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day by day 7th December: Albion 2 Villa 2 showed the best and the not so best of us and refereeing standards in the Championship. It took eleven minutes to settle down, then in the twelfth we went a goal up thanks to a bit of good luck for a change when a shot from Anwar El Ghazi took a deflection. They came back into it and equalised, which spurred us and we finished the first half then started the second looking like we could blow away these and any other opponents. El Ghazi hit a stunning 25 yard shot to put us twoone up and it could have been three, then four or five with Tammy Abraham missing a couple of season. Jack Grealish was doing what he does best and their defenders were doing to him what Albion defenders down the ages have done best to our players. Our attacking dried up, they the match drifted into stoppage time, until they decided that they may as well play rugby, and the officials agreed. Their supporters are allowed to run on the pitch as well, the lovable scamps. 10th December: I ll be ten quid a ticket and free for season tickets against Swansea in the cup. Well done to the Villa for that and also for refusing to let the kick-off time be shifted for overseas TV. Not well done at all to the FA for arranging a deal that means 22 out of 32 ties are played away from a Saturday 3pm start. 12th December: from Australia to get an injury checked out. shock. 13th December: Gareth Farelly says that Kevin McDonald was toxic, a bully and other such things. This is not good at all. MacDonald is then suspended by the Villa barrister to investigate the affair. I doubt this is the last on the subject. Gary Cahill can probably hear a bit more about that as well. 15th December: Villa 2 Stoke 2 could have been a straightforward win of the sort that we him half of our attacking ideas, particularly with Anwar El Ghazi having an off day. Nothing of any great interest happened in the first half and with the weather so foul there were times when a nil-nil result would have been nailed on. But of score at the start of the second half before starting to play again. Jonathan Kodjia comes on and wins a penalty that Tammy Abraham scores from. Plenty of time to win this one, then we give -one down. instead we carry on attacking and Kodjia gets on the end of a cross from Yannick Bolasie to really afford to lose but the way we came back twice gives us something to look forward to for over, but we still need to sharpen up a bit. 18th December: Kalinic, the keeper we would have signed three a few more weeks at least. 20th December: Three more Academy players say they were bullied by MacDonald and Tony McAndrew. been released by Bolton; h a strange, and unconfirmed, story that James Collins signed a £10,000 a week contract with us then ripped it up when he got injured a few 21st December: £6 million or thereabouts. In the least surprising Small Heath has won Goal of the Month for November. 23rd December: Villa 2 Leeds 3 could have been one of t go a goal up after five minutes when the first well-worked routine from a throw-in for about two decades saw Tammy Abraham put us a goal up, then on fifteen Conor Hourihane tapped in from twenty- ). We really had the chance to go on from there but Leeds got back in to the game and we were holding on a bit by half-time. We had a chance or two at the start of the second half and if one of them had gone in that would have been it, but what was coming next. Dean Smith could have done a bit better with the substitutions but as the

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