What We Learned As Aston Villa Fans After Red Devil Loss

Villa slumped to a narrow defeat against Manchester United due to a deflection, a ref who didn’t want to book anyone, a strangulation attempt on Micah Richards in the area that the ref shrugged off and the United’s skills at running down the clock. What can Villa fans take from the now very familiar feeling of defeat to the Red Devils?


Jordan Ayew personified Villa’s performance under the Friday Night Lights. When he was good he was very, very good. But when he was bad it looked like he had nothing left in the tank and couldn’t control the direction of his own urination. Ayew is a maverick and he could turn into a real unknown quantity – a potential game winner or a black hole to which any ball given to him is banished to the opposition in a dangerous area. His booking was frustrating, but considering he was almost completely anonymous against Bournemouth, this was a glimpse of what we could have at least.

Richards and Amavi were superstars on the night and Westwood looked empowered by his new contract for sure.

On the downside, Agbonlahor and Bacuna need to be benched. This is not a call for either to be thrown into the river in a sack of bricks, but their places should be at risk after two very similar poor performances. Hutton might not be everyone’s solution at right back but… well, he’s a right back! Bacuna is not. And Gabby may well be the new vice captain but he can’t lead a line and while he did provide (the only?) shot on target with his header he’s too quick to blame others and without acres of space he’s going to lose the ball. Long-serving player or not, times have changed and he’s not going to help Sherwood’s Aston Villa 2.0.



The signing of “Commander” Adama Traore is a real statement signing that fans should be impressed with. Unless he proves to be a bust or gets a strop on, his signing could be as significant as Veretout in attracting players who want to come and play alongside him. And if it’s true we beat a host of clubs to his signature, the fans should revel in the glory of Tactics Tim’s charisma in talking Traore into moving to Birmingham B6 – even, as written elsewhere, it is on a potential sort-of loan deal.


Libor Kozak could be the new Peter Crouch. Villa fans seem to like Kozak, who had a pretty short honeymoon period at the club before being hit by back-to-back injuries. After a pre-season where he scored three goals and looked menacing, he couldn’t even make the squad to play Bournemouth.

Back in 2004 David O’Leary didn’t fancy Crouch and sold him to Southampton for half what Graham Taylor had paid two years earlier. He then promptly scored 16 in 33 games and was sold on to Liverpool for a 2m pound profit.

Maybe Sherwood doesn’t like Kozak’s attitude. Maybe he’s redundant now Gestede has burst on to the scene. Or maybe he just doesn’t fancy him, doesn’t trust him to stay injury-free or doesn’t like too many players taller than him. But if he’s let go cheaply, there’s a good chance he goes on to rediscover his touch in front of goal and it’s something the club could regret.

That said, he’s probably one of very few members of the new bomb squad with any selling value and on reasonable wages (unlike Hutton, Cole or N’Zogbia to name a few). Tim could have put him on instead of Gabby and given the midfield two targets to aim at as things got desperate but I don’t think anyone in the ground thought he was going to come on instead of Rudy.


The fact we could be selling Philippe Senderos for actual cash is fabulous as well as morally ambiguous – but a really significant change in transfer policy at the other end of the spectrum. A free transfer signing by P*** L*****t, the 30-year-old has played just eight times for the club and in a career limited with injury, he was lucky to earn a contract that lasted two years rather than some kind of pay-as-you-play deal.

With a year left to run and clearly no future at the club (as fifth or sixth choice centre back if he’s fit… and that’s a huge “if”) Villa should consider themselves fortunate not to be having to pay him off to go away. As they have with their last few managers.

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  1. Villa did well considering that they again played with only ten men. The selection of Agbonlahor is the key issue dogging Villa – fan he may be – good enough for this level he is not. A quality right back and a striker with some clue of how to play football would see us win games like this – and then – who knows what may lie ahead. Ruined my night did Agbonlahor.

  2. The same issues as the last 5 years, lack of goals and a lack of creativity. Sinclair should not have been subbed but Agbonlahor instead, he is not a striker, he should not be benched but sold as he is useless. Lets hope Gill is back soon to create something for Ayew and Kozak, Gestede is only an impact sub for the last 20/30 minutes.

    • you cant just turn the creativity on,, it will take time and this is a new team,,, its clear they are training hard especially the defence and midfield, but i see gabby as an impact sub, rudy will come good but he needs service
      if he doesnt fancy kozac then we must bring someone in
      gabby is not the answer up front, and there was to big a gap between him and midfield at the mo

  3. I think we just have to be patient with this team. Its frustrating today as manure were not at the races, and this was a great chance to finally beat them.

    I thought the back 4 did well given the opposition and with time I think Bacuna could become a very good full back. Amavi looks the bollocks already. How much did United pay for Shaw again?!! Richards was excellent too, and might well end up being a proper Holte End hero.

    I like the french duo in midfield, although Veretout is definitely lacking match fitness. Ayew is a bit more of an enigma. We have to be playing one of Gil or Grealish, if not both. In 2 matches so far, we have created about 3 chances despite having a fair bit of possession. They will make a big difference and with Traore now coming in, we should start looking more dangerous.

    On another note, been really impressed with Guzan in first 2 games. Maybe the talk of bringing in a new keeper worked!

    • it may be ayew is better down the middle,,, its early days yet, plus we have gil grealish and the new mini beast to come into the side

  4. I have to disagree on bacuna, daveyb. He turned backwards at every opportunity and frequently looked like getting into trouble that was both unnecessary and avoidable.

    • but even with his faults he is better than hutton, bacuna is a work in progress and we have to be patient with him,, it might be six months, it might be a season,, but if we dont buy a right back we have to play and grow him into the position,,, i get the feeling he is not allowed to bomb on as much due to amanvi
      almost like richardson last year
      amanvi has his faults to but we forgive him as he is obviously a seriously good buy,, and we have probably already doubled his value
      there were a lot of good points last night,, we should not be to worried but we do need to be better around the box, when it starts to click we will be good, just need westwood to get his passing better and get the front line sorted
      its clear we need grealish and gil back,,, and the new lad looks very very promising

  5. i thought bacuna did well,,, if fact considering the opposition and the team being thrown together i took many many positives,
    no one let the side down and the effort was put in by all
    but we are still short of the little bit of confidence and quality that only games can build

    too much good play broken down by a misplaced pass or miss control
    it will get better when gil or grealish return,

    but i see good things emerging with this team, it will take time but it will come

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