What We Learned as Aston Villa Fans After Anfield Defeat

A mixed performance against Liverpool at Anfield, and Jack makes an international commitment. But What did Aston Villa fans learn from last week?


A weakened Liverpool at Anfield is still Liverpool – a team with a rich history of winning more than they lose. One of Sherwood’s philosophies when he had his summer re-shuffle was to bring in players with a winning mentality. Perhaps he should have told them he was going to be introducing them to a losing streak once they got here.

There were hopes the win over Birmingham City would fire everyone up and lead us on a tear up the league. Not so, it would seem (initially at least). The Blues game could have ended with a draw quite easily.

Saying things about the team’s form to come or its record at Anfield in the past, even if it makes some logical sense, doesn’t make it so. It doesn’t allow for individual mistakes, injuries, other individuals raising their game and so on.

The fact is that talk is cheap – ask Paul “ITWWExcellent” Lambert all about how to present a defeat constructed in part by his team’s mistakes as some kind of moral victory – and Villa lost again and are in the bottom three.


Trying to polish a turd, as anyone who has tried it will warrant, will leave you with a polished turd.

Bringing in players with flair and class and then either hammering it out of them (see Lambert, Paul) or saying “Well… go on then!” the day after they get here isn’t going to get things going overnight. It’s not as easy as flicking a switch.

In Gestede we have a classic Aston Villa number 9. Some have been better, some not as good even when passing judgment this early in the season. Sinclair’s bright start seems to have dried up and with Veretout and Ayew only showing flashes on what they may or may not become, it might be that fancy football might have to be not sacrificed but compromised to get wins when we deserve them.


Graham Taylor’s team of the late ‘80s managed to combine flair, strength and long balls to achieve promotion back to the top flight and a runners-up spot in the title race. Sherwood could always look at that team, those personalities, that blend, and realise a few tweaks and recognition that Villa had been allowed to run into extreme disrepair in the seasons before he arrived and sometimes a band-aid and a “good enough” performance could turn the form of the team quicker than a new coat of paint to make them look fancier.


Grealish is going with the nationality of the country he was born in – good for him. As the FA begins to up its required quota of homegrown players over the coming seasons, it’s makes him more valuable to Villa as he reaches his prime and also will command a heftier price tag if he’s ever sold. It’s a win-win… which is ironic as Villa haven’t won two in a row since….


Finally, it was confimed that Villa Park still looks like the palace it is – even when it’s hosting the wrong sport.


Follow Adam Keeble on Twitter @keebo00

Follow MOMS on Twitter @oldmansaid


  1. Enjoy the 5 reasons series…but do Pearly Tim and his lads read it ? They could do with the advice.

  2. Tim is too confident in our ability to play fancy football, sorry but we’re no near even swansea’s level when they just came up and still had a lot of championship players. Need to go back to that direct football tim played when he first came in, except that now we dont have benteke we need to play long balls diagonally, with wide players staying wide all the time, instead of lumping it to gestede.

    Take a leaf out of west brom and bournemouth, helps with not giving the ball away deep in our own half too.

  3. Simply playing 90 mins football will help. It’s been a while at Villa since we’ve had a side capable of a full 90 mins. For years, the concentration seem to slip in the last ten minutes, especially against Man U.

    On paper we have a good defence, but in reality teams cut through them too easily . Playing a higher line would help and getting the ball to the creative players more quickly. Also when certain players lose the ball through one dribble too much, they’ve got to help win it back!

    Lastly, there’s goals in Gested, so get more crosses in. He ain’t Benteke, no point playing to his feet expecting him to hold it up. His obvious ability’s in the air, so play to his strength.

  4. I think this says exactly what needs to happen
    “it might be that fancy football might have to be not sacrificed but compromised to get wins when we deserve them.”
    Other clubs have realised that we can easily out play them BUT are very fragile when put under pressure as was shown by the 2 halves against the Foxes& clubs since then have gone all out to bully our players out of games
    We need a win and if to do that means fielding a team that can stand up to the bullies so be it

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