Five Reasons to be Cheerful as Villa Fans After First 2017 Win

The Five Reasons column has been on a mini sabbatical due to Villa notching up defeat after defeat, which was hardly inspiring to write about and my humour and patience with this season has long run out to offer up ironic insights.

Again, against Derby, despite the result, Villa were poor. 29% possession at Villa Park. Call the football cops! Still, when you haven’t won in a year approaching it’s third month, you’ve gotta get it however you can.

While we wait for Villa’s second win of 2017, here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Villa fans…


1.First 2017 Win

The fact that Villa won but the three points didn’t lift them beyond their 17th place in the Championship shows you just how desperate the club’s position had become this year. While this was a performance on par with most we’ve witnessed this season – uninspiring and littered with mistakes – the result was everything.

Relegation had become a topic of conversation, but this three points should hopefully instil enough confidence in the team to kick-on and make sure a mid-table finish is more likely. Improvement in the team’s play will be needed though, if Villa want to make a more positive imprint on next season.

2. Clean sheet

It’s desperate that such things like clean sheets are reasons to be cheerful. Villa were a lot more resilient than in recent weeks, so that is a plus point. Yet, why once James Chester had scored did Villa seemingly become the away team with only 29% of the possession? It was frustrating to watch and pretty criminal for a home team.

Surely Bruce needs get more progressive that his current tactical approach. We have the players and we’re not Wigan, Blues or Hull.

3. Grass is Greener

It’s good to see Andre Green starting and making an impression. The young left-winger came achingly close to opening his senior Villa account too with a stooping header that came off the post.

With his pace and left-foot there’s no doubt he brings balance to the top end of a 4-3-3 and currently is the best option in the position.

4. Three Worst

Lets face it, there are at least three worse teams in the Championship than Villa, so the aforementioned talk of relegation is unnecessary. The eight point cushion Villa have now from the bottom three should be enough to ease any fear. Surely, building on the back of the confidence gained from this Derby win, the team will win a bunch of the remaining fixtures to end this disappointing season. Three points against Bristol City on Tuesday would be a good start.

5. Extended Preseason

Forget about the mooted preseason trip to Germany and Portugal, Villa’s preseason pretty much starts now, with this season a write off. Once a few more points are on the board, they’ll be a chance for Bruce to prove he has a vision for how Villa will play next season, because playing the way we have been, they’ll be no chance of promotion next season.

Playing without pressure should allow the players to play a bit more freely too. While the games will be deadwood ties with only pride at stake, hopefully the football will be better and offer renewed hope for the future.


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  1. A win’s a win. As long as it becomes a habit. It’s funny the more we spend on quality players, the worse we get. The main thing to not about this game was that the starting eleven wasn’t packed with new signings. We had Villa youth in Green, tried and tested in th likes of Hutton and Bacuna, and what ever it looked like in terms of quality football or possession, we got three points. Can’t help but doubt the wisdom of previously putting all the new lads on the pitch at the same time. It just didn’t work.

  2. A win was desperately needed. A few of our lads are really lacking in belief, such as the keeper, and even Green needs a goal before he convinces me that he knows he’s good enough. There were times when Green didn’t make that run to the back post- he loiters around outside the box looking a little sheepish- but when he does get into the 6 yard box a few crosses have come to him, so he needs to keep doing it. Once he gets a goal, he’ll be hungry for more.
    Johnson can feel the lack of confidence now- it’s a shame, but everyone, including him, knows it. And a lot of our players were dropping off and not pressing. But a few more scrappy wins and we’ll start to look like we own the pitch a bit more.

  3. if we win our next two which is possible suddenly we go into some big games where we can pick off points from the sides above us. Hopefully we can then get top 10. I think tenth place would be acceptable after last season and the start to this one.

  4. A win is a win no matter how it is achieved
    As for the Statistics they are for number crunchers & whilest they may indicate where improvements might be achieved they have little significance to a sport involving real live players and not cyborg or inanimate objects on a screen
    What matters is that Villa won it’s first game since the major upheaval of the January transfer window with all the ins & outs . And hopefuly we can now look forward to more success from the team we support !

  5. the possession stat is normally irrelevant, Mourinho at inter Milan won the euro cup final on 33% possession, but for villa it is relevant as we defend so deep that we cannot score except on the break away and being inside the last third of the field means any mistake is costly

    I could also not understand why the two derby wingers were allowed free runs. Why were the full backs defending for the most part twenty yards in from the touchline that the crosses were being whipped in at speed? GOt a little better in the last half hour, but not much.

    Trevor Fisher

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