Villa 1 – 2 Bournemouth; good and bad

Well, that’s just typical of football, isn’t it?
We all praise Heaton as possibly the bargain signing of the season and then he gives away a penalty in the first minute.
That’s just typical Villa and I certainly won’t hold it against him, as he also made a couple of very decent saves, which I’m sure he’ll continue to do this season.

Things were then compounded by Luiz leaving a ball to run, that just gave it to them, to cost us another goal.
I won’t hold that against him either, as he attoned with a lovely strike later on to pull one back for us.

So what happened?
Well, I thought we looked nervy from the start and appeared to be a side very much getting to know each other.
The good here is that I think we got better as the game went on, even though I couldn’t see us getting anything out of the game after going two goals down so early.

What was bad?
We gave the ball away, far too often and far too cheaply, is the simple answer.
We really need to sort this once and for all, as it’s been an ongoing problem for a long time.
You can argue that that’s what you get if you try and play a fast paced game, but the fact is the better sides manage to pass more accurately.
Apart from that, I can’t think of a player who I would particularly want to moan at.
Even Taylor, who I often picked out as a liability a good while back did a reasonable job.

More importantly, what was good?
Well, we improved as the game went on, I thought, but to be honest, Bournemouth didn’t need to work so hard, so perhaps they just made us look better? Discuss.

McGinn did his usual stuff and even though he was on the losing side, continues to look like a £50 mill player. There was one particularly nice strike from long range that their keeper did well to tip over.

Trezeguet impressed me and I think he definitely has the makings. He works well and cuts inside, offering us various options.

Despite his early clanger, Luiz also looks decent to me. He seems to read the game well and has an eye for a pass. I could easily see him bossing games at Championship level as it is and think he has the abilty to step up in the Premier league.

And Wesley looks to have the makings of a decent attacker.
He demonstrated the required physicality today and set up Trezuguet for a chance.
Note I said attacker as opposed to striker though.
My feeling is that he holds the ball up well and will contribute, but will not prove prolific.
I think he needs a poacher to play off him, which is where I’ll bet Smith is kicking himself for not getting one in, for whatever reason.

So there are things to be encouraged about, but the fact is it’s all about results and we didn’t get one against a team that we think will be in a similar place in the league, at home.

I’ve already said that I don’t have massive expectations this season and I’ll be looking more at the lower end of the league.
Where it’s interesting to note that Norwich beat Newcastle 3-1.


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  1. Avatar
    Hitchens60 August 17, 2019 at 7:25 pm .

    Sorry guys but can’t see us getting anything from Everton on Friday.

    The reality is that we are lacking up front and, although I think, on the whole, we did well in the transfer window we should have gone all out to get a nailed on striker – we didn’t and so see us having to pay out a significant sum in January.

    Now maybe you think I’m over reacting after just 2 games but I don’t think so – if you look at the game stats then you can argue positively that we created a sh*t load of chances but for me it screams lack of striker.

    1. Avatar
      Big Fat Ron August 18, 2019 at 12:06 am .

      Totally agree, Hitch. Got my tickets for Friday and must admit, I’m not particularly looking forward to it. If Sturridge is still available, I really don’t see why he is a bad option. He is a natural goalscorer who can deal with the pressure of playing for Villa and has as much PL know-how as anybody around. He is a natural finisher. Why not give him a rolling contract? Before someone mentions his wages, anyone who can score goals consistently in the PL is worth whatever he wants. Because you’ll lose a shite-side more if you get relegated again! If we’re in a relegation battle by Christmas, it will be too late, because who in their right mind joins a sinking ship?

      As for Heaton and Luiz, they have to deal with playing at VP. Both errors were inexplicable. Heaton should have ‘cleaned everything out’, as they say – gone to ground and gathered the ball. He looked in two minds, which can only be pressure of expectation..

      Surely, at least one of the new full-backs has to start on Friday. And how the F is Jota not in the team after his pre-season???

      1. Avatar
        Big Fat Ron August 18, 2019 at 12:09 am .

        On the plus side, our goal-difference is only -3 (bangs head against wall repeatedly)…

  2. Avatar
    Holte66 August 17, 2019 at 7:59 pm .

    I think we are all in agreement that we should have got a proven goalscorer. I don’t see an improvement on Davis as far as Wesley is concerned. He might improve but I don’t expect him to be on the scoresheet very often. We do have a midfield capable of goals but we can’t rely on them all the time. I commented pre season that we were lacking in players with premier league experience despite signing so many players.
    Lack of physicality was mentioned after Spurs game and a number of times today I felt apart from the CB’s we were out muscled on occasions. Everton up next and I’m not expecting much, maybe a draw. Still early days though so I won’t get too depressed just yet.

  3. Avatar
    VillaAwayInDiv3 August 17, 2019 at 10:28 pm .

    I was one of the ones in the poll that said we would be beat mainly as I thought they would run us ragged in defence… didn’t happen like that really but we gave them everything they got and couldn’t get any breaks ourselves. Stats gave us double on all the positive things and they won the fouls and should have been even worse if not for the Ref….waiting to see if anything is mentioned on MOTD but there again with 10 they might have held on even easier.
    We need to get more in around the penalty area else we will never get anywhere near enough goals this season.

  4. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron August 18, 2019 at 12:14 am .

    Here’s a riddle / joke for us all to solve:
    What’s the difference between an Amavi, a Veretout, a Gueye, a Traore, a Gestede and a Gilbert, a Luiz, a Nakamba, a Trezeguet, and a Wesley?

    Just a thought.

    I hope history isn’t repeating itself and the promotion euphoria hasn’t masked the fact that the players we’ve bought have come from weaker leagues and have zero PL nous (as Holte mentions). They will have to learn bloody quickly or we’ll be up Shit Street come autumn.

    1. Avatar
      Pat 57 August 18, 2019 at 4:38 am .

      Ron, I don’t really get it. Amavi, Veretourt and Gueye are all good players now playing for good teams (Gueye at PSG now).. All easily good enough for the Prem and it wasn’t their fault that the rest of the team was sub-standard as was the management at the time.

      If you’re saying that e.g. Guilbert is in the same bracket as Amavi then he’s going to be a good buy for us.

      Anyway we’ve only played two games. Let’s see where we are after ten.

    2. Avatar
      Holte66 August 18, 2019 at 8:42 am .

      Only Gueye made it as a premier league player. Amavi and Veretout have done well abroad but failed in English league. Gestede was a championship player and let’s not forget Carlos Sanchez? Actually probably best to forget! From the current crop we have Heaton who is proven and Targett to a lesser point when he was back up at Southampton. Guilbert we can’t judge yet although I believe he has the attributes to do well. Engels I have been impressed with. Can’t fault CB’s for goals scored. Luiz despite his error knuckled down and became our best player. Trezeguet has had his moments and gets into good positions. Jota was good in pre season but not had any impact from bench as yet. Konsa is one for the future or the new James Bree. As for Wesley, I don’t want to be hard on him but I don’t see anywhere near a 20 goals per season forward. I doubt whether he will make double figures. His hold up play is okay but he had a few headed chances yesterday and in all honesty their keeper could have thrown his cap on them (if he had one that is) Unless Kodja stays and becomes our saviour which I have my reservations about, we will need to splash big cash in January but it might be to late to attract a top drawer forward by then. Maybe a punt on Sturridge now wouldn’t be a bad idea.
      I worry that we approach Everton game knowing a defeat will raise early doubts about Smith and our recruitment. Confidence is a massive thing and every defeat will make it harder and harder for us to turn things round. We have insisted we aren’t this years Fulham and now we have to prove it.

      1. Avatar
        Big Fat Ron August 18, 2019 at 8:05 pm .

        Pretty much what I was trying to get across, Holte.

        Pat, I really don’t want to be negative and maybe it is too early. A chap on an earlier post mentioned the need for our players to ‘recalibrate’ to the PL pace and standard. It was a nicely made point; my point is that they’re going to have to do it quickly or the season will become a relegation battle come autumn, which is what nobody wants!

  5. Avatar
    Sidforever August 18, 2019 at 6:07 am .

    It’s early doors and we need to build on the positives. Our first two matches back have seen Villa more than hold there own, only for self inflicted errors to allow the opposition to score. Eradication of basic mistakes will significantly improve our chances.

    During this match we had 22 shots of which 7 were on target. On another day we could have scored 2 or 3 goals, normally enough to win a match. Remember, this is from a team getting to know each other. It will take time, but the signs are positive.

    The equivalent of 1 win in 3 matches is all we need to remain in this league. I believe we will do it. Conversely, we will have many more days where we are beaten than the in last 3 years.

    I believe that our combination of supportive owners, a Villa fan as manager, a Villa fan as captain and our attacking style of play will be successful.

  6. Avatar
    nath August 18, 2019 at 7:22 am .

    two games is far too soon to panic. i mean we only played spuds who finished runners up in champions league and Bournemouth who thou maybe a small club, are established under a top manager who has a settled team and squad. which consists of top players.

    villa played very nervy in first half, they did concede a penalty in first 40 seconds. not a start villa needed, but perfect for Bournemouth. maybe this added to the already nervy players and panic set in.

    second half we relaxed and looked far better, there is a good side there. iam sure smith will get this squad up to speed, sooner rather than ltrs. we moved the ball well from one side to the other, wesley held up the ball and looked much stronger than against spuds.

    where villa went wrong was obvious, handing the opposition the initiatives right at the start of the match. it made the players nervous and the crowd. villa are trying to play patient football under smith. but with the crowd getting anxious, demanding villa cross the ball when it wasn’t on. villa players refusing to cross and feed the ball back inside, looking for better openings.

    finally this game was mostly influenced by the referee, Bournemouth had a helping hand by villa, who gave away silly mistakes to um. also the referee gave them massive helping hand, by refusing to send of a player number 29 billing ? i forgot his name. but he must have fouled about 4 or 5 times to get the first yellow. referee demonstrated pointing here and there and mostly everywhere. so that yellow was for persistent fouling. but no sooner the game restarted he crashed into another player, without any contact on the ball. not once but twice or three times after that yellow, this player did not reappear second half and Bournemouth still had the 11 which was a massive helping hand.

    so i award the Bournemouth mom to akinson. for being their twelve man.

  7. Avatar
    Hitchens60 August 18, 2019 at 9:41 am .

    There is a consensus that we should sign Sturridge. The problems here are – it goes against Villa’s strategy, his wages and probably the length of contract he would want (that’s assuming he’d be interested).

    Whilst he is a proven scorer in the prem, his recent injury history is poor and it says quite a lot (given the paucity of strikers available) that no prem team appears to have been interested.

    On balance, if he’d come on a payment by game type contract then I think it would be worth a punt but otherwise we’re going to have to live with what we have.

    A twist to Badger’s conspiracy – Villa are talking to Sturridge about a short term deal which is subject to offloading Kodjia!

    1. Avatar
      Badger123 August 18, 2019 at 11:43 am .

      And there was you thinking how daft I am, Hitch 🙂

      Seriously, it wouldn’t surprise me if this happens, but I have reservations.
      Is Sturridge still up to it or does he even want it anymore?
      Strikes me as a decision that could be a masterstroke or a total disaster.
      IF it actually happens.

  8. Avatar
    Adam August 18, 2019 at 9:47 am .

    We were very unlucky really. 2 sloppy mistakes in 10 minutes and we were punished. Our final ball was sloppy and ineffective. Need to start guilbert and targett on Friday. Where is guilbert??

    1. Avatar
      Big Fat Ron August 18, 2019 at 8:13 pm .

      Adam, ‘sloppy mistakes’ are common place in poor teams that get relegated. Managers of these teams go on about this all season – how their team play well but need to cut out the individual errors, and eventually, the team drops down a division, because, basically, the players weren’t good enough.These mistakes need to disappear sharpish otherwise it stops being ‘unlucky’ and basically shows that the players aren’t good enough. I’m not saying that this is the case -yet – but Grealish himself said in the post match interview that mistakes are punished at this level. His missed headed sitter is also an individual error btw.

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