The sole negative of Delph’s impressive introduction to international football is that it will now begin filtering into the national footballing consciousness that he is actually finally developing into a very, very good player. Until this point Villa had been in that wonderful and rare position of having a player who is a class above almost all the others at the club, but whose quality has not yet been discovered by other sides or the national media. That time is over.
The fact that Delph is yet to sign a new deal is becoming more and more worrying. He must be tied into a new deal as soon as possible, and Villa must keep up their progress on the pitch over the next few weeks in order to convince him to stay, or else all of the good work done in reinforcing Villa’s midfield with the addition of Carlos Sanchez will be undone with the loss of the club’s best midfielder.
Another addition was made to the central area with the deadline day signing of Tom Cleverley. Although I actually think Cleverley could be a very astute signing by Paul Lambert (disclaimer: may well turn out to be rubbish), the manner of his arrival was farcical, if not unsavoury, with the will-he-won’t-he, does-he-want-to-doesn’t-he-want-to, do-we-want-him-do-we-not-want-him cycle seemingly going round and round all day and showing the unfortunate influence of the agent and the bank balance in modern day football.
The League Cup defeat to Leyton Orient was the latest damning chapter in Villa’s cup history over the last few years. The national media proclaimed it a shock; we took the blow with a depressing inevitability. I was lucky enough to be stuck in an airport with only infrequent wifi updates and no way of watching the match, for which I am eternally grateful, but we seemed to revert entirely to type.
In the previous GBU I called for a possible reinstatement of Darren Bent to the starting line-up to break up the toothless Agbonlahor-Weimann pairing. Since then both Gabby and Andi have found the net, whilst from the sounds of it Bent looked so lazy that he probably couldn’t even score on FIFA.
The only positive surrounding the Orient match was that we were able to pick ourselves up against Hull a few days later, and didn’t allow ourselves to be dragged down.
The cup ‘adventure’ – which for Villa is about as adventurous as having crippling stomach cramp – is over for another few months, and Villa have several chances in the next month and a half to prove that they can get results against the big boys as well as the teams around them.
Follow Tom on Twitter – @tdnightingale