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Villa Away v Fulham Match Musings

Villa Away v Fulham Match Musings

Having been there, I would say my thoughts probably match most of what has been mentioned here. In terms on the starting XI, it was what I thought might happen (the biggest shock being Bruce persuading Snoddy to play on the other side). On a side note, Axel was without doubt our MotM as Sessegnon offered nothing until he went inside. We were always going to lack more creativity and be a bit more dig deep. But other than O'Hare I'm not sure what else was possible and he was never getting thrown in that environment. I was saying to those around me exactly what Bruce said post-match in that the match would be decided by the first goal.

The first half was decent and as a game plan, absolutely fine. Fulham tend to dominate possession anyway but they created as many half chances in that 45 minutes as we did, such was the threat we looked on the counter. The fact we conceded possession didn't really bother me, I think there's a stat which says that in around two thirds of fixtures this year we've seen less of the ball. As such, Jedi being in there was fine but as soon as he 442 it was his time to be hoinked as he's not mobile enough. I thought it was odd Grabban came on though, taking into account by that point, Hogan was just being fed long balls from Johnstone/JT/Chester and being out-jumped by Ream and Kalas every time; to me it screamed Keinan coming on to at least offer a challenge to those balls.

Onomah I keep hoping to see more of that player who dazzled on his debut at Colchester. I don't necessarily think he's disinterested but I think he's lacking confidence and quite aware of the grumbles within the Villa support (which again as a side note, in the first half in particular was top notch). He also was in no way culpable for the first goal. I thought it at the time and having now seen highlights had it reaffirmed - Jedi and Thor were way off the player who played the ball in the channel, he should have had the time to turn and thread that pass inside Hutton with those two in the vicinity but not tight to him. Axel is then arguably culpable for not tracking Sessegnon, however, JT is closest to him so he's either not fully aware or not been given a shout. It was certainly quite avoidable. The second as we know is a gimmie; poor Gollini was never given such understanding though (even the first incident at Hillsborough on the opening day!).

Three trips I've now made to the Cottage; all three the away day itself has been great but I've now witness 0-2, 1-3 and 0-2 results and pretty average performances. It really is not a happy hunting ground for us! Let's hope we can pull something together for Tuesday; I've a feeling it might be similar personnel and game plan-wise; my biggest concern is the replacement on the left-wing, I really don't know what solution I'd go with there, whereas I'd be willing to give Onomah another chance as the #10 so he's in a more natural position.

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Date:Monday February 19 2018
Time: 9:37AM


Priority 1: Snodgrass should play in his preferred position on the right. Then I'd like to see O'Hare given a start. I just have a feeling he'll light it up.
19/02/2018 09:56:00
Agree ric112 but I worry even at home SB won't put him in, instead it will the same tried and tested, we need a spark and especially our bench has been lacking that recently, three of four similar type players, this is where you have to ensure youngsters are given game time and then when needed they are ready.
19/02/2018 10:18:00
I agree Ric - use Snodgrass on the right, where we know he's comfortable, and a threat. I'd love to see O'Hare given a chance through the middle - just like Grealish he's a creator & linker of play, not a winger. On the left? Not sure! Although he's no winger, maybe Thor? Jedinak will play DM as Preston are a side full of big physical units! (Of course, this is all assuming Jack's still injured, which we all pray won't be the case...)
19/02/2018 10:19:00
Totally agree Ric - we need to be positive and go for it, especially tomorrow night. We're the home side, we're in form (irrespective of Saturday) and O'Hare has shown he is worth a go. Now is not the time to be cautious and cagey.
19/02/2018 10:27:00
Agree on O'Hare. Every time he's come on he's looked full of energy and wants to get forward.
The Fear
19/02/2018 10:50:00
Well put Tierney, I'm in agreement with most of that. I would however say that Grabban is more than capable of being a target man, that's what we brought him in for and he played that role very well when Sunderland came to VP back in November. I would think Bruce will change it again tomorrow even if Jack & Uncle Albert are both still out. He will be keen to bounce straight back with 3 points and put pressure on Cardiff. Snodgrass can always play behind the striker, he's done it plenty of times in the past. I think O'Hare may be better off coming in from wide left or right. If he's playing Jacks role he would need to drop deep when we don't have the ball and I'm not sure he is strong enough to do that against big physical teams just yet.
19/02/2018 11:40:00
Cheers garygaryshaw. Views on Grabban were based on what I saw (he got no closer than Hogan and doesn't have nor the height or build that screams physical presence). When I was living on the south coast, I saw him during his first spell at Bournemouth and in those days he wasn't utilised as a focal point, instead he worked the channels and off the last man. I thought he might be coming in as Hogan cover based on the injuries issues that he has previously suffered. Keinan (as much as I'm unconvinced fully) at least has demonstrated he can hold the ball up and deal with balls punted long at him if they are in the right area.
19/02/2018 18:37:00
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