You can only beat what is in front of you and Villa did the job of disposing of a Bournemouth team who rested eight players to concentrate on their promotion push (wussies). As soon as the teams were announced it was time to lump on a Villa win, but also ponder just what exactly was happening with Fabian Delph, who wasn’t even on the bench.
Conspiracy theories started to whirl into action about the future of the Villa midfielder, only for them to be blown away 50 minutes later when Villa revealed that Delph was staying at Villa for the long-haul after signing a new contract.
Is today a turning point in Villa’s fortunes? It remains to be seen, but in the meantime, in the short-term at least, here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Aston Villa fans…
2. Delph signing
When Villa announced they were making a big player announcement, there was a sense of impending anticlimax. A new contract for Ron ‘Sicknote’ Vlaar? The news we were signing Tom Cleverley for good? Luckily, it was better than that. Securing the services of Fabian Delph for any four-and-a-half years is good news on many levels.
Firstly, Delph’s best years are still ahead of him, so we won’t miss out on him at the peak of his power. He hasn’t really lived up to his full potential yet and hopefully we’ll see what he can really do now. Secondly, Villa have secured up the finances of Delph – no selling him off cheap (after a big investment in him, covering two long-term injuries) and also not seeing him leave on a freebie. There was no egg on the faces of Villa’s board for once.
Also, the press pack were made to look like a bunch of fools having not had one inkling Delph was signing a new contract today!
3. Mucho Gracias
Gil. What. A. Strike.
Thankfully the media and Villa fans won’t have to use all the normal cliches that are trotted out for La Liga players starting out in the Premier League. ‘He’s got to get up to speed’,’He needs time to settle in’ and ‘he’s got to get used to the physicality of the league’. With Carles Gil, there was no blah, blah, blah, just BOOM!
4. 5th Round Draw
After half of the Premier League including the top three nosedived out of the cup this weekend, a decent draw could have Villa thinking about a trip to Wembley. Of the teams left, I wouldn’t mind a home tie against Bradford to settle an old score. Any lower league team at home would be decent to be honest, if we wanted to get to the quarter-finals with minimum effort. After the pain we’ve suffered as fans in recent seasons, the easier the route to Wembley the better!
5. A rare day of positivity
It’s good not to be clutching for straws in this column for a change. Delph signs, Gil scores a magic strike, Weimann is back on track, Villa into the next round of the FA Cup and a decent day’s work for Ciaran Clark as Villa captain (he was vocal and encouraging his teammates throughout the game).
Tough challenges await, but it’s nice to have a fleeting moment of happiness for a change as an Aston Villa fan. UTV
Thanks to Peter Bavin for Obama pic idea