It is hard to excited about Aston Villa right now. The love between the fans are the club we experienced during the reign of Dean Smith seems to be a distant memory now.
Boring predictable football, rising ticket prices, I could go on. All the hard work that Smith seemed to do during his tenure as Villa boss seems to have been wiped away in 12 months under current manager Steven Gerrard.
Some Villa fans were very excited when the former Rangers boss was named manager. I must admit, I was a little skeptical purely because I felt that the title was won when Celtic was in self-explode mode. Football snob? Maybe but nonetheless, I was prepared to give the manager a chance.
Gerrard, for the most, speaks very well about football, and there aren’t too many things he says that I actually disagree with. The issue we have is, what he says and what we witness in a matchday are two completely different things.
Villa struggles against 10-man Leeds
A trip to Elland Road was never likely to be easy. The loss of Boubacar Kamara didn’t help either as Douglas Luiz came into the midfield to play alongside Jacob Ramsey and John McGinn. Ludwig Augustinsson replaced the injured Lucas Digne in the only other change following the dull 1-0 win over Southampton before the international break.
It was a scrappy start with both sides struggling to find any rhythm. In fairness to Leeds, their game against Manchester United before the international break was postponed so they haven’t played competitively since September 3.
Villa probably had the better of the first-half chances when Ollie Watkins met a Leon Bailey cross but probably should have left it for McGinn who arrived late into the box.
Watkins then forced the first real save of the match but Illan Meslier was equal to the effort.
The home side did have their own chances also, Luiz Sinisterra was a contact threat, and when he drilled in a cross that just evaded Rodrigo. The latter also had another effort but it went just wide of Emi Martinez’s goal.
Gerrard’s men probably should have taken the lead, straight after the restart. Bailey crossed from the right and Phillipe Coutinho’s acrobatic volley was denied by the woodwork. Somehow Watkins missed the rebound putting it wide of the post.
Leeds were soon reduced to 10 men when Sinisterra was shown a second yellow card for stupidly blocking an early free-kick taken by Luiz.
The home side moved and changed their system with 5 in defense. Villa struggled to break them down with their slow approach and lack of ideas despite the attacking threat at their disposal.
A real golden chance to pick up the first three points on the road this season and build on the four points we have picked up against Manchester City and Southampton.
I still hope that Gerrard proves me wrong but it’s very hard to see how he does going forward. Wolves sacked their manager for a similar record. Villa fans want results but they also want to be entertained and right now, they arent getting either.
Next up for Villa is Nottingham Forest next Monday night.