A satisfactory three wins on the bounce have got Villa back into the automatic play-off conversation. With tough fixtures ahead, if they break into the top two at the turn of the year, it will be some achievement.
The win against Ipswich was the kind that finally had you believing that Villa are heading in the right direction. Ipswich failed to get a shot on target.
While the game lacked flow at times with its stop-start nature, although some of the reasons like Chris Samba taking out an Ipswich midfielder by blasting the ball into his face were at least amusing, Villa recorded what was one of their more comfortable victories.
Two very cool and calm finishes by Albert Adomah were the deciding factor, but Villa’s midfield certainly put in a shift.
It’s all to play for now for Bruce’s men.
1. Call in the AA
Two more for Albert Adomah (although he did have the ball in the net three times) and he’s in double figures for the season already.
The converted left-winger has scored 36% of Villa’s goals so far this season. With his 10 goals, he’s also scored the same amount as the entire Blues team.
Not bad for someone who only got in the team because Andre Green got injured.
— MY OLD MAN SAID (@oldmansaid) November 25, 2017
2. Arise Sir Whelan
If you wanted one reason that Ipswich never got into their stride, Glenn Whelan’s performance would be a good call.
While some of us have scratched our heads over what exactly Whelan brings to the team, the Ipswich game provided an example of why he’s the type of player that might ultimately help us get promotion over the course of the season.
He broke up play well, got stuck in and even from a stats point of view, had the most touches, the most passes and the highest pass completion of all the Villa midfield and defenders.
One of Whelan’s best performances of the season
3. Xia’s Smart Brain
It’s been a while since Villa’s popular owner Tony Xia has been at Villa Park, but in his latest trip to B6, he put in some good PR work with the players, fans and Prince William, but most importantly proved a lucky charm, as Villa won the full nine points from the three games he was here for.
4. Winning Ugly
While recent games against Preston, QPR and Ipswich and QPR have been good controlled performances and wins, the home win against Sunderland was less so. Villa, in short, were terrible, but the good news is they managed to win. Last season, that game might have been a draw or even worse.
You know what they say about successful teams, they find a way to win ugly, if they’re not at the top of their game. So that was good to see Villa doing it.
5. In Position
Fourth in the table going into the do-or-die tough December fixture list is a good place to be. Home and away Villa are right up there in the form charts and despite key injuries have proved they have a squad to handle the situation and give them a chance of soldiering on through to the new year.
Also, the good news is there is there is surely more to come from the likes of Hourihane, Snodgrass, Lansbury, Jedinak and Grealish, so hopefully all of them will step up over the next few weeks and make up for any players that are missing.