Date: 15th March 2021 at 8:35pm
Written by:

As mentioned in the last piece, the Newcastle United clash on Friday evening certainly sparked mixed reactions from fans as the red mist descended after both the poor performance once again, but particularly after their late equaliser.

Having covered the thoughts of one fan who remained pretty philosophical about things following the score draw, I thought I’d give the thoughts of another who was far more concerned – namely, because a lot of danvilla2’s concerns will be shared, even by the more optimistic amongst us.

Taken from our Vital Villa Match Day Forum Thread

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The regression to how we are playing versus this time a year ago is the biggest worry for fans and I share that concern. In my day job, you have to stay focussed on the rolling recent performance, what happened six months ago is banked, but you don’t get any pats on the back if your recent performance is poor, because the recent performance is the sign for the near future. It’s how football managers are monitored – rightly or wrongly.

However, we haven’t had our best player available recently, whereas last season we were struggling even with Jack. Though we have had a few poor games without him, we cannot rely on him to be a proverbial one man team and we aren’t.

Let’s not forget, we aren’t losing all these games without Jack. Last season we probably would not have created as many good chances as we did to score first on Friday, and I know we beat Newcastle home and away last season, but it was these sorts of games that we struggled in anyway.

The squad is also relegation fodder when you get to the quality on the bench. On Friday it looked better because Matty Cash was there, but the dross we have on the bench each week leaves us with limited options to change a game.

I do think Dean Smith has a ceiling that might be lower for us than I liked to hope, as he regresses into the same decisions far too often. Football managers are stubborn, in some respects, I respect that as they look to build a philosophy whilst the fans want to win in the here and now, but it’s not like we even tweak things to our own advantage when we can.

That said, it’s very difficult to tweak and change things with the squad he’s got. Take Trezeguet, he can only play in two positions, and you know what you’ll get from him and where his limitations are. As much as I like Trez’s attitude, there’s a player who just isn’t good enough overall for a club looking to establish itself as a top half Premier League team again. Bertrand Traore also isn’t good enough based on my subjective view of the first half of the season – it’s too early to write him off, but if quality and consistency comes up in summer we need to go for it.

When I see the names on the Sheffield United odds list for their next manager, you realise there is lots of dross out there. If having rich owners means we can attract the Ancelotti types then there comes a point where we might have to make that decision, but at the moment, there isn’t better out there without going back to the managers we were hiring from the 2010’s.

It’s a big summer for the club to invest in quality on the pitch, and big responsibility on Smith to then work with that improved squad to be less reliant on one or two players and have more in the way of tactics to win games we should be winning, rather than being as one dimensional as we currently are.

Does Villa's 2021 Form Make You Worry About The Future

Yes, It's A Concern

Yes, It's A Concern

No Chance, We're Punching Above Our Weight Anyway

No Chance, We're Punching Above Our Weight Anyway
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