After the match, Bruce apologised to travelling Villa faithful for a, “pathetic performance.” I wouldn’t go as far to say it was pathetic, but in all honesty, Villa did little to threaten Ruddy in the Norwich goal. It’s becoming clearer game on game that we need a link man between the defence and the attack. Westwood never seems to be in the right place at the right time to pick out that killer pass, while Jedinak will win tackles and headers, but he’s just a bit of a blob. By that I mean he doesn’t have a footballing brain like Carrick or Pirlo does.
Anyway, Gabby started on the left wing instead of Adomah for some reason, but that didn’t stop him from running around like a maniac. When you have the likes of Adomah and McCormack on the bench, you got to question Bruce as to why he’s starting. As much as I want Gabby to do well, I’d prefer to see a striker play who scored 21 goals last season than a striker who scored one.
The first-half was underwhelming from both sides. Villa looked okay, with Amavi causing problems down the left, but still we couldn’t muster a shot on target. Gollini made an impressive double save, palming a longshot wide before blocking Nelson Oliveira’s follow up. Our best chance came when Elphick volleyed over from a tight angle after Ayew’s free-kick. Before I conclude that point, I’ve got no idea why Amavi kept dummying the free-kicks. Surely, it’s obvious to Norwich that he isn’t going to take them. Rant over.
The second-half was worse than the first. Classic Villa. Steve Bruce probably gave them a bollocking at half-time, but whatever he did, it didn’t seem to work. Kodjia didn’t look his usual self, Alan Hutton was on the ball too much and Elphick looked shaky. I don’t mean to have a go at Elphick because he’s a decent defender, but the two games we’ve lost under Bruce, he’s been in the starting XI. Coincidence?
Oliveira scored for the Canaries and it was gutting. Gabby lost the ball, and Norwich crafted it to the Portugal forward. From 25 yards, the Portugal frontman slid the ball into the bottom corner with Gollini left motionless in no man’s land. I was watching this game in the pub while a pub quiz was going on, the only question I wanted to know was to why Gollini was standing on the penalty spot when the shot left Oliveira’s left foot.
We might have had a penalty late on when McCormack was pulled down in the box, but it would’ve been soft. 1-0 isn’t a nice way to lose, actually, when is there a nice way to lose? Nevertheless, we’re six points off the play offs, which isn’t terrible but it isn’t ideal either. Improvements needed next week Brucey!