Derby away was a shocker, so lets not dwell on it. The worrying concern though is Villa’s performances haven’t been great in December so far; in what was meant to be a defining month. Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce is also showing signs of indecision.
Improvement is needed in the remaining three games of the month, or Villa maybe going into 2018, outside the play-off places with any shot at the automatic places a forlorn pipe dream.
Meanwhile, here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Villa fans as we approach Christmas…
1.Main Man Sam
Trying to pick any positives from the Derby game isn’t an easy task. Jack Grealish perhaps gave a decent enough account of himself when he was on the ball, but the MOTM has to be Sam Johnstone, who’s saves on a better day may have rescued a point, as they did against Millwall.
The key to Villa imposing themselves on the play-offs will be the necessary improvement of Villa going forward. Johnstone is sound in goal and the defence is solid when John Terry is about…speaking of which…
2. Terry’s reappearance
Even a blind person would probably notice that Villa’s backline is not as organised when John Terry’s not around. Anybody who sits in the lower stands will frequently hear the Villa captain barking orders to his teammates in defence.
Certainly, the back line hasn’t been as solid in terms of lining up for offside or holding its position. The old panic syndrome also seems to be returning since JT hasn’t been in town.
While Terry is not expected to play this week, lets hope he’s back for the Boxing Day clash at Brentford at least.
3. United Struggles
While some fans will bemoan the fact Villa haven’t won any of their three December fixtures so far (two draws, one loss), Villa’s next opponent, Sheffield United have fared even worse.
The Blades have lost all of their previous three fixtures and now perhaps is the best time to play them, after their impressive start to the season.
Villa’s current home form (last six games at Villa Park) is the 4th best in the league, so hopefully they’ll be more home comforts to come.
A big Christmas crowd is expected.
4. Claret & Blue Laughter
Not every club has a show aimed at exclusively entertaining fans and having more than a few laughs, than just doing a straight-up podcast.
If you haven’t joined the party that is the MOMS Podcast show, then maybe turn over a new leaf for the new year. Podcasts in their pure audio form are simply on-demand radio. Listen while you commute to work, on your lunch break, while you walk the dog, or travel to the next Villa match.
The MOMS Podcast is peppered with humourous original sketches like ‘Twitter With Tony’ (imagine if Tony Xia was from Yorkshire), Jedinak’s Jungle (Villa’s own Claret and Blue Planet), Negatron (Villa-supporting A.I.) and also time travel to podcast sections from different periods of Villa history played for laughs.
This is the second Christmas of the MOMS podcast, so please do treat yourself to a listen, if you haven’t already.
Check out the dedicated MOMS podcast webpage here – MY OLD MAN SAID Podcast
Listen and subscribe on Apple/iTunes:
5. Christmas Spirit
After MOMS was approached by the The Football Supporters’ Federation to recommend someone to help organise a football foodbank initiative over the winter period in the West Midlands, it’s fantastic is see the work and organisation that Villa supporter Kerry Lenihan has since done.
Kerry has already organised and manned a foodbank collection at both Wolves and Blues’ grounds. Unfortunately, Villa haven’t done it this time due to security concerns, although hopefully they’ll find a way like our neighbours and other clubs like Liverpool, Everton, Newcastle, Celtic and Chelsea have done, in the future.
However, the club are supporting a Foodbank fund raising collection this Saturday at Aston Parish Church, before the Sheffield United game, at 4pm. A carol service is open to all with refreshments provided by the club. However, if singing isn’t for you, please pop some loose change in their buckets.
For the flyer to the event and more details check Facebook here
The latest MOMS podcast episode includes a slightly different Villa Fan Xmas Gift Guide: