First Home Win Relief…
A little bit later than normal in the week, but finally a Five Reasons to be Cheerful after an actual Aston Villa win. For those who braved the cold, it was a fitting reward after weeks and weeks of suffering worse elements – namely, miserable performances and poor results.
David Bowie’s Heroes rang out around Villa Park and the players after 90 minutes became 90-minute heroes to lift spirits on what potentially could have been a very chilly and gloomy night. You just have to listen to me on the Sports bar on Talksport to gage the mood on the day!
One swallow doesn’t make a summer, but Villa were mainlining, so the win is certainly the jolt to help get the pulse going again. Wins against Leicester and West Brom in the upcoming games and then maybe, just maybe, we can start to believe again.
In the meantime, here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Aston Villa fans…
4. CHANGING OF THE GARDE
Rémi Garde proved that he is looking for answers within the limitations of his squad and isn’t afraid to make the changes. Libor Kozak was given a berth. after being unfancied and frozen out (more of him later) and it seems Brad Guzan yet again has fallen from grace (his antics off the pitch against Wycombe wouldn’t have helped) with Mark Bunn given a go.
To be fair Mark Bunn didn’t have much to do. While his kicking isn’t exactly strong, he seemed comfortable enough and certainly enjoyed the clean sheet and win by his reaction on the final whistle. It’ll be interesting to see how he gets on, if he starts against Leicester at the weekend.
While MicaH Richards had a knock and was on the bench, you get the feeling that Garde would have started the Villa captain, if he rated him at the moment. It’s quickly becoming apparent that Villa captain’s best contribution this season has come off the pitch in calming Villa fans down at Adams Park than what he’s done on the pitch with his suspect positioning and marking.
Villa’s record when Jores Okore plays is a marked improvement on Villa playing with other centre-backs (mark my word, don’t have the stats to hand!). Okore over Richards all day long.
With Richards seemingly prone to picking up knocks, maybe his preference for centre-back has been to preserve himself, with the demands of right-back having too much ware on him. Unfortunately for him, it’s the preservation of Aston Villa that comes first.