Villa 0 – 1 Ipswich; Simply not good enough

I’ve decided to try and keep this post a little bit calmer (it’s still early over here, so I haven’t drunk too much yet, lol).

The first obvious thing to think about is how we lined up from the off.
I think Bree being injured caused a problem, in that his loss would have left a proper 3-5-2 somewhat unbalanced.
Well, that’s my thinking anyway, as it’s the only reason I can think of us starting with five defenders.
Regardless, I called for a threatening, aggressive line-up and it’s quite simply not what we got.
Why we pay so much respect to the likes of Ipswich is beyond me and I’ve spoken before about going down trying as opposed to being canny and still losing.
But then, if you look at the stats, I believe Ipswich only had one shot on target and scored.
So maybe Steve Bruce is totally correct in not being able to trust the defence?

In Bruce’s defence, he did eventually realise that we needed to be more ambitious and he put Adomah and Green on, yet still retained the same setup.
While you can’t say that’s negative, maybe it would have been a better setup from the off?

But then, the commentator’s comments intrigued me.
We were comfortable in the first half and should have gone in a goal or two to the good.
Yet we began the second half poorly. Again.
What the hell gets said to the players at half time? I’d love to know, because it clearly isn’t working.
And what are the opposition managers saying?
I suspect it’s along the lines of “don’t worry lads, you’ve got these; they’re going to bottle it”. And it would seem correct.

Tony Morley said he can’t work it out and asked if it’s the pressure from the fans, the club or whatever. I suspect it’s all of them myself.
Either way, we came out rubbish, not being able to hold the ball or pass. The usual.
And when we did start to play, we couldn’t get telling balls into the box.

Ultimately, it’s only the result that matters and we didn’t get it.
To lose our unbeaten home record, especially with what Morley called a “whimper” to Ipswich is frankly not good enough.
And when you consider we haven’t won in eight games, it’s beginning to get very worrying.
Because the question is if you can’t get a result at home to Ipswich, who are you going to get one against?

Morley said he feels sorry for Bruce and I partly agree with it.
But he’s done himself no favours whatsoever lately and it would be totally understandable if the fans turn on him, which they’re going too.

Me, I side with Morley, in that the side needs to gel.
But I know many of you won’t see it like that and comments on Villa threads everywhere are going to be interesting this weekend.
I just don’t see how changing the manager again is going to achieve anything.

But Bruce needs to start getting results.


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  1. TED February 12, 2017 at 1:23 pm . Reply

    5 at the back AT HOME.

  2. ifiruledtheworld February 12, 2017 at 1:46 pm . Reply

    This current run we are on is awful, just as our run before it was great.. hopefully something like that will happen again when things click. Hopefully. I’ve said it last few games now but this season purely is a write off. We won’t be going up, and while I understand the panic I can’t see us going down either. The next time to assess whether we stick with Bruce or cut our losses is the summer, I think.

    As for my dad thoughts yesterday, well I think one of the few positives was Hourihane. His best game in the shirt so far, ran himself into the ground trying to make something happen. Hogan on the flip side didn’t seem to build on his promising debut. What annoys me is as a result people blame Kodjia and his lack of “team play”, quickly forgetting where we’d be if it wasn’t for his goals this season. But I think the fact remains, we just buy players that look good on paper rather than actually planning what system we want going forward and buying the players to fit into that. If Bruce really wanted to play a formation that needs a dm with Jedinak out injured surely Gardner has to play there. I know he has struggled this season but he would surely be better off in that position than Lansbury, who we could really use up more forward with Hourihane.

    Either way, let’s hope something clicks soon we finally find this formula we desperately need eh? Don’t know a team that could attempt to ruin a good Saturday as much as the Villa!!

    1. VillaFan February 12, 2017 at 2:24 pm . Reply

      “Buying players that fit into the system rather than buying players because they look good on paper.”


      Case in point. Sean Dyche, Burnley (currently playing very well VS the runaway team in Prem – Chelsea. And drawing at half time). Who should be in that team?

      One Ashley Westwood.
      One Matt Lowton.

      Players bought to play in a system.

      Both playing extremely well. And yes, Westwood is making bloody forward passes and looks terrific in the middle with Joey Barton.

      Yet deemed not good enough for us.

      Makes my blood boil.

    2. B6 February 12, 2017 at 3:19 pm . Reply

      @ifiruledtheworld…..What annoys me is as a result people blame Kodjia and his lack of “team play”, quickly forgetting where we’d be if it wasn’t for his goals this season………

      Yes think where we could be if the greedy wanker would pass more. Hogan made some fantastic runs for him last week at Forest but Kodjia decided to keep hold of it and waste it. In at least 12 games this season others have been in much better positions yet he has tried to grab all the glory and messed it up.

      Can’t remember who we were playing but I remember in the last minute or so all he had to do was square it to McCormack and we win the game but no, again he wants all the glory.

      The only reason Kodjia has the goals he has is because he doesn’t involve other team mates enough. Reminds me so much of Ayew, thought he could do it all but he couldn’t. Best thing we done this season was sell Ayew.

      Quicker Kodjia realizes it’s a team game the quicker the team may gel.

      Just my opinion.

      1. B6 February 12, 2017 at 3:23 pm . Reply

        Think I may of exaggerated saying in at least 12 games ha ha……It is certainly a few though where he has chosen to go for glory rather than pass it.

  3. Bill Pearson February 12, 2017 at 2:50 pm . Reply

    I don’t care what you all think, Bruce was in his playing days was a defender, ,he thinks defending, what’s the old saying? Attack is a form of defence, your right no Good sacking Him that won’t solve the problem, kick his advisers up the arse I’d say. Calderwood has not been helpful one bit. Bruce stop this approach to limitations of opposition attacking by defending, give us a reason to think one day we will be back. Hell I’m so pissed off being a Villa supporter, give me the job I’d make it work because all I see is con merchants getting paid for fuck all.

  4. langfordvilla February 12, 2017 at 3:13 pm . Reply

    Westwood….bossing the midfield against Chelsea
    Lowton………great game, almost scored

    Players to play a system and NOT buying numerous players just because they are available……how many more times do I have to say this?

    Get a system (NOT 5-3-2) for Tuesday….FFS look at them in training at see what system suits them (its NOT 5-3-2), its worrying that the manager cant see this! Jedinak/Gardner need to be the DM.

    Here is my preferred line up for the rest of the season:




    Away 4-1-3-2





    2 full backs at home (attacking when they can)…..Jedinak covering
    2 full backs away (more defensive, but still able to go forward at times)….again covered by Jedinak.

    Using this system all we need to buy IMO is 1. Experienced keeper, with a strong emphasis on experience! 2. A back up for Jedinak so he can be rested when needed!

    Keep Bruce for the first 15 games next season, and then look at the situation again. I have no doubt that the Dr Tone will fire him if significant improvements are not made.


  5. Dave67 February 12, 2017 at 4:57 pm . Reply

    Westwood I never liked him at Villa, but he had a great game against a good Chelsea side, Makes me wonder what is wrong with the villa.

    We where never going up this season , I am looking for a strong finish and make a charge next season.

    Am with you Langfordvilla 4 across the back none of this bullshit playing defenders as midfielder or the opposite way round.

    I am pissed off now with the villa, but we need to stick with Bruce, next season WE WILL BE TOP DOGS I hope

  6. nath February 12, 2017 at 5:04 pm . Reply

    tinkerman might become on the market soon…… premiership league champion2016. would only take a few weeks at villa to ruin that memory.

    its like 4 at the back is brand new, have we not played that system in last 5 years??? beats me why we bother playing other stupid systems 4 at the back for me. last i saw we only played 3 at back last game

  7. badger123 February 12, 2017 at 5:12 pm . Reply

    There might be something in buying players to suit a system, but it seems to me to be more than that.
    RM scoring is exactly typical of what I mean.
    I still think there’s a losing mentality at the club and regardless of who we sign it’s going to prove difficult to shake off.

    1. langfordvilla February 12, 2017 at 5:25 pm . Reply

      Badger….what do you mean ‘there may be someting in buying a player to suit’ a system’ Isnt that the most relevant and rational way to build a team?

      People slag off Pulis (I am not keen on his way if playing) but it does prove that you can do well within a clear, well drilled system. Are they not 8th or 9th in the PL? Ask yourself why. I wouldnt expect them to be that high with their players, would you? They are only there because of the system they play consistently. Pulis buys the players to suit that system….its frigging easy with the right players and right scouting team in place. We just seem to continually buy players not knowing what system suits them……its a fucking nonsense!!

  8. giddyvillan February 12, 2017 at 5:15 pm . Reply

    Maybe when jedi’s fit he’ll revert to 4-4-2 with him playing a defensive midfielder role

  9. badger123 February 12, 2017 at 5:53 pm . Reply

    Agreed Giddy.
    Langford, of course it makes sense .
    I’m not arguing against it.
    But the vast majority were pleased with the players we got in and decent players ought to be able to adapt.
    Don’t get me wrong, Bruce’s setups bamboozle me and it seems we’re playing some players purely to accommodate them. Bjarnason is a good example.
    No, the point was more that regardless of what we do, we’re going to struggle.

  10. badger123 February 12, 2017 at 5:57 pm . Reply

    Oh, Taylor too. Never a WB, as long as he’s got a hole in his proverbial, imo.

Right or Wrong? What do YOU think?

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