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  1. I would give him 5 years Dean Smith for me, should be our manager for the next 5 years whether we get promoted or not in that time. "What!?", "How pre mature!" You say. Hear me out. Under Paul Lambert's tenure was when I realised that FFP means we will never realistically get back to the "Glory days". And some of you seriously, seriously need to realise that. So as a football fan of a non top 4 prem side, what is the point if we are just going to be frustrated that we are not a top 4 side and not competing for the league and winning trophies? I'm not gonna stop watching. And I don't want to be a whiney weasel every week. So what do I as a fan do? Change expectations. My expectations had changed to wanting us to have a go in every trophy and to have a go every game with GOOD ATTACKING football. Yep, a couple more years of Lambert and some Bruce was upsetting. League position means relatively nothing to me now unless it involves relegation or champions league football (Champs league football enables us to sign higher quality players to push on and the chance to play against your Barca's and your Bayern's, so is an obvious exception when talking about league finishes). Or in our case now, promotion. Celebrating finishing 6th (in prem), no trophy, all the while watching dull football. Meh. That is not me slagging Martin O'Neill off btw, it's just an example of how sh*t it is as a footy fan of a non top 4 side. Although we of course take it over where we now, we are actually celebrating nothing. 7th or 17th. No *real* difference is there when you look back or open the history books. "So if Deano is not successful, there are still other managers who play attacking football!" Very true. But try thinking long term. Alex Ferguson was appointed United manager in 1986. His first trophy was the FA cup in 1990. His first league title was 1992. Football has changed since then of course. It is a lot less patient. And winning a league title or trophy is a much tougher task these days, for those outside of the top 4 in the Prem at least (There is always an anonamly of course. And Leicester is that. It probably wont happen again for another 50+ years). And of course our expectations are much lower than Man Uniteds... I am not saying we should expect to win the Prem in 6 years. So whilst at least Deano may fail the first 2, 3, even 4 seasons, his brand of football is worth being patient for, to see what he can build. It is a lot harder these days to be truly successful in football i.e. break top 4 and win trophies. And it took Fergie a good few years, when it was an easier task to build what he did back then (to be clear, I am not saying it was easy, but I cannot see another side being built in the prem to be as dominant as his for years, nowadays! And again it took him years to get it right) So I say lets give Deano a chance to PROPERLY build a side and see where we can go from there. I know for some promotion is still an absolute must this season and will consider DS a failure if we dont go up. Let me just say to those, top 2 for me is still realistic and should be the aim but it should not be the be all end all. Bruce's results this season (against much more favourable opposition) has hurt us big time, not to mention the summer left us very light at the back (One LB & two CB's!!). And whilst I like both Whelan and Jedinak, neither DM suits our new set up really. Deano has done a great job so far despite us being light at the back, bad luck with injuries, two international breaks, and just spots of bad luck in games. Qpr we should have beat and Forest scored 5 goals from 5 shots on target. It really should be 6 wins in 6 for us and 7 wins in his 8 games, the only loss being to league leaders Norwich. Also we have had 4 clean sheets to go with our attacking football! Where as previously we had 1 clean sheet, I think, under Steve. Another thing to think of at the end of this season, look who we lose if we don't go up... Tammy, Axel, El Ghazi, Bolasie, and probably Jack as he is a good young player who is clearly ambitous. And if all those go and someone in the Prem comes knocking, we could see someone like McGinn go too plus others have contracts up I believe. So it isn't as simple in season 2 for Deano either. It really is like hitting the reset button losing all those players. It's as if it is season 1 for him all over again, but at least he will have a pre season next year. Another problem is FFP and the fact our parachute payments will have gone. The newly relegated 3 will have that money. And those the season before etc. So the new recruits and replacements may not be as proven as a Tammy or a Bolasie. They are likely going to be young unproven players, like what he was doing at Brentford. Patience really, really, really is needed from us fans and the board. Thinking a bit more positively, if we do we go up this year or next, but immediately come back down, who better to get us back up? And if we do get promoted, at least we know we will have a go instead of sitting back for 90 minutes! And to those still optimistic about success beyond what I have set my expectations to, unlike a number of other clubs building, we have that fanbase, the facilities, big name and history to go with it, so we are more likely to establish ourselves back up there one day, if Deano gets it right... but just know it will take time and patience!! is needed. Also if he does become successful, it always helps knowing he is a local man, who is a fan so it is a lot less likely he will be taken away by a bigger club. So my TLDR is think more long term than short. If we go up, our side will have a proper go and not defend for 90 minutes every week, trying to steal a goal. And at the end of the day, success or none, at least we should have been entertained.
  2. Aston Villa v Swansea City Premier League Villa Park Saturday, December 28th - KO @ 15.00 Match Chat & Predictions
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