After the doom and gloom of the start of the season, Villa have woken up and the fans just can’t get enough of it.
With one goal scored in the previous two games (not to mention five conceded) Villa lit up Norwich and Wigan – two clubs with Bruce connections – sticking eight past them, with several truly things of beauty.
What can Villa fans learn from this change of fortune?
IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE
Bruce’s tactics weren’t working. This column gets the impression he was so perplexed at what was going wrong that he was overthinking the situation. This league isn’t pretty, and it’s a scramble, a dogfight, whatever you want to call it, to get out of it. It was getting him down.
Keinan Davis leading the line against Norwich and Bruce moving Hourihane into the position he played so well in for Barnsley changed everything. Crosses and shots starting flying in. Hourihane scored the first hat-trick from midfield since before the Premier League even existed. All it took was telling him to do what he was good at and not playing him out of position.
Certainly Norwich were disappointing on the day, but it was a huge lift for the supporters not just seeing a big win but seeing young players stepping up and big signings doing what they were brought in to do.
The victim of Davis’s promotion was Gabby Agbonlahor, which will have many fans sighing with relief (while others still support him – it was pointed out that Hourihane scored more league goals in the Norwich game than Gabby has scored since the 2015-16 season).
If this is how Gabby is edged out (more on Hogan to follow below, but Kodjia is also waiting in the wings), then it’s an honourable way to end his Villa career. Youth replaces youth over time. We’ll always have that one goal he scored last season after all.
Scott Hogan’s goal against Colchester might not have been pretty, but the brace he managed against Wigan were good, honest footballing ability, power and skill.
A reputation as being a bit brittle since joining the club, he could soon be a fan favourite if he keeps sticking the ball in the onion bag. And again, and it has taken is the right service to him to bring out the best in his game.
Former Villa utility player Leandro Bacuna scored a worldie against Millwall as Villa were having their way with Wigan. This after many Reading fans were berating his debut where he failed to impress. And to think Bacuna was kept Hourihane out of the team in the first game of the season…
Follow Adam on Twitter at @keebo00