Our hopes of promotion...

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Our hopes of promotion...

Post by Sandie on Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:08 pm

I think with us pulling away from the doldrums we might now be able to dare to dream this season. I have been up front from day one that due to the mess left behind by Lerner and a succession of woeful managers that the best I feel we can hope for would be the play offs. As the RDM period went on I started to think that should be survival. Now with Bruce at the helm and having put together a great run the play offs are a realistic target.

As things stand, we have pulled away from the bottom to 11th. Seems like a poor position at first but it is only four points off of fifth and sixth and we have a better goal difference than either Leeds or Huddersfield who are the teams now in those places. Looking at that I'm thinking that the play offs could be a distinct possibility by the end of the season. There are twenty eight games remaining to make up that gap. The only fly in the ointment being the amount of competition for those places. The clubs around us are as much in that race right now as we are after all.

I don't see a strong chance of automatic promotion. Newcastle and Brighton are miles ahead, though I have to admit that neither of those sides are infallible with Newcastle losing at home to a poor Blackburn side at the weekend. Whilst not infallible, I don't think they're infallible enough to score 15 points fewer than us over the rest of the season.
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Re: Our hopes of promotion...

Post by villabromsgrove on Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:32 pm

Good thread.

I'm starting to believe that we'll finish top six. January worries me a bit with the loss of African Nations players, but if we're lucky with injuries we should be alright.

The problem with top six is that Villa may well struggle with the weight of expectation in the Play Offs. Automatic promotion would take an incredible run of results, and I don't think we're ready to fly just yet.
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Re: Our hopes of promotion...

Post by Sandie on Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:18 am

If we got to the playoffs it depends on how well enter them. I always think teams that go into playoffs having just missed out on automatic promotion tend to struggle, whereas the team that just squeaks in tends to do well. I don't see us getting close to automatic promotion so we won't face that hangover. Bruce has prevailed in the playoffs before which is cause for hope. Even as recently as last season.
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Re: Our hopes of promotion...

Post by villabromsgrove on Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:20 am

The thought of Play Off games makes me extremely nervous! Still, I would rather we got to them even if we do end up missing out. Mister positive as always!
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Re: Our hopes of promotion...

Post by Sandie on Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:04 pm

Had a look at results since Bruce came in (7 games ago) compared to the rest of the top half:

Aston Villa:
15 points

Newcastle
18 points

Brighton
17 points

Reading
16 points

Blues
11 points

Leeds
13 points

Huddersfield
4 points

Sheffield Wednesday
11 points

Norwich
4 points

Derby
16 points

Fulham
11 points

Preston
12 points

So we're far from the only team on a hot streak right now.
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Re: Our hopes of promotion...

Post by villabromsgrove on Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:32 pm

That's a good bit of research Sandie.

It's too easy to get caught up in just what Aston Villa are doing. As you've clearly pointed out there is going to be very tough competition for the top six places.
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Re: Our hopes of promotion...

Post by Sandie on Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:08 pm

There are some surprises in there. Steve McClaren is doing a good job with a Derby side that had an even poorer start than ourselves, Gary Monk has stopped the rot at Leeds having been under threat of dismissal early on in the season and Reading have been flying since we beat them.
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Re: Our hopes of promotion...

Post by villabromsgrove on Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:27 pm

Sandie wrote:There are some surprises in there. Steve McClaren is doing a good job with a Derby side that had an even poorer start than ourselves, Gary Monk has stopped the rot at Leeds having been under threat of dismissal early on in the season and Reading have been flying since we beat them.
McLaren's doing a great job at the moment, but his team's tend to tail off on the run in, and his play off record has been wobbly recently. Monk is punching above his weight at Leed's at the moment, so I expect form and injuries to halt their progress. Reading could be dark horses though, but again they don't have squad depth. You watch them thrive now that I've said that.
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Re: Our hopes of promotion...

Post by Sandie on Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:55 am

Huddersfield are another interesting one. I said beware the flavour of the month back when Wagner was linked with our job and the results since have borne that out. There would be far fewer people championing him for it now. They and Norwich have picked far fewer points than anyone else in the top half have. Doesn't automatically make Wagner a bad manager just like how being top after 10 games didn't make him an excellent one.
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Re: Our hopes of promotion...

Post by villabromsgrove on Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:22 pm

I was big on Wagner for the Villa job, because I desperately wanted a new change of direction. Results have borne out your opinion Sandie. I'm being proved wrong every week by Steve Bruce's performance.
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Re: Our hopes of promotion...

Post by Sandie on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:13 pm

I think everyone doubted Bruce as a long term appointment but recognised he could do a job in the Championship and coming into the Premiership. My feeling was that we needed someone like that to steady the ship and that any long term choice needed to be more substantive before they could walk into the Villa job.
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Re: Our hopes of promotion...

Post by villabromsgrove on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:44 pm

I'm now hoping that if Steve Bruce gets us promoted, he stays and keeps building in tandem with Dt T and Steve Round in the Premier League.
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Re: Our hopes of promotion...

Post by Jim Villan on Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:09 pm

I don't look at sandys table of points for other teams and look at the fact that other teams are equalling us or better in a negative sense, the fact that we've amassed the 5th largest amount of points in the championship since Bruce took charge bodes very well. Its amazing really considering he took charge of a squad completely devoid of confidence, sructure and cohesiveness, add to that the fact that we had a completely new team that even now are still settling, i'm amazed at how Bruce has grabbed hold of the team and got them picking up points immediately. Teams like Brighton have reached their peak imo this season already and will probably hit a few rocky patches, our best is still to come. I believe that over the next 10 games we will go on a formidable run and hit our peak. Players are gaining confidence in every match and patterns, player link ups are being to emerge. Kodja and Adomah are linking brilliantly, Grealish and Amavi are adding balance and attacking threat down the left, quality strikers are coming off the bench and scoring/contributing for us, the return of a fit Gabby could help us in second half of matches also over the coming month.  I think we will pick up 24 points over the next 10 games (7 wins 3 draws) which will see us sitting in 4th or 5th place by Christmas ( we will have to remember to check this and no doubt I will probably be way off and look silly Very Happy ). African nations could compromise our automatic promotion hopes this year, as we cant afford to lose momentum during that period. However it will be the loss of Kodjia that will be the biggest loss, lets hope Adomah doesn't get called up for Ghana. I still don't think Ayew is an effective player and would prefer to see a fit and motivated Agbonlahor in the side, I think potentially he would be more effective in this current Villa team (this is based on gabby losing a further stone and being at least 80% the player who played under MON) Overall I'm feeling super enthused about the Villa again and optimistic of us returning to the premier league very soon even if its not this year it will be next!!!
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Re: Our hopes of promotion...

Post by villabromsgrove on Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:19 pm

"Our best is still to come". That's the exciting bit that I've taken from your post Jim. In comparison to our competitors, you may well have hit the nail on the head.
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Re: Our hopes of promotion...

Post by Sandie on Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:23 am

I agree with that. We have achieved this run of form without being entirely convincing in most games. It's not luck but testament to the spirit and confidence now in the squad and the presence of a couple of players who can conjure something out of nothing. There are also players who haven't been a strong factor yet like McCormack and Gestede who have the ability to make a big impact as the season goes on.
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