Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Could Villa Have Done Better This Season?

Could Villa Have Done Better This Season?

Well, could we have done better?

I suppose, given the group of players that we have at the moment the answer must be a resounding 'No'. In truth we have probably done better than could reasonably be expected, given our starting point,
namely, that for most of last season we did not have a team.

Sadly, it can be seriously argued that, on many occasions this season, we have not fielded a football team, per se. What we have done is to field a group of talented footballers and asked some of them, at times about 40% of those on the field at any one time, to play out of position and not in their natural role.

One can get away with this sort of tactic once it a while, but to do it week after week is, ultimately, to invite a run of defeats. Once our opponents realise that there are endemic weaknesses in our 'team' you can guarantee that those weaknesses will be exploited (It took half a season to identify Hull's endemic weaknesses which were then exploited, look at what has happened since).

I will be the first to admit that I am no football strategist, in fact my game of choice as a young man was Rugby, but I do understand management and management principles. However, it is my contention, that
regardless, management rules still apply. To crudely illustrate the point, you don't ask a plumber to build an ornamental brick wall or a carpenter to fit your central heating - you hire a specialist.

In management there is what is known as The Belbin Team Inventory; a concept that defines nine different roles within a team (anyone interested can look it up on Wikipedia) which, without too much imagination can be applied to the roles in a football team; for example, Specialist - Goalkeeper; Completer Finisher - Striker; Plant - Play Maker to name but a few. What Belbin states is that to be really effective a team must have people who can naturally fit in to each and every one of the nine roles.

When a manager consistently asks and expects footballers to play out of position or in a role that is not their natural game, then it can be inviting trouble. For example, after asking Stillian Petrov to change
his role in the team and adapt his game accordingly, it took him, a brilliant natural footballer, over twelve months to become really effective.

Sadly, that is what has happened to Villa during this last season. Too often and persistently we played games, in the most competitive league in the world with a number of the players being asked to perform in roles that were not their best or natural ones. Because modern Premier League football is played at such a pace, the instinctive/programmed reactions of the players are vitally important. When someone is being played out of position or even in a different role that split second of hesitation before making a move can be fatal and that happened to us too many times this year. The really great footballers don't think, they just 'do'.

Is it really any wonder that our defence has leaked so many goals? I seriously don't think so, if fact I rather expected it. Am I criticising our illustrious leader? To be honest I don't think so. I genuinely believe that he is one of the very best football managers extant at the moment. He is an good tactician and people manager and his motivational skills are exceptional. I certainly would not like to see him go, I believe that he can take us into the Champions League if not the League title.

What I would like during this transfer window is that MON and his team will bring in some new players that will allow us for every game to field a team in the full sense of the word with players and their back ups, in their natural positions and who are capable of filling the roles within the team as outlined by Belbin.

If that happens we will be playing Champions League next year.

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football



For the very latest Premier League odds

For massive weekly jackpots - Play the Football Pools Online




Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Obediah
Date:Friday May 22 2009
Time: 10:39AM

Best of Vital Network

Comments

0
It looks to me like the Europa Cup games stretched the Villa squad too thinly. The Premiership is the important competition. Almost broke the Top 4 this season Villains...
Sindbad
22/05/2009 11:08:00
0
It looks to me like the Europa Cup games stretched the Villa squad too thinly. The Premiership is the important competition. Almost broke the Top 4 this season Villains...
Sindbad
22/05/2009 11:08:00
0
You had a great season to be fair compared to recent ones, probably just needed a slightly bigger squad to make up for the fatigue setting in around January when your main players ran out of steam.Laursen was a big loss andCarew was missed i think,he's been scoring for fun since he came back,and maybe the money spent on Heskey could have gone elsewhere in the window?Be interesting to see how you spend over the summer,and i think the competition for the top 6 places will be a lot stronger next season.
CoxintheBox
22/05/2009 11:09:00
0
You had a great season to be fair compared to recent ones, probably just needed a slightly bigger squad to make up for the fatigue setting in around January when your main players ran out of steam.Laursen was a big loss andCarew was missed i think,he's been scoring for fun since he came back,and maybe the money spent on Heskey could have gone elsewhere in the window?Be interesting to see how you spend over the summer,and i think the competition for the top 6 places will be a lot stronger next season.
CoxintheBox
22/05/2009 11:09:00
0
You are spot on with this. It is really intersting to hear some of the opposition tactics discussed then changed by KO because it is easy to see our weaknesses. For example, I travelled to the Boro game last week with a Boro supporting mate, on their radio station it was said that Downing would be on the right and Johnson on the left. As soon as Boro saw our team with Milner at right-back this was changed, Downing went left and he tore us apart until he got injured. Same happened with Ronaldo when NRC was at RB, fortunatley NRC had a cracking game. What I am trying to say is that our 1st XI based on our position is much better than XI of our best players put whereever. When Ashley went off on Saturday NRC slotted in to RW - AHEAD of Milner!!??!!
deano.avfc
22/05/2009 12:02:00
0
You are spot on with this. It is really intersting to hear some of the opposition tactics discussed then changed by KO because it is easy to see our weaknesses. For example, I travelled to the Boro game last week with a Boro supporting mate, on their radio station it was said that Downing would be on the right and Johnson on the left. As soon as Boro saw our team with Milner at right-back this was changed, Downing went left and he tore us apart until he got injured. Same happened with Ronaldo when NRC was at RB, fortunatley NRC had a cracking game. What I am trying to say is that our 1st XI based on our position is much better than XI of our best players put whereever. When Ashley went off on Saturday NRC slotted in to RW - AHEAD of Milner!!??!!
deano.avfc
22/05/2009 12:02:00
0
Surely the answer is Yes we could have done better. We could never have done any better than we did upto the Feb win at Ewood aganst Blackburn, but our abysmal record since then has to be one we could have improved on. Bringing back Shorey earlier, leaving out Gabby and giving the Fonz a run, and perhaps playing a couple of the other youngsters in selected games or to come off the bench would at least have given them experience - and we couldn't have done any worse in results terms. Losing the Great Dane was a massive blow, and Arsenal are simply better than us and we couldn't have made 4th once we lost our mercurial captain. A decline was due, but I don't buy all this fatigue stuff. Players out of form, out of position, or even not good enough in some instances. But you cannot, as others have said, complain about tiredness and a small squad when you hardly ever make use of the small squad we' ve got. In simple terms Stoke 2 points, Boro 2 points, and Spurs 3 points equals 7 more points. Still not enough to catch Arsenal, and still allowing for the fact that we were unlucky to lose to Manure too. But that would have been better. Truth told though, over the season as a whole we have not underachieved or overachieved - - but we have done a bit of both. Anyway here's hoping for promotion tomorrow and relegation on Sunday! I was at Boro last week then went onto Hampden, tomorrow I may see my second team actually win something at Ochilview. And Newcastle down on Sunday would be a good way to end the season. I remember watching Coventry get relegated at Villa Park not that long ago. We need a fighting performance last match this time, not another Wigan performance and shallow lap of honour with the only highlight the opprtunity to say goodbye to the great Swede. Hope Laurrsen is there on Sunday to take his bow. Come on Stenny. Come on Villa!
stennyvilla
22/05/2009 20:43:00
0
Surely the answer is Yes we could have done better. We could never have done any better than we did upto the Feb win at Ewood aganst Blackburn, but our abysmal record since then has to be one we could have improved on. Bringing back Shorey earlier, leaving out Gabby and giving the Fonz a run, and perhaps playing a couple of the other youngsters in selected games or to come off the bench would at least have given them experience - and we couldn't have done any worse in results terms. Losing the Great Dane was a massive blow, and Arsenal are simply better than us and we couldn't have made 4th once we lost our mercurial captain. A decline was due, but I don't buy all this fatigue stuff. Players out of form, out of position, or even not good enough in some instances. But you cannot, as others have said, complain about tiredness and a small squad when you hardly ever make use of the small squad we' ve got. In simple terms Stoke 2 points, Boro 2 points, and Spurs 3 points equals 7 more points. Still not enough to catch Arsenal, and still allowing for the fact that we were unlucky to lose to Manure too. But that would have been better. Truth told though, over the season as a whole we have not underachieved or overachieved - - but we have done a bit of both. Anyway here's hoping for promotion tomorrow and relegation on Sunday! I was at Boro last week then went onto Hampden, tomorrow I may see my second team actually win something at Ochilview. And Newcastle down on Sunday would be a good way to end the season. I remember watching Coventry get relegated at Villa Park not that long ago. We need a fighting performance last match this time, not another Wigan performance and shallow lap of honour with the only highlight the opprtunity to say goodbye to the great Swede. Hope Laurrsen is there on Sunday to take his bow. Come on Stenny. Come on Villa!
stennyvilla
22/05/2009 20:43:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Aston Villa Articles

U21s - Provisional Play Off Final Details

Aston Villa's Under 21 side have already booked their place in the Premier League Division Two Play Off final this season, and we know we await the Arsenal v Blackburn...

N'Zogbia Writes Villa Obituary

The man in the flowery curtain and Darth Zoggy wannabee has today closed the chapter on his Aston Villa career and provided fans with the moment they will remember...

Something For The Weekend (533)

Feeling emotionally undernourished...

Villa - Premier League Free Transfers 2015/16

As the summer nears and contracts come to an end, should Aston Villa be interested in any of the following free transfers?

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Profile
Mike Field
Editor email
Profile
Steve Wade
no email
Profile
Villa_Grizzly
no email
Profile
Turkish Penguin
no email
Profile
Glensider
no email
Profile
Chris Heath
no email
Profile
M Calucar
no email
Profile
JuanPablo Angel
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Southampton MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Guzan9%
Hutton4%
Richards0%
Lescott1%
Cissokho1%
Westwood62%
Gana1%
Sanchez0%
Bacuna1%
Ayew3%
Sinclair1%
Sub - Toner10%
Sub - Gestede1%
Sub - Grealish6%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Leicester City 35 22 10 3 76 30
2 Spurs 35 19 12 4 69 39
3 Man City 35 19 7 9 64 32
4 Arsenal 35 18 10 7 64 24
5 Man Utd 34 17 8 9 59 12
6 West Ham 34 14 14 6 56 14
7 Liverpool 34 15 10 9 55 13
8 Southampton 35 15 9 11 54 12
9 Chelsea 34 12 11 11 47 7
10 Stoke 35 13 8 14 47 -14
11 Everton 34 9 14 11 41 5
12 Watford 34 11 8 15 41 -7
13 WBA 35 10 11 14 41 -11
14 AFC Bournemouth 35 11 8 16 41 -19
15 Swansea 35 10 10 15 40 -15
16 Crystal Palace 35 10 9 16 39 -9
17 Sunderland 34 7 10 17 31 -18
18 Norwich 34 8 7 19 31 -25
19 Newcastle 35 7 9 19 30 -26
R Aston Villa 35 3 7 25 16 -44
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
2016 Russia GP - FP1
Latest Vital Boxing News
DeGale Targeting Callum Smith
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Apr 30 2016 3:00PM : Watford (a)
Barclays Premier League
May 7 2016 3:00PM : Newcastle United (H)
Barclays Premier League
May 15 2016 3:00PM : Arsenal (a)
Barclays Premier League

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Pride of Lions1233
2.The Fear631
3.glensider479
4.sirdennis384
5.kefkat315
6.Fulford299
7.JuanPabloAngel253
8.Silhillvilla238
9.Bonker232
10.gator195
Vital Football Comment