Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Something For The Weekend (376)

Something For The Weekend (376)
Red-faced fans in end-of-season injury-crisis.

It was red faces all round for Villa fans this week, after their team produced one of the most humiliating and pusillanimous performances, seen in a very long time. Even in a season where Villa have set themselves particularly low standards, their performance against Arsenal represented a new low, as far as gutlessness and ineptitude are concerned.

Villa managed the grand total of two shots on target, over the ninety minutes, according to the BBC, and even they were rumoured to be goal-kicks.

The only statistics where Villa actually excelled were: yellow-cards (5) and fouls (13).

The far more disturbing statistic is the number of fans who have reported themselves as suffering from long-term personal injury, in the days following the game, and now look likely to be out for the rest of the season.

The performance was bad enough but worse was to follow as numerous football neutrals started pouring scorn on Villa's lamentable efforts, and some were even opining that if there was any justice, Villa should be relegated for being so gutless. Those who accuse Villa's McLeish-critics of not being able to see beyond his St Andrews' connection, need to listen to these neutrals, if they want to know what the rest of football thinks of their manager.

Television pundits kept their judgements brief and variously suggested Villa played like they were already on their holidays.

It was one of those, road to Domestos experiences, when you realise that your foreseeable future involves an endless amount of brown stuff.

In the days that followed there were a large number of fans reporting themselves as unfit to attend, as they seek some kind of rehabilitation from such loss of pride and heart, that CPR might actually be required.

Others seek treatment for a bad case of a seriously twisted melon, as they try to reconcile the difference between the empty promises of Villa Park's well-intentioned romancers, and the egregiously miserable reality.

As Jim Royle might put it: Europe? My arse!

No Villa fan in their right mind would have expected Villa to win at the Emirates; after all, Arsenal have a squad valued at more than twice that of Villa's and are playing well, but every fan has a right to expect their team not to embarrass them.

For those fans who remain and who are not fed-up to the back-teeth, broken-hearted, or feel their melon has been twisted, they still have to face the facts and find the moxie, to deal with the reality that Villa are expensive flops right now.

We can watch the likes of Barcelona (4x as rich as Villa) and Milan (2x as rich as Villa), and realise that Villa can never get near to these top European teams. But Villa are still in Europe's top 20 when it comes to financial clout, albeit at the very bottom (20th 2009/10).

We'll never understand why a metropolitan area like Milan, (population 4.3m) can sustain two of Europe's top clubs, while the West Midlands (population 5.2m) can't seem to sustain one. But we can see the likes of German side Hannover, with a squad (£67.5m) worth 58% of Villa's (£115m), give Atlético de Madrid (£150m) a real game, and conclude that Villa should be a lot better than they are these days. Any shortfall can only be the manager's fault.

Even taking into account the absence of Richard Dunne and Darren Bent, McLeish should be doing better than ten other clubs in the Premiership, and that is assuming that every one of those clubs enjoys 100% availability of their squad.

Randy Lerner might not have actually read Michael Lewis's book, Moneyball, but he must surely see that Villa are poor value for money, under McLeish.

A loyal fan told me this week, that Villa are so bad these days, if you want to miss the traffic, you have to stop right to the end of the match.

This weekend Villa have the delights of entertaining visitors Chelsea (squad valued at £335m) to look forward to. Its very much a case of take your pick, as Villa's home form over the last 6 games, puts them in the bottom-three, while Chelsea's away form puts them in the bottom five. Statistically, this puts Chelsea slightly ahead of Villa but a draw looks the best bet, if Villa are willing to come out of their own half occasionally.

Rumour has it that some Villa fans are planning to protest before the game, in another futile attempt to try and point out, what would be obvious to a blind man on a galloping horse - McLeish has under-achieved considering the resources at his disposal. No doubt, Lerner has his own plan and timetable, and isn't going to have it altered by a few hundred protesting Villa fans. But that is not the point. Its about making a strong public statement which cannot be spun or equivocated into meaning something else entirely.

Unfortunately the argument gets sidetracked into one about playing-style, but the only issue which counts for anything, is the fact that McLeish's team were at the bottom of the form table, long before they started playing teams which they might be excused for losing against.

The only question worth asking, is whether McLeish, with a squad worth £115m pounds, has failed. The evidence suggests that he has.

Three points against Chelsea on Saturday, would go some way to proving that conclusion wrong.

We can only wait and see.



Keep the faith!

Writer:Steve Wade
Date:Friday March 30 2012
Time: 5:38PM

Best of Vital Network

Login to post a comment

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Elphick's Superstitions To Continue

New centre half Tommy Elphick has insisted his pre match ritual of attacking the goal posts instead of having a team photo will continue following his move to Aston Villa.

No Sinclair To Celtic - But Crespo Off

It's being reported that Aston Villa have rejected a £2million offer from Celtic for Scott Sinclair, but Jose Angel Crespo wants the 'PAOK' option to bring an end to his time with us.

Petrov To Resume Villa Training

Aston Villa have confirmed that Stiliyan Petrov will join up with the boys for pre season training, and he's been invited by new manager Roberto Di Matteo to join...

Elphick Relishing Promotion Pressure

New signing, and Roberto Di Matteo's first capture from Bournemouth, Tommy Elphick has said he's relishing the pressure of helping Aston Villa return...

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)

Elphick?
Suggested By: JP Fear
Great, solid signing82%
Ok signing5%
Meh signing13%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Burnley 46 26 15 5 93 37
P Middlesbrough 46 26 11 9 89 32
3 Brighton 46 24 17 5 89 30
4 Hull City 46 24 11 11 83 34
5 Derby County 46 21 15 10 78 23
6 Sheff Wed 46 19 17 10 74 21
7 Ipswich 46 18 15 13 69 2
8 Cardiff 46 17 17 12 68 5
9 Brentford 46 19 8 19 65 5
10 Birmingham 46 16 15 15 63 4
11 Preston 46 15 17 14 62 0
12 Q.P.R. 46 14 18 14 60 0
13 Leeds Utd 46 14 17 15 59 -8
14 Wolves 46 14 16 16 58 -5
15 Blackburn 46 13 16 17 55 0
16 Forest 46 13 16 17 55 -4
17 Reading 46 13 13 20 52 -7
18 Bristol City 46 13 13 20 52 -17
19 Huddersfield 46 13 12 21 51 -11
20 Fulham 46 12 15 19 51 -13
21 Rotherham 46 13 10 23 49 -18
R Charlton 46 9 13 24 40 -40
R MK Dons 46 9 12 25 39 -30
R Bolton 46 5 15 26 30 -40
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Sainz expected to stay with Red Bull stable
Latest Vital Boxing News
Joshua v Breazeale Weigh-In
Write for Vital Football

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.The Fear364
2.BodyButter153
3.sirdennis150
4.Fulford135
5.JuanPabloAngel112
6.kefkat97
7.DeanoVilla89
8.glensider80
9.Silhillvilla70
10.Melon Donkey68
The Vital Football Members League