Why is anyone surprised we didn't/couldn't win this game?? How many times this season have we "battered" the opposition from a stats point of view but only got a point or even lost the game?
Did anyone else see that stat about us having the most shots from outside the box in the enitire PL? I think it was 98 compared to Chelsea in second with 70 odd. And that was before this last weekend.
We just don't have the players, or the tactics, or the players in the right place, to beat teams that load up the defence. The only way you beat teams like that is to get behind them but Ade is not quick enough over 10 yards and more often than not he is the only player in the box anyway.
Even when we do get lennon or bale (but that is becoming quite rare!) in behind the full backs, they either don't produce a quality cross or if they do we don't have anyone in there on the end of it (VDV should be of course but he is usually holding hands with Gallas at that point).
Our best displays this year have been aginst teams that have come to beat us or teams that we have scored against early. Teams that come to beat us leave gaps which we have been able to exploit and teams that go behind have to chase the game meaning we can use our pace to break out and score.
As for tactics against Villa - it was never going to be easy but for my money - I would have preferred at least to have had a go. Goal scoring talent on the bench in such a crucial game is a waste. Where we are now compared to where we could have been...it was worth the risk IMO.