After the mixed emotions of Aston Villa’s second double-derby week of 2015, there were more confused feelings on Saturday evening after the 3-2 defeat to Liverpool. As Tim Sherwood said after the match, if you score twice at Anfield then you hope to come away with a result (although perhaps not as much as at Leicester – 3-2 away defeats are sort of our thing now, aren’t they?) As it was we had to settle for Rudy Gestede doubling his goal tally for the season.
Here’s a look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the loss.
Rudy Gestede may not be the most complete striker in the world, but my word he poses a threat inside opposing penalty boxes. The big man could feasibly have scored four after he had already headed narrowly wide from a Jordan Amavi cross inside the first seven minutes and sliced a superb chance wide when he was gifted a loose ball on the edge of Liverpool’s box.
His build-up play is pretty hit-and-miss, but he is so dangerous in the air and his first goal of the game displayed a predatory side to his game that we hadn’t seen before. You do get the feeling that if he is given the quality of service then he could rack up a pretty decent goal tally, and the supply was certainly (albeit belatedly) there on Saturday from Alan Hutton and Amavi.
Villa have scored 14 goals in nine games so far this season, which shows to me that hitting the back of the net may not be our biggest problem this season, despite the summer exit of the man who had scored almost half of our goals over the last couple of years.
Also worth a mention is Jack Grealish making a decision on his international future. Love it or hate it, the fact is that he is a kid whom the media love to write about, and the question of whether he would pick England or Ireland had become such a ridiculously overhyped saga that I think we can all agree that it is a good thing that it has been brought to an end.
Or so you would have thought, but the reported death threats that he has received from a tiny minority of Ireland fans make you question everything.
Let’s just take a moment to assess that: a footballer who has only recently stopped being a teenager is reportedly receiving death threats for choosing to play for the country of his birth rather than the country of his grandparents’ birth. People need to get a grip, there are an infinite amount of things more important to concern yourself with. Anyway, England gave you Ciaran Clark.
Click ‘next page’ for the Bad and Ugly of Villa’s week
There are major changes (ie Sherwood – someone named Fox needs to put a definite line in the sand of the future and cross it, should it be found directly in front of us come Nov/Dec) and there are minor changes ie could we try not picking Westwood week in week out for once ? I think we also need to at least *try* Richards/Okore/Lescott-or-Clark/Amavi, just to see how the biscuit disintegrates.
Gestede will score goals if we can provide for him. No doubt about that. His hold up play isnt that great though, so hoofing long balls upfield just wont work. We have the players in the team capable of creating chances….Sherwood just needs to figure out his best team.
The 14 goals in 9 games includes lower division opposition. I think Gested has goals in him, but he needs the ammunition. I’m also totaly against him dropping back with the exception of corners taken against us. If its as simple as providing accurate crosses to score a few goals, what’s the problem?
A combination of Gested and Traore in attack, fed by the likes of Hutton, Amavi, Sinclair, Gabby, Gil, Grealish should provide a serious threat for any side.
The defence surprises me. On paper, that’s a good defensive line up. In reality, they’re leaking easy goals. I find Sanchez an Guy aggressive enough, we just seem to let sides bring it on until the defence finally cracks.
In short, Sherwood has some good creative players at his disposal. The link up play needs to improve and so does the frequency of balls into box where the likes of Gested, Sinclair maybe Traore, should be about to pounce!
I’ve got to say I agree with everything you’ve written , what it does do for those of us that read your post is ,it confirms all of our fears and worries , we are in a scrap for survival ,that Tim for all his efforts has changed his tone from being cocky and self assured to being scared and unsure ,eight to ten weeks into the season we still here ,it’s a work in progress and we need time for players to settle in ,after eight to ten weeks of any season I would expect player to be well adjusted and be improving and for sherwood to see the improvements taking shape . We do have goals in us but we are not defensively strong and that will be our Achilles heal once again ……………..and so the cycle continues ………..it’s harder to win than it is to lose and I can’t see it changing soon
I still despite what I see and read hope and pray that we come good even though my posts come over as being negative at times
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