I was tempted to write most of this column before the Liverpool game, that’s how predictable Villa games like this have become, although the score this time was the worst at Villa Park for 81 years.
Ticking All the Boxes
Sturridge goal in post-injury bi-annual game vs Villa? Check. Goal for former Villa player? Check. Out of form team gifted a morale boosting win at Villa? Check. An instant crashing back to reality after managing one bloody win in a row? Of course. Disappointing player wants to kick start his career? Villa insist on helping out. Goal from player who has become a cult comedy figure? Bingo.
From the offset Villa should have made the glass boned hypochondriac that is Daniel Sturridge know that he wasn’t going to be given an easy ride. Instead the opposite occurred and Villa did all they could to give Liverpool players as much time and space as possible in our half.
Villa did all but shoot towards their own goal today, it’s as if even the players know the Premier League is too much for them and are seeking to expedite the clubs exit.
Where to Begin?
It’s hard to single out players in the team for particular criticism, as there’s few to praise, that said Leandro Bacuna is an awful footballer. Perhaps years of being a utility man have dulled his senses but he’s the type that I could see turning up for my six-a-side team in flashy boots thinking he’s all that and being screamed at for an hour for being selfish, lazy, and useless. Play anyone in his place, preferably some young blood. In fairness that’s an argument I’d extend to most of the team after today.
Any sign of physicality or tackling from Villa only showed up when the result was assured, and even then it just seemed like the players wanted to be sent off so that they wouldn’t have to continue the humiliation that is playing for this current squad. This was half an execution by Liverpool, and half suicide from Aston Villa.
Going to War
It’s evident that the players aren’t equipped to win Villa’s battles so the fans need to step up the war against the club’s decline. Only the fans can make a difference. I’m all for supporting the team but it’s hard to argue against full on boycotts and protest.
If Non football board members don’t understand football then we need to strike out in a way that they do understand, preferably in their pockets. There has been a lot of conscious, and unconscious, straw clutching this season (I’m as guilty as any of that) but the time has come to drop those straws, flush them down the toilet and address the situation.
Only Ourselves to Blame
It would be too easy at this stage to bemoan other results going against us. All of Villa’s relegation rivals could lose the rest of their games and Villa would still go down. Our easiest run of games came and went over the Xmas/New year period and we are showing few signs of getting anything from the next few. Does anyone actually think Villa can say up? I’d love to hear a rational argument for that.
The only positive from today is that any lingering hope is gone. That may sound confusing but the sooner we accept our fate the less it will hurt when it happens. I’d rather be mid-table in the Championship then be embarrassed like this. The table isn’t lying, Aston Villa are the worst team in the league. If anything the gap at the bottom is flattering to us.
What’s worse is that the players either don’t realise or don’t care about the seriousness of Villa’s predicament. First we had Bacuna’s holiday snap, then Jores Okore chose his moment to highlight his lack of debt to the club, and now Joleon Lescott ‘accidentally’ tweeted a pic of his flash car, right after his team got steamrolled.
While arguments for context (Okore deserves credit for his clarification), genuine mistakes, and life outside football can be made, the fact is the players don’t seem to understand the feeling among fans at all and the timing of these otherwise trivial events couldn’t be worse.
To anyone who thinks that this reads as too negative I leave you with this…. We just got absolutely spanked by a mediocre team who couldn’t beat bloody Sunderland. Kolo Toure capped that drubbing with a goal. Goodnight.
PFV (Pray for Villa)
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