West Midlands Football Blog
2nd September 2016
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Aston Villa

It was another disappointing week for the Villans as they threw away a 1-0 lead for the third time this season, however it is a huge improvement on last season as they probably wouldn’t have managed to get ahead in the first place. The game started so well for the Villa, as local boy Jack Grealish opened the scoring with just five minutes played, but after an hour played it all fell apart when Tammy Abraham pounced, grabbing the hosts an equaliser. Minutes later Bristol were in the lead after Abraham set up Joe Bryan, and 20 minutes later Lee Tomlin’s free-kick sealed the 3-1 defeat for Roberto Di Matteo’s men.

If there was any time for such a defeat to take place it will be last weekend, with the International break allowing the Villa two weeks to gel the team and sort out the issues that see them sitting in 16th place.

Deadline Day saw Villa bring in only one more player since the signing of Jonathan Kodija, coincidently from Bristol. Albert Adomah was brought in from Premier League Middlesbrough, whilst Adama Traore went the other way. Moves for Micah Richards and Gabby Agbonlahor didn’t materialise.

Birmingham City

Despite only having 34% of possession, the Blues came out on top against Norwich City with a resounding 3-0 win. David Davis opened the scoring after heading in Jacques Maghoma’s cross. Clayton Donaldson converted a second-half penalty before intercepting a poor back pass for the third.

Gary Rowett’s start to the seasons has been more than satisfactory, leaving the Blues a point off the play-off positions ahead of speculation of a takeover.

On Deadline Day the Blues secured two new signings in the form of loans from the Premier League, signing Burnley’s Lukas Jutkiewicz and Bournemouth left-back Rhoys Wiggins.

West Bromwich Albion

A goalless draw against Middlesbrough leaves the Baggies in 10th place, after taking four points from three games. However the home draw to Boro may have prompted the Hawthorns outfit to dig deep and bring in some reinforcements ahead of the transfer window closing.

Nacer Chadli was brought in from Tottenham Hotspur for a reported fee of £11.5m, Allan Nyom joined from Watford, and Cruyff Turn master Hal Robson-Kanu was snapped up from the free agent market. Most importantly Saido Berahino will continue to play in navy and white stripes for the foreseeable future.

With Baggies attacking options now boosted, fans will hope to see Tony Pullis employ the attacking football that was on display at Selhust Park during his reign at Crystal Palace.

Paget Rangers

Paget Rangers came back from the Black Country with all three points after thrashing Bloxwich Town 5-1.

 

The Bears started strong and dominated the game despite some questionable challenges from the opposition. Dean Morris, Daniel Carter and Billy Fagg all had chances but it was captain Craig Evans that got the first goal for the Wee Gers, firing the ball into the bottom corner after 29 minutes played. Matthew Coates put Paget 2-0 up before half-time and with less than 10 minutes of the second half played, Ross Dempster smashed the ball into the back of the net giving the visitors a healthy three goal lead.

Town pulled one back after 72 minutes converting a questionable penalty, but it only took Paget five minutes to put the ball in the back of Bloxwich's net as Carter poked the ball into the bottom corner. Rounding off the scoring was substitute Mark Bellingham who netted his 699th career goal, and almost grabbed his 700th with an acrobatic effort in the dying embers of the game.

This weekend, as it’s the first International break of the season, it’s Non-League Day, where fans of Premier League and Championship clubs are encouraged to seek out their local non-league team and give them some support. Paget will travel to Feckenham as they hope to extend their winning streak to four matches.

Thebestof Birmingham’s prediction: Feckenham 0-4 Paget Rangers

Walsall

It was a shocking weekend for Walsall, after going in 3-0 ahead at half-time they ended up drawing to Bury at the Bank’s Stadium. Kieron Morris opened for the hosts and Erhun Oztumer got the second after 14 minutes, before Simeon Jackson gave Walsall a healthy lead with half an hour played. Leon Barnett, James Vaughan and Danny Mayor all scored in the second half to earn Bury a point.

The Saddlers redeemed themselves on Tuesday night with an EFL Trophy win over Grimsby as Amadou Bakayoko netted a hat-trick, with Kieron Morris and Maz Kouhyar also hitting the net to give Walsall at 5-2 win.

The Black Country outfit face a trip to Northampton Town on Saturday in what promises to be a close fixture, but confidence from Tuesday could see them victorious.

Thebestof Birmingham’s Prediciton: Northampton 1-2 Walsall

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves got bought back down to earth last week with a 1-0 defeat to high flying Huddersfield, and to rub salt into the wounds it was former Wolves forward Rajiv Van La Parra who netted the terriers only goal. Going into the international break, Walter Zenga will be very happy with how his team have fared so far with only 1 defeat in 5.

Transfer deadline day was nicknamed “Jez Moxey’s day off” whilst Wolves were under previous ownership, but with FOSUN now at the helm, transfer deadline day was an entertaining affair for Wolves as they broke their club record transfer fee paid for a player with Portuguese international Ivan Cavaleiro joining from Monaco for a reported £7.5m. Cavaleiro was joined through the Molinuex door on Wednesday by Wolves fan favourite Richard Stearman. Cavaleiro & Stearman became the 11th & 12th players to sign for Wolves since FOSUN took over on July 21st.

Wolves now have a vast amount of cover through-out and will be looking to push on after the International break.

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