There’s not many words to accurately describe Friday’s 1-1 draw away to Bristol City. Bleak? Probably. Poor? Certainly. Another word I would use is weird. A lot about the night just didn’t make sense whether it being tactical decisions, remarks made in interviews or just some of Villa’s performances. So let’s take a closer look at Villa’s whacky night in Bristol.
The player choices are just bizarre at this point
Where do we start with this one? On Friday, Villa kicked off with two strikers on the pitch and no wingers while they ended the night with two wingers on the pitch and no strikers. It just does not make sense. One of Villa’s biggest problems this season has been the inability to get the best out of their key players and playing them out of position is probably a big reason why. Yannick Bolasie and Anwar El Ghazi need to start more games, Tammy Abraham needs more support, Jonathan Kodjia is not a winger and Jack Grealish has to be in the middle to dominate games like we know he can.
Oh and Mile Jedinak? Let me put this plain and simple for everyone to understand.
MILE JEDINAK IS NOT A CENTRE-BACK.
Conor Hourihane is a consistent gem in the wild west of this Villa team
Villa’s midfield is flocked with a wealth of talent and we are very lucky to have a side in which players like Birkir Bjarnason and Glenn Whelan struggle to start. Despite that, one man is shining above the rest. It’s not Jack Grealish. It’s not John McGinn (although that man is incredible). It’s Conor Hourihane.
In truth, the ex-Barnsley skipper has been Villa’s unsung hero since he arrived at B6. He’s scored important goals and he’s made vitals tackles. He’s put in consistently good performances so I feel like he deserves a bit of love in the Villa community. So this is for you Conor Hourihane. I see you and I appreciate you.
Jack Grealish’s contract conclusion hasn’t changed much
“At the start of the season my head was swivelled, it was all over the place. Even after the transfer window closed, until the end of August, I wasn’t right.”
This was a quote from Mr. Grealish in the build up to this week’s match after the significant contract signing which was cheered by Villa fans across the land. In other interviews, Grealish spoke about wanting to get his head down and put in some top quality performances for his boyhood club. Friday night wasn’t the start he was hoping for.
Admittedly, Villa’s number 10 was stuck out wide again and that is not the best position to get Jack Grealish dominating the game. It was just a bad night at the office for him. His touches were sloppy, his passes lacked any conviction and he hardly pulled out any of his trademark sweeping runs. It didn’t help that he was kicked to the ground every thirty seconds either.
Grealish will play better for Villa and earn those big bucks he’s just signed up for, but Ashton Gate was not the start of his revival
The Villa fans continue to excel themselves through frustrating times
I may have a biased opinion on this, but Villa’s hardcore support are some of the best in the land. They’ve had to put up with some absolute over the years. Bizarre tactical decisions, disgusting performances, awful misses and selfish owners. Despite all that, they are still in droves at every ground singing loudly and pledging their allegiance.
They constantly come up with catchy songs, funny lyrics and just generally look like they are having fun. Imagine that. Having fun while watching Aston Villa play football. It’s like a lost art.
Steve Bruce, our patience is wearing thin
Okay, let’s end with everybody’s favourite topic of conversation lately and that’s the current Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce. I’m getting fed up of talking about him and I’m sure you are getting fed up of hearing about him but we can’t ignore his damning words in the media of late. He has attacked fans who have questioned and remained firm in his belief that we are there or thereabouts.
Let me once again make this very clear. I have been and am still willing to support Steve Bruce as manager of Aston Villa. However, Bruce is starting to run out of legs to stand on. His tactical decisions are bizarre, his attitude is getting more and more outrageous and his in-ability to inspire his players is costing Villa points. Time is running out on Steve Bruce and I’m starting to run out of patience too.
Written by Kyle Dixon (@kyledixon95)
IMAGE CREDIT: AVFC