A 2-0 win sent Villa into the international break with a smile of their collective faces – not least because of Scott Hogan’s first goal for the club. What did Villa fans learn from the victory over the Latics?
James Chester is a lion. Defensively he is calm and composed, tough and leads by example. And his goals from set-pieces have reminded Villa fans – YES we can score from set-pieces!
Much was made of the number of club captains Villa had signed, yet the Villa captain wasn’t one of them. Would you want to ask him for the armband back?
STYLE AND SUBSTANCE
Just to clarify – there are no style points given in the Championship. Certainly it would be nice if this current Villa team could attack like a Ron Atkinson team or have all the flair of a Merson-Ginola-Angel-Hitzsperger team but here’s what it boils down to:
- Villa couldn’t win
- Now they can
- The rest will come
The most important thing – something money couldn’t buy – was to get the team used to winning after season after season of losing. If we were top of the league playing the longest of long ball tactics, few would complain for the sake of winning through necessity to get back to the promised land.
A truly dominant win would be a statement, but it’s still only worth three points. We have already sent a message to football: we have a winning solution. It might change, but it’s working for now and you have to deal with it. That alone during Lambert’s reign seemed an impossible dream. And then of course…
… there’s the clean sheets.
It would be nice if Sam Johnstone could sit back and read a magazine while the Villa midfield tore up the opposition and scored six every week. But until then, his five clean sheets in his last six games have propelled Villa up the table, restored credibility to the back line (including confidence in Johnstone himself) and proved that a corner has been turned.
A happy goalie is a happy team. Long may it continue.
And a big welcome back to Scott Hogan who’s goal was the cherry on top and a beauty at that.
His goal towards the end of his half-hour shift off the bench back from injury was a peachy header and sealed the win. Whether Bruce opts for one or two strikers going forward, that first goal is out of the way. Next is his first at Villa Park. Then his first hat-trick against Birmingham City 🙂
Check the latest episode of the podcast. New one coming soon…