With the September international break now done and dusted, Monday evening saw Aston Villa get back to Premier League action as we welcomed West Ham United to Villa Park for the 8pm kickoff.
It was a mixed game in many ways. There were certainly additional positives in our play and in how some of our summer signings are settling in, but there remained plenty of areas of our play that needed improvement.
Villa undoubtedly had the better chances on the day and how Wesley didn’t bury his header, in particular, is beyond me, and we also restricted West Ham to only a solitary effort on target. In what had been, and still remained an end to end and open clash, the major disappointment was in not seeing us take more advantage of them being reduced to ten men, but as West Ham defended deeper, we seemed to get lost every time we went into the final third.
Five games in though, out of the relegation zone, another point and despite West Ham’s promise this year, they didn’t really trouble us.
Glass half full or half empty – it was a mix on the Vital Villa Forum match thread.
I quite enjoyed the game to be fair, but the quicker Wesley does get his second the better, as he still looks to be struggling with confidence, but maybe it’s the eternal optimist in me. Given the positions he’s getting into, despite being isolated largely, with some proper belief I can see him banging them away for fun.
Speaking to the BBC following the full time whistle as head coach Dean Smith met with the press, he said of our efforts over 90 minutes.
“I am disappointed a little bit but also a little satisfied with how we played. West Ham have four forward players who are very good and I felt we restricted them very well. I am disappointed when we went down to 10 men we didn’t use the extra man well enough. Players got sloppy, took too many touches on the ball. I think we did get a little too desperate to be honest, the players wanted to do it on their own. It can be tough but it shouldn’t be. West Ham I thought played very well with the 10. It can happen but the performance in general was good today.