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How do you rate the defence?

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How do you rate the defence?

Post by AstonThriller on Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:15 pm

We've talked about the midfield and strikers but over the last two games the defence has been disappointing tbh. Before the season started I spoke about my worries of making Elphick captain because I wondered whether he would deserve a place in the side the longer the season went on. I must say my doubts still remain the same. The truth is if you look at the stats they make interesting reading.

These are defensive line-ups so far this season. I've added the midfield into the line-ups to see what kind of protection the defences had aswell.

Vs Sheff Wed

Hutton..Elphick...Baker...Cissokho....

Bacuna..Westwood..Gardner..Ayew

= Lost 1-0 due to a goalkeeper error


Vs Luton

Richards..Okore...Baker...Amavi...

Green..Tshibola..Gardner..Grealish..

= Lost 3-1 but the game was at 1-1 when Baker went off and RDM changed the defence around by putting Richards central and Hutton at right-back


Vs Rotherham

Bacuna..Elphick..Chester..Cissokho..

Ayew..Tshibola..Westwood..Grealish

= won 3-0 and Kept our first clean sheet of the season


Vs Huddersfield

Bacuna..Elphick..Chester..Cissokho

Ayew..Tshibola..Weswtood..Grealish

= Drew 1-1 due to a keeper/defender error (Elphick could have kicked the ball out)


Vs Derby

Bacuna..Elphick..Chester..Cissokho

Ayew..Westwood..Gardner..Grealish

= Drew 0-0 and kept our second clean sheet of the season


Vs Bristol

De Laet..Elphick..Chester..Cissokho (Amavi came on after 20 minutes)

Bacuna..Westwood..Jedinak..Grealish

= lost 3-1 a few more goalkeeper errors in the mix


Vs Notts Forest

De Laet..Elphick..Chester..Cissokho

Ayew..Westwood..Gardner..Grealish

= Drew 2-2


Some stats

1. We've not conceded a goal before the 57 minute mark in all six games this season

2. With Bacuna at right-back we've only let in one goal in three games

3. Since De-laet came into the defence we've let in five goals in two games

4. We've let in four goals after the 80 minute mark

5. Four of the goals (sheff wed, Huddersfield and goals one and three vs V Bristol) have imo been keeper errors


In closing Elphick is one card away from suspension so soon enough we're gonna see how Baker does alongside Chester. Also getting Tshibola and Jedinak on the park is vital because a little protection can go a long way in this game. Personally I think finding a balanced side can go a long way to creating a better defensive structure in a team. Hopefully RDM will sort that in the coming games.
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by Trotters on Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:54 am

The only real concern I have with our defence is from set pieces as they're not particularly tall lads. I have no discomfort in Baker coming in as he is dominant in the air and, at least at this level, is up to the job.

The defensive issues for me are generated from the midfield. Whether that's because Jedi and Tish are new and have yet to come to an understanding, whether it's because the manager hung Westwood out to dry, or whether it's because Gardner is galactically shit, problems start in this area of the pitch.

Against stronger opposition, there's an option of playing our current back 4 with Bacuna, Tish and Jedi in front of them. Amoeba and Amavi on the wings and we have some attacking prowess as well as being very defensively solid. In that situation, I can see the defence having a very relaxing afternoon. That's the kind of game that's end up as 1-0 with us having 5 or 6 attempts on their goal and them having nothing but speculative long range efforts.

One of the glaring things in your post AT is the goalkeeping errors. They simply have to stop. RDM will obviously give this lad time to settle but if these silly, unfortunate or downright unlucky goals continue then Gollini has to go.

Bunn is a decent goalkeeper in my opinion, just a little small. He's not a long term solution though.

I think we need another backup CM like a Petrov or young NRC for when injuries/suspensions kick in and we do need another goalkeeper.

Defence is fine.

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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by AstonThriller on Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:58 pm

this tweet says it all

WhoScored.com

Aston Villa: Have now conceded 5 goals in the final 10 minutes of matches this season, dropping 9 points from winning positions already

Once is a mistake, twice you can forgive but FIVE TIMES in seven matches? We've also taken the lead in all five of those matches as well. Imo RDM had better look very closely at this defence. Personally I'd be tempted to start Baker and maybe put Richards at right-back. We simply MUST do something about these defensive lapses because it's killing our season now rapidly.
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by The Utterer on Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:29 am

To be fair to the defence a lot of the goals have either been mistakes by Gollini or very good strikes by the opposition! The main issue to me is a lack of intelligence in midfield allowing the opposition through to shoot or set something up when virtually every other team would be bringing them down (Forest 2nd on Sun for example) BEFORE they can get into the area! especially in the last 10 minutes for goodness sake!

We have conceded
1 at Sheff Weds (Gollini error?)
0 against Rotherham
1 against Huddersfield (Gollini Error?)
0 against Derby away
3 at Bristol - (2 x Gollini errors) 1 good strike
2 Against Forest - 1 good strike after Gardner gave ball away and 1 after a very good mazy run that our midfield failed to halt and aided by a flukey deflection in the area.
1 against Brentford (didn't see it so not sure of how)

So that's 8 goals in total, 3 keeper errors, 2 midfield errors and a couple of great strikes. So that does not look too bad for the defenders in all honesty.

It's midfield and GK which have killed us
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by Trotters on Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:37 am

^^^ LIKE ^^^
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by AstonThriller on Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:39 am

@The Utterer wrote:To be fair to the defence a lot of the goals have either been mistakes by Gollini or very good strikes by the opposition! The main issue to me is a lack of intelligence in midfield allowing the opposition through to shoot or set something up when virtually every other team would be bringing them down (Forest 2nd on Sun for example) BEFORE they can get into the area! especially in the last 10 minutes for goodness sake!

We have conceded
1 at Sheff Weds (Gollini error?)
0 against Rotherham
1 against Huddersfield (Gollini Error?)
0 against Derby away
3 at Bristol - (2 x Gollini errors) 1 good strike
2 Against Forest - 1 good strike after Gardner gave ball away and 1 after a very good mazy run that our midfield failed to halt and aided by a flukey deflection in the area.
1 against Brentford (didn't see it so not sure of how)

So that's 8 goals in total, 3 keeper errors, 2 midfield errors and a couple of great strikes. So that does not look too bad for the defenders in all honesty.

It's midfield and GK which have killed us

But then we could look at it in another way..

1. Against Sheff Wed why did Cissokho pass the ball back to Gollini and put him under pressure?

2. Why didn't Elphick put the ball out of play vs Huddersfield?

3. Against Derby Ince had a one on one from a simple flick on

4. Why did Chester storm out of the defence, leaving space in behind for Bristol's second goal? And why did the defence keep giving away free kicks ahead of their third/

5. The defence also left a Brentford player alone in the box from a simple cross!!..

Yes there have been some unlucky circumstance but the defence is there to keep clean sheets and that's not happening right now. Infact they've let in six goals in three games, it's just not good enough.
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by Trotters on Thu Sep 15, 2016 2:11 am

@AstonThriller wrote:
But then we could look at it in another way..

1. Against Sheff Wed why did Cissokho pass the ball back to Gollini and put him under pressure?

Because he had no midfield option to pass it to?

@AstonThriller wrote:
2. Why didn't Elphick put the ball out of play vs Huddersfield?

Wasn't that a poor pass from the midfield?

@AstonThriller wrote:
3. Against Derby Ince had a one on one from a simple flick on

Where'd the flick-on come from?

@AstonThriller wrote:
4. Why did Chester storm out of the defence, leaving space in behind for Bristol's second goal? And why did the defence keep giving away free kicks ahead of their third/

He had to storm out because the midfield wasn't doing its job?

@AstonThriller wrote:
5. The defence also left a Brentford player alone in the box from a simple cross!!..

Well who the hell has the time to make a simple cross? Shouldn't all crosses be under pressure?

Sorry, AT, that was probably needlessly sarcastic but you get my point. The defence may well be suspect - and I'm starting to have my doubts of Elphick and I don't see a massive difference between De Laet and Bacuna if I'm honest - but the vast majority of our defensive issues start from problems in the midfield. Or rather, the lack of a midfield.

Maybe throwing Baker in to see how he works with Chester is an option to look at (that's likely to happen soon anyway with Elphick racking up the yellow cards). But other than that, we don't have too many other options for change.

We do, however, have massive capacity for change in the midfield. To me, this has to be the priority.
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by DelboyVilla on Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:51 am

I am sure someone famous said that defending starts from the front and I think personally that playing 4 strikers is leaving ours flanks exposed as Ayew, Gestede, McCormack and Kodjia aren't the greatest at tracking back? therefore we have to rely on Westwood plus one other not only to link the defence to the attack but also protect the defence. A decent midfielder would struggle to cope with this so a less than average Westwood has floundered.

To me it seems that first half when we pile it on to teams they struggle to cope with our 3 mobile attackers plus Gestede and when they have worked out that Westwood runs out of steam at 60 minutes they can pile the pressure on us.

For me we need to get to a system of 4-4-2 with tish and Adomah in the side and maybe this means rotating our strikeforce a bit more but having Ayew on the wing is not going to work out well? Not sure who does left wing maybe Jacky boy as Cissoko is less attacking than DeLaet and needs less covering?

Our dropping points is a tactical issue and RDM needs to sort it out? Even Kevin Keegan won't go this gung ho!

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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by Trotters on Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:04 am

I have to be honest and say that I'm not so sure Westwood is as totally shit as I thought - and I appreciate I'm probably on my own here.

Given that, as you say, @DelboyVilla it's up to him and A.N.Other (so far, mostly Gardner) to be the link to the forwards as well as provide a defensive shield for the defence, the fact that we're not getting hammered by 3 or 4 every week and are, in fact, creating chances says to me that maybe the lad has something about him.

I'm not surprised he's on his arse by 60 mins. I'd love to know how many passes, the accuracy of those passes and how many miles he runs in a game. No, he's not all that when it comes to being a midfield enforcer but that's down to the manager to put one (or two!) in with him.

I'd like to see him with Jedi (acting as the enforcer), Tish (the play maker) and then that would leave Westwood to get on the ball and distribute it as per the manager's instruction. Those three plus two "wingers" (Grealish, Adomah, Ayew, etc) and one up top would dominate games AND be able to see them out.

At the moment, we'd be asking too much of a player who's the love child of Lothar Matthaus, Pirlo and Cowans. Let alone Ashley bloody Westwood!


-----------------Gollini------------------

Bacuna*--Elphick--Chester--Cissokho

-----------------Jedi--------------------------
--------------------------Westwood-----
----------Tish----------------------------

-Adomah---------------------Grealish-
-----------------Kodjia------------------


Those front 3 can be rotated with Gestede, Ayew and McCormack to suit.

*I've read De Laet could be out for the season.
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by AstonThriller on Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:52 am

Can't agree Trotter, Westwood simply isn't good enough and needs to be replaced forthwith. We saw against Forest how easily he was brushed off the ball for both of their goals. We simply need much more than that regardless of the players around him.
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by Boldfinger on Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:06 am

HOW DO I RATE OUR DEFENCE?

shakey and worrying !
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by FoxyAV on Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:12 am

I also think the defence is being exposed too often by a lack of midfield. Assuming Tish and Jedi will both be fit for a game at some point this season, who do we have available to pack out the midfield if we go ahead and want to protect our lead? Gardner, Westwood and Bacuna. We need a player like Mark Noble. Or Stan. Stan for the last 20 minutes of every match, that would get us all going.
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by DelboyVilla on Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:35 am

Well what can we do now to change things round? We have Baker and Richards as defensive back up. We have a midfield of Westwood, Gardner Tish and Jedi.

We have strikers coming out of ears?

Free transfer market?

Trotts, stay out the sun please? Just grab a cold one and think about what you are saying please? I have seen better players down my local park than Westy!

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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by FoxyAV on Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:42 am

I always thought Westwood was better on paper than what we saw on the pitch. If we had Jedi and Tshibola as our two central midfielders I'd rather see our number 10, Ayew, as our, er, number 10. He can force his way through the pitch and once he's fully trained to pass to a striker if there's one in space, he's going to be a very good player. Westwood however isn't good enough to be an attacking midfielder.
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by DelboyVilla on Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:54 am

Westwood however isn't good enough to be an attacking midfielder.

Corrected for you Foxy

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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by Villa_Dan on Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:52 pm

Lost De Laet for the rest of the season. Fucking shitty luck, I really liked the look of him.

Bacuna or Richards at RB?
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by mefromhere on Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:41 pm

Richards at right back. He's the best we have and Elphick should be able to keep him under control.
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by Trotters on Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:51 pm

Dan has stuck a poll up on another thread about the RB slot. Stick your vote in. It'll be interesting to see what people think.
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by AstonThriller on Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:43 pm

@Villa_Dan wrote:Lost De Laet for the rest of the season. Fucking shitty luck, I really liked the look of him.

Bacuna or Richards at RB?

Tbh since he came into the defence we've let in six goals in three games. Not saying he's totally to blame but I would have looked at changing the defence around even if he didn't get injured tbh. Good luck to the lad in his recovery though.
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by AstonThriller on Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:46 am

Well it was another clean sheet yesterday which I guess is a silver lining from a disappointing week. Was it a coincidence that we managed to hold out having Richards at right-back? Very Happy How do you think he done guys? Personally I think having him and Cissokho at full-back strengthens us tbh and gives us the most experienced back-four in the entire division.
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by Trotters on Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:03 pm

We got away with a clean sheet for the same reason Forest only let in 2; blind luck.

I don't think having Richards back there was earth-shatteringly different to Bacuna.

The issues the defence and the rest of the team are facing now are mental. There must have been a huge cloud over the club despite wholesale changes. And had we got a few wins under our belt I'm sure we'd be seeing a totally different side.

But the last ten mins was amazing. The commentators knew to mention it, the fans knew what was coming, Mick Mccarthy knew to exploit it and, most importantly, the defence (and the rest of the team TBF) was in a pure state of panic.

It's been said a hundred times but I think the answer lies in a good sports psychologist and hitting a winner ourselves in the last 10 mins.

But ANY team facing us will know when to throw the kitchen sink at us. And maybe RDM needs to play his part at that time and not only shore up the midfield but do it with an attack minded player and throw a fresh striker on just to say "fuck you! I'm not playing your game!"
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by AstonThriller on Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:20 pm

The thing is we let in six goals in three games before yesterday Trotter so surely this was an improvement? Richards, no matter what we think of his attitude last season, is a man with a vast amount of experience in the game having been playing from the age of seventeen. Having that experience alongside Elphick, Chester and Cissokho would, as I mentioned above, give us the most experienced defence in the division. So surely it's worth giving a chance for a few games?
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by AstonThriller on Sun Oct 02, 2016 3:15 pm

Can't keep a clean sheet to save their lives. As much as the attack has been mediocre the defence failed to stand firm at crucial moments this season and are also to blame for this mess we're in. Elphick has been complete garbage and imo shouldn't be captain once the new manager takes over. Baker needs to be given a chance now I think.
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by Gordonsleftboot on Sun Oct 02, 2016 3:31 pm

@AstonThriller wrote:Can't keep a clean sheet to save their lives. As much as the attack has been mediocre the defence failed to stand firm at crucial moments this season and are also to blame for this mess we're in. Elphick has been complete garbage and imo shouldn't be captain once the new manager takes over. Baker needs to be given a chance now I think.

Totally agree. I fully understand why Elphick didn't get many games last season and was let go.

Whoever takes this side forward, needs to clearly re-think much about this team.
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Re: How do you rate the defence?

Post by VillaBill on Sun Oct 02, 2016 3:44 pm

Elphick needs to spend less time head-butting & kicking post before a game & spend more time on learning how to defend, its not impressing anyone you dicksplash
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