Sixer’s Sevens: Aston Villa 2 SAFC 2. Ever so slowly getting better

Jake: catch Sixer's instant seven-word verdicts throughout the season
Jake: catch Sixer’s instant seven-word verdicts throughout the season

With Pete Sixmsith at Wembley for Rugby League, it was a day for one of those seven-word verdict preceded by an asterisk, indicating a supersub. Our old pal Bob Chapman may provide one from Villa Park but Monsieur Salut’s contingency offering shows this was a hard-won point. M’Vila’s Larssonesque free kick gave Sunderland a great start after which another piece of Cattermole incompetence, a frankly idiotic penalty box bundle two-and-a-bit minutes later, robbed us of the lead. He was off by half time, by which time we were 2-1 down and looking poor, and is rapidly making himself seem decidedly expendable. Lens grabbed the equaliser – ‘did he make contact?’, Sixer joked from afar – and there were good performances from Ola on bis debut, M’Vila and – yes- Younes Kaboul, plus matchsaving stops by Pantilimon. Better, then, but not yet good enough …

Jake: 'WE WERE Jake: 'WINNING! (for almost three minutes). Good point though'
Jake: ‘WE WERE Jake: ‘WINNING! (for almost three minutes). Good point though’

August 29 2015: Aston Villa (2) 2 SAFC (1) 2 * M’Vila and Lens snatch a shaky point

August 25 2015: League Cup 2nd round: SAFC (3) 6 Exeter City (3) 3 Young hearts run free in second half

August 22 2015: SAFC (0) 1 Swansea City (1) 1 Gloom lifting after a more determined performance

August 15 2015: SAFC (0) 1 Norwich City (2) 3 I’ve seen some shockers in my time …

August 8 2015: Leicester City (3) 4 SAFC (0) 2 No encouragement to take from this shocker

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15 thoughts on “Sixer’s Sevens: Aston Villa 2 SAFC 2. Ever so slowly getting better”

  1. There seems an awful lot of negativity on here (rightly so I suppose you’ll say … we’re bottom of the league) – but I’m not sure what people expected at Villa Park yesterday. After the shocking Norwich performance DA’s objective would have been to simply try and stop the rot. He’s done that so far with two draws and a League Cup win. We were never going to turn into Barcelona overnight.

    He’s got them a little more organised and playing with spirit. Most of the away fans at Villa stayed to applaud the team off so I don’t think it was that bad a performance. I’d like to think we’re slowly getting there but that will probably depend on a couple of more successful buys.The best players, for me, yesterday were the new boys – Kaboul (surprisingly), M’Vila, Toivonen (really like the look of him) and we know Lens is good too, if perhaps not at his best yesterday. The players letting us down are the ones who let us down for most of last season – Cattermole, Rodwell, Graham, Fletcher and the two full backs.

    • I think Rodwells improving but the other three are getting past their sell bye dates for us , which is a huge worry in Cattermoles case as he has a five or six years contract . The full backs are incompetent and I would play Larsson at RB while getting on the phone to Alonso pronto !

  2. The problem is in midfield we allow teams to play. We need to get back to 4-4-2 we need to control centre park and I believe we have the players to do this. When Johnson is fit, M’vila Ola, Lens, Rodwell and Larsen with Cattermole have the grit to control the middle then the defenders won’t be pulled all over the place and the forwards won’t be expected to defend, everyone will know what they have to do. This system works with less talented teams and we need to accept that is what we currently are. Sherwoods comments laughable

    • I agree 4-4-2 would be better, with Defoe feeding off a bigger CF.

      DA employed 4-3-3 to telling effect at the back end of last season and it worked because we needed the points and had to attack. In fact, I think that formation scared the life out of some of the opposition.

      4-4-2 would help defensively — far far better than the stultifying 4-1-4-1 employed by certain ex managers.

  3. Cattermoles definitely in one of his goon periods at the moment and needs dropping at least. I doubt anyone will come in to buy him this window , unless Stoke revise their interest . Hard won point , but an away point none the less and a very welcome one at that . We’re getting desperate for our first win though and I trust we won’t be waiting too long for it .

  4. An honest opinion: Villa deserved the 3pts. We had all the urgency of a training match, and were 2nd to every ball. We gave acres of space to them and with a better team we would have been sorely punished.
    Our defence scares me. Why are our players strolling instead of showing some zeal to close players down.

      • They are unbelievably poor. You can possibly get away with one CB with no pace, but not both. And when did we last have two decent fullbacks?

        I never rated Bardsley, but he looks quality compared to the present incumbents, and Colback and Gardner, playing out of position, were far better than what we have now.

  5. Alan Hutton is my man of the match –no one opposing him, acres of space and all the time in the world to cross or make the killer pass.

    Oh! — Perhaps not. The killer pass and the effective cross weren’t there — just like his time at the SoL. Thank heavens.

    Someone more effective could have made mincemeat of us.

    Pretty much the same on the other flank.

    Is it really good tactics to have the full backs touching shoulders with the CBs when defending — leaving wide open spaces on the wing for the opposition to exploit?

    • The opposition would still exploit the wide open spaces on the wings even if the full backs weren’t touching shoulders with the CBs as they can’t hold their positions nor get back quickly enough when caught out. I’ve said it before but I think Dick will live to regret letting Vergini go out on loan before signing someone who can bring a defensive mindset to the full back slot. Santi may not be a great centre back but he did OK at full back when he had to play there. Jones, Matthews and PVA are all similar types and with Matthews out for 6 weeks the cover is O’Shea, Larsson and the two Robson boys. You can bet the opposition will all be practising getting the ball out wide in the week before they have to play us.

      • The upcoming Spurs game should be… interesting. Only a point apart but one senses a world of difference. If that defensive mindset doesn’t emerge (and sign a contract) before Tuesday, I can see them going through us – and/or around us – like a dose of salts.

  6. I can just see Cattermole’s school report, written in euphemistic edu-speak: “Lee is commendably supportive of his friends but needs to develop his socialisation skills with strangers. He has a strong, if sometimes not ideally directed, sense of right and wrong, though this can lead his enthusiasm to run away with him.”

    Translation: An undisciplined clogger who tends to foul first and ask questions later… at the top of his lungs, when he’s getting another yellow card.

    Is there any chance we can unload him by midnight Monday? Let him be a bloody liability somewhere else.

    • Totally agree and have been saying it for years. Get rid of Cattermole and we’ll be a better team – just as we were in the second half today. He’s a liability with no brains. Never creates anything except problems.

      • Can’t agree totally. There have been plenty of games where he has been the catalyst and lead by example. But twice already this season he has shown his stupid side. With more players coming in who can play in his position I expect him to be a bench player in future games – if he doesn’t go to Stoke. M’Vila is impressing me and according to Big Dick our new signing is physical and has a nasty side. When he is fully match fit I expect him to be a regular starter. Hopefully he’ll get a couple of games in for Sweden in the next couple of weeks.

      • Seems to me that he’s less and less a leader and more a liabiity. You never know when he’ll suddenly take somebody down. How long has he had to learn a bit of self-control? It’s just not there.

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