Beating the Blues was a no-win situation. As a Premier League team at home against a Championship team you really should take care of business. Losing against WBA at home did a lot to take the gloss off the week, because the only real success of the week would have been completing a derby double win, as Villa did in the double-header versus West Brom last season.
Still, in terms of confidence and regaining some kind of momentum, simply winning a game was a welcome feeling. Here’s five other reasons to be cheerful as Aston Villa fans…
1. Zip it
After having to put up with the yapping of one noisy neighbour after West Brom finally managed to win at Villa Park, it was important not to have to suffer a double dose in the week by losing to the Blues. While we didn’t have that much to gain in beating them bar an away trip to Southampton in the next round, we had plenty to lose if they had knocked us out on Tuesday.
There was certainly a lift in atmosphere in both the Holte End and Lower North at Villa Park. Wouldn’t it be great, if it was closer to that level for every game?
After the first few games of the season it had seemed that Swansea City had obtained the best of the Ayew brothers on a free transfer, while Villa simply looked to have wasted good money on the lesser brother, who seemed to be more a D-yew, or a C-yew at best. But in the second half against the Blues, Jordan gave a B-yew performance, showing there was potential to reclaim his full Ayew surname.
Certainly it was a more promising performance from Ayew, who was full of effort and attacking intent. Has he earnt a start at Anfield? He maybe worth a shot.
There’s been a few doubts over the potential dimension that Rudy Gestede can bring to the Villa team going forward. He’s no Benteke in terms of his control, vision, passing and technique, but boy can he header the ball.
Gestede definitely has a role to play for Villa and is a certainly a useful weapon to have in Villa’s attacking armoury, but he needs proper service. Amavi and Bacuna can deliver decent balls from the flanks, but there needs to be a bit more quantity and quality to bring Gestede into play more and make him a threat.
Sherwood made a big deal in his post-match interviews about the fact he had instructed his team to go very direct in the first half to trick the Blues into backing off in the second half to give his midfield more space. If he meant hitting Gestede early, he certainly wasted a half of football, as the forward wasn’t effective or involved enough. Surely Sherwood’s master plan wasn’t to lead the Blues into a false sense of security by actually wasting the first half to set up the second?! Going direct should actually mean creating chances too.
5. Agent Benteke
It was already mentioned in What We Learnt that Christian Benteke will be out injured for Liverpool when Aston Villa visit Anfield this weekend. While I prefer to beat teams at full-strength, I’m not sure Villa fans are ready to see Benteke play against them just yet. Putting off that unsavoury sight is certainly welcome, as is the prospect of an away trip to a ground Villa seem to love playing at in recent seasons.
In fact, as we saw at Wembley last season, playing Liverpool anywhere as long as it’s not Villa Park, is always a joy nowadays. UTV
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