This is negative – Arsenal / Villa preview

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Here we go again. I’ve been writing this LeGrove Villa preview for a few seasons now, and every year I wax lyrical about how utterly dismal we are, pick out one or two depressing/barely believable stats demonstrating our ineptitude, offer a brief, yet easily dismissed ray of hope for what would be an almighty upset, then sit back and watch us get royally spanked. Again.

The most recent of these batterings was in the FA Cup Final earlier this year, when even Arsenal’s traditional confidence wobble when faced with an elusive trophy, was nothing when presented with one of the most depressingly abject and spineless Villa performances in recent memory. And there have been many.

Of course back then we were being led by the blustering incompetence of top, top diamond geezer and all-around imposter Timmy ‘fahcking’ Sherwood. Tim had somehow managed to convince everyone that he’s a football manager, when he’s actually more like a low-rent motivational speaker, the kind that plies their trade less on the corporate circuit, and more down your local estate pub after too many pints of Carling and a few lines.

Thankfully the bumbling Aston Villa board, (played with aplomb by a couple of former Arsenal stooges clearly taking the piss), finally saw sense and went out and got a ‘real manager’, the inexperienced, yet undeniably promising Remi Garde. The poor bastard.

Most of the media seem to be billing today’s game as some sort of ‘master versus apprentice’ matchup of the impressive young Garde going head-to-head against his former coach, the wiley old Professor Wenger. My problem with that is that it suggests that this Villa team is at least in some way a representative of Garde and his apparent dynamic continental managerial style. The reality is that so far, young Remi mostly stands powerless on the sidelines, dead-eyed and ashen-faced, wondering what the hell he’s let himself in for.

Garde has yet to lead the team to victory, and for every promising 0-0 against Man City, or 1-1 against Southampton (holy shit! We can defend?!), there’s a 4-0 loss to Everton and a 3-2 against Watford. So for any minor improvement Garde has made, it’s nothing I feel can withstand the current confidence and form of this Arsenal side.

You want stats? Here’s some stats: Villa have gone a club record 14 games without a win, including 8 winless at home. We have the worst defence in the league and have tied the joint worst start to any premier league by any team ever this far into the season. We’ve also conceded 12 goals in our last three games against Arsenal, without scoring.

As for team news, our plucky young homegrown talent Jack Grealish is set to come back into the side. He was ‘suspended’ for 2 games by Garde for going out on the town and acting the arse, an episode I’m not entirely convinced wasn’t in part due to all the smoke Sherwood had previously blown up it. Scott Sinclair is always capable of showing ‘something’, and although we clearly bought the wrong Ayew brother in the summer, Jordan has probably been one of our better players this season and does carry a threat. The problem is that no one else in the team really does, other than Rudy Gestede, but that’s only if you swing decent crosses right in onto his head, which we don’t.

I guess what’s most depressing for me is that in this most crazy of seasons, with Leicester top and Chelsea hovering about the relegation zone (LOL), when every weekend features an upset and how now more than ever it if feels like there are no real nailed-on results, there is still always one – Aston Villa will not win.

So enjoy the game tomorrow and I’ll see you again in May when if Villa aren’t already relegated, it truly will be the most crazy of seasons.

607 Responses to “This is negative – Arsenal / Villa preview”

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  1. Up 4 grabs now

    I’m not saying we are going to smash them, but we are better than all of those teams and if they can draw with them, they could draw or lose maybe to us?

  2. salparadisenyc


    I’m by no means dismissing what will likely be an absolute beasting come late February. But you may want to keep in mind not many if any can compete with this Barca over 180 min. They absolutely eviscerated Bayern in last years semi, waltzing into the last 45 min with a 5-1 aggregate lead against their former boss and general bad ass Pep.

  3. Romford Ozil Pele

    Don’t think anyone scares me as much as Neymar. Frightening player. Just turned 23. With Suarez you expect it because he’s in his prime but he was nowhere near the level Neymar is now at the same age.

    But it’s generally good because Brazilian footballers have been uninspiring for a while. From having awful names like Jo and Fred to picking awful players like Diego Tardelli, it’s good to actually see a top
    Brazilian at his game. They’re one of the reasons you love football. Flair and inventiveness

  4. tunnygriffboy


    Be honest. Would any club want to dtaw Barca ? Are they the best team in the world ? Who ever dtew them would be gutted surely.

    I wad looking forward to us giving it a good go in the last 16. It pissed on my chips to be honest. Out of the 16 teams the two to avoid would be Bayern and Barca.

    We may not have beaten Madrid, PSG or Zenit but we would have had more of a chance of win than Barca.

  5. Joe


    Are we not in the CL to play the best teams? We should be looking forward to matches vs barca, Madrid and Bayern.

    I don’t want to play Monaco, Kiev and gent on the way to the final.

    I would rather play barca. And it’s wengers fault we can’t even come close to competing with them with his messed up transfer plans.

    We could of built a team to at least compete.

  6. salparadisenyc

    That fucking club has done irreparable damage to me over that past decade.
    With that one bright moment at the Emirates which fell on deaf ears on the turn around leg after a very lucky goal and Bendtners miss at the end.