Barnsley: 89th minute equaliser, 1 win in 10, 11 pts lost from winning positions. Woeful. The facts.

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If it is beginning to feel all too familiar, or that The Villa Underground has become a broken record, well, then you wouldn’t be far wrong.

It’s also becoming an undeniable fact that the tactical ability of Roberto Di Matteo is fast becoming a standing joke.

Substituting a winger and bringing on Gestede against Newcastle?

Removing a midfielder for a forward whilst comfortable at Barnsley?

It’s Sherwood-esque in terms of incompetence.

A damning, but worryingly accurate indictment.

The facts:

  • 1 win in 10.
  • 11 points dropped from winning positions.
  • Sam Allardyce wasn’t even Sunderland boss the last time Villa won away.
  • Some supporters even want Sherwood back (*take a long hard look at yourselves).
  • Goals conceded: 85th, 86th, 87th, 88th & 89th.
  • 2 points from bottom 3.
  • 12 points adrift from the league leaders Norwich.

Game in brief:

The first half was a forgettable affair.  

Villa were comfortable but only really got on top around the hour mark.

Kodjia was lively & Grealish featured for the full 90 minutes having been dropped by the club following late night antics last week.

Ayew opened his account for the season (1 goal in 10) with a neat finish at the near post:

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However Villa never killed the game off.  Surprise, surprise.

In awfully predictable fashion, the game wore on and the conceding of a late corner invited the inevitable melt-down.

With some dubious goalkeeping from Italian youngster Pierluigi Gollini (yes…again) the hosts drew level in the 89th minute.

It’s a tiresome, recurring tale of woe that really needs to be ended.

For all of the talk of the team gelling, allowing time and sitting idly by whilst another season slips away, seems to reflect how apathetic we have become.

This may be a transitional season, but it is not an excuse to flirt with the lower reaches of The Championship.  Especially when the errors are both glaring and correctable.

Whilst nobody expected Villa to be world-beaters this term, there was justified expectation following the injection of much needed funds in new faces.  Those faces included proven leaders and firepower to reinvigorate the team.

However, tactically, we are an absolute shambles.

A potent and dangerous strike-force is nullified by a lack of settled creativity in the side.  We have no clear plan to unleash our strikers to the best effect.

Our midfield looks unfit, either physically or for purpose.  The covering squad depth of Westwood and Gardner is also a farce.

Defensively we look decidedly ropey.  Bacuna a makeshift right back and a goalkeeper who makes errors as a matter of routine.  Our new Captain, committed as he may be, also looks frighteningly inconsistent.

Roberto Di Matteo’s tenure at Villa remains in its infancy, but he could be in for a shock if all three points aren’t secured against Preston this coming weekend. 

What we have seen to date is unacceptable.

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