Southampton – Villa; It’s all about the defence

Southampton+v+Villa

I really wish I could begin a preview with a sentence something along the lines of “I’m well confident we’ll take the three points here”.

But you just can’t, can you?

While we apparently looked better against Watford (I didn’t see the game and had no wish to after seeing the result, news highlights apart), we have to admit that Watford are really no great shakes and will probably struggle overall this season. Hence we really should have expected to beat them at home.
But we didn’t, purely down to yet more schoolboy defending, a problem that has been ongoing for far too long.
We’ve had a very good history over the last 40 years or more of having a very good central defensive pairing and this is probably the saddest part for me, when it comes to our demise over recent years.

I’m tempted to say we have on paper, decent defenders, in Micah Richards and Ciaran Clark (although I accept he’s marmite), but they aren’t decent are they?
Certainly the facts say so anyway, as we’ve conceded 27 in 14 games.

My opinion is that the midfield generally don’t have the steel to stop the opposition and our full backs are just not good enough to be expected to do the attacking/defending blend that’s being asked of them.
And what that boils down to, is that if you face an onslaught, you’re going to concede.
Add that to a goalie out of form and a massive lack of confidence, where we’re making such simple mistakes and you’re going to concede even more.

You can easily argue that we don’t score enough either, but Stoke have scored a goal less than us, yet sit 14 points higher than we do. So that’s not the real problem, although missing Benteke obviously doesn’t help.

Hence why it’s all about the defence.

And what do we see in the squad news?

Well Clark is suspended and Richards is looking doubtful with a knee injury.
Okore is fit and will probably come in and as much as I like him this isn’t an ideal game for him to start as he isn’t going to be up to speed.
And Lescott will also be available, where I’ll just say that’s not ideal, given what we’ve seen so far this season.

So it isn’t looking good is it?

In other squad news, Jack Grealish is still training with the kids so won’t be available.
To be honest, that’s no loss for me, as he doesn’t do enough work in a relegation destined team.
We need fighters and he simply isn’t one, although he does have a big future in a better performing, more confident team.
My money says he’ll be re-instated to the squad next week, but it doesn’t matter.

Perhaps more interesting is that Gabby is available.
Has he really been injured or has he just taken a break after all the criticism he’s faced?
Or is that second point just a figment of my imagination?
Who knows? But either way, if he’s back in a better frame of mind and fired up, I’m willing to see him start.
But surely it has to be last chance saloon for him?
Unfortunately, I suspect that his ridiculously high wages will mean that he’ll figure in the squad more often than not, regardless of what us fans think.

As for Southampton, Jose Fonte is a doubt, while Jay Rodriguez, Fraser Forster and Florin Gardos are still out.

I’d probably normally say that’s decent for us, but when you look at the way we’ve played, combined with what’s been some pretty poor luck up to now, I don’t see our losing streak coming to a halt.

I’m expecting us to concede at least one, given the defence, although I’d expect us to score too.

It’ll be interesting to see how the manager approaches this one.
Surely any sensible manager will try and play with the thought of not conceding being the priority?
But we tried that against Everton and it proved a disaster, because as soon as we concede, we don’t have the balls to fight back, especially against a better, more cohesive team, which Southampton definitely are.

My opinion says we should go at Southampton from the off with the hope of getting an early goal, which would put the home side on the back foot.
But then we have the problem where we don’t create enough chances.

We’re in trouble aren’t we?

I’ll go for a 3-1 loss.
And that’s if Southampton cruise their way through the game.

74 Comments

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  1. badger123 December 5, 2015 at 4:55 pm . Reply

    a point!
    Hallelujah!!!!

  2. GIDDYVILLAN December 5, 2015 at 4:55 pm . Reply

    Lucky to get a point better than FUCKall.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath December 5, 2015 at 6:16 pm . Reply

      When your at the bottom luck usually goes against you so il take the point happily.

  3. Guest December 5, 2015 at 4:55 pm . Reply

    2 points lost today, they were there for the taking, but as per usual we buckled, some may see it as a good point but i think that was as poor a performance i have ever seen from Villa today.

    1. #HELENIUS December 5, 2015 at 4:58 pm . Reply

      2 points lost?? They should have stuffed us. Oh, you must mean Soton lost 2 points.

    2. badger123 December 5, 2015 at 4:59 pm . Reply

      Have you seen all of our games Guest?
      I’d say we’ve been worse than that and Everton springs to mind straight away.

      1. Guest December 5, 2015 at 5:09 pm . Reply

        I have indeed but Everton had far better players on form than Southampton did today, yes they could have scored 5 but at 1-0 up they had nothing and we did everything to keep giving them the ball back, the whole team is devoid of any confidence and it makes for very uncomfortable viewing.

  4. Dave67 December 5, 2015 at 4:57 pm . Reply

    Happy with the draw., how did Westwood miss that.

  5. VillaAwayInDiv3 December 5, 2015 at 5:00 pm . Reply

    Balls…….have you noticed its the Premiership……..from being almost 5 down and get a point means something was good……..and Sanchez was MOM….of course we might have got more but I think some people just come on here to criticize.

    1. Guest December 5, 2015 at 5:12 pm . Reply

      How on earth was Sanchez MOM?

      And the context of what i am saying is clearly being lost on you, we should have closed the game out at 1-0 with 20 mins to go. These moments are the difference survival and relegation.

      His distribution is pathetic and he put us in trouble on at least 2 occasions, Ayew was far better.

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath December 5, 2015 at 6:02 pm . Reply

        Sanchez makes too many mistakes and gas cost us a few goals this year. You hit the nail on the head ‘closing game out’ until we learn how to do that we will never win a another game this season

  6. pat57 December 5, 2015 at 5:09 pm . Reply

    An away draw but why does it feel like a win?

    I was listening on the radio and once they let a goal in I thought here we go and expected them to let 3 more in.

    But they didn’t.

    Well done and thanks guys, I can actually watch MOTD tonight 🙂

  7. billys boots December 5, 2015 at 5:14 pm . Reply

    a lot more desire there, how did Sanchez get mom?he frightens the life out of me ayew by far the more accomplished player

  8. Benno December 5, 2015 at 5:55 pm . Reply

    Lucky today, but we were unlucky not to get at least a point last week.

    Some definite positives from today. Ayew was great again. Veretout and Gana were much better. Good to see Okore back too, possible partnership with Richards?

    On the other hand, Gestede is not a Premier League player. Sinclair was anonymous again. Sanchez, as much as I like him is a liability! Lescott made some good interceptions, but always looks vulnerable. Bacuna did his best at LB, but is not the solution.

    Oh well, at least its an easy game next week!

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath December 5, 2015 at 6:01 pm . Reply

      Under normal circumstances a point v saints is a decent result. IV not seen match but obvious we would never hold onto lead. Lescott and Sanchez are liabilities but it’s probably a point we wouldn’t have got a month ago. It’s a base to kick on from and we’ve still gained a point on teams above us. Problem is its Arsenal at home next we should just take the defeat and save our energy for more winnable games that

  9. pat57 December 6, 2015 at 12:12 am . Reply

    Arsenal weren’t so great against Sunderland – in fact they were lucky to win.

    If we attack and say sod it well who knows what might happen?

    Garde has to at least give his team the confidence that they can win. After today’s performance perhaps they might start believing him

Right or Wrong? What do YOU think?

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