A decent performance and a decent point. Could have been three and perhaps should have been, but after Gabby’s bizarre sending off, it’ll do. Vlaar, Okore and Clark were immense at the back, as were Sanchez and Delph in the Villa midfield. It may be premature to get too excited just yet, but there’s increasingly more reasons for Aston Villa fans to be cheerful about. UTV

Five Reasons to be Cheerful as Aston Villa Fans

 

1. 12th…11th Man

It’s about time we beat United at Villa Park since the last time was almost 20 years ago, so yesterday’s 2-1 win was very welcome indeed…

What do you mean it was a 1-1 draw? Didn’t you see the Villa scoreboard?

 

aston villa scoreboard

 

Seriously though, it was good to see Villa as a team and crowd stand strong and up to the United challenge. Too often when Villa have gone down to 10 men, the team has buckled and fans have shrugged their shoulders and expected defeat and accepted it as the outcome. Not so against United.

The 10 men battled and the 12th man, became the 11th as the crowd practically neutralised Ashley Young every time he got the ball, after his involvement in Gabby’s sending off.

The Villa faithful helping their team – it was great to witness. This is what happens when the players give the fans something to believe in and get behind.

The timing of Benteke’s goal helped a lot to get fans back on side. In the first few minutes, from where I was sat in the upper Holte, it was depressing to hear some whingeing and moaning older Villans slagging off pretty much every pass or run made by a Villa player. It got so tedious, the thought of turning around and punching one of them, did cross my mind!  Twitter has nothing on some of the folk on the upper left-side of the Holte.

To be fair though, some of Villa’s early movement was poor. When you have a centre-back like Okore needing to dribble out of his half and take the fight to United, without a teammate offering support, it does get frustrating.

Benteke’s early goal though soon altered the atmosphere and Villa supporter’s general outlook changed. Gabby’s sending off further galvanised Villa fans and they certainly helped Villa get over the line and almost win the game.

2. Sanchez Tease

I’ve already noted Carlos Sanchez’s improvement in a previous Five Reasons, but having watched him in the last two home games against Leicester and United, it’s fun to see how some supporters aren’t quite used to his relaxed and effortless style. At first, when Sanchez receives the ball he seems to be half-a-second behind in his thought progress, which frustrates fans, as you think he’s going to be dispossessed or caught out, but he then manages to slow the next half-a-second down to pick the right pass without breaking sweat.

He’s not totally there yet, but he already looks better than Jean Makoun who was a similar type of player

If Lambert is genuine about continuing the newly adopted passing ethos of Villa (which he originally tried to start when he first took over), then Sanchez will be pivotal to its success; literally acting as the team’s pivot as they play it out of the back.

 

 

3. Wow Okore

At the start of last season, Jores Okore was the Villa player I was most looking to see play and also the one that could potentially have the most impact on Villa’s season. In the end, his season-long injury was the only impact he made.

Okore actually makes me excited as a Villa fan. If nobody leaves in the January window and Villa get a decent player coming in, then with a spine of Okore, Vlaar, Delph and Benteke, it could make for an interesting second half of the season. Although maybe, I’m being too optimistic?

For example, if I was Delph and Vlaar, even if i wanted to, I wouldn’t be signing new contracts just yet, as it would be good to see further evidence of the recent progress under Lambert.

4. Everyone Loves Villa Park

Due to the amount of times Sir Alex Ferguson won at Villa Park and the continuation of their unbeaten run in B6, it seems United fans have increasingly considered Villa Park their second home, judging by the amount of home tickets they seemed to have brought in the latest game. We’re flattered by their love of Villa Park, but enough is enough.

Many Villans have since reported United fans in every stand and there seems to have been a lot of them.

I was sitting near a United fan who thought it was a good idea to bring his daughter, who must have been about six-years-old, into the Holte End. Sat in their seats all quiet and looking sheepish when Benteke hit his cracker, they stood out like sore thumbs and were spotted by everyone around them. It didn’t go down too well, when the girl was then seen clapping United’s equaliser.

I had to tell one woman to cool her jets, as by the looks of her, she wanted to throw the kid off the upper Holte onto Trinity Road.  The dad finally had the sense to leave with his kid after Gabby got sent off (for nothing) as the Holte turned wild and wanted blood.

I don’t know what’s worse, bringing her in the first place into the Holte or not teaching her to at least pretend to be a Villa fan…what a plonker.

Still, the good news is stewards evicted United fans from every stand and a few of the invaders took a few blows of encouragement from Villans to leave.

May I suggest next season the club borrows the big ‘Villa Fans Only’ signs from the Witton Arms.

 

aston villa fans only

 

5. A different kind of Christmas

It’s Christmas and Villa aren’t quite in the relegation zone AND VLAAR IS FIT!

Make sure you all enjoy the festive period this week and get well fed and aled up. Hopefully a decent result from the tricky trip to Swansea will add to our Christmas cheer.

Have a good one. UTV

 

Follow MOMS on Twitter – @oldmansaid

Opt In Image
BECOME A FREE MOMS E-MEMBER
Exclusive extras, newsletter & supporter issues news
SHARE

7 COMMENTS

  1. For the first 15 minutes I was thinking, here we go again, static, sitting back waiting to break, which wasn’t happening, then came a strike of pure brilliance from Benteke, who’s now looking fully fit and raring to rip defences to shreds.

    Apart from a few hiccups, we were a different side after that, as others said, Okore was immense, he can play football as well as defend. Sanchez is settling well, a grafter with a bucket full of talent, Delph is a great partner for him in the middle.

    Got to be very pleased with that result, but, not getting overawed, we have seen false dawns before, just hope we re now on the up.

    Must mention the red for Gabby, one of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen from a so called professional referee. UTV

  2. Great article and fully agree! Though I have said before that we have started to show some progress then we spiralled into nothingness.

    Its a real shame about N’Zog – early season he really looked up for it (granted not all the time) but he was one of the players that would chase defenders down while others strolled around. So f-ing frustrating when you know a player has great potential and you don’t get to experience any of it – like most fans (if twitter is anything to go by) I’d like to see more of Jack and Bacuna. I’m still not sure what Bacuna is all about!

    So United fans are everywhere…seriously who knew??? Must have been a sombre trip back home to London for most of them!
    Yes away fans shouldn’t be in the home end, especially not the Holte. Different if its a group of lads, but a dad and his daughter then look after them and let them enjoy the game, its a child for christ sake!

  3. Nicely summed up, Daveyb. As you say, the combination of Okore, who was superb, Vlaar and Clark was excellent. Incidentally, Clark needs a mention because he’s come on in leaps and bounds as his confidence has increased out of sight since his panic strewn performances of earlier times. yes, we should hold onto both Vlaar and Delph IMO because we will have to pay big bucks for any similar replacement although the question remains will they stay at the end f their contracts when we will get nothing. We still need a playmaker in M/F and a good old fashioned winger to make a difference to our attacking intent. Poor old Gabby got some sympathy for his sending off but he just hasn’t developed into the player he promised to be. N’zogbia needs to be shipped out big time. Wiemann, as usual worked hard and did plenty of running but he hasn’t got that ‘star’ quality. For me, we are 2 or maybe 3 players off being a very good side. UTV.

  4. With Hutton back in the team, we have a very good defence now. I agree about Okore, looks the real deal at the back. Worth the wait.

    What worries me is our complete lack of creativity and goal scoring chances. Benteke basically makes his own chances. Lambert’s refusal to start Grealish and insistance on playing 3 strikers is starting to p*ss me off. Why cant he see that we need players on there who create openings?!!

    Gabby’s sending off was a joke, but in some ways I hope it isnt overturned, as it might mean that Grealish finally gets a start and Weimann and Benteke can play up top together. However, more than likely he will keep the same formation and play Nzogbia, who is as good as useless!

  5. At what point, is it more worthwhile to consider giving Grealish game time in what could be the key season in his career, vs vainly trying to salvage some value from a near-£10m fee on N’Zyme, who managed more offsides in ten minutes than CB20 has all this season.

  6. Everyone should remember V an Gaal’s post match comment that this was the sort of game Man U should win, and if the can’t win against 10 men they won’t win anything. Obvious really. We should be willing to give up the points in the interests of making Man U live the style they hve come to expect.,

    Though to be fair to Van Gaal, he also said the Gabby sending off was unfair.

    42,000 attendance, but as is rightly reported, Man U fans in abundance> The real sign of progress will be when we start to get al the villa seats occupied by Villa fans.

    Sunderland on the 28th not likely to start the trend, but if the team can get even half the goals of the 6-1 beating we gave them two seasons ago, the wagons might start to roll. A must win game

    trevor fisher

  7. we looked good at times,, in fact really good,,, and for all uniteds possession it was only the first 20 mins
    of the second half we looked uncomfortable

    we still need to create more chances and take the ones we make,, we are so close to being a very good side , with a good squad for cover

    good to see bacuna making an impact, but zoggy still has not got going,

    hopefully lambert will keep this willingness to change tactics for certain games, but if we take the lead in a game and resort to the formation yesterday we will be hard to break down,,,

    also sissoko did well yesterday,, still needs to work on his end product but the lad has inproved over the last couple of games,,

    and okore is a real talent,, but with vlaar and clarke they looked the buisness

    so yes there is a lot to be pleased about

    if we could just get the two wantaways to sign,,, i still think they should go as we can improve other areas

    but i would be very happy for them to stay, delph was great yesterday and could get better if allowed to get forward more

    so well done to the lads,,, and to the unsung who did not get many plaudits like weinman, sissoko
    gabby and even lowton who despite being dropped really in at the deep end again gave his all

LEAVE A REPLY