Sheriff Kimbo's Monthly Musings (4)
Hello all. Due to technical issues I have not updated on here for a while. This means that the 'Week in Villa` has not been around for a few weeks. In fact, the last time it was updated was the week we played Manchester City! Now while I could have done a "Seven Weeks in Villa" or whatever, who would have actually read it? I wouldn`t! Consequently I felt a brief look back on here would be better.
So what has happened since? Well the next game was the home game against Chelsea. A brilliant win against a team that already look like champions, it would be strange to think that we only won one more (two with the penalties) of the games up to now.
Chelsea was followed by the game at Wolves. This is the type of game that really shows where we are lacking in an attacking sense. A serious lack of creativity and a silly challenge from Sidwell lead to a disappointing draw. Another draw at Sunderland in the League Cup ended in delight with the Goose putting in a great show in goal as we won on penalties - and to be fair to the bloke, he`d already saved one in the actual game!
We stayed in Drawsville for the next game as we battled to a tough point at Everton. A very dull affair, Everton have to take their share of the blame for that. We are not the most creative team to watch but Everton are even worse, at least when Arteta isn`t playing. I don`t envy the season ticket holders at Goodison, put it that way.
The run of draws ended annoyingly with a defeat. The previous game saw a joke of a sending off for Carlos Cuellar, and his replacement - Habib Beye - had an equally ridiculous sending off in this game. That put us under pressure, and we buckled in the remaining seconds. It was yet another frustrating performance.
This was followed by a 5-1 mauling of Bolton. Some people have simply put that down to the absence of Petrov, which I think is exceptionally harsh. Do people really think that Sidwell and Reo-Coker are the pairing to take us forward? Another note of the afternoon was that lots of people have spent an awful lot of time moaning about us selling Zat Knight and in particular Gary Cahill, but neither man looked like someone that would get in our defence right now. Cahill for all his talents still gets physically outdone too often for my liking, which is not something that can be said about the likes of Dunne or Collins.
Since then we have had two more 1-1 draws, away at Burnley and at home to Spurs. Again, neither performance was great. Had we started the way we ended at Burnley, or had we carried on the start against Spurs we may have won both games, but ultimately both have to go down as poor performances.
It has been a frustrating period. I feel that even without any new signings, we are better than how we have been playing. With the right type of additions from an attacking perspective, we are not that far away from being a darn good side. But for whatever reason, it doesn`t really seem to be clicking. The most frustrating thing is that the recent form of Man City and Liverpool meant there was an opportunity for us to push on, but instead we are sandwiched in-between them.
I have lamented about 4-4-2 or 4-3-3/4-5-1 quite often and refuse to keep writing about it! I also have presented many arguments on here that have both praised and criticised MON. Again, there is nothing new to say. I don`t feel I fall into either of the anti-MON or pro-MON camps, and to be honest I don`t think it is anywhere near as bad as some suggest; sure, there are some that genuinely think he`s the messiah and there are some that are genuinely think he`s incompetent - I would suggest people that fall into either category are wrong. Football is all about opinions but, come on! It is certainly not that great or that bad. Ultimately all of us want what is best for Aston Villa and as with every fan of every football team in the world we have our opinions on what is best for the team.
So what does that say? I have been away for quite a while now and upon my return I have nothing new to add to the world! There are lots of potential; explanations (I am an idiot could be one) but I think the bottom line is that being an Aston Villa fan is what it is these days; we are pretty much back in the days of the John Gregory era where the football wasn`t great, we were good enough to retain a place in the upper mid-table area and we wasn`t that far away from the top few sides; but ultimately not really good enough to challenge. The thing with that Gregory team was I felt that we needed to add a top quality central midfielder and striker to really push on. Guess what I think about the current team?
In other news, there have been lots of youngsters going out on loan and it seems to be going well for them. One who hasn`t is Ciaran Clark - which stands to reason while Curtis Davies is injured - and I was pleased to see he has signed a new contract. The young lads have once again been doing well in the reserve league and much like the first team recently did, have had a run of four consecutive away games. Chelsea at home is up next before a wee winter break. Given the amount of people that are on loan, that is probably no bad thing.
Speaking of the reserves, where is Salifou? Is he still employed by the club? If so, is it in the capacity of player?!
The statue of William McGregor was a welcome - albeit very overdue - gesture. Our local rivals like to take a dig at us by calling us Historians FC etc; I see nothing wrong with being proud of our history. Of course, not all of them will understand that, with our Small Heath neighbours in particular not wanting to look back at their history!
Hey just think, the transfer window opens one month today... I give it one month and one day before people start calling for MON's head over the lack of transfer activity ;o)
Well I think that will do for now. It is very nice to be back!