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Author Topic: Here we go again  (Read 1077 times)

Offline dave.woodhall

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Here we go again
« on: September 19, 2020, 06:29:36 PM »
The big news since last season is that we have kept Jack, at least for the time being. Both he and the club have said the right things about the contract and, as no-one else has put their money where The Sun’s mouth was, we get to keep him. My worst nightmare was that we would base pre-season around him and then lose him two or three matches in. Watching his online interview I rather think that thought had crossed his mind as well and he looked as relieved as I felt. Well done the club for thinking big and again putting out the message that we play hard ball - but we can look forward with confidence to more of the same rubbish from the press until we do the decent thing and pass him on to a ‘big club’ who really deserve him. 

The signings to date have been interesting. We were always going to pick up a striker of some sort from Brentford and Deano will now be offloading one or two of our goal-shy employees. I see one of them has moved locally and to something nearer his level, while I suspect Samatta will also be on his way.

 There is, I fear, a strong possibility of Keinan going on loan to the Championship which would be a pity especially if the new bloke proves to be as mobile as I think he is and needs a tough cookie hold-up foil to play alongside. Perhaps Wesley can do that job when he is fit enough, perhaps one of them will turn into the fabled second striker that successful teams have always had. We will see, but I do believe the option has to be explored at some point especially as we may have just bought a half-decent winger.

As a bit of déjà vu a continental speedster name Bertrand Traore is good enough to be fake news and what could possibly go wrong? Having a genuine pace outlet up front is more than welcome and hopefully he can cross a bit better than his erstwhile namesake. I like Trez, whose attitude and effort can not be faulted, but he is woefully short of pace and the signing might just make Anwar El Ghazi pull his finger out a bit more. Imagine having two fast wingers putting in a shift. Oh joy.

On paper, Matty Cash looks a decent signing but I do think Freddie has been a qualified success and was worth another season but whether one of them could play right mid-field has been an interesting topic of online conversation. I doubt Deano will go for that but if you note the regularity with which opponents were set up to attack on their left wings last season it might not be a bad move and it would surprise me if it hadn’t been looked at on the training ground.

At first I was not convinced that we needed another goalie to add to the seventeen we already have but when I saw how many Arsenal bloggers thought we had fleeced them at £16 million plus add-ons I have warmed to the move. After all these years it is nice to see an established in-form, trophy-winning top player wanting, yes, wanting, to come here. Couldn’t stop that one from Trez though, could he? Quite what Tom Heaton thinks of the reported promised number one status for Senor Martinez is open to conjecture but if Neil Cutler can find the words to keep all our stoppers happy in training he should be put in charge of spinning the latest Test and Trace press releases.

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It was good to see us playing and getting results against meaningful sides for a change in pre-season but now that they are back amongst the big boys it has not taken long for the Manure supporters to revert to type and lambast their squad for losing to a useless outfit like Villa. But you still couldn’t afford our best player, thanks very much.

For old times’ sake the Burton cup match conveniently doubled for the annual trip to Walsall, as the selection confirmed. To no-one’s lie surprise most of the expected fringe players played like-er-fringe players and we toiled at times. Ollie Watkins opened his account with a sitter and then missed another.  In truth you or I would probably have buried both but the encouraging thing was that we had a striker in the right positions at the right time twice in one game. No, I am not joking, it really happened.
Even more encouraging, our man’s team-mates managed to pick him out. Such clinical sniffing has been the stuff of our dreams for far too long. There was also some build-up magic from Jack on both occasions. Okay, it was Only Burton but one or two watching Spurs fans may have thought longingly of the time they were reportedly poised to snaffle him for a knockdown £20 million.

Not for too long, though, as according to the capital’s media all their Christmases have arrived at once with the north London giants bringing in a Madrid reserve on a year’s loan. Did you see that fan on TV with her "OMG, I can’t believe it, at last we are going to get such a good squad and new players". No; you are going to get a bloke who is seven years older than when he last played for you and who will spend the year raking in the rest of your summer transfer budget.

It has been interesting to read the season’s predictions in the press. No-one reading this will be surprised to see us as one of the experts' tips for relegation, now at 2s with most bookies before we have kicked a ball. We have generally been bracketed alongside Fulham,  who may well do a Fulham again, the basket case that is West Ham and the Baggies whose summer transfer outlay seems to suggest their business planning is predicated on picking up a bi-annual parachute payment.

In our case I think the pundits simply do not like us very much and make the hopeful assumption that we will not improve over last year’s showing. The glee with which our essential team building last year was branded as ‘panic’ still persists as an eternal truth especially now we have had the downright cheek to sign a centre-forward for £28 million. Everton, not for the first time, have broken the bank over the summer but that of course is ambition. And contrast the media’s barbed antipathy towards our existence at the top table with the welcoming adulation being poured on Leeds. Well, that will last until away fans are allowed in grounds again.

Deano is predictably on most pundit’s short list for the sack race. At time of writing he is, however, only a generous 10/1 with Paddy Power alongside Woy but ahead of Mourinho, Parker and bookie’s favourite Moyes. Obviously, London punters are Paddy’s target market.  Nevertheless, it is make or break for our man, and some would say for John Terry as well. As I have suggested before, the real test of their ability will be what they can conjure up with a few more quality players in the squad. If it goes pear-shaped again all the coaches will be in some trouble and deservedly so.

But given the new attacking look to our squad, a midfield that can score a few and the possibility that everyone underestimates us from the off we could soon be a few points towards a bit better than fifteenth place.

Colin Brown

Offline The Edge

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Re: Here we go again
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2020, 08:16:24 AM »
Good article thanks.The points made about the press are bang on the money.

Offline Hookeysmith

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Re: Here we go again
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2020, 08:29:15 AM »
Excellent read

Offline Scratchins

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Re: Here we go again
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2020, 08:45:02 AM »
Some common sense and spot on. Those fawning over Leeds have obviously never been in the away end there. We don't need to brag  - we are Villa.

Offline FatSam

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Re: Here we go again
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2020, 02:32:12 PM »
A good read. Thanks Dave.


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