Emery’s Home Bankers, Toxic Old Trafford Threat and Untouchable Aitken

The Good Bad and Ugly of Villa’s Week

What’s the difference between your average football pundit and Aston Villa at home? One is a banker the other is a… It’s time for the Good, Bad and Ugly of the week.

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The Good

Repetition can be boring, but if the repetition is being gently caressed with the knowledge that Aston Villa are now a very potent home side, then let it continue until the end of time.

Luton Town were the latest team to fall victim to the Aston Villa grinder as they were swatted aside.

Luton could have put up a struggle as Zrinjski did, but as soon as John McGinn turned a simple set-piece routine into a work of art, the result was never in doubt.

Luton, to their credit managed to keep the score down to three with a tactic of non-engagement. Clearly, they knew that if they attacked Villa with numbers, the counterattack would’ve destroyed their goal difference.

Villa fans haven’t had football depression-free weeks so regularly in decades.

Villan of the Week – Emiliano Martinez

If your goalkeeper gets the Yashin award at the Ballon d’Or ceremony and finishes 15th overall, they’re getting Villan of the Week.
The fact it’s caused so much flapping in the media makes it all the sweeter.

Unfortunately, he didn’t get a clean sheet against Luton, but there may never be a more decorated Goalkeeper between the sticks for Aston Villa in our lifetime, and his comments that he wants to get the club into the Champions League, rather than his ambition is to play in it himself is refreshing.

The Bad

Around this time every season, Manchester United seem to be in a state of chaos.

Usually, they get their act together but, the signs are there, that the competition in the Premier League, means this will be a tough ask.

Their fanbase in the stands and of course in the media go into a tailspin and start talking like it is the mid-1990s again and they can throw their weight around.

This week, many media outlets have linked Unai Emery as the perfect solution to the Old Trafford problem.

This isn’t just lazy journalism, it’s bad content all around.

It shows there is no appreciation of the power and situation Emery has found himself in at Aston Villa. He has complete control, absolute power, if you will, and other than Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, no other manager in the Premier League has the same level of influence at their club.

It’s often said that people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad managers. In football terms, good managers don’t like to bat on bad wickets.

Unai Emery turned down Newcastle United, with all the potential there, but was convinced to join Aston Villa.

He won’t abandon the best situation he has ever had in his career, to take on the task that Jose Mourinho, Luis Van Gaal, David Moyes and others were burned by.

The Manchester United scenario is like a toxic workplace, good players and elite coaches turn up and try to make it work, but are unable to deal with the politics, media pressure and shadow of their glory years.

Unai Emery won’t leave his position of ultimate power to take on the bad bet that is the poison chalice of Old Trafford.

The Ugly

The passing of Aston Villa’s record appearance holder Charlie Aitken was a sad moment for the older fans of the club.

A player who made 660 appearances and only three of them were as a substitute is mindblowing when compared to the ugliness of modern football.

To put it into context, the 17 years Aitken was at Villa bridged the gap between the end of the 1957 FA Cup winning side and the beginnings of the team that would win the League and European Cup.

That kind of longevity should be recognised because of how alien it is to today’s game.

Modern players leave clubs when they’re played out of position. Throw their careers away and rot in the reserves because they disagree with a manager telling them to run a bit harder, or even sell their soul for an oversea’s cash grab to play in front of less than 1000 fans.

Those players and others who warm benches with little or no hope of playing actual football should read the story of Aitken, who suffered relegation to the third tier with Villa only to see them back to the top flight.

How many other players would stick with a club through those difficult times?

Charlie Aitken’s appearance record will likely never be broken at Aston Villa and it should be held up as a mirror to the ugliness that modern football displays and celebrates daily.


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