What a poor performance and result the other night was. The worst part about it all was that we know we can do better. The sad part about it was that it does seem very Aston Villa. That written, we pick ourselves up and we go again don't we. And today it's Wolves.
But I can't leave the other night there. Losing to the bottom of the table side when we played against 10 men for 30 minutes is shocking stuff and those that followed in the comments will know my view on this. But for those that didn't, here it comes.
The manager didn't send the players out to win. I'm not saying he sent them out to not lose either. I'm saying that it looked like we were missing something. Sure, we can point to Jack, but it was more than that. There was no purpose. And again, against the bottom of the table side. And again, against 10 men for 30 minutes.
It will change today. If we've seen anything this season it's that we're better at bouncing back and I'm sure the manager and the players weren't happy. I'd not be surprised if some of them were a little embarrassed by the performance. The manager can't allow another. And Barkley needs to start.
I don't know why Barkley comes in for stick. You don't need to run around like a headless chicken to be valuable. He is a quality player and without him we don't look as likely to create something. When you have that level of quality in the side, you don't drop them, you energise them. I expect to see him start today and I expect to see a different Aston Villa.
I hope that my first comment after the match starts will be that it looks like the manager has sent the team out to win.
Match facts from the BBC
- Aston Villa won the reverse fixture 1-0 in December and are looking to secure their first league double over Wolves since the 2003-04 season.
- However, Wolves are vying to earn consecutive away league victories against Villa for the first time since 1960.
- Wolves have kept a clean sheet in each of their past three Premier League matches at Villa Park.
- Villa have only won one of their six most recent home games in this fixture (D3, L2).
- They have an unrivalled win rate of 75% in Premier League matches played on Saturdays this season. Wolves are yet to win a league fixture in five attempts on a Saturday in 2020-21.
- Villa have failed to score more than once in any of their past seven games, only managing five goals in total.
- They have lost half of their 12 league matches since beating Crystal Palace on Boxing Day (W4, D2, L6).
- Nonetheless, a 13th Premier League victory of the season would be their best return since 2009-10.
- All but one of their 12 league wins this season has been earned with a clean sheet, but Villa have lost 10 of the 11 games in which they've conceded.
- Their solitary top-flight victory in the past nine away games came at Southampton last month (D3, L5).
- Wolves have opened the scoring in just one of their last 17 league matches, a 1-0 win against Leeds last month.
- Nuno Espirito Santo's side have recovered 13 points from losing positions, second only to Manchester United's 22.
- They have conceded 23 away goals in the Premier League this season, already two more than in the whole of 2019-20.
- Ruben Neves is one short of 100 Premier League appearances. He has scored five goals in 10 league games in 2021.
- Adama Traore, who made 10 top-flight appearances for Aston Villa in 2015-16, has gone 45 Premier League games without a goal.