With Sawiris and Edens in town to watch, Villa battled against Chelsea, and on another day would’ve had a goal or two for their troubles. Perhaps they wouldn’t have either made or been punished for the two decisive errors. Could’ve had a result. Alas, ’twas not be. But losing to Chelsea was never the marker by which Gerrard’s body of work is going to be judged.
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.
Been away on business for a week, and I guess the big news has been the departure of Michael Beale and the finalizing of Diego Carlos. Oh, and a welcome to Robin Olsen, too, and a farewell to Matt Targett.
Like Kamara, I’ve no idea how Carlos will do. We know he was highly valued and sought after, like Kamara, and he looks rather strong and no-nonsense. Will hopefully bring a little of that menace we’ve lacked. We’ve all probably seen the various graphics illustrating his game, and drawn our own conclusions. On paper, anyway, it looks to be smart, quick business so far.
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.
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.