What We Learnt This Week as Villa Fans…After Bradford City & Southampton

With Steven Green

Was the week gone with a 3-1 defeat by Division Two Bradford City and the Saints completing the double over Villa, more embarrassing than Villa’s Christmas nightmare? Well, one thing is for sure, any more weeks like this and the club will be in big trouble. What we learnt as Villa fans …

1 – We’re no better than a League Two side

What better way to get the season back on track than two games against lower opposition? We navigated the first game against Ipswich Town well enough, but what the hell happened three days later? The League Cup was meant to be our one glimmer of joy this season and it seems that message hasn’t filtered down to the players. To think that Bradford wouldn’t have been up for that game would have been a mistake, but to lose in such a fashion is just plain unacceptable.

2 – A strategy would help

We don’t seem to know what we’re doing at all. The team can’t pass, even struggling to string two passes together, so there’s no chance of playing possession football. We have no width, so we can’t have a couple of nippy wingers ping cross after cross onto the heads of our strikers. All we do is hoof, and Benteke can’t do it all on his own, especially as nobody is capable of reading his flicks. What exactly is our strategy in games? What does Paul Lambert say to them on the training ground and in the dressing room? I appreciate that his transfer policy may have worked for Norwich, but Villa is an entirely different institution – we’re established and needed players capable of pushing on now, as well as later.

3 – If we didn’t have bad luck we’d have no luck at all

Another poor refereeing decision sticks us like a dagger to the heart yet again. A clear dive was missed by all four members of the officiating team and even Nigel Adkins saw that it wasn’t a penalty.

4 – We’re in dreamland, apparently

Did you hear the one about the man who sold his NFL team for $1 billion? Yes, his name is Randy Lerner. So with a billion dollars in his bank account, what does he do? Nothing. We, as fans, have been incredibly patient with Lerner over the past three years, but it’s starting to wear thin. His reluctance to engage the fans and keep us up to date on what’s going on just isn’t cutting the mustard. He needs to look after his investment and put his hand in his pocket, especially as any fee paid this month would surely be recouped at the end of the season with the new TV money deal lining everyone’s pockets.

5 – But then there’s always the notion that you’ve got no idea what you’re doing

This isn’t like the NFL, Randy. We have relegation here. And you can’t go from point a (paying players £50,000 + a week) to point c (paying players £15,000 + a week) without a point b. If you’re not equipped to compete in this division, then it’s time to get out. Sell, sell, sell, Randy, I think your experiment here is done, it’s not working out.


What do you think we’ve learnt? Please comment below.


Steven Green is one of the hosts of the AVFC Review podcast and writer for Shoot Magazine and a fellow Real Oviedo shareholder.

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