Villa’s Achilles heel was our undoing again tonight. All season long our problem has been the need to find a solution to our defensive frailties. So what was the odds of a silly error costing us again this evening?. It’s become near on impossible to grind out results for this very reason. Well if you can’t defend, and don’t create or score many, you’re going to be down the bottom in a relegation dog fight.
The only question that remains I suppose is can Smith stick a plaster on Villa’s Achilles heel and fall over the finishing line?. If this is too happen, then Dean Smith needs to start the team that finished this evening. They did look more capable of creating chances and they did finish the stronger of the two teams. When we play as a team Instead of relying on Jack to produce some magic. We look far more threatening. Ironically relying on individual moments of brilliance was a Steve Bruce flaw. We would park the bus and rely on some individual brilliance from Snodgrass, Jack or Adomah.
Dean Smith Distracted From His Beliefs
It remains to be seen if Dean Smith will see the wood through the trees. Because we do not have the personnel to sit back and soak up pressure. We certainly don’t have anyone with pace in the squad to hit teams on the counter. Can anyone tell me whatever happened to the possession-based attacking football we were promised and saw under Smith at Brentford?. Why has that footballing ethos failed to materialise here at Villa?. In fact, I fail to see any pattern to our play except defend and sit deeper and deeper lately.
Since the restart, tonight is the most attacking and creative I have seen us. We have looked a little more solid at the back. But how much of that is down to the opposition not being up to speed?. If our previous two performances are any indication of what’s to come, and tonight was a one-off. Then sadly for us Villa fans our premier league return will have been short-lived. Because Villa’s Achilles heel will see to it.
Concerns & Reality
Only after Smith made the changes tonight did I see for the first time some fighting spirit and belief from the players they could get something from the game. I had not seen anything up to this point since the season restart. It’s been like watching training sessions or pre-season friendlies. We have only one player who can turn a game on its head, Our Talisman Jack Grealish and he looks like his personal problems have taken their toll on him. He’s a shadow of the player he was before COVID 19.
As for the trio on the sidelines, whenever they come into camera view. All I see is one chewing gum, another with folded arms, and one scribbling on a bit paper. What I would give for a Roy Keane or Nigel Pearson type character on the sidelines right now.