Another underwhelming game comes and goes and the single point gained does little to help claw us up the table. Time is running out. The soundbites from the Aston Villa Supporters Trust AGM on Thursday have done little to inspire any enthusiasm for the future among the Villa Park faithful. The performance against West Brom was one that served only as a possible cure to the insomnia and sleepless night that our rapidly collapsing club brings us. The ref for the second weekend running cheated Villa out of a penalty, that would have probably won it. Without any luck or a threat up front, there’s unlikely to be any great escape this season.
Rémi Garde has made us a more solid unit, that’s for sure, but the team still lacks any sort of imagination or a clear game plan. The team seems completely devoid of ideas in the final third and failing to take three points from the most boring team in the league (with the possible exception of Villa) who managed no shots on target and only 40% possession is not good enough from a team that needs to make serious gains to survive.
Time and time again the same failures in the final third were evident. While one can understand Villa players being haunted by calamity after calamity in their own box this season it would appear that they are also afraid of what might happen if they enter the opponents box.
Villa will not score goals if the players refuse to get into spaces in the box and all too often crosses are delivered into an empty penalty area. On the few occasions that the team actually manage to land the ball on the head of one of the big men there are no players in support to latch onto any rebounds or knock ons.
Today further highlighted Villa’s need for a striker who is comfortable in the box and it certainly grated somewhat to see Southampton’s bargain buy Charlie Austin nod in the winner against United as he was a player that many of us had been screaming for our side to approach for some time now.
Hopefully the injury to Rudy Gestede, caused by him simply moving,(something he’s not overly used to doing) will force the boards hand when it comes to recruitment, but I wouldn’t hold my breath in that regard.
The lack of imagination and activity in front of the goal also gave rise to another pet hate of mine, players lazily blasting the ball into row Z with little hope of ever getting their shot near the goal let alone into it. We need players to take responsibility to build and create chances but Bacuna and co hoofing the ball away in place of keeping possession or building more is something that should be stamped out immediately. At least the likes of Veretout and Westwood tend to pick and choose when to attempt long range efforts.
As suggested above I hold out little hope of an improvement in approach from those running our club. Having gone over transcripts of the event, I struggled to find anything that suggests that anything has been learned from past mistakes or any real ambition is present to at least try and equip the club to put up a fight for the rest of the season. Life in the Championship seemed to be taken as a given, and while it still remains the most likely situation next year, the sense of complete forfeit is not a comfort to followers of a club without direction.
This club will continue to rot while ‘football men’ are absent from our ‘football’ club. Let’s pray someone fancies the job of buying and investing in a Championship club, because otherwise Villa may as well start playing baseball.
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