The 4-2 win against the Blues in the Second City derby was all about the result and some notable goals, but Dean Smith wasn’t getting too excited about, in fact he voiced the need for improvement in his post-match interview.
“I’m really pleased with the result, but not so much the performance,” reflected Smith.
“Certainly in the first 30 minutes we didn’t play the way we wanted. We were too slow and didn’t break their lines quick enough.”
Once Villa flipped the game on its head, after going one-nil down with two quick-fire goals minutes later, there was only one winner though.
It’s a big in for Villa in terms of carrying on the momentum from prior to the international break, another win against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday and they really will be flying.
The Bigger Picture
After three wins on the trot, Villa are back in the promotion hunt for real, that was the underlining success of Sunday. Bragging rights are temporal, but getting back into the Premier League is key. As Dean Smith said before the game, finishing top two should be the real obsession of this season.
2. Hutton’s Maradona Impression
The goal against Hull City at the start of the season was fantastic, but his solo effort against the Blues will live long in many fan’s memory. It’s up there with Diego Maradona’s infamous goal against England in the 1986 World Cup.
Hutton hasn’t had an easy ride at Villa and sometimes his marking isn’t the best, but he’s certainly having a grandstand finish to his career at Villa.
Here’s the Scottish Cafu’s goal with Brazil commentary…
— The Mad Few (@AVFCpodcast) November 26, 2018
3. Dream Maker
Jack Grealish scored in a Second City derby, something he’s always dreamed of doing. Most importantly though, he’s starting to reap the rewards of getting forward frequently and making more purposeful runs into the box. He’s hurting teams and impacting games, which could prove a big factor in Villa’s season.
4. Home Comforts
Villa have the third best home record in the division with 18 points from 9 games, only West Brom have more points from home matches (19).
Smith has won all three of his home games as Villa boss and if he manages a fourth against Forest this week, then Villa will be at the races in terms of the promotion picture.
Carrying on their winning ways at home will be key to their promotion chances, if they do, then the upper tier in the Trinity will be open sooner rather than later.
On an aside, interestingly, the Blues, despite being 14th in terms of the best home form of the season so far, are the only unbeaten home team in the division. They’ve drawn six out of their nine games though.
Last week, the two main national football supporter organisations, the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) and Supporters Direct merged into one unified organisation. At the meeting, there was an election to form the national council of the institution and MOMS was elected to the council.
The National Council will meet five or so times a year around the country to formulate policy and campaigns.
MOMS has had a very positive experience working with the FSF over the years, so is looking forward to serving on their new National Council.
Also this month, MOMS attended a positive Villa Fan Consultation Group meeting with Villa CEO Christian Purslow, as well as a constructive West Midlands Football Unit Independent Advisory Group (IAG) meeting, that saw some keen debate on a number of issues (more news to come).
All in, it’s been a constructive month on the supporter issues side of things.