Matt Targett’s interview post-Everton shows the biggest difference between Dean Smith’s strugglers and the relegation side of 2015/16.
Words: Mark Jirobe | @VillaMarkPGH
In a post-game interview with VillaTV, Matt Targett gave one of the most emotionally charged interviews you’re likely to see this season after the 1-1 draw against Everton.
Targett can be seen and heard about as honest as you’re going to see a footballer these days. When asked about his reaction to the game Targett did not hold back:
“A real kick in the teeth. Defended so well up until the goal, a game of few chances. Had one massive chance with El Ghazi to make it 2 nil to make it three points and we didn’t score.”
The left-back was basically staring off into the distance while speaking and was visibly distraught about not walking away from Goodison Park with three points yet again from a winning position. You can’t blame him, either. Targett has been improving this season at Aston Villa since he made the switch from Southampton; one of many signings that had to be made to reinforce the Aston Villa squad after promotion.
Targett’s 172 interceptions and 80 clearances across all competitions this season has been a bright speck of light in an Aston Villa defence that has looked pretty poor throughout the current campaign. The defender looks to be an offensive improvement at the left-back position, with 706 passes into the final third of the pitch with a 64.3% success rate. Matt Targett is the modern-day fullback that Aston Villa hasn’t seen in quite some time, with no disrespect to the more defensively minded Neil Taylor in the ranks at Villa.
“If you get the second goal, it kills the game off. There’s so many games when we could have killed the game off and haven’t but then again we concede too many goals. Obviously, Walcott’s gotten in at the back post and maybe I could do better but I haven’t seen it back yet. But it’s just a real kick in the teeth.”
Targett also somewhat surprisingly laid a bit of criticism at the feet of the lack of clinical finishing from his forwards on the pitch through laboured breath and some light stuttering:
“I still think we can be more clinical up front. I think that’s probably been our problem most of the season, not clinical enough up front. You can’t rely on always trying to keep a clean sheet to win the game. Yes, it’s hard but it was a difficult game and really tough to take.”
Without a doubt, the result that Aston Villa took away from Goodison Park will not sit well with Aston Villa supporters. But it surely has not sat well with Targett either. By no means should Targett be criticised for his emotions getting the best of him. In football, all you ask is that the players care for the badge that covers their heart and to play with pride. It would appear that Matt Targett cares deeply about Aston Villa enough to seem on the verge of tears when speaking about a game that Aston Villa could not afford to lose in the midst of a relegation scrap.
The last time Aston Villa found themselves relegated from the Premier League, it was massively talked about how much that crop of players simply did not care enough and for good reason. In the present day with relegation starting the club in the face yet again, it seems like there are a good number of players who are trying their hardest to make sure Villa stay in the Premier League. Alas, it may be too late for the Midlands giant with only two games remaining in the season.