Aston Villa's capitulation at Arsenal leaves Villa fans fearing the worst

Published Add your comment

Football News

How things can change in a week.

Last Sunday there was a sense of optimism surrounding Aston Villa when they scored two goals in one game - the FA Cup win over Bournemouth - and their star man Fabian Delph agreed a new bumper deal keeping him at the club until 2019.

However, it was only a matter of time before they were brought back down to earth and the 5-0 capitulation at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday did just that.

Another game without a goal for Villa leaves their current record at 612 minutes, just over ten hours of Premier League football without finding the back of the net.

Tactical flaws

One main reason for this is Paul Lambert’s tactics which are now based around possession. The Birmingham side have been known for being a counter-attacking team over recent years, but Lambert has now installed a keep-ball ethos which does not suit the side considering their pace throughout.

Villa actually had more of the ball than Arsenal on Sunday finishing with 52 percent possession. However, most of that was when the ball was played around their back four.

Passes were either going sideways or backwards - which is far too negative - and there was no aim to push forward and cause problems.

Christian Benteke is not doing enough in front of the ball at the moment and his movement offers little to those in possession of the ball. He is obviously starved of service but it does beg the question: can Villa leave out their star striker?

If the side aren’t struggling enough, Lambert decided to play around with the squad - a move which proved to be very costly. Gabriel Agbonlahor, Aly Cissokho and Ashley Westwood were left out of the side.

Struggling Sanchez

Westwood must have been fuming on the bench watching Carlos Sanchez get destroyed by Arsenal’s midfield three. As a holding midfielder, if the oppositions movement is too much, surely just find a man and stick with him. Mesut Ozil maybe?

When Agbonlahor and Westwood were introduced in the second-half with Scott Sinclair, the Villa side suddenly played with some hope and purpose. Agbonglahor and Sinclair showed their pace instantly with Westwood spraying the ball around, giving Sanchez a valuable lesson in how the defensive midfielder role is played.

The team Villa finished with was actually stronger than the starting XI.

Villa face Chelsea on Saturday - which will add another 90 minutes to their goal drought - before facing Hull and Stoke. Six pointers, cup finals, must wins. Call them what you want but every game is crucial for Villa’s survival chances.

The longest time without a goal is 839 minutes, an unwanted record held by Crystal Palace from their 1994/95 season. However, if Villa continue the way they are, that record could soon be broken.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Premier League
Fabian Delph
Aston Villa

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again