At last – a lovely win at home against Palace but held by Wycombe in the cup, fans and players getting stroppy and nobody signed during what was billed as a critical transfer window – what did Aston Villa fans learn as tensions boiled over but we finally got that winning feeling back?
Thank you, Crystal Palace, for following the script and giving Villa their first league win since August. The big talk was the selection of the big man Kozak, but the performance showed heart and guts and the loyal fans that showed up on a cold Tuesday night deserved the glory of Lescott’s ‘unstoppable header’.
After the reminder of what it’s like to win in the league at home (something we haven’t experienced since last season), we are hoping it’s not a flash in the pan and that Leicester City can be beaten in a similar fashion at the very least this weekend.
MAD AS HELL AND NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE
While Villa were trying to find new and creative ways to lose against Wycombe in the cup, some fans and players lost all respect for each other in a mud-slinging match. It’s unfortunate the the loudest voices from both the fans and the players are taken as representative of ALL the fans and players.
Yes, the guy calling out the players as they got on the bus was using all kinds of colourful words – but he was upset! And reports of Guzan, Lescott and Richardson lashing back at critical fans might fit the “don’t care about us” cliche modern footballers are associated with – but they’re upset too! We’re all upset!
Frankly that it’s taken this long for both sides to get this upset is something Randy Lerner will be relieved at. Fans could have been calling for his head and calling out players that didn’t look good enough with that ferocity three seasons ago. And players, brought in on promises of bright futures and turned corners will be rightly mad that here we are again, bottom of the league, another relegation battle, and a career blighted with a long spell at a club which has become a non-competitive laughing stock.
Crisis talks (several weeks too late, but still) came and went with nobody fired, no significant change of direction – not even a bigger bucket to bail out the sinking ship. It’s a difficult situation – Lerner wants to sell, but the club’s valuation is about to take a massive hit through relegation, so why would he pump more money into it at this point when survival would be a long shot even if he brought in the Spanish national team this January?
According to Reme Garde he had hoped to have two players in by now, but they both took a look at the league table, considered the mismanagement of the last few years, and decided to stay where they were instead (turning down thousands of pounds and a move to one of the most historic clubs in the football league).
Any money put in now should be modelled on short-term promotion battlers and long-term prospects. If reasonable targets are turning down the club, the players the team needs to get out of the mess they’re won’t even be answering the phone. And if those targets who having second thoughts, Randy can use the money on airfare to come see a game to witness why everyone is so miserable first hand.
Sad as is it to accept, but at this point any players the club brings in will not be among the top choices. Which is too bad, because there’s every chance we will end up with more of the same.
HOT (ON) CROSS(ES) BUNN
It could be a said a bigger change to the normal line-up wasn’t Kozak but Mark Bunn in goal. He didn’t do much wrong against Wycombe and the team could have a situation where the veteran automatic pick between the pipes now has a legitimate challenger for his place – something that would ideal all over the field.
On a night where a goalkeeping mishap was the topic of conversation, a clean sheet at home and a win with a new man in the Villa goal is just as big a thing to consider.
Follow Adam Keeble on Twitter @keebo00
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