Villa slumped to a narrow defeat against Manchester United due to a deflection, a ref who didn’t want to book anyone, a strangulation attempt on Micah Richards in the area that the ref shrugged off and the United’s skills at running down the clock. What can Villa fans take from the now very familiar feeling of defeat to the Red Devils?
AYEW BEING SERVED?
Jordan Ayew personified Villa’s performance under the Friday Night Lights. When he was good he was very, very good. But when he was bad it looked like he had nothing left in the tank and couldn’t control the direction of his own urination. Ayew is a maverick and he could turn into a real unknown quantity – a potential game winner or a black hole to which any ball given to him is banished to the opposition in a dangerous area. His booking was frustrating, but considering he was almost completely anonymous against Bournemouth, this was a glimpse of what we could have at least.
Richards and Amavi were superstars on the night and Westwood looked empowered by his new contract for sure.
On the downside, Agbonlahor and Bacuna need to be benched. This is not a call for either to be thrown into the river in a sack of bricks, but their places should be at risk after two very similar poor performances. Hutton might not be everyone’s solution at right back but… well, he’s a right back! Bacuna is not. And Gabby may well be the new vice captain but he can’t lead a line and while he did provide (the only?) shot on target with his header he’s too quick to blame others and without acres of space he’s going to lose the ball. Long-serving player or not, times have changed and he’s not going to help Sherwood’s Aston Villa 2.0.
The signing of “Commander” Adama Traore is a real statement signing that fans should be impressed with. Unless he proves to be a bust or gets a strop on, his signing could be as significant as Veretout in attracting players who want to come and play alongside him. And if it’s true we beat a host of clubs to his signature, the fans should revel in the glory of Tactics Tim’s charisma in talking Traore into moving to Birmingham B6 – even, as written elsewhere, it is on a potential sort-of loan deal.
WHO DOESN’T LOVE YOU, BABY?
Libor Kozak could be the new Peter Crouch. Villa fans seem to like Kozak, who had a pretty short honeymoon period at the club before being hit by back-to-back injuries. After a pre-season where he scored three goals and looked menacing, he couldn’t even make the squad to play Bournemouth.
Back in 2004 David O’Leary didn’t fancy Crouch and sold him to Southampton for half what Graham Taylor had paid two years earlier. He then promptly scored 16 in 33 games and was sold on to Liverpool for a 2m pound profit.
Maybe Sherwood doesn’t like Kozak’s attitude. Maybe he’s redundant now Gestede has burst on to the scene. Or maybe he just doesn’t fancy him, doesn’t trust him to stay injury-free or doesn’t like too many players taller than him. But if he’s let go cheaply, there’s a good chance he goes on to rediscover his touch in front of goal and it’s something the club could regret.
That said, he’s probably one of very few members of the new bomb squad with any selling value and on reasonable wages (unlike Hutton, Cole or N’Zogbia to name a few). Tim could have put him on instead of Gabby and given the midfield two targets to aim at as things got desperate but I don’t think anyone in the ground thought he was going to come on instead of Rudy.
CLEAR OUT CONTINUES
The fact we could be selling Philippe Senderos for actual cash is fabulous as well as morally ambiguous – but a really significant change in transfer policy at the other end of the spectrum. A free transfer signing by P*** L*****t, the 30-year-old has played just eight times for the club and in a career limited with injury, he was lucky to earn a contract that lasted two years rather than some kind of pay-as-you-play deal.
With a year left to run and clearly no future at the club (as fifth or sixth choice centre back if he’s fit… and that’s a huge “if”) Villa should consider themselves fortunate not to be having to pay him off to go away. As they have with their last few managers.
Follow Adam on Twitter – @
Follow MOMS on Twitter – @oldmansaid