Definitely Not Panicking
I’ll be brief: that was horrible.
Yes, I could be glib and say that we were bound to play poorly at Anfield one of these days, but strangely, it’s getting to be as hard to be funny about Villa as it is to find something new to say about losing yet again.
We were comprehensively outplayed and yet still could have come away with a desperately needed point—had we not let ourselves down with some truly shocking defending on Liverpool’s third goal. I swear, my AYSO teams are better than AVFC right now. (And they at least got the results. Later that day, the U12s won 6-2 and the U10s won 3-1.)
All Right, I’m Panicking
I’m not calling for Sherwood’s head. Sacking the manager now would be a perfect way to ensure this season spirals out of control. But the stats are extremely worrying.
Villa’s worst start in decades has gotten even worse. With 4 points from 7 games, we’re now averaging .57 points per game. Over a 38-game season, that’s a terrifying 22 points (and that’s if you’re rounding up).
This “average formation” graphic that’s been making the rounds is telling—and troubling.
And it turns out that we’re also one of the least hard-working teams in the Premier League—only Norwich has run less. I’m not suggesting that it would fix our problems if Villa were to suddenly start running farther than everyone else, but maybe we ought to cover a bit more ground?
We are dead last in the form table.
The only stat that brings me any comfort whatsoever (aside from Newcastle and Sunderland’s zero wins) is the fact that we’ve scored 8 goals. Nobody wants to secure safety by goal differential alone but it’s looking like we’ll need every possible advantage we’ve got.
We. Have. Got. To. Win. A. Game. Sitting Lescott and bringing in Clark would be first on my wish list. And bringing in Ayew for Sinclair at halftime seems like a good idea. Traore can still pose a threat but learned on Saturday that he can’t dribble past every player all the time. And Sanchez needs to stay on the pitch until the bitter end.
And, despite my many reservations about Gestede when he plays with his feet and not with his head, I think our leading goalscorer needs to stay on the field for now.
And if we’re counting on Gestede’s head, Westwood MUST NEVER BE ALLOWED TO TAKE ANOTHER CORNER.
That’s all I’ve got. We’ll pick ourselves up and go again.