Pardew Loses The Tactical Battle
A game of two halves is an old football cliche but entirely fitting for tonight's game.
First half Villa were terrible and we punished them. Sissoko looks a complete machine, has control, touch, pace, strength and a beautifully weighted pass. Another thing he has is bottle, he was cajoling those around him and ordering them here and there. This is the type of player that makes those around him better.
He's a special player. A general.His signing is daylight robbery.
Debuchy is no surprise to those that have seen him previously, class act, strong, no nonsense, good reader of play but susceptible to pace when defending. Better going forward. Still a bargain.
Gouffran is different he was in and out of the game in the first half but still showed pace, good control and worked hard.
M'biwa was thrown on in midfield but tended to drift to his more natural position in defence, produced an outstanding last ditch block late on.
This was almost a carbon copy of the Fulham away game of last season.
Lambert changed things at half time, as Martin Jol did in that game.
Agbonlahor and Weimann came on and pushed right up on Debuchy and Santon, forcing them back, Debuchy couldn't match Agbonlahor for pace and was roasted a few times.
Pardew was again slow to read these changes and counter them, a more confident Villa could have put away 3 or 4 early on before Pardew decided to defend the penalty box and go for the shut out.
Hold on to your parts gents, it could be a dicey ride until May.
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