This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Aston Villa’s start to the Premier League season has begun with back-to-back defeats.
They opened the campaign with the tough test of the Champions League finalists, Tottenham, where for the best part of an hour they looked a solid side that could have potentially caused the upset of the weekend.
John McGinn’s early first-half strike was cancelled out in the 73rd minute by a Tanguy Ndombele thunderbolt before England’s Harry Kane netted a brace inside the final four minutes to put to bed any chance of a result.
On Saturday, they faced their first home game since returning to the Premier League and that ended in defeat at the hands of Bournemouth after a brace of blunders gave them a world of work to do for the rest of the match.
Find out which 33-year-old could help keep Aston Villa in the Premier League this season in the video below…
It’s something that Dean Smith and Villa are going to have to eradicate as quickly as possible or their Premier League journey will be merely a Championship honeymoon and then they really would be repeating Fulham’s exploits.
In the game against Spurs, Jack Grealish lost possession to hand Kane the goal to take them to 2-1 in the match whilst at the weekend, Douglas Luiz’s poorly thought-out dummy gifted Harry Wilson an attempt at goal which he duly smashed home.
That wasn’t before Tom Heaton’s challenge on Callum Wilson inside the first two minutes handed the visitors a penalty and the opener.
Those are nasty signs to be having but at least they are coming now and not at the back end of the season.
However, when your Premier League experienced goalkeeper is looking uncomfortable on his home debut then you should be worried. Heaton has played 98 times in the Premier League and he needs to be leading from the back, not setting an example through mistakes.
Had there not been these three individual errors then there’s little to suggest Villa wouldn’t have been able to see out the Tottenham game for a draw at 1-1 and that they might not have had a mountain to climb against Bournemouth after being two down after just 12 minutes.
In the Premier League, you just simply cannot afford such individual errors, especially with the quality increasing after coming up from the Championship.
It’s a harsh lesson but one they must learn from. How they do that may well define their season.