Date: 18th February 2019 at 7:20am
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With the fallout from Aston Villa’s derby day defeat to West Bromwich Albion last weekend continuing, Vital Villa forum member danvilla2 gave his thoughts following the game, and with our poor form continuing after the initial bounce under head coach Dean Smith, tempers are beginning to fray amongst some, in his direction.

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Writer: danvilla2

I don’t read much of the official site or the Mail, so I miss most interviews our managers give except snippets I read on here.

DS for me needs to do himself a favour and come out and say what his strategy is.

I’m fine if it’s one whereby he thinks he needs to establish his formation and style of play, and he’s testing the players out – if they can’t stomach it then they’re moved on. It’s what Pep did at City and takes time. Unfortunately, most managers aren’t given the luxury of time, but we’ve got 3 months of meaningless games really so he has time to plan for summer. This is my assumption (hope) of what he’s doing.

If DS is relatively happy with the current squad, then it’s worrying he persists with this 4-1-4-1 formation which clearly doesn’t work or suit most – if not all the players. It only suits Jack Grealish – in terms of giving him more licence to get forward, although it arguably suits some of our weaker central midfielders with the extra body. Every other formation, 3-5-2, 4-3-3 (true 4-3-3) or a 4-4-2 would all work better for us – or at least couldn’t be any worse than this nothing 4-1-4-1.

The second thing that’s occurred to me tonight is the role of John Terry next season – if any. We’ve conceded by far and away the most goals in the top half, and you have to get to the bottom three to find more goals against. A winner on the field and someone who wants to establish himself as a top coach, surely won’t want a record whereby his role has a shocking goals against statistic? I don’t know the mood in the dugout, but I don’t see much of JT. I think he’s a pretty respectful guy in that regard but he also has integrity and if he doesn’t believe in the project I can’t see why he’d stay.

The DS style completely contradicts everything JT stood for on the pitch and also when he talks about managers and Mourinho being his number one coach then you can assume they have a different mentality. I think it was 57 who posted in the match thread that JT was known for lieing deep at Chelsea, which I also thought he did here with a straight back 4 line and wingers who needed to be goalside. You could see the JT influence on the pitch.

This season, we don’t have the discipline to defend for 60-70 mins keeping clean sheets nor do we seem to currently have the attacking ability to be able to score 3 if the opposition score 2. The chances we have been creating recently is shocking and it won’t change until JG get’s back up to fitness.

I hope and pray that DS turns us around, I’m in full support but I want reassurance that he recognises it’s currently poor (and that’s being generous) and that things will change. We as fans need to understand and buy into the project.