After the singing of ‘Things Can Only Get Better With Tony Xia’ hit a flat note after the first two games of the season ended in defeats, Villa chalked up their first win of the season with a long overdue win at Villa Park, as they comfortably beat Rotherham 3-0.
A brace from Rudy Gestede, who in recent times has been much maligned, and a decent dribbled effort from Jack Grealish, his first at Villa Park, gave Villa an important win to get their season up and running.
Despite it only being Rotherham, it nicely sets up the next Villa Park test against the 100% Huddersfield, who visit off the back of beating Newcastle 2-1 at St James Park. Three points against Huddersfield and the season will certainly be up and running for proper.
The highlights of this weekend’s clash can be found here – Aston Villa 3 Rotherham 0
So, finally we we have five reasons to be cheerful as Villa fans after an actual win.
The Dr Tony Show
Credit where it’s due, Tony Xia is really going for it. He’s kind of thrown the rule book out of the window in terms of how an owner should normally conduct themselves.
His social media presence has cut through the need for Villa supporters to waste time on clickbait local media and football website articles, as he gives news straight to fans, often before any club announcements.
Also, he has taken it upon himself to lift the Villa supporters spirits himself, his prematch introduction to the fans on the pitch, even bowing to the Holte, was a great example of that.
Football is moving into a time where it can be redefined and it is time for Villa to evolve and modernise. Xia, at the moment, seems to be the guy who is taking the bull by the horns in that respect.
Whatever happens in the future, it is time perhaps to live more in the moment and enjoy the ride.
There was go crazy record building up that Villa hadn’t won in the last 20-odd games that Jack Grealish had played. Well, luckily, before we had to loan him out to break the curse, not only did Villa win empathetically, but Grealish scored a very decent first goal at Villa Park in front of the Holte End.
It was good to see the players join the Holte in celebrating the goal too, with the stewards keeping their distance.
Hopefully this goal will spur Grealish onto double-figures this season, an amount he should be aiming at to live up to his hype.
He’s taken some flack has Mr Gestede, but has he ever got the proper service to prove himself in a Villa shirt? Certainly playing alongside the football brain of Ross McCormack has helped him in that department.
Once Villa sort out their best fullbacks and also add to the midfield, Gestede should benefit greatly from having an improved Villa team behind him. After all, he’s not the type of player than can make something out of nothing, he does need service.
Also, as Villa’s centre-backs shrink – Tommy Elphick and James Chester are both under six foot – Gestede has proven himself to be very useful in defending opposition’s corners. So, Gestede’s contribution to the team as a whole, has perhaps also been overlooked.
Adama Traore is alive. While he’s been seen as a very raw player within the corridors of Villa Park, there’s no doubt he possesses something that Villa has been lacking since Christian Benteke left – pure beast power. The ability to basically smash the opposition on their own.
Even if Adama’s role is to be off the bench in the early part of the season, there’s no doubt he’s going to terrify tired defenders when he comes on. Also, if the opposition is particularly weak down their left-hand side, he’s perhaps worth the start too.
If he stays fit, he could give Di Matteo a decent additional weapon to his arsenal for the rest of the season.
Smiling Faces of Hope
Villa fans walking away from Villa Park with a sense of joy and hope. When was the last time that happened? It’s a been a while.
We don’t watch football to be miserable and depressed. We watch it to have a good day out, to be entertained, to experience a spectrum of emotion (not just the feeling of doom).
A few more signings in the bag in the next few weeks (Mile Jedinak looks likely in the next day or two), then the positive vibes could be a weekly experience once again for the claret and blue faithful.
The latest episode of the My Old Man Said podcast show will be out very soon, subscribe to it on iTunes or visit the podcast page to find out where else you can listen to the Villa podcast with a twist.