Arsenal – Villa: I actually fancy us here

You know how it is. You just get a feeling and that’s simply what I’ve got for this game.

It seems I’m not alone either, as having read around it seems quite a few Villa fans agree; Arsenal look very vulnerable at the back, with even Watford, who have had a poor start, coming back against them.

I’ve got a £5 bet on with an Arsenal supporting workmate of mine. I don’t like betting, especially with workmates, so I kept it small. It was his suggestion and he even gave me the draw, so I couldn’t resist.

The same chap is very confident about their attack and midfield, but when I asked him about their defence he went very quiet.
To which I offered that we simply aren’t clicking up front, so he might not have to worry too much.

And this is where I find this game interesting.
You’d suspect Arsenal have the quality to breach our defence, but do we have enough to breach theirs?

I have to be honest and say I doubt it, or certainly not more than once, if we keep Wesley so isolated.
We quite simply have to get either McGinn or Grealish further forward to bring Wesley into the game more
Either would make sense, as although Grealish is obviously the better creater, it’s McGinn who has looked our most likely player to score over the last few games, because he actually has that shot and ability to get in where it hurts the opposition.

Given that McGinn has by far the better engine to get back, it has to be Grealish who moves forward, in my opinion.

I’ve been busy at work, so have only scanned the headlines, which suggest that Dean Smith isn’t going to change formation, but has hinted that Wesley is too remote.

At least it seems that Smith knows the problem and that’s a good thing.
I still think we need to get Grealish in the hole mostly, but he could swap out with Jota or El Ghazi, to mix it up and try and confuse their dodgy defence.

Either way, playing too deep will only play into Arsenal’s hands.

There’s a strange, to my mind, stat that’s been thrown out there, where Arsenal have conceded the most shots aginst them, in the whole of Europe.
To which I say, “who cares? have they conceded the most goals?”

I think West Ham had one shot against us on target, but they still got a point.
It’s a meaningless stat, but it does suggest we should get plenty of chances.

We just need to take them and that’s frankly not looking likely if nothing changes.

Dean Smith needs to work out how we can get Wesley into the game more.
It’s easy to slate the striker, but he’s getting very few touches and is hardly getting chance to hone his game in a new league.
Which is where I find it strange that Wesley is getting so much stick for not looking good enough.

Or is it more that it’s not actually Villa fans that have concerns about him, but other football sites?
I’m quite happy to give Wesley a few months more yet, before I totally condemn him as not good enough.

Squad news is that we have a fully fit squad, Kodjia apart and even he’s lightly training.
I can’t be arsed to see how Arsenal stand.

My prediction?

It all depends on if we get Wesley into the game or not, as I think he could easily make their defence suffer.

If we do, it’s a 2-1 win and Wesley gets one.
If not, it’s a 1-0 loss.

I’d take the draw, as that would be a really good result.


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  1. Avatar
    Holte66 September 22, 2019 at 6:37 pm .

    Another wasted opportunity. Why on earth did we sit so deep against 10 men? Got what we deserved in the end for negativity. Apparently Lansbury came on for El Ghazi which was a surprise because I didn’t know El Ghazi was on the pitch. McGinn ran himself into the ground and had nothing left with 20 minutes to go. Trust Engels to have his worst game in a Villa shirt. And don’t get me started on Taylor!

  2. Avatar
    Bill Pearson September 22, 2019 at 6:37 pm .

    That what it looked like to me Nath we need to believe in ourselves and quickly.

    1. Avatar
      nath September 22, 2019 at 6:45 pm .

      we played well before we realized we might win this and then waved the white flag and shit it my mate says. this has to be mental side, i said before the game i think some of these players are struggling to come to terms with themselves being premiership. i believe some feel they don’t belong here,

      your right they have to sort this out because they are good enough if they only believed it. this game was won long before we decided to cave in, under our own pressure

  3. Avatar
    beamo September 22, 2019 at 6:38 pm .

    I so want Dean to succeed but he’d done himself no favours at all this season We cannot afford tactical and individual blunders and poor in game management given the battle on our hands. Unfortunately our games so far have been littered with them. Burnley, Norwich and Brighton games are huge now. Failure to win 2/3 and I think relegation begins to look very likely

  4. Avatar
    Holte66 September 22, 2019 at 6:50 pm .

    I think the general feeling amongst Villa fans on Villas Twitter is that Smith screwed it up. I have to agree with that. Elmo on for Trezeguet against 10 men screams out negativity. Where is the gung ho positive approach that we had last season? Arsenal were there for the taking today, more so than West Ham last week. It was mentioned that this defeat feels like the one against Leicester in our relegation season. Players confidence will have taken a big hit today when we should be on a high. Smith is still learning his trade but he needs to learn quick.

    1. Avatar
      nath September 22, 2019 at 7:04 pm .

      when a team has the lead and they can see the finish its the team on the pitch that drop deep and the team that get nervous and start giving the ball away and stop doing what they had been doing before they saw the end. managers instructions get ignored.i know this and after the dust settles and tempers calm down others will too. playerson the pitch blew this game. i am waiting to hear the manager views, dying to hear his take on this cave in performance against ten men and from a winning position. i bet he is angry and i bet he never gave the instructions to drop deep and stop playing how they were playing before they saw the winning post

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