When ‘Five Reasons to be Cheerful’ started as a column at the inception of MOMS, six years ago, it was a satirical reaction to what was happening on the pitch and the doom and gloom off it.
The idea was when Villa came good again it would make a nice transition to celebrate five things that were genuinely really good about Villa that week, without a slither of irony.
Still, that day hasn’t come, judging by the latest inept performance Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa served up on their travels, this time at the Cardiff City Stadium.
The three-nil defeat could have been a lot more, as Cardiff cut through the Villa rearguard like a proverbial knife through butter.
The trip to Cardiff was always going to be a stern litmus test for Bruce’s new look team’s promotion credentials, but it’s one they failed miserably.
Will it be the kick-up-the-bum catalyst for better things or just an example of more of the same?
While we wait and see, here are five reasons to be cheerful as Villa fans.
For the second game on the trot, Villa’s keeper, this time Sam Johnstone, last time Jed Steer, has been the Villa man of the match.
Against Colchester, Steer with a penalty save and world class save, on top of an all round solid performance, got Villa through into the next round of the League Cup.
Against Cardiff, Johnstone probably spared his manager from an embarrassment that would have instantly increased the pressure on his head.
Villa having two young capable keepers for the season ahead is a good thing. It’s one less problem.
Bruce just needs to sort out the rest of the team…and quick.
It’s not cheap following the Villa away, never mind having to put up with the ritual humiliation served up. You know the drill, the team doesn’t deserve the fans, etc, etc.
Still, the Villa away supporters are a credit to the club and almost 5000 made the trip to Cardiff.
Ultimately though, they deserve a better effort from the team of players and manager, they’re there to support, and that they spend their time and money on.
If the club doesn’t buck up soon in away fixtures, fans might work out that the cost of an away day could be the same as a contribution to a cheap group holiday abroad and then start booking flights for a weekend away instead.
Josh Onomah looks to have been an inspired loan judging by what we’ve seen from him so far. He’s a rare player in a Villa shirt who has a genuine purpose when he gets the ball.
If he continues to make progress, then you’d think he should be quite the addition once he fully settles in.
It’s a shame Jack Grealish got injured, as Onomah may have brought the best out of him. Still, there’s plenty of other Villa midfielders that could step up their games, if they get on Onomah’s wavelength.
Old Guard Shipping Out
With Leandro Bacuna sold and Gary Gardner outgoing any minute now, the last of the players that have been omnipresent in the decay at the club in recent seasons are slowly leaving.
A silver lining to the poor performance against Cardiff is that it surely must blunt Bruce’s stubbornness in persisting with the limitation that is playing both Alan Hutton and Gabby Agbonlahor.
Come on, playing both has got Villa nowhere in reason seasons. It’s time to be more progressive and make steps forwards, rather than backwards.
Maybe this 3-0 defeat can at least prove to be some kind of turning point in Bruce’s head?
When coming up with ideas for things, the starting point is to at least try to be original. You know, if somebody is doing it already, maybe come up with something else?
Granted, most football websites are harvesting stories they pick up online from newspapers, or most Villa social media accounts just post Villa news or rumour headlines with total indifference to whether they are true or not.
It’s not exactly a fertile ground for independent thought or ideas, but still…
Going back a few years, some punk decided it was a good idea to steal articles off the MOMS website, remove the author’s name and pass them off as their own. I put a LOT of time into MOMS, so of course, I wasn’t happy. Plus, it’s also illegal. That site didn’t last long.
Last season, MOMS had a popular column title on the site, ‘The Good, Bad and the Ugly‘ used by another Villa blog, who also decided to use the same design theme that I’ve used for years, so now our sites look the same. Not exactly ideal for anyone.
And now, a MOMS reader has alerted me to the fact that another Villa site has just started running a ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’ article, introducing it as ‘it’s time for something new’.
I’ve been doing this for six years, pal.
This is all not a reason to be cheerful, but what was it that Oscar Wilde said about imitation again? Maybe it applies here?
Brand New Podcast Episode