Aston Villa and here we go again

Villa lose at Newcastle and Dave Woodhall has seen it all before.

It’s been a good pre-season. We’ve signed some quality players, put in some promising friendly performances, we’re back in Europe and the world’s starting to take notice again. You know what comes next.

Let’s be charitable and put it down to One Of Those Days. The sort of day when whatever you do, it goes wrong. They happen and you have to move on and learn from them. Unai Emery will certainly have learned more than anyone from this debacle. Villa started badly, letting in a goal after ten minutes, there was a brief sign of hope with an equaliser five minutes later but from then on it was one-way traffic, then damage limitation, and eventually hoping that the final whistle will hurry up and arrive.

In between all that Villa were hopelessly outplayed. The defence, in particular, were so ineffective as to show worrying signs of what might lie ahead. The officials didn’t help, with at least one goal coming from a debatable offside, but that wouldn’t have changed anything, except Villa’s goal difference. Moussa Diaby had a decent start and scoring on his debut is always a promising sign and Emiliano Martinez kept the score down. The rest are best glossed over.

And if that wasn’t bad enough there was the injury to Tyrone Mings. It looked bad, and as we all know with a Villa player, when an injury looks innocuous, it’s bad. When it look bad, it’s worse. Losing Emiliano Buendia after a promising pre-season was dreadful enough but to see Mings going the same way is far worse. Not only is he a top-quality defender but he’s also a talisman. He holds the Villa defence together – just look at the way they played after he went off for proof of that – he’s a leader and no cause seems lost while he’s around.

More than that, he remains an iconic figure for his work off the pitch. Tyrone Mings is the personification of the improvements made by Villa in all areas since 2019 and there’s no getting past the fact that we might be able to sign a replacement, but they won’t represent what Tyrone represents. And that’s without saying that if there was any sense left in football he wouldn’t have been chasing the ball because offside would have been called well before then.

This has been the worst three days of Unai Emery’s reign. Two bad, perhaps season-ending, injuries and a heavy defeat on the opening day of the season. Getting over a loss like this is hard, getting over the loss of Mings in particular will be even harder. This is where Emery starts earning his money and showing that the high esteem in which he’s held is justified. The next game will be vital and just for once, Villa have struck lucky in that we’re at home to Everton. whose recent record at Villa Park is as bad as ours is at Newcastle. Three points won’t bring back our injured players but it will at least boost the confidence of the rest of them.

3 thoughts on “Aston Villa and here we go again

  1. Oh dear did not turn out well Injuries poor new signings and a manager who chews his jumper during the match ..are the wheels are already coming off the Emery bus …. Again?

  2. A speedy recovery to Emiliano and Tyrone!
    To say that Buendia and Mings are two of our key players is obvious, Mings as you have rightly pointed out is a leader on and off the pitch but as the back is our lynchpin. Buendia because in the absence of Jacob Ramsey his would be a key role in midfield until we have at least one of our ball-carriers available.
    This was always going to be an uphill struggle against a buoyant side and on their patch and right from the off clearly intent on making a statement, Anthony Gordon’s commitment from his first action a case in point, and they could in Barnes bring on a player we were after off the bench with the game done and dusted.
    I’m getting worried by the amount of times Villa choose the easy option and pass to Martinez, building from the back is one thing, inviting pressure is another.

  3. These comments we don’t need,very harsh,
    Day 0ne of a long season, give him a break,

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