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:
Sixth reason to be cheerful? Just watched Bristol City beat ManUre on the tellybox. Lee Johnson, 36 years old, made a decision early in his managerial career to play fast, high tempo, expansive football (are you listening Brucie?). Currently six points clear of us, and in the semi finals of the league cup. And we get to watch them on New Year’s Day. Something for us all to look forward to.
well moms, I cant find any reasons to be cheerful about December (as a villa fan) and cant see a striker coming in jan as sb dosent like to play them
Just one other point, maybe I’m missing something so I stand to be corrected, I hear that Man City are about to treble debroiners ( might be spelt wrong) wages to 300k per week also doubling Sterlings wages and I see today they are linked with another 30 mil player in January as well as offering 40 mil for another. My question is how does all of this sit with Financial Fair Play rules, when apparently we can’t pay 3 mil for a player and have to put up with loan signings.
No expert and no easy answer but basically spending cannot exceed revenue from TV rights, gate receipts, competition prize money and sponsorship. And the assessment is made over three seasons with a maximum loss per season calculated. I think because we splashed the cash in the good Doctors first year, we are now struggling to stay within our limits. Not that it matters much. Would you trust Bruce to spend it wisely when he blew £10 mill on Hogan and would rather play no striker up front?
Sheffield United up next and this is a must win game if we are to stay in the playoff places. Sorry but my opinion is Bruce is clueless I have never rated him but after last week starting without a striker has confirmed it and it’s unforgivable, absolutely no doubt the best manager won last week.
What has Bruce got against O’Hare he should be starting as should RHM and reluctant to say it but so should Hogan, our manager is tactically inept wouldn’t surprise me if he left them out and started Agbonlahor. Totaly teed off with this we are near but sadly so far away.
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