Villa 1- 2 Brighton; Who are you going to blame?

I’ve had to have a bit of a break away from the computer so I could compose my thoughts, as I’m frankly fuming.
We had loads of the play and created lots of chances, but still lost it quite straightforwardly.

I keep seeing it written that our defence is good, but I’m sorry, I just don’t see it in the slightest.
It’s not like they were called into action that much, but when they were, did they ever convince you?
They certainly didn’t me and more than once it was a good thing Martinez was alert and came off his line early.
I can’t pick one defender out in particular, but we just seem majorly lacking as a unit.
Pushing up as high as we did doesn’t help matters, but it’s almost like we totally forget that defending is part of the game.
Brighton hadn’t shown any hint of a threat before they scored and that says everything to me.

There was quite a lot that went on in the game, with Lamptey, who looked quite useful, getting sent off and Maupay, who probably winds players up as well as anyone I’ve seen for years not getting sent off, to Targett petulantly fouling and also lucky to not not go off. It was a bit of a shame really, as I didn’t feel it was a nasty game.

But the big one has to be the Penalty that wasn’t. Or was, depending on how you saw it.
I’ll tell you now, I saw it live and thought it wasn’t a penalty.
In fact, in a game where Trez looked like he couldn’t hit a cow’s backside with a banjo, I was going to give him move of the game if we’d have been given it.
I saw it replayed about ten times. And it still isn’t a penalty for me.
That’s going to be contentious to say the least, but it’s how I saw it.

Yes, there was contact. No doubt about it.
But I can’t get away from the fact that I thought Trez set himself up for it.
Watch his foot and he’s planted the front of it, to pull himself forward after he’d already lost control of the ball.
And it’s that last bit that does it for me.

I know. They get given all the time. But I think when they do, they’re 100% wrong.
I don’t see how you can be fouled when you’ve lost control of the ball.
If there’s intent, fair enough, that’s a penalty. But otherwise, if you haven’t deprived the player of a chance, no way.

I know the argument is that there was contact.
But I’d just say look at that as a Brighton fan and how would you have felt?
Again, I can see the argument being “I know what you mean, but there was contact and that’s enough”.
To which I’d say it’s a contact sport, simple.
Or is it?
Regardless, I very much suspect I’ll be in the minority, mostly because that’s just how it’s been for years. It still doesn’t make it right for me, even if we know the usual suspects will always get that type of call.

Anyway, it’s not that big a deal to me really.
Brighton did enough to win and our defence didn’t do enough when required.

I can pick flies with individual performances, but there was no-one particularly bad and many things can maybe be excused by tiredness.

Ultimately though, Brighton took their chances and we didn’t.
And that says it all.
I’m still fuming though.
I know we don’t have a right to beat anyone.
But when you beat Liverpool, Arsenal and Leicester, these results just look so, so stupid.

Oh well.
West Ham away next, where we’ll hopefully do better.


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  1. Holte66
    Holte66 November 22, 2020 at 10:14 am .

    Nath, the officials are still intimidated by the big clubs and their big bucks players. If it was Bruno Fernandes instead of Trezeguet yesterday, I’m convinced the penalty would have stood. Albions ‘penalty’ was more of a penalty than the one given to Man Ure. Just to rub salt into the Baggies wounds, the saved penalty gets retaken! Also last season we had Fernandes stamp on Konsa in the box and they get the penalty even with the VAR review. It’s all bullshit and there is complete bias towards the likes of Man Ure when it comes to the big decisions. Anyone who think otherwise is deluded.

    1. nath
      nath November 22, 2020 at 10:45 am .

      yeah holte i forgot the retaken pen in my rant. how can the referee enforce a retake. when the pen taker runs up and jumps into the final step, forcing the goalie to move to anticipate the side the taker is going. i confess to playing in goal way back in my day only when our keeper was ill. i was a fall back and its hard to save a penalty full stop. but now they are not allowed to move off the line until the ball is struck. you should try to dive to the corner without moving your feet its impossible. robinson save was brilliant fernandas is cheating by jumping into the ball.. referee should stamp down on that unsporting behaviour too. make him retake if he scores cause he jumps

      i said it for years about these referees have their favourites, they used to help them as they could, fergie used to manipulate them, i heard a interview with him once and he spoke about banning journalist who wrote bad stuff or asked him stuff he didnt want to answer. he spoke about how he intimidated the refs to worry about making decisions against him. mind games with opposing managers., the newcastle one springs to mind. where he claimed leeds really played well against manure and their players should be ashamed of themselves. had they played like they did against utd the rest of season they would be near the bottom. but this rant was not to help leed manager wilkinson it was to inspire the leeds against newcastle their next opponents. thats very calculated innit and clever by fergie. think of the other dirty tricks he did which we don’t know.

      i really do not like man utd. yesterday they won at home because they were helped but nobody cares cause the game want them back up the table, villa are in their place so they will secretly want us back at the bottom.

  2. VillaAwayInDiv3
    VillaAwayInDiv3 November 22, 2020 at 10:49 am .

    For the pen the best one I have heard is that its a contact sport……I replied where have they been for last 10 years as you cant even blow on anyone nowadays….and get grief for it……as for Shearer he would still be stuck in double figures if VAR looked at his goals…..

  3. nath
    nath November 22, 2020 at 4:31 pm .

    i know i threatened never to watch another footy game except villa’s but i cant resist the leeds arsenal game. i think its gonna be a cracker

    1. nath
      nath November 22, 2020 at 5:41 pm .

      leeds cheating again alioski got head butted but i never seen a head butt like that before more like a kiss. leeds player made the most of that.

      btw the commentary disagree with me they saying its a red all day long. i reckon he looked for that, he was winding him up and the arsenal player bought it but no butt more kiss or head coming together with loving and tenderness

      1. nath
        nath November 22, 2020 at 6:47 pm .

        after watching replay after replay i stand by that wasnt a head butt. you can see pepe showing alying what happened to oscar nomination player. if the referee shows a red to pepe he has to show red to the leeds player for instigating the whole thing.

        it was like brightons maupay trying to wind up luiz yesterday. luiz almost did the same as pepe and lucky he never cause maupay was going to do the same dying swan act. so referees should toughen up on this entrapment style of play.

        i thought this leeds arsenal game would be full of goals and sods law its nil nil
        i might as well watch pool foxes.

        oh gary neville was talking about watching pool same time today last time he did that they lost 7 1 and the other guy said 7 2 you mean oh sorry i dont want to deduct them a goal lmao i supposed you had to be there

  4. VillaAwayInDiv3
    VillaAwayInDiv3 November 22, 2020 at 10:31 pm .

    In the recent poll about how many point we might get in the future few games I put 10….but that included 3 against Brighton……help………watched all the games today and most yesterday and they are being played at a higher tempo with no much of the tippy tappy across the back…about time….

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 November 23, 2020 at 8:03 pm .

      I went for the 10-13 band but not in any scientific way – more what do we need to average per game to finish comfortably mid table as part of our continued improvement.

      We are no way good enough to finish top 6 – what we need is steady but certain progress towards that goal next season.

      So with 6 games left (of the 7), I still believe we can be in the 10 – 13 point band – maybe now nearer 10.

      We do though have to sort out our game strategy at home. We’re simply too aggressive and are being caught too easily on the counter.Welbecks goal was criminal – press high but at least leave a deep defender (is sweeper still an accepted term?) to cover the long out ball.

  5. Originallondonlion
    Originallondonlion November 23, 2020 at 10:34 pm .

    You asked who would you blame

    The manager, who is ultimately responsible for tactics, and the back four leader – Mings.
    Smith must assess the character of the guy organising his defence. It is becoming clearer, and Mings being selected for England does not help. The fact is he cannot be trusted to organise the back line with the requisite caution at home if left to his own preference. That means he needs to be ORDERED not to allow all four defenders to advance upfield to less than 10 yards behind halfway. Of course either full back can go on the overlap but two, or perhaps three of the others must stay back. It does not matter if the opponents are also sitting back inviting Villa on to them – that is one invitation our back four must decline. Brighton’s first goal was conclusive.

    If you do sit back – must our defence knock a long ball up to Watkins? No it is not the only tactic, the ball can be given to Targett or Cash to run foward with it and pass it inside.

    Nevertheless Watkins is very good at controlling and shielding a long ball that has spent some time in the air – provided the passer remembers one thing, Watkins is lighter and faster than most central defenders. Therefore a ball played to where he is standing means he cannot move and will be knocked off the ball by a defender behind him. But a pass played well wide of Watkins means he will reach it ahead of the defender with a chance to run clear.

    Watkins is not a goal-poacher. The last two Villa had were probably Yorke and Saunders. Either of those would not have stood watching the Brighton keeper kicking that ball off the line, they would have run to the spot and bundled it in. So Smith must think if Barclay is not playing in the next home game – who he can field who is going to pounce on loose bals near the goal?

    1. badger123
      badger123 November 24, 2020 at 9:20 pm .

      Ah, good call OLL.
      The truth is I was blaming Mings too.
      I can’t stand him as a defender and think he’s just horrendous.
      He’s utterly reckless because he’s way too laid back and seems to have an horrendous sense of just where he is on the pitch. His lack of what he’s supposed to be doing often means he doesn’t marshall the defence at all at times, as much as he can sound shouty.

      It’s why he sometimes looks good, because he gets massively caught out, but has pace and sometimes gets back to make a decent tackle/block.
      If his positioning was better he wouldn’t have to perform such heroics in the first place.

      The trouble is, if I keep saying I think he’s utter garbage, it will seem I have something against him.
      I really don’t and would love it if I thought he was brilliant.
      But he isn’t and to my mind, we ought to be looking for better.
      Fortunately for him, we have higher priorities.

      Bloody crap defender and I can’t believe how much I just don’t rate him when he’s playing for England.
      I don’t know, maybe I’ve got him massively wrong.
      But I struggle to think of any other Villa player I’ve not rated, as much as him.

      I’m beginning to wonder if I have one of those obsession type things 🙁

  6. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum November 24, 2020 at 7:10 am .

    God I hate the BBC. Is this really worth the headline all because of 13 idiots? Dragging our good name through the mud?

    Qui ker they abolish the licence fee the better.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 November 24, 2020 at 10:13 am .

      Typical BBC – just click bait.

      A headline of ‘only 359 reported hate incidents out of the hundreds of thousands attending football matches’ probably wouldn’t cut it with the editors.

    2. Originallondonlion
      Originallondonlion November 25, 2020 at 12:38 pm .

      I’d like to think it is a factor of Villa having the largest travelling support, or that we ‘shop’ our own idiots more than the others.
      However there is another factor: people from the West Midlands speak more distinctly and slowly than people from many other regions. So Cockneys Scousers, Tykes and Geordies get away with more because others cannot understand them.

      I have to say I have never heard abuse about sexual orientation, unless ‘the referee’s a w*****’ now qualifies?

  7. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum November 25, 2020 at 6:35 pm .

    Maradona dead. Must admit I have rather wet eyes.
    The finest player ever. His biography is one of the finest books I’ve ever read.


    1. badger123
      badger123 November 25, 2020 at 6:58 pm .

      Finest ever?
      I’d say Pele was better, but it’s all about opinions.

      Another reason I think Pele edges it is because of the sort of people they were/are.
      Pele, who encourages impotence being talked about?
      Or Maradona, who cheated and refused to admit it years later, cocaine addict, shot at the press and was apparently having major alcohol problems in the last few months?

      No doubt he was a great player though and definitely in my top 3 ever.

  8. Holte66
    Holte66 November 25, 2020 at 9:01 pm .

    It’s almost impossible to compare players but for me it would be Messi as No. 1, Pele 2nd and Maradonna 3rd. Sad news though because 60 is too young. RIP.

  9. Holte66
    Holte66 November 27, 2020 at 5:33 pm .

    Seeing as we are without Barkley for a couple of games at least, why not switch to a 4-4-2 formation with McGinn and Luiz in the middle, Grealish on the left and Trezeguet on the right, with Davis and Watkins up front. We need to be able to switch our tactics going forward because we have been found out at home especially. Davis as we all know isn’t prolific but he can create and hold up the ball well for our other attacking players. Whatever formation we adopt we lack pace except for Watkins. If we keep the same formation as we till now we will have same headache of picking either Hourihane or Traore. Both of whom are lacking defensively. Any thoughts?

  10. badger123
    badger123 November 28, 2020 at 1:09 pm .

    Do we really have fixed formations these days?
    It doesn’t seem like it to me.
    We’re supposed to play 4-3-3, but we never do, imo. The supposed wingers or wide strikers never play forward enough for it to be called that and it’s much more like 4-5-1.
    Players move around too which makes things more fluid.

    I don’t think Smith likes a 2, simple as.
    There were a few times recently the ball has come in and there’s been noone there. A second striker would definitely help, but if it’s Davis, could we trust him to put it in the net?
    I’d rather wait for Wesley to get fit, as much as I don’t like him.

    Better still, put Trez in as the second striker. I know he’s been useless at shooting lately, but if he keeps getting chances he WILL come good.
    He’s great at getting to the far stick and is just way more instinctive with his positioning than anybody else, Watkins apart, imo.

    In other news, the Mail were at Bodymoor to watch a training session (or at least have been given a video).
    The interesting part of that is that Lansbury was nowhere to be seen.
    Purely a day off for personal reasons?
    Injured and we just haven’t been told?
    Or thrown a strop and been banned?

    You’d have thought the Mail would have asked the question, wouldn’t you?

    I wonder if he’s one we’ll be paying off in the transfer window?
    I can’t see anyone wanting him at anywhere near the supposed £40k a week he’s on.
    God, we’ve wasted some money over the years 🙁

    A cheeky edit;

    I forgot, Traore is supposed to be able to play striker, isn’t he?

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