Over the past few months MOMS has expressed concern about how Villa were playing and the level of performances not being good enough to achieve promotion. Some supporters mistakenly thought it was a call for the team to play dazzling football and entertain crowds.
‘Why was MOMS being ‘negative’, wasn’t Bruce getting results?’
The point was Villa had been grinding out results against the teams making up the bottom six with some poor performances. Moments of individual brilliance were rescuing them and it was obvious they would be found out when they played better teams in the division.
Villa players weren’t doing the basics right – passing the ball with purpose to teammates, making runs in support, getting players in the opposition’s box, giving the strikers any kind of service or getting shots off on target.
Real basic stuff.
The game against Wolves was again a perfect example of this. NOT ONE SHOT ON TARGET. You can’t win games like that.
While we wait for Steve Bruce and co to make some signings to address the many issues, here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Villa fans…
When you spend around £55m in a transfer window for a Championship season, you kind of expect to make at least the play-offs. Parachute payments give relegated teams a big advantage and it has to be said that there’s potentially been a certain amount of complacency from players and supporters alike due to our resources.
When the players looked around the changing room and in the form of James Chester, Jonathan Kodjia, Albert Adomah, Ross McCormack, Tommy Elphick, Miles Jedinak, Jack Grealish, Jordan Amavi and Jordan Ayew, saw teammates that were some of the best players in the league, they must have assumed promotion was on the cards.
Supporters also seemed relaxed, with some considering Steve Bruce as some kind of Championship messiah-like figure that guaranteed promotion. Also, with a positive owner that was on Twitter and tweeted them, it gave some supporters the impression all was good now, despite what was playing out on the pitch.
It’s wake-up call time. Currently, rather than promotion, Villa is on the path to stay in the Championship with the threat of becoming another Leeds or Sheffield Wednesday, increasingly real.
Finally realising that now, maybe not a bad thing to advert such a potential nightmarish destiny.
2. James Chester
In the summer, Villa made a big issue of their recruitment policy being about infusing the right characters and leaders into the squad for the season ahead. The idea was to give the team increased backbone and fibre for the demands of what was hopefully just one season in the Championship.
Based on recent performances that has failed to see Villa perform as a cohesive unit, only one man has delivered what it said on his tin. James Chester has been consistent and a class above most of this teammates.
The Villa captain currently deserves better from his teammates and if they don’t step up, he’ll maybe looking elsewhere next summer for new ones.
3. RIP GT
It was heart-warming to see how the football community at large reacted to the sad loss of former Villa boss Graham Taylor over the weekend, with a series of tributes at the weekend’s fixtures.
Taylor had notably managed Villa twice, the first time getting Villa promoted at the first attempt and then a couple of seasons later having them challenge for the league title, finishing runners-up. In that period he signed some of the best Villa players of the past few decades – David Platt, Paul McGrath and Dwight Yorke.
If there was common through line to all the stories we’ve heard over the past few days about Taylor, especially from those who worked with him at Lincoln City, Watford and Villa, it was that he was a true and decent gentleman in the football world which has increasingly become filled with shysters.
As I personally said in the MOMS Graham Taylor tribute, he’s certainly the Villa boss that was most special to me. It was a sad loss to lose him to the England job back in the day, but now we have to lose him for real. In football terms, we would be wise to reflect on what an important job he did for Villa at the time. He instantly cured what could have been major rot and built the foundations for a couple of cup wins.
It’s certainly an example to those who run the club now.
4. Home Comforts
The next two Villa games are at Villa Park, where the team is unbeaten. Preston North End and Bristol City must be beaten to save this sorry season. A new signing before those games would suddenly help that.
5. Bye Bye Aly
When you look at Aly Cissokho’s CV of the club’s he’s played for, it’s pretty impressive – Porto, Lyon, Valencia, Liverpool and Aston Villa. That’s three European Champions and if it wasn’t for a complication in a medical, he would have also signed for AC Milan too.
Judging by the evidence of actually watching him play though, it begs the question of ‘how on earth has he managed to pull off signing for such clubs?’
Does he have the greatest ever agent known to man?
Next stop for the Cissokho show is another club with rich tradition, Olympiacos, who have him on loan to the end of the season with an option to buy.
The Great Left-back Swindle continues its European tour.
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