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. nath
    nath December 11, 2017 at 10:03 pm .

    they are all faltering including us. that was one quality i thought we had guts and stamina, i hope last saturday was a blip. quicker terry returns the better too many bad habits are creeping into our game good night jon boy

  2. nath
    nath December 12, 2017 at 7:06 am .

    i don’t make the rules up. their are reasons why goalkeepers are usually bigger players than say those under 6feet. same with target men. they are usually bigger players. if your 5feet 8 and you have 2 or more 6 feet plus defenders breathing down your neck. you are not gonna be able to get a hold of the ball to show your silky skills. what the game davis has skills too but half of what he is doing is fighting of defenders, players like vassel or other smaller skrikers do not play up against the defence they drift out wide and deeper to collect the ball and RUN at defences. we need a target man to build up play BIG difference. we have plenty strikers they can play second striker and not many who can play the main role of target man.

    1. nath
      nath December 12, 2017 at 7:12 am .

      havent got time to explain the basics. but you try to pass the ball along the floor through midfield to your small target man, chances are that ball will be cut out. iam sure they could change the style of play to complement the smaller striker. but i doubt we have the players to change this style. so most balls the target man will get are high balls he has to control and fight off defenders and then try keep possessions lay it off or pass to another player. not forgetting to try get into the box and score. the players you are all suggesting are knocking at the door but as support striker. next idea why don’t they shove them in goal get some experience of 1st team

      1. DSVilla
        DSVilla December 12, 2017 at 10:22 am .

        I wasn’t suggesting we drop Davis for either of the young players. On a previous thread I suggested that Davis needs resting (which he does), but when Hogan got injured after Kodjia that option disappeared. What I was suggesting, maybe poorly, was that O’Hare and McKirdy should at least be on the bench so they could come on to give us some forward presence if Davis was tired/injured. It would also give the option of playing a support striker/attacking mid which we clearly lack. That would help us retain the ball as Davis shouldn’t be so isolated, which he clearly is. That is a tactical change though. Not Bruce’s forte. He’s far more likely to put Samba up front. Of course, if the players aren’t even on the bench that option isn’t there.

        To look at that further, Davis is isolated because we get so many players behind the ball, and don’t play from defence, and instead too often hit the ball upfield to Davis. I think that’s coaching and tactics, not that players like Whelan, Hourihane, Onomah, Snodgrass can’t play that way.

        Thanks for the lesson in tactics though!!

  3. owen
    owen December 12, 2017 at 11:33 am .

    Worried that Hogan will play to rest Davis – thus giving us no one to hold the ball up. Jedinak and Whelan in centre mid for me against Derby.

    1. B6
      B6 December 12, 2017 at 2:33 pm .

      The only problem with Hogan is he is far to intelligent for this team.

      Give him someone who can spot the clever runs he makes and gives him the service and he’d score for fun, like he did at Brentford.

  4. Adam
    Adam December 12, 2017 at 7:07 pm .

    Whats the chances Bruce goes mega defensive against Derby, and for the 1st 60 mins we play hoof ball and by that time were 2 goals down??.. i can actually predict with some certainty that will happen! I hate myself being negative but thats the way i see this game panning out. Please Bruce PROVE ME WRONG!!

  5. nath
    nath December 12, 2017 at 7:15 pm .

    glad you enjoyed the tactic lesson, but it was just my observations, i watch the games and i used to play it, so you pick up shit, my comments or rants wasn’t aimed at yourself. anyways it matters not what i say or believe, if ppl want to believe in fairies that’s their life.

    i disagree with your comment on why davis is isolated. i think you will find onomah is not that good at this role of supporting davis. he drifts too much and when davis is receiving the balls onomah is too far away. grealish i think is the better supporting striker. then i think ohare and mckirdy both would do well at this position as well . why onomah is getting picked for this role ?? can only be a clause in contract he plays if fit. i think onomah could play the role, but he has not done well so far. he would be suited with a role further back,

    hogan can play the lone striker he has done at brentford, but he isn’t gonna hold the ball up like davis, but he will offer more of a goal threat. he loves attacking of defenders shoulders. where davis is happy with his back to goal. B6 is right is saying hogan is too clever, he makes very intelligent runs., grealish would pick out his runs. i love to see davis hogan but doubt that would happen.

    again what the fook i know. last time hogan played was in the 2 1 sheff wednesday we started two up front. but wednesday smashed us and hogan didn’t get a sniff. if we do play without davis we will have to change the whole dynamics. couldn’t see that at this part of season.

  6. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson December 12, 2017 at 9:39 pm .

    Peterborough 4-2 up, looks like them in the cup.

  7. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson December 12, 2017 at 9:44 pm .

    5 now, that’s going to make us think, they have goal scorers in the team.

  8. Andrew
    Andrew December 13, 2017 at 9:06 am .

    Seems Ulloa and Nakhi Wells are our first two choices to bring in on loan.

    Find it funny how the media completely misjudged Villa fans and their opinion on Onomah. Most of the media claim he’s been great, but whenever they posted twitter comments from Villa fans, they seem shocked that Villa fans don’t think he’s actually good.

    As for Peterborough… 10th placed League One side scoring on a 12th placed National league side should be the least worrying thing of the season. Very much should be giving some youth a chance against them, as well as starting the likes of De Laet, Bjarnason, Elphick, etc.

    And I agree with Nath. Starting Hogan would rely on us not relying on someone holding the ball up. It would rely on someone knowing how to make a pass to a player attempting to get behind the defense. We only have one player that can do that and that’s Grealish, who needs to start every game from now on. While that would completely change the way Bruce would have us playing, it worked for him with Abel Hernandez.

  9. owen
    owen December 13, 2017 at 9:26 am .

    bruce will probably go with davis but he looks knackered – i’d love hogan to come good – but i don’t think he will for us – ooh look at me being negative!

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