Message to Dean Smith After Aston Villa Show Lack of Urgency

Villa’s End Game

Despite a close looking 2-1 scoreline Aston Villa were unceremoniously swept aside by Chelsea at Villa Park, in their second game since the Premier League restart. For most of the game Villa seemed to have very little bite between their teeth.

When the home team took an unexpected 1-0 lead into half-time, Smith seemed to make few adjustments at the break to react to the tsunami of pressure his team were under in the first half. As Chelsea continued their relentless battering of the Villa backline in the second half, it was inevitable goals would come for the visitors.

To their credit, Villa’s rearguard kept the game alive, and with seconds to go to the full whistle, Villa against all odds, still found themselves in with a shot of salvaging a point.

Yet, a worrying lack of urgency was demonstrated in the Villa ranks to their relegation predicament. When they were granted a free kick from around 30 yards out in the dying embers of the game, Smith and captain Grealish allowed Trezeguet to try his luck at a shot Ronaldo would have probably thought better of taking on.

Why didn’t they get everyone up and deliver a ball in the mixer for players to attempt to get on the end of and put Chelsea under real pressure?

Was it too unsubtle for Smith’s liking?

In situations like this, Villa have to play the percentages.

The big question now is whether there is scope for Dean Smith to make tactical changes to get a tune out of this crop of players?

On the latest My Old Man Said podcast, recorded straight after the Chelsea game, which is a bolt-on podcast to episode 107, we offer up one potential solution that may offer up Villa some final hope in their relegation battle.


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David Michael – @oldmansaid 

Chris Budd – @BUDD_music

Phillip Shaw – @prsgame

Editor/Producer – David Michael

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  1. If you go back to the days of McLeish you see the same tactics. Why is there a dog day afternoon at villa?

    change manager, board, owner and players – we always play route one football

    was the gipsies curse transferred when they built the trinity road stand?

    It never changes

    trevor fisher

  2. Being a former fan of DS. Don’t worry chaps. When we are relegated he will be gone![?] …. I’ve been screaming out all season for a 4-4-1-1 .. WHY? … SICK TO THE BACK TEETH OF WATCHING ball after ball being crossed into our box …. AND DEANO STILL INSISTS OF PLAYING 4-3-3!!! … Key issue. Flanks! … Not to mention ONE person up front … How BLOODY embarrassing watchin Villa play like a rugby team. Kicking it up field to a lone striker, surrounded by 3 defenders! …. Has it not clicked yet DEANO? ffs [even Maradonna would be useless with that tactic].

    The worst thing about it is, Goodbye Jack. Goodbye McGinn. And goodbye to most of the team, where most will be snapped up at a cut down price. Playing in a different team with proper management, football sense and tactics … It will come back to haunt us!

    Is there a manager to take us forward in the championship …. Jeeez .. we’ve tried tried and fired most of ’em

  3. DS after match comment of ‘we made them work really hard for it ‘ says it all. Not enough confidence or trust in our own ability. We must take a more positive stance and try and win games otherwise we are sleepwalking to the Championship.

  4. I can’t see sacking Smith this late in the season because I don’t know who we would get in that would be better. Plus, if we get a new manager then we’ll need to spend more time and money recruiting players for the new manager’s system. I still think that we need to give Smith time, especially if we end up going down.

    Terry on the other should go. His heart does not appear to be with the club and, given the number of goals we’ve given up, his head doesn’t seem to be in it either.

    • Ha. They’re not going to sack Smith now!

      Newcastle is a key game now, as the three games that follow are as tough as they get and could knock the stuffing out of us.

  5. joe with the starting 11 it could have been rejigged as El Ghazi’s secondary position is striker & Jack could have played behind him & Davis . The problem was that there was too much focus on defence

  6. Joe spot on that’s exactly what we have to do I’ve been saying that for ages, can’t understand DS being blinkered playing one up front, as for Terry let him go, in fact let him and DS get out of our club neither of them have a clue, were relegation bound and have little chance of survival things have to change now get two up front and go for it Smith.

  7. Grealish has to play in the middle and us play two up top. We need to win games. Draws aren’t enough anymore.

    And anyone else really sick of John terry and his love of Chelsea on social media. Even to the point of not celebrating our goal yesterday. “You’re aren’t doing a good enough job John, so I’d happily see you go”.

  8. there is a pattern of losing when the villa have gone ahead which has to be broken. If they cannot grind a game out when they are one goal ahead they are doomed. A poor team they may be but unlike Brighton and Watford they are not playing for 90 minutes

    Trevor Fisher

  9. needs to think about how attack is the best form of defence as for much of the game there was 9 players in defence

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