The Ghosts of Villa’s Opener Against Bournemouth
The Premier League fixtures released this week were relatively kind to Aston Villa, with games against the Super League Six coming in two’s rather than four’s or all six in a row.
Despite this, the opening day fixture, away to newly-promoted Bournemouth has triggered bad memories for the Villa fanbase.
At the start of the ill-fated 2015 season, Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa were also drawn away to the Cherries to begin the campaign.
Despite Villa being outplayed for the majority of the game, the naivety of the newly-promoted side showed as a lone goal from Rudy Gestede was enough to seal the points.
Of course, this turned out to be one of few high points that particular season, as a long winless run led to the sacking of Sherwood, the hiring of Remi Garde, and relegation.
Taking Care of Business
There is also more recent history of Villa playing newly promoted sides, as last season began with a trouncing away at Watford. Villa were underprepared and Watford raced into a three-goal lead before Villa scored two consolation goals.
In truth, there is no ideal fixture to begin a campaign with, as arguments can be made for and against almost every team.
A newly promoted side will normally play without fear and with the home crowd behind them, they could be a tough nut to crack.
Of course Villa, like Wolves, were slated for an away day due to the Commonwealth Games, so a home start was never on the cards.
Anything could happen, but with the signings Aston Villa have made, and the ambitions for the season, a start against Bournemouth is a fixture that needs to be dealt with routinely.
Hopefully, Villa don’t run out at the Vitality Stadium wearing the new Castore black and yellow third kit (see the colour of the shirt Gestede is wearing above against the Cherries). Now that could really trigger PTSD amongst the Villa travelling faithful.