Just when you thought with 10 minutes to go, Villa had a sniff of snatching at least a point, City’s quality eventually paid off, taking advantage of rare lapses in Villa’s organised backline.

Yes, defeat was perhaps inevitable and the game was ultimately won by the millions spent on the City team, but at least Aston Villa fans got their money’s worth in terms of commitment and fight from their team.

In many ways the game was metaphoric of the football trying to withstand the influence of money destroying its soul, but in the end, you just know cash will rule the modern game, as it did eventually at Villa Park.

Still, as we go into the second international break of the season, here’s five reasons for Aston Villa fans to be cheerful…

 

1. Earn your points in B6

The bottom line is even a top 4 money-bags team should be made to earn their points at Villa Park, and Manchester City at least had to do that. It’s a small consolation, but potential promise for the future.

In the last two seasons pretty much any team could turn up at Villa Park and take three points off Villa. In short, it had become an embarrassment. Make that a serious embarrassment, unequaled in the history of the club. So more fight is welcome.

Ironically,  Villa managed to beat Manchester City last season at Villa Park, but maybe this latest performance was better in some ways, even if the result wasn’t. Last season City missed many chances and simply threw the game away with their wreckless gun-ho attacking. It was obvious their approach his time was more considered, thus they were a tougher nut to crack.

For the first 80 minutes at least, Villa were up to the task. They showed the application and endeavor to compete despite being under-strength. While both Benteke and Vlaar didn’t start,  the cruelest blow was perhaps Gabby’s withdrawal through illness shortly before the game. Love him or hate him, against such teams, when Villa are under the cosh, Gabby’s pace and power gives you an outlet that can drag any defence around and open space for others. Certainly N’Zogbia would have benefited from Gabby playing yesterday.

Still, bottom-line, City knew they were in a game and their manager even stated it was their best performance of the season so far.

2. Respectable start of improvement

When the fixtures came out and the consecutive run of games against last year’s top 5 came up so early in the campaign, there was a real possibility of Villa’s confidence being knocked for six before the team got up and running this season. To be up in the top half after completing games against the top 4 in our first seven fixtures is a very decent start.

Also, if Benteke and Vlaar were going to miss games then they might as well be games Villa were given little chance to win anyway (the fact they beat Liverpool is a big bonus) . Both Benteke and Vlaar should be ready to start for Villa after the international break, so it will now be interesting to see what this Villa team can do, now the toughest period of the season is out of the way.

3. Baker is cooking

Baker put in a man of the match shift akin to his performance against Liverpool. I haven’t been a big fan of Baker’s inability to read the game at times and his propensity to switch off (see Costa header in Chelsea game), but there’s no doubting his commitment and bravery to the cause. Villa potentially now have a decent pool of centre-backs. Baker certainly could be a decent third centre-back in a three-man defence once Vlaar is back, if Lambert wants to revert to that system for the tougher games.

4. Lampard didn’t score

Lampard has scored more goals against Villa than any other league team. 13 to be exact. When he came on as a sub for City, the game had ‘Lampard winner’ written all over it. I actually prefer to be beaten 2-0 without him scoring, than 1-0 with him scoring! Still, that maybe the last time we see Lampard grace Villa Park. Certainly he’s proven to be one of the best footballers of the Premier League era. He also comes across as a decent enough guy. We salute him and wish him all the best in New York.

 

 

5. The bleeding obvious

If I’m saving the best to last, you can probably guess what it’s going to be. Obvious really. Benteke is back. When you have a team that has only managed 10 shots on target in seven games, his return couldn’t come at a better time. He may be a little slow to get going, but at least his fear factor is back for opposition teams. Lets hope Villa don’t just hump it up to him all the time. There’s much more to him than that.

Ron Vlaar is also reported to be back after the international break. Lets hope so, but I’ll believe it when I see it!

UTV

 

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Go to the voting form and vote My Old Man Said in the ‘Established‘ and ‘Club‘ blog categories.

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Many thanks and enjoy the international break!

13 COMMENTS

  1. Unbelievable to see the happy smiley supporters, heaping praise on our side after 3 defeats, conceding 8 goals, nil for, with hardly any shots on goal.

    Have you all been brainwashed? You are now becoming conditioned to see a weak, cheap Villa squad, which goes out in a 4 – 5 – 1 to keep the score down as low as possible, and a 2 – 0 defeat is hailed a a victorious result.

    Is this our future? Accepting and being ecstatically happy about losses to any side that is deemed a top half club? And hoping a quick break against the lower clubs will nick us a result here and there?

    Wake up and think for yourselves instead of being sheep afraid of saying what you really think in case you’re accused of not being a real supporter.

    Poor ownership, poor management, weak squad = failure. UTV.

    • Baa ! Kranky your pic says it all ! Better to have a cheap team than an overpriced one that did not produced the goods , unless that is you were happy to accept all those 5th place finishes under your ?? idol . But do you really think the good start to the season has brainwashed fans ? Yes I do say good start , as one can not legislate against the club being forced to play against top 4 sides when 75% were ill or recovering from illness . But then a loss is a loss and any excuse is acceptable to those who want others to live in their world of doom & gloom

      • My idol? Ha, anything but. Good to see you confirm my view about brainwashed fans, look at our game stats, and then work out how we got those points, and why we lost the last 3, there again, you’ll probably find any excuse to back your blinkered views. UTV

        • Kranky of course your tunnel vision can only see failure coz that’s all you evidentally want to see . As for game stats you can read what ever you want to from but I see the league position and the FACT that untill the team was blighted by sickness and had to play against 2 of last seasons top teams Villa were in the top 4 . But of course with your tunnel vision I assume you & those like you would not want to recognise the medical FACT that illness reduces even top proffessional sports people’s ability to perform . . But that aside league position is determined on the whole season and not just a few matches and on the performance I have seen and not on the views of the clubs regular critics I can see a top 10 finish as a teams ability to succeed is based on the ability of the players to perform together and not on their price tags

  2. Im pretty sure Baker didnt play against Arsenal, so if he did switch off, it was in the stands! He has been great since coming in for Vlaar. IMO he gets too much criticism, he may make rash challenges but the bloke is tough and 100% committed to the cause. Just needs a Senderos or Vlaar next to him. Our defence last year was just too inexperienced, fullbacks included.

    Benteke being back is massive. I just hope we get support to him. I would like to see him and Weimann given a chance to play together. This may be hard for some fans to take, as it would mean Gabby on the bench but i think that is our best front pairing.

    • Weimann is good as a poacher so working off Benteke could work well but some thought would be needed to the team formation and that might depend on getting players such as Sanchez up to speed for the Prem . It might also be interesting to see what part Johnson plays when he gets back from Chesterfield where he has been bossing their midfield & earning several MOM awards from the Spireites
      . But the Weimann /Benteke partnership may not be our only option as I heard comments that Grealish linked up well with the big man when they played togeter for the Development squad

    • I switched off. I added that in later for some reason?! But there’s a ton of examples of ball watching he’s committed, but he’s certainly improving, which is great to see.

  3. I’ve not been able to watch the previous 2 defeats but a match against a top 4 team with 75% of the squad affected by illness is not a recipe for success nor is playing the following match against another top 4 team . But against City neither team looked like winning , yet it would seem ManC have adopted the Fergie handbook on how to win matches by tiring the opposition throughout the match and then attacking in strength in the final 10 mins . But it should be remembered our 1st choice striker is only just back from injury but without playing time will not get back to full match fitness, As for Wiemann he looked knackerd after 60 mins of being the lone striker . And as it took 3 ManC’s to mark Grealish out of the game it augers well for his & the club’s future
    And Baker certainly earned his MOM award , but then he’s progressed since he’s not being played alongside Clark

  4. Was pretty angry after the 1st goal as the back four had put a good shift in. Defense was knackered by the end, and Baker is improving. NZog still wants to go past one too many, Weimann was dreadful by himself, and Richardson is better in the centre. DCW have all the pieces (Tackling needs work) to be a great trio in midfield but didn’t show it so much in a flat three. Almost too close together all the time. The habit of letting multiple goals in brief periods has re-appeared and needs to be addressed. If it is just down to Vlaar’s absence, we need a replacement.

  5. I get it there is always a bright side to any bad result and for me it was our defence ,who IMO where outstanding . The disappointing thing for me is our lack of composure in front of goal and the total lack of support coming in from midfield when our so called strikers are needing it most .
    Not once during the match did Westwood ,Delph or cleverly get beyond our front line to have a pop at goal ,and why don’t we pick the easy pass instead of running into brick walls all the time .

    Half way through the second half city put on another midfielder to stop our counter attacking what did we do pull of Hutton and put on bacuna take of our only center forward and bring on benteke who we all know isn’t ready for first team action ,he’s been thrown in at the deep end ,and on top of that play him up front on his own with little or no support , if he gets injured again we have no real cover for his goals our shots per game prove this fact , ten shot four goals scored in seven games is poor fair for any club and once again under lambert we setting a very poor standard when it come to playing football ,city are good they are the champs ,we all know that money rules but in football so does skill,style ,flair and possession of the ball , we gone backwards and by pure luck not judgement we have 10 points on the board …………………………………I hope our luck last

  6. People are underestimating Baker, who has been MOTM in two of the last 4 games. He is still a very young player. But I don’t doubt like Grealish that he has the potential to go all the way. For me, he is better than Gary Cahill was at the same age.

    I will put my neck on the block, I see him following Cahill into the England set up after the European games in 2016. If Vlaar signs for us then I see him having two years at the top. After that, I expect to see Baker as the first choice in the centre. Perhaps with Clark or Okore alongside.

    Last time I thought a Villa Player had the raw talent to win caps was Agbonlahor. I didn’t see Delph making it, so good luck to him. But Baker is one to watch at the back.

    trevor fisher

  7. its turning out to be quite a tough league this season,, even the lower teams have shown good football

    we will get better, but there is no easy games this time

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