Well, i don’t know about you, but the performance against Everton was probably the best I’ve seen Villa play at Villa Park all season. Desire, control, application, endeavour and class. Attributes we haven’t seen a lot of at B6 in recent seasons.
It’s safe to say that the likes of Delph, Cleverley, Benteke, Bacuna and Westwood are currently playing their best football in a Villa shirt. Sprinkle on the trickery and dimension of Grealish and we could become quite a force with also Gabby and Sinclair in reserve.
Oh, and well done Mr Sherwood for making us a team again. There’s certainly plenty to cheer about as Aston Villa fans at the moment…
For my money the weekend’s game was Villa’s best home performance in the league this season. Playing against one of the real form teams in the league, who had won five out of their previous six games and were fresh from slapping Manchester United 3-0 the week before, Villa completely dominated them. If it wasn’t for Everton’s 12th man in black, it would have been a much more comprehensive scoreline.
Sherwood has certainly got the team’s passing up to another level . The 52-pass move at one stage as one fan commented, was ‘like watching Brazil’ (when they were good). To me, it reminded me of watching Ron Atkinson’s Villa team at Villa Park in the 90’s.
For seasons Villa have struggled to break teams down at home (including the O’Neill years), not any more.
2. Major Tom
Some of you will remember my United-supporting old man surprisingly singing the virtues of what Tom Cleverley could potentially bring to Villa (check out the Cleverley article here). Well, credit where it’s due, he seems to have been a bit of a prophet, as Cleverley is unrecognisable to the player many United and Villa fans have slated. With Sherwood playing a brand of football that is closer to Sir Alex Ferguson’s than Moyes, Cleverley is on fire!
For my money, he’s been one of the key reasons to Sherwood reviving Villa’s fortunes. His energy, blue collar work ethic to his pressing in midfield and his availability to his teammates for the ball has been top-notch. In recent games he’s even added goals to his game too.
The ex-United midfielder has also given Fabian Delph a midfield partner he can believe in and Villa’s midfield engine room is now one of the best in the league. Ashley Westwood has also thrived in his company.
Suddenly after Villa’s midfield being the team’s weakness for several seasons, it’s now fast becoming it undoubted strength.
3. Magic Moments
The Bacuna slide-rule pass assist and Cleverley’s emphatic finish from it, topped off with a party cannon celebration in the Lower Holte was worth the price of admission in itself. More of these moments please, because they’re really excellent and why I watch football.
4. Drummer Boy
Since the West Brom FA Cup Quarter-final victory and the wholesale improvement in the Villa team’s performances and attitude, the supporters have started to crank it up. Against Everton, the Holte End especially was in good form…even the drummer in L8 was in time!
I bumped into the Brigada 1874 Villa fans, who take the drum in after the game and remarked their drumming had drastically improved on the last couple of home games. Laughing, they told me it was because at the start of the Everton game they gave the drum to an 11-year-old kid to have a go. He put them all to shame and it turns out he’s got a few drumming lessons under his belt!
I remember the drum was a little annoying at the Swansea game, as it was out of time, and I was up in K5 for that game. Against Everton, I was in L7 right next to it, but this kid was beat perfect and it had a noticeable effect of getting fans chanting and singing along.
Hopefully the Villa drummer boy has been born and he’ll continue to lend his services to L8.
5. In it to win it
Spurs, Liverpool, Manchester City and now one of the league’s in-form teams, Everton, have all been dominated in the last four games by the Villa.
If we can cast one eye to the FA Cup final for a moment, we can be very confident that we’re heading to Wembley with the 100% aim of winning the cup. We have nothing to fear anymore.