Defeat to Manchester City makes it three losses out of the last three games, albeit against a much higher quality of opposition. As Villa are given time to regroup with the Premier League heading into another international break, here’s the Good, Bad and Ugly of Saturday evening’s frustrating but sadly inevitable defeat.

The Good

Rearguard

Villa’s harrying of City both on and off the ball was excellent, particularly for the opening period of the game, preventing the away side from getting a foothold in the match for the first 35 minutes or so.

Although we were unbelievably fortunate not to concede in the last five minutes of the first half, the first minute of the second half, and generally large chunks of the game, Nathan Baker and Philippe Senderos defended relatively well at times.

Baker manages the impressive feat of looking like both a disaster zone waiting to happen and an all-guns blazing, confident centre-back, but he is undoubtedly improving and at times genuinely now looks like he belongs as a centre-half in the Premier League.

Benteke

Christian Benteke’s return was perhaps the most obvious zenith of Saturday evening. It is of course an understatement to say that Villa have missed him hugely, but to have him back to full fitness (even if not full match sharpness) on the other side of the international break will be an immeasurable boost.

Fox

Off the pitch, at the end of last week Tom Fox said all the right things in his first public statement since replacing the unpopular Paul Faulkner as the club’s Chief Executive.

Fox spoke of Randy Lerner’s renewed enthusiasm for the club – “when I talk to him now, he sounds like someone who bought the club last week” – and insisted that Villa should be realistically targeting a return to Europa League football over the next few years.

“I don’t think there is any question that we should be a club placed from sixth to ninth – certainly in the top ten – and competing for the domestic cup competitions,” he said, thereby immediately endearing himself to Villa fans who believe the same thing.

“We’ve got to put a solid plan in place but it’s not a wild dream, it’s a journey we can go on,” he added.
Certainly Villa have shown signs that with solid, sustainable investment they could rise up the league table. Despite having suffered three defeats in their last three games without scoring, these losses have been to teams who have fielded at least one player whose individual transfer fee has been more than that of Villa’s entire starting XI combined.

See full Tom Fox interview here

Thus Villa cannot and should not be judged on the last three games. Rather they should be judged on their overall start to the season which – with wins over Liverpool at Anfield, Stoke at the Britannia and Hull City and a total of 10 points from seven games – has been pretty positive.

[Click ‘Next’ below for some home truths in The Bad and the Ugly]

3 COMMENTS

  1. Lack of quality all over the pitch. Unable to pass the ball 5 yards accurately. Unable to keep possession of the ball for more than 30 seconds. I lost count of how many times we gave the ball away in our half against City. The worst news since Lameberk getting a new contract was Fox telling us that Lerner has a renewed interest in the club! God help the Villa and God help us fans!

    • Dai if perhaps you watched the footie and did not constantly look to find fault you might have realised that until the final 10 minutes there was very little to separate the 2 teams except for the price tags on the players

  2. A good article and overall I’d agree with much of it !
    However it asks about views on Weimann & Nzogbia and on twitter the question has been asked as to whether it it is too harsh on them . Certainly we are lacking in the goals departement and after a match where neither team looked like winning untill the final 10 mins. perhaps we do need to look fmore closely at why we are lacking in goals. . Andi will and does run his legs off for Villa and after 60mins doing just that against ManC he looked knackered . But the lone striker is not a position he is best suited at as he’s far better in a supporting role and as a poacher which is how he has scored many of his goals .
    As for the Zog I’m not a big fan even though before he signed I was in favour of him joining us . But simply put he is too selfish, with the ball , and is not a one man team .
    However perhaps we should remember that the starting lineup was not what was intended before the warmup and that so late in the day it would have been difficult to change the tactics that the original lineup dictated . But we can only postulate as to whether Gabby in the lineup would have produced the much needed goals
    We’ve now got Benteke back so hopefully with 2 weeks of training we can field a team that can get back to winning ways , and adding to the goal tally that some are so worried about

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