Villa’s Season: A Familiar End and a New Beginning

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.

Wolves vs. Aston Villa: The Run-in Starts

If anyone were to ask what the most significant fixture of this season was, pretty sure a number of us would point to Villa’s collapse in the reverse fixture in October. So, in some ways, sitting a place and 10 points behind Wolves, who blew a 2-0 lead themselves against Leeds to lose 3-2 in their last outing, this match might be some kind of a measuring stick. Might mean nothing.

But with seven left to play and five clubs level or within three points of Villa, the goal of a top-half finish ought to lend some importance to the outcome.

Leeds vs Aston Villa: Desperation versus Progress

Given Leeds’ precarious position, Bielsa’s demise comes as no real surprise and only made sense. And it will no doubt have a heavy influence on tonight’s game. Leeds desperately need something, and Jesse Marsch is convinced they’ll see the same Villa set-up that beat Brighton and Southampton. Can’t say I disagree.

His key to the game is bottling up Coutinho, of course, but that’s easier said than done if he’s on song and carries its own risks if it takes more than one player. It also means everyone else needs to help create space and options then do something with it.

Gerrard’s Villa Honeymoon Comes to a Familiar End

Lots of frustration and anger after Sunday’s stinker, and fingers are pointing everywhere, which will happen. Most are singling out the players, and some have gone a bit further, logically, saying the performance at St. Jame’s Park would’ve gotten Smith sacked.

I was more hopeful of a glorious charge, didn’t want to be back here so quickly. Perhaps a shake-up will help in the short term. Whatever, if it gets us results, I’m all for it. If Gerrard is indeed ruthless, there will be lots of changes come summer. But one hopes that solves the problems, rather than this being a failure of system and evidence of obstinacy.