A routine win against an Ipswich team that went down to 10-men in the first half, made it three on the bounce, as Villa started to get themselves together for the play-off challenge ahead.

While some fans still hope for a couple of meteors to drop out of the sky and land on Fulham and Cardiff City, the realists amongst us have known since that double fart of QPR and Bolton losses that Villa only had one destiny.

At the moment, it looks like a two-legged tie with Middlesbrough could be in the offering, after Tony Pulis’s men have delivered blows to both Bristol City and Derby in recent games.

While the play-off picture becomes clearer, here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Villa fans…

Mr Slick

At times, Lewis Grabban has the swagger of a football version of a Harlem Globetrotter. He glides around the pitch when he runs, is technically sound, seems to slow time down when he’s on the ball, and as he demonstrated against Ipswich, can finish in style.

His brace was well deserved and they left him with 7 goals, so far for Villa (from nine starts and 4 sub appearances).

He’ll be keen for more goals, with his Villa tally adding to the 12 goals (from 20 games) he scored for Sunderland in the first part of this season, he’s one off a 20-goal haul for the season.

He’s certainly MOMS choice as the lone striker going into the play-offs. He has more presence than Hogan and more awareness than Kodjia.

Lets hope he can go one better than last season, when he was on loan at Reading and finished the season as a losing play-off finalist.

10-Men

In recent weeks, it’s become a fashion to try and take Villa on with ten men. First, Reading, and now Ipswich. I hope this trend continues in the play-offs.

Ed Deal

If you want to see Ed Sheeran at Wembley or Cardiff’s Principality Stadium this year, it could cost you north of £80.

Meanwhile, 1,981 Villa supporters got a chance to see Sheeran in Ipswich and not only did they pay around £50 less for a ticket, but also got the bonus of four goals and three points.

Player of the Year

It will probably take a good 10 seasons of decent voting for Aston Villa supporters to get respect of their judgement back, after Stephen Ireland was voted Supporter’s Player of the Season in 2012…he’d played just 11 90-minute games.

In the meantime though, the verdict was probably spot on when James Chester was named the winner for this season.

Mr Consistent and ever present in the league (the only other player is Sam Johnstone).

Congrats to Chester.

Supporters Proving Crouch Wrong

When Aston Villa were in Premier League, they were the first club of the top tier to publicly support safe standing.

Last week, WBA had an application for safe standing rejected, despite it being for legitimate safety reasons.

This was far from a reason to be cheerful for any football supporter, especially when we heard the out-dated and misinformed rhetoric coming from the Sports Minister, Tracy Crouch on Safe Standing.

“There are regulations to deal with persistent standing — I would like to see them enforced,” she said.

“While I appreciate there is a vocal minority who want a return to standing, I don’t think they speak for the majority.

The clubs aren’t convinced either… there is no desire among the top clubs to change this policy.”

A vocal minority? How come every poll done by any club’s supporters (that at least MOMS has seen) has had very little opposition to it?

 

The good news is supporters have signed a government petition, in their thousands, to get the House of Commons to discuss Safe Standing rationally and with common sense. 100,000 signatures are needed and the tally is closing in on that. If you haven’t already,  sign petition here.

UTV

PS – 6th Reason to be Cheerful… The MOMS podcast is back! Subscribe and listen below:

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Definitely play offs we blew our chances after the Wolves game, so I think the best we can hope for is for Fulham to go second it will only take Cardiff to drop one point against Hull and Fulham will be there, I would fancy our chances against Middlesborough and or Cardiff, but I think Fulham would be difficult especially as you never know which Villa team will turn up on the day, there are no second chances in the playoffs and no good saying we will play better next week we have got to be right at it from the get go. Let’s hope that Dr T can give the team motivation talks.

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