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Tactics Talk: Swansea 1-0 Aston Villa - The difference between the two sides

Swansea and Villa played out a bad game between bad sides on Saturday, but there's a key difference between the teams.

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The difference between Swansea and Aston Villa

Poor teams, such as Swansea, can't break teams down to take the lead. But relegation teams like Aston Villa have players in key positions who will gift poor teams those goals.

Brad Guzan and Alan Hutton have already showed themselves to be those kind of players several times this season. Aly Cissokho is fast becoming one as well and the three combined to give Swansea the goal they had done nothing to deserve.

First Cissokho was caught out of position and made a clumsy challenge outside the box for a free-kick near the edge of the box.

Considering that a similar challenge from Micah Richards (another of the players who has dragged Villa down this season) gave Swansea their equaliser from a Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick in the earlier game this season, that would be bad enough.

But then Hutton managed to completely lose his man and Guzan the flight of the ball, allowing Federico Fernandez, a player who had never previously scored for Swansea to let it bounce off his shoulder into the net.

Another sign of Villa's relegation quality this season has been their ability to let even the most unlikely of players score against them - think Kolo Touré.

Swansea may have one player who will make those kinds of mistakes but not three at once.

Their defence didn´t make stupid challenges. When the ball came into Rudy Gestede they rose with him and he did nothing to get into positions that would cause them doubt. They shepherded Jordan Ayew´s quick feet into harmless positions. And when anyone did get through, their goalkeeper stayed in a sensible position and dealt with it.

Other Villa players put in familiar perfomances. Carles Gil, Jordan Veretout and Ashley Westwood were all tidy in possession without ever taking responsibility for doing the unexpected. Idrissa Gana was energetic but clumsy. Joleon Lescott was better than his defensive colleagues but that's not saying much.

Were Swansea good? No. But they were competent and that´s all you need to beat this Villa side.

A club doomed by its board

Think what you like of Rémi Garde or indeed Tim Sherwood but both knew that the quality of player they had available to them wasn't good enough.

They disagreed and we disagree about exactly which players in which combinations are at fault. But the basic point that the club started this season without the necessary quality on the pitch is not in doubt.

Had the club made a serious move for two good full-backs in the January transfer window, Garde might have had a chance but now he appears listless and resigned, as much as the fans are to the club's relegation.

Some of the men responsible for that are now leaving the club. Some have already left. And some are still there. It´s hard to see how performances like this will stop happening until the last of them are gone.