Aston Villa and you’ve seen it all before

Villa lose to Brighton as Dave Woodhall watches another controversial decision.

After the last game I said that Villa can beat, and lose to, any team in the league. I did hope that the win at Arsenal might have heralded a bit of consistency, but no. Yet again Villa blew the chance to move higher up the table with what was perhaps the worst performance of the season against a Brighton side who are better than their league position showed but should still have been put away without much difficulty.

Dean Smith resisted the temptation to rest a couple of Villa’s globetrotting internationals although this idea lasted barely two minutes before Ross Barkley pulled up with a hamstring problem. This was the first indication that it might be One of Those Days, Bertrand Traore was the surprise replacement and although he played well enough, the balance of the midfield was altered and subsequently no-one in the Villa side looked at ease.

With twelve minutes gone the defence were far too slack high up the pitch and Brighton were allowed a goal that could be described as a typical one for Villa to concede.

Trezeguet had a shot well saved and missed another chance, then shortly after half-time the scores were level after a goal that was equally typical of the Villa, this time at the right end. Traore’s free-kick was inch-perfect for Ezri Konsa to get on the end of, and with most of the half remaining and their confidence boosted, Villa should have been expected to step up a gear to claim all three points.

There was a goal soon after, but it was at the wrong end. A ball played in front of the defence, a total lack of marking and Villa were behind once more. That was pretty much all, with Villa not really creating and nothing much to talk about until stoppage time.

The red card was a bit harsh, but that was in no way cancelled out by what came next. Under the current laws you can be offside by an eyelash and a penalty’s awarded if the ball so much as brushes a fibre of the defender’s sleeve. So how is it that Trezeguet can be tripped while in control of the ball and there’s no foul? Graham Turner, Billy McNeill, Alex McLeish and Paul Lambert, to mention just a few, didn’t stop me from watching the Villa but VAR is testing my patience to the limit.

We didn’t deserve to win; too many players had off-days and again, that has to be put right. Maybe Douglas Luiz should have been rested, perhaps Trezeguet shouldn’t have been started; neither were up to their recent standards. Tyrone Mings in particular was watching the ball instead of the man too often. Most of all, you’re not going anywhere if you let in eleven goals in three home games.

But having said all that, the biggest talking point of the afternoon wasn’t caused by a player, but by the referee. It’s always been said that if a ref’s any good you don’t notice him. Under the current circumstances it’s impossible not to notice the officials, and that can’t be right.

3 thoughts on “Aston Villa and you’ve seen it all before

  1. Very poor referee but at the end of the day we didn’t deserve anything else, let’s be honest our defence was terrible our big players didn’t turn up McGinn was having a bad day so was Luiz and if we’re brutally honest Trez should have scored so should Watkins, and Jack wasn’t himself , not much else to say except that we look to becoming a soft touch at Villa park and that doesn’t bode well. All very disappointing given our great start but that’s the Villa we’ve all come to know. Not sure where we go from here, but we clearly have to strengthen in January.

  2. A great piece to sum up Aston villa ,what i can’t understand is the comments made by ex pros how say that the ref was right to change his dicision,this coming from pros like shearer who woyld always leave a trailing leg on the keeper to con refs into giving a pen ,the same happened to west brom at old Trafford,OGS wasnt convinced it was a pen ,the bull that then falls out of his mouth to justify his opinion is turgid to say the least because if that happens to go against them he would be fuming and would clearly make his feeling known .Var is once again becoming the centre of all bad decisions ,Clear and obvious is the instruction or rule on these decisions and neither was a clear and obvious mistake by both refs in both games . Its a shame that technology brought in to improve the decision making of refs is actually making matters worse .

  3. When’s a penalty not a penalty? When you’re Oliver and Kavenagh, that tackle would be a foul anywhere on the pitch, even Albion suffered later. It’s about time the FA started punishing referees when they make mistakes, we probably didn’t deserve to win but were good enough for a point.

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