Villa Blog

Aston Villa second best but all is not lost

All is not lost, but Aston Villa was second best to Chelsea yesterday, however; we have still closed the gap over our relegation rivals. The result against Chelsea is not the most important thing. Our performances relative to the relegation teams around us is the most important thing. Yes, the result yesterday was disappointing, and particularly so having taken the lead but all is not lost (yet).

Many will argue that yesterday was a must-win game, I understand why people say this, but I tend not to agree with it. Why must we win? Is the objective not to finish 17th and avoid relegation? Looking at our results objectively, since the restart it is clear that we have improved our position. Yes, we need to continue to do this, and yes, a win yesterday would have made survival a whole of more comfortable. But, we need to remember that we are participating in an 8 game race and not a 1 game sprint.

Aston Villa offered a lifeline

Luckily though, Aston Villa has been thrown a lifeline in our bid to avoid relegation. As we all know, to survive in the Premier League, we only need to finish ahead of 3 other teams. If Premier League survival was based solely on our individual performances, then I would concede to life in the Championship next season.

However, in a race to the bottom, Norwich, Bournemouth and West Ham are playing their part and are leading the way. They and doing us a favour by trying their best to be relegated. All three were awful on Saturday, each looking like relegation fodder, and this is why I believe all is not lost for Aston Villa. Villa can avoid relegation if we continue in this vein of just doing better than these teams. Ideally, we would have loftier objectives, but if we are realistic about our situation, then we need to be realistic about how to avoid relegation too.

Relegation: Points gained since restart

A disappointing performance

Unfortunately, Aston Villa was without question the second-best team yesterday and yet again losing a game we took the lead in. This was horrible, and we need to learn from it. Our football, at least our attacking football, was not good enough. Villa was second best, and Chelsea was clearly the better team, and the final result looked inevitable.

Should we sack Dean Smith?

If I asked every Villa fan if we should sack Dean Smith, I expect everyone will have an answer. And ‘Sack Dean Smith Now’ may be a popular response from our fans. Is it really the right time to be changing our manager now? If we sack Smith now what are our options?. By appointing a manager like Mauricio Pochettino it would be progressive, but right now that appears to be unrealistic. Furthermore, maintaining continuity teamwork is vital as we still have 8 games to play this season. Our position has improved relative to our 3 relegation rivals, and we need to build on this.

Second best, but Smith getting something right

Having watched both the Sheffield United and Chelsea games, it does look like we are showing improvement compared to before lockdown. I feel our defence is improving, and so too is our discipline and our ability to keep our shape. A result of this improvement is that we no longer looked like rabbits caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. It is for this reason, I believe all is not lost, and therefore Aston Villa can survive. Douglas Luiz is a prime example, back helping Konsa in the Sheffield game and then again defending against Chelsea too. Plus the added bonus of a beautifully weighted pass for Hause’s goal.

The attacking side of our game could be much better, and against Sheffield and Chelsea, we did not do enough. Davis had a job to hold the ball up, we failed to let him do his job as we simply didn’t get the ball to him enough. If Davis had more time with the ball, he would be gifting more time and a little more space to our midfield. If we did this, then it would also take a bit of the pressure off our defenders by giving them a bit more time. To avoid relegation this season, we need to improve these aspects of the game.

Where do we go from here?

The games are coming thick and fast, next up is a trip to Steve Bruce’s Newcastle on Wednesday night. Without doubt, completing the double over Newcastle and taking the 3 points will move Villa out of the relegation zone. This will also be a game Smith has targetted. I understand and appreciate that many fans will be dejected. Many fans will want to throw in the towel. And no doubt many fans will call for a kneejerk reaction in the form of sacking Smith. Relegation for Aston Villa can be avoided, but we must focus on the objective of finishing ahead of three others and not be trying to play like Barcelona (or even Palace for that matter).

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Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Begley
Guest
Begley
5 months ago

Moyes is not a happy camper. No doubt a hefty fine for saying the VAR ref was not very good.

Muz1
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Muz1
5 months ago

I thought West Ham may have got something out of tonight’s game, so that’s a good result for us , but can we capitalise tomorrow. It’s no good being thrown lifelines if you keep throwing them back.

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  Muz1

Even if we don’t exploit the life we still need to get out of the bottom 3 so we need to get some points, preferably 3. Once we are out of the bottom 3 it will be okayish if we don’t exploit opportunities.

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  Muz1

They way Bournemouth played on Saturday I can’t see them getting any points from anyone. Hopefully Eddie Howe won’t be able to do it but I think he is a reasonably good manager

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

What price was he then?

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

So u have lots of incentive for Bournemouth to lose. Does your bet carry on after the season is over as in is it whenever the next PL manager is sacked? Smith and Moyes may be competition for you

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

That’s a bummer that u lose if nobody is sacked before the end of the season, but I suppose they could sack Howe after they are relegated hence he would not be a PL manager. TBH, I can’t see any PL manager sacked before then end of the season.

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

I agree managers would have been sacked without Covid but I don’t think we will see sacking before then end of the season as clubs will struggle to replace them. Unless of course Moyes or Howe are sacked early as they are relegated with a few games still to play 🙂

Muz1
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Muz1
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

Don’t want Moyes sacked, he’s doing a fine job.

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  Muz1

Do u remember there were calls for him as our manager LOL

Muz1
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Muz1
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

Yes I do, thankfully we dodged that one.

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

Football surprises me all the time 🙂

Muz1
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Muz1
5 months ago
Reply to  Muz1

Agree , I can’t see Bournemouth getting anything tomorrow.
The burning question is can we ? 3 points are needed as I can’t see many points from our following 3 games.

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  Muz1

Wolves, Liverpool and Man Utd. At least 7 points ???

Muz1
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Muz1
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

If only.

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago

All over, another loss for Hammers. Well done David Moyes, keep up the good work

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago

9 goals in his last 10 games against Hammers for Harry Kane.

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago

Yes, 2-0 Harry Kane. Keep the pressure on and bag another couple please Spurs

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago

Yes, 1-0 and this one will count. A nice own goal to give The Hammers a confidence boost LOL

Vancouvervillan
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Vancouvervillan
5 months ago

That was as good as level for me, VAR was right toenail offside but FM this is not good for football.
Or Villa ?

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago

Next season I believe the rules are changing and the player will be given an extra 4 inches of offside as per the VAR red lines. This will / should remove the stupid toenail decisions

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago

Yes, Spurs 1-0 up.

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

That’s going to be offside

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

Fcuk, Son’s toenail was offside, back to 0-0

Big fat ron
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Big fat ron
5 months ago

Begley
Logging in problem seems sorted, wonder could anyone kidnap smith and terry tomorrow

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  Big fat ron

All sorted. Pochettino to be announced tomorrow morning. The kidnappers have Smith and JT locked up and they are just using some less than gentle persuasion techniques to convince MoPo that signing as Villa manager is actually the better of the alternatives on offer. Apparently, he is putting up a good argument as to why it isn’t ?

Vancouvervillan
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Vancouvervillan
5 months ago

Love the “can’t smile without you” banner at spurs. Clever, humorous PR.

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago

?

Vancouvervillan
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Vancouvervillan
5 months ago

Leicester not very impressive, tg penalty was saved. I don’t belive Brighton are in the mix after the Arsenal win anyway but good response from them. Wish I was saying the same thing about us !
Come on you spurs !
This is the one, we need spam stuffed and disheartened today.

Agree with Henley below dont really see Watford in the mix either, some v good players. Spurs win and a win for us tomorrow should put a rosier shine on things.

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago

If Hammers don’t get anything from tonight they are going to be under huge pressure. I think the relegation places will be decided on who doesn’t do as shyte as the others as opposed to who does well.

Vancouvervillan
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Vancouvervillan
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

Yep, we need to see some real shyte from hammers tonight and Maureens defensive spurs score some goals, lots of em

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago

Now come on Spurs. This is the important game. 4-0 are better please

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago

A very useful point for Brighton this evening. Only one win in 7 in the league for Leicester. I wonder who that 4-0 victory was against

Muz1
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Muz1
5 months ago

Brighton making Leicester look distinctly average.

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago

Nice one Kasper, pen saved against Brighton

HenleyVillain
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HenleyVillain
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

I can’t see Brighton going down. Our fight is with the others.

Muz1
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Muz1
5 months ago
Reply to  HenleyVillain

Brighton are up for the battle, they wont go down

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  HenleyVillain

I agree but it is good to keep them in the mix. A couple of wins v a couple of losses and they are very much in the dogfight. But I do see the relegation candidates between Norwich, Villa, Hammers, Bournemouth and Watford.

HenleyVillain
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HenleyVillain
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

Yep. And quite possibly not Watford either for me.

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  HenleyVillain

Yep, Norwich, Bournemouth and one other for me. Massive cup final in the last game of the season when Villa visit East London

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago

The same reason you look after your family members when they are doing stupid things repeatedly. Love counters all misdemeanours.

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago

What site is the video on?

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

Phil Neville on Match of The Day 2 asked about speculation that a new manager will be appointed if / when Newcastle get new owners:

“I think it has been annoying and disrespectful to the job Steve Bruce has done [at Newcastle United].

“Rafa Benitez was the messiah up there…but I think Steve Bruce has done equally, if not better, than Rafa Benitez.

“A consortium coming in [to Newcastle] with big money?

“Stick with Steve Bruce.

“He is a fantastic manager who deserves a shot.

“He is a home town boy and he knows the club, he has got an affinity with it.

“It annoys me when they say bring these big name managers in – Benitez, Pochettino…

“No, stick with Steve Bruce.

“They play better football now than they did under Rafa Benitez.

“The style of football is better, it is more attacking

“He is bringing in better players.

“Look, I know him and I love him…but he is a fantastic manager.”

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago

So scores tonight, will they go in our favour. 2 home wins required

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

The bookies fancy Villa benefitting. The double is only 1.6/1

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

I agree with them and that is why I am adopting this view of performing relative to the other teams and that is why I publish the table that is above. The others are so poor our PL status maybe ‘easier’ to retain that we expected as we may not have perform as well as we may have previously believed

Muz1
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Muz1
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

I have a horrible feeling West Ham will get a result tonight, they seem to do well against Spurs

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago

Danny Murphy would say anything that is anti Villa. But to say Bruce is better than Rafa is really head banger stuff

Begley
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Begley
5 months ago
Reply to  Begley

LOL, very true though. I don’t know anyone that would agree to that, I don’t think Steve Bruce would even agree to it ???

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