Villa 2 -3 Spurs; Stupid mistakes again.

First off, I want to say, the result aside, what a great game that was to watch.

But blimey, that last minute goal practically ripped my guts out.
The worrying thing is I think we all knew it was coming, even that late on.
Which sums it up I suppose, because we simply can’t trust our defence and it isn’t going to get any better this season.
So it was ultimately Engels who made a basic error in letting the ball get past him, when all he had to do was get contact and just hoof it upfield.
I was immediately raving and doing my fruit over him, but on reflection, it doesn’t really matter, as we’ve been prone to this sort of mistake all season and it could have been anyone.

The really annoying thing is I thought we more than held our own against Spurs and would have deserved a point.
Pepe Reina had much to do with this, as he made some great saves, which made him my man of the match.

But I want to give credit to Samatta too, as I thought he played well. He shows good control and the way he flicked one particular ball over and round him, to run on to and see off a defender showed definite class. He works hard and seems to have good awareness of where his team mates are, meaning he lays the ball off nicely.
He’s also often in the right sort of place too, which is frankly a basic requirement for a striker. Oh and he actually heads the ball.
I’ve never seen any of this from Wesley and when you consider we paid twice as much for him, you have to wonder what happened there?
Ok, you get flops, but hmm.
At least when Wesley comes back, he knows he’s got serious competition, which has to be a good thing.

So what went wrong?
It’s hard for me to say, as we definitely put the effort in and tried our best not to give the opposition any time to play.
I do feel we mess about too much at times and I commented about one occasion where Jack took a free, which resulted in the ball being kicked out to one of our mids in the middle of the pitch, who took too much time and then passed to another mid, who also took to much time and was forced to pass back to Reina, because Spurs had pushed out.
To my mind, there’s no excuse for that and we end up giving the ball back to the goalie, when we have most of our players upfield. The ball should be going forwards, not backwards, meaning we keep applying pressure.
It’s a similar thing at the back too, where we mess about too much and look vulnerable to having the ball stolen.
You’d think we would have got away from this by now, but I don’t see it changing with these players.
I think the players are just trained to pause and take a look before passing, but it seems beyond them at this level.
Frankly I just don’t think we’re good enough to play like that at this level.

Ok, Spurs are fifth in the league, I think. But they didn’t look it
Their defence looks equally as vulnerable as ours, but they do have a difference.
They have top class players, the likes of Winks and Son, who can just do stuff that puts the opposition under pressure.
We just don’t have enough of that.

And that, to my mind, is why we lost, when we should have got the point.

We’re just overall not good enough.

That said, that doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom.
I thought Spurs weren’t that good. But they’re still fifth in the league and we gave them a game, to say the least. We looked much better for the break and that’s encouraging.
Well, at least I’m not saying we looked poor again.

It’s Southampton away next.
Now that is a critical one.


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  1. Avatar
    nath February 17, 2020 at 9:19 pm .


    guilbert mings hause targett


    ghazi luis grealish tresguet


    i think the emphasis should be on goal scoring now, got to supply samatta and get grealish playing more as attacking central midfielder close as possible to samatta as possible.

    p/s reina was awesome against spuds and didnt deserve to concede three goals he was so exposed as well. hopefully mings will return for soton game. who i really rate as a good side. they are great side countering. if we persist playing high and giving the ball away cheaply, we will lose and lose big time again to them. burnley beat them last weekends,but they didn’t play into their hands, they defended deeper and didn’t over load going forwards.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 February 17, 2020 at 9:29 pm .

      Nath, with all due respect aren’t you arguing against yourself here? I accept the ‘giving the ball away cheaply’ applies whatever formation we use but can we really score goals sitting deep and trying to counter attack. We can play well with the ball when attacking (in numbers?) but it seems we lack the speed necessary for effective counter attacking.

      Isn’t the reality that we just don’t have the quality needed to defend effectively therefore your point about ‘going for goals’ has real validity – but to do that I think we have to stick with 3 at the back and hope Reina performs like a god.

      1. Avatar
        Hitchens60 February 17, 2020 at 9:30 pm .

        Or we literally park the bus and hope to Nick a goal. I would take a 0-0 all day long 🙂

      2. Avatar
        night February 17, 2020 at 10:46 pm .

        horses for course hitch i would not go hunting against Southampton because their strengths are counter attacking. if you can remember the earlier game against them. if you can watch their last 6 games except their defeat against burnley.

        you can attack teams without opening your back door to countering teams. burnley sat much deeper than villa did against spuds. our last defenders where pressing inside spuds half and spuds had the ball without any villa pressure on the ball, which means they could pick their passes with plenty time.

        i am not contradicting myself. the formation i posted doesn’t state high press or park the bus=. i chose defenders that could press high and are fast enough and mobile enough to recover if they are got in behind. also nakamba sitting in front of the back four to track the late runs.

        i stated to support samatta more cause he was our main threat and he had hardly any support. just think if we actually crossed more to him or had grealish linking up more with him. i believe he can score the goal that will save us.

        if we continue to press high into the opposition half, its pointless using engels because he is too slow to recover. its also more important not to give the ball away by over playing. eg el ghazi laying a ball off misplacing it giving the ball away and all the defense is open to the counter. if you pressing suicide high you have to press the ball and you can not press like this for the full game.

        playing 2 cb at the back instead of the three means they will be defending the opposition striker and not venturing forwards trying to create width hause and konsa are not wing backs they are poor with distribution, then they are caught out of position. they contributed so little in goals from corners also.

        lastly if we stopped trying to play short passes and round the corner lays offs eg over playing keep things simple. hit percentage balls to samata and have players joining him feeding off him. we wouldnt get countered as much and we would still carry a threat. you don’t need to send the full backs forward to over lap the wingers all the time. if they do pick and chose their moments better we wouldn’t be so predictable. also if we played players in their natural environments they would not be making the mistakes they are makeing

  2. Avatar
    Holte66 February 17, 2020 at 9:24 pm .

    Really concerned about the damage Ings and Long can inflict on our fragile defence.

  3. Avatar
    Roy Bracy February 18, 2020 at 12:56 am .

    Anybody see Terry giving his opinion on Chelsea defence. Shouldn’t he be looking at his own team first. Kettle and black spring’s to mind. He’s still a Chelsea man. Bring in mellberg or the big Dane

  4. Avatar
    nath February 18, 2020 at 7:05 am .

    in a earlier post last night, somebody mentioned villa back line not being in line, well most teams have two or three shapes depending on situations, example a defence shape, attacking shape and say corner or attacking free kicks shape, villa attacking shape commits lots of players to work, then say you lose the ball like el ghazi did just inside the opposition half, he played the ball back, but villa are so attack minded committing players to attack, their defence shape is none existent one bad ball and the opposition are through on goal or worst with just one player to beat then on goal.

    the transition between our shapes is so slow to happen, this causes us to naturally get countered anyways, teams like soton will look at this villa set up and rub their hands, we are tailored made for the counter.

    burnley beat them last weekend playing nothing like expansive we play, they took their few chances they created. they also kept their defensive shape more or less, so when soton regain possession the opportunity to quick counter was not on. the saints struggled massively to create chances compared to when they play a villa team they create loads of chances.

    also i proposed we mix up our passing we try to pass short all the time, but this means slow build ups and committing loads to break down the opposition, when we hit samatta longer against spud he managed to get a hold of the ball and feed the midfield. so get grealish playing behind him and hit the ball a little long on occasions, or bring in the wide boys to feed of samatta play more narrow.

    staying up we need to score goals and samatta looks to be the right cog to do that. he looked dangerous all the time he was playing. we lost our outlet when he was subbed. but its gonna be important we keep a defensive shape against soton worse thing we do is give the ball away and when we are in our attacking shape its a recipe for a countering.

  5. Avatar
    Holte66 February 18, 2020 at 1:08 pm .

    Just to rub salt into the wounds, Son played on despite a fractured arm for Spurs and still made our defence look Sunday league!

  6. Avatar
    steve February 18, 2020 at 1:25 pm .

    I thought pot and kettle with Terry criticizing Chelsea defending against man utd Isn’t he our defensive coach who have now leaked 50 plus goals.
    He should be concentrating on our defensive frailties

  7. Avatar
    nath February 18, 2020 at 6:49 pm .

    looking through the remaining fixtures, i can see us picking up points. but we have to play to our potential. cutting out the mistakes will be crucial too. these are the things we can control in our world. other results /injuries/ var and lady luck are out of our hands.

    i was impressed with our attacking play against spuds, we really had a good old go at them. if only we took our chances in the first half, it could have been a totally different game had we.

    samatta looks like a real good signing, hes in the box when we are crossing, he is making the near post runs which is a good sign for a goal poacher. his presence forced the spuds defender to og. he linked up well with grealish and even when we hit long to him he took in the ball or pressured the spuds man to hit the ball out or back.

    it was always gonna be tough season for us, yes we lack quality at the back especially without mings. mcginn is also a massive absentee, we lack legs in midfield and a deep ball carrier. injuries have been cruel to us robbing us of heaton mings and mcginn at times. but we still are in their fighting and hopefully mcginn is back soon hungry and running fit to the end.

    1. Avatar
      beamo February 18, 2020 at 7:00 pm .

      A fit McGinn will be a big boost but I don’t see us cutting down on mistakes or defending any better – nothing has changed from match day 1 to now. Smith’s philosophy of going ‘toe to toe’ with everyone in the PL is admirable but it doesnt work – leaves us exposed and teams will punish us as they have done time and time again.
      Add in the usual bottlejob performances against the traditional top 6 it gives us very little margin for error in the other games.
      Would love to see a way out but I think we’ll finish 19th on around 34 points ish.

      1. Avatar
        nath February 18, 2020 at 7:20 pm .

        my fingers are permanently crossed for mcginns return. i also admire smith philosophy getting at the opposition. but this tactic does come with major dangers as you said. but smith might have calculated that being more conservative would be worse. i reckon if we could cut out the mistakes that alone would reap more rewards.

        i still think we will scrape 17 th but i am less confident than i was originally.

  8. Avatar
    Guest February 18, 2020 at 10:06 pm .

    It is possible to get at the opposition and defend well, the two things are not mutually exclusive.

    The fact is whatever is going on on the training ground isn’t working and while I think we are actually a better attacking side than we have been for years, we are also the worst defensively, it seems whoever is in charge of our defensive coaching is really not doing their job properly.

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