Unacceptable Hoofball v Millwall - + Video Highlights
Well, I don`t think I`m being harsh when I say that the performance against Millwall - a team that has been struggling and are 17th - just was not good enough.
The talk is always we are set up as a counter-attacking team and so play better away from home. Sorry, not good enough. Have a set up to be able to play at home as well. The talk is also how the home fans need something to cheer about, with the attendance below 30 000 again, it appears many now just don`t see anything to drag them down to Villa Park. Some of us will just go to anything, it`s 'what we do` but not all fans are like that and I can`t say - if they are looking for some entertainment - I blame them.
Yes, we have injuries but again, yesterday, we were v Millwall who have been struggling. So why was it us playing hoofball and not them? It wasn`t even as if they were an overly physical or dirty team, they played some quite nice football and broke through our defence far too easily several times, only for Sam Johnstone to save us with some top class shot stopping. If Millwall had a decent striker, they would have won yesterday.
At times it appeared we had no midfield, the gap from front to back was awful and that is something the manager and coaches must be able to see? And when we did win the ball back, we hoofed it back to Millwall. There were a few decent passages of play from us and Grealish was close (ish) to a nice goal when he came on, but all in all, it`s just not good enough. I`m not sure how many of you would agree but I felt Millwall looked far more comfortable on the ball for good periods of the game and at times outplayed us, if not for the lack of finishing, they would have gone home very happy and the Villa Park crowd would have exited stage left angry. I don`t like the boos but I guess at the end of the game, they weren`t completely unjustified.
We have won ugly, we`ve had a few draws that last season we`d have lost and the points are all very necessary, but when are we going to take a match by the short and danglies and really go at a team and boss a game? Yesterday I kept saying what I`ve said in far too many matches in the last few seasons, why can`t they just play keep ball? Surely that is done in training? If we had tried to outpass Millwall, we`d have at least had half a chance. Instead, it was hoof after hoof and possession lost. A young player like Keinan Davis cannot hold the line alone match in match out and certainly not if all he goes is balls hoofed towards him.
Still, a point is a point, at least with other results it wasn`t too costly for us, we are still only one win away from the 40 points that Bristol City currently have in 3rd place. Hopefully Cardiff lose their game in hand and then we`re just 6 off them. But to catch any of them, we need to start winning against teams like Millwall surely? And that is no disrespect to Wall, I thought they were good value for their fans yesterday.
I was sorry to hear that a 9 year old kid had been hit by the ball kicked out by Sam Johnstone, apparently he was knocked out. I hope he`s fit and well this morning and telling all his mates.
Sam Johnstone man of the match.
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