Why can’t the Premier League’s golden boy Jack Grealish get a game for England?

Jack Grealish has started the 2020/21 season in sensational form with the Aston Villa star scoring three goals and assisting as many in his club’s first three games. The attacking midfielder put pen to paper on a new deal that included vastly improved terms in the form of a huge pay rise. The decision to reward Grealish with a new and lucrative contract is paying immediate dividends for Villa as any talk of relegation all but over after just 270 minutes of football this season.

For now, that is in stark contrast to the 2019/20 campaign where they fought for their Premier League survival until the very final whistle of the season, eventually finishing above Bournemouth who dropped down instead. Relegation would have been as Villa CEO Christian Purslow described it ‘a £200m catastrophe.’ Sadly for the Cherries, they suffered the financial disaster instead and despite the latest championship betting indicating that they will go straight back up at odds of just 11/10, they have already paid a huge price by losing their best players.

Indeed, with Nathan Ake leaving to join Manchester City and Callum Wilson departing to Newcastle, the perils of losing your star players are obvious for all to see when the setback of relegation hits. Luckily for Villa, they were able to avoid that fate and subsequently were able to keep hold of Jack Grealish, arguably England’s most talented attacking midfielder. Still, not everyone shares that sentiment.

Unfortunately for Grealish, the England manager seems to fall into the unconvinced category. Despite the calls for the Villa captain’s inclusion growing louder, Southgate has steadfastly stuck to his decision by mostly using him as an unused substitute on the England bench. Instead, Southgate has chosen to use Mason Mount as a roaming number 10 for the Three Lions, much to the ire of the Villa fans.

In some ways, you can understand their frustration as Mount has only registered a single goal and assist for Chelsea this season in his five appearances, and is some distance off the form that Grealish is exhibiting. But then again, Mount is the man of the moment for England having netted the winner against Belgium in a crucial UEFA Nations League game whilst Grealish looked on from the bench.

Some may argue that it is just a case of Grealish having to be patient, but there is a sense that as long as Southgate is England manager, the Villa captain will be used somewhat sparingly for England.

Given how loud the noise is around Jack Grealish’s omission from the national side, you can also envision a scenario where this becomes Southgate’s Waterloo and ultimately costs him his job.

Whatever way you look at it, Grealish’s pulsating Premier League form doesn’t look like letting up and that will only heap the pressure onto Southgate. Indeed, the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City have probably seen enough already this season to be in a position where they would happily match whatever astronomical release clause has been inserted into his new contract.

The boy’s a star and could be the one to bring Southgate’s world crashing down around him.

Premier League Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 4

The 2020-21 Premier League campaign is set to head into its first international break of the campaign after another thrilling weekend of action that included Aston Villa’s incredible 7-2 victory over champions Liverpool.

Liverpool will be the next team in action when the Premier League returns as they are set for the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on lunchtime of Saturday 17 October.

Before that though, let’s have a look at who the top players were from matchday 4:

Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea) – 7pts
Four goalkeepers kept a clean sheet in the Premier League over the weekend and we selected Edouard Mendy in the team of the week. The Senegalese goalkeeper was making his Chelsea debut on Saturday lunchtime in helping Frank Lampard’s side keep their first shutout of the new campaign in the 4-0 hammering of Crystal Palace.

Defender: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea) – 15pts
Ben Chilwell was also making his Chelsea debut on Saturday when the left-back opened the scoring and later got an assist to go with his clean sheet in what can only be described as the perfect start from the England international.

Defender: Kurt Zouma (Chelsea) – 12pts
Chelsea dominate our defence as Kurt Zouma’s goal made it 2-0 midway through the second half to help secure three points in the London derby. It’s the centre-back’s second goal in only three Premier League games so far this season, and his first clean sheet.

Defender: Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United) – 12pts
Back-to-back surprise victories have come with clean sheets for West Ham whilst manager David Moyes is self-isolating. The Hammers followed up their 4-0 thrashing of Wolverhampton Wanderers with a 3-0 win away to Leicester City on Sunday lunchtime. Left-back Aaron Cresswell setup two of the goals.

Defender: Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur) – 12pts
The one defender to make the team of the week without keeping a clean sheet is Tottenham Hotspur right-back Serge Aurier. Jose Mourinho’s side were behind within two minutes before coming back to hammer Manchester United 6-1 at Old Trafford. Aurier scored the fifth of those shortly after the break.

Midfielder: Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) – 22pts
The highest point scorer of the weekend was Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, who remains at the club after deadline day. The midfielder helped himself to a brace in the second half of their 7-2 humiliation of Liverpool at Goodison Park on Sunday night.

Midfielder: John McGinn (Aston Villa) – 11pts
Liverpool had reduced the score to 1-2 through Mohamed Salah in the first half before John McGinn’s goal for the Villans restored their two-goal advantage 10 minutes before the break.

Midfielder: Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle United) – 11pts
Allan Saint-Maximin tore into the Burnley defence on Saturday night as he scored in the opening goal in Newcastle’s important 3-1 victory that sees Steve Bruce’s side head into the international break in the top half whilst the Clarets remain pointless.

Striker: Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) – 18pts
The Aston Villa striker marked his recent transfer from Burnley with a first half hat-trick against Liverpool on Sunday night. Dean Smith may have found his man after struggling for goals out of his strikers last season.

Striker: Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) – 14pts
The South Korean has been deadly to start the new season. Son Heung-min returned from injury to take his place in the starting lineup and score twice in the demolition of Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Striker: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) – 13pts
His well-taken goal on half hour proved to be the nail in Manchester United’s coffin by making it 3-1 moments after Anthony Martial’s red card. Harry Kane added a second 10 minutes from time from the penalty spot.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool

When final scores used to come through on television years before the internet and phones and apps, this was our only source of knowing the results and quick. When big scores came through that fact had to be reminded by spelling out the actual score. If a game was 6-0 next to the 6 would be spelt out SIX just so you knew. Doubly great if you supported the team, rubbing salt into wounds if you didn’t. This past weekend that would have been used again, only this time with a sentence of exclamation marks.

To be sure and just to remind us that we are indeed on planet Earth, Aston Villa beat Liverpool 7-2, SEVEN goals past the reigning champions, seven goals past the team who have reached the Champions League final twice in the last 3 years and won one of them, seven goals past the reigning World Club Cup holders, seven goals past a team who had gone up until the end of February last season without defeat. It was an astounding result, in an incredible game of which wrapped around it is an incredible season so far.

Liverpool were the odds on favourites to beat Aston Villa and make it four wins out of four. The script Gods had it that Liverpool would ease to victory, that the two rival Merseyside teams would be 1st and 2nd in the league, both unbeaten and would play each other next on October 17th for what would have been billed as the most important Everton-Liverpool derby in a generation. Whilst that match still remains of high interest a shine was taken off who would lose their 100% record when Villa put Liverpool to the sword at the weekend.

Had Villa beaten Liverpool in a struggling all out defending 1-0 game, that would have been seen as a surprise, after all Villa just escaped relegation last season and Liverpool finished 60 plus points in front of them. But this was an all out slaughter which to be fair was over by half time.

New signing Ollie Watkins from Brentford emerged as the hero as did Villa veteran Jack Grealish so ever criticised as being good but not as good as he thinks he is, well at the weekend both were Lionel Messi level good.

Watkins scored a hat trick in 39 minutes all in the first half and opened up the scoring for the hosts in the 4th minute. By the 22nd minute it was 2-0. In fact in 17 first half minutes Villa had put 3 goals past what should have been an impregnable Liverpool defence. Whilst it’s true that Liverpool were dearly unlucky to have lost first choice goal keeper Allison in the warm up for the game, one could well argue his absence may wouldn’t have made much difference even if Liverpool may have kept the score down with him. Adrian, his replacement was absolutely at fault for the 1st goal but he shouldn’t be made the scapegoat Liverpool all round were just very very poor.

Grealish had already provided two goals in the first half and in the 2nd half he would become goalscorer as he netted twice and even new signing Ross Barkley a former Evertonian of course scored. For Liverpool the ever dangerous Mohamed Salah tried his best and personally one couldn’t fault him here, he actually scored 2 goals himself, but these will certainly be two goals that Salah would rather forget in a hurry.

It was interesting to note that possession wise Liverpool dominated and yet conceded so many goals. What does this all mean? Was it simply a one off blip much like their 3-0 defeat at Watford last season? Was it because a couple of regulars were missing, especially captain Jordan Henderson? Was it simply a little complacency and fatigue?

As for Villa they have started the season in brilliant form and have 3 wins from three and have kept intact their own 100% start to the season even after their Liverpool test.

This season just feels unique and very much unlike any other, Villa may slump as the weeks and months take hold, but they have already looked like a team who won’t be involved in a relegation dog fight for that manager Dean Smith must be commended for his summer buys. For Klopp the international break has arrived and he will have 10 days to try and understand what just happened.

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Premier League Best 11 Players of the Week: Matchday 4

Is this the Premier League or Play station? Who knows anymore what we do know is that if you have an attacking line up in your fantasy team you would have earned many points. Whilst these are sad times for goalkeepers and defenders it is impossible not to get caught up in the excitement of how many goals are being scored.

It was another weekend that saw over 40 goals scored and plenty of shocks. The champions Liverpool have already lost their first game of the season. That feels like a surprise as it was against Aston Villa. What will be a shock is the result, as they lost 7-2. 2. A quite stunning result.

Tottenham are a good side but did anyone really expect them to beat Manchester United away from home by 6-1? And Everton who have not won the league since 1987 are now 3 points clear at the top. What an incredible start to the season, now let’s see which players made the final 11 cut.

Goalkeeper: Lukasz Fabianski- West Ham 7pts

For the second week in a row Fabianski is the goal keeper of the weekend. He was assured and superb in goal as he kept another clean sheet as West Ham stunned the then league leaders Leicester by winning 3-0.

Defender: Aaron Cresswell- West Ham 9pts

A superb game by Aaron Cresswell saw him as part of a defence that kept a clean sheet. But the player also assisted in not one but two goals and had a perfect weekend. He is valued at 7m and has 12 pts overall.

Defender: Ben Chilwell- Chelsea 11pts

Chelsea spent £50m on Ben Chilwell in the summer and he is already paying dividends. He was part of a defence that kept a clean sheet as Frank Lampard’s side hammered Crystal Palace 4-0. And to put the icing on the cake he scored the opening goal and assisted in another.

Defender: Kurt Zouma- Chelsea 9pts

Kurt Zouma was overdue a good game for the Blues and he kept a clean sheet as they beat Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace side 4-0. Zouma also scored the Blues second goal in a rampant display at Stamford Bridge. Can Zouma make this season count?

Defender: Tyrone Mings- Aston Villa 7pts

Tyrone Mings had a strong game as Aston Villa stunned Liverpool 7-2. Mings now has 14 pts already and is a real bargain to add to your team and is only 4.5m.

Midfielder: Jack Grealish- Aston Villa 20pts

Maybe this was Jack Grealish’s greatest game in football so far. He assisted in 2 goals and then scored 2 goals as Aston Villa pulled off one of the greatest shocks and great performances in Premier League history as they destroyed champions Liverpool 7-2 at Villa Park. A stunning result, Grealish now has 22 pts overall and is valued at 3.5m.

Midfielder: James Rodriguez- Everton 10pts

James Rodriguez looks like incredible business for Everton and the Colombian scored another 2 goals at the weekend as Everton beat Brighton 4-2. James now has 18 points overall and has been involved in 5 goals so far his value to add to your team is 9.5m.

Midfielder: Jorginho- Chelsea 10pts

Jorginho scored 2 goals- both penalties as Chelsea ran out 4-0 winners against Crystal Palace. It was the midfielder’s best game for the club in some time and this could make him step up this season to become the player everyone knows he can be, he played very well and covered the pitch with maturity.

Midfielder: Mohamed Salah- Liverpool 8pts

Even though his team Liverpool were destroyed in one of the stunning results in the modern era Salah still managed to score 2 goals. He will quickly forget about them of course in a nightmare day for the Reds but personally Salah keeps scoring goals and that will bode well for the season ahead.

Striker: Heung-Min Son- Tottenham 10pts

Two more goals for Heung-Min Son as they smashed Manchester United 6-1 at Old Trafford and he also assisted. Son now has 6 goals this season equal to Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Son is having up until now the best season of his career.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 10pts

Together with Son, Harry Kane is part of one of the deadliest if not most deadliest strike partnerships in the Premier League. Kane scored another two goals and assisted in Son’s first. It has been an incredible start for the English international who can be snapped up for 14.5m.

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Premier League Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 3

Leicester City caused the biggest upset in gameweek 2 as Jamie Vardy scored a hat-trick in a 5-2 win away to Manchester City. Later that night, West Ham United thrashed Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-0.

Here’s a look at the players who made a real difference in the fantasy football last weekend:

Goalkeeper: Emi Martinez (Aston Villa) – 7pts
The Argentinian goalkeeper has started his Aston Villa career with back-to-back clean sheets as part of the side that won 3-0 at Fulham on Monday. He’ll do well to make it three in a row this weekend when Dean Smith’s side face Liverpool.

Defender: Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) – 11pts
Tyrone Mings scored the third as Aston Villa romped to victory at Craven Cottage. A clean sheet too for the centre-back, you can’t get much better than that combo.

Defender: Andy Robertson (Liverpool) – 9pts
Liverpool’s left-back gave his side the lead against Arsenal on Monday night after it was his mistake that gifted Mikel Arteta’s side the lead. Andy Robertson now has a goal, assist and clean sheet in his first three outings this season.

Defender: Arthur Masuaku (West Ham United) – 9pts
Anyone who was brave enough to include a West Ham defender in their team last weekend greatly profited with a surprise clean sheet versus Wolverhampton Wanderers. Arthur Masuaku outscored his fellow defenders by registering an assist too.

Midfielder: Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) – 12pts
Aston Villa were two up inside 15 minutes at Fulham on Monday thanks to Conor Hourihane adding to Jack Grealish’s strike. The central midfielder also delivered the free kick that Tyrone Mings poked home just after half-time.

Midfielder: Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) – 10pts
Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring for Manchester City against his former club before Leicester City produced a stunning turnaround in a 5-2 victory at the Etihad Stadium.

Midfielder: Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) – 9pts
Aston Villa’s first goalscorer in their 3-0 win at Fulham saw Jack Grealish make the fantasy Premier League team of the weekend.

Striker: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) – 13pts
The fourth hat-trick of the 2020-21 Premier League season saw Leicester City thrash Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on Sunday. This was Jamie Vardy’s versus the Citizens since the Spaniard has been in charge.

Striker: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United) – 11pts
Scorer of the opening two goals from West Ham United in their surprise 4-0 thrashing of Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday earned Jarrod Bowen a place in the team of the week.

Striker: Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion) – 10pts
Callum Robinson only scored one goal in 17 Premier League appearances for Sheffield United last season but scored two in West Brom’s 3-3 draw with Chelsea this weekend. Unfortunately for the striker, he was taken off midway through the second half before he could grab a hat-trick.

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Aston Villa try to fend off Man Utd’s interest in Grealish

Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United all season, with the record champions of England expected to make an offer this summer.

The 24-year-old has been with the West Midlands club since he was six years old and played both an influential role in their promotion back to the Premier League in 2019 and then scored the goal against West Ham United that kept Aston Villa’s top flight status on the final day of the season last month.

Their 1-1 draw away to West Ham United meant Bournemouth were relegated by one point, whilst Villa had collected eight points from their final four games to pull off a great escape.

Grealish has the talent to boss games in the middle of the park and also be a goalscoring threat when deployed down the left wing, as Dean Smith did on several occasions this past season.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would likely see the leader as a central midfielder to partner up with Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes next season, should they be successful in making a move for him this summer.

Grealish scored eight goals on top of his six assists in 36 Premier League appearances this past season, whilst also winning the most free kicks in the division, breaking up the opposition’s possession and adding an energy to Dean Smith’s midfield that proved to be just enough to keep his side up.

There’s no doubt playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world and in next season’s Champions League would be a great attraction for the midfielder.

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Jack Grealish has the talent but needs to act like a professional

Aston Villa’s highly talented player Jack Grealish was in the media for all the wrong reasons recently. With no football being played it couldn’t be because he had a disaster of game. Instead it appeared that the player broke the law during the Convid-19 outbreak to allegedly see a friend.

But it gets worse for Grealish. The next day he was spotted in a car accident, thankfully no one was hurt but he reportedly crashed into two parked cars and iron railings. This spelled PR disaster for the player who has spent a chunk of time trying to clean up his career and trying to get into England manager Gareth Southgate’s good books.

On top of this just a few days prior Grealish appealed via video for football fans to stay safe and stay at home, underlining that he may well just be the biggest sporting hypocrite of the year so far.

Grealish has had history of going down the wrong road in the past but to be fair to him and has pretty much kept out of trouble for the past five years. But he wouldn’t have been the first Englishman to possess so much talent and natural ability but then be undone by his actions.

In a sense the incident won’t affect his season given the suspension of football because of the virus, but one has to wonder if Aston Villa manager Dean Smith will give out a fine as he can hardly suspend the player.

Of course more has to be known of the incident before we can 100% judge but it doesn’t look good for Grealish even being out in public and damaging his car when 24 hours beforehand he was asking fans to stay in.

Former football players Darren Bent and Danny Murphy have spoken out against Grealish and this story could run and run.

Grealish had been given the captain’s armband by Smith and that seemed to flick a switch in the player who had really turned it for Villa being a key player in helping the team gain promotion to the Premier League. Whilst the side have since struggled in the league Grealish has still put in some very impressive performances.

He will now want to have a very quite month or so and hope to get back to playing football. Also with Euro 2020 now delayed until 2021 he will have the chance to try and dig deep and have a good season next and try to make Southgate’s team. That’s a long way off and if the decision was having to be made today, he would most likely struggle.

Grealish is still learning that even at 24 you just can’t act like he has been doing if you are looked up to and a professional footballer. Will he learn from this latest setback?

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Premier League: Game of the Weekend: Aston Villa 2-3 Tottenham

A five goal thriller took place at Villa Park as Tottenham won a rare away game to beat Aston Villa 3-2 for three crucial points.

It was a meeting of the minds, old and new with Aston Villa assistant John Terry reconnecting with Jose Mourinho his former manager and mentor at Chelsea all those years ago. And this was a game.

Villa started with a very daring formation of 3-4-3 with the possibility of putting one player up front back into midfield. And Tottenham went for 4-2-3-1. The away team trying to crowd out midfield and then have Heung-Min Son up front on his own.

The early exchanges would be something that Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld would not forget in a hurry. He latched onto a ball and ended up scoring an own goal after just 9 minutes to give Villa the lead. It looked like Tottenham could have been heading for their 6th away defeat of the season at that point.

But on the 27th minute Tottenham equalised and it was ironic that it would be Alderweireld who would get the goal. Only his 6th goal for the club and his 25th goal in all competitions throughout his career. With the game at 1-1 Tottenham found a new belief, they were back in the game now. Towards half time there was a penalty call as it appeared that Villa’s Bjorn Engels had handled the ball but the referee was happy not to give it. It finally went to VAR and there was a long delay, which was unfortunate- is this what football is really all about now? But VAR came back and did give the penalty. Suddenly Tottenham had the chance to go into the first half in the lead.

Heung-Min Son took the penalty but his effort was saved by Pepe Reina however the ball rebounded and the South Korean made no mistake in stabbing at home and Tottenham were leading 2-1.

It had been a fantastic and frantic first half of football that had seen 38 attempts on goal, with 10 on target for Tottenham and 4 on target for Villa. And nobody could wait until the second half got underway.

In some ways this was a game of redemption; Alderweireld had scored an own goal and then scored a goal to get his side back in the game and now Bjorn Engels was on hand to do just the same. After conceding the penalty in the first half, Jack Grealish set up Engels who equalised inside 10 minutes of the re start and we had a game on.

Whilst Villa should be given credit for wanting the win and not wanting to settle for the draw, Tottenham were on top in the 2nd half producing 7 shots on target to Villa’s eventual 2. This game looked like it would end 2-2 though, which would have been a big point for the home side but would have dented Tottenham’s top 4 aspirations. But this game wasn’t over.

Villa had held out until the 94th minute with the whistle about to blow there was a clear panic in defence and the ball fell to Son who made no mistakes and scored a glorious winner that sent the team, the away fans and Mourinho ecstatic. It was huge and the win put Tottenham just one point behind Chelsea for 4th. It was also Son’s 9th goal of the season in the league.

Whilst there was jubilation in the Tottenham camp there was frustration of what could have been in the Villa one and relegation remains a big threat for the club who are in 17th and are just one point from safety.

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Should Manchester United pursue Jack Grealish or James Maddison in the summer?

With the January transfer window ending, some Premier League clubs will feel better than others in terms of the business they have concluded ready for the second-half of the season.

Manchester United have had a difficult past few months, but the acquisition of highly-rated midfielder Bruno Fernandes should appease fans somewhat. While they do not want to put too much pressure on the Portugal international, he is a player that can fill a variety of roles in midfield that has been sorely lacking.

Whether Fernandes is used as a tenacious box-to-box midfielder, or as a number 10 sitting in behind the centre forward, he has shown quality and determination wherever he is placed.

The question of heart and passion has been a sticking point for United’s fans in recent years when it came to new players, but Fernandes has that mentality in abundance, and appears to be a player ready to run through brick walls to wear the club jersey.

And while the fans are enthused by the prospect of Fernandes, they also know how much more business is needed to be done if the Red Devils are to amount to anything next season. One of those positions is an out-and-out attacking playmaker.

Two players that have come to the forefront of United’s shopping list are: Jack Grealish of Aston Villa, and James Maddison of Leicester City.

Both have been used out wide, as a 10, as an eight and sometimes even deeper in a midfield pivot. Similarly to Fernandes, they come with great pedigree of finding the back of the net as well as the final through ball for the centre forward.

It is arguable that this season, Grealish has been the player to watch. Every time he receives the ball, the opposition defence is quaking in their boots, not knowing in which way he is going to go next. The Villains captain has a certain X-Factor about him that is unparalleled to most players in the Premier League – as well as now the responsibility of leading his team.

Maddison, on the other hand, has consistently been improving with every game. Having risen up through the ranks at Coventry City, the fully-fledged England international has taken his game to a level where fees of nearly £100 million are being talked about.

Both players are likely to be extraordinary expensive, coupled up with the fact that they are British, but are also coming into the primes of their careers and have Premier League exposure. Not only the experience of playing in the division, but excelling.

Grealish provides perhaps more of the X-Factor on a weekly basis, whereas Maddison has a sense of reliability on the pitch with his performances never dipping to a sub-standard rate.

It will be a hard task on both accounts as to negotiating with Aston Villa and Leicester City, and the club, and fans, would be happy with either, knowing they have the tight qualities to influence the final third.

Above all, Manchester United need an out-and-out number 10 and will making in their priority come the summer.

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Man Utd were unconvincing once again as they drop points to Aston Villa at Old Trafford

With Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City all dropping points in their respective games, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United had a big chance to towards the top four positions if they could beat Aston Villa, a side who have been struggling for form and are just outside of the relegation zone.

Looking at the end-to-end match as a whole, the hosts were in control of the possession but did not create many chances or complete enough shots on target as the visitors were able to defend with composure and prove to be dangerous on the counter. The Villains shockingly took the lead in the 11th minute of the game, as Jack Grealish picked up the ball in the final third of the pitch and cut through from the right to the middle before firing a shot straight into the far corner of the net.

The Red Devils did not show enough urgency and failed to provide composure on and off the ball, making it look like Villa would be more likely of doubling their lead than seeing an equaliser coming through at all. However, with just a couple of minutes away from the half-time break, Andreas Pereira was met by the head of Marcus Rashford, which got a touch off the post and Tom Heaton before going into the net. Both sides were tied at 1-1 as the first half came to a fortunate end.

After the break, United were on the front foot, utilising the ball at a higher tempo and were finding the attackers in the right areas of the pitch, but the opposition’s goalkeeper did not have much problems and nor did the backline when it came to dealing with any potential threat through the middle or the flanks. But once again, the cutting edge was missing when it was needed the most.

Though, there was an interesting turnaround just after the hour mark at Old Trafford, as Grealish had a great chance to score his second goal of the day and give Villa the lead once again, but he scuffed his shot wide off the target. A few moments later, United won a set-piece, which somehow got to Victor Lindelof at the far side of the post, who kindly headed the ball into the opposite direction and into the corner of the net, giving United the lead for the first time in the whole game.

Unfortunately, normal service was resumed for Solskjaer’s men, as they went on to conceding a goal straight after Lindelof’s goal, as Matt Targett’s perfectly-timed ball over the top was followed by a first-time finish from Tyrone Mings, who managed to get his first goal in the Premier League. In terms of the marking and the defending, United could have done much better than what they actually did, as the full team attempted to rush out from the penalty box to keep the Villa players offside, but because of the lack of communication, Brandon Williams get the opposition onside.

After the two goals for each side, not much was happening as United did not have the much needed creativity and quality whilst Aston Villa did more than enough to hold onto the well-deserved point. In the end, with the points being shared out, Manchester United now sit in ninth-place as Dean Smith’s Aston Villa find themselves in fifteen-place, just a few points above the relegation zone.

Here are the three valuable factors we learnt from United’s latest league fixture…

United’s current issues in midfield cannot get any worse

Just by having a look at the midfield options, majority of the Manchester United supporters do not feel confident or positive when they see their team play, no matter who it is against, whether it’s one of the best teams in the league or it’s a mid-table side. Even without Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay, who are currently on the sidelines, the midfield department are still not able to dominate either Aston Villa or Sheffield United, who do not have the greatest of midfields.

Even when looking at the two mentioned team, who were promoted to the top-flight half a year ago, they have the likes of Jack Grealish, John Lundstram and John McGinn, who would easily get into United’s midfield, which sums up the lack of quality and options they have at this moment of time. Given that the players can easily be injured or be suspended, the board and Ed Woodward will have to invest in the January window for a midfielder, or a lot of rising problems could occur.

The football at Old Trafford is no longer exciting or mind-blowing

Football supporters see the beauty of the sport in different ways, most see it as just winning at all costs whilst the rest would like the football played in an exciting style of play whilst being successful. At this moment of time, Manchester United are unable to do either, a team that have had their dark and gloomy days under the likes of David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, are still finding it difficult to see a certain style of play being placed and a range of tactics that are quite effective.

So far this season, the Red Devils have only won three out of the seven league games that have been played at Old Trafford, which is not good enough for a team that wants to finish in the top four positions. If United are looking to change their ways and make amends before it is too late, they will need to play with freedom and a more positive mind in the games at homes, in order for them to start winning the league matches on a regular basis and for them to turn Old Trafford into a fortress.

Solskjaer does not have the intelligence and in-game management to succeed

Since making that memorable comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League back in March, that arguably made him the permanent manager of the club, the rollercoaster of a ride for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not gone the way he would have imagined as he is now seen as the next Premier League manager that could get sacked. A lot of things have not gone well for United on and off the pitch, which could leave Ed Woodward with no option but to sack the 46-year-old Norwegian.

United have only won four out of the 14 league games they have played so far this season, and despite the current lack of quality and depth, Solskjaer’s limited intelligence and lack of in-game management has been the decisive factors to the side’s poor run of results. But the board and Ed Woodward himself should have known what they were getting, from someone who has only managed Cardiff City and Molde, with his time at both clubs not ending in the ideal of ways.

The problems at the club lie deeper than the manager and the players, but there is no doubt that the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will happen once the people in charge see the value of the club is decreasing and the possibility of Champions League football is definitely ruled out. Although it hasn’t worked out for Ole as well as for the previous managers, it will surely not work out for even the best managers within Europe, as the lack of planning and required ambition from the owners and Ed Woodward is what is preventing Manchester United football club from moving forward as a whole.