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Villa’s 2021/22 Season Review & A November Switch Introducing Haiku

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Despite Aston Villa’s further improved eleventh placed finish in the 2020/21 Premier League campaign, there was lingering disappointment from many in the fanbase as it really should’ve been a few places higher, but whatever excuses can be offered, the fact is our form fell off a cliff for way too long.

Given the look of the type of player we were moving for over the summer, plenty hoped we could push on again in 2021/22 with greater options and depth, but of course, all that went wrong as we took £100million for Jack Grealish and with a disrupted pre-season build up – the season became pretty much a mess with only odd and infrequent high points, new signings took way too long to find their rhythm, we failed to find a consistent way to play without ‘he who shall not be named twice’ and ultimately five defeats on the spin proved too much for head coach Dean Smith and he was replaced with the gamble that was Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard had an almost immediate impact and we certainly saw Jacob Ramsey kick on, and January saw unexpected arrivals in the shape of Lucas Digne and Philippe Coutinho which implied the Board had maybe slightly tweaked our direction. But the improvement didn’t last, performances bottomed out (even allowing for the now expected absolutely childish and warped VAR decisions we received) and those losses kept ramping up – leaving most looking down the table and fearing the worst as we headed into our final game before ticking into March with a nine/ten point gap to the relegation zone.

Not an awful lot changed in reality as we limped to the end of the season, securing a 14th place finish ten points ahead of the dropzone and our final day of action sees us go down in history as capitulating an unexpected 2-0 lead over Manchester City before utterly folding at the death. People will say we were fantastic and with the chances afforded to Ollie Watkins we should’ve been 4-0 clear, others will say we simply ran out of steam or City finally woke up and performed – they are probably all true, but that doesn’t change the disappointment felt.

Gerrard has said all the right things since the season came to a close, and we’ve already optioned the buy clause on Philippe Coutinho and our transfer strategy has pivoted again – signing both Boubacar Kamara and Diego Carlos – so there is optimism ahead. What is obvious to all is pretty much anything but a top ten finish next season will now be totally unacceptable, but we need more than signings and promising words from Gerrard – we really need to see an established style of play with understanding from the players.

Hopefully pre-season will allow him to properly introduce just that and we’ll kick on further – that way everyone wins.

With the arrival of Gerrard, we also saw the arrival of forum member AstonBurrito’s little after game Haiku’s, so with thanks to him.


Premier League – August 14
Watford 3-2 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Premier League – August 21
Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle United – Match Stats

EFL Cup – August 24
Barrow 0-6 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Premier League – August 28
Aston Villa 1-1 Brentford – Match Stats

Premier League – September 11
Chelsea 3-0 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Premier League – September 18
Aston Villa 3-0 Everton – Match Stats

EFL Cup – September 22
Chelsea 1-1 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Premier League – September 25
Manchester United 0-1 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Premier League – October 3
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Premier League – October 16
Aston Villa 2-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers – Match Stats

Premier League – October 22
Arsenal 3-1 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Premier League – October 31
Aston Villa 1-4 West Ham United – Match Stats

Premier League – November 5
Southampton 1-0 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Premier League – November 20
Aston Villa 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion – Match Stats

Steve Gerrard’s first game
Gritty performance two quick goals
Work before Palace

Premier League – November 27
Crystal Palace 1-2 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Eagles soaring high
Tiggs redemption McGinn strikes
No squeak at bum time

Premier League – December 1
Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester City – Match Stats

Grealy warmed the bench
Nervy 1st, Lions roar back
Agony for Chuk

Premier League – December 5
Aston Villa 2-1 Leicester City – Match Stats

Battle with Foxes
Was the ball under control?
A special Konsa!

Premier League – December 11
Liverpool 1-0 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Real test today
Deadlock broken with spot kick
Villa too honest

Premier League – December 14
Norwich City 0-2 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Dominant display
Ramsey runs riot to score
Curse of Smith broken

Premier League – December 26
Aston Villa 1-3 Chelsea – Match Stats

Boss watches on Zoom
Didn’t turn up after break
Too much sub respect

Premier League – January 2
Brentford 2-1 Aston Villa – Match Stats

We were in control
Sloppy play cost us dearly
No players played well

FA Cup – January 10
Manchester United 1-0 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Playing against 12
No goals despite pushing them
4th round seems distant

Premier League – January 15
Aston Villa 2-2 Manchester United – Match Stats

Sloppy mistakes cost
Great fightback, could have been more
New Holte End Hero!

Premier League – January 22
Everton 0-1 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Big Dunc fires them up
Emi leaps, defence holds strong
Villa hold bottle

Premier League – February 9
Aston Villa 3-3 Leeds United – Match Stats

Mayhem in the first!
Phillipe and Jacob same wavelength
Defence a shambles

Premier League – February 13
Newcastle United 1-0 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Didn’t turn up again
No goal aside nothing good
Another false dawn

Premier League – February 19
Aston Villa 0-1 Watford – Match Stats

Doubled by Watford
There are no goals for Gerrard
Should have kept Smith on

Premier League – February 26
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2 Aston Villa – Match Stats

A much needed win
Rare Cash goal, poignant tribute
Watkins back? Let’s hope!

Premier League – March 5
Aston Villa 4-0 Southampton – Match Stats

Always in charge here
Little magician on form
Watkings partnership?

Premier League – March 10
Leeds United 0-3 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Leeds were appalling
Was that actually Chambers?
Another clean sheet!

Premier League – March 13
West Ham United 2-1 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Disappointing game
Glimmer of hope from Ramsey
Ings save pivotal

Premier League – March 19
Aston Villa 0-1 Arsenal – Match Stats

Consistently poor
Same old s*** different day
No attack at all

Premier League – April 2
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Beach or city break?
Villa players now on hols
Might as well not play

Premier League – April 9
Aston Villa 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur – Match Stats

Lower every week
Players stealing a living
Again pathetic

Premier League – April 23
Leicester City 0-0 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Two teams on the beach
Will we ever score again?
I’ll take the point though

Premier League – April 30
Aston Villa 2-0 Norwich City – Match Stats

Finally some goals
Lots of shots, never threatened
Watkings gets us safe?

Premier League – May 7
Burnley 1-3 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Tricky game job done
Fans asked for this selection
Clean sheet just missed though

Premier League – May 10
Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool – Match Stats

Well played game tonight
Ings, Coutinho, Chuck so close
Ref was a real joke

Premier League – May 15
Aston Villa 1-1 Crystal Palace – Match Stats

A draw about right
Digne starting to assist
Winding up to end

Premier League – May 19
Aston Villa 1-1 Burnley – Match Stats

Emi good and bad
But memories at half time
To Holte Ender’s past

Premier League – May 22
Manchester City 3-2 Aston Villa – Match Stats

Dared to dream two nil
Thought we would finally win
Villa bottle it

1 of 12

In the Old Trafford clash with Manchester United back in the inaugural Prem campaign, Steve Staunton opened the scoring – but how?

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