Match Stats

Massive Questions For Villa To Answer After Arsenal As We Clearly Didn’t Learn From Wolves – Match Stats


After the utter shambles that was our defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend, Aston Villa had a point to prove as we travelled to the Emirates Stadium for tonight’s Premier League clash with Arsenal.

Head coach Dean Smith had some selection headaches – 352 has proven not to be our friend of late, but we also welcomed back a few of our walking wounded – but there were absolutely no changes to the line up.

I missed the first 15 minutes so I think luck was with me, a I was unlucky enough to see how we were playing, them hit the woodwork then get their first goal, all whilst we failed to even register a tentative shot on target.

Poor doesn’t even come close to describing it and I can’t have been alone in thinking we were going to be on the end of a hammering and probably soon to be down to ten men given the headless chicken challenges we were putting in.

It should’ve been 2-0 on the half hour mark but Emi Martinez saved well from Saka after the defence went to sleep (again!).

The rest of the half continued in the same fashion until VAR decided in stoppage time to give them a helping hand, despite video footage showing Matt Targett flicked the ball first before Lacazette jumps to the floor like he’s been shot from one of the stands. Emi saved the initial effort, but Aubameyang was first to the rebound.

2-0 – was that our bad half, was there anyone who cared at this stage given we continue to play like a League Two side now?

Bailey for Axel at the break, 433 moving forward – would it make a difference?

Ohh lookie, we started creating chances but being able to cross, pass and shoot would’ve been a greater help. At least it was some kind of response though – until it wasn’t.

A lose pass from McGinn, long ball, Smith Rowe, clips Mings – 3-0.

It was a more even match still and we were in it, but it wasn’t really anything to write home about as we entered the final 20 minutes. Although in fairness, another great save from Emi stopped it being 4-0.

We had some consolation as Jacob Ramsey hit an absolute belter to make it 3-1 with just under ten left on the clock but way too little, way too late. It would’ve been massively unfair, but we did have enough chances to take a point but the finishing was woeful.

Ridiculous penalty aide, slight improvement second half aside, there are now big questions surrounding Villa – both management and the mentality of our players – as we have massively regressed from the positives we had previously and the team spirit we seemed to have has totally crumbled with players sniping at each other and then making challenges you’d slap a schoolboy for trying. But the second half was better, we’ve seen where 352 can work for us, but we cannot persist with it against teams we need to get at and we did that second half, without actually being that good.

Arsenal deserved the victory and the margin of it. Through gritted teeth maybe, but no Villan can deny that tonight.

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Manchester United beat us to the inaugural Prem title in 1992/93, but what was the score when we travelled to Old Trafford?

3 – 1
Aston Villa

Emirates Stadium

Premier League

22/10/2021 9:00 pm

Attendance: 59496

Referee: Craig Pawson

Arsenal Aston Villa
Partey (23), Aubameyang (45+6), Smith Rowe (56) Ramsey (82)
Ramsdale Martinez
Tomiyasu Cash
White Konsa
Gabriel Tuanzebe 45
Varela Tavares Mings
Saka Targett
Sambi Lokonga
73 McGinn
Partey Buendia 68
Smith Rowe Douglas Luiz
Lacazette 68 Ings 77
90+1 Watkins


Leno Sanson
Odegaard 68 Steer
Maitland-Niles 73 Young
Holding Nakamba
Cedric Soares El Ghazi 77
Pepe Hause
Elneny Bailey 45
Kolasinac Archer
Martinelli 90+1 Ramsey 68

Game Statistics

0 Goal attempts 0
0 On Target 0
0 Corners 0
0 Fouls 0
2 Yellow Cards 5
0 Red Cards 0
0 % 0

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  • Rob Frost says:

    I thought this after the panic summer buys, but we seem to struggle with recruiting what is needed to improve. We have a lot of round pegs trying to fill square holes. Ings is decent in the right setup, Buendia is just not good enough (wasted 40M) and the best of the 3 struggles with injury due to his sheer pace (Bailey). On the other hand, we’ve tried to fit a loanie squad player into the first 11 when clearly if he was any good, Man United would have been using him.

    Really disappointing but I believe this is the beginning of the end for Smith. If indeed it is, I’d like to thank him for the great memories! Sad times but I do only think we can improve with an elite manager.

  • Peter says:

    Sad though it is it is now time to thank Dean Smith for what he has done for the Club and to say goodbye The last three games have clearly shown his poor tactics and substitutions To progress a new Head Coach with the abilities to progress a team in the Premiership is desperately needed The sooner this is done the better Delaying could prove fatal

    • Mike Field says:

      That would include Wolves and two injuries and changes tonight that got us properly back in the game?

  • Peter Dryhurst says:

    Two things concern me:
    The first is that we are regularly seeing this team capitulate. The first half at Watford, the first half last night, the last 15 minutes against Wolves. This is not a one- off occurrence, it is a regular feature of this team and I am sure we could add several more examples without too much effort. This suggests a lack of leadership both on and off the pitch and even worse, no sign that the problem is being addressed.
    Secondly, the tactics are not working and haven’t for the majority of the season. 352 has not been a success because we don’t have the players to play it or a manager that can organise the team to play it.
    Dean Smith has done a decent job up until now and deserves the chance to put things right but unfortunately I don’t think he is capable of doing it.
    It was interesting that when asked about Bruce’s sacking he said that achieving 13th or 14th place in the Premiership indicated that he was a good coach and manager. Given the constraints that Bruce was working under when Ashley was the owner that may be true but the current owners at Villa are a different breed who are investing heavily and expect to see a European challenge sooner rater than later. They will not see a 13th place finish as anything but a poor return on their investment and I don’t see Dean Smith being able to deliver what they want.
    I hope I am wrong because he is one of us but sadly I can’t see him being there next year.

    • Mike Field says:

      Yup, lots of questions at the moment and the ‘spirit’ one is highest for me as that indicates deeper problems.

      • Andy5759 says:

        I have noticed that Mike, there does seem to be lack of togetherness in the squad. I don’t think we have any “bad apples” who could be upsetting things, so I can only assume that it might be down to the players not buying wholeheartedly into some tactical decisions. Whatever the cause of it I’m sure that DS will identify it and turn it around. An improvement on last year is still very much on the cards, we are a very good side.

        • Mike Field says:

          No mate, I agree. I don’t see a premadonna or troublemaker but unfortunately something seems off. Maybe spirit is the wrong word, as we’ve seen us collapse from almost nothing before, but this time it feels different to me if that makes sense? I just can’t tally a Chelsea/Man U performance to what we are now seeing. I was a Europe aim guy prior to Jack going, and reverted to mid-upper half and I’m still not DS out – but there are major questions.

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