Of course, even the best teams lose games along the way, but the Villa players would have probably have had an earful from Steve Bruce after letting the game at Elland Road slip from their grasp. Until the Villa defence switched off for Leed’s first goal, with Elphick going missing and Gollini’s poor judgment, the home team hadn’t troubled the Villa keeper.
Villa had the better of the play, but bar two decent chances for Adomah and Westwood, didn’t really have too much purpose in the final third. There was a drabness to the game that suggested at half-time it was heading for a 0-0.
Part of the issue was it seemed Bruce had picked his team to combat the threat of Leeds, most notably Chris Wood up front. The height of Gardner and Gestede were drafted in, to no doubt help deal with the Kiwi’s prowess in the air on set pieces.
When that relegates the likes of Jordan Ayew and Jack Grealish to the bench, and puts Jonathan Kodjia out wide to allow Gestede to play as the main forward, is it the wisest policy? Shouldn’t Villa be letting Leeds worry about their best team rather than vice versa?
With only five wins out of 19 games this season – only Wigan and Rotherham have won less. With all the four teams immediately above them winning at the weekend, Villa really need to step up swiftly to avoid being stuck in a mid-table position going into the new year.
Away trips to Leeds and Brighton were clearly tests of Villa’s promotion credentials and they only came away with one point.
Six points off the play-offs, but six points off relegation too.
While Steve Bruce licks his wounds, here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Villa fans…
Ok, Steve Bruce’s unbeaten Villa record has been shot down in flames, but at least Villa are still unbeaten at home. MOMS is clinging on to that fact as long as possible, and mentioning it at any opportunity, hopefully next week too.
An expected home win against Wigan next week, will not doubt get some fans optimistic again, but it’s trips to Norwich and QPR, that are more likely to decide our destiny in terms of promotion.
2. Xia Doubles Up Safe Standing
As MOMS wrote over the weekend, Tony Xia has declared in an interview in The Times that there are thoughts to have two sections of Safe Standing in the Holte End.
If you actually want a safe standing trial to have any impact on atmosphere, rather than just be a cosmetic gesture, it’s certainly the way forward. The rebirth of the Holte’s right side and left side? Yes, please.
While Tony Xia is doing a good job on the PR front on his trips to Villa Park, the reality is videos of him celebrating goals matter not and talk is cheap. Pivotal to his plans is the here and now on the pitch.
Bruce, Calderwood and Round are certainly practical forces at work and December will be a defining month for them in terms of whether Villa are in shape for promotion in 2017. A string of wins is certainly much needed.
3. Alternative Entertainment
At least some fans when bored out their skulls watching a game make the self-sacrifice to entertain others.
Remember the streaker at Villa Park against Manchester City with ‘McLeish Out’ written on his back? He went the full monty, at Elland Road, while the pitch invader was more modest, he certainly had a good engine on him. The Villa midfield such take note.
A bit of fun is a bit of fun, so hopefully this guy doesn’t get a football ban and all that kind of nonsense.
As the recent sex abuse cases in the game have proved, football needs to take a serious look at itself, rather than always taking the hard line on supporters who actually pay to watch games that are increasingly poor in terms of entertainment.
4. Free Food
It’s hard to think of any more positives to come from the Leeds game. Due to the late kick off on Saturday, I contrived to miss having a proper dinner, so I’m going to be self-indulgent and say at least MOMS will get fed on Monday night, at the FSF Awards, which we’re nominated for an award.
Being a public vote, it’s unlikely MOMS will win, especially considering Copa 90 is in the ‘Blogger of the Year’ category. Copa 90 is a fully staffed channel with almost two million Facebook followers and over a million You Tube followers! MOMS is a one man band in comparison. You do the maths.
Awards that use online public votes haven’t really addressed the issue that they become social media campaigns determined by size of social media followings and RT’s from big accounts doing them a favour.
Still, the awards are at the fab St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London, so at least the food will be good.
5. Audio MOMS is back
After a three-week break, the My Old Man Said podcast is back. We migrated the podcast to a new host that will hopefully help us build it up. If you’re a listener already, please do spread the word to other Villans, whether by word of month or on social media.
Some people have never listened to a podcast. Why not break a habit of a lifetime? Listen to it on the way to work, at work, while walking the dog, or in the bath. Maybe refrain from listening to during sex, as you might climax too soon!
To be honest, I’ve only personally listened to the odd podcast, here and there, and they tend to be interview or comedy ones (like the WTF podcast). There is a bit of comedy and they’ll be interviews too in the MOMS podcast, it’s not just football.
The current episode came out on Saturday and they’ll be a new one out on Tuesday.
You can subscribe and listen on iTunes here – MOMS iTunes or listen on Acast below: