Ok. First let me address the giant low-socked elephant in the room. There will be no answers on Jack’s decision until Monday at the earliest when Jack is (reportedly) due back in camp. Try to remain calm and for goodness sakes stop treating other people on social media with such vitriol (unless you aren’t then keep being your respectful self). Most of us have been through similar things in the past waiting on the decision of Villa’s best player. Yes this is different because of who Jack is. Waiting is hard, treating people online decently is not. So do that while we all wait on word from the player and the club. Or just stay of Twitter if you can’t.
Aston Villa travelled to Bristol for the second friendly against a Championship side. Dean Smith picked this lineup who sported the new white away kit.
Two former Villans started for Bristol City in Nathan Baker and Andi Weimann. I have fond memories of both players so good to see them having success.
For those wondering why a single lineup and where the heck is the rest of the team? Looks like it was a split squad which makes sense after the midweek matchup was cancelled due to Covid issues.
For those wondering, I've been told Louie Barry scored the winner vs Crewe in the behind-closed-doors 1-0 win at Bodymoor Heath; Wesley was involved but Emi Buendia missed out with a suspected slight knock https://t.co/o7BUYNEWcC #avfc— Ashley Preece (@PreeceObserver) July 31, 2021
Villa started the match on the front foot being comfortable in possession. The only real worry was Konsa being a little slow to get up. After all, the main goals of a friendly are fitness and no injuries. Konsa shook off any worries and continued on.
Ollie Watkins turned provider for the opening goal within the ten minutes. He hit a beautiful left foot low cross and the young right winger Philogene-Bidace taped it home with the his right foot for another goal of his impressive preseason.
The midfield partnership of McGinn and Nakamba looked comfortable (as Douglas Luiz returned to the starting lineup with Brazil in the Olympics in their quarterfinal victory over Egypt). Glad to see the improvement from the Stoke match.
Right before the half Villa were gifted a second goal. John McGinn sent in a good free kick that should have been collected by the keeper. But he spilled it right to Konsa, who had made a good run, and easily passed it into the net. Without the quality ball and run there would have been no goal... but it was an error by the keeper and a gift.
The same team came out for the second half after, presumably orange slices and Capri Suns.
Bristol started the half much stronger with a penalty shout and a shot on target within the first two minutes. The shout was waved away and Steer was in the right position to block the shot. Never good to see the team start a half so sloppy.
El Ghazi and Watkins made it 0-3 against the run of play. El Ghazi did very well down the left to take the ball down and sprint ahead. The cross was perfect and Watkins made no mistake with his diving header.
Bristol continued to push forcing a few long distance saves from Steer. John McGinn made a brave block in the wall of a free kick — and thankfully got up without any issues.
With 10 minutes left, 18-year olds Hayden Lindley and Brad Young came on for John McGinn and Ollie Watkins.
Konsa spend a few of the final minutes on the deck against getting treatment. Really hope that isn’t anything significant because the backline is thin at the moment. He did finish the match but something to watch.
All-in-all a professional performance from Villa against he Championship side. No serious injuries (Konsa will need to be watched) and a full 90’ for almost the whole starting lineup. A goal from Watkins can only help. A clean sheet is always welcome. I’ll take it.
Now get off Twitter, treat people with respect, and watch this space for updates involving our beloved captain.