Five Reasons to be Cheerful

Oh football gods, really? Do we have to have another season where you serve up sh**e Villa results and I have to try and come up with five reasons to be cheerful for Villa fans every week. Come on, you’ve tortured me enough over five seasons.

The Independent on Sunday asked me what I thought of Villa’s preparation for the season for an article they ran over the weekend on Tommy Elphick.

‘In the pre-season games, we’ve been watching what we watched last season – it is effectively the same team, and that team is not going anywhere.’

It was a realistic opinion not warped by the usual start of season blind optimism, that a fresh slate brings. The first two defeats against Sheffield Wednesday and Luton have backed up the view, that this club needs a new team.

The defeat against Wednesday wasn’t such a big deal, as the Owls are a decent team and also Villa showed some promise in spells. The lapse in the final minutes and then the capitulation at Kenilworth Road though, were two red flags that this season may not go well, unless addressing the team’s short-comings is addressed asap.

After Derby got relegated from the Premier League, rooted at the bottom with less than 20 points, they haven’t returned since. That was nine seasons ago. That is a horror story that Villa can’t contemplate, but it is still a potential outcome, if complacency sets in.

Anyway, while Tony Xia and Roberto Di Matteo continue to try and sort this mess out, here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Villa fans…



1. Captain Tommy


In the aforementioned  interview with the Independent, when talk turned to Villa’s recruitment so far and Tommy Elphick, I described Elphick as the kind of blue collar type of player the team needed more of for the Championship. Indeed, the big problem with the ex-Cherries defender is that Villa only have one of him.

While, he’s not exactly a world beater, his commitment to the cause (witness his bloodied Terry Butcher head bandage) and concentration, was world’s apart from anything seen in the Villa backline during the Luton game. I was actually left astounded by some of the decisions Richards and Okore were making at centre-back.

The news that James Chester looks to be incoming is a good move, if a little over priced in terms of transfer fee. The Baggies defender, as he proved at the Euros with Wales, is another blue collar grafter who with Tommy Elphick alongside him, will tighten the back up (as long as a new right-back is also brought in).

The only question I do have with a Elphick and Chester combo at the back is neither one of them is six foot tall. Maybe they could get away with that in the Premier League, but the Championship is a more traditionally physical league. Saying that, both have anchored Championship promotion success, so maybe it is an unnecessary worry.




  1. The worst players at Villa are Hutton and Cissokho. You can add Richards to that list when he is playing at center back, his amateurish positioning would make Vincent Kompany look bad.

  2. i dont think the formation helps either,,, and it was matteo who selected that team

    we all want to see gardner green grealish and tisbola form a nucleus of a team but it will take time

    and richards okore mccormack and amavi are very short on playing time,,,,

    its not an excuse but we are not the only side to trip up in this cup rotating the squad

    • Agreed about formation, Gestede is not mobile or deft enough with touch to lead the line on his own. Not sure about the midfield, 2 of the names you mention cannot tackle, Gardner will be suspended a lot it seems and Tshibola is good but not experienced enough yet. I like all of them, but they need some leadership to show them how to improve.

      No excuse for a professional footballer who cannot take a throw in. That’s basic and just shows a lack of mentality. Okore won’t get much playing time with the horror show he put on, though he is not a Left sided Centre Back. McCormack I suspect is not 100% fit, and Amavi yes needs time unless the injury has ruined him.

      Again, don’t care about the cup, promotion is the primary goal. Care about same mistakes happening over and over again. Definition of Insanity: Doing the same thing repeatedly expecting different results.

  3. Ship out, Hutton Richards Westwood Bacuna okore and ship in
    Jednik Chester laet ,nice one Dr T Xia , they have a owner who
    Who wants the garbage out.

    • Trade ya Lescott for Bacuna in that list and then I agree, though Westy might be gone already if the rumors are right. Bacuna hasn’t been on the pitch for the latest collapses, when he has been on the pitch, going forward he’s looked ok, hasn’t cried for a transfer, been quiet on social media, seemingly is trying to get his head down, deserves a chance IMO.

      • what happened to his place in the champins league?, hutton, good but past it now, westwood should be told to provide at least 4 meaningful shots per gamel escott? should dhave been taken behind the holte and put down like bacuna,okore, and that dribbling baffoon cissokho who brendan rogers described as the worst defender he’d ever seen

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