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Clean Sheets - Our Achilles Heel


villa-revolution
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It's now 24 consecutive Premier League games that we have failed to keep a clean sheet. This problem effectively means that we need to score at least once in a match in order to get something or at least twice in order to secure all 3 pts. This problem has blighted us all season. 

 

PL must be tearing his  hair out on the training ground trying to tighten us up & rectify this problem & i'm sure some fans see it as solely as a weakness in defence, whilst others a weakness in midfield that allows our back 4 to be exposed.

 

Most probably it is a combination of both. Take Van Persie's second goal against us as an example. Rooney, goal side of both Westwood & Delph & in acres of space, is allowed the freedom of the park to pick out VP's run with a 40 yard pass that instantly took out Vlaar & Baker who positionally were perhaps 10 yards further up the pitch than they needed to be? Had they been deeper, Guzan would have probably been able to intercept any attemted penetrive ball.

 

Here too, the question must be asked, although a great shot stopper, is Guzan any good at marshalling & regularly communicating with the back 4 to keep them on their toes?

 

Maybe it's a formation problem? Would we be better off at playing Benteke upfront on his own & playing 5 in Midfield? Or maybe, away from home, we should just get everyone behind the ball & defend with all we have got & try & nick a goal on the break?

 

Ultimately, you win together & you lose together. In other words, the problem as I see it, is as a collective. Absolutely nobody could criticise the work rate of the Gabster in getting back in trying to win the ball for us or Benteke's ability to hold it up. However, moves break down & possession is nine tenths of the law, so we can only reasonably expect 50% of possession in most games in any case.

 

Can we keep a clean sheet at all again this season as it may well prove to be the key to our survival? My prediction, & I hope I am wrong is that we won't.

 

Here's why:

 

Sunderland (H) - Are a counter attacking side who are quick on the break & in Sessegnon & Johnson have players who can exploit our COLLECTIVE defensive weaknesses.

 

Norwich (A) - Norwich to me, appear to play all their matches as if they are the away side. They are well organised & well drilled. The main danger here a I see it is our inability to confidently deal with set pieces especially when their Central Defenders are up in our box for cornrer kicks.

 

Chelsea (H) - I won't even offer up any explanations here for obvious reasons!

 

Wigan (A) -  This potentially is going to be one of the most nerve wracking games any Villa fan has ever witnessed. Wigan tend to play in front of you, like to keep possession &  try & work the perfect opening. Due to nerves, our being pulled out of position, losing concentration etc etc I can't see us not conceding here at some point. 

 

The good news is that in Benteke, Bent, Weimann, Agbonlahor & N'Zogbia we hopefully have players that can out score most of the above opponents & the team have also shown in recent weeks that we do have the ability to come from behind.

 

The real problem however is our inability to keep clean sheets & our inability to hold on to leads.

 

Over the next 4 games, how are we going to solve this major, major headache & is any body brave enough to suggest any game or games here that this highly coveted clean sheet is likely to happen?

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for me its the type of midfielders we have that is weakening the defence. an intelligent defensive workhorse is needed in there similar to a Milner or a Petrov just to give them that extra cover

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I think we have a physically weak and inexperienced midfield.

Delph's approach to running around a lot can leave lots of space in dangerous areas, Westwood can lose focus and bannan is a shit word removed. All of them are also not great at winning the ball back or offering any protection.

We then have a defence made up of inexperienced players who currently aren't good enough. We allow teams far too many opportunities on goal and make far too many silly mistakes.

I don't think much can be said against Guzan. Without him I suspect we'd be relegated already.

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3 clean sheets and we would be safe, even if it was 3 0-0s I think that would do us, providing one was against Wigan. Obviously to demand 3 in the last 4 games when we have had none in 20+ games is a bit of an ask.

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I think the whole defensive demeanor of our team is worrying.

 

The defensive performance against Man U renderred the game a mis match IMO.

 

Defensively Lambert need to sit down and draw up a "start again" plan.

 

This team is not sustainable with these (defensive) performances.

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It's the style of defending Lambert wants us to play, he wants the back 4 to press high up the pitch and try to keep the ball in the attacking half. When we are attacking our back line pushes high up the pitch, and instead of playing it safe by standing off players, Lambert asks the back 4 to play tight to their man and try to win interceptions first and foremost. 

 

The problem is our back 4 if they miss their interceptions, end up getting burned for pace, because none of them are particularly fast, so that's a problem. This was how we conceded the 3rd goal against Man U. It was 2 v 4, Giggs and Rvp against our entire back 4, but both Lowton and Vlaar committed to trying to intercept the ball from Giggs, and he just got past both of them. 

 

If Lambert wants to play the Arsenal style high pressing backline he's got to get faster and better defenders. 

Edited by Alpaywasawesome
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Worst Villa defence i can remember

 

Vlaar is average at best but just a big unit which helps him,

Clark is not a Centre back in my opinion

Baker is for me the best we have although learning his trade so a tad error prone (but then so are they all)

The left backs are poor & not Premier League quality.

Lowton again has promise but is riddled with errors still

 

So no, i don't envisage any clean sheets this season at all.

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 Our midfield and defence are weak and inexperienced but I am going to be slightly controversial and suggest that Guzan may not be totally blameless.

 

He has been great at stopping shots and punching crosses clear but what about the aspect we can't see? How well does he marshal the defence from back there, perhaps he lacks experience at this?

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Well ..

 

I think we're having bad defences in three years now ! Although it was somehow better last year with Mcleash .. Anyway I think if we survived this year .. We could manage to be a better side even in defence .. Because everytime there is a change in the manager .. hopefully this time we stay with Lambert and have some stability ..

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The 4231 tactic is very vunerable if the players can't re-adjust after losing possesions. It also requires excellent central midfielders. What we have seen of late is a team that is easily countered, often outnumbered in center mid and on the flanks.

I think the quick easy solution is to change to a 3 man center mid with Sylla or Bannan in place of N'Zob. It might leave us with fewer options upfront, but out front three are all capable of creating something.

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I think the whole defensive demeanor of our team is worrying.

 

The defensive performance against Man U renderred the game a mis match IMO.

 

Defensively Lambert need to sit down and draw up a "start again" plan.

 

This team is not sustainable with these (defensive) performances.

Norwich last season also shipped goals for fun.

It's something that needs serious work if Lambert is to become a top manager.

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I think the whole defensive demeanor of our team is worrying.

 

The defensive performance against Man U renderred the game a mis match IMO.

 

Defensively Lambert need to sit down and draw up a "start again" plan.

 

This team is not sustainable with these (defensive) performances.

Norwich last season also shipped goals for fun.

It's something that needs serious work if Lambert is to become a top manager.

 

 

Even this year Norwich are shipping goals ! ^_^

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I don't like the way Bannan's name seems to be cropping up at least once or twice in lots of recent threads. Has Con been brainwashing people?

 

That's one thing we seem to do well as Villa fans, if a player hasn't played for a while, we start thinking they are great. I know absence makes the heart grow fonder, but BB is quite simply a poor player.

 

Our best option to protect our inexperience backline is play 3 CM's, that's 3 from: Westwood, Delph, Sylla, KEA.

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I am not surprised only one poster has come forward so far saying he expects us to get 2 clean sheets from the last 4 games. Because of our Collective defensive weakness I am going as follows.

 

Sunderland (H) win    2-1

Norwich       (A) Draw 2-2

Chelsea      (H) Lose  2-1

Wigan         (A) Draw  1-1

 

Hence 5pts & no clean sheets. Will it be enough? Yes! But only time will tell.

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I don't like the way Bannan's name seems to be cropping up at least once or twice in lots of recent threads. Has Con been brainwashing people?

 

Did you know he has the best passing rate in the whole world, or something like that?

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I don't like the way Bannan's name seems to be cropping up at least once or twice in lots of recent threads. Has Con been brainwashing people?

 

Did you know he has the best passing rate in the whole world, or something like that?

 

 I think you have all been Con-ned!! :P

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