Dean Smith Seeks Villa Fine Tuning to Banish Manager of the Month Curse

The Manager of the Month Curse?

It’s often said that winning the Manager of the Month award can be a curse. After winning the award in December, Dean Smith didn’t exactly have the greatest start to the following month. His team started winless in 2021 and were hit by a Covid outbreak. A 2-0 win against Newcastle broke the spell temporarily, then after an impressive first half showing against Burnley, Villa wilted away to another January defeat, leaving them with just one win in six games in all competitions.

It’s a strange situation considering the buoyancy surrounding this Villa team at the moment. Bar the occasional lapse, they are defensively strong, while at the other end of the pitch, they can be quite scintillating at times despite currently lacking a clinical edge.

Yes, recent results have been frustrating, but surely it’s just a matter of fine tuning for Villa?

A key component of Villa’s true potential, Ross Barkley, has only just returned from a lengthy period away. He’ll need a two or three more games to truly get up to speed after two months out. There’s also the prospect of Wesley returning soon and once new man Morgan Sanson gets up to speed, Smith will gain fresh options.

This is still very much a season to be attacked and hopefully Villa will follow Dean Smith’s tradition of finishing seasons stronger than he starts them. Resting on our laurels and simply being content that Villa are doing better than last season is certainly not the approach to take, if this team is to truly fulfil its potential. There is no time like the present to really kick-on and expectations should match that.

In the latest two My Old Man Said podcasts of the week, MOMS looks at the differing fortunes of Villa’s two recent games in a rational manner. Speaking of curses, beyond the Villaverse, we also look at alleged incidents of witchcraft, superstition and voodoo in football from around the world in the past couple of weeks. There’s also an update on the latest incarnation of an attempt of a European Super League. Plus, the ‘Overrated or Underrated’ section sees ex-Villa and Newcastle midfielder Nobby Solano under the microscope.


Listen below or in any good podcast app

Burnley Match Reaction Show – Episode 133.5

The Main Show – Episode 133

The main show of the week was recorded after the Newcastle United win

My Old Man Said on Apple Podcasts iTunes


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David Michael – @oldmansaid 

Chris Budd – @BUDD_music

Phillip Shaw – @prsgame

My Old Man Said –

Editor/Producer – David Michael

Music – Philip Marten