And the Villa go marching ON ON ON! What did Villa fans learn from two nice results at home against Norwich and QPR to keep the streak of good results going?
NOT PRETTY NORWICH
It wasn’t a game that showed Villa at their best, but the result was satisfying. Norwich had done their homework and limited Villa, but that man Kodjia did his thing. Maybe the sending off can be partly blamed for Villa’s second but a performance like this begs two questions:
- Is winning while not playing well the sign of a strong team?
- Or is winning while not playing well a concern?
Certainly when Chelsea don’t really click but get a win, it’s number one but Villa might be more of a number two (so to speak). The standard of opposition hasn’t been great in this division with the teams that raised their game earlier in the season when taking on Villa having a few flashes but nothing that showed a gulf of class in this division (outside of the top two who have been there or thereabouts since the start.)
Promotion is the only aim, and while Bruce is happy with the results but not with the display pretty much every week, the goal of promotion – and the next goal: survival – would be more convincing if Villa could show a little more… Class? Consistency? Swagger?
Maybe it was paper talk but rumours of teams running the rule over Jedinak and Kodjia are as obvious as they are unsettling. In Kodjia we have a really class striker who seems to be enjoying himself. And recent stats shared elsewhere by MOMS showed how important Jedinak is to Villa when he plays.
Nothing would burst the feel-better bubble quicker than the sale of those two this summer – and in the same way nothing would give Villa fans a lift more than a statement from either when the time comes that they would like to stay (but probably not make a film about signing a new contract and winking to the camera, right?)
FLYING START AGAINST Rs
If Adomah’s shot had gone in followed by Kodjia’s in the first few minutes against QPR, maybe the second half would have been even worse. QPR came into the match up on Tuesday with some good form but they were shot down early on and Johnstone, Baker and Chester did the rest.
Again, a 4-0 drubbing might have answered a few critics but it never looked like it was going to happen with poor final balls in the final third. A clean sheet is a great thing and “1-0 to the Villa boys” would be a nice chant if it truly reflected the team’s comfort level.
Bacuna was straight back in the starting line-up against QPR and that must have been demoralising to both Andre Green and Jack Grealish. Green especially hasn’t done anything to warrant such little playing time at the suspended Bacuna’s expense and Grealish, who’s sending off may have cost Villa a game, clearly hasn’t been forgiven as quickly as volatile utility player Bacuna.
That said, while both Grealish and Bacuna were silly to get sent off in the manner they did, Grealish was a non-violent second bookable offense whereas Bacuna may have been treated harshly with his lengthy ban, but he’s been a professional long enough to know when to laugh off a bad call even when the game is on the line and realise that he’s not going to change the linesman’s mind by yelling in his face.
This column has concerns about Grealish’s long-term future. If he’s undervalued and allowed to leave like Cahill, Albrighton, Bannon to name but a few, it would be a crime. But if he’s not getting the chances, Villa fan or not, a footballer’s career is short and who could blame him for being tempted to move on?
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