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. langfordvilla February 12, 2017 at 5:57 pm . Reply

    Well I’m not ‘pleased’ with the players brought in if they are not SUITED to the system we are going to adopt…..what sort of logic is that?

    1. badger123 February 12, 2017 at 6:15 pm . Reply

      Tbf, Langford, we don’t know what the system will be yet. I think the 5 was to make up for the loss of Jedinak. But that might be an indictment of the manager in itself.

      1. langfordvilla February 12, 2017 at 6:23 pm . Reply

        Well….its all arse about face. Surely to goodness, we know what system we are going to play BEFORE buying players….I cant believe anyone can be that naive. Its like not measuring your floor before buying a carpet FFS…..surprise, surprise….the fucking carpet doesnt fit!!

        1. badger123 February 12, 2017 at 6:44 pm . Reply

          To me Langford, not getting backup for Jedinak is looking like an omission.
          We seem to be too reliant on him and I’ve hinted at his fitness before.

          1. Hitchens 60 February 13, 2017 at 3:10 pm .

            Agreed Badger – posted on this point – however I would like to see Gardner given an opportunity to play the holding mid role if Jedinak is unfit. A central defensive mid now becomes a summer priority.

  2. Andrew February 12, 2017 at 6:00 pm . Reply

    Think we should try a 4-3-3 myself. Kodjia isn’t going to work with someone else. It’s not his game. Something like




    Adomah – Kodjia/Hogan – Green

    Subs: Bunn/Johnstone, Taylor, Elphick, Lansbury/Gardner, Bjarnason, Grealish, Hogan/Kodjia.

    Two up top won’t work with what we have. 2 in the middle won’t work with what we have and playing Adomah and Grealish in a midfield three won’t work with what we have. Could arguably drop Gardner/Lansbury with Grealish or Bjarnason at home. But I just can’t see two up front working.

  3. badger123 February 12, 2017 at 6:22 pm . Reply

    I think 2 up top can work fine.
    The problem is we don’t get enough good balls into the box, Imo.
    There have been comments that we didn’t take the few chances we had.
    But we should be getting 15-20 good balls in the box against the lesser teams.
    Were nowhere near adventurous enough.

    1. Andrew February 12, 2017 at 9:56 pm . Reply

      That’s true but with no out and out defensive midfielder, we have no chance going two up top and playing two in midfield. Our three midfielders get overrun already, 2 up top with the two we have won’t work. They don’t compliment each other near enough. Now if you say take Kodjia off and bring on Hempburn/Davis or dare say it, Gabby, then maybe. Kodjia worked well alone because he’s stronger, more physical. Hogan loves making runs, and while you’d think they would pair well enough up, Kodjia’s all around game is nothing compared to what Carew and Benteke’s were, so partnering him up with someone would only make the other striker obsolete. Especially because we’d have to play 2 wingers, meaning our team gets even more over run.

  4. nath February 12, 2017 at 6:32 pm . Reply

    i think 2 up wont work lmao hang on we used to play one up, not to long ago and what where ppl saying play two up now we tried two up for 2 games its rubbish wont work more fool you bruce. try three up we had 5 up front under rdm i think we should have 11 players and let them do what they want

  5. badger123 February 12, 2017 at 7:00 pm . Reply


    Regardless it should not be a 5 at the back. Not in this league.
    And not even if you try and present it as a 3-5-2!

    1. nath February 12, 2017 at 7:20 pm . Reply

      i hope they play 10 defenders next game lmao i need more bait.

      unless somebody on here has skills in football management, possesses skills on motivating millionaires. a degree on tactics and systems but you can only play 442 or else we will sack you

      352 didnt lose the game yesterday ipswich beat villa and would again if they replayed it and we used 442 4231 424 433 etc

  6. Astonished Villain February 12, 2017 at 7:17 pm . Reply

    Westwood started for Burney vs. Chelsea and played full 90 min in their 1-1 draw. Mirror rated him 6/10 and said he largely played well.

  7. nath February 12, 2017 at 7:22 pm . Reply

    westy was targeted as a scapegoat just like the formation or tactics. we lost and somebody is to blame

  8. nath February 12, 2017 at 7:31 pm . Reply

    players only join villa for the money. then when they leave they thrive, robinson bent weiman westy ayew sanchez albrighton won a champ medal at villa he couldnt play in his position.

    probably that is the cause of our problems, players are on brilliant long contracts on massive long contracts even the prospects earn more than a group of punters. thats the problem at all big clubs. leicester players all have massive increases in pay packets and they earned it. but now they have not given the same application or desire as last season thats the difference. but who will be the fall guy tinkerman will take the bullet in the back

    1. langfordvilla February 12, 2017 at 7:51 pm . Reply

      Nath….alot of truth in what you say mate. Footballers in the top 2 divisions are not hungry because they get too much too soon….Leicester are a really good example. As soon as they get fat contracts for being champions the desire goes. Its what football and the world in general is like now!

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath February 13, 2017 at 11:18 am . Reply

        If that’s the case then why do the top always stay in the top four. They are on huge contracts as well but top 4 teams still won the majority of their games.

    2. Bill Pearson February 13, 2017 at 6:18 am . Reply

      Nail on the head Nath. They come for the money nothing more, when kick out they laugh at Villa. Bruce’s tactics are wrong he’s playing defensive games.

    3. OohAhPaulMcGrath February 13, 2017 at 11:22 am . Reply

      I disagree teams have just figured out how to play v Leicester and players like Huth are just past their best now. Also losing Kante was a huge loss. A team like Leicester can’t win the league then go out the season after and buy a couple of world class players to sustain it. Having said that they have done very well in the CL mainly as foreign teams are taken by surprise by them. It wouldn’t surprise me if they actually won it as they will be under estimated by the big teams and have an element of surprise against them. Also there is no pressure so they can play without nerves. If you look at when we won EC it’s a similar situation. We were very average in league that season but in EC we had a counter attacking game that foreign teams couldn’t cope with. The goal we scored Bayern Munich though was a world class build if you look at goal from start to finish.

      1. bws February 13, 2017 at 12:30 pm . Reply

        Yep, they just play deeper so they (Leicester) can’t counter.
        Talking about yesteryear did you see Swansea’s second goal yesterday? Loved it, a very Villa under Sir Ron type goal.

        1. OohAhPaulMcGrath February 14, 2017 at 2:49 am . Reply

          Yep great goal πŸ˜„

  9. nath February 12, 2017 at 8:26 pm . Reply

    i have racked my brain on reasons we have failed, not just this season over years now we have struggled. its not all down to dud managers. these are easy scapegoats, its runs much deeper than that. you can get a handful of decent players where money doesn’t change them. but the rest are nothing but mercenaries and with the amounts of managers we have hired in such a short period we have assembled more than our fair share of leaches.

    we need to pick a manager and keep with them, this is the only way we stop this trend of hiring players like hired guns in the wild west.

  10. originallondonlion February 12, 2017 at 8:28 pm . Reply

    Saw the highlights of Villa Ipswich and all of the Burnley-Chelsea game.

    Quality in front of goal was my impression of the difference and by that I mean in front of a player’s own goal as well in front of the oppos. Villa ‘battered Ipswich – reckoned on goal scoring chances – but in all cases lashed the ball against the goal frame or defenders rather than placing it in the gaps, and not forgetting two great saves by their keeper. In front of our goal however Elphick slipped, and Hourihane tracked but could not catch the scorer. Our keeper never got close to saving the shot.

    Burnley battled for a point, giving up any thoughts of pressuring Chelsea up field at the start of the second half. They dropped 9 men behind the ball. The lone front man (both the starter and sub) worked their socks off to stop Chelsea’s back four playing the ball in their own time. Howton had a good game – as did all the Burnley defence who blocked and tackled like their lives depended on it and without any errors. Westwood did not boss the midfield – he was one of the nine behind the ball all second half, got booked for hacking down a player who took the ball off him and very nearly gifted all 3 points to Chelsea with a sideways pass straight to an attacker.

    1. langfordvilla February 12, 2017 at 8:31 pm . Reply

      ‘Lowton’ didnt play too bad either! πŸ™‚

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath February 13, 2017 at 11:16 am . Reply

        I still remember that goal he scored against Stoke should of been goal of the season but they gave it to RVP because he played fir Utd pathetic. Wasn’t even that good of goal

    2. Andrew February 12, 2017 at 10:00 pm . Reply

      Burnley hardly parked the bus/put 9 men behind the ball. Once Chelsea hit their half Burnley were on them like a hawk and countered quite well. Westwood didn’t boss it but he worked his socks off and looked very good doing it. One stray pass is pretty much all you seem to actually remember of that game. Which you’re right, was poor. But it didn’t lead to a goal.

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath February 13, 2017 at 11:14 am . Reply

        That’s a good point all I remembered was his stray pass didn’t notice him the rest of the game. That really showed the difference between a team like Burnley and us. If Westwood made that mistake with us it almost certainly have led to a goal with Burnley as soon as he made a mistake the whole back four as a unit covered him and snuffed out the threat. Something we arnt capable of doing.

Right or Wrong? What do YOU think?

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