The Villa Rant: Too Little, Too Late Against the Gooners

The post-match column by Finn Mongey

Ok Villa fans. Sit down and start writing the politest letter possible to Santa. Remember to put claret and blue points at the very top of it. After yet another loss, the next few games during the festive period are last chance saloon for Villa.

Festive period

It’s make or break time. As disappointing as the loss against Arsenal was most of us probably expected it. One of the worst things about it is that it negates any momentum that the positive point against Southampton may have contributed to.

In our next four games against Newcastle, West Ham, Norwich, and Sunderland, there is certainly an opportunity to finally win some games and keep a glimmer of hope alive. I said at the time that I thought the Watford game would be when Villa needed to turn things around, but the next fixtures seem like they really might be the last chance to give ourselves a fighting chance.


Too little, too late

Aston Villa came out in the second half and actually looked like causing Arsenal some problems. Unfortunately this reaction only seemed to come after we were 2-0 down. Villa went down early to Watford and were very shaky in the first 20 mins against Southampton before getting into the game. For the next games, Villa need to start on the front foot.

At the end of the day the second half improvement proved to be too little, too late. Failure to turn these small improvements into solid points and ‘too little, too late’ will be the definition of a season where Villa have failed to build any momentum, or to build on the potential of a few talented players.

Adama good player

Too little, too late could also be applied to the introduction of Adama Traore. This guy is direct, has bundles of energy, and is guaranteed to cause problems for any opposition.

He was electrifying in his cameo appearance against Watford, was oddly left on the bench for the duration of last week’s game, and only made his entrance with a few minutes to go today.

Adama is exactly the type of threat we need and Garde must find a way to get him on the pitch more, either from the start or earlier in the second half. We may as well attack, as without goals and attacking flair we’re going nowhere but down.

Return of the Jack

Boys will be boys. The media will blow things out of proportion. At the end of the day the important thing is that Garde has attempted to teach the talented youngster a lesson, and more importantly that he doesn’t hold grudges. Garde seems eager to get Jack involved again, and hopefully he can begin to contribute more to the team. Welcome back Jack.

Repeating myself

As pointed out last week, cheap mistakes will prove very expensive to a side in Villa’s position and they need to be cut out to stand any chance in a survival dogfight. All too often our midfield gift the ball away in positions that leave us exposed and vulnerable. Gana and Sanchez are particular repeat offenders and cheap possession loss led directly to Arsenal’s second goal, and their disallowed third.

Making the right choice

Desperation obviously crept in with our players snatching at any opportunity to shoot, no matter how far out. I’m all for getting goal attempts in but the players must learn to make the right decision. Having a swing at a spinning ball from 30 yards, while off balance doesn’t count as attacking intent, it simply breaks down any momentum we build. Keeping the ball or working it into the box on occasion may be preferable than lazy kicks that are almost guaranteed to end up in row Z.

Follow Finn on Twitter – @FinnMongey

Check out Finn’s Blog Accidentally Onside

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


  1. Ive spent a few hours reading these comments.. im 37, a female, and a life long Villian.
    Im slightly embarrased that I have more passion pre day.. and post match, Im known for saying “seriously dig my boots out, I can do better than that”
    I couldnt make it to VP last week to watch the gunners take an easy 3 points.
    I would like to think Garde reads every post here.. even the players, because if they did, hopefully they would have more fire in there bellies than they have now. Of course it is hard but like Chumbawumba said………
    so PLEASE lets see this TEAM get up again!

    DO NOT play Sanchez – I am available!
    Start Gill, Traore, and obvs Sinclair
    Newcastle on Saturday is THE game we need to win, and it is doable! The history of Aston Villa Football Club is to big to give up.

    I DO NOT hear the fat lady sing yet….. but she is most certainly on her way!


    Lads if you ever get to see this, when you put YOUR shirt on Saturday, you dig deeper than you ever have before, you press harder than you ever have before, you want this more than you ever have before!

    ….. Hope to return Sunday with a happier post #vtid

  2. By the S’land game on January 2nd (I am going), we could be gonners. A great old club dying slowly, week by week. Death by a Thousand Cuts.

  3. The second goal. We went from a four against three, solid defensive position, to a one against three, please score position. Watching from the Holte End I was embarrassed. When I watched it at home on the TV I realised it was even worse than I had originally thought. Honestly, no other conceded goal at Villa Park has made me angrier. Perhaps the players responsible need some time training with the Under 21s. In my opinion, what they did was far worse than Jacks’ idiocy.

  4. Hutton (who I usually like) gave one of the worst starts to a match I have seen. Even before he made a grab at Walcott his positioning was awful. I thought the penalty was not as cut and dried as people say though compare that “grab” to what goes on at corners and it is nothing. Not blaming the ref as Hutton should not have even given him the chance. I also thought we were unlucky not to get the freekick before the second goal, it was a marginal call on whether the tackle came through him or round again not calling the ref on that either and to go from 3 on 4 to 3 on 1 was shocking!

    I thought Garde’s subs were a little strange. The one chink of light in the second half were crosses from the flanks and yet he pulled Gestede off. Ok he had a bad game but it was worth a punt leaving him on. Also thought that given Grealish’s exile it might have been worth giving him 30 mins to prove himself.

    Lastly, what is going on with Traore I will never understand. His two bits of possesion I am sure shows the problem but how can he not be worth a start?

  5. Please some1 explain to me how these people can call themselves footballers who the fuk is paying these clowns they r an absolute joke guzan lescott hutton gestese is some1 having a fuckn laugh please some1 help me out me i jump in the nearest river

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