Outthought, outfought and outplayed.

I admit to having stopped watching after Leed’s second goal; it seemed pointless putting oneself through further agony!

Love him or hate him, Bielsa is undoubtedly an exceptional coach with far more experience than Smith and JT put together and I thought that last night it showed. He set the team up to attack our weaknesses and defend our strengths adding a phenomenal work rate and energy – it remains to be seen whether they can maintain such a high tempo for the whole of the season.

The Sky pundits will, no doubt be creaming themselves.

But enough of Leeds

We were a distant second best on the night, lacking organization, energy, cohesion – back to being a group of individuals rather than a team; epitomised by Grealish falling back into old habits of holding the ball too long and thinking he had to win the game by himself.

Watkins seemed isolated up front and there was a clear disconnect between defence, midfield and attack – it was almost as if they were trying to play exactly the same way as against Liverpool assuming that Leeds high pressing game would leave gaps at the back to expose with long balls  – Leeds, however do not, like Liverpool, play a high line looking for offsides.

It would be wrong just to single out Grealish though. Cash had a poor game; being caught out of position a number of times and diving in high up the pitch allowing Harrison free range on the left side where much of Leeds attacking play originated. Harrison had Cash on toast all night which repeatedly pulled our defence out of shape creating space in the middle for Bamford.

Mings lost his cool as evidenced by trying to pick Bamford up by his shirt, although understandable to a degree, given Bamford’s ‘previous’ with the Villa and he did appear to make a lot out of incident after stepping on Ming’s foot. Trezeguet worked hard as always but seemed to revert to his old habits of aimlessly lapping Villa Park. McGinn faded, Barclay really didn’t influence the game at all and Luiz seemed at times to get caught in no man’s land.

Ironically, I thought Targett played well, keeping Costa quiet (he seems to have benefited from having Barclay play the number 10 role – or is that my imagination?) and along with Martinez, Konsa and Watkins probably escapes any criticism.

In the same way as four wins don’t make us a top four team, neither does one loss, no matter how disappointing, make us a poor side. Liverpool, Manure and Citeh have all suffered big losses this season which might just prove to be one of the most open for some years.

I do wonder whether the lack of crowds is a factor – top sportsmen do feed of crowd energy.

No game now until Sunday when it’s another tricky fixture against a good Southampton side; will this provide a clearer picture of how our season might unfold?



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  1. Avatar
    Guest October 30, 2020 at 6:43 pm .

    I’ve recently got an app called ‘watched’ and you pay 30 quid a year and get all sports (including PPV) for free, as well as movies and box sets, great value for money, you can choose between HD or normal quality too.

  2. Avatar
    nath October 31, 2020 at 6:51 am .

    dreading soton game just cause villa were soundly beaten by leeds. i don’t agree with certain players being picked out as the reason for that defeat. i think as a team we were second best, certainly second half and even thou we were in the game first half leeds were on top in that half too.

    soton will play not too differently to leeds in that they counter with lightening speeds, they may not press as relentlessly for the ball in all areas and especially as high as leeds. but coupled with us being given the run around by leeds and soton are also on form beatening everton and coming back to draw with chelsea. this game will be another massive test.

    soton will also create confusion like leeds did by creating 2 on 1’s or the 3
    on 2’s in full back areas, leeds did this loads and they achieved that by interchanging positions throughout the game, dragging the play on one side and switching the ball to isolate our full back. soton wont go to that extremes, but they will send their fullbacks forwards and try to create the overlaps, their main danger are they are really fast at countering,switching from defence to attack in a blink of a eye. can we cope with that and can we cause them enough trouble. ? i hope so

    villa will have been on pvp 4 times in such a short time. what do we think of that. i think its a ripoff and proof they hate us. so called top teams like manure and pool fans havent been extorted as cruelly as us

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 October 31, 2020 at 10:07 am .

      I’m worried about Sunday’s fixture.

      I fear another defeat.

      Best, I think will be a draw but can’t see us winning unless Smith has developed a new strategy?

  3. Avatar
    Third Generation Villian October 31, 2020 at 8:51 am .

    I have a full sky tv package and BT football as well and did not mind paying for the football as its not possible for me to get to games.

    However i refuse to pay a penny of this PPV now imposed by billionaire owners trying to get every last penny of the ordinary man that they can.

    And further more i am cancelling my sky and BT package in full in February when the contracts up and will be using other means after that to watch football and tv , if you get my drift.

    and i hope this happens in the thousands,

    sheer greed

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 October 31, 2020 at 10:01 am .

      I wouldn’t normally say this but tbf I think it’s the EPL rather than the broadcasters who have set the price at £14.95 not that they (Sky / BT) couldn’t have softened the charges.

      I see that a number of managers have now criticised the price – a general consensus that £4.95 would be an acceptable price seems to be emerging.

      If we go back into a nationwide lockdown will the EPL be forced into reconsidering the PPV price?

      1. Avatar
        Hitchens60 October 31, 2020 at 10:05 am .

        And yes, Villa fans have had a raw deal when it comes to PPV but so have Albion – is it an anti Birmingham bias 🙂 ?

        1. Avatar
          Bum Bum October 31, 2020 at 10:48 am .

          Nobody loves people from the Midlands 😢😢😢. Sod ’em!!!!

          1-0 Villa tomorrow.

  4. Avatar
    villa123 October 31, 2020 at 10:51 am .

    From what I’ve read it was the broadcasters who set the price, on the basis that EFL games cost a tenner.
    I’m not sure what to think about this one. I’ll mull it over and post before the game.

  5. Avatar
    Badger123 October 31, 2020 at 7:30 pm .

    It’s probably not that important in the scheme of things, but Boris has just confirmed that footy will continue during the new lockdown.

    1. Avatar
      Third Generation Villian October 31, 2020 at 11:44 pm .

      At £15 a match they can shove it

  6. Avatar
    nath November 1, 2020 at 7:51 am .

    these kickoffs also are pissing me off. noon really messes me up, i am becoming anti social with these lockdowns and noon kickoffs its even worst then dreaded 6 pm one, where i am just getting in from work and disappearing cause i want to watch the game, family haven’t seen me all day tbf i miss the first 30 mins of the 6 ish games so another reason why i wouldnt pay for it

  7. Avatar
    Bill Pearson.. November 1, 2020 at 8:28 am .

    I’m on my second year of not paying PPV Boxing, football, Films about 8,000 you name it I don’t pay. I see the Arsenal game been moved to November 8th 7 15 KO they are taking the piss as that’s PPV. Yes todays games no pushover and a chance to be on top nd a game in hand, interesting !!

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