Here we are largely talking about Steven Gerrard, as one of the game’s bright managerial talents comes to Villa Park running Chelsea rather than Brighton. We’ve a good record against Potter, but that’s largely down to Brighton’s inability to score for fun. Now he’s got a better squad all-round and it’s Villa that have this certain inability to score for fun.

Speculation naturally centers around Gerrard, and what Sawiris’ and Edens’ presence means. In this context, Douglas Luiz’s new contract can be viewed as intriguing and surprising. Will it just get Villa more money in January or the summer? Has he heard things? Was he always going to sign if we hit the right number?

While results have improved of late, the football hasn’t, and we’ve been playing the easiest run we could’ve hoped for. Chelsea will be a reality check.

I’ve no doubt NSWE would love not to have to sack SG, pay compensation and go hire someone else at this moment. They thought they’d done that kind of shock surgery same time last year. But sacking SG is now firmly part of the conversation. And he’s gone and selected a lineup that will have many scratching their heads. Changing round a bunch of players that don’t fit the system isn’t going to address the fact the system doesn’t suit the talent on hand.

Will it work anyway? Does this game determine his future? Will there be a large vegetable unveiled to sway NSWE’s reading of the crowd? Are the players playing to save him or just for their pride?

Over to you.

Comments 72

  1. Well, a very interesting half. Couple brilliant saves from Kepa and the crossbar. Should at least be level.

    Shame for Mings…I think the deflection on the cross put spin on it. Cock up, yes, but not as straightforward a ball as one might think.

    But Villa were aggressive, responded well.

  2. Didn’t take the darkened room,mings it’s why he is not going to world Cup,ings that’s a miss not a great save only place keeper could save it,ref should been red for Chilwell,mcginn another for me poor,his decision making is always wrong taking a shot when ings had tap in,ramsay Bailey impressive, Luis tidy,Watkins working hard but no end product surely beundi would have been better bet
    Still want Gérard out

  3. Frem,

    I’m by no means a Gerrard fan at this point. But the team are battling and they did create chances.

    Don’t think Chelsea have maybe been at their best, but Villa aren’t giving them any ground. And they should’ve had more freedom to play after being gifted a lead.

  4. JG,

    Given the flight and Ings’ extension to get there, don’t think he really could’ve placed it anywhere else.

    Should’ve been a red for Chilwell, yes.

    If they can keep up the intensity, there’s still something in it, depending on how changes influence the game.

    Still not a Gerrard fan, but they are playing hard.

  5. Ings with a perfect chance to equalise, but heads it straight so the keeper can save it. If he heads it downwards, keeper has no chance. So many chances created, but not playing as team. Ings could have crossed for a tap in for Watkins as well. These boys could just be so good with a little more understanding and teamsmanship.
    Archer should have started over Ings, and we may have been in a better position. Buendia for Mcginn, and apart from that we may have been ok, apart from Mings moment of madness!

    SG may still get a result out of this one, if he does not cock up his substitutes.

  6. Pp
    You put on 2 players in coutinho and beundi who need runners and you take Bailey and ramsay off clueless the owners can’t afford to let purslow project run any longer,4 wins out of 21 tells its own story

  7. It’s tough…I mean really, the difference was Mount being there to pounce on Mings’ miscue, and Martinez getting wrong-footed on the free kick. You’d see him save that most days.

    Subs? Yeah, not much sense.

    But going in, I think we didn’t necessarily expect to win, and we’d probably done enough to get a result.

    Again not a fan of SG, so it’s either what the owners were looking for to give him the hook, or the fact we could’ve gotten something from it maybe keeps him alive.

    But he should be getting more out of the side, overall.

  8. The amazing thing is, we actually played well for some periods of the game!
    McGinn should have been replaced on 60 minutes while we were still in the game, with Buendia or Coutinho.

  9. Comment on why are we crossing with Ings and Watkins. If we get those in space, they’re much more likely to score.

    As it is, we’re very close to goal and often almost in a line instead of being more staggered. Part of why I don’t like this formation.

    Can we upgrade certain players? Sure. Every team upgrades. But if you’re working with what you’ve got, SG could be approaching it differently.

  10. The team when it was named drew scorn from evey villa media I seen
    Mcginn and watkins both need dropping for there sake as well as teams
    The nonsense of Gérard 3 man midfield hasn’t worked in 36 games so it’s not going to work now,starting 2 strikers leaves no option on bench,I am really fed up at this stage weekends ruined by results and performances even today chelsea made changes at half time what did Gérard do nothing, till it was too late and even then it was like watching Bruce all over,same players used same players left sitting on bench its criminal

  11. General observation:

    A lot of our players don’t have a great first touch, aren’t great receiving in congested/contested areas.

    A lot want to take an extra touch, don’t take the clear obvious option first time. This obviously slows the pace of play. Grealish made up for this by carrying and beating men.

    Luiz has his moments, Phil certainly can be a one-touch player, but he seems way too hesitant and up in his head, atm, and Buendia is the only one looking to play quick, one-touch ball.

    So, City-style possession is beyond us.

    Beyond that, I see some patterns that look drilled, but often it seems to be players having to make it up as they go along. A lot don’t seem to be expecting certain balls or know where they’re going with it next. The exception there seems to be the back ball to trailing fullbacks, some of the switches.

    All of which means we still really are a side that, if we’re playing with Watkins, we want him in space centrally, angling in toward goal from the channel. With Ings, he’s obviously a more close-in poacher. But we do want it on the ground more, and the ‘crosses’ should defo be switched up to more cut-back passes, way I see it.

  12. Only just caught up on the game as we were out today and my first comment is that for the first time I’m going to call for free to be sacked. This is supposed to be a Villa fans site isn’t it and I refuse too believe that any villa fan can ever want to see their team lose. I know I couldn’t.

  13. I actually think it would be harsh to sack Gerrard after that game and like JC I am absolutely no fan of his. I didn’t want him from the start, I’ve said many times how much I hate his man management and given examples. I’ve many times commented on his apparent limitations in team style of play and coaching. . . . .and yet. . . before today we were 4 games unbeaten and today, I thought we were better than Chelsea for much of the game.
    The players were competing hard, they were winning 50:50 balls, they were creating chances, and were desperately unlucky not to score.
    On top of that Mings gave away a goal with a poor header, an area in which he is usually rock solid and Martinez let in a goal that he really shouldn’t have done. . . .and he is one of the top shot stoppers in the league.
    There have been signs of a turnaround in form over the past 4 games and today I thought we took another step forwards.
    Yes I still feel sick to the stomach that we’ve lost and am fed up with this squad hovering around the bottom instead of competing for top 8, but I’m trying hard to be dispassionate and objective too.

  14. we were breaking faster instead of fanning around at the back and waiting for the opposition to dig in at the back. . . . . there are signs that Gerrard is continuing to learn.

  15. Gave it to them on a silver platter. Gift wrapped, with a bow, Christmas cracker and greetings card. Chelsea never got out of first gear. They won’t get an easier 3 points this season.

  16. It’s been a while since we’ve had a Tyro brain fart but we got one today. It sucked the atmosphere clean out of VP. Then Martinez decides to make Mount look like Messi. Don’t often comment negatively on Martinez but of late he’s been doing my head in. The slow, slow, slower approach always starts from him at the back. Whatever happened to a quick release?

  17. People will rightly point to an improved performance, but I’m left asking where the next fucking goal is coming from. If Ings, Watkins, Bailey can’t score from today’s chances, we’re duck soup.

  18. I’m becoming more downbeat by the game. There doesn’t seem to be much urgency from our midfield and defence. Way to many nothing passes. We’re in the entertainment business. Goal mouth action is exciting. We need to attack at pace. Today we went from the edge of the opposition penalty area all the way back to Martinez. It makes my head explode.

  19. Plug, we’re all frustrated and feeling a bit sick about today’s result (well . .all Villa fans anyway) but you must have felt that we showed some fight today?
    The main positive I took from today is not only that we showed real improvement, but that ‘IF’ the owners do decide to appoint a new manager, we’ve been reminded today that he will have a very decent squad to work with and hopefully, he’ll have what it takes to bring out the best in them

  20. Feel gutted for Mings. He’s been so solid for us and then makes a key mistake when Southgate is watching. If I was him I know I’d struggle to sleep tonight. He seems mentally strong though and I reckon he’ll bounce back . . . .again.
    Credit to Gerrard for his post match comments about him too. Seems to have said exactly the right things. Is he finally getting the hang of this, and if he is, will it be in time?

  21. I hope Gerrard gets the Fulham game so that we can see if today’s team effort is a sign that they can now kick on and make sustained and real improvement.
    With him and the squad having gone through such tough times, if they can win well against Fulham I reckon the confidence could start to flow and a strong team spirit could come out of it.

  22. r0bb0,

    I do admire the optimism/hope. We could well have gotten something today. Effort and chances were there.

    But seems like too little too late. Apart from compo, and who will realistically come, I don’t know that I’d have much trouble pulling the plug. Been a year, abysmal PPG, far too few wins, big swing and a miss on Phil, and most troubling for me, as everyone knows, is the insistence on playing 4-3-3 and still trying to figure out who should feature.

    I can’t imagine Poch wouldn’t get a better tune out of them. Would he come?

  23. Just watching Match of the day and if you didn’t already know it then today Bamford showed again that he is a pathetic excuse for a human being. . . . What a cheating plonker he is

  24. Just saw this:

    “Barring 2015-2016, this is Aston Villa’s worst start to a season points-wise in Premier League history (9) after 10 games have been played.”

    And as easy a start as we could’ve asked for.

    Maybe Carlos is a big miss, was never convinced that was a priority. Assuming Kamara is. Digne, attacking-wise, maybe.

  25. JC, I too feel in my guts that Poch would get this squad clicking quite quickly . . . . however, I do feel that we’re starting to see signs of improvement and seeing the players starting to put in a proper shift for the manager.
    As I said before, I’d like to see how we do against Fulham before pulling the plug.
    We were much the better team against an in form Chelsea today and were unlucky to lose.
    That surely has to count for something?

  26. In other news. . . . we have a bat flying around the living room, distracting me from watching the football (isn’t that how global pandemics start?)

  27. First goal today chelsea ran threw our midfield without as much as a tackle,its bordering ridiculous that sanson hasn’t got a run out ,mcginn subbed for 6th time this season and as it showed in highlights mcginn has no brain
    For me we need a change in management Gérard has worn them down criticism on a daily interview, wears them down eventually
    Me I would go for this side for Fulham
    Cash young mingskonsa
    Luis marv/sanson
    Bailey beundi ramsay
    Gerard won’t tho

  28. It was probably Chelsea’s poorest performance of the season so far. Yet they won without breaking sweat. This is why we looked good, the opposition was poor.

    If Gerrard is still there for the Fulham game, I expect we will be back to the normal static rubbish when faced by a team that will certainly put in more effort.

  29. Normal service from villa letting fans down as usual,how does a 2 nil defeat at home show Gérard is getting it right,yesterday Potter made 2 changes at half time completely took the game away from us yet Gérard waited till we were 2 dow and even the subs were hilarious
    Every stat coming out is now horrendous, 2 wins from last q8 v current premier league sides,11 points,13 goals,21 games for coutinho what is ut 1 goal,the players need a new voice to lift them a few need a rest ,wait to we have to play sides in form not like 8 out 10 we have played,first goal for West ham,Mount,forest had lost 5 in a row,Leeds played with 10 men Bournemouth lost next 3,

  30. XG was the highest of the season 2.45 xg and still we couldn’t score, it was much higher than Chelsea’s. We had 2.85 xg when we beat Saints 4-0 and 2.33 xg when we beat Norwich 2-0 and That’s it. We played really well against Chelsea just before smith got binned and lost 3-0 maybe its an omen.

  31. Plug and JG, Chelsea may not have been at their best but there’s pretty common consensus that Villa were much the better side in the first half and more than held their own in the second.
    I know it doesn’t fit with the “Gerrard out’ narrative and I know I’m well in the minority of Villa fans now wanting him to have a little more time. We were better yesterday but one swallow doesn’t make a summer and it’ll need at least 4 points against Fulham and Brentford to show that some sort of change is genuinely taking place.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t given the time, and if a manager of the quality of Poch takes over then you wouldn’t find me crying into my beer but if he IS given the time and we get at least those 4 points, then just 1 loss and 10 points out of our last 7 games would be showing some sort of steady progression at least.

  32. Mark, yes, our XG was very good yesterday and it felt that way. We were breaking much more quickly (thank goodness) and that was giving our attackers a bit more space. I’d like to see more through balls rather than crosses but the fact is that we were at last creating good chances and their keeper had to pull off some saves that he had no right to, in order to keep us out.

  33. I’m in the “give him more time “ camp
    Before the Chelsea match I felt the squad weren’t doing it for him but I thought they had a go yesterday and caused Chelsea problems.. resulting in Graham Potter making the changes he did at half time, even though his side were winning
    I don’t think we’re far away but obviously if he keeps losing he’ll go
    Big change from me …give him time

  34. This xg is crap to me,our chances yesterday
    Was baileys header first or Luis backpass afterthat we had mcginn chance he should have scored instead an easy save for keeper,ramsay followed it up with for the best save of match from keeper,ings had a brilliant chance where he headed straight at keeper,not down or to corner straight at him,awful miss,he then had another chance that he fluffed his shot never seen a professional footballer panting as much,we then had mcginn taking a shot from an impossible angle when ings yards away had tap in,2nd half a header from Watkins is all I can remember, mind you I was going through motions watching at that stage
    Why will Gérard be able to turn around v Fulham and Brentford

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