Southampton Review: Frustratingly good enough but tactically naive & a trip to North London

Classic Villa, eh! Win our first four games including a 7-2 thrashing of the reigning champions Liverpool, only to capitulate and quite embarrassingly so to Leeds United and Southampton. Without a win at Villa Park since 2004 against the Saints, the result shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise but let’s be honest, frustratingly, Villa don’t tend to do things the easy way.

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Luc Nilis, the greatest forward we never truly saw.

Despite starting what you’re about to read about a month before the transfer window’s closing (the delay in part due to laziness on weekends and being busy during the week), if I were to say this year’s summer transfer window marks the 20th anniversary of Aston Villa’s best summer signing of the 21st century, it could be forgiven for thinking I was talking about Juan Pablo Angel or at a stretch, David Ginola. Luc Nilis is the name that should have sprung to mind.

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Villa’s first defeat and the need to bounce back

After Friday night’s disappointing defeat to Leeds United, Aston Villa’s impressive 100% winning start to the Premier League season was brought to an end in fairly emphatic fashion. What matters now is what Villa do next and how they react to that disappointment.

Iain Dowie once popularised a term when discussing a crucial component of his promotion chasing Crystal Palace team; “bouncebackability”. Simply put, to achieve success, a team needs to show the ability to react positively to any setbacks.

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View Across the Dugout: Leicester City vs. Aston Villa -East vs. West

Monday 8th March 2020. The night of our last visit to Leicester and the King Power Stadium. It was a miserable trip, a humiliating 4-0 defeat against a side we’d fought hard to beat over 2 legs a month earlier in the Carabao Cup Semi-finals. Little did we know, it would also mark the final time we’d be allowed inside stadiums for the foreseeable future. All in all, not a fond memory.

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Pay per view exposes a fallacy at the heart of modern football.

I’m sure that anyone reading this shares my disgust at the introduction of pay per view football this weekend, for the truly sickening price of £14.95 for a single match. Yet, in reality, this is just the latest chapter of ordinary football fans being extorted away from our own game. To add insult to injury, this outrageous price has been introduced during a pandemic, as at least 4.5% of the nation are unemployed as thousands of jobs continue to be axed by companies trying to save cash.

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