Aside from the disappointment of the Preston game, it’s been a busy week of transfer news which has fans hoping for a second wave of a promotion push. What did Villa fans learn from a week of downs-and-ups?
PRESTON’S CRUSHING COMEBACK
It was all going so well. With 26-year-old Henri Lansbury providing a much-needed midfield presence the 2-0 lead at half-time would surely be enough to secure the home win.
It’s all too familiar, and more frustrating after a good first half and two goals for Adomah (well, he was a bit cheeky stealing Gabby’s goal, but it’s best to make sure) and smiles all round.
Put simply: This has to stop. It’s not something successful teams do. Ergo, if Villa want success they have to be professional until the last second of every game. Not take the second half for granted because it’s probably in the bag.
Yes, he had a good game. Maybe he’s turned the corner and is at full-fitness and ready to fire in 15 goals on the run-in. If he does, he’ll have the support of all fans who will forgive and forget.
But chances are, based on past form and experience, not only will he disappoint and fail to add to his anemic goal tally of late but be relegated to the bench once Jonathan Kodjia comes back from ACON duty ahead of the Brentford game.
Again put simply, if he wants to win over the fans and propel the club he loves up the table, he needs to work harder, make chances, take chances, and prove his worth.
HENRI & THE NEW SIGNINGS
If reports are true that Henri Lansbury gave his new teammates a right earful after the Preston game, it could be the most positive thing to come of out his signing so far.
Steve Bruce’s response to McCormack’s gate… er… Gate (see below) is backing up what he said when he arrived: the players need a kick up the rear end and spelled out to them that they need to be professional.
It is certainly exciting to see Lansbury and Conor Hourihane line up with James Bree (presumably relegating hate-him/love-him/tolerate-him regular right-back Alan Hutton) and Icelandic star Birkir Bjarnason in the team against Brentford hopefully adding some steel (to use Dr Jo Venglos’s favourite word regarding Villa’s soft spots on his watch) to key areas.
We finally have a midfield now and if Bruce plays Adomah, Hourihane, Lansbury and Bjarnason, where does that leave the likes of Jedinak, Grealish and Ayew?
There are still unanswered questions about Ross McCormack and his frozen gates. This column has pondered whether Ross ever wanted to leave Fulham and the success he had there. While this column has sympathy for players who are treated like pieces of meat, expected to perform, albeit for large sums of money, without the due consideration into the person inside the football boots, an unhappy player bought to perform and put Villa into the top six by this point in the season – and has failed to help all that much – should probably be moved on as soon as possible for everyone’s sake.
Follow Adam on Twitter at @keebo00