Thoughts after the Arsenal loss and the news in the aftermath.

Okay, so upon reflection I’ve realised that we never had a hope in hell of getting anything against Arsenal on Sunday, just the same as we haven’t done when playing them at home, for ages.
To be honest it wasn’t the loss that disappointed but more the manner of the first half.
I console myself that things did improve in the second half though.

Anyway, it’s gone and we need to move on.

So I’m looking around at the news and it isn’t good is it?

Shearer and other pundits are saying that the squad aren’t up for it and the players aren’t committed to the cause.
I say I’m not convinced this is true, an opinion that has been backed up by Joleon Lescott, who says the players are trying (which of course, he would do).
While the lack of effort in getting back for Arsenal’s second was poor, I honestly don’t think I’ve been able to say the players haven’t tried in any game before that particularly poor piece of play.
Certainly, I’ve said in many games that I couldn’t fault the players for their effort and I haven’t noticed many, if indeed any of you, pulling me up on that point.

No, I believe it’s more about the lack of confidence and we’re just getting what poor confidence usually gives you: poor results.
That and probably the players just aren’t good enough as a whole to blend together in the short time we have.
Yes, we know there are major problems, but the consensus has generally been that we can see good qualities about individual players and the same consensus has often said that we shouldn’t be where we are in the table.

Which brings us nicely onto the manager.
Remi Garde has very kindly said that if we go down (note it read to me more like “when” we go down) he’ll stay and rebuild the foundations of a big club.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I found that comment frankly annoying.
If the manager can countenance the “R” word in a conversation with the press, what does that say to the players?
The honeymoon is over for me with Garde, as I found that interview a bloody disgrace.
Why didn’t he just come out with what any decent manager would do and say “we haven’t even considered relegation and I won’t talk about it” or similar, even though we all know it’s rubbish?
It’s just indicative of how inexperienced he is in being in charge of a club in our position and given that I’ve seen practically no difference in what he’s done compared to Sherwood, I’m already beginning to think he was the wrong choice.
Perhaps I’m being fickle in saying that this early into his reign, but the truth be told, Garde isn’t up to what’s required for a team fighting relegation.
Hasn’t the club, that seems to be very good at PR bullshit bothered to learn him anything about how PR works in this league?

All my thoughts are irrelevant though, if we’re already thinking about the Championship (even the name of it makes me laugh) in which case he’s very possibly the right man. But what’s that saying about us if that’s so?

Which all combines to bring thoughts about Tom Fox’s meeting with the trust and what Stan Collymore’s worries are.

It was interesting to note that the meeting was a seemingly rushed affair before the Arsenal game. How convenient.
Of course, it wouldn’t have been after the game, as trust members would have been more irrational after yet another home defeat.
So why not make it mid-week?
Anyway, Fox seems to have easily batted off any criticisms.

We don’t do Moneyball, apparently, simple as. Sherwood had the final say on the players who were signed.
Whereas Shearer says NONE of the thirteen players signed were Sherwood’s choice.
Who to believe?
Well, no doubt many of you will say Sherwood has a lot of media friends and that’s absolutely correct.
But can anyone doubt that we have no-one in the higher echelons of the club, that has even kicked a ball at any level and that their experience is more to do with running a business, as opposed to running a Football club?
And make no mistake about it, while they’re similar, they’re also poles apart.

The news about a new chairman, to me, is utterly meaningless, unless it’s a massive footballing name or someone who is coming to seriously invest in the club, with a view to taking over completely.
He’ll most likely be yet another business-oriented type who will ultimately answer to the man (not) pulling the purse strings, in Randy Lerner.
Yet more PR bull that has probably come from Fox, as in “oh dear, it isn’t working, let’s do what business does and add another layer of over-paid beaurocracy”.

I think we’re going to add another director.
If it’s not a 100% footballing type, you can write this one off too, imo.

As for Stan Collymore, love him or loathe him, he’s come out with the comment that he worries more about next season than the current one.
It’s obvious what he thinks about the hierarchy of the club.
But that’s for another day.

Just as you’d expect when we’re at our lowest ebb, it’s all doom and gloom isn’t it?


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  1. third generation villian
    third generation villian December 15, 2015 at 7:26 am . Reply

    I said a while ago we had to get the appointment of this manager right or we might not be back for years to come, which is why i would have liked a simular manager like Pulis or Allerdyce just to try and keep us up this season, and ok we had Garde instead and while he may be a decent manager he is not what we needed now and i cant see any improvement since he took over, not even in the performances where is the fight and 110% i could understand the poor results because of the poor squad he has been given but i don’t see the effort there and the way things are going we might not even get to 10 pints let alone 40 sad days indeed.

    1. Sir Earl Barrett
      Sir Earl Barrett December 15, 2015 at 7:47 am . Reply

      TGV, up to a point I agree with you. If our sole aim is to stay in the league we should’ve got a Steve Bruce in. However, we’d a 17th for seasons to come and we’d eventually go. Any move of this nature would be tantamount to putting a plaster on a gun shot wound – we have become no better than Bolton, Charlton, Wigan who were just there to make the numbers up. We are so badly damaged I believe we are beyond repair unless something drastic happens. I am seriously worried we won’t have a team to support in ten years. We are losing tens of millions of pound each season and that’s with the prem money. What will our losses be next season and the season after that if we don’t come back up? The bottom club next season gets £90m so they’ll be three more teams in the Championship in 17/18 with a near £100m start on us.

      On Sunday, we looked second best in every department – no big surprise many would say – but surely effort, desire, workrate are not based on ability? Arsenal have dropped points this season to some of the teams around us so why not have a go? I agree, we will be lucky to get double figures the way we’re going.

      1. Bill Pearson
        Bill Pearson December 15, 2015 at 8:50 am . Reply

        Third generation Villian, Sir Earl Barrett, you both have good points, why did we not go for a proven manager? why did we suddenly after Mon and giving away 11 million start to go on the cheap, the warning signs was plain to see it wouldn’t work, we dug ourselves a big hole and i see no coming back for a very long time, we cannot now blame the players , from the very start they was not premiere standard footballers, all our troubles are from manager to board and owner.even now they talking about Villa’s future if we go down , I cannot see who would like to come to us unless the money is there nail biting times are on the cards.

  2. turv32
    turv32 December 15, 2015 at 8:57 am . Reply

    I don’t blame Garde at all. He was a gamble to say the least.
    The club is rotten, due to Learners dealings.
    Our next 4 fixtures are Newcastle, West Ham, Norwich and Sunderland. if we can’t get at least 9 points from that then we are defo down.
    And our current crop of players are not scrappers which is why Collymore thinks we will struggle in the championship.
    Dark days indeed…

  3. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 December 15, 2015 at 10:30 am . Reply

    The club is broken as a business (and whatever one may wish, football today is first and foremost about being a successful business). Leeds, Blackburn, Portsmouth, Bolton, Middlesbrough even Blues are where they are because of bad management and in its broadest sense coupled with inappropriate financing. Without radical change and massive new investment from a solid financial source we might as well accept we are facing a similar fate.

    What is the chance of that happening?

    1. Sir Earl Barrett
      Sir Earl Barrett December 15, 2015 at 11:53 am . Reply

      I agree about the broken business. Tom Fox said exactly that, and went on to explain that we were a broken business when we were finishing sixth. Of course, you then would question Mr Lerner’s sanity in massively investing in a business that he then trusted someone else to have a free hand over and ruin while he paid no attention to it. Strikes me as reckless. The question is, how can you restructure when the club is taking part in the league every season with no respite? There is no opportunity to stop trading for sixth months to get your house in order and come out stronger – you’re trying to fix an engine whilst rattling down the M6, occasionally changing the driver and hoping they can take you a bit further down the road. This hasn’t worked as manager after manager has been booed out the club to be followed by the next inevitable failure, Garde will finally be the one with the R on his record. You ask what are the chances of this happening and you’ve named six sides it is happening to, so very high! People always used Newcastle as a model of ‘go down, restructure and come back stronger’ but they’re no better than us three seasons down the line. I’m afraid it’ll get worse before it gets better.

  4. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson December 15, 2015 at 1:03 pm . Reply

    Don’t forget Newcastle have a score to settle with us, didn’t we send them down.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath December 15, 2015 at 6:36 pm . Reply

      Newcastle will beat us comfortably on Saturday I’m afraid. They are a much better team than us despite where they are in the league. A draw is best we can hope for but draws are useless now we may as well lose than draw

    DO YOU WANT TO BET AGAINST US? December 15, 2015 at 1:33 pm . Reply

    Badger lack of confidence may well be an issue but Confidence something comes with wins and winning isn’t going to happen until we start to do the simple well.
    MOTD highlighted Arsenal players busting a gut to get back when we broke but when Arsenal scored their second from a breakaway where was Hutton?
    Ambling back, showing neither any urgency or desire the polar opposite of Arsenal.
    Then Shearer on Gusted- same again no effort, no runs off the ball, no movement, he’s simply static and as Shearer points out it leaves the midfield with no pass on.
    “We shouldn’t be where we are in the table” ??
    Badger have I missed something? That is really clutching at straws,as they say the tables don’t lie mate.

    GIDDYVILLAN December 15, 2015 at 2:11 pm . Reply

    We’re by far the worst team in the league & DESERVE to be where we are in the table.

  7. SJS24
    SJS24 December 15, 2015 at 2:46 pm . Reply

    I agree with all the comments in that I think we are doomed this season!

    However 1 last positive go! If we look at the last 5 games (Garde’s games) I believe only Watford on paper we should expect a result. As it turned out 2 points(2 draws). I was at the Watford game, we were shit, I felt mainly because we moved the ball too slow

    The 9 next games (again on paper) we should be looking at at getting results. Of course we won’t win them all, but there is no reason that these teams should steamroller us(current form not good tho).

    Confidence! Play adama, the kid is completely full of himself and that might rub off on the rest of the team, if we can scrap a result.

    I also like the mention on here by someone of playing 4 ch at the back. Richards,okore,lescott,Clarke. Let’s be tough to breakdown then hit teams with pace in attack. Gil,adama, ayew. Kozak got to have more about him than gestede(who looks awful).

    As I said 1 last go of being positive! Could quickly end I accept, but worth a thought!

  8. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum December 15, 2015 at 5:22 pm . Reply

    Dunno why yr upset at Garde facing the truth. We ARE down. There is no way we’re gonna up our win ratio that will get us anywhere near 40 points.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 December 15, 2015 at 6:49 pm . Reply

      Totally agree Bum Bum. As fans we can’t both criticise management for spinning a line and for being honest. We all know we’re going down so for the manager to say otherwise either means he’s a fool or a liar. We don’t need either.

  9. originallondonlion
    originallondonlion December 15, 2015 at 9:16 pm . Reply

    Coming into a pro club when the transfer window is shut is a bit like being a grass roots manager. You probably have not got a balanced side, and some serious holes. The art is took look at who is there and fit that day, and construct a team and a tactical plan which covers the weaknesses and perhaps allows you to play to your strengths.

    The weaknesses Garde had to cover last game were. 1/ No pace in the back line to counter Arsenals forward speed. 2/ No Villa player who can play as a ‘get to the goal line right winger’, therefore no crosses from the right wing to a CF who is better with them than from the left. 3/ A natural tendency for most of the attacking players to play with their back to goal.

    Answers. 1/ back 4 stay deep, this would be dangerous if Alexis or Cazorla could pick their way through from close in but both were out, so it would have worked. 2/ difficult, try a youth team winger or put Hutton at RW and bring in a RB. 3/ play Adama and Sinclair as inside forwards looking to make a run as soon as Sanchez is given the ball, so he has two long pass options. As it was everybody in front of him was static or running towards him.

    We did not see any attempt first half to deal with those weaknesses. The one thing Garde has over a parks team manager is he knows from the TV what each of the opposing players can do, so he should have a plan from the off. He didn’t.

      DO YOU WANT TO BET AGAINST US? December 15, 2015 at 9:24 pm . Reply

      Our lot look like they should be having a fag and an orange at half time.

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath December 15, 2015 at 10:29 pm . Reply

        They probably do

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath December 15, 2015 at 10:29 pm . Reply

      What do we do about Sanchez making errors that lead to goals and him not bothered to chase bk for arsenals second

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