The perfect start for Tim Sherwood’s new-look team had Aston Villa fans leaving the South West coast in jubilant mood. It was a dodgy opening 45 minutes for Villa, which the Cherries should have scored in, but then Villa looked a different team in the second-half with Rudy Gestede making an instant impact coming off the bench to bullet a header in.
Five reasons to be cheerful as Aston Villa fans…
1. Ooooohhhhh Jordan Amavi
I don’t think this will be the last time Amavi will get a mention in this column. The young Frenchman exuded more class than most players that have worn the Villa shirt in recent times (especially in defence). A willingness to go forward and take men on, an excellent end product and decent in the tackle too. The big question is who will work in tandem with Amavi on the left. For starters, he’ll definitely help Jack Grealish step up a level in his game. Very promising indeed.
2. Rudy 1 Christian 0
Rudy Gestede cameo gave us the first glimpse of the player’s spirited nature. From the way he attacked his header for the goal to his celebrations after the game with fellow players and fans, it showed us that this boy has real fire in his belly. It’ll be interesting to see his entire contribution to the team over a 90 minute spell, but so far, so good.
Oh, speaking of 90-minute spells, that Benteke geezer failed to score in his first game in Liverpool colours.
Villa were lucky to go in at half-time nil-nil, but in the second-half Ciaran Clark really marshalled them through to a clean sheet and victory. The young centre-back certainly seems to be progressing along nicely into a valuable member of the first xi.
Micah Richards, who was at fault with his marking for the two Wolves goal and the first Forest goal in preseason, still doesn’t seem totally on the money yet. His dribbles in the centre of the pitch are also questionable judgement (although entertaining) and may need reigning in against better teams. But he does have an energy to him that suggests once he’s had a few games under his belt to develop an understanding with Clark, it could be a very fruitful partnership.
4. Oh I Do Like to Be…
Bournemouth away on an August summer’s day is one of the better away day prospects, giving Villa fans a chance to get a bit of beach action before kick-off. A perfect setting and a good three points to get Tim Sherwood’s first ever managerial start to the season underway.
5. One Point
With the Friday evening fixture with Manchester United a point will now take Villa to the top of the league for 24 hours. I’m still not totally convinced by LVG’s United as a ‘team’, so Villa certainly have a decent chance to at least match their point last season at Villa Park.
It’ll be an early proper test of our new-look team, especially in the defensive and midfield departments.