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When Aston Villa fans did their remaining game predictions for the season, the home game against Fulham was a game that most would have put down for a home win. With the wins away to Reading and Stoke though, Villa had a buffer of extra points in terms of predicted ones, but now it’s very much squeaky bum time. Villa’s form is good, perhaps the best out of all the relegation candidates, but can they keep it going? What we learnt from the Fulham game…

1 – Accentuate the positives

It may have been two points dropped from a winning position, again, but there were times yesterday when Fulham genuinely looked dangerous, albeit limited. Both sides had their chances and neither went to any particular lengths to take them.
Therefore we should not rue the missed opportunities and count this as a point gained against a side who are having a much better season than us.

2 – Dr Jekyll and Mr Delph

Delph has come on a long way this term and is now one of our most vital players. However, on Saturday he had a mixed afternoon. Despite having a 94% pass completion rate and contributing with some tireless pressing to win the ball back (which we admittedly didn’t do much with,) he came away from the game remembered for an own goal and a wasted opportunity to win all three points.
It’s perhaps a little harsh to pin the own goal on him as his fault. Two inches taller and crisis would have been averted, however, Brad Guzan should have given him a shout to leave it. The big American proved that he is human after all and making a rare mistake.

3 – Be careful what you wish for

Mark Twain once said; ‘It is better to remain silent and be thought of a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.’ Bret Holman would have done well to heed this advice after sounding off recently about his lack of game time.
There are maybe three or four players who could justify that sort of behaviour and the Australian isn’t one of them. He came on with enough time to make an impact in a game that was there for the taking but all he managed to do was justify the manager’s decision to leave him out.

4 – Tired legs and tired minds

As the season draws to a close, mental strength will be just as vital as physical strength. The youngsters have had a long season in more ways than one and they are visibly shattered. Matt Lowton in particular was running on empty toward the end of the game and try as he might just couldn’t muster up more of that magic from the previous week.

5 – Lionesses roar just as loud

A well deserved congratulations must go to the Villa ladies this week as they’ve secured a place in the FA Women’s Premier League Cup final. Villa beat Portsmouth Ladies 2-1 on Sunday and will face Leeds United in York on May 5th.
It seems that youth and ladies teams know what silverware looks like and hopefully there’ll be a healthy following of Villans there to cheer them to victory.

 

Steven Green is one of the hosts of AVFC Review podcast and writer for Shoot Magazine. Follow him on Twitter – here

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