It seems emotions are running high for many Villa fans and I’ve held back from writing anything for fear of letting my anger get the better of me.
And I was angry, because everything that’s being said is correct.
The players capitulated tonight and that’s simply unnacceptable.
Where it seems my opinion differs slightly to the majority is that I don’t think the players simply weren’t trying.
They’re just quite simply not good or experienced enough.
And they know it, which is draining confidence, as soon as things go against them.
I think back to when I was a kid playing football during games lessons and can well recall myself judging which team was going to win within a few minutes. Invariably it was the opposition, because I wasn’t very good and never really got to play with the better (generally bigger) players.
But I digress.
I actually thought we were doing reasonably well for the first 10 or 15 minutes, although Leicester started to pressure us more, but Reina’s absolute brainfart gifted Leicester a goal and then the game was only going to go one way, as much as we tried to stay in it.
And then Mings. My god, as much as it seems he’s revered by many Villa fans, I just don’t see it and think he’s an absolute liability. He’d already given Leicester a chance early on, by messing about (yet again!) and while I definitely don’t think it was a penalty because it hit his shoulder, I can see why it was given because of the stupid position he’d adopted.
It doesn’t matter, because his marking at corners is shocking.
Do we zone mark or man mark? I genuinely don’t have a clue and don’t think our defenders do either, it’s that bad.
The list of bad performances goes on.
Targett was made mincemeat by Albrighton.
Likewise Guilbert. What’s happened to him? It has to be confidence and that simple realisation that he can’t cut it just yet. There’s no doubting that he’s got worse as the season has progressed to my mind and that applies to a few players.
Luiz just looks out of his depth, for example.
Nakamba did ok, as did Samatta, who worked his guts out, but had little to work with.
And there we have it. It got worse as the end neared and the confidence ebbed away more and more as the game went on. So much so that the 4-0 was probably perfectly justified.
Dean Smith knows his best eleven now and the team he put out was very close to it.
I think there are some decent players there, who will go on to have good careers, possibly elsewhere, similar to some of those who left when we were relegated last time.
But what galls me is the fact that it seems we’ve gone down the Moneyball route again, where we’ve signed decent players and thrown them in the deep end too early.
The players lack the experience and it seems to me that they’ve just been ground down over the months of playing more canny, experienced sides.
I said in the match comments that Smith is on thin ice now.
Do I think he should go, so we can give another manager the last games to save us?
Actually, no, I don’t. Not just yet anyway.
And it’s because I don’t think you’d turn these players around quickly enough.
I think the players are mentally exhausted and it’s why we continually make stupid mistakes.
That doesn’t excuse Reina, who needs dropping now to give Nyland a decent run, as much as I’d expect him to make mistakes too.
I’m just not convinced that you can blame the coach for players making stupid mistakes, game after game.
That said, Smith needs to be careful with his post match comments, as I fear he might lose the player’s confidence totally.
Looking on the positive side, which is getting increasingly harder to do, I never expected anything from this game and getting anything would have been a total bonus.
But I said in the preview that it was more the manner of a defeat that I was interested in.
And I didn’t like what I saw tonight.
I just don’t think we have the mentality and fight to survive.