What will it take to remove the constant lethargy within Villa squads? I’m beginning to wonder if it will ever change. This evening, not for the first time, Villa casually strolled to defeat. The same players will pick up their pay cheques regardless without a second thought given, at least that’s what another dour performance would suggest.
Living In A Dream World
Much like when we anchored the Premier League table last season the management and squad seems completely unaware of the situation they are in. Terrible performances week-in-week-out and an increasing gap between Villa and the rest of the pack.
The pace of games is clearly too much for McCormack and Gabby. If I was to sum up the performance of McCormack today, I’d say that he was Wolves’ best defender. His inability to hold up the ball or take a decent touch summed up the casual nature and whinge over work mentality that Villa had today.
Right now it’s ‘no Kodjia, no party’. The sooner he returns the better.
Taking Care of Business?
Obviously Villa need to make sure that the recruits that comes in January are of the right calibre but a bit of urgency wouldn’t go astray. With FA cup duty last weekend it’s been nearly two weeks since Villa’s last abysmal league game and what business has been done? One loan for a keeper. Reports that scouts are still taking a look at some prospects begs the question, what have they been doing up until the transfer window?
Midfield targets are being prioritised which is a step in the right direction (especially if any of them is capable of passing to a member of their own team, unlike today’s bunch) but some support up front wouldn’t go astray.
If I was to sum up the performance of McCormack today, I’d say that he was Wolves’ best defender
I’m aware that Villa can’t allow themselves to be held to ransom but they need to start throwing their weight about in this division to improve the squad. If we want a last shot at the top six this season we don’t have time to drag our feet.
Judging by current evidence another season in the Championship is becoming more inevitable by the week.
With several senior players still unable or unwilling to put in a good showing for the shirt, I’d like to see a bigger chance given to Andre Green and Keinan Davis, who are at least starting to get cameos from the bench. They can’t be worse than some of the alternatives and with few transfers looking likely any boost to squad options is welcome.
As for Hepburn-Murphy, who is yet to prove anything in his fledgling career, the striker is being both poorly advised and is acting far too big for his boots. Potential or not, those who don’t want to be here are welcome to see themselves out the door. His current situation reeks of the entitlement that played a huge part in our relegation.
No Steps Forward
On the rare occasions Villa did get forward the player on the ball was left completely isolated with no support. When Adomah reaches the byline with the ball one of two things inevitably happens:
1: There are no Villa players in or near the opposition box and the attack comes to nothing.
2: McCormack and Agbonlahor actually make it into the box but the physical exertion it took to do so, renders them too tired to do anything else.
A clear example of Villa’s lack of urgency came shortly before half time when Amavi geared up to take a free kick out wide. Unfortunately the left-back had to stall almost a minute while he screamed at his team mates to actually get into the Wolves half. Villa were already 1-0 down.
Chester did all he could to stop the rot as usual, easier said than done. Only our full backs seemed eager to push forward. When Alan Hutton is your most creative forward outlet you need to take drastic action. Our defence has improved somewhat under Bruce but is far from watertight. Without a threat at the other end of the pitch, Villa are going nowhere good any time soon.
There’s Only One…
This week brought the devastating news of the passing of Villa legend Graham Taylor. Taylor was responsible for much of what has been good at this club in our lifetimes and the dross on display today is an insult to his memory.
The tributes at Molineaux and across the country were fitting and well deserved for a man whose influence can be seen across the game in England. Another Holte Ender in the sky. Thanks for everything you did for Villa, Graham.
Wherever Taylor went he ensured that his players were motivated, connected to club and community, and refused to accept complacency.
Stuck In The Middle
Steve Bruce would do well to learn from the methods of the former England boss if he is to finally sort this ragged bunch out. That said it would be unfair to put all the blame on Bruce’s doorstep as the lingering malaise at this club has proven very difficult to shift as countless former managers have found out.
Villa are in real danger of becoming trapped in the limbo of mediocrity, with little sign of any real progress other than regular rose-tinted tweets and expectation raising promises from our owner. Its good to dream big but improvement can only come if we deal with the very real recurring problems at the club.
For a team so insomnia inducing it baffles me how often it seems to need a wake up call. Next up, Preston, and that won’t be a walk in the park. Hopefully Villa will be able to field a vastly improved team with some solid new recruits. Until then, I’ll keep daydreaming of better times.
Don’t forget to follow Finn on Twitter – @FinnMongey
And make sure you’re following MOMS on Twitter – @oldmansaid