Villa 1 -6 Man City; Horrendous and where do we go from here?

Good grief, that was a poor performance wasn’t it?
Giving the ball away is bad enough and it feels like I’ve moaned about it all season.
But to combine it with what seemed like a lack of fight is shocking.

That said, I think I can put forward some mitigating circumstances, although I think many of you might not agree.

First, is a very obvious fact.
We quite simply are not good enough to compete with Man City, when they’re playing well.
The word “gulf” springs to mind and it’s perfectly accurate.
You only had to watch their midfielders and attackers quick thought and passing to see the difference. We’ve never shown that speed of thought and accuracy, because the players just can’t do it, particularly at pace.

Ok, I’ve seen the argument that we spent around £130 million in the window and we ought to be way better.
But that doesn’t wash with me. Dean Smith said himself that City paid £50 million for a Left back.
It galls, because we can’t do that, but it does demonstrate the difference.

We started Drinkwater. I guessed we would, because our midfield is frankly abysmal and has been since McGinn got injured.
But that massively backfired, as he looked way off the pace. My criticism here would be that did the coaching team not see that he’s obviously not fit?
Did Smith play him regardless, to try and get him up to pace quickly?
I said in the preview that he has more in the locker than Lansbury at least and I stand by that.

It’s all quite strange to my mind, because I thought Hause had an excellent game until even he caught the bug and gave the ball away for a goal.

Did we miss a striker today?
I personally don’t think so, as we never got hold of the ball enough to warrant having one on the pitch.
And that’s a damming indictment.

You might say my next criticism is an ongoing theme, but certainly today there were too many players who just aren’t good enough.
Hourihane was invisible, Taylor offers nothing in defence or attack and Elmohamady is judged by Smith to be a better defender than Guilbert (something I agree with, which says a lot about the RB position).

Having read around, it seems the “Sack Smith” mantra is slowly gaining momentum.
Certainly, I’d have agreed with it when the final whistle went, which is why I’ve given myself time to think about things before posting.
There’s nothing worse than a footy fan when you’ve just been spanked, after all.

But it’s a mantra I don’t agree with just yet.
Yes, you can take a rosey view, where we get a manager in, he adds one or two players and we suddenly click, going on to finish mid table easily.
But do we think that would be likely to happen? Really?

I think the only way we could massively improve things would be to change half the side for more quality and change the manager. And that definitely isn’t going to happen.
We could of course bring in a fat Sam type, who would probably improve the defence and while it might just keep us up, I’d see it as a backward step.

For me, we stick with Smith for the rest of the season, regardless.

I know what some of you might say.
“It just isn’t working” and “He’s out of his depth”.
While I’m inclined to agree at times, I’m not going to let an abject performance against one of the best sides in the world sway me.

That said, I thought our work-rate and effort today was awful. It was as if we were beaten before we started and that’s not acceptable.
If we maintain that against lesser sides then no doubt my opinion might change.

But we knew it was going to be tough this season.
It’s hard going though, isn’t it?


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  1. Avatar
    Texas Villan January 17, 2020 at 3:47 pm .

    Interesting article on Forbes about Africa’s richest. Our owner Nassef Sawiris’s own fortune has increased by $1.7bn in the last year alone – making him the 2nd richest in the continent. I know this season is rough on the pitch but I think we’re in a great position whatever happens and in time they’ll get the formula right at Villa.–tycoon-who-lost-half-his-fortune/?utm_source=FBPAGE&utm_medium=social&utm_content=3041247122&utm_campaign=sprinklrForbesMainFB#2eadc73c2d85

    1. Avatar
      DSVilla January 17, 2020 at 8:40 pm .

      I think that is true provided we stay in the Prem. The turmoil in player turnover if we go down would make next season really difficult. Grealish would go along with a number of other good players. Would Smith stay as manager? If we do survive, I can really see us progressing, as the addition of a couple of quality signings would make all the difference. We just need incoming players to hit the ground running. Not much to ask is it?

    2. Avatar
      Big Fat Ron January 17, 2020 at 10:18 pm .

      Can someone explain how having all the money in the world is useful is any way if FFP rules are in place? What’s the point in having a wealthy owner if he can’t use his money to ‘buy’ success? Excuse my ignorance, but I just don’t get it.

      1. Avatar
        Hitchens60 January 17, 2020 at 11:02 pm .

        Nor do a lot of people. In reality it seems to be designed to protect the existing wealthiest clubs (like the Sky6 R Madrid, Barcelona, PSG et al) against upstarts like the Villa who could challenge them with the wealth of their owners if allowed free reign to invest as they wished.

        Imho FFP is absolute cr*p and achieves f**k all.

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