Many die-hard Villa fans vented their frustrations following our defeat to Wolves, and who can blame them, fans were seething. They must be sensing a touch of deja vu because performances are similar to those seen at the end of Steve Bruce’s tenure. Unfortunately for Dean Smith, there are no boardroom matters distracting fans attentions away from what’s happening on the pitch, so he’s unlikely to get any respite.
At the start of the season, even some die-hard villa fans criticised Smith’s gung ho approach. In my opinion, regardless of those early results, I thought we looked a more balanced team, and I presumed that with some tinkering and a little time. The Manager and players would adjust to the Premier League where most errors get punished. Yet here we are, ten months down the line, seemingly having learned nothing and fighting a relegation battle.
Consumed By Pressure
It’s become more apparent as the season has gone on, that like so many others before him. Dean Smith as been consumed by being in the Aston Villa hot-seat. Smith’s not only forsaken his footballing principles. But also his honesty in his post-match interviews. Smith’s version of events rarely matches mine all I hear is a lot of excuses, to be honest.
Maybe I am doing him an injustice, and it’s just his approach, his management style with only a few games left and given our league table position. Perhaps he believes he needs to deflect away from the truth, and not crucify the players in public. I’m sure If he thought it would get the desired response to obtain the points to survive, he would do it without hesitation.
One real concern I have, going into these last six games is the player’s confidence. How much belief do they have they can escape?. Because they have looked hesitant, almost afraid of making a mistake at times. Maybe they are getting mixed instructions, or perhaps they don’t believe in Smith. Maybe Smith as lost the dressing-room?. I am not sure, but his credits with the fan base as decreased. Even if Villa survive, it’s hard to see Smith doing so.
Die-Hard Villa Fans Dreams Of The Great Escape Dwindle Away
I think even for the most die-hard Villa fans the Wolves result & performance ended any lingering hopes they held in AVFC surviving this season. What we do know is from here on in, fixtures get even more difficult. Houdini himself would find pulling off this escape a challenge. But football is a funny old game and strange things can happen. Wigan springs to mind when all seems lost.
So what better place is there for the great escape to begin than on Merseyside, playing the Premier League Champions. Survival could come down to goal difference, so we don’t want to be too open, but at the same time, if we set out to sit back, frustrate them as we did against Chelsea there is only going to be one winner.
At the start of the season, If someone had said to me that Aston Villa would reach a cup final, and with six games to play, still have our premier league survival in our destiny. I would have bitten their hands off. Yes, it’s going to be very difficult, but other teams are also in a precarious position. It may be blind faith I cling too, but I cannot accept relegation with six games to play.