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The Villa Week #1: Big data doesn’t have all the answers

Adama, Data, Wembley.

UK Authorities Seek Warrant To Search Premises Of Elections Consultancy Firm Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Your week in Aston Villa is semi-serious look at all things Villa. I’m bored and it’s international week, so deal with it.


Aston Villa are the great equalisers. They bring balance to the league by caning themselves in winnable games.

Bolton deserved the win, but maybe if we sacrificed Birkir Bjarnason’s ankle...

Behind closed-doors

Andre Green and Jonathan Kodjia are returning to fitness, and played alongside each other for 45 minutes in a ‘behind closed-doors’ friendly.

However, if nobody outside of the club was able to witness this, did it happen at all? Still, it’s good to see these boys back in action, they could be crucial for the last run of fixtures. One would worry about rushing Kodjia back from an injury, it didn’t work out so well the last time that it happened!

One man raring to go will be newly-christened left-back Alan Hutton. May he pray to Roberto Carlos for good-times on the flank, and a belter of a free-kick. One can hope.

Big Data

Cambridge Analytica are getting themselves nailed to the wall for big massively evil, but what I want to know is this - where they at all responsible for providing Aston Villa’s recruitment team in the summer of 2015? It’d explain a lot.

No, seriously. I want a deep-dive to surface on Aston Villa’s Football Manager 2015-esque summer, where all the signings seemed hand-delivered by Sports Interactive themselves. It was all wrong, but hey - the numbers delivered some decent players in Idrissa Gana and Jordan Veretout, even if the data didn’t have all the answers for a man like Tim Sherwood.

Still, it seemed to sort out Trump...

Nursing a semi

The FA are trying to defend the use of Wembley Stadium for the FA Cup Semi-Finals by stating that ‘every team deserves to have their day out at Wembley’.

Uh. No.

Don’t devalue your competition this way. Put the semi-finals at a stadium like Villa Park or another neutral venue. Either that, or tell the truth - you just want to get a bit more money out of it. Right?


The fact that Robert Snodgrass hasn’t been selected for the Scottish National Team is a travesty so bad that I think Scotland should be denied a second referendum for independence. They can’t make good decisions when given the chance.

Adama Woes

A fair few Villa fans are scared about the prospect of Adama Traore facing the team in the play-offs come the end of the season. Many are even rueing the sale of the winger to Middlesbrough in 2016.

The man has set the league alight of late, I get that - but he’s been dealt with by Villa in the last two games he has played against us, and what’s more - he’s only just learned how to play football.

Come what may, in May.

Whelan to the rescue

Glenn hasn’t been able to play the hero on the pitch for Aston Villa this season, but he’s been super off of it.

He’s made massive charitable donations to a variety of fundraisers, and his latest escapade was to provide evidence to nail a dangerous driver. CCTV outside of Glenn’s house captured the incident and helped resolve a case.

Now, let’s resolve your role on the pitch.