Saturday brought with it my first away trip of the season. I went off to Anfield feeling oddly confident that we would at least run Liverpool close. Aston Villa failed me again: the performance was tepid at best.
If the Villa boys had gone there and lost 3-2 after a battling performance against a top Liverpool side, I would have felt fine. However, the fact is that we lost to a Liverpool side devoid of confidence, that was defensively brittle and missing a lot of the club’s top players.
Conceding so early on set the tone for the afternoon. The Villans were second to almost every ball, allowing the opposition far too much space to pick a pass and backing off so deep that it looked like they were trying to climb into the Kop!
Once half-time came, I assumed Sherwood would change things, as anybody who has ever watched a football match could tell that what his Villa side was trying to do wasn’t working. But no… The travelling fans, who were as excellent as ever, had to wait until the Villans were two behind before Sherwood sprang into life – and it is debatable whether he made the right changes. Bringing Veretout and Adama on was sensible but how Westwood was allowed to remain on the field baffles me and Lescott, too slow, too pedestrian and careless in possession, was terrible all game.
I am fed up of Aston Villa Football Club being a laughing stock. The club is like the fourth emergency service: if you’re worried about your teams and games against Aston Villa are on the horizon then fear not!
Sherwood still has my backing but some of his talk needs to be converted into points and I fully understand why some fans are starting to turn on the boss. He needs to shape up tactically – and fast. The argument has been made that we are not being beaten convincingly but an apple is a apple and a defeat is a defeat, regardless of whether it’s by five goals or because of a dodgy deflection.
Aston Villa Football Club, as it stands, is in massive trouble. Unless the club can dig itself out the bottom three in the next few weeks the board may very well have to act this side of Christmas to prevent a slide into oblivion becoming inevitable. The talent is certainly there but are the tactics? Let’s see…
Up the Villa!