After resisting an opening onslaught at St Mary’s, Joleon Lescott’s first goal for the club he supported as a kid, got some Villa fans dreaming of a huge three points. While it was disappointing to concede an equaliser from a corner, a point was a seemingly satisfactory result.
An away point at St. Mary’s is normally a decent result under normal circumstances, but when you see fellow relegation strugglers Bournemouth and Newcastle beat Chelsea and Liverpool respectively, it gives you the context of what Villa are going to have to do to survive. Next week’s home game against Arsenal is as ‘must win’ as any other game.
While we wait for that, here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Villa fans…
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4. VERETOUT RISE IN MIDFIELD TRIO
Man of the match acknowledgement in some newspapers for Jordan Vertout is a clear indication that the French midfield, who we held high hopes for, is making progress.
Veretout seems to be a bit of a slow burner, but he’s getting better with every game and with him gaining more confidence going forward, his cautious default setting should be flicked off to now give Villa more dimension going forward.
Veretout, Gana and Sanchez are probably as good as it gets for a Villa midfield trio at the moment, so Garde might as well give them a run of games to really gel and understand each other. It’s something that will benefit Sanchez, who is still prone to mistakes through indecision, although he does at least give Villa some physical presence in the middle of the park.
A quick shout out to Gana too, whose drive and energy in midfield could be the foundation for improved performances (I hope) in the vital period running up to the New Year.