Villa 2 – 1 Leicester; Another game of two halves and poor refereeing.

I’m never normally critical of referees.
It’s a job where you have to make instant decisions and it’s easy to make mistakes.
Put it this way, would you fancy the job?

Indeed, I’m often told that I’m too biased towards the opposition.
Yet I feel it would be totally remiss of me to let today’s performance go and I have to call it out for what it is.

That was one of the worst performances by a referee that I can remember.
It wasn’t just Ramsey’s goal either. Incidentally, the rules on that one are basically that if the goalie has a hand on it, it’s in his control, EXCEPT IF A SAVE HAS BEEN MADE, which it was. The goal should have stood.

And then there was McGinn’s effort where he was deemed to have commited a foul on the right wing.
I saw nothing wrong with that at all.

And then it was fouls all over the place from Leicester that weren’t given, while we seemed to get punished every time.
It just didn’t smell right to me and again, I just never say that.

So while it felt like we were playing against 12 men and this result was ultimately superb, so I was fuming at how sloppy we were. It got to the stage where we really should have been five or six goals up, but couldn’t convert our chances and I just had the feeling that leicester at least getting the draw and probably the win just seemed inevitable.
Fortunately, we survived about twenty minutes of squeaky bum time, which was great, but really not good enough.
We should have had the game done and dusted.

I know what you’re thinking.
We won and I’m being way too harsh.
Except Gerrard said pretty much the same.

The first few minutes were really poor and the first half just wasn’t good enough, but Buendia headed toward goal and Konsa got the faintest touch on it before it went in.
I give that to Buendia, even though it was credited to Konsa and that’s about all the credit the Argentinian gets. He was the same old for me, brilliant in tiny bits, with one lovely touch on the left wing, but mostly useless.

Anyway, we sat back way too much and generally looked poor in defence. How Leicester never got more, I don’t know as at times it looked like a training session, with Villa representing the under 18’s.

I think everyone expected that Gerrard would read the riot act at the players at half time and so it seemed to be.
We were much more up for it and actually, I thought it was quite worrying how Leicester seemed to fold when given something to worry about. They’re really not that good, in my opinion.
Still, that’s not my problem and we were all over them for about the first 20 minutes of the second half.
The only major annoyance for me was that we hadn’t increased our lead on multiple occasions.
And then McGinn hit one deep from a corner and Konsa was there again with a back post header that was narrowly squeezed in.

And then it just seemed that where we should have won this with ease, we were under serious pressure and an equalizer seemed obvious.

We didn’t concede though and given how we looked so disorganised at the back I’m tempted to say that we owe that to Gerrard having instilled more confidence or even just a better mental attitude into the players.
Indeed Konsa himself has spoken of having a “they shall not pass” attitude.

You can’t knock that.

Ultimately it was a fully deserved win, but it should have been so much more convincing and even better, less stressful for us Villa fans. I’ll bet at least the neutrals loved it as a spectacle though.

So it’s three wins out of four, with only a loss against City blotting the copybook.

It’s all going swimmingly well isn’t it?
And to think that Gerrard has hinted that we’re still quite seriously flawed too.

If we can sort out some of those flaws, it’s not difficult to see that we still have time to become a force in this season’s league.

You can’t beat a few wins for instilling confidence, can you?

I’m one happy bunny 🙂

30 Comments

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  1. Bill Evans
    Bill Evans December 5, 2021 at 8:12 pm .

    Agree with all you say. Some of the players gave the ball away way too often and final balls were lacking again but somehow we squeezed a win, mostly because Leicester were crap but also because we found the power to push on through.

    Gerrard’s definitely instilled something new in the team and although we’re giving the ball away too much, we are also able to create some impressive attacking moves and we are resolute in defense.

    I’m well excited by this new era. UTV!

    1. Bill Pearson
      Bill Pearson December 6, 2021 at 7:57 am .

      Schmeichel made it look bad holding his hand claiming he was hurt, that was a goal the rule now has to be changed as it contradicts the first paragraph against the second paragraph in saying if he makes a save and he did, its in play. Oliver is a bad ref he’s cocked up again and should be relegated back to the Championship refereeing , I’m fed up with us getting 3 refs that don’t like the Midlands clubs. Two come from the North the other South. It’s time to bring in foreign refs on local derby as its becoming farcical. that was a goal and Oliver is a Pr#t.

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 December 6, 2021 at 9:25 am .

        Bill – agree 100%.

        On MoTD2 they put up the whole law (regarding the disallowed goal) and spoke to the EPL and the games law makers seeking clarity on the second part – ‘except if the GK makes a save’. According to the regulators it does not relate to the first part – the bit about the GK having a hand on the ball!?

        So what does ‘except’ actually relate to?

        One is forced to ask whether these people have any idea what they’re doing or whether they even understand English language!

        Tbf to MoTD2 pundits they were totally non plussed by the response they got and all felt it was a perfectly good goal.

        1. Ardent Villain
          Ardent Villain December 6, 2021 at 4:29 pm .

          Four match officials on/around the pitch – all qualified referees – plus however many more sitting at VAR screens and miked-up to each other.

          And none of them either know or understand their own rule-book!

          A real joke.

          As for Shmeichel and his ‘off to get an X-ray’ comments, he’s embarrased himself…

          1. Hitchens60
            Hitchens60 December 6, 2021 at 6:48 pm .

            He’s always in the ref’s ear; tried to get our first goal disallowed – why VAR looked at it beats me. Really fancies himself as being special!

            Arrogant would the word I’d use.

            Understand he speaks highly of me as well 🙂

            1. badger123
              badger123 December 6, 2021 at 7:22 pm .

              It’s just typical of the type of thing I’ve talked about recently Hitch.
              “Professional” they call it. “Dirty, sneaky and horrible” is what everyone else calls it.

              1. Big Fat Ron
                Big Fat Ron December 6, 2021 at 10:55 pm .

                The dark arts – I thought we were picking it up when Emi got into Bruno’s head at Old Trafford for the missed penalty. Need much more of it. Not just clever fouling but winding the opposition up so they lose their shit is all part of it.

            2. Big Fat Ron
              Big Fat Ron December 6, 2021 at 10:58 pm .

              Baby Schmeichel takes after daddy by the sounds of it. Roy Keane is always happy to mention that he didn’t like Rudolph but respected the fact that he had very high standards on the pitch.

  2. Adam
    Adam December 6, 2021 at 9:48 am .

    I agree the ref was poor. They played dirty and the ref seemed to be giving everything to them, however, that Douglas Luiz challenge on Dewsbury-hall in my opinion was a definite penalty. He stood on his foot after a missed time challenge and if that was for Villa I would have been fuming so I personally think we got away with one there. Put it this way, If the ref gives it, I guarantee VAR wouldn’t have overturned it because there was contact. I dont agree as much about the defence. Ok yes 1st half I do but 2nd half I thought we were solid and restricted them to minimal shots on goal. During the last 10 minutes particularly, we accepted we had missed our opportunity to put the game to bed and shut up shop and did it superbly, even with Leicester bringing on the big guns. Yes Leicester were decidedly average and that probably helped make it look better. I thought Chuky looked good yesterday too for his cameo. I feel like he’s finding his feet at this level now and that bravery/swagger he showed for over 12 months in the U23’s is beginning to show. A couple of times yesterday, 1 where he was intelligent enough to stop the free kick then he had the confidence to completely do Maddison before getting cynically fouled. The other right at the final whistle, he just held the ball, a bit of skill to draw the foul and the pressure is relieved. I have high hopes for him and I dont think it will be too long before he gets his first start and his first goal too. Another big shout to Nakamba again! Seriously could have got MOTM in every game under Gerrard so far. Bring on Liverpool!

    1. badger123
      badger123 December 6, 2021 at 7:29 pm .

      Totally agree about Chucky Adam. He looks a way better bet than Ramsey to me.

      1. Bum Bum
        Bum Bum December 9, 2021 at 5:53 pm .

        I did notice that Chuky asks for the ball when he has very little space around him. He doesn’t create space or run into it.
        I do like the look of him though and hope SG can get him to sign an extension.

        1. Hitchens60
          Hitchens60 December 9, 2021 at 6:03 pm .

          Villa / United FA Cup game on live on BBC

  3. badger123
    badger123 December 6, 2021 at 7:13 pm .

    Man U away in the cup 🙁

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 December 6, 2021 at 7:21 pm .

      Yet another kind draw in the FA Cup!

      At least we can concentrate on the league.

      1. badger123
        badger123 December 6, 2021 at 7:26 pm .

        I don’t know Hitch.
        Man U are beatable these days, as we already know 🙂

        Would have been nice to face a minnow at home though. Just as much for the little club to get a nice payout as anything else.

        1. Hitchens60
          Hitchens60 December 6, 2021 at 8:16 pm .

          Yeah – was hoping for Kidderminster at home 🙂

  4. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson December 6, 2021 at 8:28 pm .

    We fear no one, our only problem is these frigging refs they a point on the day, again it will be a Manchester based ref that think we are a soft touch. I’d like to know if them balls drawn are not magnified, how the f*”k do we get a big six out of 50 teams,are the Manchester utd hard up and need a good crowd. Again something smells and we are the club they fear.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain December 6, 2021 at 10:24 pm .

      And you’ve hit the nail right on the head.

      Given a level playing field we could do ManUre again, no worries. Unfortunately we’ll be playing them at their place, and have to play against the ref, linesmen and VAR people as well.

      I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve drawn them in the 3rd round over the last 20 years or so – but like you I’m starting to smell a rodent…

  5. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 December 8, 2021 at 4:13 pm .

    See Villa have done a deal with Zimbabwe to keep Nakamba until 3rd January before he joins up with the National squad for the AFCON Tournament – he was due to join up before Christmas.

    It’s a mark of how well he’s playing that Villa want to keep him for key games over Christmas – also some real common sense from Zimbabwe.

    Well done to all concerned.

  6. Ardent Villain
    Ardent Villain December 8, 2021 at 6:59 pm .

    Yes, it’s good news, although presumably he’ll miss the FA Cup game.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 December 8, 2021 at 7:38 pm .

      Yes, he will

  7. badger123
    badger123 December 9, 2021 at 10:28 am .

    I saw this comment from Gerrard the other day and never really thought much about it but it’s been raised again in an article suggesting players will be offloaded;

    “But there’s still loads of work to do on the training ground. A few are still not sure and committing properly to what we want just because they’re not sure and it’s a little bit new for them.”

    I just took it at face value, but it makes sense that it means players are almost refusing.
    Which is interesting.
    You’d have to think we’re talking about the more skilled players here, who don’t quite put that high level of graft in.

    Players like El Ghazi and Traore, who were two of those rumoured for the chop weeks back.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain December 9, 2021 at 12:31 pm .

      Badger, you’re in ‘conspiracy’ mode again!

      I read that statement when it first appeared, and interpreted it as him meaning that the coaching staff are doing things that are completely ‘new’ to the players – stuff that DS & Shakespeare didn’t perhaps even imagine doing, which wouldn’t be a surprise as far as I’m concerned.

      My reading was that some of what they’re trying on the training ground is perhaps radically different to anything the players have been asked to do before, and that a few of them are struggling to understand, rather than refusing to buy-in to the new way!

      1. badger123
        badger123 December 9, 2021 at 1:02 pm .

        Heheh, only because of this;

        https://www.footballinsider247.com/gerrard-ready-to-get-rid-of-aston-villa-stars-after-bodymoor-heath-reveal-agbonlahor/

        Not that I believe anything Gabby says.
        I also suspect he was one of those causing trouble when he was at the Villa, so it’s like the pot calling the kettle…..

  8. badger123
    badger123 December 9, 2021 at 10:35 am .

    And more talk of Davis being available for £2 million.
    Apparently Dean Smith wants him to partner Pukki, which might well work.

    I just can’t get away from 6 goals in 86 matches or 3 in 73 depending where you read.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain December 9, 2021 at 12:35 pm .

      As I’ve said before, I do quite like Davis.

      But, a striker who simply can’t hit the target at this level is a bit of a luxury (- or ‘waste’ to be a bit cruel) especially when there are players like Archer waiting for chances to show what they can do given a bit of a run in the 1st team.

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 December 9, 2021 at 3:10 pm .

        But he’s a big, strong bloke who can rough up centre backs and holds the ball well. Maybe he doesn’t need to score a lot of goals if he creates chances for someone like Pukki,

        I’m pretty sure Villa would let him go for £2m which rather tells its own story though.

        On the other topic, I don’t really take a lot of notice of our Gabby. It’s not that difficult to put a spin on Gerrard’s statement and then align it with Traore and El Ghazi – is it?

        I’m sure there will be incomings and outgoings – it’s the nature of the beast after all.

  9. badger123
    badger123 December 10, 2021 at 6:56 pm .

    and talking of Cameron Archer, he’s signed a new contract. Probably an offer he couldn’t refuse, but good news whatever;

    https://www.expressandstar.com/sport/football/aston-villa/2021/12/10/cameron-archer-signs-new-aston-villa-contract/

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