You’d think we should be past this, but it’s the first home match of the season and supporters are already on edge. A poor 0-2 defeat away to newly promoted Bournemouth will do that. I can’t pretend I have a lot to say that hasn’t already been said. Bottom line, Villa desperately need a win. That tends to be the case when there’s no feel-good factor and the team’s run of form under a new manager mirrors Gary Neville’s at Valencia. Villa basically seem to have stalled out.
Needless to say, Villa’s 0-2 setback triggered a sort of meltdown. What’s the problem? For one, Villa aren’t playing to their strengths.
And here we are. After what seemed one of the shortest off-seasons in memory, football and Villa are back. Well, the Premier League was back yesterday because TV, but you know what I mean. It’s Bournemouth away to open for us, and Gerrard’s team sheet has a couple surprises: No Mings or Watkins in the starting XI for chapter one of 38.
Hard to believe a new season is upon us once again, but here it is. And I’m guessing no one quite knows what to make of Villa’s undefeated summer. I know I don’t. The modest incomings will make Villa better, but I still question the formation, Coutinho and Ings, and whether it plays to our weaknesses rather than strengths.
I won’t say I was thrilled by the season or even satisfied. Far from it. But. I do think Villa have a real chance to make some telling strides this summer, and that the side will ultimately be better and deeper. And as Gerrard has seemingly shown a little more tactical flexibility down the stretch, I’m hopeful that we can see that depth used effectively.