Thoughts and issues regarding the past and present of a great football club by "The Chronicler".

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Enough is enough...

In all its one-forty years,
this club has rarely known such tears!
Since when did this club suffer
- and appear such a duffer?
It goes on, and on, does it not?
this gross insult to man and tot.

During the QPR match the camera panned onto Paul Lambert as he sat with mournful, long, face … and twiddling his fingers as though to say “now what do I do?”

It became dreadfully clear in that match that Villa had the overall strength to win, but that they lacked very little by way of ability to prise the lock … the lack of a pass that would be the undoing of the opposing defence. Yet the man that has some of that ability sat on the Villa bench and was not brought on until the damage had been done. Until that point the main threats that Villa had given to the QPR defence were two fine strikes from outside the penalty area by Sanchez and Cleverley, both well stopped by Green. Very little opportunity was afforded to Villa from close in.

Yet some people say that we need a poacher on the field to put the ball away – i.e. Bent. But surely, unless the chances are there, even a poacher is not going to score!

My Villanous friends, I say that we lack, simply, plain footballing ability to provide chances: a situation that is aided, I suppose, by the enforced absence of Delph. But haven’t we been saying that for a long time now? Surely Lambert (an old midfielder himself) would be able to see that shortcoming and provide a player or two on the field that isn’t just a workaholic but a player of constructive skill. Maybe the time is desperate enough to bring on Grealish, but is it too much responsibility to put onto a young man’s shoulders? Perhaps with Cole alongside him there might be a solution, but it’s whether Cole can last a full 90 minutes that’s the question.

Or perhaps the problem would be better dealt with by having proper wing-men rather than depending on overlapping full-backs? Players that could get round the back and make a telling pull-back or a killing pass across goal? You know, a la Young and Downing. But we no longer have any such players, so this is effectively just a pipe-dream.

With the return of Senderos (with Vlaar) and Hutton, Villa’s defence would be restored to full health in my opinion, so the issue to me is purely on the question of creativity and for me the team selection never seems to include that vital ingredient.

Perhaps (utilising the squad we have) the situation might be dealt with by starting Cole and then bringing on Grealish for the second 45 or last 30, depending on the situation?

Something needs to be done. Doesn’t it? And maybe a change of manager is the definitive answer to get the team selection and substitutions right: the manager we have doesn’t seem to get it, and the twiddling of his fingers just seems to show the state of his nerves.

What a twaddle, this twiddle! What a mess.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

I don't like to groan, but...

It looks as though my attempt at being positive was entirely misplaced. 

And I think I can safely say that there are a lot of fans quietly coming up to boiling point.

How many more bad records have to be created and the fans made to suffer?

The whole way the team are motivated needs to change. They need to come onto the pitch looking as though they’re going to give the opposition a real game. At Everton, more pressure would have produced results against a slightly wobbly Everton defence, but they were to made to look good as Villa just didn’t test ‘em enough. Only two Villa players seemed truly committed (Hutton and Cleverley).

This is NOT the Villa of old. Even in the 50s, 60s and early 70s we had something to shout about during otherwise periods of lesser achievement, but now it's a continuous stream of awful performances. I can only think of one match (the 6-1 win over Sunderland) when the fans have looked really happy since 2011. That's more than 3 years of mostly very disappointing play and awful results.

I am not the only seething long-term fan: there a lot of others. 

One has said: "I have made most of the home matches for the last three seasons and have gradually become immune to the team playing on the pitch, and just continued to enjoy the ambience of the fans around me, but although a season ticket holder am beginning to feel that my time and money could be better spent elsewhere, until there is a rescue plan for this crumbling giant."

Can we have our Villa back please? 


Sunday, 5 October 2014

Right, that's got those 3 matches behind us...

Disappointing against Man City. Having fought so hard and then to weaken at the end - it was a bit disheartening. Villa could have got a draw out of that but the last two subs were particularly weak. Grealish is not yet experienced enough to change a game like that and he made very little contribution.

Zoggy should have stayed on the pitch and Sanchez brought on for Richardson i.m.o.

So the results from the last three matches are leaving quite a few fans disenchanted. There is no doubt that the policies and events that have occurred over the last 3 or 4 years have taken their toll, and that no doubt has had its adverse affect of the attendances at Villa Park. To me it has been ludicrous that we have had to endure what has transpired these latter years.

But though the fact is that we seem to be imposed with the situation as it is there is (in my view) no need to think that the future is so bad. But on the other hand those steeped in past hope for a leap forward from the early 1980s will be shocked if we keep on developing as if we are some mid-table side of the ilk of Stoke or some such side. That’s not to denigrate Stoke, but we know full well that Birmingham deserves something a lot better to represent it in the world of sport. Thank goodness for Birchfield Harriers. ;-)

Unless the club is taken over by its support base (and I can’t see that happening), we are in the hands of people who are disconnected from the Villa’s past. Only a decade or two ago we still had Eric Houghton and Johnny Dixon around to remind us of the love that once existed within and around the club, but though the likes of Peter McParland, Charlie Aitken and Denis Mortimer are still with us, they have kept strangely quiet about the state of affairs.

And the truth is that no matter what anyone else says, the ownership wants to do it his way. We have to sit and watch.

As I said at the start, there’s no reason to think the future will be so bad. I still feel that Villa will not be fighting relegation this year for starters, and there is an indication that the team structure is on the way up rather than in further reverse. Just as well – it couldn’t have got much worse, could it?!!

But the key thing is that as long as the Villa support is showing its discontent by staying away, the more chance that the owner will try harder to improve matters.

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