Ray Parlour explains striking similarity between Pulis’ West Brom and Sherwood’s Aston Villa

Tony Pulis Interview - 23/02/2014

Arsenal legend Parlour has explained the similarity between Aston Villa and West Brom.

Speaking on talkSPORT (aired at 07:35), Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has explained the similarity he has seen between Tony Pulis’ West Brom side and Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa team.

He said: “I think Tony Pulis is in the same predicament as Tim Sherwood is [at Villa]. Getting that right balance between defending and attacking. Against [Crystal] Palace, they were awful.”

The similarity that Parlour highlights is certainly a truthful one, considering how disjointed the Midlands teams have looked this season.

Defensively both have been fairly solid, but Pulis and Sherwood have struggled to build any sort of attacking threat into their tactical set-ups, and any time they have abandoned their defensive solidity to attack, they have inevitably suffered in their own defensive zone.

Villa have netted eight goals in their eight Premier League games, whilst the Baggies have managed just six, and they sit in 18th and 17th place respectively due to their lack of consistency.

They both rank low in the league for the average number of shots they take per game, and Villa have especially been using set-pieces as their main source of attacking threat - with only three goals scored from open play.

As defensive teams, both Villa and West Brom have looked solid, if far from excellent, and if they can start to find some fluidity between their defensive play and attacking play, both Pulis and Sherwood will face no trouble in keeping their respective sides in the Premier League this season.

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