Aston Villa hired a set-piece expert and then managed to send off three goals from dead balls against Wolves
Aston Villa hired a set-piece expert but still managed to send off three goals from dead balls against Wolves… the derby defeat has reminded their owners – who together are worth a total of £10 BILLION – the top is as far away as ever
- Aston Villa lost 3-2 to Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon
- All three goals they conceded came from dead ball situations
- Villa brought in Austin MacPhee as permanent coach over the summer
- Owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens have an estimated net worth of £10 billion
- NSWE spent around £300m on players and got them back in top shape
If Newcastle’s new owners believe wealth will soon bring success, a look at Aston Villa’s recent history should make them change their mind.
Though villa owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens lack the resources of the Saudi-backed Public Investment Fund, their combined wealth is estimated at nearly £10 billion by Forbes magazine.
Since the club was rescued from the brink of obscurity in 2018, NSWE have spent around £300 million on new players and restored Villa to the top flight.
Aston Villa lost 3-2 to Wolves at Villapark in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon
Villa owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens have an estimated combined net worth of nearly £10 billion
Still, this bizarre derby defeat by Wolves reminded them that the summit is as far away as ever. Rich as they are, any pretender in English football has to put up with years of frustration before they can compete with the elite.
After beating Villa Derby in the 2019 Championship play-off final, Sawiris said: “The sky is the limit with such a fan base and such a great squad.”
Still, the club avoided immediate relegation until the last day of the following season and despite making progress last year when they finished 11th, they were unable to convince talisman Jack Grealish to stay.
Still not convinced he could reach the Champions League with Villa, Grealish, a youth fan and the hero of Holte End, went to Manchester City for £100million last summer.
Yet this bizarre derby defeat by Wolves reminded them that the summit is as far away as ever
Even without Grealish, Villa has a solid team, but how many of them would be interested in a Champions League club? Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, defender Ezri Konsa and striker Ollie Watkins would certainly do that – along with John McGinn at his best – but that’s about it. And on the other hand, how does Villa attract players who can help them fulfill the aspirations of the owners?
Since that awful 2019-20 season, when Villa was lucky enough to beat the drop, they’ve been right enough. They have spent wisely and the investments in their academy are starting to pay off.
But even the most optimistic Villa fan knows it will take the best of a decade to break into the top four.
Given that they have a much better squad and infrastructure than Newcastle, that should give the new rulers in the North East some food for thought.
Wolves, too, have been curbing their spending since becoming a solid top club under their Chinese owners Fosun – but who needs money when you show the spirit of Bruno Lage’s men in this remarkable derby?
Emiliano Martinez (left) and Ezri Konsa (right) are said to be interested in Champions League clubs
Trailing 2-0 after 80 minutes to goals from Danny Ings and the excellent McGinn, Wolves suddenly came alive. Romain Saiss started the comeback before Conor Coady equalized, and Ruben Neves won it in the fifth minute of stoppage time with a free kick that caused a huge deflection on Matt Targett.
Aston Villa brought in Austin MacPhee as regular coach over the summer, but that didn’t stop them conceding all three goals. After winning at Manchester United last month, Villa has suffered consecutive defeats and left for Arsenal on Friday.
In contrast, Wolves have nine points out of a possible nine after opening the campaign with three consecutive losses.
Villa boss Dean Smith planned to go through the game with his players on Sunday. He said: ‘We will put this result behind us. As disappointing and painful as it is now, there is nothing we can change. For 80 minutes we were comfortable against a good team.’
The home side conceded all three goals from dead ball situations in Birmingham