For a change Aston Villa managed to cruise a game with a comfortable 4-0 victory away at Burton. The game was over well before the half-time whistle, in a marked contrast to Villa’s trip to the Pirelli Stadium last season, where they huffed and puffed to a 1-1 draw.
Villa now move up to 8th and have potentially a first XI to legitimately challenge for promotion.
Before the five reasons to be cheerful, here’s the goals from the game:
The four Villa goals @ Burton. 👏 UTV #AVFC pic.twitter.com/zgS4AlcujJ
— MY OLD MAN SAID (@oldmansaid) September 27, 2017
1. Triple Treat
It’s been a very welcome three wins on the trot, that coincides with using the same starting XI for the last three games.
Robert Snodgrass shaking off the rust after his recent transfer and also the return of Jonathan Kodjia have been the final pieces to click into place.
Bruce may have got lucky with Keinan Davis’s rise, but credit to the player himself, who has pretty much set up Bruce being able to play 4-4-2 due to his performances.
If a fourth win is forthcoming against Bolton at Villa Park, then Villa may even improve on their 8th place going into the international break.
One thing that has been disappointing in recent seasons has been the away form.
The 4-0 vs Burton came on the heels of beating Barnsley 3-0, making it the first time since beating Sunderland back in 2014, that Villa had managed back-to-back away wins.
Villa already have half the tally of away wins they got last season, as they will now look to target at least 10 away wins for the season to get promotion.
3. Welcome Snoddy
It’s understandably taken him a few games to get in the swing of things and to shake off some rust, but Robert Snodgrass’s MOTM performance with a volleyed goal, an assist and a nice through ball that led to the final Villa goal, decided the game for Villa.
Again, he also added bite to the midfield and helped out Ahmed Elmohamady on the right side.
With both him and Hourihane starting to play with confidence, Villa’s transformation into a team with attacking threat will surely continue.
4. Right Man
The fact that Ahmed Elmohamady has risen above three recognised right-backs says a lot about his recent contributions to the team. Another assist against Burton, made him Villa’s top assist provider with three for the season. His crossing has been a welcome additional weapon for Villa going forward.
Snodgrass playing in front of him certainly helps Elmohamady, both defensively and going forward. The two could potentially be a formidable combination on the right this season.
5. Patience is a Virtue
The early season match-to-match ‘win or sack Bruce’ ultimatums and some of the corresponding social media ego farts, weren’t going to help the only mission of this season, which was promotion.
As we’ve constantly said on the podcast show, like him or not, the current manager was the best bet for promotion at this moment in time.
It was too soon to change the manager. He’d just completed his summer transfer window, the Villa board weren’t going to sack him so soon and he had Snodgrass to settle in and also Jonathan Kodjia and Mile Jedinak to come back.
Back in August, looking further ahead, Villa also had a favourable set of games in September to get back on track.
Ala the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, MOMS message was ‘Don’t Panic!’
Hopefully a win against Bolton this weekend and we’ll be we set for the local derby crunch ties of October. Good results in them and we’ll be off to the races.
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