Villa 3 – 4 Southampton; The scoreline flattered us

I seriously struggle to remember the last time I didn’t want to watch the second half of a Villa game as much as I did today.
There must have been plenty of occasions over the last few years where I’ve felt like that, as we’ve been incredibly poor at times, but I just don’t remember any that made me feel so disinterested.

I stuck with it though and while it might seem we were miles better in the second half after being three goals down at halftime, I don’t think that was quite the case.

So what went wrong here then?
Well, after Leeds overloading Matt Cash, it seemed we were acutely aware that the same might happen today and indeed even expected it.
It didn’t happen like that though, as Southampton’s fullbacks played very narrow and it seemed to me it just caught us out and we didn’t know what to do.

I think I said in the previous thread that I thought we were clueless and I think that probably sums things up. Southampton used the advantage in the middle to good effect and basically just constantly played through us.
It doesn’t help when you give Prowse-Ward free kicks in good positions and to be fair, he did take both very well, with Martinez being blameless.

It also didn’t help when everything you did went wrong, with even the normally reliable Douglas Luiz either falling over or giving the ball away at will.
Fair play to Southampton, they pressed us and we frankly just couldn’t handle it in the slightest.
That worried me and I now wonder if other teams will just use the same tactics to good effect?

When you consider we blitzed Liverpool, you have to wonder how we’re allowing it to happen to us.

The worrying thing for me was the management didn’t seem to see what was going on with Southampton’s narrow play and I have to hold my hands up and say I didn’t either, but nothing changed in that first half, except for Trezeguet coming on for the injured Traore.

To be fair, someone obviously saw what was happening and in the second half Targett was pushed up to assist Grealish, which made us look a more threatening side.

It was pretty much academic though and I always had the strong feeling that Southampton had just backed off massively, which made everything seem quite strange as McCarthy, their goalkeeper, was probably their man of the match in that half.

I’m not going to pick on anyone particularly for that first half performance, but the midfield generally was the liablity and when it’s that lightweight things are going to be difficult for everybody.

It’s Arsenal next up and well, that might be interesting to say the least.
It’s currently looking like we’ll be very glad of our good start in the first four games.


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  1. Avatar
    nath November 7, 2020 at 4:59 pm .

    4 1 palace winners,it was a good game best in premiership at 3 oclock lol. leeds very unlucky needed to take their chances. palace were too wise for them. tbf their palaces game suited this game. they absolved leeds pressure and their switches rarely worked today. leeds better watch out, their confidence will drain conceding goals as they are. but honestly they are a good side and if they keep up this tempo. which will if we keep playing international footy. breaks every two week.

    i have to say two of leeds players were lucky not to see a second yellow, klich and cooper i think was the other. referee i think felt sorry for them and didnt show a yellow when it was warranted.

  2. Avatar
    badger123 November 7, 2020 at 8:29 pm .

    Nice to see Leeds lost.
    I hope they go down after beating us 🙂

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 November 7, 2020 at 9:39 pm .

      And Everton lost again! Manure not at all consistent – never know what you’re going to get!

      Hope we can halt our losing streak!

  3. Avatar
    nath November 8, 2020 at 6:42 am .

    i watched all the games yesterday except the last one. only scouting the teams iam not obsessed with leeds utd i quite like their game and approach to attacking and defending. they tried to play palace/ leciester like they did us. but they both stopped leeds mainly by being deeper. this denied they the space to counter/break into. they also switched well against us and with palace and foxes defense deeper that ball was on still but much harder to hit than against us. leeds who targeted cash or it seemed they did, they tried too target palace and foxes full back too but the switch of ball rarely worked and leeds sent the full back to help as they did against us. but palace and foxes just then turned the ball over and attacked the spaces leeds vacated. so the moral of the story is leeds are vulnerable if you can handle their offense. we tried to go man for man. punch for punch. that is not the way to beat them. the way is to deny them space in your defense, but soon as you turn over the possession you have to bypass their press, foxes did this by hitting longer balls in the channels for vardi and barnes to latch onto. palace achieved the same goal by ball carries like saha ayew who dribbled pass the press. we passed the ball into the leeds press which meant we lost the ball leeds kept coming onto us. but foxes and palace took the sting out of leeds bypassing the press.

    i watched manure in hope they would lose, but they did enough to beat everton. i have nothing to moan about in that game except the commentators are up their arses. goalie ko fernandas i think. they were saying defo pen. even thou the attacker had the shot on goal missed that then clattered by defender and goalie. they were pen defo. utd clattered everton lad in pen and that offense was a red card. but this didnt matter cause the everton forward was offside . commentators insisted that the guy was offside so foul /red it wasnt. double standards guys

    not sure hitch badger is putting up a preview.

    i expect villa to pick up their game against a top arsenal side, last two games have been a little disappointing, but in bigger picture 4 wins from 6 is good form. we just need to be careful with teams that counter quickly like soton and leeds, we are very attacking ourselves, that means we leave spaces which countering teams thrive on . so in another words we aid the oppositions too much to win games. we need a better balance especially against lightening quick counters, i would definitely play two number 6 holding midfielders. playing the amount of forward minded players we play, we need more insurance against the quick counters. arsenal 1 villa 2 getin there we bounce back to our best HOPEFULLY

  4. Avatar
    badger123 November 8, 2020 at 12:45 pm .

    I’m on it Nath.

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