Image alt text here

The Presser: Villa Park noise, VAR, staying positive, Elmo new deal, Wesley belief and Everton

Injury news: Hause, Kodjia, Chester Matchday guide: Aston Villa v Everton
The Presser: Villa Park noise, VAR, staying positive, Elmo new deal, Wesley belief and Everton

Dean Smith spoke with the media on the eve of the Everton game.

Check out his thoughts in full below.

On Villa Park under the lights…

It’s always a special atmosphere.

It was an unbelievable atmosphere last weekend. The noise the supporters generated was very good.

After a very iffy start which cost us two goals, they stayed with us. 

There was a massive cheer when Douglas Luiz scored his goal and you thought the fans might carry us through to get another one.

Even in the 95th minute, Bjorn Engels has headed one just wide. 

So we probably deserved more than we got. But unfortunately you don’t always get what you deserve.

On keeping positivity through a good result…

It’s very important.

We have played two games so far. At Tottenham away, we took the lead and it took until the final few minutes for them to take a point away from us.

We then played an established Premier League team in Bournemouth last weekend and gave them a two-goal lead but then fought our way back into the game really well and probably should have come out with at least a point.

On focus this week…

Our most likely scorer at the moment looks like John McGinn, who has made some really deep runs into the opposition half.

Saying that, Jack Grealish had a really good chance last weekend. Wesley has teed up Trezeguet for a good chance. Even Neil Taylor has had two chances.

So we’re creating chances and we just have to start taking them now.

I am sure they will come.

WesleyPreEvertonOn Wesley…

There’s certainly no frustration from me and the lads with Wesley.

He’s created a few chances over the last couple of games. 

He drew two centre-halves into him at Tottenham to allow John McGinn to get in for the first goal of the season for us. He set up Trezeguet and Neil Taylor against Bournemouth.

He brings other people into play and I feel he’s getting better and better.

I think a lot can be made out of nothing. He’s two games into a season and he’s one goal behind Mo Salah at the moment.

I’m not judging centre forwards this early in the season.

On bringing more summer signings into the team...

They have to earn the right.

We have had a really good pre-season. It was very competitive. 

We have signed a lot of new players who have integrated really well.

They are also learning about the speed of the game, how we train and also how we want to play.

Some of them have got in earlier than others. Some of them are waiting their turn – but working very hard in training to try and get into the team.

I am always of the belief that you earn the right to go and play. You have to prove you’re better than the others who have already got the shirts.

ElmoWebContractOn Elmo's new deal…

He’s deserved it through his performances. He’s been integral for us – certainly the 10 game winning run we had last season, which got us into the Play-Offs and ultimately into the Premier League.

I think if you go and captain a country like Egypt, you have to be a certain type of character and player. 

He’s established himself in the English game and in our dressing room.

He’s a very well respected and a good player to have in our squad.

On Everton…

It’ll be a very tough game.

They were a top 10 club last season. 

Their defensive organisation is good, they’re tough to breach and they are very well coached.

But they have also not scored a lot of goals – they’ve only got one this season.

It’s going to be tough, like they all are.

The bookies have made them favourites to win at Villa Park. I am sure our players will have something to say about that.

GrealishPreTottenhamAwayOn Jack Grealish’s England chances…

It’s down to Gareth Southgate if he deserves a call-up or not. 

He’s not in control if he’s going to be chosen by England. All he’s in control of is his performances.

If he keeps playing the way he did in the second half against Bournemouth, he will certainly start getting noticed.

He’s a terrific talent that we’ve thankfully got at this football club. 

He’s getting better and better.

I am sure once he hits top form, sooner rather than later he will be in that squad.

VARDecisionOn VAR…

We have not had too many if I’m honest.

There was the John McGinn incident at Tottenham which could have gone either way.

My only argument with that is that they gave a foul two seconds after for an exact same free-kick outside the box.

We also felt there was a VAR in the build-up to Tottenham’s first goal, the equaliser – a foul on Tyrone Mings by Harry Kane.

But all in all, the correct decisions have been made.

I don’t think the laws of the game are helping VAR because the handballs that have been chalked off have been ridiculous and should have been goals. 

West Ham Fixture GraphicsWeb Footer


Paul Brown
By @paulbrownavfc 22nd August 2019