Well, with the honeymoon period now firmly in the rear view mirror of the Steven Gerrard era, we are left to pick through the ruins of a fourth consecutive loss.
Whilst we found ourselves trailing inside 5 minutes after some amateur defending, the first half was largely one way traffic as Villa probed and tested the outstanding Lloris. Indeed, Coutinho was again our standout performer on home soil, producing a number of mesmirising moments of vision.
The Brazilian loanee from Barcelona cannot do it by himself though, and like many must have wondered quite how many opportunties needed to be put on a plate to produce a goal.
If Villa lacked a cutting edge up front, a masterclass was a about to unfold from Son Heung-Min. In a ruthless display of the type of finishing that drives momentum in the upper echelons of the division, the South Korean left Villa Park with the match-ball. Both Watkins, Ings and Co should take note.
Villa tactically and individually were sub-par, with the defence and the cover afforded from midfield completely inadequate.
Ezri Konsa continues to muddle along with incredibly unsettled form. The once reliable and steady centre half can only conceivably now be rotated for Callum Chambers after enduring a torrid time against Spurs. Konsa, once a genuine candidate for an England call-up looks completely out of sorts.
We struggled to contain the opposition flanks, with Tottenham repeatedly strolling through open countryside as Cash explored advanced positions in the first half and Digne in the second. It was a case of De Ja Vu that we did nothing to address.
Ahead of the centre halves, Douglas Luiz, despite being lively and working hard, offered little in the way of effective cover. It’s not his natural role, and once again it showed.
There are increasingly glaring tactical errors being repeated too. The formation wasn’t working from the off, but nothing came from the bench to correct it.
What did we not learn from the opening moments of the game that we saw repeated minutes after the restart as Spurs grabbed their second? And why do we seem paralysed to the idea of making an early tactical substitution? Meanwhile, an opposition side routinely turns the screw and the game is lost, increasingly on repeat.
The promise and pressure of an attempted first half, fight-back obviously cannot mask a heavy defeat that followed. These are still early days for Gerrard, but he, like supporters, must be alarmed at quite how far short we are falling when up against sides in the top 8 of the division. We have been technically schooled and totally outplayed by Arsenal and now Spurs very recently.
It perhaps serves to remind us of the gulf in class that persists despite the investment to date, the improvement we still need to make; but what players and how much money it will take to achieve this, remains something for the crystal ball.
We now look ahead to a less than straightforward away trip to Leicester with the need to arrest a worrying collapse of late season form.
ASTON VILLA TICKET RISE 2022/23
Before the trip to Leicester, it’s anticipated the club will announce a significant rise in the cost of tickets at Villa Park from next season. This will be driven by both re-categorising certain areas of Villa Park, thus lifting their cost, in addition to a 10% uplift across the stadium. The Villa Underground will have more detail and a stated position on what is a significant supporter issue in the coming days.