As I sat down in the lower Holte on a beautiful day in B6, I put my worries about the team to one side and got prepared to do what we all do: support the boys on the pitch. Sadly my worries could only be suppressed for so long as it became clear we were rudderless and I lay the blame for that firmly at Tim Sherwood’s door.
The players obviously have to take their share of the blame for a lifeless defeat but something troubled me on Saturday. It seemed like none of them really knew what the system or tactics were.
We had seemingly pushed Gil and Grealish into unfavoured wide positions and then played two sitting midfielders. We played sideways, we played backwards and on occasion we would float in an aimless ball .. particularly for Gestede in second half. Playing everything in front of Premier League opposition at a pace akin to that walking football advert on the tele is unlikely to yield results.
Looking at the bench
So Tim could turn to the bench to change things. Sinclair, our only consistent goal scorer this season was subbed off for Gestede who I think by now must be running out of chances, he simply cannot get into a game. Gil was everywhere for us, so naturally he had to come off too. Sanchez was winning balls and generally doing his job, so of course, he came off.
I cannot fathom the thinking of Sherwood sometimes, it is now a strong recurring theme of replacing players that seem to be doing well. You can only get away with doing that if results then go your way. At Palace, Leicester and against WBA it’s not happened.
So we know we like to pass sideways and backwards on the pitch but that to me is Villa in a nutshell. We’ve gone sideways not forward under Sherwood. We are still struggling to score, we play turgid football at home, have a leaky defence, we float long balls up to target men and we’re at the foot of the table. Sound familiar?
I really want Sherwood to turn it around but he’s going to need to show signs of improvement soon to keep fans on side. Do we have any matches coming up that could galvanise the support? Ah yes Tim, see you at 7:45pm in B6 tomorrow.