Well, this column pretty much writes itself this week.
The second-half was the kind of level of performance, that if Villa match it for the rest of the season, we’ll be playing in the Premier League next season.
Unlike the Burton game last week, Villa bossed the Blues, as they should be doing with games in this division, considering the money spent on wages and the squad we have.
Jack Grealish certainly gives purpose to the midfield and that’s been a big difference in 2018, as we’ve already mentioned in recent weeks in this column.
It’s looking good, folks.
1. City is Ours
The city is ours. Not just Lichfield (according to Blues fans), but the whole city of Birmingham, thank you very much. Looking at the Baggies’ woeful fortunes in the Premier League, the tide looks like it’s turning in West Midlands football. It could just be the boys from Mordor to deal with next season.
2. Rocket man
Friends and strangers alike looked at each other in amazement in the four stands of Villa Park, blowing their cheeks out a gasp, at the rocket that was Conor Hourihane’s goal, which killed the game off.
It was such a statement and final death-blow, that if felt we’d won the game 4-0 in the end.
It’s all systems go for automatic promotion, as Villa entered the top two places for the first time since they got relegated to the Championship.
Derby had a chance to reclaim the spot on Tuesday night but got beat 2-0 at Sheffield Wednesday.
At the moment, with seven wins on the trot, I don’t think Villa are feeling any pressure, as they are still going through the gears. Contrast the performance against the Blues to the ones before it against Sheffield United and Burton – they were a world apart.
For Villa, it’s more a case of maintaining the intensity and with the amount of competition in the squad to get into the first XI, that should take care of itself.
Fulham, who based on their 2018 form, MOMS had earmarked as a serious contender for the automatic promotion spots, will play most of the top six in the next month or so, after they face off with Villa.
If Villa win that, they’ll be a 10-point gap between the teams, with Fulham then playing Bristol City (a), Wolves (h), Derby (a), Sheffield United (h) and with tricky trips to Preston and Norwich to follow.
Derby, with only one win in five are starting to stumble at a vital stage, although Cardiff, unbeaten in five with three wins, have begun to rally.
Still, currently, it looks like an automatic promotion spot is Villa’s to lose. Villa have most of their main rivals at home, while most of their remaining away games are at teams in the bottom half.
4. Top Dog
Seven wins on the trot is even more than the Dog Head’s best effort of six this season. Villa will probably need to extend it into double figures to have a chance of chasing Wolves down, but at the moment, we’d just happy to win our next game (Fulham) and take it from there.
5. End of the Road
There was a thinking that Gabby Agbonlahor was going to make a swan song appearance in the Villa matchday squad for the Second City derby. Alas not. This pretty much signals that it’s game over for Gabby with his contract running out this season.
No doubt the Birmingham Mail will run some clickbait “Should he be given a new contract” articles, but it’s good riddance to his wages off the club’s accounts.
Albert Adomah’s goal against the Blues was his 13th league goal of the season, equalling the best league goals tally Agbonlahor ever managed in a season.
“Oh, but Gabby’s was in the Premier League”, says ‘Gabby is a legend’, Villa fans.
Adomah’s playing left-midfield and he’s right-footed, and wasn’t even in the first XI at the start of the season, when Gabby was. Oh, and he’s managed it in only 24 starts.
It’s time to move on and hopefully upwards.