The Villa Rant: Villa Players Asleep At The Wheel as Nightmare Week Continues

What will it take to remove the constant lethargy within Villa squads? I’m beginning to wonder if it will ever change. This evening, not for the first time, Villa casually strolled to defeat. The same players will pick up their pay cheques regardless without a second thought given, at least that’s what another dour performance would suggest.

Living In A Dream World

Much like when we anchored the Premier League table last season the management and squad seems completely unaware of the situation they are in. Terrible performances week-in-week-out and an increasing gap between Villa and the rest of the pack.

The pace of games is clearly too much for McCormack and Gabby. If I was to sum up the performance of McCormack today, I’d say that he was Wolves’ best defender. His inability to hold up the ball or take a decent touch summed up the casual nature and whinge over work mentality that Villa had today.

Right now it’s ‘no Kodjia, no party’. The sooner he returns the better.

Taking Care of Business?

Obviously Villa need to make sure that the recruits that comes in January are of the right calibre but a bit of urgency wouldn’t go astray. With FA cup duty last weekend it’s been nearly two weeks since Villa’s last abysmal league game and what business has been done? One loan for a keeper. Reports that scouts are still taking a look at some prospects begs the question, what have they been doing up until the transfer window?


Midfield targets are being prioritised which is a step in the right direction (especially if any of them is capable of passing to a member of their own team, unlike today’s bunch) but some support up front wouldn’t go astray.

If I was to sum up the performance of McCormack today, I’d say that he was Wolves’ best defender

I’m aware that Villa can’t allow themselves to be held to ransom but they need to start throwing their weight about in this division to improve the squad. If we want a last shot at the top six this season we don’t have time to drag our feet.

Judging by current evidence another season in the Championship is becoming more inevitable by the week.

Fresh Faces

With several senior players still unable or unwilling to put in a good showing for the shirt, I’d like to see a bigger chance given to Andre Green and Keinan Davis, who are at least starting to get cameos from the bench. They can’t be worse than some of the alternatives and with few transfers looking likely any boost to squad options is welcome.

As for Hepburn-Murphy, who is yet to prove anything in his fledgling career, the striker is being both poorly advised and is acting far too big for his boots. Potential or not, those who don’t want to be here are welcome to see themselves out the door. His current situation reeks of the entitlement that played a huge part in our relegation.

No Steps Forward

On the rare occasions Villa did get forward the player on the ball was left completely isolated with no support. When Adomah reaches the byline with the ball one of two things inevitably happens:

1: There are no Villa players in or near the opposition box and the attack comes to nothing.

2: McCormack and Agbonlahor actually make it into the box but the physical exertion it took to do so, renders them too tired to do anything else.


A clear example of Villa’s lack of urgency came shortly before half time when Amavi geared up to take a free kick out wide. Unfortunately the left-back had to stall almost a minute while he screamed at his team mates to actually get into the Wolves half. Villa were already 1-0 down.

Chester did all he could to stop the rot as usual, easier said than done. Only our full backs seemed eager to push forward. When Alan Hutton is your most creative forward outlet you need to take drastic action. Our defence has improved somewhat under Bruce but is far from watertight. Without a threat at the other end of the pitch, Villa are going nowhere good any time soon.

There’s Only One…

This week brought the devastating news of the passing of Villa legend Graham Taylor. Taylor was responsible for much of what has been good at this club in our lifetimes and the dross on display today is an insult to his memory.

The tributes at Molineaux and across the country were fitting and well deserved for a man whose influence can be seen across the game in England. Another Holte Ender in the sky. Thanks for everything you did for Villa, Graham.

Wherever Taylor went he ensured that his players were motivated, connected to club and community, and refused to accept complacency.

Stuck In The Middle

Steve Bruce would do well to learn from the methods of the former England boss if he is to finally sort this ragged bunch out. That said it would be unfair to put all the blame on Bruce’s doorstep as the lingering malaise at this club has proven very difficult to shift as countless former managers have found out.

Villa are in real danger of becoming trapped in the limbo of mediocrity, with little sign of any real progress other than regular rose-tinted tweets and expectation raising promises from our owner. Its good to dream big but improvement can only come if we deal with the very real recurring problems at the club.

For a team so insomnia inducing it baffles me how often it seems to need a wake up call. Next up, Preston, and that won’t be a walk in the park. Hopefully Villa will be able to field a vastly improved team with some solid new recruits. Until then, I’ll keep daydreaming of better times.


Don’t forget to follow Finn on Twitter – @FinnMongey

And make sure you’re following MOMS on Twitter – @oldmansaid

New Podcast episode coming this week

To be the first to know when a new show pops up subscribe to one of the following Acast / iTunes / Tunein / Stitcher / PlayerFM or whatever you app you listen to the show on.


  1. I am shocked that Bruce plays Gabby, I do feel for Ross as he has no confidence and no supply so we need to cut our losses and let him go.
    Players I would change are Hutton needs to go and I would happily put Richards at RB as when you play him in his correct position he will deliver, Tommy should only play if Baker is injured, new goalie looks decent not the finished article.
    Basically we need a new RB (for cover) a defensive midfielder and an attacking midfielder a left winger and a decent striker with at least 20+ goals in his locker.

  2. I can honestly say that we are playing the same dross football we’ve played for five seasons ,the same dross that eventually got us relagated ,in defence of Bruce he knows we need a new midfield that’s been obvious for a long time now ,we also know that gabby is past his best and in truth needs to be moved on ,as a forward player he has only one way of playing and that’s been negated by better and faster defenders so he is ineffective . I think Bruce needs this transfer window and the summer one too to make the improvements needed to challenge for next season because it’s not going to happen this season that’s for sure .
    That said ,I can see the strain starting to show on Bruce’s face ,the demands by the owner and the fans could eventually split the club in two ,we can’t keep spending the way we have and we can’t keep playing the way we have been ,promotion is demanded by all but the club needs rebuilding from top to bottom ,not every player signed will fit in with what the club is trying to achieve so real care is needed when it comes to signing players .
    Let hope that Bruce can also get his tactics right for what remains of this season and he installs some real passion and team spirit into his players …….heaven knows it’s needed now more than ever .

  3. Trevor, might sound simplistic but my feeling is that we haven’t had any strikers that pose any threat to the opposition yes ok we have Kodjia now and while he was playing we did reasonably well but since he has been away it’s all down hill. For some unknown reason Bruce sees Gabby as a great striker and insists on playing him. I’ve said before where will we be if Kodjia gets injured,it’s as clear as crystal we need good cover and I know it’s easy to say but I would ship out McCormack and possibly Ayew to fund new players including for me at least Rhodes,
    Don’t like Bruce’s team selection, infact true to say don’t like Bruce the so called promotion specialist.
    Sorry about the negativity guys but I firmly believe that strikers is the answer goals win games.
    A final thought Bruce thinks Agbonlahor is the be all and end all well be all he isn’t end all he may well be.

  4. What a sorry bunch, defeat to Wolves is bad enough but Lambert, that’s taking the P. How long is it going to take before Bruce realises that flabby and McCormack are totally useless and should be shipped out, someone said the Wolves keeper could play in the same strip next game, doesn’t that tell you something. We need a striker and this week I would go for Rhodes, just shows what will happen when Kodjia inevitably gets injured. What about this scenario no goals without Kodjia and he’s away for another 4 weeks so potentially 12 points dropped, and were only 11 points above the drop zone. Bruce can’t keep on blaming the players he has to be responsible for a lot of this, all we are being fed is oh we’re looking at this player and oh we’re thinking about making an offer.
    Someone better tell theses numpties that the window is over half way and personally I can’t see any signings on the horizon. Think they are just winging it at the fans expense, well I have had enough of it. And as for play offs, Dream on.

  5. Every week we wait for the team to be announced, dreading that Gabby is playing. Yet again there he is, not only him but Jedinak! Yes this midfielder can intercept the ball but his passing is appalling, the ratio of how many times he passes it straight back to the opposition is frightening. It seems that McCormack is the fall guy for this match, feel a bit sorry for him really as he is not a bad player but needs someone else by his side other that Gabby who barely moves and when he does its pathetic. About time the young kids were given a chance, why doesn’t Steve put one of them on to support McCormack & get Grealish on from the start and leave him there, instead of bringing them on late in the match, Andre Green made more of an impact on the game than Gabby has all season!!

  6. we are now seeing what a poor side we are in the middle and up front,,, but three or four signings could transform us
    hourihane lansbury and possibly rhodes brady and bree and the lad at peterboro are all attack minded and upgrades from westwood gabby mccormack bacuna kozac and ayew

    lansbury and hurihane are both leaders,,,, as is jedi,,, this would at least give us a chance of creating goals

    play offs are not over yet ,,, the right players could get us there but time is running out and if bruce is to
    get what we need he has to get his finger out
    hopefully bruce will drop gabby and play the kids next game it has to be worth a go rather than gabby who is not a center forward and mccormack who s confidence has gone

  7. Our key problem is in midfield and has been since Gareth Barry left in 2009, ever since we haven’t had a central player who is comfortable in possession. It’s hard to believe that we’ve had 7 managers in since and none have rectified the problem. We have players in there who are incapable of doing the basics i.e. Passing a ball 2 yards to the next player, these are things that kids learn at 7/8 years old, how is it possible to have so many who simply can’t do 1% of their job description!? If that was you or I in our daily jobs we’d be fired on the spot.

    It’s hard to blame Bruce as this still isn’t his team but he’s not helping himself by playing gabby at every available opportunity. Houllier was the only manager who saw through him, if only he’d stayed another year he’d have been off. He offers nothing to this team, no coincidence since he’s come back in that we haven’t scored a goal. What have we got to lose by giving Davis a shot up front, really can’t be any worse. We have to sign at least two midfielders and a striker or any chance of playoffs is gone, and how sad is admitting that in january when we’ve spent more than any other club in this league and half of the premier league…..

  8. Time to ship out the remaining toxic players Gabby, westy, Bacuna Richards.
    Sell Ayew , McCormack, to finance the new strikers ASAP. The play offs are over.
    Build for next season. Weild the axe mr Xia , Mr Bruce or these clowns will empty
    the ground.

  9. the key point here is the ‘lingering malaise’ and ‘proven very difficult to shift as countless former managers have found out’

    and we ‘have to deal with the recurring problems at the club’. What is proposed to deal with these problems?

    What was amazing yesterday was the difference in Lambert’s team for WOlves and that for Villa. Lambert was a different man. His team just beat PRemiership opposition and now Us. At Villa he could never get the team to play.

    Why? What are the problems that make the club unmanageable? There was nothing wrong with Lambert. Our club simply defeated him. Why?

    Trevor Fisher.

  10. couldn’t agree more gabby has been a disgrace for some years now how can bruce play a striker who has had 3 shots on target in 11 appearances [beggars belief] then puts a young striker on for 3 minutes of injury time the manager lives and dies by his decisions time to die brucey your utterly clueless you play that fat twat who has not had a shot on goal in 9 of the 11 games hes played with that average I bet all the other managers are quaking in their suits when they see his name on the team sheet [not]so brucey do us a favour and quit because I can see a hell of a lot of conmen plying their trade as championship footballers and yet you persist week in week out with the same old dross and give exciting talents [your words]some injury time so if any of them have the same strike rate as fat boy they might score on or about their 33rd birthday [we hope] atleast give them a fair crack now the season has gone for us and build for next year as I can not see you been an honourable man and quitting so atleast do something right from now to next august as you have done nothing right so far

Comments are closed.