Planes, Performance and set pieces
Two 4-1 beatings in a week, not much sign of improvement there. In fact, it’s just like Christmas last year again, when seemingly any team could pummel Villa. I would like my pride back as a Villa fan, but the question is how long will I have to wait for that to happen. While Lambert still thinks Villa are in a decent position in the league, here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Villa fans…
1. It wasn’t five. Manchester United haven’t scored over four goals against Aston Villa since the 1965/66 season, when they won 6-1. That’s a shocking record for them and kind of embarrassing compared to what Chelsea have done to Villa in recent seasons. There Manchester rivals City even managed five last season too.
2. The performance wasn’t all that bad. The game was pretty much decided on who took their chances. Villa could have potentially won by the same score if Mr Benteke had turned up. Similar to last season’s trip to Old Trafford, when Benteke had a chance to make it 1-1, if that had gone in, it might have been a different story. Any £25 million bids in the summer might be put on ice for Benteke, unless he has a storming World Cup.
3. We posted an article on Villa’s poor record of goals from set pieces (only one team had scored less). We also pointed the finger at Ashley Westwood for being one of the main culprits, so it was great to see his sublime freekick for the opener against United. It brought back memories of his cheeky freekick in preseason against Wycombe, which suggested the possibility of things to come. It’s a good sign that he’s finally showing what he’s got in his locker. With a decent midfield presence alongside Delph and Westwood in the middle of the park, we may just have the makings of a decent midfield yet. Summer is crucial to make sure Villa get the right man, as it’s crucial to real progress.
4. You can beat Villa all you want, but Manchester United won’t qualify for the Champions League bar the miracle of actually winning it this season. Plus, to wind up the Mancs even more, Liverpool could win the league and since they are the only top four team Villa haven’t beaten this season, we’ve pretty much set it up.
5. It wasn’t raining in Manchester and they provided some extra entertainment with a plane flyover. Villa fans provided a Poznan and a performance to put the home fans to shame.