Villa 2 -2 Man Utd; A comeback and if it wasn’t for silly mistakes

Well, it’s not very often any side comes back from 2-0 down against Man Utd, let alone the Villa, but that’s exactly what we did and it was enough to change me from another Man U game of despair to being somewhat disappointed that we didn’t get the third goal to go on and win it.

It’s a bit difficult to aim the sights at players when we’ve just demonstrated great fighting for the cause, but I think we have too many issues to just gloss over things.
Let’s concentrate on the first half, where we were scandalously poor.

Martinez’s mishandle from a straightforward shot from a free kick was incredibly sloppy and normally would get a goalkeeper absolute pelters. The trouble is, he’s been so good for us that even miserable old me thinks he deserves a break. I’ll let him off then.
But the fact is that error after just a few minutes led to us being on the back foot and not being at all at the races.
We were making too many mistakes, giving the ball away too much and we just had too many players that were totally ineffective or worse still, just plain invisible. Our continued poor passing, even over just a few yards is beyond words.
Ramsey may have got the man of the match award, but he was one of the biggest culprits in being invisible.
But just as has been far too often the case, he wasn’t alone.
Luiz was in my opinion very poor and Ings was just totally non-existant.
I said it in the previous comments, but I feel Ings just does not do enough and it’s almost like we’re playing with a man down. I know he can add things occasionally, but for me, it’s just not enough.
When you have a midfield that’s just being overrun (again), I just feel you’d be way better going with just Watkins up top and bolstering the midfield with a fifth man. At least until we have another grafter who can be the counter to our creative sort of players.

Things did get better in the first half, but it still wasn’t good enough.

We came out much better in the second half, but then a hideous backpass from Sanson, who’d until then had a very decent game gave them another chance for an easy goal.
I thought it was pretty much all over at that point, because it didn’t seem our day again, but Coutinho came on and we were looking too good for Man U.
Buendia, who was head and shoulders my man of the match (although I can see why Ramsey gets the plaudits) was the driving force behind much of our game and his vision and passing can be a delight to watch. That does leave plenty of things to go wrong, but I think he’s a fantastic player and he’s only getting better.

Digne made a very promising start, adding some decent attacking width on our left and the truth be told, a lot more than Matt Targett offers. I have to be honest and say I never really considered how he did from a defensive point of view, although I do remember one Man U effort where Digne was near enough on our goal line.

After me slating Ramsey for his non-existent first half, he had an earlier chance that didn’t net. And then he received a ball from Coutinho after good work from Chukwuemeka and shot into their net to send the ground up to volume 11. Scoring against Man U is such a fantastic feeling.
And then Ramsey returned the favour and fed Coutinho who scored in his Villa debut. 2-2 it was and we were all dreaming of a 94th minute win, just for a pleasant change.
But it wasn’t to be.

Our defence worries me.
Man U were gifted 2 goals. Martinez’s howler was out of character, but I do wonder if he’s now lacking confidence in our back four and it’s rubbed off on him? He’s made a couple of mistakes recently, but he’s still an excellent goalie. I suppose we just have to hope he gets through it, which I’m sure he will.
Konsa seems to have hurt his hip and that would now seem to make our search for a centre back even more important.
We need a box to box midfielder who’s going to show when the rest are lacking and this is the area where we ought to push the boat out.
Bissouma is supposedly the answer and if so, we ought to get in there and just get him. There was a time when we wouldn’t have considered a player who has been accused of sexual offences, but I’d guess we’re a lot more forgiving nowadays and the good news is that I’ve noticed that while his friend in his forties has been bailed and has to go back to the police, Bissouma himself has been released while investigations are carried out and he has no restrictions wrt his travel. In other words, there’s a good chance he’s totally innocent and will be freed from any charges.

Back to the game and normally we’d be very happy with this result.
To some, I can understand that it seems like a victory after being two down.
But to me, it feels like a loss.

When oh, when will we do the double over those Red Devils?

Maybe next time eh?

Onwards and upwards!

88 Comments

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  1. Holte
    Holte January 16, 2022 at 3:28 pm .

    I think Gerrard summed it up well really. A shocker for the first 30 minutes with us getting back into the game before half time and starting the second half well before they scored their second against the run of play. The introduction of our substitutes made the difference and in the end it was disappointing we didn’t get the winner. My verdict of the players was:-
    Martinez if you take away his rare blunder was excellent.
    Cash for the first 30 minutes was getting roasted but improved as the game progressed. If only he could improve his passing and crossing!
    Digne had a promising debut with glimpses of what he offers offensively but a rash foul and yellow card showed he might struggle defensively.
    Konsa like all the team was not at it first half and hopefully will not be out for next game after suffering an injury.
    Mings was his usual self. He should have taken out ball and Fred before their second goal then his great run led to our first goal.
    Luiz has incredible energy but his wayward passing puts us in jeopardy too many times.
    Ramsey was invisible for 30 minutes but one of our best players for the remaining 60.
    Sanson was one of our better players in the first 30 minutes and I won’t criticise him too much for a poor back pass that Mings could have cleared. I also don’t mind his reaction after being substituted. He was angry with himself which shows passion.
    Watkins had a quiet game by his standards but as always never stopped pressing.
    Ings for me doesn’t suit our system. There’s no doubting he is a great finisher but he can’t press like Watkins. Too many times the game passes him by.
    Buendia was the MOTM and continues to improve and presses well too. He has incredibly quick feet and an eye for a pass.
    Hause came on and put in a great shift considering he lacked game time.
    Coutinho couldn’t have hoped for a better start. Instrumental for the first goal and scoring the equaliser. Let’s hope there’s more to come.
    Chukwuemeka didn’t get the credit he deserved for his part in changing the game. He must be close to getting a start. Good to hear Gerrard compliment his performance.
    With McGinn back next game and hopefully with a Bissouma type player added, we will have the makings of a very good squad. I’m especially looking forward to seeing Coutinho, Buendia and Watkins getting a better understanding as they get more time on the pitch.
    Exciting times hopefully. UTV!

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain January 16, 2022 at 4:34 pm .

      Agree with most of that!

      I rate Luiz, but he does have that very costly habit of trying to pass too quickly and giving the ball away far too often. His feet may be quicker than his brain.

      Said last night that I thought Buendia was superb yesterday: all he needs is some end-product; I almost wish he was a bit more selfish at times and actually tried to score himself, instead of looking for an extra pass to someone else to do it. A confidence thing, perhaps>

  2. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 16, 2022 at 4:14 pm .

    Benitez sacked – hope that doesn’t back fire on us as it usually does!

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain January 16, 2022 at 4:29 pm .

      If they just put Duncan Ferguson in charge then it may not make much difference. My concern would be seeing Rooney in their dug-out next week.

    2. badger123
      badger123 January 16, 2022 at 4:30 pm .

      Whoever writes the confirmation notices at Everton has no grace whatsoever.
      The Digne and Benitez statements are disgusting, imo.
      No appreciation, no thanks, nothing.

      1. Ardent Villain
        Ardent Villain January 16, 2022 at 4:36 pm .

        You’d think they would have had enough practice over the last 6-7 years!

        1. badger123
          badger123 January 16, 2022 at 4:41 pm .

          Indeed.
          They’re in disarray, I’m afraid.
          They remind me of where we were not so long back.

          1. Ardent Villain
            Ardent Villain January 16, 2022 at 4:45 pm .

            Yes, the tail-end of the Lerner era. And we all know how that ended.

            Everton haven’t been out of the top division in what – 80 something years? – maybe they’re over-due a taste of the 2nd Division.

            1. Hitchens60
              Hitchens60 January 16, 2022 at 5:01 pm .

              Ardent – Everton have never, ever been relegated!

              1. Ardent Villain
                Ardent Villain January 16, 2022 at 5:03 pm .

                But presumably they didn’t just arrive in the top division from nowhere?

              2. Hitchens60
                Hitchens60 January 16, 2022 at 5:15 pm .

                They were founded in 1878 and original members of the football league in 1885. The games between Villa and Everton are the oldest (and most) in the top league.

                Whatever one thinks never having been relegated is pretty impressive.

  3. Ardent Villain
    Ardent Villain January 16, 2022 at 5:18 pm .

    Hitch, I knew about the Villa – Everton history; it’s only our relegations that haven’t extended that history even further!

    But I didn’t realise that they’d NEVER been out of the top division themselves!

    No wonder they’re panicking…

  4. Holte
    Holte January 16, 2022 at 5:28 pm .

    Everton were relegated in 1930-31 for one season and 1950-51 for three seasons. Still impressive though. Typical that Benitez has been sacked before our game. Goodson Park will be a totally different atmosphere now 😕

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain January 16, 2022 at 5:33 pm .

      Holte, I was thinking of the 1930’s when I said “80- years” – a vague memory of reading something along those lines long ago ; must admit that I wasn’t aware of them being in D2 in the 1950’s though!

    2. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 January 16, 2022 at 5:42 pm .

      Didn’t know that Holte. I always understood they were the only club not to have been relegated. Still you learn something new every day.

      Perhaps ‘since the war’ was in small type like in insurance policies 🙂

  5. VillaAwayInDiv3
    VillaAwayInDiv3 January 16, 2022 at 5:45 pm .

    Is it Arsenal that haven’t been relegated ?

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 January 16, 2022 at 5:48 pm .

      Didn’t join unit 1893 and reached the first division in 1904. Relegated once in 1914.

      They don’t count but, then, they never did 🙂

  6. Holte
    Holte January 16, 2022 at 7:35 pm .

    Arsenal have always been cheats and somehow got promoted to the first division in the first season after WW1 despite finishing 5th in the second division in the last season before WW1. It says on Wikipedia that it was highly controversial. Probably a few back handers I wonder. The most recent joke was their attempt to get into the Super league even though they were anything but Champions league standard. Have any of those clubs been penalised yet?

  7. William Pearson
    William Pearson January 17, 2022 at 8:55 am .

    Right, I’m contacting Sue Grey, this needs investigation. I bet Villa holds the record for being in the 3 division and being relegated the most times. The times are changing ,I’ll give you 2 seasons and Villa will be on top of the Premiere league. With Villa signing youngsters from other academies things are looking good.

  8. William Pearson
    William Pearson January 17, 2022 at 3:12 pm .

    I’m reading Man utd after John Mcginn, Villa put a price of £40 million and not for sale.. some of their fans have laugh at the price tweeting too much. My answer get stuffed not for sale ..

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 January 17, 2022 at 4:17 pm .

      Having paid £73m for Jadon Sancho 🙂

  9. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 17, 2022 at 5:15 pm .

    Burnley now asked for the Watford game to be postponed tomorrow night.

    It seems madness to continue with the ‘winter break’ when there has been 22 games postponed so far. At least some of these could be played over that two week period.

    When you think Villa and United met twice in two days in 1954 (might have been ‘55) when Villa last did the double and the players were paid no more than an ordinary man’s working wage without complaint. Now all we get is moaning and complaining from a load of overpaid prima donnas – probably can include a number of managers in that group!

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain January 17, 2022 at 7:38 pm .

      I’ve noticed that few of the recent requests for postponements even mention anyone specifically self-isolating because of Covid.

      They go on about the usual injuries, and apparently the ‘fit ‘players being over-tired from playing too many games since the start of December (covering for those who had Covid before); and all these clubs have a first-team squad of 25+ players, as well as their U23’s to choose from…

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 January 18, 2022 at 7:20 am .

        It seems that due to ‘privacy laws or patient confidentiality’ players with covid can’t be named unless they specifically agree to it.

        What’s that saying about lunatics running the asylum 🙂

        1. badger123
          badger123 January 18, 2022 at 7:45 am .

          Surely it’s always been the case that you can’t talk about those sorts of health issues?

          1. Hitchens60
            Hitchens60 January 18, 2022 at 10:39 am .

            I think covid’s different to an isolated player being diagnosed with a serious illness.

            If a player goes down with a cold, stomach bug, flu do they cloud it in secrecy?

            What’s the issue here; there are plenty of sports people / politicians / celebrities being openly reported in the news as being positive? Do they all give their permission – I don’t think so.

            We have Arteta calling off a game through covid and injuries and the next day sending a first team squad member out on loan.

            It’s just symptomatic of a game which doesn’t treat fans all that well.

            You couldn’t make this stuff up.

            Rant over 🙂

  10. badger123
    badger123 January 18, 2022 at 7:41 am .

    The rumour is that Digne is on £150k a week.
    We’re now very close to playing with the big boys.

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