The standard and making it, West Ham and Arsenal, formation and players, PES over FIFA

I had a post ready after the West Ham match, but then like all things, work got in the way and I wake up this morning to find out it's Friday, I've been on the beers for three days and I need a drip or some industrial strength pain killers.

But you can't change what is done and I have to make it look like everything is good on the outside for the next thirty minutes. Then I'll book a meeting room for the day, curl up in the corner and try to get some sleep.

But not before finishing this post, that I started an hour ago and looking at the match this weekend. And before curling up, I have to also make a mental decision to ditch FIFA this year and opt for PES. FIFA is the same every year and this year I want a change. Or I should say my 15 year old wants a change. But first a look to last Monday.

West Ham

Look, things didn't end up the way they were supposed to. When you're playing against 10 men for 20 minutes, you should be able to take advantage. But I'm not really sure we know how to. I'm also not convinced of our starting eleven and starting Marvelous surprised me.

Also and this is just me, but when the game is tight and 0-0, it's the team that makes the first change that usually wants it more. West Ham brought on Fornalsat and we brought on Elmo for Jota a few minutes later. West Ham were looking for it, I'm not sure we really were. And for the record, out of those two, I'd have Elmo every day. Nothing against Jota, but I think I could probably beat him over 20 meters and he's not a Premier League player.

And this isn't me having a pop at Jota, it's nothing personal, it's just that not everyone can cope at this level. I think there are one or two more players at our Club that are also going to struggle at this level and that is why we're not winning. Effort and determination is as good at Aston Villa as it is at any Club, but when you're playing with two or three players on the pitch that are never going to be able to pull it off in this League, you're making it much harder for yourself.

I mean, if Douglas Luiz is fit, he starts. John McGinn, Jack Grealish and Wesley also start. The manager then has to decide that he's not playing with two "wingers" and it's either Hourihane or Marvelous and El Ghazi or Trézéguet. Personally, I'm not convinced with Trézéguet yet and I think El Ghazi has promise but I'd have Green over both, but that's just me. As for Marvelous and Hourihane, I'm not sure, but it's between those two, it doesn't include anyone else.

The back four is the back four and I'm not getting into that. It's written in the stars that some don't like Taylor and some do. Chester is done for us and Mings can do no wrong. It's what happens higher up where we have issues and that is why we need to drop one of those wingers, play our best players and start to move the ball a lot faster. Until we do that, we're not going to progress with those two wingers.

We should have beaten West Ham, but we didn't deserve to. That is the sobering part about Monday night.


We are 7/1 to beat Arsenal on Sunday and I for one see that as an opportunity. It's not as if we're getting spanked every week, we're just not optimised yet. And if I can see that, I'm sure the manager can too. He'll change things up this weekend or soon and things will start to come good.

And if we were to beat Arsenal on Sunday, we'd be one point behind them. I don't think that justifies a price of 7/1. I'm getting on it. We're also not expected to win, much like we weren't expected to beat Everton. I think that will be good for us.

Press conference