Preview: Man City (v) Aston Villa – Assume crash positions, this isn’t going to be pretty.

Oh yes, it’s almost that time of week again fine people.  It’s time to not only wonder how we will manage to collapse, but this week, doing so against one of the best squads around.  

The same City squad that stuck four past us in the FA Cup, just a matter of weeks ago.  The league fixture could be a very long afternoon indeed if our meek opposition to them was anything to go by that day.

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All we ask is that the Villa players at least try to break a sweat. As fans we can live with being beaten by “better” sides, that’s football, but the lack of effort on some players parts has been nothing short of a disgrace.  After a brief upturn, it’s now as bad as before the Wycombe debacle.

Since defeating us in the FA Cup, City have been on a shocking run of form.

Three defeats on the bounce in fact, two of which occurred at The Etihad.  Who better to face than us if you need to play yourself back to form?  If we weren’t in such abysmal shape I might even have a little optimism.

This loss of form couldn’t have come at a worse time for our hosts as nobody seems overly eager to seize the initiative and challenge Leicester’s pursuit of the Premier League.  As bizarre a fact as that is.

We make the trip is decidedly grim shape.

There is huge supporter discontent now threatening to make a bad situation toxic.  We have a disinterested group of players and a manager who can’t wait to get back to France.  Add to this a CEO in Tom Fox & his minions on thin ice with newly appointed chairman Steve Hollis.  It’s a real mess.

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Our away form is also the stuff of nightmares.  A solitary victory on the opening day at Bournemouth, 33.3% of our total wins all season, tells the whole story.  

We have 2 points from the last 6 away matches, four defeats & scored just 3 goals.  We’ve also conceded 11 goals in our last 3 outings.  Not good at all.

Equally frustrating is Garde’s inexplicable persevering with players who shouldn’t be anywhere near the squad.

Players like Lescott, bringing our great club into disrepute off the pitch whilst performing like a geriatric on it.  Then we give him the Captaincy?  Please.

Leandro Bacuna, a player who was rewarded with a 5 year contract, yet cannot pass a football.  Incomprehensible.

Brad Guzan, as consistently bad a goalkeeper as could feasibly be achieved in a lifetime.  Yet he somehow found himself back in the team against Everton.  He’s just so, so poor.

The list could go on and on.

I don’t want 11 kids thrown in at the deep end, but I do want to see 2/3 younger players blooded.  There has to be individuals amongst the academy/reserves who at the very least would put in the effort that the shirt demands.

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My great concern is that despite our unacceptable results, obvious failings as a squad and constant revisiting of the same problems, not a single player has made the step up.  They are either being prevented from doing so or they aren’t good enough. Either reason would worry me greatly.

Predictions:

It’s a sad reality when I honestly expect us to do well to avoid another thrashing.  I could see this quite easily being a defeat by a comfortable margin of at least 2/3 clear goals.  I hope for a better outcome, but I expect much, much less.

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