The two-legged play-off final against West Brom wasn’t exactly a football classic. In fact, you can file it alongside last season’s semi-final two legs against Middlesbrough, in terms of it being forgettable in terms of its football.
To be fair, this season though, Villa they were a product of how their opposition set-up. West Brom deserve credit for their overall defensive shape and discipline, but when it came down to deserving victory, only one team was trying to achieve that by attacking means.
Ultimately, Villa had to tough it out and find a way to win. Whether that was Jack Grealish winning a penalty in the first leg or Jed Steer giving the Albion’s first penalty taker at the Hawthorns a double death stare.
Often the victim of them, Villa had got a reminder of the dark arts of trying to win football games in the recent game at Elland Road, and it’s good to see that Villa can channel a ‘win by any means necessary’ approach when needed.
Villa’s chief attribute to turning the season around in the final run-in, on top of their renewed focus, has been an iron will in finding a way to win. It’s a quality, when coupled with the team’s attacking endeavour and talent, that suggests that this team has got what it takes to get over the promotion line in the play-offs this time round.
On the latest My Old Man Said podcast episode 74, Villa’s semi-final victory against West Brom is analysed, as is their chances against Derby County in the final at Wembley (and much, much more).
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Episode 74 Notes
Once again Aston Villa are 90 minutes away from a return to the Premier League, but what are their chances this time round? Their passage through the semi-final against West Brom may not have impressed the football gods, but it gave real clues to Villa’s capacity to win promotion.
David, Dan* and Chris look ahead to the Wembley final against Derby County, discuss Villa penalty shoot-out memories and have a bit of fun with a one-off Villa players vs the Baggies touch count competition.
Outside the Villa-verse, one of the worst possible trips to watch your team in a final is discussed, along with European Super Leagues and getting sacked for going to watch a Champions League semi-final.
Enjoy and roll on Wembley!
- – Dan’s microphone died before recording, so a bit of improvisation was needed. Rather than not release the episode, we did our best to at least make his track listenable.
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