A puncher’s chance, arise Sir Delph and making a mockery of the stats
At the moment, I liken Aston Villa to a fighter with a punchers chance. Their boxing isn’t too smart, but they can punch so hard that they’ve always got a chance to win by KO. Just look at the victories against Arsenal, Manchester City and now Southampton. On the ropes and out boxed for pretty much most of the duration of those games, but with sharp and precise counter-punching they came out winners.
Yes, we led the table for long balls in the division before the game , but amongst the 0-0 results Villa have ground out, they’ve also served up some dramatic victories. Tonight’s 3-2 win at St Mary’s will be one of the best results of the season and going into the Christmas period, has left Villa fans with plenty to be cheerful about.
1. Mr Delph finally crowns his belated emergence with a league goal and what a beauty. All those Youtube clips we watched when Villa signed him from Leeds suggested Delph had wonder strikes in his locker. If he was ever going to be a great midfield force for Villa, then he needed to add goals to his game. Hopefully, this is the start of that. Could he be the inspirational midfield game-changer we’ve been looking for… for years?
I’ve always liked Fabian Delph. I was taken by him as soon as I heard his first interview when he signed for Villa. When asked what he was looking forward to, playing in the Premier League, he replied, “Kicking the likes of Gerard and Rooney!” He had the no fear attitude Villa needed desperately. As the haters came after him, when he struggled at first, I truly hoped he’d prove them all wrong. He has.
2. Aston Villa make all these football stats websites redundant. Possession? Completed passes? Who cares? You can shove your Opta stats up your a*se. Villans deal in the hard currency of results.
3. Kozak showing the passion to celebrate with the Villa away fans, after he scored. Don’t give me this ‘kiss the badge from 50 yards away from the supporters’ nonsense, if you really feel it, come join us to celebrate! God knows what that Southampton steward was trying to do when trying to manhandle Libor and prevent him from embracing the crowd? Spoil sport. It was good to see from the big Czech, who with a bit of luck should eclipse Heskey’s Villa career scoring record in a single season.
4. The Saints result was very symbolic of Villa’s improvement this season from last. Last season at St. Mary’s, Villa were one-nil up, only to lose 4-1. This time round, every time the Saints equalised, Villa just scored again. To get 19 points last season, it took Villa 21 games. Villa certainly have a better grasp of football being a results business this season.
5. Remember the last ten minute periods of games in the last couple of seasons? If Villa were leading, you knew it would end up a draw. If they were drawing, chances were they’d lose in the last five minutes. The defence constantly shat their pants and those nervous ten minute periods for supporters felt like an eternity. Not so this season. When Delph scored against the Saints, you generally felt it was game, set and match. Similar, even against Manchester City. Also, those series of 0-0 games this season, they seemed like they were going to be 0-0 all day long. I guess that’s what being now classed as a solid team is all about. It’s just such an alien feeling, I wouldn’t say those words out loud just yet. UTV.