Aston Villa fans will be feeling the Premier League life force being slowly drained from their club, as they failed to win another game where three points were vital to have any hope of an unlikely survival bid.
Villa’s defensive organisation improved against WBA, restricting their opponents to zero attempts on target, and Rémi Garde’s men controlled the majority of the possession, but they fell down when it came to any imagination or endeavour in the final third – if only players would make runs off the ball and midfielders would get into the opponent’s penalty box!
Draws are no good to Villa, it’s three-point bounties they need. It’s very fast becoming too little, too late.
The end of season fate may already be known, but in the meantime, here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Aston Villa fans…
5. OKORE EFFECT
Just like last season, when Jores Okore returns from a long-term injury Villa suddenly don’t look so shocking at the back.
Okore came in against Southampton and Villa got an unlikely away 1-1 draw. Then when he was missing the Norwich game and on the bench against Sunderland, Villa lost both games. Remarkably considering how dire Villa have been this season, Villa have only lost one in seven league games when Okore has played, and that defeat only came against Arsenal.
Removing Micah Richards of centre-back duties, who has the positional sense of a submarine with broken sonar, and bringing in the Danish centre-back has gone a long way to improving Villa’s fortunes in recent weeks.
Okore will probably have to start chipping in with goals too though for Villa to actually win games. Five of the seven games he’s started have ended in draws, which isn’t good enough. Still, at least we’ve got one player to build a team around!