Villa 0 – 0 Millwall; Oh dear!

I attempted my usual drive up the A38 to work at six o’clock this morning and only made it as far as the Horse and Jockey in Sutton, before I decided that I was being stupid and headed back home.
The roads didn’t look like they’d been gritted at all and the thought of going down the hill at Weeford frankly scared me.
Hence I really would advise against driving today, as the roads are lethal.

Anyway, it means I’ve got a chance to post my thoughts on yesterday’s game and frankly they can be summed up as “disappointed”.
We really ought to be beating a side that is barely in the third quarter of the league; especially at home and we just can’t afford to be dropping points like this if we’re to challenge for the play-offs.

As is often the case of late, I didn’t see or hear anything of the game as I was stuck at work, but by all accounts we were very poor. The stats would seem to back this up, with us only having one shot on target against Millwall’s eight.
Now, we can all have off days, but that frankly isn’t good enough is it? And that’s not bias of any kind, it’s just pure fact.

It says a lot that Johnstone was head and shoulders our best player and not a single other player came out with much credit and I really don’t know what else there is to say.

I suppose you can look on the positive side and say that at least we didn’t lose, but I’m not finding much comfort in that, especially after we’ve dropped a place to Derby. Continuing the positive vein, at least they’re only one point ahead of us now that they’ve used up their game in hand.

But what makes yesterday so disappointing is that on paper, it was the easiest fixture we’re going to have for the rest of December, with Derby (A), Sheff U (H), Brentford (A) and Boro (A) coming up.
I really don’t see many points there, do you?
The lads are really going to have to dig deep.
Which is pretty apt, as it happens, because I’m looking out the window and seeing 4 inches of snow, with the forecasters saying we have another seven hours worth to go.

If you really do have to drive today, be careful out there.


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  1. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson December 10, 2017 at 9:55 am .

    We was poor Badger, and I mean poor, that performance will not get us in the top 6, i know its only half way in the league but we need a centre forward bad, Davis is not the answer with his performance yesterday. Derby will tell us if we stand any chance of being in the play off.

    1. Bill Pearson
      Bill Pearson December 10, 2017 at 11:26 am .

      In my mind on Davis, he hasn’t put the performance in like the time he was looking to sign a contract, the kid was playing to get a contract, and boy my thoughts was hes one for the future. Yesterday’s performance was didn’t win the ball, lost control when he had it, then all his lay off went astray, I know he can get better, might be we played the wrong man along side of him, still in Bruce I trust till I see January’s team but at the minute we will not be in that top 6 if we play like that again.

      1. nath
        nath December 10, 2017 at 11:35 am .

        davis is being found wanting more, because teams are knowing off him they are preparing for him. they are surrounding him, which is good for us, should mean more spaces for others. if he has runners to lay it to and if he releases it quickly, but none of those happens and he keeps hold to long. needs a rest badly

  2. nath
    nath December 10, 2017 at 10:20 am .

    don’t know how i type my thoughts on this game. i am damned if i am positive and damned if i am over critical. millwall are a good team and many thought they aren’t, that’s a big problem. fans don’t rate any teams in this league except maybe wolves who they dribble at.

    we should beat millwall if we are playing good. but i seen bad signs in our play for weeks. whether its fatigue or just another off day. without the ball we are not committing to a good defensive shape with a good press. they are disorganised and pressing in ones and twos. with the ball they are just as bad. we are too predictable and slow. two bad traits lethal when you suffer both.

    fans attending were showing their discontent rightly or wrongly really early. this attitude can hinder the players more. i think the players just had a collectively bad day. millwall had a decent game plan like wednesday. they pressed us and unlike the teams we used to suffer that sat back.both millwall and wednesday took the game to villa, we are simply not as good as we think. millwall were most dangerous at villas own corners. thats the bad organisation i was talking about.

    when you play teams aggressive like those two. you have to be quicker with the pass, pass past the pressing or simply tire them out by moving the ball quickly, keeping lots of possession. we don’t do none of this. grealish is the one player that can play the tippy tappy stuff but not sure they were told to play slow and tippy tappy stuff milwall knew our game plan and they stopped us reaching the areas we wanted. we also lacked a leader yesterday

    take it easy on me iam suffering from flu

  3. nath
    nath December 10, 2017 at 3:38 pm .

    sheff wednesday started off this pressing villa into errors. they hoped to achieve,that we would start rushing our possession. starving our forwards. but they also went further. knowing villa would hit davis more and more,they surrounded him cutting off any platform we could hoped for. they also backed up this with a more passing style game, which had us chancing shadows. this combination made villa fans get onto the home players and they rushed more and played into sheff wdnesday plan.

    i said after that day others will try this. but not all can. leeds did try this and almost pulled it off, millwall definitely had the same plan as wednesday. but they lacked the same possession style of wednesday, they had to come up with some other way to finish us off. they didn’t quite manage that. but they managed to find a massive flaw into our marking from our own set pieces. yes we are attacking, but their is always a plan in case of a clearance. you generally have your fullback and the defending mid back on halfway ish millwall broke on villa loads of times. scary to think they couldn’t manage to stop as many times as it happened,

    finally back to how to beat the press. well you do need leaders to organise this. but you have to move the ball quickly and crisp from one side to the other. mostly you want to bypass the press. so you don’t want to pass into the press with small tippy tappy passes. like we did. you go longer into the target man or your wide boys. this would tire them quicker and then you can get a grip. as we did against leeds. finally the crowd get nervous and onto the players backs this makes players want to be more precise and measured, so not making mistakes to annoy the crowd more. but that is too slow to move the pressing players about, this wont get them moving enough to tire and so they could manage to press us most of game.

    at the end i saw many millwall players stretching hamstrings callapsing to the ground,they spent of all their energy. none of this from our players. that says it all. need to be better al round with and without ball. working just enough is not good enough,

  4. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson December 10, 2017 at 3:53 pm .

    Explain this Nat, your saying we was fitter yet we have two down,Meanwhile, midfielder Henri Lansbury completed his first 90 minutes of the season having previously struggled with a knee injury. However, the ex-Nottingham Forest skipper has since complained of a similar injury to Samba.

    Asked specifically about Samba, Bruce told us: “I’m not so sure whether it’s a calf or a hamstring – it looked like a hamstring. Lansbury has got one as well. So that’s a disappointment.

  5. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson December 10, 2017 at 4:27 pm .

    Ok , do you think Bruce was wrong in not playing Conor Houihane when he plays Lansbury, he’s now saying he thinks he made a big mistake. We defiantly was lacking in that middle again, 1 shot on goal, Grealish made a different coming on.

    1. nath
      nath December 10, 2017 at 4:37 pm .

      i red bruces comments about this lansbury and houihane we still would have struggled if he hadn’t switched them. its because of reasons i said earlier. they had a plan how to stop us and get at us and switching them two players wouldn’t make a raft of difference.

      grealish i think would have made a difference, playing in the role the spuds loan player is playing. another way to beat a press is somebody playing direct somebody who is accurate at passing. grealish loves dropping a shoulder and slipping past his marker, this would mean defenders and midfielder’s would have to double up on him this means a less affective press on other villa players and less effective press

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