10 successive defeats in our current run of atrocious form.
6 straight home defeats at Villa Park. This one is a new club record. A shameful statistic of our lifeless squad of care-free, over-rewarded players.
In an almost 6 year period of failure, where many club records for losses have been re-written, it is another terrible blot.
Overall I thought this was a typical end of season type of fixture. Southampton went through the motions, moved the ball confidently and could absolutely rely upon Villa imploding sooner rather than later. Westwood grabbed two goals, but in all honesty, the result was never in doubt.
The opener came via a great cross, with Shane Long (who else..) heading in after Guzan dallied & Lescott thought better than to mark:
Leandro Bacuna, then showed more of his glittering “Champions League” ability, playing Southampton in for their second. After some additional comedy attempts to clear the ball, Tadic slotted in for 2-0.
Pathetic stuff again from our embarrassment of a first 11 and all too easy for Saints;
After good work from Jordan Ayew, Westwood made it 2-1. It was his first goal in 70 appearances:
Tadic slotted home to make it 3-1 after a swift counter attack. It served to only provide more evidence of our inability to close players down. Despite the deflection taking the ball beyond Guzan, the fact Tadic was allowed to fashion a shot at all says it all.
Westwood then steered in a composed finish, his second of the game, to make it 3-2;
The fourth & final goal came from Mane & pretty much defines our inability to stop anything in the air. Saints worked a cross under little or no pressure and the forward headed in with ease. Opposing players mustn’t believe their luck:
All in all it was a stroll for Southampton, who could have easily had in the region of 6-8 had they been sharper. Long was particularly wasteful, but Saints also had a number of other chances which were spurned.
It comes to something when conceding four at home seems like damage limitation. Westwood’s two goals merely mask the true horror.
Villa played in a deserved hostile atmosphere. The protracted sale of the club and poisonous relationship with players who are unfathomably still picked by caretaker Eric Black. Black is a stop-gap measure, but increasingly looks inept at the basics.
Indeed, Black was pretty frank in his post match interview, suggesting that fans & journalists don’t pick the team. Well, that’s obvious. But what is less so obvious is why he is selecting players who have not only been proven to be simply not good enough, but whom also have questionable disciplinary or performance issues.
How is it given Lescott’s conduct on and off the pitch that he is Captain? How can a goalkeeper as poor in form and conduct as Brad Guzan appear week in, week out? Is there not a single aspiring youngster in the youth set-up more capable than the abysmal Leandro Bacuna?
I respect Black’s right the pick the team, but his selections are bordering upon incomprehensible. Further, his citing of 37 years of experience is broadly irrelevant in the face of such obvious need to make changes to arguably the worst Villa side in living memory.
Black isn’t the problem, there are obviously deeper rooted issues than him. However, I simply don’t understand why anyone with an ability to affect a little change of direction or positivity would persevere down the same road. It merely adds to the malaise, the expectation of defeat and disillusionment of supporters.
Villa head to Vicarage Road to face Watford this Saturday & unless there is a dramatic change of direction it’s difficult to foresee anything other than a dreary draw or another defeat. Grim indeed.
There are whispers that the club is set to be imminently sold, but until something concrete emerges there is nothing worthy of any great comment.
The club tried to bury the bad news of the boardroom departures with news of “advanced” sale negotiations and Brian Little has apparently stated to fans after the Southampton game that a deal will be struck soon. Mere speculation after the club has been for sale for two years.
We can but hope a buyer comes sooner rather than later to rid us of the demise gifted to us by Randy Lerner. We then have to trust the man to make a solitary noble decision for our great club, and pass it to someone of repute. The latter scares me more than anything.
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