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  1. Villa fan in peace- I honestly think Deano is getting a bad rap on here and people not actually realising what a good job he has done throughout his career. So stick with me- I'll try and settle your minds a bit on it. Smith had his coaching education as assistant to Martin Ling at Leyton Orient before moving to Walsall as a Youth Coach. He took over as Caretaker Manager at Walsall before being given the Head Coach job. Remember this is Walsall, a club who sell their best players, never re-invest any money and solely rely on loans and free transfers. Under Smith, they were regularly challenging at the top of League 1, vying for promotion to the Championship. They were 2nd when he left for Brentford and they lost out in the play-offs to Barnsley in the end. Walsall have nosedived since and are just keeping their heads afloat in League 2. At Brentford he went in and took Brentford from a bottom half club to vying for the play-offs each and every season. Together with the smart recruitment strategy at Brentford, he developed so many players. Ollie Watkins was brought in from Exeter for pennies, sold for 30m. Benrahma another one. There are so many examples. He left Brentford for one reason and it was the Villa job, but he left them in a really healthy place for Thomas Frank, his assistant to continue the work done and fight for promotion, which eventually happened. He came into Villa which was an absolute sorry state at the time. Hours away from liquidation until our new owners came in and saved the day. Bruce with his backwards recruitment left us with one fit centre half and another playing with an injury which eventually cost him his Villa career (James Chester). Smith came in and instantly galvanised the place- yes you could say we had the likes of Grealish, Abraham and McGinn- top players at that level but Grealish was nothing like the Jack Grealish you think of today. He took him under his wing and took him on that journey to the player he is today. Without Smith, Grealish was nothing. We had a good run when he first came in, dipped a bit in the new year when Grealish was injured. Smith went about correcting the unbalanced side Bruce had left by loaning Mings & Hause in the January. Then from sitting in 13th, took us on a club record 10 game winning run which culminated in the play-off final at Wembley in the May, beating Frank Lampard's Derby. When he came in, the owners wanted promotion within a couple of seasons- Dean did it within 7 months. Whilst promotion was great, it left us some big problems. We lost 15 members of our playing staff due to contracts expiring or loans returning to their parent clubs. People will talk about how Villa spent £120m that summer but it was on 11 players at a average of 9m per player. And we had to do that as we literally had no squad- we had to somehow build a squad ready for whatever league we were playing in. Yes we were fortunate we had the backing of the very wealthy and ambitious owners, but even so, it was never going to be an easy task. We were okay until Christmas, keeping our heads above water. We struggled in the New Year, despite making it to the League Cup Final after beating Leicester over 2 legs in the Semi-Final. We were on a bad run which coincided with losing Heaton, McGinn and Wesley to long term injuries and COVID struck and probably saved our season and Dean's job. He was able to take stock over lockdown, came back and we had a much improved defence and ended the season with 4 matches unbeaten to stay up. Some will say hawk-eye kept us up, but worth remembering there were 9 and a half fixtures left following that incident- so much football still to play. And then that summer we replaced the Sporting Director, brought in some smart signings such as Watkins, Cash and Martinez, and tied Grealish down to a new deal. Had a strong first half of the season and everyone through Europe was on the cards. We stuttered somewhat, again coincided with injuries to Grealish, Barkley & Traore and finished 11th. The summer is where it kind of unraveled, Richard O'Kelly and John Terry both left for different reasons, leaving Smith a bit vulnerable. A couple of new coaches came in on the advice of the Sporting Director/Owners and it never seemed to click. Losing Grealish was massive, yes we took 100m but he was our talisman, he was Aston Villa and replacing him was going to be difficult. Again injuries have been rife- we still are yet to see Danny Ings, Buendia & Leon Bailey on the same pitch for more than 15 minutes together. We have had some flashes of brilliance this season, winning at Old Trafford and hammering Everton at Villa Park but overall it has not been great- but as I say there are various reasons for that happening. I was still convinced Smith would have turned it around, because he always does. Most of all, he is such a good man, a good footballing man. He is adaptable, understands he makes mistakes and works to put them right. He is a brilliant man manager who builds strong relationships with his players. The players were gutted when he left Villa last week. Predominantly plays a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 and will certainly get Gilmour & Cantwell in the team if he joins you guys. When it really works for Smith, it really works and the football can be a joy to watch. It's important he gets his right backroom team in. If he could bring O'Kelly and Shakespeare alongside him, you guys would be fine. He's not a sexy name but for where you guys are I genuinely think he is a perfect fit. He has experience of a relegation battle and if worst comes to the worst and you go down, he has extensive knowledge and experience of the Championship and you'd back him to get you straight back up. I hope he takes the job as the guy deserves it. Villa fans are so grateful to him, came in when we were floundering for a 3rd season in the Championship in 15th place- he leaves us as a regular fixture again in the Premier League, albeit going through a bad patch but with the tools to improve once again. Good luck for the rest of the season.
  2. Why is calling us The Villa moronic? Don''t get that. Nice of you to go totally off topic but its 2 weeks before Xmas, attendances are down all over the country, it was £30 and we have sold 3,400 out of 4,000. Your making out like we are bringing 500. Also not particularly a easy and quick drive from Birmingham to Norwich. Moron. I''ll be there but spose that don''t matter does it? Not sure where I said we are a massive club either. Before you start criticising our away following, we took 4,500 to Swindon in the last round on a Tuesday night. You come on here looking for a friendly conversation with like minded opposition supporters, not once have I dissed Norwich, in fact praised them & then you get that.
  3. Yeah I didn''t mean the whole team had been there for years but there''s a group of players at Norwich who you associate with being at the club for a while. At villa, that''s difficult, not sure you have really apart from Gabby because Guzan has never been a regular til now and Stan Petrov is still unfortunately battling Leaukemia. Think one of the posts above was correct. It will take time before we really start seeing results, consistently of Lambert''s Villa. The positive signs are there. Villa fans feel we''re getting there. Having young players fighting their every last breath for the cause is such a nice change for us at Villa. Alex McLeish said after the game at Carrow Road last season that he needed to instil a work ethic within the side. He said that Norwich fought for every last breath under Lambert and that has continued with Hughton. Unfortunately for us we''ve had prima donna footballers who have been far too comfortable until Lambert came and identified who needed to be moved on. But yeah he''ll get some funds again in January from Mr Lerner and its an ongoing project. But Villa fans are being patient because there''s a need to be. He isn''t just clearing up mess from one manager, he''s clearing it up from three....O''Neill, Houllier and McLeish. Really tough job for him but the signs are there and although we won''t pull up any trees this season, Villa fans can see a positive plan in place, unlike last season which was truly horrific. I''ve never known a football club in apathy like villa was. It''s taken some of us a while to even get the passion back. One way to rip a football fans passion out, appoint the manager who was managing your arch rivals, took them down and then plays the most negative football ever and wins 4 gams at home all season. And nah, Chris Hughton''s claret & blue army won''t be sung this time around. I hope many of the other chants we sang end Of last season won''t be either. " We''re shit but were staying up" was just depressing for AVFC. Looking forward to a good game. We won''t be under strength, basically because we haven''t got the squad to do it.
  4. Hi guys. Villa fan here, looking forward to a good game on Tuesday. I''m coming down with about 3,500 other Villans. Think Lambert will get a few boos here and there from the home fans but that''s to be expected, it''s the norm isn''t it these days, O''Neill got booed when he came back to Villa Park. You guys have had a impressive start with Chris Hughton, can''t say I''m surprised, he''s a good manager and proved this with Newcastle and even our arch rivals, Birmingham. But on the same side he''s working with many players who played together for years with Norwich and give their all for their manager, which is a must. You''ll be easily mid table and its what stability brings, a solidness about a team. On Villa and my thoughts on Lambert so far. I think the situation is very similar to when he took over you guys. The club last season was at its lowest ebb in decades. Alex McLeish ripped the soul and passion out of every Villa supporter I know and that was shown at Carrow Road at the end of the season. There was no plan under McLeish, no future. We were toothless, couldn''t defend, couldn''t score, couldn''t win and went into every game believing we would lose. Playing with players who were past it and living off former glories. And with all due respect, that wasn''t good enough for Aston Villa. The painful thing was, us fans were being criticised for our support of the team last season but no blame was pinned on the guy who was in charge. I have to say the supporters has been the only good thing about the whole club in the past 2 years. Anyway on Lambert, it''s a real long term rebuild he has got on his hands at Villa. In the summer he straight away determined the troublemakers and out of sort players had to go. Hutton, Warnock, Collins, Heskey & Cuellar all leaving. And the players who have come in are all young and play with no fear whatsoever. Matty Lowton at 1m, Ashley Westwood at 1m, Holman on a free, Benteke for 7m all seem really good buys. We''ve taken a while to settle down. A lot of new players and of course a new coaching team. But since we played you guys in the league we look a lot better as a unit. Not giving goals away, playing football well- something we never did last year. Lacking goals at the moment but that''s down to quality, we need some quality in midfield. Benteke up top looks a steal and is keeping Bent out the team still. It''s not been fast progress but Villa fans can see some sort of plan in place. Where they want the club to go. How they will go about doing it. This is why Lambert will get the benefit of the doubt. Even if we went down this year, he''d keep his job, definitely. It''s gonna be a tough season with so many ups and downs for us but these young guys, if they can survive in the Prem this season and have a years experience behind them, they will be so much better for it and with some more good additions to the side, Villa will be back in a decent position again in the next few years. We''ve always been told were unrealistic but Villa fans truly understand where we are right now. Other clubs will point to Villa and say wow underachievers but from the 2010 league cup final only Brad Guzan, Gabby Agbonlahor and our stricken club captain Stan Petrov remain at the club. A huge change in under 3 years. So you will read this in the press about Villa fans getting twitchy over Lambert but I can guarantee you it''s far from the case. Villa fans 100% behind Lambert, it''s like a breath of fresh air after last seasons disaster. I don''t think you can get a feel for how bad it got last year really. Onto Tuesday, will be a good game. Feisty I assume. Both teams going for it. We haven''t scored many in the league but scored 10 in the League Cup already this year. Westwood is cup tied for us which is good news for you but yeah should be a good game. Had some good banter at Carrow Road in May, hope so again on Tuesday. Think there should be no hard feelings between anyone. Lambert moved on. Villa thankfully moved on and clearly Norwich have moved on with an excellent manager at the helm again. Just a note on how the land lies at Villa Park. Good luck for rest of the season ( After Tuesday and in April/May when we meet again of course).
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