Preview: Villa (v) Norwich – Accepting the inevitable or last, LAST chance saloon?


It has been quite a week at Villa.  No new signings, Ayew’s idiotic antics, another defeat, a director appointed & now just one fit striker.  And that’s Agbonlahor.

As I’ve written repeatedly, given the absolute disarray at the club, we are by some miracle just 10 points adrift.  These are almost certainly to be 10 points that see us relegated, but it’s still my view that it underlines how inept our leadership has been.  

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With just a little more thought and planning, we could have easily put more points on the board.  Whilst the significant blame lies with the owner & board, some lies at the conservative approach during key fixtures under the new Garde regime.  

There were winnable games that we simply failed to go for the jugular in.  Imagine the change in outlook by having just 3 or 4 more points?

And now we face Norwich, a side who recently beat us at Carrow Road in arguably one of the worst showings by a Villa side in recent memory.

Norwich’s victory lifted them clear at the time, but since they have found themselves well and truly sucked back into the relegation mix.  Their form has nosedived at one of the worst moments.

The Canaries are on a 4 game losing run & have won just once in their last 6 away games.  By contrast we have picked up 5 points from a possible 9 in our last 3 home games, with the drawn games versus Leicester/West Ham/Saints huge missed opportunities for wins.

Our problems now extend to injuries to an already under performing strike force.  

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Libor Kozak is now out for a month with an ankle injury; surely kept under wraps as the transfer window closed without a sniff of a signing.  Ayew starts a 3 match ban for his ridiculous elbow at West Ham midweek & Gestede remains sidelined.

This leaves just outcast Agbonlahor whom it would be inaccurate to describe as a goalscorer & Scott Sinclair who has badly lost his way since early promise last season.  The latter I would consider more an attacking midfielder in any event.

The clamour will be to suddenly find a youngster to step up from the academy, but as was pointed out the me earlier, when was the last time this happened?  Whilst there is no time like the present, I would tend to agree that hanging our youngsters out to dry in the current Villa squad perhaps isn’t the best way to blood the future.

The obvious failing was the boards refusal or inability to secure a striker in the January transfer window, but there’s nothing we can do about this now.  

Bizarrely, despite the sense of inevitability, a win Saturday would narrow things up sufficiently to give us a fighting chance.  In the absence of carrying a goal threat though, it’s difficult to see exactly how it might happen.

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If there is a saving grace then is is that Norwich are now becoming infamous for their ability to concede any multiple of goals.  We aren’t world beaters at the back, but we are better than before Christmas.

Our challenge is to find a modicum of creativity and hope that someone in the team will take charge of goalscoring.  We desperately need goals from anywhere, but we won’t do it persevering with awful set pieces and passing sideways across the halfway line.

It has long since passed kitchen sink time, we might as well go down all guns blazing…it can’t get much worse after-all.


Aston Villa (1) v (0) Norwich.

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