Yes, I actually got to watch this one and have to say from the off, that in certain areas I don’t agree with what seems the consensus amongst Villa fans.
First, I thought we were decent at times.
Are you shocked? Probably, I’d guess.
This doesn’t seem to have been accepted at all, from what I’ve read elsewhere and to be honest, I haven’t even seen it suggested.
But I’m going to call the game as I saw, it, simple.
And there’s me being accused of being the negative one.
Ok, let’s get this straight.
I thought PNE were the outright dirtiest team we’ve played this season.
Think I’m wrong?
Consider John Terry nearly had the shirt torn off his back from a Villa corner within the first 3 minutes.
And for me, that’s how the game continued.
Preston continued in the same vein as the game went on and my feelings are that we had to resort to playing fire with fire, which ruined our game.
Now consider that I’m sure I heard the comment that before the game, PNE were the most booked team in the league, whereas we were the least booked.
If that’s true, it says it all.
Even if I’m wrong there, it was obvious that PNE aimed to spoil our game.
Which is fair enough, to an extent. I’m all for blood and guts, if the game’s played correctly.
But what annoyed me, was the lack of protection from what would normally be deemed as fouls.
There were elbows flying all over the place and I even commented during the game that this wasn’t right.
So in my opinion, we had to resort to the same to compete. Hence our bookings.
Hutton, god bless him, loves that sort of stuff, but he’s not at all subtle with it, is he?
Fair play to PNE, as you do what you do to win the game, but I never really expected that from them and it disappointed me, tbh.
I don’t know what was being said on the touchline, but it seems PNE’s player’s tactics definitely stem from the management.
Quite simply, I thought the ref was awful, in that he let way too much go. And that isn’t our game.
Whatever, yes, we seemed totally disjointed again.
The midfield just doesn’t work without Grealish and it’s no coincidence that when I slated him earlier in the season for not doing enough and he was out injured, so I was consistently slating the lack of movement, ambition and general aim without him.
JG is a massive loss and we need him back ASAP.
The only possible replacement, with his sort of vision, imo has to be O’Hare and we have to play him, just while Grealish is out.
Maybe, but without a visionary, push on type, we look so, so poor in midfield.
Call the likes of Hourihane, Lansbury in the middle and they just don’t work, without someone to pull the strings.
It’s the same up front, where we knock sometimes decent balls in the box.
The balls are never telling though and just the same as happens in the midfield. You always get the impression that it’s just not working.
So why did we draw the game?
Well apart from being knocked out of our stride, I just think we give the ball away too much.
Which, when you look at the supposed quality of our players, is poor.
But that’s been an underlying issue for ages.
I don’t know.
We should have won this one.
And while it’s another point clocked up, so I’m wondering if whoever misses out from the automatic positions, they might only do so by a point or two.
Hence this has to be viewed as two points dropped, simple as.
If this proves to be a small bad run, we’ll still be OK, imo.
But now we need to be winning again, quickly.