The unbeaten home record was the last shred of pride in what’s become a miserable season at Villa Park. Defeat to Ipswich and then Barnsley (who had sold two of their biggest names to Villa in January) has almost assuredly ended any chance of promotion back to the Promised Land for 2017-18. What else did Villa learn from two of the worst losses this season, which summed up the winless year of 2017 so far?

HIT-SWITCH

For all the promise of the first half against Ipswich, Villa trotted in at half-time with nothing to show for their good work. Bjarnason and Hourihane could and should have scored on their home debuts but it took one defensive lapse to see Ipswich end a run of defeats and start the home fans misery for the week.

Those fans are seeing a downturn in fortune and results. It used to be that Villa would create no chances and lose to a defensive error. In this game Villa had 22 shots with nine on target. The Town goal was Ipswich’s first shot on goal – in the 83rd minute. That makes it more sickening in some ways.

For all the hype of the home fan’s first glance at the players signed to propel the team into the play-offs, the winning goal was a bubble-burster and the first realisation from even the most blinkered fans that for all the money spent and the injection of new blood, Villa Park will likely be staying in the Championship for a little longer.

TYKES SPOIL PARTY

Yet another defeat for big-spending Villa followed just days later when the Barnsley team supposedly missing their best two players (who were in Villa shirts) showed how you win games in this division.

At 0-2 before half time, Kodjia – despite the frustration of fans with his lack of chemistry with new strike partner, Scott Hogan – gave a glimmer of a comeback… but 22 shots, six on target and Villa couldn’t match their first half-hour performance and slumped to another defeat.

Any self-belief that THIS will be the game when the goals go in seems to evaporate by half-time every game. Villa were beaten by a team performance from Barnsley and realists will want time for the new signings to gel, but with the play-offs seemingly gone, this was a game to forget.

RESPONSIBILITY

Steve Bruce isn’t hiding at least, taking responsibility for the poor results, lack of composure in front of goal and league position. But that’s why he’s being paid the big bucks to achieve something that has eluded every manager since Houllier quit with his poor health: restore respectability to Aston Villa.

Is team bonding the answer? A more intense attitude? A less intense one? Is it something that only time will mend?

If his rolling contract really is up at the end of the season and Villa aren’t in the play-off hunt, fans may not be any closer to knowing the answer come next August.

BYE BYE LIBOR

Libor Kozak didn’t have much a Villa career to speak of, but after four years at the club – one where he didn’t play at all after a broken leg that left him crocked for 15 months – he’s as good as done after a new ankle injury which will take him to the end of his contract.

How different it could have been if he had worked out for Villa. He could have been an old school target man but he was injured or unfancied by the gaffer and will vanish into Villa obscurity over time.

While wishing him well, it’s too bad most fans will just give a shrug such was his limited impact. At just 27-years-old maybe his career is not over, but his days at Villa Park will end this summer.

UTV

Follow Adam on Twitter – @keebo00

Follow MOMS on Twitter – @oldmansaid

SHARE

3 COMMENTS

  1. I hear what people are saying, but no one seems to consider that we are rapidly going backwards toward the drop zone, ok we might just survive but what if we don’t it’s no good talking about Bruce forming his own team if we are in Div 1 it will be a catastrophe for all concerned.
    Reading what Paul Merson says I am beginning to think he may be right our new players with big reputations have never played for a big club with a big fan base, they look great in their small club environment but way out of their depth in ours. Don’t have a difinitive answer but we are clearly missing something, and for what it’s worth I believe we were wrong in getting shot of Gil, Traore, and Tshibola.

  2. I don’t think any club has spent more in the Championship than Aston Villa. The fans and owner have the right to expect that we’re fighting to get promoted. What I sense from some fans is a lowering of the bar, which is ridiculous. There are Premiership teams not spending this kind of money. Although struggling this season, Leicester City won the Premiership without spending like we are now. Our expectations need to remain high, and pressure or no pressure high for the rest of this season. Reading some of the posts recently, there seems to be an acceptance of our new found mediocre Championship status. We’ve been a ship without a rudder. Players with good reputations with their clubs and loved by their fans who don’t want to see them leave, come to us and within months or two years max, they’re gone. Somehow turned in sad excuses for players almost as soon as they arrive at Bodymore Heath. Players like Gil, Traore, more recently Tshibola not to mention McGates. They are loaned out, then newer more expensive models brought in only to find they can’t deliver either.

    Reading that Bruce will “clear out the deadwood”sends a shiver down my spine. Oh no not again. Agreed Westwood was kinda ordinary, but whenever we have a clear out we seemed to be left in a weaker position and a higher wage bill from the new shiny recruits. Don’t get me wrong. We’ve signed some great players. However in a sense, that makes our present predicament even worse. Better players = worse results, that can’t be right!

  3. Everyone is now looking over their shoulder to see how quickly we could be dragged into a relegation battle. Well it could happen quite easily, however I do believe that we have enough quality to pull ourselves clear of this. So what does 2017/18 have in store for us? Well we could be joined in the championship by two other of Bruce’s old clubs in Sunderland and Hull. That would be quite a record as far as he goes. 4 clubs he has managed (Villa, Blues, Sunderland, Hull) & 2 he has played for(Norwich & Blues) all in the same league. What a great quiz question that will be in a few years. Anyway, life will be tough again next season, but again we will be the big fish that everyone wants to beat. How will we get on? I believe that you will see a different Villa next season. Bruce will clear out the dead wood & have his own team. There can be no excuses then, it is shit or bust, but I honestly believe that we will be better equipped to go back into the premier. Were we to have gone up this season, I believe that we would have been the whipping boys & easy fodder for the premier teams. I believe that Bruce is the right person for the job, so just enjoy the rest of this season & prepare for the push next season. VTID

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here