. I get enough targeting through the google algorithms without adding more. Plus, I have no interest in pictures of peoples’ cats or their meal last night at The Olive Garden. If my friends go somewhere cool on holiday they just text me a photo. I suppose I am just an old fart.

    That’s a bit much Eric, nowt wrong with pictures of cats like. 😉

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  15. Let’s say somebody doesnt shower for a month and then sits down next to you on a plane. Is that about personal freedom?

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  16. Kimtoon: I framed a pricture of my ex-girlfriend’s cat for her b-day. Just using that as an example because there seem to be so many on Youtube. I think that person with the “grumpy cat” viral video made millions of dollars because cat food/toy companies started attaching advertisements.

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  17. Swallow your pride Ashley get him back in, even if he has to quarantine for a month he can pass on instructions to his coaching team and do zoom calls to the lads 😆

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  18. I wouldnt have Rafa back. If it was a straight choice between him and Bruce then of course I would, but it is not a straight choice.

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  19. kimtoon:
    Swallow your pride Ashley get him back in, even if he has to quarantine for a month he can pass on instructions to his coaching team and do zoom calls to the lads

    But his coaching team would also have to quarantine and would you keep the other 2 Steves and trust them 🙂

    Game starts at 2pm here. Got some vodka that I might start drinking alone at noon. Dont normally drink alone but no pubs open yet and I am not sure if I can take this game sober.

    If Olly’s team is correct I just hate the thought of Grealish against Krapth and Shelvey.

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  20. Eric I love cats, always had a cat. You may of seen me post that i lost our Honey at nearly 18 years of age in nov 2020. Well i contacted a rescue center couple of days ago to see if they had any kittens there, bit early as kitten season is spring really but thought i would ask.
    Anyway, none there but they like to have people take them in pairs !!!, i find that most odd and likely to put off re homers as two cats growing old together become a massive strain on finances after age 8. I was paying £54 a month to petplan for Honey the last year of her life £48 the year before and £45 the one before that. Times that by 2 and it gets very expensive.
    Then there is vaccines every year, flea treatments, and the initial spay/castration cost.
    They really want you to take on a cat , my daughter was offered sp/needs cats and cats with FIV because she lives in a flat. She took on an 8 year old last year who is lovely but hid for the first month and still isn’t very sociable around anyone but her. The cat is also now costing a lot in vet fees. £70 the other day for a uti treatment.
    Think i will just try to buy one but they are asking £3-400 just for a moggy ! years ago they got given away.

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  21. Eric, i would have him back in a heart beat, bloo dy love Rafa. He had a project to take us forward if only Jabba had listened and thought long term.
    I could eventually see him becoming our DOF too had he been allowed to see his vision through.
    Yes he was defensive but towards the end we played some nice stuff with our front trio, Migs, Perez and Rondon gelled well and we were solid defensively.

    This mug has had £100m thrown at him and we have gone backwards.

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  22. God that’s all we need, another Rafa discussion. I will have to stop reading The Mag which is a pity as they have some decent articles. Ed will have 1,000 posts a day discussing it. If you can call 1,000 posts saying exactly the same thing a discussion 🙂

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  23. I would take Rafa as DOF. At least we wouldnt have ended up with Joelinton 🙂 I wonder what he would do with him now?

    I have had a cat before. Problem now is that I live in a building with only 4 units and there is so much turnover I never get a chance to know anyone. I like to take trips and not sure about a cat shelter. My dog hated shelters so I ended up having a friend look after him. He was a dog walker and still charged me $40 a day. Some friend 🙂

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  24. Dummett out.

    Can you imagine a back 4 of Krafth, Lascelles, Schar and Lewis? I think this guarantees a back 5 with Ritchie in for Lewis and Hayden as the 3rd centre back. So,

    Darlow

    Murphy Lascelles Schar Hayden Ritchie

    Matty Shelvey

    Fraser Wilson Miggy

    I could even see Hendrick in place of Shelvey given Jonjo’s performance at Arsenal.

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  25. And Bruce saying he wants to play 20 or 30 yards further forward. Give me a break you charlatan, you liar, you conman. You have never played like that. You have played boring, defensive football hoping to nick the points. You average 1 point and 1 goal per game you fat lying fck. We can ask the Villa fans. In fact, it would be good if Olly had one of his pieces today when he asked a Villa blogger his thoughts.

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  26. Eric, there is supposedly a bit from unnamed PL club come in for Shelvey.

    Oh and if you believe twitter rumors Fulham and WBA after Gayle
    If true and we sell to either then we have given them a boost at our expense.

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  27. Eric Sykes:
    And Bruce saying he wants to play 20 or 30 yards further forward. Give me a break you charlatan, you liar, you conman. You have never played like that. You have played boring, defensive football hoping to nick the points. You average 1 point and 1 goal per game you fat lying fck. We can ask the Villa fans. In fact, it would be good if Olly had one of his pieces today when he asked a Villa blogger his thoughts.

    Oh he’s looking to get us to the halfway line then 😆

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  28. I didnt think we were good under Rafa although Bruce’s comparison is absurd because of the difference in budget. I have said many times that we had the best squad ever to get relegated and Rafa had 10 games to keep us up. He has also been passed by a bit with modern tactics. He did great at Liverpool but not so good a Napoli and Madrid. I think he is a mid-table PL Manager now which is what we are as well. But at 10 million a year, that is way beyond what he is now worth.

    As a DOF commuting from the Wirral 2 or 3 days a week at 2 mil a year I think he would be ideal. I think he has an eye for talent and wouldnt have to coach. He could also do some press conferences and fan liaison which Charnley seems to want to avoid. I think him and Eddie Howe would be a great fit.

    Aint happening unless we get beat 5-0 by Villa and by Leeds.

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  29. Brisvegas:
    Oh, where to start. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. All the way through. All the usual spruiking from the neoliberal song book.

    I don’t have any conspiracy theories. I’ve no idea where you get that from.

    Printing money is the wrong way to think of it – there’s no actual money being printed, but ok, let’s not quibble. Recently the BoE has been directly financing government, so it isn’t borrowing from anybody, it’s like the left pocket of government borrowing from the right pocket. Even when they issue gilts it’s not what you or I consider borrowing to be – it’s closer to a term deposit. There is no need to pay it back. In fact, mostly, those who buy gilts don’t want it paid back. It’s a secure investment that they would prefer to keep hold of. Anyway,paying it back would be a terrible thing to do. Let me explain that more …

    In every transaction there is somebody who pays and someone who receives. For every deficit there is a surplus somewhere else. When the government has a deficit, the private sector has a surplus. The private sector is people and business. So if the government wants to recoup its ‘debt’ it means taking money out of the economy, ie your money, business’ money. That’s not my opinion. That is fact. That is standard double entry bookkeeping.

    Continuing … there is no evidence to support your inflation theory. There has never been a case where more money in the economy has caused inflation – anywhere. Inflation is caused by over-reaching on resources.

    Outside investors have nothing to do with the interest rate – that is set by a few guys who sit around with their pink gins every few months and decide what the rate should be.

    Your view about over supply of money is a hangover from when the currency was pinned to the gold standard. It hasn’t been the case since 1972.

    The central bank has always “printed” money. It mainly prints money for the sake of big business. For 40 years governments have been working on the principle of socialism for the rich and austerity for the poor. Poverty is a government choice. Unemployment is a government choice. It is policy that createsthese things, there is no natural mechanism at play.

    Actually, it’s the banks that create money, not the government. The government underwrites bank loans. Banks simply magic money into existence by a click of the mouse. The money they loan is not based on the deposits they hold.Banks loan to people with money. People with money buy assets and make themselves richer. Poor people can’t afford that sort of thing. So, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And the banks are creating more money than they have ever done in the history of the planet, and have been doing so every year for a long time. And guess what, a huge supply of money and there is no inflation.

    The reason there is poverty in the world is because there are people who are getting rich at their expense. Oh.Is that the conspiracy theory you think I’m pushing? If it is, then I don’t think you know what a conspiracy theory is (which frankly wouldn’t surprise me). Double entry bookkeeping – considered to be the origin of capitalism by some – very important. The balance of all transactions = zero. If somebody is losing money then somebody is gaining it in equal measure.

    A bit simplified, but hey, necessarily so. I’m happy to explain further if anybody wants me to. It’s much more interesting than the football at the moment.

    Bris, it’s all very well with your theory but history teaches us and the present also shows us that just asking your central bank to provide more and more funds just doesn’t work. Would be nice but it clearly doesn’t. I ask again – why is there poverty in the world? Why is Africa impoverished when Ethiopia for example could just ask their central bank to provide funds for infrastructure, jobs, food and homes… Why is this the case? Is it that governments of every single country are just cruel masters and don’t want people to be comfortable?

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  30. Eric Sykes:
    I would take Rafa as DOF. At least we wouldnt have ended up with Joelinton 🙂 I wonder what he would do with him now?

    I have had a cat before. Problem now is that I live in a building with only 4 units and there is so much turnover I never get a chance to know anyone. I like to take trips and not sure about a cat shelter. My dog hated shelters so I ended up having a friend look after him. He was a dog walker and still charged me $40 a day. Some friend 🙂

    Eric – Rafa made signings equally as bad as Joelinton mate, they just didn’t cost £40m.

    Rafa has come out and said his reason for leaving China was concerns over COVID – the one that’s been round for over a year now you mean?! – nowt to do with the absolutely atrocious form.

    Ashley is a sh!thouse. I don’t like the bloke one bit & I think his biggest mistake isn’t Bruce, but Charnley – both should be sacked in my opinion. Charnley is responsible not just for Bruce, but the decision to put Carver in when Pardew left, then appoint McClaren & then not act quick enough to sack him – then to bring Bruce in. Both have to go for me.

    But, Rafa wanted a ‘project’ with us. He wanted a greater say on how things were done at the club. I don’t think he fully provided himself enough with us to warrant that, and his failings out in China probably support Ashley wanting to keep Rafa – but not wanting to hand over more power (for want of a better word).

    What Ashley should have agreed was to improve Rafas contract but get rid of Charnley and bring better people in to support him. Unfortunately, I really don’t think Rafa was prepared to settle for anything other than his terms.

    Still, Rafa has made around £18m in his failed 18mth out in China so I don’t imagine he’s too bitter about it.

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  31. Playing against Villa who in their second season in the PL are making us play five at the back. 😂

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  32. Sharpy, I think you will find Rafa has put in place a project over there a bit like what he wanted for us from what i have read. The club were happy with him and what he had put in place and according to George Caulkin were talking to him about extending his contract just weeks ago. He could of stayed for more money if that was his only motivation.

    Anyway
    HWTL
    HERE GOES NOTHING

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  33. Stuart79: Bris, it’s all very well with your theory but history teaches us and the present also shows us that just asking your central bank to provide more and more funds just doesn’t work. Would be nice but it clearly doesn’t. I ask again – why is there poverty in the world? Why is Africa impoverished when Ethiopia for example could just ask their central bank to provide funds for infrastructure, jobs, food and homes… Why is this the case? Is it that governments of every single country are just cruel masters and don’t want people to be comfortable?

    I just explained it. But I’ll try and make it even simpler for you to understand.

    Without the central bank providing funds for internal infrastructure no government can exist.

    Colonisation and the domination of global south countries by rapacious capitalism means those countries do not have the capacity to work their way out of poverty.

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  34. Brisvegas: I just explained it. But I’ll try and make it even simpler for you to understand.

    Without the central bank providing funds for internal infrastructure no government can exist.

    Colonisation and the domination of global south countries by rapacious capitalism means those countries do not have the capacity to work their way out of poverty.

    They can just get their central banks to create the money to put in peoples banks according to you. It wouldn’t create any problems.

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  35. I’m not too sure why I’m actually watching this. It bores me to tears.

    Villa have hardly trained for three weeks and have had half a dozen minimum out with Covid and they’re still bossing the game. What is Charnley and Jabba seeing…?

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  36. If it’s true that someone wants Shelvey & happy to breach COVID & drive him to wherever he needs to go 👍🏻

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  37. kimtoon:
    Sharpy, I think you will find Rafa has put in place a project over there a bit like what he wanted for us from what i have read. The club were happy with him and what he had put in place and according to George Caulkin were talking to him about extending his contract just weeks ago. He could of stayed for more money if that was his only motivation.

    Anyway
    HWTL
    HERE GOES NOTHING

    Kim – they finished 7th of 8 in their Super Cup group & only avoided relegation by play offs.
    I’m sure they are all saying nice things about each other, but there is no getting away from the fact his time there was a failure.
    He’s left with a year still to go on his current contract – never mind extensions. If they were that happy with everything he’s doing they wouldn’t allow him to walk away because of concerns about a virus that he’s been around for over a year now.

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  38. We could play ALL our defenders & ALL our attackers & Darlow & Dubravka in goal & still get beat without scoring imo.

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  39. Too many ponytails. I cant spot who is who – Carroll, Hendrick, Schar. Normally you would know because they play different positions but not when they are all defending.

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  40. Checked the stats and we have had 1 shot on target. Couldnt have been much good because I dont remember their keeper making a save.

    This is what we expected.

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  41. Same old Same old – just as it was with McClaren.
    He had plenty to say in his interviews too, then the team took to the field & it was the same sh!t we got to watch.

    Villa are a decent team, but we are making them look like a Lpool or City here.

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  42. I hope ASM has got his strength back, coz I think Bruce is going to turn to him to carry us through the rest of the season & hope that’s enough.

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  43. Stuart79: They can just get their central banks to create the money to put in peoples banks according to you. It wouldn’t create any problems.

    [shakes head] You’ll have to point me to where I said that. I can’t recall writing it.

    Re the football: at least they are trying to go forward. Pity they aren’t good enough to make it count. And they just don’t work hard enough.

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  44. I’m not sure how Bruce has managed to do it, but Wilson is in the game even LESS when Carroll plays up front with him!!.

    He’s actually managed to neutralise our main goal threat 😳🤦🏼‍♂️😡

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  45. Don’t worry instead of sacking him they’re getting Bruce a second rate coach in Greame Jones. I’m sure he will make all the difference… 😮 😯

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  46. Although I stopped watching after 35 mins I am getting regular txts from people and it’s barely believable I am told that Bruce has shut up shop and is playing to lose just 2-0

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  47. Done with this site and this team. All my comments disappeared. 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤯🤬🤬🤯🤬

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  48. Stuart79:
    Although I stopped watching after 35 mins I am getting regular txts from people and it’s barely believable I am told that Bruce has shut up shop and is playing to lose just 2-0

    No mate, he brought Fraser, ASM & Gayle on so not shut up shop – but made little to no difference unfortunately

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  49. I’m sick and tired of pundits saying we are sleepwalking into relegation – I’m wide a b@st@rd wake!! and can see fine well what’s happening & can see that our owner & decision makers doing f@ck all about it!!.

    Awful football.

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  50. So Bruce says he was encouraged today… Jesus Christ! He also said were very short at centre half. So it makes perfect sense to play a formation with 3 centre backs then…

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  51. I’m with Gilly re the site. It’s really frustrating that the comments aren’t updating to show the latest.

    You make a post to find there’s 10 other comments there that wasn’t showing 😡😡

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  52. Stuart79:
    So Bruce says he was encouraged today… Jesus Christ! He also said were very short at centre half. So it makes perfect sense to play a formation with 3 centre backs then…

    Stu – yeah I’m blown away by his optimism and chipper mood at the end there.
    Villa took their foot off the pedal in the 2nd half & we managed 7 shots with only 1 on target the whole game – ever similar to Arsenal actually – the Bruce way, maybe that’s why he’s happy.

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  53. When I use my phone the comments appear. When I use my iPad which I’ve always used before no comments.

    The team were sh.it again. If Ashley cannot see relegation coming he deserves everything he gets. No sale. No millions and a worthless club.

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