I’ve already grumbled about a lack of last minute urgency in the Newcastle game in the dying minutes to try and win the game, because a point was never going to be a reason to be cheerful as an Aston Villa fan. We need wins and we need them now. After a week of false narratives off the pitch in terms of what Villa HQ has said about the quality of the squad and the state of the club, Villa need to break their 16-game winless streak or the false hope of survival will fast become completely unrealistic.
I sincerely hope the elusive wins can come in the Christmas fixtures, because if they don’t, the straws to clutch for this column will get thinner and thinner.
In the meantime, here’s five other straws to be cheerful as Aston Villa fans…
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4. The SPIRIT OF HELENIUS
Nicklas Helenius was one of a long line of players brought in by Paul Lambert that was discarded almost as soon as he landed in Birmingham, but the Danish striker did have one moment to remember, when he had his shorts pulled down by Jan Vertonghen of Spurs in a League Cup game.
Now Kozak seems to being following the Dane off the field, with his pattern of scoring in preseason, but getting frozen out when it comes to the first team. While on the pitch, Ashley Westwood seemed to relive Helenius’s most infamous pants moment against Newcastle (below), when he had a problem with his shorts, which eager photographers were keen to take advantage of.
At the same time though, the Villa midfielder who returned to the fold, gave one of his more committed performances in the Villa midfield, perhaps his best since the FA Cup semi-final.
I personally don’t see Westwood as a first teamer at Villa in the Premier League. He just hasn’t made the step up in class, but maybe he will have a part to play in the Championship, if Villa do drop?
He still needs to work on his delivery and final end product though.
You could say at least Villa are prepared for the Championship, if that is to be their fate, because they have been buying that kind of calibre of player for a few seasons now. At least players like Westwood will stick around and finally show their true worth to the club at a level they are more comfortable at.