Zimbabwe: Villa Skipper, Fans Back Nakamba

24 September 2021

ASTON Villa captain, Tyrone Mings, has thrown his full weight behind midfielder Marvelous Nakamba by telling him there is no need to apologise for his missed penalty.

The club's fans have also rallied behind Nakamba, who was left heartbroken, after seeing his spot kick saved by Chelsea 'keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, in a Carabao Cup shootout at Stamford Bridge, on Wednesday night.

Even journalist, Ashley Preece, who covers Villa for BirminghamLive, embraced Nakamba, telling the midfielder he will always be loved, because of the fine shifts he has been putting in, for the cause of the club.

Nakamba apologised to his teammates, coaching staff and fans, after the 3-4 shootout defeat to the European champions.

His teammates, Mings and Ezri Konsa, said the Zimbabwean should be proud of his efforts for the club, and needs to hold his head high, for the battle he fought against one of Europe's strongest football clubs.

Ashley Young also crashed his effort against the bar during the shootout.

"I would like to apologise to all my teammates, coaching staff and, most of all the fans who I have let down tonight.

"Be rest assured that I will learn from this mistake and come back stronger," tweeted Nakamba.

The apology was met with all-round support from the Villa family, who felt he needed to concentrate on the good service he provided for the club, on the night.

Villa, watched by their number one fan, Prince Williams, were hailed for a brave performance, after holding Chelsea to a 1-1 draw in regulation time, before the match spilled into the penalty lottery.

The Birmingham Mail rated his performances 7/10.

Their correspondent, Preece, said Nakamba's contributions, in an epic midfield battle featuring Chelsea's World Cup winner, N'golo Kante, were priceless

"Covered some serious ground and had to go up against (N'Golo) Kante in the first half and a refreshed (Mason) Mount in the second.

"Nakamba didn't see too much of the ball but his positional work was spot on as Chelsea were forced to attack down the flanks.

"Tracked back brilliantly to win the ball off Hudson-Odoi with a little over 10 (minutes) to go. Was brave to step up for a penalty but saw his effort saved by Kepa," wrote Preece, in his post-match verdict.

Konsa felt Nakamba was excellent ahead of their weekend visit to face Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United at Old Trafford, in a league match, tomorrow.

"Don't be silly bro(ther), you were excellent tonight along with the rest of the team, head up bro(ther), we go again Saturday (against Manchester United)," tweeted Konsa.Villa skipper, Mings, also backed his teammate. "You have never let anyone down bro(ther)," tweeted Mings.

The Villa fans also turned to Twitter, in their numbers, to comfort and praise Nakamba and here are some of their tweets:

Dobbie Williams -- "You all left everything on that pitch tonight. You took a high pressure penalty in front of the home crowd, got it on target and it was saved by a penalty specialist. These things happen. Nothing but pride here for you all mate. Hold your heads up and climb that league."

Big Quanto -- "Well played Nakamba! No apologies needed, it takes strength to step up. Keep doing what you're doing and keep your head up."

Elliot Harris -- "You have no mistake to learn from last night, but everyone could learn from your bravery, desire, leadership and responsibility. Whether you scored, or not, is irrelevant to what stepping forward to take the penalty says about your character. We're all behind you."

Gary Poulton -- "Wow Nakamba. No need to apologise for that. Someone has to miss in a penalty shootout! Was just a bit gutted for the team last night as you showed enough to get through and just needed a bit of luck during the shootout. You were class... keep going."

Adam Holt -- "No need for an apology Marvelous! You and the whole team played well and all the Villa fans are proud of the performance."

Ben Campbell -- "You've not let anyone down, you had a great game, stepped up to take a penalty and it was a great save, in all fairness."

Julie Light -- "You are a fantastic player... .it does not fall onto you... it is a team game. Just remember, Villa fans love you... alongside the rest of our fantastic team."

Phil Marris - "No need to apologise @Nakamba_11, you had a great game and a penalty shootout is a lottery. The keeper just guessed right. Head up, move on, have a great season."

Don Logan -- "Apology not accepted. No apology is necessary. Stepping up like you did is the absolute opposite of letting people down. Fans, players and management, we are in this one together, so take all our strength when you need it because you give all of yours every game."

Alan Wilson -- "Setting aside your penalty miss, you have been superb in the last two matches, making a massive difference to the team performance. Most Villa fans recognise what a very good player you are, and are 100% behind you."

Gareth Dawes -- "Nothing to apologise for. You are playing so well. Penalties are no reflection on the game you have played. This season we can see the work you have put in and how you getting better and better. Big season ahead."

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