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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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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Villa – Norwich: Another Festive Six Pointer Preview

What a difference a few months can make. At the beginning of October we travelled east to Norwich and returned with a pretty astonishing 5-1 victory. After a tricky start to our Premier League campaign where we’d been gradually improving, that victory seemed to be the catalytic moment that would kickstart our season. Unfortunately, in the months since that season high performance, the opposite scenario has played out for Villa.

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Do Villa Need a Plan B Formation?

The season may only be four games old, but it’s already been a mixed bag for Villa so far. There’s been plenty of positives individually and collectively, alongside a fair amount of frustration. Amongst the highs and lows so far, one factor has began to look apparent on occasion, and that is our dedication to Smith’s 4-3-3 formation of choice. It is only early doors but in its current form it has left us looking a bit open and prone to the better quality of opponent that we’re now coming up against on a weekly basis.

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