Villa’s End Game
Despite a close looking 2-1 scoreline Aston Villa were unceremoniously swept aside by Chelsea at Villa Park, in their second game since the Premier League restart. For most of the game Villa seemed to have very little bite between their teeth.
When the home team took an unexpected 1-0 lead into half-time, Smith seemed to make few adjustments at the break to react to the tsunami of pressure his team were under in the first half. As Chelsea continued their relentless battering of the Villa backline in the second half, it was inevitable goals would come for the visitors.
To their credit, Villa’s rearguard kept the game alive, and with seconds to go to the full whistle, Villa against all odds, still found themselves in with a shot of salvaging a point.
Yet, a worrying lack of urgency was demonstrated in the Villa ranks to their relegation predicament. When they were granted a free kick from around 30 yards out in the dying embers of the game, Smith and captain Grealish allowed Trezeguet to try his luck at a shot Ronaldo would have probably thought better of taking on.
Why didn’t they get everyone up and deliver a ball in the mixer for players to attempt to get on the end of and put Chelsea under real pressure?
Was it too unsubtle for Smith’s liking?
In situations like this, Villa have to play the percentages.
The big question now is whether there is scope for Dean Smith to make tactical changes to get a tune out of this crop of players?
On the latest My Old Man Said podcast, recorded straight after the Chelsea game, which is a bolt-on podcast to episode 107, we offer up one potential solution that may offer up Villa some final hope in their relegation battle.
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David Michael – @oldmansaid
Chris Budd – @BUDD_music
Phillip Shaw – @prsgame
Editor/Producer – David Michael