Villa 0-1 Wolves: Where is the Quality?

Where is the cutting edge?

I’ll level with you – I didn’t expect anything from this match.

However, as the clock ticks past 11:30 and the teams are announced… Wow is that two up top? Is my reaction. With the position Villa are in, we need to win games, to win games we need to score goals, so I was pleased with the option of two strikers.

In probably the toughest game on paper since the restart, dead ball situations were also going to be crucial, so I was also pleased to see Conor back in the starting line up. I was also encouraged that Adama was on the bench for Wolves.

As it’s said, hindsight is a beautiful thing.

I was pleased with the start to be honest. Villa contained Wolves well, with Douglas Luiz, the biggest plus point since the restart, protecting the back four well. Wolves are a top class outfit, so possession and chances were never going to come easy to Villa. Targett getting injured in the early stages didn’t help with the pre-match planning.

Douglas Luiz has been Villa’s best player since the restart (photo: Birmingham Mail)

Targett’s gone off a few times now hasn’t he? Seemingly when he knows he’s in for a tough afternoon. I hope I’m not reading too much into that otherwise you can get out of my club Matty Targett.

The half comes to an end with the individual error Villa seem to have in every match. Nyland, attempting a routine throw out, somehow dropped the ball to Diogo Jota who surely only had to hit to the target to score, fortunately for Villa he went for power and blazed over the bar. RELIEF!

My dad calls me at half time. We’re both fairly pleased with the first half performance. We also acknowledge the threat Adama will pose in the 2nd half against Taylor. Neil Taylor has his critics but credit to him here, I thought he played well when he came on.

In the second half Wolves started to show the quality we know they have more and more. The three games prior to this, our set pieces had looked threatening. Today, in my opinion, they were not good enough. Conor seemed to have his radar off as well as Jack. So frustrating when we knew opportunities were going to be few and far between.

Wolves were growing into the game and a lovely move concluded in the opening goal. On reflection I would say not that much we could do about it. A great team goal, by a great team.

The team that got relegated back in 15/16 was a joke. No desire or commitment for the shirt left me fuming week after week. I don’t think we can label that against the current Villa team. The lack of quality though, is something we can question.

If the players aren’t good enough that’s not their fault, it’s the fault of the person that brought them in – Jesús García Pitarch or Suso as he is better known. A lot of money was spent for not much return. I do feel sorry for Deano with what he’s got to work with, although he shouldn’t be left blameless.

Suso needs to take a lot of the blame for the club’s recruitment (photo: avfc.co.uk)

Searching for an equalizer Villa continued to try and create but that final ball was just wasn’t there, something we’ve seen many times this season. Good positions followed by a poor delivery or having to back to the halfway line through lack of movement. Frustrating to say the least.

The empty stadiums don’t help; I can’t help but think that a packed, raucous Villa Park would spur the team on to that extra degree that can be a difference maker. The game petered out with no clear opportunities for Villa, the best they could muster were two blocked shots that looked goal bound from Jack & Conor. Not good enough.

Villa now have to do something they haven’t done all season, beat one of the big boys to stay in the scrap. Liverpool and Man Utd are up next. Let’s just hope Liverpool have taken their foot off the gas and are already planning their summer vacations because if not, a confidence sapping battering could be coming our way.

Man Utd – pushing for a top 4 finish – is also a tough game, as they have looked good since the restart. Let’s just hope Villa are still within touching distance of the pack following the United game and that the teams around us continue to be as poor as they have been recently.

If the gap is only 1 or 2 points after the 34th game with Palace & Everton to play next, then all hope is not lost. But let’s be honest, it’s not looking good is it?

Whilst there is hope, I will continue to believe. UTV!

by Adam Wright

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