0-0 more than just a bore, Delph & Clark on the rise and Villa racking up the points
An away point is an away point and the 0-0 draw at the KC Stadium now makes it seven points out of 12 on Villa’s travels. It may have been a little uninspiring at times at Hull, but there was plenty for Villa fans to be cheerful about…
1. The knee-jerk reaction to 0-0 scorelines normally revolves around the word ‘boring’. Yes, you could apply that word to this game, but on a positive front, there was a resoluteness about Villa. The defence against Hull was solid and never looked like conceding, although the fact Villa never put any players on the posts at corners still makes me a tad nervous. The performance was typical of the season so far. Villa have been in every game (they have never lost by more than one goal) and look a lot stronger than last season. Even when not on song against Hull, they could get an away point without really breaking sweat.
2. Mention has to go to Ciaran Clark, who showed growing maturity and put in an assured display against Hull, and was largely responsible for the team’s second clean sheet of the season. Clark is another example of young Villa players proving the boo boys of last season wrong.
3. The main joy for me watching the game was Fabian Delph’s performance in midfield. While last season he would play the easy pass sideways or backwards, now he’ll take his man on, twist-and-turn to play a more positive pass and generally drive the team forward. He also clearly won the match-up with Tom Huddlestone (who at times seemed to think he was Glen Hoddle, looking to play Hollywood passes). Delph, in short, is a different player from the one we’ve seen in previous seasons at Villa. A promising season ahead awaits.
4. I’ve only seen the incident during the game itself, without the benefit of a TV replay, but Ashley Westwood’s slam-dunk of Huddlestone, despite its yellow card/red card worth, was a pleasant surprise in-terms of showing there is a bit of steel to Villa’s quiet man in midfield. While his challenge my have been a bit rash, it’s good to know he has got a bit of toughness in his locker.
5. In the first few games in the season, the performances were impressive in tough fixtures, but the points weren’t always there, but after a run of three league defeats, Villa in two away games and a tough home tie against Manchester City, may not have put in the impressive shifts as they did in earlier games, but they’ve got the results and seven points out of nine to boot. It’s a very good sign that this Villa team means business.
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