As soon as you saw that both the two team’s line-ups were littered with attacking players you just knew it was going to be an open game with a ton of goals. Notts County certainly gave Villa a scare and can count themselves unlucky not to have progressed into the next round.
“It was 100 percent stolen, said the County boss after the game. “The decisions are ridiculous: the first one is a red card and the second one is not a penalty – how can he give that? It is not even a foul.”
It was an important victory for Sherwood as defeat against the League Two outfit would have seriously burst his bubble, with the defeat comparable with Paul Lambert’s Bradford City fiasco in the League Cup. Yes, cup upsets do happen, but also surely there’s a reason these players get paid five-figures a week? They should beat a team full of players that probably earn the same in a year as most Villa players earn in a week or two.
There was also bad news with Adama Traore limping off injured. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly he recovers (he certainly looks a sturdy chap), but the weekend’s fixture against Sunderland certainly looks a doubt.
Still, there was better news to come for Villa supporters when a home tie against the Blues was pulled out of the draw. That’s certainly one of the five reasons to be cheerful as Aston Villa fans after the game…
1.Decent Impression of Messi
JOE BENNETT TAKE A BOW!
Nice goal for the returning Villa left-back who made a cameo appearance in extra-time. Jordan Amavi…be afraid.
2. August Player Spectrum
One player can’t shot for toffee (a probably throughout most of his career to be honest), while another player has now bagged two hat-tricks within a single month. Yet, the Villa boss seems to prefer to pick the former. You know who I’m talking about.
One reason for playing Gabby Agbonlahor is he stretches defences and opens them up with his speed, yet Villa have only created five shots on target in total during their first three games. So he doesn’t seem to be doing much of a job. The problem is those shots on target also tend to fall to him, meaning goals are most unlikely.
Hat-trick hero Scott Sinclair seems to be the only Villa player who knows how to finish at the moment. He’s also Villa’s number 9, so give him a chance to live up to the shirt number, even if he isn’t an archetypal striker.
3. Creator and Gent
Villa can thank Jack Grealish for keeping the team in the tie with his first two assists as he was the centre of most of Villa’s attacking endeavour in the first 90 minutes.
Also, it was great to see the mutual appreciation society that Grealish held with Notts County fans due to his time on loan there. They cheered the announcement of his name at the start of the game and after the match the Villa player gave a young fan his boots and gave the rest of the fans a hearty acknowledgement. He also gave his shirt to County goalkeeping coach Kevin Pilkington.
4. Game time
With a lot of late arrivals in the transfer window, Sherwood seemed to select certain players to get them necessary game time rather than go for any real balance in the team. Gil, Veretout and Grealish in midfield, with Sanchez in defence, was a very open set up.Throw in the fact Alan Hutton was captain and that sums up a) the strength of the defence and b) the lack of leaders in the team.
The extra-time was probably a good thing – 120 minutes for Veretout and Grealish was a plus, as was the 100 minutes for Gil.
5. Blues Date
It’s been five years, so it’s good to have the proper derby back on the agenda again giving us a proper game to look forward to early on in the season. Also, Villa will play the Baggies at Villa Park a few days before the cup game for a decent Midlands derby double-header. Lets hope the club behave when it comes to setting the ticket prices for the Blues tie.
With Villa having only three more league games before the match to gel their new team, the Blues will probably be right to fancy their chances, although the nature of the opponent will hopefully mean Sherwood will play a more balanced team than against County. it should be a cracker!
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