Obvious positives, obvious negatives. That is fast becoming the narrative of Villa’s early season as their penchant for turning stable positions into desperately disappointing results escalated to new levels on Sunday. After a hard-fought point at Crystal Palace turned into a loss and a relatively comfortable home win over Sunderland became just a draw, Villa turned their 2-0 lead at Leicester City into a 3-2 defeat with almost impressive expertise.
Here’s a look at the Good, Bad and Ugly from the King Power Stadium.
For 65 minutes – right up until the moment Carles Gil passed the ball into the top corner from 25 yards – Villa were far and away the better side, taking the game to Leicester and having the better of the chances. Gil was superb on his first Premier League start since February, taking players on, threading passes through and generally playing the part of our chief creative fulcrum.
It has always been apparent – when he has been allowed on the pitch, at least – that the Spaniard is one of the most technically-gifted players at the club, and the way he floated across the pitch pulling the strings from midfield on Sunday exemplified that.
The other real highlight of the match, other than the sheer quality of Villa’s two finishes, was Jack Grealish getting his first goal for his boyhood club. The 20-year-old had missed a straightforward chance earlier in the first half before he buried a superb strike through a crowd of players from the edge of the box, and you always thought that personal milestone for Jack could lead to something special.
Grealish has the attributes to become a 10-goal-a-season midfielder if he can improve that aspect of his game – it wouldn’t do to start expecting that of him straight away, but the quality of his goal should give him even more confidence and belief in his own ability in that department.
In defence, meanwhile, Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards look a pretty decent central defensive combination. Picking up Lescott at £1m-2m should prove to be a snip; admittedly only in his first appearance for the club, he looked far more composed and assured than Ciaran Clark or the perpetually-absent Jores Okore. Admittedly it was his questionable play which ultimately led to Villa conceding the first from the corner, but he was otherwise one of the most solid players on the pitch throughout his debut.
If Christian Benteke was our chief weapon last season, Agbonlahor is the gun loaded with blanks that we now rely on as an attempted deterrent, hoping that nobody will realise that it is effectively useless.
Check out next page for the Bad & Ugly of Villa this week…
Daniel and Dave are right. However if the 2-0 was the problem coaching systems crap. The moment England lost the world cup after1966 was Leon Mexico in 1970. England 2-0 up ramsay took off Bobby Charlton to rest him for the next game. WIth the captain gone, west gemany took the English midfield apart, won 3-2
Ramsay never recovered nor Engand. Villa have a chance to do so. The web site comments have all been very good. If we can seeit, so can tim.
we hope. Agree with Dave, water under the bridge. Saturrd ay 110% support, especially in t he last 30 minutes. No booing the lads need total support
Judging by Sherwood’s manner post match I think it came as a far bigger shock to him than most of the fans. As agonising as it was to watch I wasn’t one bit surprised by what happened and I’m sure the same could be said for most Villa supporters as throwing away 2 goal leads is something we have unfortunately become accustomed to down the years (United and Arsenal spring to mind). I’m no expert on Sherwood’s career but I wouldn’t be surprised if he has never experienced this before as a player or coach. My take on the situation is that Sherwood thought it was virtually impossible to lose that match with 20 or so mins left no matter what substitutions he made, the fact he has since defended his substitutions would suggest to me just that, as naive as it was. He simply could not see what we the fans could see was coming. The guy was literally shell -shocked post match. So in conclusion, now that he has witnessed what the fans have witnessed so many times previous I am hoping that he now sees what we see and will have hopefully learned his lesson, and if he hasn’t hopefully Wilkins and co will have the foresight to have a word in his ear.
losing goals late on goes back. Wolves (1) and Notts Forest (2) in the friendlies were indications the team switches off. The confidence of Sherwood and his tactical stupidity combine. He was deflated in the BBC interview in part because he knows there is something wrong in the mental shape. You could not imagine a pulis team ever doing this. Its attack v defence on Saturday unless the training is right this week. Pulis teams do not score many goals but they sure as hell do not concede many
what role does Wilkins play? He must see all these late goals and have a view.
if Gil had to come off, it was Veretout on in his place, Gabby off for Hutton, push Bacuna up into a 4-5-1 and look to put Sinclair in on the break as we absorbed their attempts to run at us. That and probably about another ten permutations all of which would have been X10 better than what Sherwood actually did. The fact that he put out a bench with only one recognised midfielder on it (I’m discounting Richardson) didn’t help either. When Gil scored, Ranieri already had his two subs on the side waiting to come on so its not like Sherwood couldnt see what was coming – and btw a two-subber is something that has to be premeditated (not a spur of the moment type change at all) so something that should have been countenanced by Villa in their prep during the week. I struggle to think of a Lambert sub-frick-up as bad as this one.
I’ve read so many of these blogs and at first I was gutted but i do think there is light at the end of this tunnel. eldoradoslim has it right, the players are there but we have a owner, manager and team all learning at the same time, Tim should look to advice from Ray and Co that has to step up and advise him especially when the fans got what was happening right away, just hope we have time to get it right, UTV,
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