Aston Villa (H) 24th July, 7.45pm

The grandest o’ them all"


A brief preview for the moment, to be expanded this evening. For our first home pre-season friendly we welcome the return of Dean Smith and his Vile team. There’s no knowing, of course, how strong a side he will play - and if our other games so far are anything to go by, Darrell Clarke will probably field two entirely different set-ups either side of half-time.

Villa have played a couple of pre-season games:-

18th July Minnesota United (A) Won 0-3
21st July Shrewsbury Town (A) Won 0-1

Dean Smith has been busy in the transfer market during the close season, with nine players signed so far and rumours of more to come. Anwar el Ghazi and Jota are the wingers to watch, and Trezeguet’s arrival is reportedly impending.

Darrell Clarke is still saying that he is looking to recruit three or four more players, so it’s still a case of “watch this space”.

If Villa do put out something approaching their first-choice XI this will obviously be our strongest test in the run-up to the new season. A prediction of a Saddlers’ 2-0 win is very tempting, but realistically somewhat impractical…


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Haven’t beaten the vile in a friendly for a long time. Don’t see a win, but as long as it’s a good workout and the first XI get at least an hour I’d be happy. Certainly be a good test for all involved. Will be my first game of the season and I’m looking forward to seeing a few of the new signings in action.

Never heard of this team? Have they ever done anything of note?


Dean Smith’s first return to Bescot since leaving, interesting to see what sort of reception he’ll get from Tile Choice lower.

Still a whiff of “you Ginger judas b**tard” in the air at times…

Reality is the infastructure he build over many years and left was top class (excellent core of 4-5 league 1 players and clear and attractive style of play) that has sadly been squandered by poor managerial choices and mediocre board decisions.

The good news is DC could easily be another Smith with his record and generally how he’s talked so far but he simply must be backed. Something I don’t see happening with the meagre funds that have been available since summer 2017.

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People will possibly boo - nature of football. May also be due to the timing of his departure and how he wanted to jump ship to Rotherham not long before.

For me, he deserved the move as he more than proved himself and I wouldn’t boo him. My only regret is, what could have been that season if he’d (and George Evans) stayed.


Don’t really understand why anyone would still bare a grudge. From his and okelly’s point of view it couldn’t have gone more swimmingly. Absolute perfection.

From our perspective it couldn’t have gone much worse. But I don’t think we can blame Smith for that. We blew it. Big time.


Think it boils down to he simply should’ve seen that season out Also looking at few people’s twitters and seems they’re unhappy with him nearly going to Rotherham a few months earlier (although from my memory after talking DS wasn’t interested which was wise move as they went down that year).

What’s forgotten from that period is Hasselbaink quit Burton to also move to the championship. They got Nigel Clough, Walsall got O’Driscoll and well one appointment was simply better than the other despite on paper both being of similar standard.


Will be watching this on YouTube, I’ve had my fix of friendlies now and just want the proper stuff. Hopefully see Clarke’s first 11 get an hour.


I’ll probably go to Tranmere on Saturday because it is so close and having watched the villa game on YouTube it’ll give me a feel as I haven’t seen any games so far.

Need to start learning the players names too🙀


I don’t blame Smiffy for wanting out at Walsall, I wouldn’t want to work for that ■■■■ bonzo

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I may have this completely wrong chunks, but have an ever so slight feeling that our saviour down at the Banks"s isn’t someone you hold in high esteem :grin:

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Fans who abuse Dean Smith should probably get over it now, he broke my heart just like the rest of us but doing them over in the cup was the medicine for that. Its not his fault O Driscoll is the worst human on the planet either…In hindsight his decision is vindicated, as he is now one of the most rated young mangers in the country.

Onto the friendly, i expect us to get tanked.


Is there a cash turnstile this evening

Looking forward to this one. Going with a couple of Villa fans and a dingle. Me and the dingle are in the home end of course. A win would make for some cracking ammunition :joy:

I have done Alfreton, Leamington, Nuneaton and Notts County - that’s enough ‘live’ pre-season for me.

Villa on Youtube tonight whilst defleeing the dog followed by a family day on Saturday ahead of the big kick off the week after.

It feels like it has dragged more this year than any other!

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Where is it on YouTube?

From the club’s twitter account:

Walsall FC Official





The #Saddlers are back at home this evening!


There will be a cash turnstile available for Walsall fans ONLY in the HomeServe Stand


Adults - £12, O60s/U18s - £6. Family tickets are only available from the ticket office

Gonna get tanked but still nice day for it

Villa official channel. Every friendly they have had has been live on there five minutes before kick off.

You would be correct in your assumption young man :+1::wink: