We’ve picked five key talking points from the Aston Villa draw against Burnley at Villa Park.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @HazaTrand


Aston Villa failed to continue their dominant first half against Burnley, and saw themselves pegged back twice by the Turf Moor outfit.

We’ve picked out five key talking points from yesterday’s game.

Sit Back and Relax

This is a problem that Dean Smith needs to fix – and urgently – as you can’t get away with being a “one-half team” in the Premier League. Last Sunday Aston Villa criminally sat back against a ten-man Arsenal, and against Burnley squandered a good opportunity for all three points.

The blame needs to go to the players for dropping deeper. However, Smith would do well to anticipate this in the future by making proactive substitutions rather than reactive ones.

The Left-Back Debacle

It was refreshing to see Aston Villa causing trouble from both wings against Burnley, especially from the left.

Matt Targett improved the side immensely and almost got himself an assist early on with an arching cross which McGinn headed over. Moreover, he took the game to Burnley and gave Villa Park the odd sight of a left-back beating his man.

The blame isn’t on Neil Taylor for sitting back, Villa were already doing this prior to the Welshman’s arrival on the pitch – but he didn’t cover himself in glory for both Burnley goals as he was beaten to the ball for Jay Rodriguez’s header and made a poor attempt at blocking Matt Lowton’s cross for the game’s final goal.

The Nakamba Role

Every team of Aston Villa’s ilk needs a player like Marvelous Nakamba.

The Zimbabwean never looked phased when he was on the ball and his positioning in front of the back four allowed the other midfielders to get further forward.

The midfielder also managed a relatively high passing accuracy – with some of those balls being arrowing long passes to the wide men.

It’s reassuring to see that a player like Marvelous Nakamba is appreciated; in previous seasons he may not have been.

VAR Shenanigans

That horrible feeling when your man scores, you celebrate, but it’s ruled out. Playing devil’s advocate – if this game had been played in the Sky Bet Championship, Aston Villa would have been 3-2 winners.

Hourihane was adjudged to have been offside prior to playing a low cross for McGinn to tap in in the 25th minute, but there was no denying McGinn’s 79th minute side-footer at the back post.

The Scot even made light of the situation by making the VAR gesture before pointing to the halfway line.

Pick Up Points in October

Aston Villa travel east to play Norwich next, before hosting Brighton the following week.

If points aren’t picked up here then the question of “when will they?” comes to mind. After hosting the Seagulls, Aston Villa face five of last seasons top seven in their next league games.

On the other hand; Aston Villa could pick up wins and more importantly pick up the confidence to allow them to go into these tougher fixtures on a high.

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