Liverpool 2- 0 Villa; Questions

Well, at least it wasn’t the thrashing that many of us were expecting.
And to be honest, I thought we did quite well.
Let’s face it, noone has taken a point at Anfield this season, so I don’t think we should feel too bad.

Of course, it’s not good that I perceive a 2-0 defeat as not too bad, but I really don’t think that was a 2-0 game. A 1-0 or even a draw would have been fairer, to my mind.

There were a few good points to come out of the game, in that we looked like we cared, fought as best we could and most importantly, looked like we actually had a plan.

Smith set us up with a 4-4-1-1, with the defence looking a lot better drilled than it has done for most of the season and us looking to hit Liverpool on the counter.
It was mostly effective too and we’d stopped them creating pretty much anything for the first hour or so.
I was actually feeling quite confident up until then, but as the game went on I always had the feeling that the Reds would score.
I wouldn’t say they were particularly better than us, but we just look so impotent up front, that a defeat had a bit of inevitability about it.
It’s sod’s law that we’ve improved the defence, but now look totally devoid of any scoring ability.

I’m not going to slate anyone particularly today, because I think the overall effort was very reasonable.
But I could probably name at least four or five players who just frankly weren’t good enough today.

Which is our problem, I feel.
There are too many players who just aren’t good enough, certainly to compete with a sub-par Liverpool and we just don’t have the replacements to call on when they’re tiring and need replacing.

Ah well, that’s just where we’re at as a team and there’s nothing we can do about it.

But I find I’m asking myself questions.
I’ll tell you in advance that I don’t think Man Utd will cane us either.

And if we do put up a decent, albeit probably losing, performance against a Utd side that is bang on form, does that mean we should be able to beat lesser sides?

Have we actually got the fight and desire needed to scratch some points?

From what I saw today, I’d say it’s still a possibilty.
And I still haven’t given up hope.


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  1. Avatar
    Bill Pearson.. July 5, 2020 at 8:22 pm .

    I Would say beyond a doubt that was a team that tried. unfortunately we just don’t have goal scorers, we had chances but I think panic played a part with some players. upwards and keep fighting we never know.

  2. Avatar
    Holte66 July 5, 2020 at 8:59 pm .

    Watford v Norwich and West Ham v Burnley which could see us 4 points from safety before Villa play Man Ure.
    It’s painful to be a Villa fan just because we should be down already with only 27 points on the board but our hopes have been prolonged by other clubs failings.
    I can’t see anything but a Watford win and I think that could be the one that sends us spiralling into the championship.

  3. Avatar
    nath July 6, 2020 at 6:32 am .

    we did ok yesterday and against wolves. without the ball all season we have been too open, countless mistakes made at vital periods in games. players switching off not tracking runners. all the above have cost us dearly this season, but since the covid break they have been much better.

    BUT in over compensating to fix the defense, we have lost a little with the ball. our fullbacks have been injured and their replacements are not as good going forwards, konsa is a centre back taylor isnt the best with the ball. our system needed them to be more offensive.

    luiz has come back a much better player, he has a role now and he knows that role to the letter. this proves once the new players settle then is the time to be judgemental. he looks a different player to the one earlier in season.

    we just need to sharpen up our attack. when you are more solid like we are at the back you have to be more clinical when you break. grealish does hang onto the ball too long. he had a few good counters runs/positions yesterday but he wasted them all by holding onto the ball too long.

    i don’t think its lack of movement as suggested, thou we do lack it most times. i just think jack doesn’t trust the other players this makes him try too much and he gets caught with the ball cause he is trying too much. he did have a good chance late on for a consolation, this was other players quick passing and thinking which created him the chance.

    grealish needs to stop thinking he is gazza and keep it simple, quicker passing and less holding onto the ball. it slows down the play to standing still. he needs to remember its a team game and while individuals can win games, its the team that matters. also slowing things down when countering is allowing the opposition time to get back.

    if we can xcontinue to keep it tight at the back and sharpen up countering we can do this. keep the faith

  4. Avatar
    Fastjet81 July 6, 2020 at 11:29 am .

    I’m seeing a straight shootout between us and Watford. The key games being when they face Norwich and we face Palace. I’m hoping we scrape through and then have the necessary funds to strengthen key areas.

    If the worst comes and we do go down, the inevitable rebuild and FFP restrictions do worry me. I have a feeling the EFL will want to make an example of us.

  5. Avatar
    beamo July 6, 2020 at 6:24 pm .

    I do feel the 5 subs rule is hurting us more than most given how poor and weak our squad is – we’ve barely got enough quality to fill a starting 11 and anyone we bring on is just miles off the quality required at PL level (Jota being a perfect example).
    Either way we’re now closing in on miracle territory. Once Watford beat Norwich tomorrow a 4 point gap opens and we won’t make it back from there is my feeling. I’ve always felt since the restart we wouldn’t win a single game and am sticking to that prediction. Smith is just horribly out of this depth and chopping and changing desperately to find a formula that works. Unfortunately there isn’t one to make up for the poor quality in the squad or indeed his own deficiencies as a manager tactically. We’re getting the relegation the club sadly deserves based on how poor our summer was and the inactivity of the board to gamble and bring a higher quality manager in.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 July 6, 2020 at 9:08 pm .

      I agree with your squad comments but, given it lacks quality and depth, I’m not sure how a ‘higher quality manager‘ would get substantially more from it.

      Actually, I thought Smith’s tactics weren’t spot on, on Sunday. If we could finish it may well have been a different result. In the end your opening remark proved very true with the subs that Liverpool were able to bring on eventually making the difference.

      I keep coming back to the long term loss of McGinn, Heaton and even Wesley being the turning point of our season and in that respect we (and Smith) have been unlucky.

      1. Avatar
        Hitchens60 July 6, 2020 at 9:09 pm .

        Were NOT were’nt spot on on Sunday – rather changes what I was trying to say!

  6. Avatar
    badger123 July 6, 2020 at 8:29 pm .

    I definitely agree about the lack of quality, but struggle to see how it’s Smith’s fault.
    Yes, he’s chopping and changing, but I’d say it’s out of necessity, because whatever he tries, we’re just not good enough.

    I’d say any fault lies with whoever caused us to sign the poor players we have.
    If that was indeed Smith, yes, fair enough, it’s his fault.
    Except I don’t think it was.

    1. Avatar
      nath July 6, 2020 at 9:01 pm .

      that is totally how i see it badger, ppl say he hasnt got a plan b thats not true he has tampered with the tactics all season. they say he picks the same players. he has altered the team selections, he stick greralish out on the left. he has tried to put grealish in his most effective positions, tried to give him free roles. bottom line badger is as you said “whatever he tries, we are not good enough”

      i also think the signings have failed us again if the signings where meant to get quickly and flourish they haven’t. i just think the time scale given to the players was a impossible one. like fulham year before we both made too many changes to the whole squad, they bought better quality and they struggled more i seem to recall. we have gelled better but we sadly lack quality in areas that matter

  7. Avatar
    nath July 6, 2020 at 9:22 pm .

    next games are massive. man utd a club i hated for as long as i loved villa. we will beat them. this has to be the worst utd team i recall, since the team we drew with 3 3 in 86 when thompson scored and hodgey they were 3 1 up and we rallied on late to salvage a point.

    ppl think norwich are down and they are correct. but they are not dead, they just make silly errors like us. they are playing better than their results show on paper. if watford think they just have to turn up they will get beaten. norwich if they play like they did last two defeats will be a good match for watford.

    palace and arsenal must be 6 points and manure anther 3 points should be enough,

  8. Avatar
    Third Generation Villian July 6, 2020 at 11:34 pm .

    So DS is not at fault, he does have a plan B, its just the poor quality players we have.

    So he did not have anything to do with the players that we bought in since he has been in charge.

    if thats the case then he is a fool for taking the job, because how can he build his own team if he has no say on who we buy.

    how can he build his team next season if thats the case?

    No manager would work under those conditions

    he knew in January we needed a striker to get us goals, why did he not make sure we got the right one, because Sammata is not good enough, our forwards have scored 9 goals all season between them , Wesley, Samatta,Davis.

    i understand he is a villa fan, and a nice guy and its all his fault, and we all want him succeed but in my opinion he is not up to the premiership.

    and i agree with Beamo we wont win another game this season which would mean we did not win a game in the last 14 or 15 games of the season when we go down,

    and who knows how long it will be before we get back again.

    i have supported the Villa all my life and i’m nearly 70 and i have never been so downbeat about the club as i have been over the last 5 years

    and i followed the villa all over the country even when we were in the old 3rd division.

    sad times.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 July 7, 2020 at 7:31 am .

      Well here’s another long suffering 70+ year old Villa fan 🙂

      I don’t think anyone is saying Smith is blameless – it’s the degree of culpability that’s under discussion plus whether, given more time, he will develop into a manager of the capability of say Dyche or whether yet another manager coming in is right for the club in the long term.

      Also under discussion is Purslow and Suso’s roles particularly over our transfer dealings last summer (we can probably excuse the January window where our hand was forced by injuries and FFP).

      Let’s say we get relegated (highly probable) and we sack Smith, appoint a new manager who it’s guaranteed won’t be everyone’s choice and we struggle – what then – another new manager.

      Finally, we all wanted Smith (well a significant majority did) so that also makes us fans culpable as well – doesn’t it 🙂

      1. Avatar
        nath July 7, 2020 at 8:03 pm .

        i cant believe this post hasn’t got more than one tick / like i will double that tally.

        i gave smith my blessing he was the man for me. so i would hold my hands up and say i am culpable. but i believe he has been hamstrung. his teams play flowing footy villa have not played like that. that tells me he has not got the players he wants or needs to play his way

  9. Avatar
    Roy Bracy July 7, 2020 at 12:23 am .

    I agree I’ve also followed villa all my life and I’m 70now.i remember helping the club when they wanted money when Doug came in. It’s sad 😢 what’s happened to the villa,we need someone like Saunders as manager and remember the bendalls and stride we should have built on that squad in the 80s. Maybe we should stick with Smith and build a team for the future but definitely get rid of Sousa.

    1. Avatar
      nath July 7, 2020 at 6:40 am .

      sounds like we all agree the transfer policy sucked last summer. if smith was heavily involved in this decision making. then he should go too. but if he was just a voice that was out voted or not listened too. then he should stay. whoever made them decisions. like Trézéguet instead of Benrahma trz has good attributtes but he is struggling to adapt his game to english style Benrahma is known to smith and i believe he would have put his name into the conversation. but the club went with a cheaper alternative. so i think smith was one of maybe three ppl panel and he was outvoted on many decisions. so fook the panel or committee. we need one trusted person to make the player incoming decisions

    2. Avatar
      Bill Pearson.. July 7, 2020 at 7:53 am .

      Good to see us mature fans see the writing on the wall before our younger fans, I also travelled all over the country even European cup game , its heart reaching to see us struggle season after season and we still don’t see the better years when players respected the shirt and the club. Greed taken over and players are well off over one season . I’m 81 and don’t expect to see glory days back at Villa Park when we have top brass picking a manager because hes a Villa fan, to me it was to put bums on seats and boost the crowds. I’ve got to the stage in life that people on here know more than me of the game but don’t see the road we’re taking. I worked at the club for 20 years and remember the time panicking set in, Steve Stride and I walked around the outside of Villa ground asking me,why are the crowds thinning out, said Steve we don’t think about our fans like other clubs, drop prices for kids, bring back to show the crowd’s we still keep in touch with players of years gone bye, the answer was gone has the days that money from the turnstiles pay the wages, that made me believe we was run by people that had a job at Villa Park but didn’t see the future.

      1. Avatar
        Hitchens60 July 7, 2020 at 11:57 am .

        Bill, I firmly believe TV revenues have changed professional football into pure business and it’s irreversible (sadly other sports seem to be heading in the same direction).

        Just read about an American footballer who’s just been given a ten year contract worth £420m – sheer lunacy.

        1. Avatar
          Bill Pearson.. July 7, 2020 at 6:25 pm .

          And you and I have to pay the money Hitch, life’s a bitch to see media companies walking away rich gits.

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