After getting tonked 6-1 against Southampton last season at St Mary’s, a 1-1 draw is progress of sorts, especially at a time when every point is important for Aston Villa.
Unfortunately, due to Bournemouth’s 1-0 win at Stamford to upset Chelsea, nothing has changed in terms of the seven point gap from safety, but still hopefully it’ll be a confidence boost. With Arsenal up next, Villa are going to have to follow in the footsteps of the Cherries and show no fear to the supposed big guns of the league.
A big plus today was the return of Jores Okore, who will only get better with more games under his belt. Okore’s return will give Garde the option of pushing Richards out to right-back to ultimately strengthen the backline.
Jordan Veretout also put in a decent enough shift and looked the most tidy of the Villa midfield players, although he needs to assert himself more on the midfield rather than having a cautious mentality as his default setting.
In his post match interview Rémi Garde spoke about a solidarity between players that hadn’t been present in the games against Everton and Watford. They had to weather the storm at times, especially at the start of the match, but certainly getting the point was a just reward.
Interestingly, Garde avoided answering directly the question of whether Villa have the necessary talent to survive…
Yes, as Garde says, spirit is very important in this situation, but there is no match for spirit + quality. Lets hope Villa can pick up enough points before the new year to persuade Randy Lerner to get the required upgrades in.
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