As soon as Kieran Richardson was sent off, for what for me, was a good decision by Mike Dean, I thought we were in trouble.
In real time, it looked a terrible tackle and although the slow motion replay showed it wasn’t quite as bad, you just can’t go in like that with your studs showing.
While I can see that some of you might debate that, I thought it was a potential ankle breaker.
So a good decision.
I want to give a bit of credit to the ref here, by the way, as I thought he called most things correctly and gave probably a man of the match performance.
So in short Richardson is out for our next game.
No major loss for me, as I really don’t rate him and it surely makes Delph’s return easier for Lambert.
So we were down to 10 men after 21 minutes and I just had the feeling that even though Albion were quite toothless, we wouldn’t be able to hold on.
I have to say our performance today seemed to revert back to our usual level of a lack of creativity, but I have to temper my thoughts with that fact that we were a man down.
That said, I still think we had too many invisible players.
N’zogbia was one. Surely his days at the Villa are numbered now, but I can’t see a way out for him, given his wages. The only way he’s going is if we swallow a big percentage of his wages.
What about Cleverley? I really don’t see it with him at all.
He needs to be replaced with someone better. Someone who gets involved more.
While I’m loathe to complain about Okore (who was probably my MOTM) or Clark, am I the only one who thought our defence overall was very poor at actually clearing the ball?
Hutton, who had a torrid time early on actually looked our most creative player at times.
That’s the crazy world of Villa at present, it seems.
Sanchez gives the ball away far too much, but I still like the looks of him and hopefully he’ll improve that side of things. He’s looking a very good buy for the £3.5 million he cost.
The actual goal itself, from Gardner of all people, was poor. Guzan should have done better, but it shouldn’t have mattered, as we had two defenders near enough on the line, which should have seen us safe.
Did we deserve to lose against a very average Albion side?
I don’t know really, but going 70 minutes with a man down, the odds are against you.
Then again, if we’d have kept eleven players on the pitch I reckon we’d have probably taken all the points.
While it’s disappointing to lose against Albion, who have actually become a bit of a banker game for us over the last good few years, you won’t find any hysterics from me today.
For once I agree with Lambert.
We go again.
Trouble is, it’s Man United next, isn’t it?