Our lack of goals isn’t down to the strikers; It’s the midfield

Apparently there’s some England game coming up, which is frankly annoying and just disturbs the proper footy season, to my mind.
So yesterday I asked a question about Westwood and I don’t think it was really answered.
The consensus seemed to be that he’s “Ok”, which somehow seems acceptable?

In my opinion, “Ok” just isn’t good enough.
You have to have more than that about you if you’re to compete in the Prem or even the Championship.
I agree he seems “professional” and works hard, but that would be the minimum requirement for any footballer.
Above that, he offers nothing and that’s what’s contributed to our slow demise over recent years.

I firmly believe our midfield is the biggest weak point in our side.
Many games are won and lost in the middle.
While our midfield creates nothing and doesn’t help the defence either.
Like it or not, I believe we were massively weakened when the snake left, because he was the only one in the middle who had anything about him.
Fair enough, he might have been rash in his tackles at times, but he was effective and was able to change the pace of a game whether moving us forward or just killing it when we were seriously threatened. It’s why Man City bought him, after all and I never understood the dislike of him, even before he left.

Anyway, that’s a separate rant, where some might say the snake hasn’t been integral at Man City, which would be fair enough. To which I’d answer that they still bought him though. Who else have we had in the middle that City would even have glanced at, over the last few years?

The point is it’s no good complaining about the full backs not putting decent crosses in, if the midfield are absolute gash and don’t contribute with goals or at least chances.
And Westwood is a major part of this problem.
I have to say Gardner, as much as I love him, has never looked like a possible solution either.

Hopefully Jedinak and Tshibola will greatly improve us in this area and Westwood won’t get a look in.
But if he does, apart from being a last resort back up, we won’t achieve anything, no matter what we do, because this sort of player quite simply isn’t good enough.

I’ll try and make that my last word about a very average player, who has epitomised why we got relegated.
Unless he keeps getting a start.


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  1. Ardent Villain
    Ardent Villain September 3, 2016 at 12:41 am . Reply

    “Who else have we had in the middle that City would even have glanced at, over the last few years?”

    – James Milner… [OK, that was 6 years ago]

    1. bencey83
      bencey83 September 3, 2016 at 11:58 am . Reply

      Gareht Barry (2009)

  2. Son Lyme (@Son_Lyme)
    Son Lyme (@Son_Lyme) September 3, 2016 at 1:06 am . Reply

    Villa’s midfield has been growing weaker over the last few years. Combine that with suicidal full backs and you not only have a weak goal threat, you also have an issue conceding. Gana could not wait to get away because even when he won the ball, beat a man, and ran into space, the rest of them didn’t move to offer support.

    I think we will see a difference now with the new manager and new players. I take hope in the fact that Villa top the charts in chances created – I just hope the new faces start taking them.

    1. badger123
      badger123 September 3, 2016 at 11:03 am . Reply

      You’re always going to get this with players we sign, imo Hitch.
      Put yourself in his place and what would anyone do?
      We’ve probably tripled his wages at least.

      As much as I quite like my job and wouldn’t consider moving for a few quid a week, offer me 50% on top and I’d probably go.
      Offer me triple and I’d want to strangle anyone who was trying to stop me 🙂

      Another slight aside, but I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday.
      Being a Derby fan, he has way more knowledge of the Championship than me and his opinion was that Kodjia’s a great signing, but we paid at least 30% too much for him.
      Which backs up what I thought.
      That’s the way it is though these days, I suppose.

  3. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson September 3, 2016 at 8:13 am . Reply

    Hitch that does, just hope bigger clubs don’t take a shine at him if he’s on fire for us. Most on here did say that midfield was a massive problem Badger, but why didn’t the club see it? we had talk of player disruption, we had talk of not wanting to be at Villa, to me the whole club was weak internally in management, coaching and owned by a complete idiot of an American. Let’s hope the bad apple’s are gone and Villa are back in the big time again soon.

  4. giddyvillan
    giddyvillan September 3, 2016 at 8:58 am . Reply

    Make the most of him while we got him,if his heads easily turned (benteke #2?).I really hope he bangs um in for us this season.UTV

  5. giddyvillan
    giddyvillan September 3, 2016 at 9:00 am . Reply

    Ps a Bristol city fan did say to me be on your guard every transfer window with this lad,sour grapes possibly???

  6. pat57
    pat57 September 3, 2016 at 10:25 am . Reply


    Yes I’d agree with you up to a point about our mid-field although I would say in Westwood’s defense that he was the only mid-fielder who seemed to give a toss last season.

    I’ve got a feeling that he still might figure in RDM’s plans though. In mid-field you usually need a tackler (Jedinak?), a creative player (Tshibola?) and a holding player. All the fans see is the holding player passing sideways but,if the rest of the team is doing their job, then this often allows them time to move into forward positions so that the creative mid-fielder then has someone to pass to.

    Wondering if we have Amavi and De Laet, two pacey full backs playing together, whether sometimes we might be able to by-pass midfield altogether and play up the wings. If we played 3 at the back (Elphick,Chester, Baker) with Jedinak covering we might just scare some teams.

    Just a thought.

  7. DSVilla
    DSVilla September 3, 2016 at 12:30 pm . Reply

    Westwood plays a role that several managers have valued. He doesn’t seem to do anything noticeable, so he is an easy target when we have suffered over the last few seasons. Most teams have unsung players that seem just knit the rest together. I’m not his biggest fan but hey ho.

    I don’t know how RDM will set up the team going forward. The back 4 looks pretty set apart from LB (Cissokho or Amavi). Ahead of them I would like to see Jedinak and Tschibola. I think Adomah will feature heavily, and McCormack and Kodjia will be used together if they can play together. That leaves a space which is probably Grealish. Gestede will be cover for injuries/suspensions for the front 2, as well as a route 1 option sub when we need to get back in a game where things are not going to plan.

    That would also leave a strongish bench when everyone is fit (Ayew, the other LB, Gestede, Westwood, Bacuna). Ayew will clearly get the hump if not played, but it’s great to have serious competition for a starting place.

  8. DSVilla
    DSVilla September 3, 2016 at 12:31 pm . Reply

    Oh and Gardner as a sub too.

  9. OriginalLondonLion
    OriginalLondonLion September 3, 2016 at 7:14 pm . Reply

    On the positive side, Westwood was well groomed, seemed to have a good attitude, and did not put in tackles to injure opponents. Unfortunately I cannot think of anything else.
    He was physically light-weight which meant he was too easy to tackle and he could not himself tackle opponents well. Over long distance he could neither shoot straight or pass accurately. /it is difficult to tell with the colleagues he had, but he did not have the vision required for his role. He did not have pace. and he wasn’t much good at heading the ball. He was a good centre midfield for Crewe, full stop. He still did not have a worse record than Delph for games lost at Villa Park.

    Frankly, to win promotion for the Championship we need a midfield where all the players are better at all the skills than Westwood.

  10. OriginalLondonLion
    OriginalLondonLion September 3, 2016 at 7:24 pm . Reply

    You think midfield is the weakest area. I think it is the second weakest. Until proven otherwise goal keeper is our worst position even after the muppet has departed.

    Once we do get the GK sorted you are right. The following skills, other than the obvious ball-winning, are needed in midfield. A player who can shoot from open play and score from 25 yards. A player who can deliver at least 3 different corner kicks accurately. A good free kick taker. a player with a burst of pace, which will get him through a gap in a packed defence, or back to put in a saving tackle when our defence is breached. A midfield destroyer. And if we continue to have overlapping full backs (hopefully not) and ability to drop in behind and cover.

  11. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson September 3, 2016 at 7:40 pm . Reply

    OLL, spot on about our goalkeeper not being what we wanted, yes already shown weaknesses, but I’m ready to embrace the fact our midfield will be something to see in the coming games, a few more games should see if Villa have turned the corner and going for the title, i don’t think you or me can say at this stage that we are not in contention, but yes we do have doubt on the goalkeeper. Roll on our next game.

  12. Fastjet81
    Fastjet81 September 3, 2016 at 9:37 pm . Reply

    You’ve hit the nail on the head badger. Our fall from grace can be directly linked with how our midfield has degraded over the years. Under MON we had a combative midfield that could handle the rigours of the Premier league. The likes of Barry, Milner, Petrov were no pushovers and could offer a goal threat and creativity going forward. Even Reo Coker who I wasn’t a big fan of gave us bite and a physical presence in the middle.

    Since then it has been very lightweight and I’d include Delph in that summary too. When play breaks down teams have carved through our midfield like a knife through butter. Leaving the defence with too much to cover. Jedinak is a signing that’s been long over due, going back as far as 5 years.

  13. giddyvillan
    giddyvillan September 4, 2016 at 8:59 am . Reply

    Kodjia scored a cracker yesterday for ivory Coast hopefully things to come sorry don’t know how to link the you tube video of it.

  14. VillaAwayInDiv3
    VillaAwayInDiv3 September 4, 2016 at 11:18 am . Reply
  15. VillaAwayInDiv3
    VillaAwayInDiv3 September 4, 2016 at 11:21 am . Reply
    1. pat57
      pat57 September 4, 2016 at 1:11 pm . Reply

      What a goal! Reminded me a bit of Shaqiri’s overhead kick in the Euros

  16. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson September 4, 2016 at 9:00 pm . Reply

    Brilliant goal, looking forward to see him at Villa Park, I’ll even say Oohah might like it as well.

    1. giddyvillan
      giddyvillan September 5, 2016 at 8:03 am . Reply

      Ooha might like it?? Lol 😀 more chance of hell freezing over.

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath September 7, 2016 at 6:02 pm . Reply

        Ha ha. Good goal but I don’t give a toss what he does elsewhere it’s what he does for us that counts

  17. pat57
    pat57 September 5, 2016 at 11:47 am . Reply

    BBC reporting Grealish injured and out of U21s.

    Hope its nothing serious.

    1. giddyvillan
      giddyvillan September 5, 2016 at 3:55 pm . Reply

      No great worry I’m sure our latest editions will be starting come Sunday anyway.

  18. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson September 6, 2016 at 7:28 pm . Reply

    Hard lines Grealish, England unter 21s won 6-1.

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