Date: 10th April 2021 at 6:15pm
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Lee Hendrie has portioned some of the blame out to Villa boss Dean Smith for some of Aston Villa’s recent defensive mistakes.

Although the Villans secured all three points at home in an eventual 3-1 win over Fulham, some calamitous passages of play from Tyrone Mings plunged Dean Smith’s side into disarray when Aleksander Mitrovic took the lead after half-time.

Staggeringly, Villa have committed 11 errors resulting in a goal for the opposition in the this season – the second-worst figure out of the 20 .

Evidently, this points to a recurring pattern in Villa clashes – and Hendrie shifted the focus away from individual players and onto Villa’s tactician.

Speaking to the Transfer Tavern, Hendrie claimed:

“If the manager is telling you to do that and your manager is trying to drill that into you, that he wants you picking the ball, he wants you trying to play  much as possible, then you are going to get mistakes.”

Shifting attention towards the role of Smith, Hendrie said:

“If the manager is all for that, then you can see why the manager is not coming out and going ‘oh, well, he should have done that and he should have done that.’ They’re encouraging players to play in that manner.”

Whilst it is certainly true that Villa take risks in playing out from the back, their defence is certainly robust and hard to break down.

Villa have conceded just 33 goals in 30 games, whilst Emi Martinez ranks in the highest echelons of Premier League goalkeepers in terms of clean sheets kept this season with 14 to his name – only Ederson has kept more (17).

True, Villa could do without mistakes – but publicised individual errors seem to be fabricating an issue that is not severe enough to offer any season-ruining cause for concern.

In other news: ‘Completely different team’: Villa podcast guest raves about promising Villans youngster