Every game is a learning curve for Villa fans, even when it goes oh, so, right! With a Cup quarter-final away win and a triumph at Anfield, this week was clearly Villa’s best week on the pitch of the year. But what did we learn?
1 – Go and watch Aston Villa…it’s finally safe to.
Might sound simple, right? And it is!
I had an offer to go to the Norwich game, two, actually, but I chose not to attend to be ready for work the next day. What a schoolboy error that was.
Weeks like this make you realise how good it is to be a Villa fan. We’ve had some hairy moments over the past two years and you never know when it’s going to turn around, so go and see them whenever you get the chance. I won’t be making the same mistake again.
2 – Forward line sorted
It’s starting to look as though a striker won’t be at the top of our shopping list next month as Christian Benteke and Andi Weimann are forming a very dangerous partnership. They have six goals between them over the two games this week and the best part is that it’s an actual partnership, which is rare these days. They look for each other, they know where they’re going to be, and most importantly, they know where the net is.
3 – This could be our year
Did you know that in the post war period Villa have won at least one trophy per full decade apart from the last one, 2000-10 (although Wembley finalists twice). I’ve often viewed the League Cup as our cup. We won it first, and apart from Liverpool we’ve won it more than anyone (this also could be because we won it twice in quick succession during my formative years.)
There is no better solution to a problem than a quick one, and the momentum we’ve built in the cup this year doesn’t look like slowing down, and to win so soon into Paul Lambert’s reign will be one big cathartic step to banishing the demons of the early noughties.
Did you know that we also won the English Baseball Championship in 1890? Why do we never include this on the banners?
4 – We’ll have to start giving the nickname ‘concrete’ to all our defenders
The youngsters at the back have coped well in Ron’s absence, and despite a few early ropey moments against Liverpool they stood up well and frustrated one of the best forwards in the world, Luis Suarez, who also has a propensity to hit the deck rather dubiously, so they did well to not give him any opportunity to do so.
They’ve handled the pressure maturely, especially when you consider that the team yesterday averaged as the youngest in the league so far this season at 23 years and 309 days. The only worry at the moment is how they’ll cope if this run of injuries gets any worse.
5 –Shay Given: yay or nay?
I want to open this question for discussion. He had flashes of both brilliance and derision against Norwich City, and there doesn’t seem to be much of a way back into the first team for him. So, do we try to keep hold of him, until the summer at least, or do we cash him in, get what we can and bring in someone like Craig Gordon on a free transfer as cover? Also, if we get to the League Cup final – should it be Given or Guzan? We surely owe Guzan one for taking us to the final in 2010, then having to sit out the final.
Given may not be the ‘keeper he once was, but he’s too good to be sat on the bench, surely?
Steven Green, one of the hosts of the AVFC Review podcast and writer for Shoot Magazine and a fellow Real Oviedo shareholder.
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