A couple of draws (at home to Huddersfield Town and away to Derby) and a series of recent highs and lows – none lower than the death of former striker and fan favourite Dalian Atkinson. What did Villa fans learn from a emotional week?
DALIAN ATKINSON, DAL-IAN-AT-KIN-SON
Dalian Atkinson with always be associated with probably the finest individual goal ever scored by an Aston Villa player. And he would probably be okay with that.
As a player he loved the big games. Not a 20-goal a season player, he scored Villa’s first ever goal in the Premiership and key goals in the Cup Final run – including one in the final itself – in 1994. He could be frustrating to watch, but he was jovial and as exciting as footballers get when on his best form.
His death, and the manner that brought it, provided a double shock to fans but the tribute at Villa Park was appropriate, classy and a fine way to pay tribute to a Villa player who got fans out of their seats. Aston Villa and its fans should be proud of their farewell.
TOWN SLIP UP
Villa looked like they would pick up where they left off against Huddersfield, but a fluke goal finally gave them what they probably deserved after a rattled second half. Confidence is clearly fragile. It took one Town substitution to get inside Villa fans’ heads and change the vibe inside the ground.
The equaliser itself was a freak, but that’s the sign of a team still bereft of confidence and discipline. The teams that win and have won while Villa were flailing and avoiding relegation don’t make those slip-ups. The squad is changing and the attitude is improving but successful teams don’t make those mistakes and they have to stop. Villa must make their own luck and certainly take the chances they are given to build a self of belief they can see out games and take three points.
Have no doubt, Villa deserved to win against Derby – a team considered a form horse in this division. Confidence and the belief that games are there to be won will come eventually, and if this game had been played in a month’s time with a few more wins against the mediocrity in this league, Villa would have wrapped it up by half-time.
The defense looks resolute (if a little thinly manned on the bench) and with potential goal threats all over the park for the first time in a long time, it’s just a matter of time before someone gets the floor wiped with them in a heavy beating.
DR X’S MESSAGES
Dr Tony doesn’t care if it’s his neck on the line. He has promised via Twitter that a new right-back is in the bag (never has a player fallen from grace like Alan Hutton who was adored by fans in the last few games in the Premiership for showing his no-nonsense attitude, but now looks like being hounded out of the club completely) but also that the club is working hard to bring in a “world class” number nine.
Speculation is rife over who the target might be, with fans focusing on 1) available realisitic number nines and 2) world class players 3) seeing where they overlap. But one thing is sure: those who doubted Dr X is a Villa fan and a passionate owner are very, very wrong.
Follow Adam Keeble on Twitter @keebo00
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