Missed opportunity at Newcastle, Wolves today

Sorry about the lack of post directly after the Newcastle match, I got invited to another bar and I guess you can imagine what happened next. I did actually write this the morning after but thought better about publishing it, so I'm going through it to remove the things that will get me into trouble and I'm going to bolt on Wolves at the end.

And while some might be optimistic and say it looked better against Newcastle, those will be the same people that wanted Steve Bruce sacked. We played against a side that sit back and counter, that never take control of a game and we looked like the dominant side. Think about it.


Don't get me wrong, I think for us Aston Villa fans, it's nice to see something different but we still had less possession and in 90 minutes we managed two shots on target. Two shots on target against a side that like to sit back. Didn't anyone tell the players before kick off that we were going to spend a lot of time in their final third and to take shots if we could from anywhere?

But look, it's easy to write that after the match having watched it unfold. What would someone need to write before a match to try and demonstrate what you need to do to win a match?

Aha, we have Wolves today and it's horrible to write this, but we're probably going to lose. And it's not just because Wolves are competing for Champions League football but because we're not going to play against a side that is going to sit back and make us look like we're attacking, so we're going to end up sitting back and kicking long.

When I say kicking long, what I actually mean is playing that pass that is not really going to get there, it's a hopeful or 60/40 ball, that ball that could make it, not the one that is going to make it.

Today is the day when we need to have more accurate passes moving forward and we need to be quicker at getting those crosses into the box, when there are going to be less defenders in the box. It's a lot to ask for, but maybe something rubbed off after the Newcastle match. Maybe.

Yes, I've not woken up positive about today, I'm mostly hoping that the teams around us also lose their next match and we get to steal something the next time out or the time after that. I'm not convinced we're going down, but I sought of expect us to, I'm preparing for the worst, because chances of everyone else losing when we win are slim.

And it's wrong of me. I should be optimistic, but it's hard. It's got to the point where I actually need to see something happen for me to start believing we'll stay up this season and I think that's a bad place to be, but I don't think I can be blamed. I don't think anyone can be really blamed or that anyone should be. I think someone has to take responsibility, maybe more than one person, but I also think things can change.

And by change, I mean we can start to approach things differently next season. It's not supposed to be easy. I know that we can look at teams like Wolves and see what they are doing, but if you don't know how to communicate that, you've got to learn. And learning new things is hard.

I'll be back in just over an hour, but I hope I'm wrong about today.

Match facts from the BBC

Head-to-head

  • Villa are undefeated in the last four home meetings in all competitions, winning two and drawing two.
  • Wolves can win consecutive top-flight matches against Villa for the first time since 1962-63.

Aston Villa

  • Villa are without a win in seven league matches, drawing two and losing five.
  • Their only victory in the past 10 league fixtures came at home to Watford on 21 January.
  • Aston Villa have earned just two points from 15 league matches this season against the teams currently in the top half of the table.
  • They have kept just one clean sheet in 12 Premier League games.
  • Dean Smith's side have only scored two goals in their last five league fixtures.
  • Jack Grealish has failed to score in any of his last eight league appearances, and only provided one assist.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

  • Wolves are on a seven-match unbeaten Premier League run, winning four, drawing three and keeping six clean sheets.
  • They can equal the club Premier League record of three consecutive victories.
  • Wolves can win three successive top-flight away matches for the first time since a run of five from February to April 1980.
  • They can also keep four consecutive top-flight clean sheets for the first time since November 1981.
  • Their tally of 49 points is the club's best after 31 games of a Premier League season.
  • Raul Jimenez has scored 24 goals in all competitions this season, more than any other Premier League player.
  • He has scored four goals in his last five league appearances.