Aston Villa’s Mid-Way Season Progress
By Kristoffer Rasmussen
First things first: Villa are doing very well at the moment.
Lately, Aston Villa have even experienced a real team-selection dilemmas, after being set on having a recognised first XI and nothing much beyond that. Now the resurgence of Anwar El Ghazi is making Dean Smith contemplate his selections further, while the return of Tyrone Mings coming back from suspension, wasn’t perhaps a shoe-in, given the form of his replacement Kortney Hause.
It illustrates very well that Villa are moving in the right direction and there is after all some genuine squad depth in the ranks.
We have seen Villa play very well in matches against Chelsea and Man U and take these teams on in a progressive manner, far from the hedgehog-style tactics that some teams apply to try and steal a point on these big occasions.
The team leagues the Premier League for shots per game and boasts one of it’s better defences. Despite the pandemic restricting supporters from going to actual games, it’s currently a good time to be a Villa supporter and the future really is looking bright.
Last time in this column, we looked at Villa’s very decent start to the season. However, this was only the start, so there was the danger of it being a false dawn.
Some us might have been a bit unsure about the quality of the team when Villa picked up only three points in five games against manageable opposition (Leeds, Saints, Arsenal, West Ham and Brighton). However, after that dry spell Villa took home 11 points from the next five games and reignited the campaign to provide proof of their sustained improvement.
Here is a fresh look at the progress so far.
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Villa’s Season Progress chart
The graph for this season’s progress continues to show a positive tendency as we approach the mid-season point of game 19. There was a dip in the graph at game nine, where the gap to last season’s progress was only four points, and at that point many Villans probably felt a worrying feeling creeping in.
Thankfully, the points started accumulating steadily again after that and this has built a good momentum since. At this point, we are only nine points from our total season points haul of last year. In fact, Villa reach 26 points in half the games it took last season.
The current points average has dropped to 1.7 with a projected total of around 66 points, which is still quite decent.
At this rate, Villa could well be in with a shout for the European places this season if you compare with the final league tables from the previous few seasons.
Whether our squad would be ready for a European campaign next season is another matter, but we will cross that bridge with Mr. Lange when we get to it.
Aston Villa Fixture Comparison Chart
The fixture comparison chart shows a positive difference to last season again.
The 11 points that Villa have picked up since MOMS last did a fixture/result comparison for the season is five points better than last season’s corresponding fixtures.
The first period which we looked at last time yielded 15 points, which was eight better than last season, so that is two consecutive periods with good progress in the same fixtures.
In fact, in the first 15 games of this season Villa have only done worse than the corresponding game form last season in three games (Brighton, West Ham and Man United). Seven games have seen improved results and five have been the same (ie on par). 7-5-3 if you will. That is quite solid.
As we approach mid-season the good opening to the season has been consolidated and the team is looking in good shape (although the recent Covid outbreak at the club is a concern). The upcoming fixtures look challenging but there is no reason why Villa cannot win on any given day.
This is certainly a time for Villans to hold their heads high as their team begin to show signs of a staying power and progression.