Dusan Congratulates Champions League Bacuna on his Assist.
Aston Villa are shit.
There really is no dancing around this subject. They have had the season from hell and this has been coming for about the last 5 years. It must be bloody awful to be a Villa fan right now. Ever since Martin O’Neill left in 2010, their roll call of managers reads like a horror story. What could possibly go wrong with Gerard Houllier, Alex McLeish, Paul Lambert, Tim Sherwood and Remi Garde. That’s an absolutely horrible list whatever way you look at it. Villa have been an imploding club for a while but always had a couple of players that raised them above the level of the clubs that ended up getting relegated. Last year they had Benteke and Delph who just about dragged the team safe and somehow got them to an FA Cup Final. Having flogged off both of those in the summer and replaced them with Gestede from the Championship and a whole load of disinterested mercenary shit in midfield, they’ve died on their arse since about match 2 of the current season. Tim Sherwood was in charge then and was a massive bell end but at least he looked like he cared. His replacement Remi Garde clearly had zero fucks to give about anything.
The players have been a disgrace too though with Joleon Lescott being complete shit and then responding to twitter abuse for one shit performance by tweeting a picture of his flash car as if to say, “I drive this so I must be great”. No you’re not Joleon, you were passable about 8 years ago but now you’re shite. One player they signed this year was the once good Micah Richards who was a right back and a very good one but wanted to be a centre back and now he is – a shit centre back. He’s too small to be a centre back and it’s obvious. Then there’s Agbonlahor. He’d put on so much weight even his head looked fat and he couldn’t run which was 90% of what he could do when he was fit. He’s been pictured in the papers, out on the piss and toking on shisha pipes and basically looking like a fat, pissed up stereotypical Club 18-30 Englishman abroad. You’re supposed to be an athlete you fucking idiot. Banned twice by his club, once for the shisha incident and once for being a fat twat. Then there’s Jack Grealish who has hardly played this year. Hyped to the heavens last year for reasons unknown, pissed up and passed out on the pavements in Ibiza or somewhere and declared he wanted to play for England rather that Ireland. That’s a bit like me declaring that I want to play for England instead of France (my great great (times seven) grandfather was French). I’m 47 and 16 stone but if both countries come knocking, it’s England for me or no one. Another player (Okore) is refusing to play, another (Traore) has slagged the club off in public and funniest of all, Leandro Bacuna has played shite all year and has said he wants to play Champions League football next season. Better check out if Andorra have got a club in it you twat.
We laugh at them but only because they don’t play for us but as Saints fans, we’ve been there in the not too distant past. These players are a complete disgrace and they’re not alone as the management of Villa from top to bottom has been a complete shambles for a number of years. It's almost as if they've been trying to get relegated for a while and have finally succeeded. I can empathise with the Villa fans though. The players clearly don’t give a shit about playing for a huge club with a proud tradition and I just hope that these joke players end up with a massive wage cut and no route back to the Premier league unless they earn it through performances for Villa in the Championship, rather than moving to a desperate newly promoted club based on their decent reputation from days gone by.
Ronald has decided to ring the changes for this game with J-Rod starting which is really good news. He’s in along with Cédric, Romeu and Davis and out go Pellè, Mané, Clasie and Martina. It looks a strong starting line up to take on a Villa side which looks pretty desperate aside from Jordan Ayew up front who has actually managed to look half decent this season amongst the car crash.
Away we go and we quickly set about proving how bad they are as long ball forward is missed by J-Rod and Richards and suddenly Long is past Lescott with just Guzan to beat. It’s an easy chance but he lobs the keeper and sees it bounce down off the bar and away. Bollocks – that’s a sitter. Should be 1-0 but isn’t.
They are truly terrible though and it’s not long before another chance comes along. Bertrand takes a throw in and it’s a simple nod back from Tadic and one touch later, Bertrand has whipped in a cross around Hutton who can’t be arsed to get in the way and there’s Shane all on his own to head past Guzan to make it 1-0. Lescott was marking him but his mind was elsewhere, probably wondering who was going to key his car.
Villa do mount a couple of attacks and Champions League Bacuna is involved, first firing a free kick from a very good position straight into the wall and then getting his head on a Hutton cross and nodding it well wide. We look purposeful in attack but ragged in defence and the next chance falls to us as Bertrand crossed following a short corner, Big Vic saw his shot blocked and then Virgil took his time before thumping it against the base of the near post.
Villa are attempting to pop it about in midfield and then it goes to Champions League Bacuna who tries to just knock it back to where it came from and he ends up ballooning a ball over his own defence to give Shane a chase for the loose ball with Lescott. Perhaps instead of tweeting a picture of a sports car, Lescott should have tweeted a picture of a caravan as he was clearly carrying one as he got burnt up completely. Long tried to skip round Guzan but the keeper got a hand to it but Shane had the presence of mind to turn and roll a pass to Dusan Tadic to knock into the empty net to make it 2-0. I expect that Bacuna and Lescott will be checking their pay packets this week to see if they got their bonus for an assist.
There’s just a few minutes to half time and a professional performance would see us playing the half out and making sure that we go in 2-0 to the good but we fuck that right up as Ayew gets down the left and is allowed to get a cross in which everybody misses, including two Villa strikers who run into eachother and it breaks somewhat fortuitously to Westwood who scores easily. Bloody hell that was crap defending from both full backs. Cédric getting done by Ayew and Bertrand turning his back on it.
Half time and the Villa fans contented themselves with lobbing cardboard aeroplanes on the pitch whilst Ronal Koeman no doubt was going mental at the players for allowing such a shite side to get a goal and give themselves hope, just before the half time whistle. When the teams re-emerged, Ronald had replaced Big Vic with Clasie and Villa had decided that Micah Richards is that bad that an 18 year old debut centre back is a better bet.
We set out to pass them to death at the start of the second half and we quickly reassert our authority. J-Rod is denied a certain goal as his acrobatic volley hits Lescott and goes wide following good work by Cédric and Virgil to set him up. Villa are being managed by Eric Black for today and he makes himself popular by at 2-1 down, making a like for like swap up front but the player coming off is the decent Ayew and the man coming on is Donkey Gestede. “You Don’t Know What You’re Doing” rings out.
Another great opening goes to shit as Tadic pushes a lovely ball through to Long but his attempted poked finish is smothered by Guzan who is again equal to a Davis free kick from the left hand edge of the penalty area and once more as J-Rod takes aim from 20 yards and smashes it straight at him. It’s so easy to create all these chances and we’re finding it easy to miss them all.
Mané is on for J-Rod for us and horrible little Ibiza Party Boy Grealish is on for them and we put some deserved daylight betweent he team again as Long breaks forward and rather than burn past Lescott, he gets his head up and rolls it in for Tadic who via a slight deflection, rattles it first time into the net. The confidence in Tadic as opposed to the ‘half an hour to shoot’ version of a few weeks ago is massive.
Shane misses another gilt-edged chance as Guzan droops a routine cross at his feet and he pokes it over and then Hutton picked up a deserved injury in a clash of heads with Mané. I say deserved because Hutton is a non-footballer who belongs in League 1 and all he tries to do is foul people. How the fuck has he stolen a career? He’s not the most unpopular Villa player in the ground through with the loudest boos being reserved for every touch by Lescott and Champions League Bacuna.
As we approach the end, Hutton gets forward and has a lash at the near post which Fraser juggles over the bar in completely unconvincing fashion. The corner comes over and like the first Villa goal, everyone misses it including two Villa players who have a swing and Westwood arrives to steer it into the net.
How the fuck are we only winning by one goal against this lot? A brilliant combination of wasteful finishing, lack of care over the final ball and sloppy defending have left us potentially hanging on against the worst premier league team I’ve ever seen. I was limbering up for a good old vein popping sweary rant of epic proportions, especially after Shane hit the side netting with another glorious chance which should have gone across the keeper. Then Guzan threw it straight to Davis who again teed up Shane who took too long to get the shot away. Swearing stopped when some neat interplay between Davis, Tadic and Cédric whilst Grealish stood and watched (whilst drinking an alcopop) gave the full back space to chip in a cross and Sadio Mané got away from Lescott and powered a header down past Guzan and into the corner to make it 4-2.
Well that was a very odd game. Villa were so shite that we should have at least matched the 6 goals we put past them at this stage last season. We butchered so many chances with sloppy passes or wasteful finishes and I don’t think our players could really get up for it because it was so easy. Go on lads – we’ll even throw you a couple of goals with shit defending to make it slightly interesting. Shane Long had scored one and set up two but he was doing my head in. He was the reason we were in front and also the reason we weren’t out of sight with some horrible finishing. Quite rightly though, he should be applauded for the positive things he did achieve in this game and the fact that he made Lescott look the complete mug that he is. It was of course, a positive that J-Rod managed to play nearly 70 minutes. He certainly seems to have bulked up and hopefully this will help him stay injury free in the future. It was a perfect game for him to play in and the right decision by the manager who I’m sure knew that Villa’s defence would be appalling. Man of the match for me was Oriol Romeu who was everywhere. This guy needs to play more often and next year of course he will as Big Vic will almost certainly not be with us. A final word for Dusan Tadic who is always going to be the kind of player to drift in and out of games but today he was pretty much on it for 90 minutes and the goals and chances he created will only boost the confidence of a player who has a massive difference between him at his best and him at his worst.
As it stands, 6th place is the lowest to get a Europa League spot and in order to get that, we have to finish ahead of one of Liverpool, West Ham or Manchester United. In order for the qualification to go any lower than 6th, we want Manchester United to win the FA Cup and we want Liverpool to win the Europa League. Cheering for those two sides is not going to be easy. Can you imagine watching the Europa League Final and it’s a penalty shootout and up steps Lallana or Lovren and we need them to score.
There was some good news today as Liverpool tossed a 2-0 lead at home to Newcastle and drew 2-2. We can’t really worry about others though and have to concentrate on winning our remaining games which are at home to Manchester City, away to Spurs and home to Palace. The City game is sandwiched in between the two legs of their Champions League Semi-Final with Real Madrid so that gives us a chance and for Palace, it will be their last game before the FA Cup Final so that helps as well. With any luck, Leicester will have won the league by the time we play Spurs so they’ll have nothing to play for either, though it would be delicious beyond belief to screw them up. I always had a problem with Spurs and Pochettino, Alderweireld and Mitchell have made it worse…. So it was with great delight that I watched them fuck up against West Brom on Monday night and leave Leicester only needing three more points from three games to win the league. The two snakes looked close to tears at the end. Good.
Next up is Manchester City at home. If we found it hard to play with intensity today because of the appalling opposition, then we should have no such problem next Sunday (unless they move the fucking day and time for the 4th time before then).