Steve Bruce’s post match word’s hardly inspire confidence, do they?
“We thought there were shoots of recovery but there’s been too many bad performances now.”
“We’re simply not good enough.”
The season and hopes of a turnaround have stalled badly in recent weeks.
If Villa are unable to beat Wolves and Cardiff, then we should sooner be be looking over our shoulder, as harbouring aspirations of promotion.
SIMPLY NOT GOOD ENOUGH
Bruce must watch in bafflement at the lack of creativity, innovation and flair. The displays are stagnant, dismal and are getting worse.
Equally, of what we do create, only Villa could make a predatory and proven Championship striker like McCormack look like a pub player.
McCormack was guilty of a bad headed miss, but otherwise fed off scraps.
Our midfield, well, it might as well not be on the pitch most of the time.
Aside from the marauding of Jedinak, who has neither the pace or stamina to last, Bacuna and Tshibola looked ill-equipped for changing a game or protecting the defence.
The amount of times that possession was gifted away or all three midfielders were ghosted past was alarming.
The defence was offered little or no protection; Hutton tried hard, Elphick had one of his better games in a Villa shirt and Chester largely impressed again. But we do look vulnerable. The manner of the conceded goal stands as evidence of that.
Jordan Amavi, looked every bit the type of playing mulling a move away from Villa Park. It was another stinker from him, both at the back and going forward. There’s a big decision to be made on Amavi on current form.
The Agbonlahor experiment has also got to be brought to an end.
We are picking a striker, who offers us virtually next to nothing. And, without wanting to state the glaringly obvious, doesn’t score goals or threaten in any way.
Gabby leading the line and is seriously our attempt at winning football matches? Pull the other one.
Whilst it’s hard to profess that Hepburn-Murphy is the answer, it makes no rational sense for him not to be even considered given the amateurish alternative.
To rule RHM out completely, just makes the club look foolish. We are discounting him in favour of the likes of Agbonlahor; just look at his disciplinary track record for comparison.
The subs were ineffective and too late to affect the game.
Green looked handy, making direct runs down the line and feeding at least one ball better than anything we’d managed all afternoon.
Grealish cut a desperate figure. But then his appearance late on was just that, a desperate final roll of the dice in the hopes of dragging a goal out of nothing as against Wigan.
We were dreadful.
Bruce is working with a miss-match group for sure, richly assembled, with a couple of wannabes and senior players who are long past their best.
I don’t think he’s helping himself though.
The formation was negative, likely as a result of his awareness that Wolves would out-pass us and out-think our midfield. A damning indictment against a side that is scrabbling around in the bottom third of the league, armed with one of the most obtuse managers at the helm.
What is alarming is the apparent blindness that the club has arrived at in January.
Selling Gestede makes sense, but only if you have a replacement. Signing Kodjia makes sense, but only if you make provision for both him and Jordan Ayew going to the African Cup of Nations.
And let’s not even discuss our woeful lack of midfield options. The need for wholesale change doesn’t overstate the problem.
It’s January the 15th and despite our claims to want to be promoted, we’ve been dragging our feet rather than being decisive and getting the players we need.
Instead, we’re wasting time trying to rehabilitate the likes of Gabby.
Financial prudence in important, but it must be balanced against sitting idly by, allowing our known problems worsen a disappointing season.
Our year needn’t be a write off, but it will be mostly through our own ineptitude if we fail to even threaten the playoffs.
The result of these combined failings, are results like yesterday.
It goes without saying that it needs to be rectified; urgently.