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!


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  1. badger123
    badger123 January 18, 2022 at 7:44 am .

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

  2. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 18, 2022 at 1:12 pm .

    Being reported we’re signing Roma GK Robert Olsen on loan as number 2 to Martinez. Spent first half of season loan at Sheffield United and wasn’t that impressive by all account.

    It seems medical has been completed.

    Steer will now go out on loan and possibly be sold in the summer.

    Earlier comments suggested Martinez needed real competition which Heaton originally provided but will Olsen provide any more than Steer? It seems Villa must think so.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 January 18, 2022 at 1:20 pm .

      *Robin Olsen

      And I may be wrong about Steer. Could be this guy’s coming in to provide additional experience as a number 3 to allow Sinisalo to go out on loan for more senior club experience,

      1. badger123
        badger123 January 18, 2022 at 5:45 pm .

        I don’t understand this move at all.
        I know Steer isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think he makes an adequate no 2.
        I just do not understand why a goalie who wasn’t very good on loan at Sheffield Utd is deemed to be good enough for us?

        I suspect this is more a case where Steer is sick of being the underbody and wants out.
        With our awful record with reserve goalies over the last few years, I suspect we’re going down the same road and will be signing yet another duffer.

        1. Hitchens60
          Hitchens60 January 18, 2022 at 6:20 pm .

          It is a strange one Badger. He was Swedens first choice GK at the Euros and played in all their matches. He also has vast experience which may be a pointer as well.

          He has completed the loan move.

          We’ll have to wait and see what transpires.

  3. Holte
    Holte January 18, 2022 at 9:39 pm .

    A lot of click bait about Luis Suarez coming to VP! TBH given his age and wage, I think this is pure speculation 🤔

    1. Big Fat Ron
      Big Fat Ron January 18, 2022 at 10:13 pm .

      I’ll get my nappies ready, just in case. I know he bites people but without doubt one of the most gifted players I’ve ever seen.

      1. Big Fat Ron
        Big Fat Ron January 18, 2022 at 10:25 pm .

        Holte, I don’t think it’s click-bait. I think this could materialise. It makes perfect sense if you think about it. Wow, they really should’ve extended VP during the lock-down. Stevie’s phone book has got quite a few superstars in it, I imagine. As long as Balotelli doesn’t rock-up at VP with a “Why always me?” T-Shirt. we should be a very happy bunch!

        1. Hitchens60
          Hitchens60 January 19, 2022 at 7:32 am .

          Cavani moved to United at 34 and he’s still a nuisance on the pitch so why not Suarez to Villa at 34. He still scores goals for fun.

          It comes back to blocking the kids route to the first team but if Ings moved on then it might prove a good deal for a couple of years.

          Just think what the kids would learn from him – not the biting bit!

          Latest ‘click bait’ report is that he’s sent a message to Stevie G saying he wants to join him at Villa!

  4. William Pearson
    William Pearson January 19, 2022 at 7:37 am .

    That would be another player on the gravy train, yes he’s has talent and also a nutter, we have our own talent just waiting to be used, all this high powered buying will cost the club in the end, our owners are trying to please the fans and build us up in the record books. Do we really need a player like him ?sorry not for me if you want to please the fans use our young guns not nutters.

  5. Adam
    Adam January 19, 2022 at 10:17 am .

    I think when it comes to Suarez, there’s no doubt he still has the ability to perform at the top level even at 34 (as has been said above, just look at Cavani) and it would be a real coup for us to sign him. We dont really have any strikers past Watkins and Ings that can just step straight in. Archer, is still raw and has a bright future no doubt but i’m guessing Stevie doesn’t fancy using him much this season, as I dont think he’s featured at all since Gerrard arrived. It would probably be a good opportunity to get Suarez in for a year or so and then send Archer out to the championship or League 1 this January for that man making experience, where he can then step in when Suarez is gone. Brad Young sadly I dont think will make it and Caleb Chukwumeka is another for the future. Plus if true that Suarez is turning down all offers in pursuit of coming to us well that makes him a fan favourite straight away. There may just be something in this! Personally I would welcome it.

  6. Holte
    Holte January 19, 2022 at 10:22 am .

    I think there are pros and cons in signing Suarez. The pros are we would be signing a quality striker who will raise our profile to a higher level. The cons are everything Bill said. Maybe someone on a final payday who has lost his appetite for the game despite his biting. His age means he is past his best plus more injury prone. Wages would be obscene and he would block the likes of Archer etc. BTW, check out Archers recent goal for the academy if you haven’t already seen it.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain January 19, 2022 at 10:55 am .

      Holte, Agree with you.
      Personally, I don’t like the player, but he might just have enough left in him to really give us a push for the rest of this season.
      ut that’s the rub really – I wouldn’t expect us to have what would then be a 35-year old next season when there are potentially high quality young players waiting for a break.
      So if they’re going to do it, make it a very short-term signing.

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 January 19, 2022 at 11:04 am .

        Ardent – think this is about signing a pre-contract agreement for him to move to us in the summer.

        1. Ardent Villain
          Ardent Villain January 19, 2022 at 11:06 am .

          If that’s the case, then I wouldn’t want it to happen. Simply too old…

  7. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 19, 2022 at 11:03 am .

    If, as being reported, Gerrard has contacted Suarez about joining then he must have good reason – he’s the manager on his head be it.

    Back to more pressing matters.

    Konsa reported doubtful for the Everton game. This is real issue. Hause will come in but we have no experienced Centre backs on the bench and I don’t see which other of our defenders could fill in in the event of injury during the game.

    This is where Gerrard, Lange and Purslow need to be concentrating. Can’t help thinking allowing Tuanzebe to be recalled (don’t forget he was on a season long loan) before getting in a replacement may well prove to be poor judgement.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain January 19, 2022 at 11:10 am .

      Taunzebe clearly wasn’t getting any playing time, so I wonder whose choice the recall was?

      If he wanted to go, and ManUre weren’t happy with his lack of minutes on the pitch either, presumably they could simply have insisted on the recall – a bit like Barry at Ipswich.

      In that situation, could Villa have blocked it?

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 January 19, 2022 at 11:16 am .

        Probably not but then we’re not privy to the contract terms.

  8. Guest
    Guest January 19, 2022 at 12:32 pm .

    A lot of negativity on here toward Suarez.

    Time for a reality check.

    Firstly, i’m tired of hearing about the youngsters path being blocked, put simply, if they were good enough and ready they would be already playing, it’s a simple as that.

    If we spend the next two years blooding these youngsters instead of improving the first eleven, then we will be stuck in mid-table mediocrity for the next few years, in which time Gerrard will probably be sacked and then we’d be starting all over again.

    It’s not your concern how much money is being spent, the problem with half of you is that you are vexatious complainers, you’re not happy when there is no funds to spend, and you’re not happy when there are funds to spend but the club want to spend it on experience, not every player can be under the age of 30, there is a huge merit to bringing in players with the experience of Coutinho and Suarez, yet you aren’t happy. Our owners are mega wealthy, they have the money to spend, let them spend it, or would you rather go back to the DOL days when all we had was a transfer budget of £4m.

    We would be lucky to bring in a player of Suarez’s ability, he’s a world class forward even at 34, he’s hardly on the ‘gravy train’ as some put it, he scored 21 goals in 32 last year, he’s fit and still has the desire to play at the highest level clearly otherwise he’s had taken up a club in the middle east.

    Stop moaning.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 January 19, 2022 at 1:18 pm .

      Guest, broadly I agree with you but Villa do have a history of signing ‘marquee’ players past their best; although not on the level of Coutinho and Suarez.

      We do have some exceptional youngsters such as Chukweumeka who we really don’t want to lose but then keeping them happy is one of Gerrard’s jobs. They also have to realise that going to another Premier League club, especially those in Europe, is not going to guarantee them playing time,

      Having said all that, I don’t think we’re moaning per se but just putting forward differing views in the same way as you are.

      Personally, I’d love to see Suarez at Villa for a couple of seasons and I’d sell Ings which would more than fund Suarez’ wages (if we’re going to talk about money 🙂 )

    2. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain January 19, 2022 at 4:35 pm .

      I can see your point of view, and broadly, wouldn’t disagree with most of it; particulalrly regarding speeding-up the team- improvement process so that we’re not constantly waiting for youngsters to ‘come good’ while the best existing players get old, and managers get sacked!

      Having acknowledged that, I still have some reservations about signing any player at the age of 34+ (OK, I might be persuaded if it was Lionel Messi…)

      (Even the Legend that is Paul McGrath wasn’t even 30 when he came to the club!)

  9. William Pearson
    William Pearson January 19, 2022 at 4:15 pm .

    Well,put Hitch, some on here would sign Micky mouse if you let them, as I’ve said he’s a nutter and that in a team we can do without, how do we know that a young under 23 is good or not, teams only this week was playing 16 , 17, 19, year old footballers, we are dragging our feet, we are helll bent in buying the league or cups by throwing money at it. I don’t want to pay £ 80 a match the way we are going that’s on the cards. Let’s put some sense into Villa Park and use the academy that’s what it’s for.

    1. Guest
      Guest January 20, 2022 at 10:10 am .

      I’ve heard Mickey Mouse is one hell of a forward.

    2. badger123
      badger123 January 20, 2022 at 8:47 pm .

      Bill, you can’t just play kids and hope they come good.
      They need to be smashing it at their own level before they have a chance at the top level.
      What would happen if Gerrard was to play say, four or five of them and we keep losing games?

      1) We slide down the league
      2) Us fans complain
      3) The manager gets the bullet

  10. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 19, 2022 at 7:08 pm .

    According to Sky, Villa have stated that they are not interested in signing Suarez – so ‘click bait’ it probably was.

    Time to move on.

    Are they the second Prem League club to make an offer for central defender Carlos. Maybe I could start a new rumour 🙂

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain January 19, 2022 at 8:28 pm .

      Interesting. The Mirror (OK, it’s the Mirror,,,) are saying that Villa don’t intend going for Suarez in January – but leave open the possibility of a move in the summer when he becomes a free agent.

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 January 19, 2022 at 10:12 pm .

        Don’t believe it Ardent. Villa have said they’re not interested and I think the Mirror is now trying to spin the story to keep the click bait going.

        All the reports said it was going to be a summer move anyway once his contract ran out so it seems pretty clear the Villa statement relates to the summer not the January window.

        Logic would also say it doesn’t fit with Villa’s strategy.

        Still it makes for a debate.

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