Leicester 4 – 0 Villa: Simply abysmal. Smith out?

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.


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  1. Avatar
    Holte66 March 10, 2020 at 6:15 pm .

    I’m not shocked that Smith hasn’t been sacked yet. Purslow has already made it known that Smith is a key figure for the future and commented that they are prepared for the possibility of relegation.
    I don’t think we have a prayer of survival under Smith. Against Leicester we were decent for 10 minutes before they wrestled control and we couldn’t match the tempo. We will be bottom before the season ends but I think Smith will be allowed another bash at promotion because he achieved it last season. Next time however we won’t have Grealish, McGinn or Abraham. I certainly don’t trust Suso to bring in the quality needed either. I really don’t know what is best for us. In 2016 we tried new managers and failed miserably. Maybe it is better to evaluate at the end of the season once relegation is confirmed. Only time will tell but it seems we will have to suffer lots more misery in the remaining games.

  2. Avatar
    nath March 10, 2020 at 6:28 pm .

    OMG i was fuming last night and all day today i have been in shock, i prepared myself before the game for what might be a nightmare game. but still nothing prepared me for our nightmare display.

    i am not gonna waste my time either, saying what i think we did wrong nobody is interested any ways. scoreline was about right they could have been more ruthless at the end , we were well and truly beaten. yet as badger says it started so well. neat passing and high pressing. it didn’t last long and it wasn’t cause the players didn’t care or wasn’t trying, they just were not good enough without the ball to compete. that is what it boils down too. i have been saying that all season and other have too,

    all season i moaned about our defenders backing off, switching off, marking space at set pieces, we had the foxes worried in the opening 10 minutes, but soon as they realised we had a soft underbelly (defence) they just pressed on pinning us back like the cup game. had we committed to keeping three up front their full bakcs would not have been able to continue to overlap at will. in another word we invited the pressure upon us like always.

    my mates saying meet your here saturday villa play chelsea. i will definetly not be watching that game. can not take another hurtful performance like last night. as for the rest of season its looking bleak. at home we are better cause the opposition are more inclined to sit back and catch us on the break, game against chelsea i believe we will be caught on the break in a close game. it depends on chelsea if they want the win they will get it. we can not keep these premiership teams at bay.

  3. Avatar
    Holte66 March 10, 2020 at 8:30 pm .

    Watching Leipzig v Spurs seems like a re-run of the Leicester v Villa game. Spurs started well but a mistake by keeper and suddenly it looks like men v boys.

  4. Avatar
    Roy Bracy March 11, 2020 at 1:41 pm .

    Looks like the truth about what’s going on behind the scenes at villa is coming out. Fighting in training and Terry probably stabbing Smith in the back similar to when at Chelsea re their loss of the dressing room.
    It’s a sad state of affairs really when they should be fighting for the club on the pitch not off it.
    Drinkwater should be sent back to Chelsea and O’Hare recalled in his place. Grealish and O’Hare together i reckon would make a good pairing.very sad day.utv

  5. Avatar
    Holte66 March 11, 2020 at 3:55 pm .

    I heard through my work that someone who knows a steward at Southampton said that there WAS an incident between Smith and Terry in the tunnel. Smith refuted this after but now it seems that this was likely to be true.

  6. Avatar
    Bill Pearson March 11, 2020 at 5:12 pm .

    I guess it was more they would admit too, there is a disagreement going on and lies will be told to us the fans. Either Smith is not in control and Terry is arguing the point, or Suso is running the show on who plays or not. It needs someone the stand up and speak out. They are fooling the public and robbing the fans. Time to talk Villa.

    1. Avatar
      Tony Hill March 11, 2020 at 8:08 pm .


  7. Avatar
    Holte66 March 11, 2020 at 5:38 pm .

    Could be good timing if Drinkwater goes after reports of head butting Jota and being sent home. McGinn is almost ready so he would be surplus to requirements.
    Whilst it’s not over till the fat lady sings, I think we need to make changes at the back in the full back positions because Guilbert and Targett are liabilities defensively. I would put Konsa in at RB because he is athletic and physically more opposing. Likewise I would swap Targett for Hause for the same reasons. If we are persevering with a flat back 4, then all of them need to defend as their main role. Also we would improve at both ends from crosses into box. I would stick with Nakamba as a holding midfielder and play 4 in front of him consisting of El Ghazi and Trezeguet as wide men with Grealish and Hourihane or McGinn when fit in the middle with Samatta up front.
    We haven’t got a great squad but we need to get rid of the weak players (Guilbert, Targett and Luiz) and add a bit of physicality to our team and fight!

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 March 11, 2020 at 7:09 pm .

      In the position we are I think you make some good points Holte. I would definitely agree with Hause at LB as long as he doesn’t venture anywhere upfield nor is he required to do anything but welly the ball out of defence at the first opportunity. Not sure about a Konsa at RB – think I would prefer Elmo just given his level of experience.

      So would Konsa make a good defensive mid – he’s quick, good on the ball and he can actually pass it to one of our team!

      But I would also like to see us play two up top (Davis / Samatta) with Grealish in the ‘hole’.

      If we’re going down let’s do something different and have a go.

      Finally Nyland deserves a run in goal so send Reina and Drinkwater packing!

  8. Avatar
    Bill Pearson March 11, 2020 at 6:39 pm .

    I said that about Guilbert and Taggatt months ago, Guilbert slow going forwards and slow to get back, Taggart the same, Minns has to take control by being in the right possioning fron corners, I think he’s aware of Guilbert inability to defend along with Taggart.defiantly need to use other players than them two.

  9. Avatar
    Holte66 March 11, 2020 at 7:44 pm .

    As much as we all agree Bill and Hitch that major changes need to be made, what’s the betting that Smith keeps pretty much the same team with Reina in goal 🤔

    1. Avatar
      Bill Pearson March 11, 2020 at 8:23 pm .

      He will be a right part if he don’t change things Holte,

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