Travelling supporters barely had time to break the top off their pies before Villa conspired to concede inside 2 minutes at The Vitality Stadium.
An early blip? Unfortunately not. What played out over 90 minutes, after a hyped pre-season, ambitious club rhetoric and inflated season ticket prices, provides some serious cause for concern.Embed from Getty Images
With so much positivity and optimism going into the game, Villa were quite astonishingly flat. The first half produced barely a muster of a response to Bournemouth’s opener. Indeed, Scott Parker, who has been vocal at his clubs lack of investment, likely couldn’t believe his good fortune at just how poor Villa were.
If the first half proved to be a non-event from a Villa perspective, at least half-time offered the respite of a rethink or at least a shake-up tactically. Concerningly little changed after the restart, with Villa rarely offering anything that resembled a cohesive attacking threat.
As glaring as the impotent attack, was our vulnerability at the back. If the amateurish defending from a corner for the hosts first goal hadn’t been bad enough, Bournemouth’s second was crafted with relative ease, sealing all three points. There were 16 minutes after this in which there was rarely any urgency, little in the way of flair or opportunities to suggest any fightback might be mounted.
It was a surreal display, with Gerrard mostly observed slumped in his dugout seat, with a deep frown embedded upon his face.
Whilst something was seriously amiss on the field, Gerrard’s awkward off-field remarks and actions raise an eyebrow too. The former Rangers boss looked ill-at-ease with press questions in relation to Coutinho’s anonymity, Morgan Sanson’s total absence from the matchday squad and on Mings remarked the defender needed to “look me in the eye and show me that he’s ready to play”.
We are only one game into the season, and it’s just one disappointing result. However, it was so unbelievably poor that it has stopped many, including this blog, in their tracks. Villa and Gerrard have a week before the visit of Everton to B6, where both improvement and a home win will be the minimum expectation to correct what was an abysmal curtain raiser on the south coast.