I’ve already grumbled about a lack of last minute urgency in the Newcastle game in the dying minutes to try and win the game, because a point was never going to be a reason to be cheerful as an Aston Villa fan. We need wins and we need them now. After a week of false narratives off the pitch in terms of what Villa HQ has said about the quality of the squad and the state of the club, Villa need to break their 16-game winless streak or the false hope of survival will fast become completely unrealistic.

I sincerely hope the elusive wins can come in the Christmas fixtures, because if they don’t, the straws to clutch for this column will get thinner and thinner.

In the meantime, here’s five other straws to be cheerful as Aston Villa fans…

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Well, at least two of the French foreign legion are pulling their weight. I’ve mentioned Jordan Ayew and Jordan Veretout before in the past week or two in this column, but yet again, they are the only players worth a mention.

Some had pegged Ayew to be a bit of a N’Zogbia-like sulker, but now he’s starting regularly, Ayew has impressed supporters with his effort and will.

His equaliser against Newcastle was his best yet and was really a goal from nothing, which is encouraging to see. While he doesn’t seem to be a striker who can shoulder the sole responsibility of scoring almost all of Villa’s goals ala Benteke, he now looks likely he’ll make a decent contribution and reach double figures at least.


Veretout added his third assist setting up Ayew’s goal (although the Villa striker fashioned it himself). Tim Sherwood dismissed Veretout as not being Premier League material, while he hasn’t exactly convinced to the contrary, there is improvement there.

The main issue though is the French midfielder really needs to be Villa’s main creative man in midfield now, rather than later. There is no time to find his feet, it’s instant results the team needs. A run of games is certainly help him though. Hopefully, he can also add goals to his game too.