As disasters go, this was a big one. It might even be a Premier League defining result that we look back upon and recall as “the moment” we absolutely knew Aston Villa were finished.
I’ve been watching Villa from The Holte End for over twenty years and have written this blog for over five. I, like supporters of any football club, sit amongst fans who have seen many more campaigns than some can recall. Highs and lows; that’s football after-all.
However, I’ve been struck by how many people simply cannot recall our football club being quite so bad both on & off the field.
I’m not going to dwell too long on the game, it was a nightmarish performance I don’t really want to relive in any great detail…
The opening two goals were absolute gifts to a Liverpool side arriving in such indifferent form. In fact, how many teams have ever scored six goals on an opposition pitch with so little fight mustered against them? Liverpool took all their goals, virtually unchallenged, never needing to get out of 2nd gear.
Our defending was amateurish, goalkeeping questionable & you would be hard pressed to have noticed our midfield. The less said about our “attack” the better. I don’t blame Garde for our being where we are, but the tactics & approach cannot be ignored after results such as this.
It was a game that exposed Lescott’s age, made a mockery of Okore’s Champions League ambitions & confirmed that Leandro Bacuna has no meaningful future at the club. Gil was wasteful, Westwood out of his depth & Gabby never at the races.
Equally concerning was the lack of fight, pressure or running. The players seemed to mirror the hierarchy and Garde’s pre-game comments of resignation to the inevitable. Given the results Saturday, a concerted effort towards getting something out of the game was not so far fetched.
Our performance got everything that it deserved. We were also fortunate that Liverpool decided to stop at six with 70 minutes on the clock. Absurd, humiliating and it resulted in yet another considerable walk-out from Villa Park.
We are already a football club ridiculed by default in the media. A laughing stock, now almost routinely described as the “worst team” to have played in the Premier League. All while an absent owner ignores his forgotten plaything.
The Holte End reverberated to the sound of this discontent, but also to the sound of Villa fans supporting the club. A club that does nothing to recognise them but which does everything to disenfranchise the very people who support it in spite of the embarrassment that it has become.
We were one of the greatest football teams in both the domestic and European game. Historic founders of the football league. All eroded to near ruin by the selfish actions of a coward, hiding thousands of miles away, allowing the club to be stewarded by financiers.
Stewarded into the absolute unknown, away from the greatest riches that football has ever seen, without a plan, ill-prepared and without the decency to haul Randy Lerner before the people & make him explain his pathetic inaction.
The latest defeat serves only to underline the abject failure of Aston Villa. A club that given its support, income, history, academy, standing, heritage (etc etc etc) should not be physically possible to relegate.
Sure, no club is too big to go down, but to have done it in the manner that Randy Lerner has managed, deserves a medal.
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