I readily admit that I’m an armchair supporter, mostly because of restraints placed upon me because of work.
So it was a pleasant change for me to actually get down to Villa park and watch the game in the flesh, so to speak and see things away from the TV perspective.
The same doesn’t apply to what I actually saw though.
I now fully understand how some fans think Jack Grealish slows the game down too much.
In fact, what I saw quite shocked me and while it might not be a popular view, I’m going to tell it as I saw it.
We’re bloody poor.
Apart from a five minute or so spell in the first half, where we applied some decent pressure, we looked very disjointed and massively lacking in the final third.
The whole side is too ponderous and slow and I fail to see how Dean Smith has made the slightest difference to anything yet.
That’s not necessarily a criticism of the manager, but it may well be a criticism of the players.
It’s almost like they’re over-thinking things and not playing naturally.
Still, you can’t knock a 2-0 win, even if it was against a truly awful Bolton side.
Strangely, I suspect they might have looked better on the telly, but trust me, they are rubbish and will seriously struggle.
Bolasie looks a couple of classes better than those around him.
McGinn worked his nuts off again and was my MOTM, although I think Chester might have got the award.
If that’s so, it’s sad that a defender got the award, even if he did get a goal.
Tuanzebe looks comfortable, but he never really had much to trouble him.
Well, as I suggested, we look awfully ponderous and way too slow in every aspect.
I suspect a lot of it is down to confidence and while it seems we are trying, there is no cutting edge whatsoever.
I can’t put my finger on it, but taking time to take throw-ins gives you a clue.
There’s nowhere near enough urgency and the movement is just abysmal.
The ball just doesn’t go forward quickly enough to surprise any defenders.
Am I wrong?
Well, possibly, but I think a good judge is the opinion of the Holte end.
I was in the thick of it in K5, educating the grandkids in how to shout your lungs out, supporting the club.
I’ve got them in the net now and they’re “Villa till I die”.
But the Holte was fairly subdued.
While we won the game, I believe as things stand we don’t have a hope in hell of getting anywhere near promotion.
I predict a very tough time up to the winter window and beyond.