First off, I have to say I was surprised by the inclusion of Taylor and Elmohamady.
I said in the preview, that in my opinion, this was pretty much a free ticket for Dean Smith to do whatever he liked, seeing as it was such a tough fixture and losing wasn’t massively important.
Hence I really don’t understand why Guilbert, who looked very decent in the friendlies, didn’t even get into the squad.
Matt Targett is apparently not so good in defence, so I can possibly understand Taylor starting and to be fair, I thought he actually did okay for us.
Maybe Smith just wanted to see Trezeguet in action and felt that the familiarity of Elmo behind him was just the better option.
I can’t really complain, but just thought that a game like this was ideal for throwing as many of the new signings into the deep end as possible.
After a dodgy eight minutes or so, where we could easily have conceded, John McGinn scored a very nice goal which upped our confidence and led to us having a very decent first half, where we pretty much matched the home side.
The second half was a different matter and as the game went on, so Spurs looked more threatening.
After Ericksen was introduced, Spurs just took control and goals were looking increasingly imminent, which led to much frustration on my part.
So much so, that I questioned Smith’s tactics in not trying to attack them more.
I should say here, that while I love the fact that Dean Smith is our manager, he is not a god. He can and will make mistakes, which I’ll criticise when the time is right. Sorry if you don’t like that, but while I’m a Villa fan, I’m too old to be a totally blind Villa fanatic.
Anyway, after some reflection (which is why the post is a bit late) while I’d have liked us to “go for it” more, so I think it was more a case of a superior side just wore us down.
No doubt if we’d have pushed up more, we’d only have been caught on the break anyway, so it was a bit of a “rock and a hard place” situation.
It was just Smith’s “you score three, we’ll score four” quote that resonated and was winding me up at the time.
Mings was outstanding and looked like a one man defence at times. The encouraging part is Engels looked good alongside him too and you can see a good relationship forming there.
I’ve seen that Jamie Redknapp has raved about Wesley, but find myself wondering why on that showing?
Yes, he was involved in our goal, but otherwise looked pretty lightweight and was out-muscled too easily most of the time. I think he just found the physicality and pace a bit of a shock.
No worries though, as it can take time to adjust to the premier league and I think he will.
Where Redknapp did get it right though, is in saying that John McGinn looked like a £55 million player.
Let’s just say that I’m not surprised in the slightest.
Something I seriously did learn is that it definitely seems like the game has moved on in the short time we’ve been away from the Premier league.
Our performance would probably have got a result anywhere in the championship, because it really wasn’t that bad.
We need to retain the ball better, but that’s something we’ve been saying for a long time.
Which reminds me.
Grealish is totally wasted as part of a Bruce type defence.
I definitely didn’t learn anything there.
Ultimately, we played last season’s Champion’s league finalist and gave a pretty good showing for the majority of the game on their turf.
I’ve definitely learned that I think we’ll be okay overall this season.