Former Aston Villa striker Chris Sutton had an interesting playing career, with good spells at Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers and Celtic being the standout periods of his career. Having spent time at Birmingham City and hardly pulled up any trees, Martin O’Neill raised a few eyebrows when he brought him to us – the spell wasn’t a great success and he did have to retire from the game following vision problems.
I’ll refuse to make the cheap ‘vision’ crack here given the recent insights he gave to BBC Radio 5 Live’s 606 programme, but suffice to say I’m not sure when he last saw us given the standout comment was that we weren’t playing the side that got us promoted.
“It is very difficult to criticise the board because they have given Dean Smith money. You look at the team that got them promoted, there are not many of those players that are starting.”
Methinks somebody hasn’t bothered looking at the team selections, as head coach Dean Smith has been slow to introduce our newbies for obvious reasons – fitness, letting them settle in and understand his system and not overly risking damage to our spirit by ruining the continuity.
“Villa look to me that they are in a bit of trouble. You cannot give teams a four or five goals headstart. It was really important against Bournemouth. Against Spurs, in many ways was a free hit. Bournemouth at home, with respect to Bournemouth, you are thinking ‘what an opportunity’. Villa’s problem is are their players going to gel quick enough? I would love to see them stay in the Premier League.”
Considering we are yet to concede four or five goals, he does at least have a point there and its something plenty of fans have commented on themselves. Spurs was a free hit and a point would’ve been delightful as we continue adjusting, but plenty oversoaked the Bournemouth clash as that wasn’t a must win either given we are still adapting.
On the gel front, I’d say our performance itself speaks volumes for that, we were undone by errors – that’s not an issue with a lack of understanding.