The fans who stayed away from this dirge fest in droves were the lucky ones; only surprise inclusion Chris Herd and Gabby Agbonlahor provided anything worth getting excited about. The ~12k empty seats generated more talking points during the game than the “action” on it.
There’s nothing to say about the first half, it was truly awful. I’m assuming that Alex McLeish read the riot act at half time, the home side were much improved after the break and, for 20 minutes or so, it looked like the breakthrough was just a matter of time.
The ambition was there, it was just a lack of execution in the final third that let us down.
Mick McCarthy saw it too and clearly elected to settle for a point with 13 minutes left on the clock when he brought on Kevin Foley and George Elokobi in place of his two wide men; Matt Jarvis and Stephen Hunt.
It worked, the game drifted into nothingness again despite McLeish eventually responding with Barry Bannan in place of Charles N’Zogbia in the 74th minute and Marc Albrighton with five minutes left on the clock instead of Fabian Delph.
Bannan had time to get 10 touches on the ball, Albrighton just the one. Yup.
Ultimately, it’s a point against a Wolves side that have some quality about them and another clean sheet. That’s an improvement on this same fixture last season, but won’t inspire much optimism among a fanbase that’s clearly rampant with doubters.
Despite the quality of the opposition, it should be recognised that McLeish has now gone four games unbeaten and we’ve only conceded one goal in that time. There will be games like this, it’s inevitable, the only thing that really matters are the points.
Confirmation emerged during the game that an agreement has been reached with QPR for Luke Young, so he’ll be following Jonathan Hogg out the exit door before the transfer window closes. Presumably that means at least one new face should be expected in the next few days.
We now have another international break, so next game isn’t until the September 10th trip to Everton.
Aston Villa: Given, Herd, Collins, Dunne, Warnock, Petrov, Delph (Albrighton 85′), N’Zogbia (Bannan 74′), Agbonlahor, Heskey, Bent. Unused subs: Guzan, Ireland, Delfouneso, Makoun, Clark.
Wolves: Hennessy, Stearman, Henry, Fletcher (Vokes 89′), Ward, Hunt (Elokobi 67′), Johnson, Berra, Jarvis (Foley 67′), O’Hara, Doyle. Unused subs: De Vries, Kightly, Hammill, Milijas.