Against Southampton when I saw the starting 11, I was less than optimistic of the central defensive pairing of Lescott and Okore. Lescott had been poor all season for Villa, while Okore hadn’t played football for Aston Villa since May. Surely it was going to be a recipe for disaster…
But I was wrong, way wrong. Yes the opening few minutes I felt as though the Villa defence were woeful and it would’ve been a matter of time before Southampton score. Okore often makes small mistakes here and there, while Lescott’s positioning wasn’t perfect at times. It didn’t help Lescott that Bacuna wasn’t playing in his natural positions, and his clearances are sometimes less than ideal. In fact, three of the back four where not first team players yet only conceded one goal that game. Which I did not believe was the fault of the defence but rather Sanchez’s failure to track Romeu in the box.
Lescott’s fine performance shows that there is still some talent in our defence. It was good to see Lescott get a goal, since it must’ve meant a lot to score for his boyhood club. On current form, only Hutton and Richards have deserved to continue their spot in central defence. Richardson and Clark have been poor as of late, and could see their starting 11 spots threatened by Okore, Lescott and Bacuna.
The return pairing of Richards and Lescott is perhaps not what most Villa fans want to see. The pair was horrible under Sherwood, but that might be different with a new manager, new tactics and a new philosophy. It seems as though the defence is at times, better organised than in the past. A good defence is mighty important, especially for a team like Aston Villa, as the saying goes ‘if you don’t concede you don’t lose’. Picking up points is important, and if one side of the starting 11 is entirely solid, than this Aston Villa will be guaranteed to pick up at least 1 point every time.