The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Villa’s Snorethorns Stalemate


Talking of managers, one thing we must say in Pulis’ credit is that he made it extremely difficult for Villa to break through against a stubborn West Brom side. Jordan Ayew had perhaps the quietest game that we have seen from him in recent weeks, something that was due mainly to Albion’s defence doing a sterling job of refusing to afford him any space, effectively marking him out of the match.

Libor Kozak, meanwhile, won just a single header in his 64 minutes on the field, an appalling statistic considering that that is one of the main reasons he is put on the pitch.

In fairness, the lumbering Czech striker might have had a chance of getting his melon to the ball more if Villa had a single player who can cross the ball well consistently. Alas, we have to settle for Kozak on his own in the penalty area, surrounded by four defenders tugging at his shirt, and Leandro Bacuna crossing the ball onto the head of the opposing player closest to him. Sigh.

Four points from six games against Newcastle, West Ham, Norwich, Sunderland, Leicester and West Brom. To be frank, that points tally from that set of fixtures is alone worthy of relegation.

Villa’s lack of attacking threat – lack, even, of any competency in working the ball into a position from which we can pose an attacking threat – is just one of the reasons that we are getting relegated, but it has been the preeminent one in the last six weeks or so.

We should have won at Newcastle last month and at home to West Ham on Boxing Day; more confidence could easily have yielded a result at Sunderland at the start of this month; high-flying Leicester City were there for the taking but were allowed to escape with a draw last time out; and now an atrocious Albion side have also been handed a reprieve.

There is a week left for Villa to bring in a striker to give themselves a possibility of finding some firepower in the crucial last few months. It’s the hope that kills you, and it is looking increasingly unlikely as the days go by, but if there is any chance of Villa bringing a new signing in before the transfer window shuts, it has to be in the attacking department.


Let’s not be candid any longer – what an absolute stinker of a game of football. What a horrendous waste of 90 minutes. To call that the equivalent of watching paint dry would be to insult a newly-coated wall. Both sides stifling in each in defence, and neither team able to produce anything hinting even remotely at quality in the final third. On that evidence, West Brom are very lucky not to be down there with us in the cellar of the league table.

The difference, though, is that while a 0-0 draw in that game is unlikely to throw Albion into relegation trouble, it most certainly doesn’t do anything for our attempts to escape it. We may be five games unbeaten in all competitions, but you can use statistics to suggest just about anything – on the other hand, for example, we have scored just three goals in the last five league matches, and, aside from the win over Crystal Palace, since 19 December we have taken just four points from six games against Newcastle, West Ham, Norwich, Sunderland, Leicester and West Brom. To be frank, that points tally from that set of fixtures is alone worthy of relegation.

One thing which seemed to rile Villa fans from the Supporters’ Trust AGM with new chairman Steve Hollis was the apparent acceptance of the fact that we are sliding into the Championship. However, being, as we are, in this situation at this stage of the season, the time has come to embrace that fact. We are done this season, make no mistake. It will be Brentford, MK Dons and Preston next season rather than Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham.

What that doesn’t mean, however, is that we give up the fight. Sure, we must start making plans for what is going to happen after our relegation is confirmed in May (or, quite possibly, April). But this club, this set of players, this fanbase must not go quietly. There has been improvement in recent weeks, and let’s not allow that all be for nothing. More than anything, we, the supporters, deserve to have some consolation at the end of all of this. Let’s make a fist of it, shall we?

Follow Tom on Twitter – @tdnightingale

Follow My Old Man Said on Twitter – @oldmansaid



  1. Well said, we have to make a fight of it even just to regain some pride as well as give us some momentum to take into next season. We cannot go down with a whimper otherwise we will be in league 1 before we know it and we will end up stuck in the wilderness for many a year to come

    • Exactly. They must learn to fight or the losing habit could continue beyond the Premier League. Change in mentality needed asap. UTV

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