I think the VDV problem is a symptom of the team problems as a whole, not necessarily a cause - he's not a player who will come on during a poor game and bring cohesion, he's the type who gets frustrated and the best way he knows to fix that is to do it himself, which rarely works in those situations. In a team firing well he adds a dimension, but he needs someone to work off (Modric?) when they're not, which he's not been getting.
One thing that did pee me off today was how frequently players hit the deck when they were fouled; I don't remember any doing it when it wasn't a foul, and they didn't generally roll around like they'd been shot, but it was often when they could have stayed up, so it's still a gamesmanship tactic, and happened so often that it's obviously being taught. Which makes me unhappy.