This isn't me moaning although some will read it like it is. I'm actually happy with the season so far and if it ended tomorrow, I'd be more than satisfied. But I can't not comment after the last two performances.
You see, a few minutes into the game yesterday I left a comment that we were playing not to lose and a minute or two into the second half, I left another comment that we looked like we wanted to approach this half differently.
You could say that it's an over simplification, to write we came out to not lose but in the first half yesterday, we didn't look like we wanted to win. We sat back and hit long. We sat back to try and stop them and we hit long because there was no options when we got the ball because Leicester wanted it more than us.
We got what we deserved yesterday and we were fortunate against Brighton. And now the gap is starting to widen.
Mind the gap
The thing is, it's down to the manager and the second half confirms this for us. And it baffles me that we approach games differently so often. And this isn't new or a revelation, I've written it a few times before. And I don't care what anyone says because the second half showed us more than we can go out and try to win.
It showed us that if the manager wants them to go out and to win, they will do that. And because it confirmed that, it also confirmed that the manager didn't send them out to do that in the first half. That or he's not very good at communicating to his players and that's a critical skill a manager needs, so I'll assume it's not that.
So Dean Smith has to take responsibility and change things. We've got problems if this continues because the gap between the sides at the top and the sides in the middle is going to get wider. Now, that might not be too bad and I've written above if the season ended now, I'd be satisfied, but we've got an opportunity at the moment and sadly, the season isn't ending right now.
And at this moment, we're top of the middle group and if we won our two games in hand, we'd be very much in the top group. But it's winning those two in hand that not many people would put money on us doing at the moment. And to put things into context, if we lose to Leeds at the weekend, they'll be one point behind us.
Things are close in this middle group and while it's starting to feel like this is where we deserve to be, there is an opportunity to get us out of it, but it does mean winning one of the games in hand and not losing the other. We can do this, but not if go out like we did yesterday again this season.
I think I speak for most Aston Villa fans when I write we'd take defeat, if we looked like we wanted to win but losing like we did yesterday is hard to swallow because we didn't really want to win from kick off. We must do better and it comes down to Dean Smith.