I should have known better, shouldn’t I, than calling this one a certain win?
The Villa never fail to let us down, whenever we think it’s in the bag.
I commented early on that I thought us playing so wide all the time wasn’t working.
You can say that Bolasie and El Ghazi were just poor today or you can say Preston did very well in just controlling them. It doesn’t really matter, as either way, they were ineffective.
Couple that with Whelan and Hourihane both being pretty much invisible (the latter, again) and to me, it was obvious.
John McGinn is excepted from any criticism, to my mind, because although he was amongst the most sloppy of our side, so his workrate and desire to win the ball back continue to keep me astounded.
Whatever, I think my point is proven when you consider that we brought Bjarnason on for Whelan and he offered more in a couple of minutes, than Hourihane and Whelan had put together previously.
What concerns me slightly about that is that the coaches didn’t see it, or at least left it too late to change it.
In Smith’s defence, perhaps he just thought that one of the wingers would just produce something. Which is fair enough, given that they do have that ability.
You have to give massive credit to Preston though.
Given the injuries they have, they gave us a very good game and maybe deserved to even nick it, given that poor goalkeeping from Nyland (again!) nearly gave them an early goal headstart.
Whatever, this is massively disappointing when you consider that today was a good day to catch up on the top 6.
While it was a poor first half, it got better and better as the game went on.
Football is supposed to be about entertainment and I suppose we got it today, even if the result isn’t what we wanted.
As per usual, we move on.